The Complete Guide to WordPress and how to build a WordPress Site

It seems like creating a website is an overwhelming process.

The task look achievable only by those with coding knowledge or background in web design.

The good news is, we have WordPress. It’s totally free and absolutely easy to use. You can use WordPress for your business website, blog or portfolio site.

What Is WordPress?

Aside from being a content Management System (CMS) and letting you manage the content, WordPress also allow you to host and build websites. Better yet, it includes a plugin architecture and a myriad of templates can be used on it, so it is really easy to customise any website.

But how?

We have prepared the ultimate guide to cover a step-by-step journey of creating your own WordPress website. Plus, there are also a list of useful tips and tricks while working with WordPress.

But first, let’s address the common concern that individuals have when considering a new WordPress website: What differentiates WordPress.org from WordPress.com?

WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

Who hosts your website affects the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

Through a third-party hosting provider, you run your own website or blog on WordPress.org. Also, you need to administer your server, install your WordPress software, and purchase a domain name from a third-party website.It’s a lot more interactive experience than WordPress.com.

WordPress.com provides hosting for your website. You don’t even have to download any software or operate a server. If you use WordPress.com, the URL for your website will be something like this: www.mywebsite.wordpress.com. Nevertheless, you also have the choice to upgrade your WordPress.com account and purchase a customized domain from a different supplier (meaning your URL will appear like this: www.mywebsite.com).

How to Choose Between WordPress.org or WordPress.com

You might be thinking if WordPress.org or WordPress.com is a better match for you. Let’s go over some more of the advantages and disadvantages of both alternatives, so you can make an informed decision.

If you want complete freedom over modifying and controlling your website, WordPress.org is the way to go. However, administering a WordPress.org website entails far more responsibilities. You must buy and configure your own domain name, upload and install plugins and themes, change your website’s code, and maintain its security. Although using WordPress.org is free, there are costs associated with running a website.

WordPress.com is ideal if you want an all-in-one solution that does the majority of the work for you. You will never have to manage your server, pay for hosting, or purchase a name. A WordPress.com subscription also includes a lot of customization tools to help you make your website seem exactly as you want it to.

WordPress.com offers both a free and a paid edition. You cannot install custom themes or plugins if you use the free version, and you will have a WordPress subdomain. However, you may always pay for premium upgrades and other plans that give you even more capabilities and control, as well as purchase a custom domain from a third-party site.

WordPress for Newbies: How to Get Started

You may use WordPress to build your dream website in a variety of ways. The program is typically straightforward to use, but getting started might be frightening if you’re entirely new to the procedure. Our is why we created this “WordPress for Beginners” tutorial. Do you want a brief primer before diving in? Take a look at this useful video:

We’ve also listed some top websites for learning about WordPress – they may be extremely important sources of knowledge as you begin your adventure.

We’ll look at how to get started on your website later on.

How to Build a WordPress Website

  1. Select a WordPress plan (WordPress.com only).
  2. Set up your domain name and hosting provider.
  3. Install WordPress.
  4. Choose your theme.
  5. Add posts and pages to your website.
  6. Customize your website.
  7. Install plugins.
  8. Optimize your website to increase page speed.
  9. Get inspired from WordPress website examples.

By far the most famous CMS nowadays is WordPress. Its simplicity and adaptability allow the vast majority of users and company owners to develop a website that meets their requirements. Here’s how you can replicate it.

  • Select a WordPress plan (WordPress.com only).

Choose a WordPress plan to start customizing your website. As previously stated, WordPress.org only offers one (free) plan option, however it needs you to purchase your domain, hosting provider, plugins, styles, and everything else associated with your WordPress site.

WordPress.com allows you to pick from five different options.

wordpress plan

The monthly charge, forms of site customization, and access to marketing tools are the key distinctions between these programs.

  • Set up your domain name and hosting provider.

Setting up your domain name and selecting your WordPress hosting provider usually happen at the same time throughout the website building process.

Before we get into how to execute those chores, it’s important to understand the distinction between your domain name and your hosting provider.

Consider your domain name to be your house address – it is how your guests will find your website on the Internet. Your domain name may look anything like this: www.example.com.

Your hosting provider is similar to your home in that it is where your website files are really stored. Your website would not be able to “live” without the assistance of a hosting company. Hostinger, Exabytes, and Kinsta are among the finest WordPress hosting services.

wordpress

How to pick domain and hosting providers

WordPress.org  needs you to establish your own domain and choose a third-party hosting provider for your website. WordPress.com lets you pick whether you want a custom domain based on the package you select, but it handles the hosting for you.

Your hosting provider has an influence on the speed, security, and dependability of your website. There are hundreds of providers to pick from, so we compiled a list of 22 of the finest WordPress hosting services to assist you in determining what would work best for you. All of these hosting companies fulfil WordPress’ three hosting requirements:

  • PHP version 7.4 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.1 or greater.
  • HTTPS support

When looking for a WordPress hosting company, make sure they match all the following requirements.

Obtaining a domain name is as simple as looking for and purchasing one through your preferred domain registrar. If you’re new to WordPress.com but have previously purchased and registered a domain name elsewhere, you may transfer or map it to your WordPress website.

Let’s pretend you don’t already have a domain or a hosting provider for the purposes of this instruction. Here’s how you get started with the popular hosting provider Exabytes.

First, head to Exabytes’ website and click Get Started.

exabytes

You’ll be brought to Exabytes’ pricing page, where you may select one of four options.

exabytes plan

After selecting your plan and clicking Select, you’ll be sent to another page to register for a domain name.

IMAG

domain

After you’ve chosen your domain name, you’ll be sent to a page where you can complete your account and billing details for your purchase.

domain account

After verifying your account and buying your domain, you will be able to enter your hosting dashboard and install the WordPress CMS.

  • Install WordPress.

To link your new domain to your website if you are using a hosting service other than WordPress, you must install the CMS.

Let’s utilise GoDaddy as an example this time. (There’s no need to fret; this method works with any hosting provider.)

Note: If you utilise a managed WordPress hosting provider, such as WP Engine or Kinsta, you won’t need to go through this procedure because such services were created exclusively for WordPress and will already have WordPress installed for you.

To begin, sign in to your GoDaddy account and select Web Hosting, then Manage. You will be sent to a screen with your account information.

web hosting

Scroll down to the section labelled Popular Apps under Options & Settings. To begin the installation, click on the WordPress app.

wordpress

Following the installation of WordPress, you’ll be prompted to provide information about the domain you wish to use, the directory where you want to install WordPress, and your admin information.

Your website will be installed to your hosting account within 24 hours, and GoDaddy will give you an email confirmation.

After you’ve set up your domain and installed WordPress, you’ll need to configure your “Primary Domain” inside WordPress so that your visitors see your website when they search your domain.

Go to My Site > Domains on WordPress. Choose the custom domain that will be your principal domain.

wordpress domain

Then, click Make Primary.

wordpress

Click Update Primary Domain to confirm you wanted to make this change.

wordpress domain

Look for a green box with a tick that indicates Primary Domain to confirm the change was successful.

wordpress domain

Step four is to make your website appear attractive.

  • Choose your theme.

You may personalise your WordPress website by selecting one of the numerous themes and templates available, each of which has a plethora of layouts, formatting styles, colours, fonts, and other aesthetic options.

WordPress automatically applies a pretty plain default theme. You can retain it, but your website visitors might not be pleased. A premium or free custom WordPress theme will make your website appear appealing and professional to your buyer personas.

There are hundreds of themes and templates to pick from, just like there are hundreds of hosting companies. To assist you, we’ve compiled a list of 20 of our best themes and templates, organised by function. There is a theme suited for your ecommerce site, portfolio, blog, or company, whether you are searching for a theme adaptable enough for several business kinds or one suitable for your ecommerce site, portfolio, blog, or business. You can further personalise your webpages with a builder tool like Elementor on top of your theme.

wordpress theme

When you’ve found the ideal theme, just install it to begin customising. Each theme has a distinct set of actions throughout the customising process, so make sure you stick to them. Check for documentation as you progress through the customising process if a theme has a website (typically viewable through the WordPress theme and template library).

  • Add posts and pages to your website.

When you upload material to your WordPress website, it is often presented as posts and pages.

Posts (also known as “dynamic pages”) are commonly used for blogs and portfolios since they automatically display the most recent website material at the top of your highlighted content. Pages are static, which appeals to company owners since the additional material remains in the same spot.

The two primary post kinds on WordPress are posts and pages.There are many more native post kinds as well as custom post types. For the time being, we may limit ourselves to pages and posts.

Choose first whether you want a page or a post to be your website’s front homepage (or any page). Go to the admin dashboard, select Posts, and then Add New to add a new post to your website.

wordpress

You may use blocks and shortcodes to add a headline to your article, insert photographs, adjust the format, and insert page components. Click Preserve Draft to save your changes as a draught, or Publish to publish the post instantly.

The procedure of adding a page to your website is comparable. Click Pages, then Add New in your admin area.

wordpress

First, give your page a title. After that, you may add content, embed videos, and input images. Repeat these procedures to build more pages for your website. When you’re finished, choose Save Draft or Publish.

  • Customize your website.

Aside from the theme you select, there are other methods to further customise your website. Let’s have a look at other alternatives.

First, let’s change the title of your website. Select Settings > General from your admin dashboard. Insert your website’s title and slogan here. You may also change your URL, email, time zone, and other basic site settings.

wordpress setting

Let’s now personalise your reading sections. You may convert your home page to a static page under Settings > Reading.

wordpress setting

Consider this if you are a business owner who wishes to keep your website’s content in one location. If you’re a blogger that wants to have your most recent material display at the top of your pages, consider employing a dynamic page. Your visitors will be able to readily access your most recent content this way.

The navigation bar is also editable. This makes it easier for people to discover content on your website.

Go to your admin dashboard, choose Appearance, and then Menus to add a navigation bar.

wordpress dashboard

From here, you may choose how your bar should appear, how many pages you want to include, what you want to call those pages, and how they should be presented.

Of course, this is only a small portion of what is available on the dashboard; visit here for more information on your WordPress site settings and customization choices.

  • Install plugins.

Plugins are bits of software that improve the user experience and add functionality to your WordPress website. With over 55,000 plugins accessible, there is something for almost every sort of website and user. One of the most popular plugins offered are:

  • Easily add pop-ups, forms, and live chat to your WordPress website with the HubSpot WordPress Plugin. As an extra benefit, integrate this or other CRM plugins with your HubSpot CRM.
  • All in One SEO: A highly rated SEO plugin that businesses use to boost their ranks and discover new SEO growth prospects.
  • The Events Calendar: A simple events calendar that makes it simple to schedule events from your website.
  • Yoast SEO: The go-to plugin for on-page SEO assistance. This tool ensures that you are following the best standards before publishing your site.
  • TablePress: Do you need a table on your website? Don’t look any further.
  • The SEO Framework: Another plugin that might let you conquer SEO on your site.
  • Weglot: An excellent translation plugin for WordPress and WooCommerce websites.

To begin, navigate to the Plugin’s area of your admin dashboard. This displays all the plugins that are presently installed on your site. Depending on your host, you may already have multiple plugins loaded. It is important to note that in order for a plugin to function, it must be activated after installation.

wordpress plugins

To add a new plugin, select Add New. Search for your preferred plugin, then select Install Now, wait a few moments, and then select Activate.

wordpress add plugins

Get the WordPress CRM plugin that will assist you in organising, tracking, and nurturing your leads.

  • Optimize your website to increase page speed.

The performance of a website is an essential aspect of the user experience. If a website takes too long to load, your visitors will rapidly leave and visit another site. Slow speeds are likely to irritate visitors.

Enabling browser caching will enhance the speed of your website. The method of temporarily storing data from your website on visitors’ browsers is known as “browser caching.” As a result, your material does not need to be transmitted from the web server to the browser, which speeds up the website.

Install and activate a caching plugin as stated above to enable caching on your website.

For instance, the WordPress caching plugin WP Rocket will speed up your site in a matter of seconds. You’ll minimize time and effort while enhancing your Core Web Vitals grades, the PageSpeed Insights score, and the overall loading speed thanks to potent tools like Remove Unused CSS and Delay JS Execution.

  • Get inspired from WordPress website examples.

You can experience a sense of overwhelm when you start to modify your website. It might be helpful to draw some ideas from existing excellent WordPress websites rather than starting from scratch. Some of our favourites are as follows:

A well-known podcast with a design and architecture focus is called 99% Invisible. Their website is slick, up-to-date, and provides simple navigation so users can access each podcast episode right away.

website examples

The Houston Zoo’s website displays its main attraction on the homepage. Searching the website is simple because of the magnifying glass icon in the top navigation bar.

website examples

The designers of various WordPress projects, Awesome Motive, captivate visitors with a sleek yet straightforward website. To draw viewers in, it uses subtle animation.

WordPress Website Tips and Tricks

We’ve included a list of 20 WordPress tips and tricks below to assist you in making your website as effective and user-friendly as possible.

1. Pay attention to the fundamentals and use a WordPress theme that matches your company and website content to produce an excellent user experience.

2. When naming your files on WordPress, use dashes rather than underscores. Your file will seem as one long word since Google treats underscores the same way it treats joiners. That won’t aid in your SEO efforts. To make it clear that some words are distinct, use dashes. Use www.example.com/this-is-an-example rather than www.example.com/this is an example, for instance.

3. If you have any problems or issues while building or using your website, use WordPress’ online help. On their website, a variety of forums and ways to get in touch with WordPress specialists are offered.

4. Make the most of image alt text. You may utilise image alt text to raise your SEO and Google rankings.

5. Make every effort to keep your sidebar orderly. Consider what your website visitors and buyer personas actually require quick and simple access to and focus on the fundamentals.

6. Regularly back up your website, so you have all you need to fully restore its information if you ever lose access or have technical issues. There are some plugins designed expressly for backing up your WordPress content, such Snapshot Pro.

7. Become familiar with the fundamentals of SEO to make sure your website is well optimised and increase conversions.

8. Design a unique homepage. As was already said, WordPress will provide you a default homepage. Remember, this is your visitor’s first impression of your business, blog, or portfolio, so take the time to make your own with a theme that suits your company.

9. Monitor the effectiveness of your website and be aware of what works and doesn’t for your visitors. To aid with this performance, a variety of helpful WordPress plugins and Google Analytics tools are available.

10. Add a “About Us” page to your website to demonstrate to visitors that you are a reliable individual or company. Introducing oneself is crucial since “About Us” pages are acknowledged to be the second most popular pages on websites (after homepages).

11. Ensure the security of your website to prevent access by hackers. Once more, there are several plugins available, like WP Defender, to assist you with security.

12. Design unique permalinks. The permanent URLs that you intend to remain static for the foreseeable future are called permalinks. They’re crucial since they raise customer satisfaction and boost the SEO of your WordPress website.

13. Design a unique navigation bar (like we discussed previously) to make it simple for visitors to use your website.

14. Use snippets in your blog articles, so readers won’t view the complete thing when they first visit your page. On your blog page, you may list all of your blogs in one place by limiting the content to extracts. After reading the snippets, visitors can click through to the topics that most interest them.

15. Make sense for your business, users, and buyer personas when structuring your website. Use pages if you’re a company owner and posts if you’re a blogger, for instance.

16. Take away the “Comment” and “Share” buttons from particular web pages. A “Comment” or “Share” button is not required or desired on your “About Us” page or, for that matter, any of your service pages.

17. Take into account how your website appears on mobile. It’s no secret that many individuals nowadays use their phones, tablets, and other mobile devices to do online searches. To assist you in creating a responsive, mobile WordPress design, think about employing a plugin.

18. When feasible, use images and video material to break up the text on your website’s pages.

19. Regularly update your WordPress website and plugins. WordPress will notify you when new versions are available. This will maintain your website functioning properly and appearing new.

20. Make use of social proof to demonstrate to new website users the volume of traffic to your website and its contents. You may accomplish this in a couple of minutes with the use of plugins.

21. Choose a CRM that is compatible with your WordPress website. You can monitor how people are interacting with your website and business with the use of a CRM. Some top WordPress CRM alternatives are listed below.

Build a Website With WordPress

A fantastic website is important. It’s how you establish a relationship with your visitors and leads, make a good impression on new users, and increase conversions. The good news is that, with WordPress, building your own website doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

The user-friendly CMS provides entirely adaptable designs for all purposes. You may start creating your own website right now for your company, blog, portfolio, or online store without any prior experience.

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