Now is the right time to build your website! You have these reasons why you should have one. So, what’s stopping you from being found by your potential clients? This time, I want to show you how to create a WordPress website for your business.
In this blog, we will cover:
- What’s a CMS and why you should work with it
- Choose the right platform
- Think of and buy your domain name
- Choose and buy your website hosting service
- Remember your SSL Certificate
- Assign your domain name to your website hosting
- Install WordPress to your website host
- Decide your theme
- Create your first page
- Set one of your pages as the homepage
- Recommended plugins
What’s a CMS and why you should work with it
Content Management System, abbreviated as CMS, is a software designed to help you create and publish your content online. CMS enables you to use themes that automatically build and design your website with minimum coding skills required. CMS also allows you to use plugins to help you extend the functionality of your website. In other words, CMS saves your time and money which is vital for starting and small-and-medium-sized businesses.
Choose the right platform
Start with choosing the CMS for your website. Nowadays, there are many options you can pick. Here are the top 10, according to Wiredelta.
Within this list, my recommendation is WordPress. I’ll tell you why:
- 38% of the websites are using WordPress.
- With WordPress, you have full control of your website.
- WordPress allows you to build any kind of website.
- There are many themes that you can use for your WordPress website.
- Thousands of plugins available to support your website.
- Since it’s the most used CMS, the community is huge and you can find help or guide everywhere.
Think of and buy your domain name
After choosing the platform, you have to think about your domain name. A domain name is the identity of your website. Think of one that represents your brand, and make it easy to find and memorable. Deciding on your domain name might be frustrating for you. Here are my tips:
1. Use familiar website name extensions.
You can practically think of any unique extensions (.blog, .photography, .biz, etc.) for your brand, but when it comes to credibility and avoiding risks of mistyping the domain name, stick with .com extensions. You might encounter people who are not tech-savvy or those who are forgetful. They will automatically type your domain name ended with .com. This is why the .com extension is a good choice.
2. Avoid using unique character and symbols
Unless you’re using a subdomain for your website, avoid using dots and hyphens as they are prone to typos.
3. Keep it short and simple.
One trick to market your brand is to make it memorable, in general. For a website, you should pick a short name (under 15 characters), easy to pronounce, and easy to spell. Think about your customer that is trying to search for your business on the internet. You want them to avoid typos.
4. Use name generators.
Brainstorming is a good move to start choosing a domain name. Use a business name generator you can find online. For example:
5. Check the name availability.
You want to check if it’s already claimed or not. If it’s already claimed, sadly, you have to think of another name.
6. Make it general but relevant.
Although you want to make it as unique as possible, keep in mind that you will expand your business someday. Perhaps you just want to sell chocolate bread and you find “chocolatebread(dot)com” is very suitable for you. Then the next day, many customers ask you to make cheese bread. Now you feel “chocolatebread(dot)com” is not relevant to your business anymore. You can buy your domain name only once. You have to spend more if you want to rename it.
After you decide on your domain name, you have to purchase it from the domain name company. Here are the recommended domain name registrars:
- Google Domains
Make sure to conduct some researches before purchasing one. Analyze their pricing structure.
Choose and buy your website hosting service
Website hosting is where you “park” your website on. The best analogy would be like this. Imagine you live in a house and the land where the house stands is the website hosting. Your house address is the URL or the website name that you have bought earlier. The hosting provider is someone who creates the space for your “house”. The hosting is necessary for your website building process. Otherwise, the website cannot be accessed.
A good website hosting company should have a strong reputation, great 24/7 customer service, intuitive interface, and affordable. The host should offer an easy website migration, in case you have found your favorite or you just want to leave your current hosting company. There are many website hosting companies. Here are the most notable ones:
Each of the companies offers various plans and pricing structures. You want to research further by reading online reviews.
Remember your SSL Certificate
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a global standard of technology security. SSL secures the information you input into the browser by encrypting it before stored in a web server. Technically, it secures your visitors’ information when they buy or sign up for your business. SSL also authenticates the website identity, makes sure your visitors are not accessing a fake website.
You might notice some website has HTTPS on the address bar instead of just HTTP. That means the website has an SSL certificate.
Note that Google likes websites that are secure and will rank your website higher if you have the SSL certificate. This makes an SSL certificate is a necessity. But of course, the most important thing about having an SSL certificate is security. The website hosting and the domain name registrar companies usually have their free SSL included in their pricing structure. Make sure you have this on your checklist.
Assign your domain name to your website hosting
It’s time to connect your registered domain name to your website hosting. The process might be different depending on the services you pick, but overall, it goes like this.
- Login to your hosting company’s website
- Find “name servers”. It should be started with ns1. and ns2.
- Copy and paste it somewhere (Notepad, Word document, Evernote, or else)
- Login to your domain name registrar website.
- Input your two name servers accordingly.
Note: you may just skip this whole section if your website host and your domain name registrar are from the same company.
Install WordPress to your website host
Again, this process might be different according to the company you choose. Some companies may already have the one-click installation process or WordPress dedicated hosting service. Read the company’s guide and follow the process.
Decide your theme
WordPress offers free themes you can choose the first time you visit the back end of your site. A theme is your collection of how your website looks. It includes colors, fonts, how your images will look like, and how your overall page laid out.
You can choose what suits you best, but I personally consider buying a page builder service. I want to design my website as much as I could and I value my time so just focusing on one personal website won’t be suitable for me. Here is a list of page builder recommendation that I have found:
- Beaver Builder
- Themify Builder
This site is designed with Divi by Elegant Themes. The reasons why I chose Divi:
- Drag and drop feature
- Easy to customize
- One time purchase plan
- Reliable customer service
Once you have decided on your theme, install and activate the theme to continue building your site and loading the content you prepared. Click on Appearances > Themes to access your ready-to-use themes. Click on Add New > Upload Theme if your theme instructs you to install manually.
Create your first page
Let’s start with building your website. You can choose between one landing page or 3 main pages (home, about, contact) as a start. But first, let’s just start creating one page.
1. Click on Pages > Add New
2. Input your title and hit “save draft” at the right sidebar. It should be similar to this.
3. Start writing and designing the first page. After the content is ready, hit “publish”.
Set one of your pages as the homepage
I’m going to show you how to set your page as the homepage. Basically, this page will be what your visitor will see when they visit your website.
1. Click Appearance > Customize
On the left sidebar, you will see something like this. Click on Homepage Settings
Below “your homepage displays”, click on “a static page”. Click on “Homepage” and choose the page you want to set as the homepage.
You now have a website! Congratulations! Next, you’re going to share your website on social media or perhaps, emails to colleagues. Build your network, expand your business, and have fun!
To maximize your website performance, you should install some plugins.
- Yoast SEO: the most popular SEO plugin ever existed. This plugin will help you enhance your SEO and helps you configuring metadata.
- Updraft Plus: a WordPress backup plugin. You can set the plugin to automatically creating backups and save them to Dropbox or Google Drive.
- WP Optimize: a plugin for optimizing your website speed by compressing images and caching your page. Keep in mind that fast-loading websites are more preferable to visitors.
- Broken Link Checker: This plugin helps you identify missing links.
- Akismet: secure your website from spammers.
- ExactMetric: If you plan to grow your business, you want to keep track on your visitors. Integrate your website with Google Analytics and link it to the Search Console. This plugin will show you the data collected by Google Analytics.
Ready to have your own website?
That’s it! I think I have covered the basics of how to start a WordPress website. I have to admit, it is not an easy task to create your website on your own. You need both time and money. Just remember that I am here to support you, fellow entrepreneurs, to design your website. Feel free to contact me to discuss your projects and questions!