How To Build A WordPress Website
We all know that having a well-designed website is so important. It’s often the first impression your customers have of your business, so it doesn’t just need to look good, it also needs to be functional and mobile responsive (meaning its layout adapts to display just as beautifully on computers, tablets and mobile devices).
For small to medium businesses, all you need to get up and running with your new website is a domain, a hosting provider and a WordPress installation. From there, it’s all about customising a theme until it looks just the way you want it to, and adding a few plugins to handle the extra functionality you want it to have.
At first glance, setting up a new website can seem overwhelming. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult, and it doesn’t have to be expensive!
That’s why we believe in customising pre-made themes and plugins for WordPress to save both time AND money. Why try and reinvent the wheel when there are so many professional and affordable foundations to build from?
So, if you’re ready to get started, or keen to learn more about how to set up your WordPress website, let’s take a look at our quick step-by-step guide below.
Quick note: There are a few affiliate links in the content below. This means we may get a few cents if you purchase something through the link, however there will be no additional cost to you. We only link to products and service providers that we trust and recommend, and we do this to make it as quick and easy as possible to get you up and running with your own gorgeous WordPress website!
Step 1 – Choosing Your Domain Name
But wait, what IS a domain name?
A domain name is what your website is called, and forms part of the “URL” (Uniform Resource Locator) for your website. It forms part of how search engines and browsers find your site. Your domain name is the part of your website that starts with “www.”, is (usually) followed by your business name, and then ends in “.com” or “.com.au”.
First, you should check if your preferred domain name is available, then purchase the domain name through a domain name provider.
Domain names usually start from around $20(AU) for a two-year licence with Crazy Domains, but can sometimes be cheaper. You can also often buy your domain name directly through your hosting company. Which brings us to Step 2!
Step 2 – Setting Up Your Website Hosting
And why do I need a website host anyway?
Your website hosting determines where the data that makes up your site will actually live on the world wide web. It’s the server that will hold all your site’s information including WordPress installation, content and images.
When choosing a hosting provider, it’s important to consider a couple of factors, including:
- Reliability of host/server
- How well your website will need to perform (or put another way: how much traffic you anticipate your site will receive).
We use and recommend Bluehost on our personal and business websites as we’ve always found them to be reliable and affordable. Pricing starts from as low as $3.95(US) per month when signing up for 3 year plan, and includes one free domain name.
Step 3 – Setting up WordPress
Once you’ve set up your website hosting and have access to your server, you’ll be able to install WordPress. This will look slightly different depending on which hosting provider you use, but most hosting companies provide an easy 1-click WordPress install, often accessible via what’s known as a CPANEL.
Simply navigate to your CPANEL and have a look through the options and lists of applications until you find WordPress, then follow the instructions to install.
This step is included in all our website packages. We’ll ensure everything is set up correctly and ready to go to start creating your killer website.
Step 4 – Selecting a Theme
And now for the fun part!
Your theme is like the ‘skin’ on your website. It handles everything about what your site will look like, from menus and page layouts to colours, fonts, etc.
There are plenty of free themes available on WordPress which you can access via Appearance -> Themes in your WordPress dashboard. However, free themes are often quite limited in customisation options and are also widely used across the web.
If you really want your website to stand out from the crowd, a paid theme is usually the way to go. Prices can range from $10 to $100+, so they aren’t a big investment for the HUGE payoff you’ll get back in customisation and ability.
Paid themes often include other built-in features and benefits that aren’t available with standard themes, and are built to a much higher quality than free themes.
Paid themes are also available to download within your WordPress installation or can be downloaded from a number of external sites and installed in your WordPress installation. We use and recommend Themeforest by Envato, as we’ve found all the themes we’ve downloaded from them have been built to a high standard.
Step 5 – Adding Plugins
And why would you need to?
Once your theme is installed and customised, it’s time to consider what plugins your site will need. Plugins extend and add extra functionality to your basic website. We’ve listed some of the more common plugins below, but there are literally 1000’s and 1000’s of plugins available.
- Akismet – used to block spam, best for online blogs.
- Vaultpress – used to create backups of your site and restore if something goes wrong.
- Woocommerce – used to set up an online shop and checkout to handle payments through your website.
- Yoast SEO – used to optimise your pages and posts for better google search rankings.
Most plugins are free to install, but not all are created equal. Some are built to a much higher quality than others. It’s a good idea to pay attention to the number of installs a plugin has and go with the ones that have a much higher number. Also pay attention to when it was last updated, and see if it’s compatible with your version of WordPress.
We also recommend reading the plugin notes and comments/reviews to see what others are saying about them.
Creating your own WordPress website is easy but can be very time consuming when you first start out. We can get you up and running in no time with our affordable website packages. Reach out and let us know how we can help with the form below!