So you’ve decided you’re ready to launch your very own website. Congratulations! It’s a big step and pretty much an essential one these days. After all, if you can’t be found on the internet, you might as well not exist. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But if your business can’t be found on Google, let’s just say you’re missing out on a lot of potential revenue. In fact, your business may never significantly take off without a web presence. Luckily, WordPress allows you to create a site with relative ease. If you’ve been putting off creating a website because you’ve been saying to yourself that you’re not a developer and wouldn’t even know where to begin making a site, you’re in luck. WordPress is the most widely used platform on the internet for a reason. It makes getting a site up and running simple. But if you’ve never created a site from scratch before, it can still seem daunting. Where do you even begin? This quick guide will serve as a solid jumping off point. While it’s by no means comprehensive, you’ll get pointed in the right direction.
Let’s get a WordPress site up!
Finding a Hosting Provider
Your site has to live somewhere. That’s probably the first concern you’re going to want to tackle. The most attractive looking website in the world isn’t worth much if it only exists locally on your machine. Finding cheap WordPress hosting isn’t that hard. Obviously, you’re going to want to spend as little as possible to keep your overhead low. However, when it comes to WordPress it may be tempting to go with the simple WordPress hosting provided by WordPress.com. This probably isn’t the best course of action though it appears to be the easiest one. WordPress.com seems like a great deal but when you consider you’re not going to want “.wordpress.com” in your domain name, you’ll need scalable server space to handle increasing traffic, and you won’t want to display ads that direct visitors to other sites, remedying all of these things can get very expensive. Suddenly that free option isn’t so attractive. By downloading a WordPress build from the .org site, you’ll have the freedom to use your own domain name, avoid ads, and host your site where you want. Seek out an independent web hosting company for this part.
The popularity of WordPress can feel like a double edged sword when it comes to theme selection. Because so many sites are built on WordPress, there is an abundance of themes to choose from. Choosing just one can be daunting. And that’s just if you’re looking at free themes. Premium themes add even more choices. Either will work, though if you’re looking to run a business you may want to consider the premium themes first. While many of the free themes out there are functionally fine, many premium themes come with ecommerce plugins built in. This can save you time and a headache if you’re going to rely on selling directly through your site. Another benefit of premium themes customers may not take into consideration when choosing them is that they’ll have dedicated customer service. Consider that free themes are maintained basically out of the charity of a developer. It’s a fun project for them and they enjoy contributing to the community. A premium theme, however, comes with an expectation. You’re paying for this theme; therefore, it needs to always be working. Developers have a vested interest in keeping you, the customer, happy.
What You Want to Say
Your site has a home and it has a layout. Great, the hard part is over, right? That depends on how comfortable you are with your brand. Some people find it easy to wax poetic with their copy. Others, not so much. Decide if you want to write the copy on your site or outsource it. There are many places where you can find freelance writers. Upwork tends to be popular and the prices are competitive. Once you have the words down, you’ll also want to grab some images. These can be sourced with your smartphone. Anything more “advanced” could probably be done cheaply by a freelance designer from similar sites where you’ll find your writer. Get your creative juices flowing and see what you can get done yourself.
These three steps will make up the bulk of the work you’re doing the first week. While it’s a simple outline, it’s a crucial part. The details of getting the site actually running and accessible by the public will come next. Head on over to WordPress.org and get the building blocks of your site ready. It’s time to take your business and brand to the next level.