Updated 14 May 2021.
Copyright: European Union Public License, version 1.2 (EUPL-1.2).
What is this?
This is a “Step-by-Step” type article on the use of the WordPress Content Management System, to start a website from scratch and get it online within a day.
Why do we need this?
Ubinodes being an international marketing agency, we need to help our clients quickly and easily have a local internet presence in their target locations. This article helps us be on the same page when we start coaching them on efficiently using WordPress.
Contents for this article.
- Select a WordPress plan (WordPress.com only).
- Set up your domain name and hosting provider.
- Install WordPress.
- Choose your theme.
- Post to your website.
- Customize your website.
- Installing plugins.
1- Select a WordPress plan (WordPress.com only).
At the beginning of creating your website, you need to select a plan from WordPress.com. There are five plans they have to offer one is free, two is personal, three is premium, four is business, and five is business. Each of these plans ranges from free to 45 dollars a month (See picture below).
The main difference between all of these websites is monthly fees, site customization, and better access to marketing tools.
*Warning* WordPress.org requires you to create your domain and find a third-party hosting provider for your website. WordPress.com is better suited for first-time creators of a website because it is all-inclusive with domains and hosting providers.
2- Setting up your domain name and hosting provider.
Setting up and choosing your domain and hosting provider should happen around the same time during the website creation. Think of the Domain as a home address and the Hosting provider is the actual home. The home address is how visitors find your website on the internet. The hosting provider is the part of your website that files are stored. Without both the domain and hosting provider the website would not work. Luckily WordPress.com allows you to decide whether or not you want a custom domain depending on the plan you choose, but it takes care of the hosting for you. Choose WordPress.com for this Step by Step.
2.1- Once have selected a plan it will take you to a page where you can set up your domain.
2.2- Once you have created a domain you will be brought to complete an account and billing information for your purchase.
3.1 After creating a domain and account you will gain access to the hosting dashboard and be able to Install WordPress CMS (Content Management Systems).
After Installing your WordPress you will have to answer a few questions about the domain you would like to use and the directory of where you want to install WordPress, and admin information. It can take some time for this process.
3.2 In WordPress go to My Site and click on Domains. From there you can select a custom domain you want as the primary domain.
Then click on make primary.
Then click on Update Primary Domain.
It has now been successfully updated and should say in green Primary Domain.
4- Choose your theme.
In WordPress, you can customize the website using many themes and templates offered by them. WordPress will automatically start a default theme that looks plain to start. A custom theme free or paid for will help your website look and stand out from other professional websites (See samples below).
Once you have found the perfect theme and install it. Each theme will have a different process and steps required for the customization process.
5- Post to your Website.
Adding content to your website will be in the form or displayed as posts and pages.
A post is used for blogs and portfolios because they will automatically place the newest content at the top of the website. You can add different pages to your website and post to those pages so that it doesn’t clutter the home page. Adding a new post should look something like this.
You can add a title for the post, change the formatting, insert page elements such as blocks, paste photos, and even use shortcode which I will explain in a separate paragraph. While you are making a post or page you can save it as a Draft and come back to it later or Preview it to see what the final product would look like on the page. On the portfolio tab, you can organize all of your posts by category, as well as see relevant information regarding your posts such as the date of the last update, recent changes, etc.
The same option will come up for pages when you want to post a new page except for the categories and tag lines.
Later, when there are categories within your website and you are adding new articles, you can add them without sending an alert, by posting through the “Portfolio” tab. This is preferable for posts that are constantly being updated, and when it is ready to be released, you can make a post about it.
6- Customize your website.
There is so much more than just themes when it comes to customizing your website, there are many options to choose from in this post.
To start, we can customize titles. From your admin dashboard select Settings and then General. From here you can add a website title and taglines as well as toggle other basic site information such as URL, email, time zone, and more (See picture below).
As you can see from these settings you can customize a lot. Next, we will look at the reading sections. Click on Settings once again and go to Reading. From here you will have options such as changing your home page to a static page.
A static page is a homepage that doesn’t contain blog posts or other regularly updated content. Instead, it’s “static,” or unchanging. A static front page, also known as a “splash page” or “custom homepage,” can feature whatever you want.
This site should be considered by business owners who prefer having content remain in one place on the website. For a blogger, you should consider a more dynamic approach like having the newest content appear at the top of the page.
Another customization that an admin could add is the Navigation Bar. To add this you have to go to the admin dashboard and click Appearance and then Menu (See picture below).
In the menu, you have the option to make the bar how you want to look, how many pages are included, the titles of the pages, and what the order of them are. I would highly recommend this for users that want to do more with their website to have it stand out.
7- Optimize your website.
When it comes to optimizing your website you need to make the user experience friendly. The page may be taking too long to load and that will make visitors move on to another side very quickly. Slow speeds are not good for your website. How you can improve on this is by enabling feature caching which is the process of temporarily storing the website’s data on the visitor’s browser. This will help your website’s speed because the content does not need to be sent from the webserver for it to appear in the browser.
WordPress has an internal caching system that includes several subsystems. The WordPress core allows plugins to control this caching system to reduce the number of database calls.
Shortcodes in WordPress are little bits of code that allow you to do various things with little effort. They were introduced in WordPress 2.5, and the reason to introduce them was to allow people to execute code inside WordPress posts, pages, and widgets without writing any code directly.
Examples of Shortcode:
- WordPress website. WordPress.com: Create a Free Website or Blog
- Ultimate Guide: How to Make a Website in 2021 – Step by Step Guide (Free). How to Make a WordPress Website – Easy Tutorial – Create Website (2021) (wpbeginner.com)
- How to Use WordPress – Tutorial for Beginners 2021. WordPress Tutorial 2021: Learn How to Use WordPress (Free) (firstsiteguide.com)
- Types of WordPress Caching. https://www.interserver.net/tips/kb/types-wordpress-caching/#:~:text=WordPress%20has%20an%20internal%20caching,the%20number%20of%20database%20calls
- Codex. https://codex.wordpress.org/Shortcode