Creating a Killer WordPress Site: A Noob’s Quick Guide
Creating a WordPress site by yourself can be a terrifying thought, but it’s doable. Yes, even for starters.
Before you begin, understand that even though it’s not entirely difficult, there is still a lot to take in throughout the process.
We’ve all been there. Sometimes, even differentiating plugins to widgets can be confusing. But along the road, you’ll learn every aspect of WordPress and create your next ones would be a breeze.
Now, this post is not a step-by-step tutorial, but if you follow along with this quick guide, you’re sure to be on your way to building your killer WordPress site.
#1. Pick a Domain and Hosting Plan
First things first, before you decide on the color schemes, photos, and tagline you are going to use, finalize what your domain name will be.
Choosing the perfect domain name is critical to the success of your business. Most of the time, the shorter, the better. Check if the domain you’re eyeing is available through NameCheap and GoDaddy before you finalize your other plans. You can visit here to know the do’s and don’ts in choosing your domain name.
To add to that, make sure that you get the best hosting provider available. Just to explain a bit, hosting is like renting a place, only on the internet. Meaning, for your website to be put up for public viewing, you must have a reliable hosting provider.
Both of these two are required to get you started. While WordPress itself is free to use, purchasing a domain and hosting could cost you about $10-20 per month.
#2. Choose a Theme
Once you’ve purchased a domain and hosting for your site, choosing the perfect theme would be the next challenge.
There are thousands of themes available in the WordPress market and third-party stores. However, before you even start looking for one, you have to evaluate first what kind of website you are building.
Is it for your portfolio?
Do you need one to showcase a set of photos?
Or do you want one for selling purposes?
Qualities of a Good WordPress theme:
Responsive – A responsive theme simply means that it caters to all the devices there is available. It can easily adapt to desktop, tablet, or smartphones of any user that visits your site.
Easy to Customize – Since you will be changing a lot of settings on your theme, most themes are user-friendly. It’s also worth researching if the theme you picked up has limitations. There may be instances that a feature you want is not available on the theme you will be using.
Maintenance – WordPress updates its framework regularly. So your theme may need a bit of updating too to provide a better experience for your visitors.
Great customer support – Free plugins are abundant, and although most can be helpful, some of them may lack customer support. That also goes for the premium ones. So check out customer reviews if the plugin you want offers excellent customer service.
Finalizing on what theme you will be using is important. Remember that how your website looks affect how your visitors see the kind of business that you are. Read here to learn more on how to setup your WordPress theme correctly.
#3. Add Content
Content is what makes your site complete.
Some people don’t realize the importance of having even some of the basic pages on their newly created sites. Make sure you put up an About, Contact, and 404 pages.
But aside from those, the posts you will make is where search engines will depend on. Create great content based on what your site is about. Your content should genuinely provide value for your readers.
We know that some websites are created mainly for profitable purposes. However, those that truly help their audiences get to be more successful in the long run.
#4. Install Plugins
WordPress cannot stand on its own. It needs plugins to be able to provide more features to its users.
Here are some basic yet very useful plugins we handpicked for you:
Having Google Analytics from the very beginning will help you track what kind of traffic you are getting. How long they stay on your site, where are they coming from, or even the type of device they use while browsing your site.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is an expert caching tool that’s simple enough to increase the speed of your website. What it does it serves your visitors a static HTML to lower down the time that a visitor waits for your site to load.
Yoast is the most popular and comprehensive SEO tool for all WordPress users. Just a quick install would give you an idea of how helpful this plugin is.
Contact Form 7
You probably have seen contact form 7 on most websites; contact forms are designed to reduce spam and keep your site secure from robots which crawl websites looking for an exposed email address. Plus, some people who want to contact you don’t want to bother themselves in opening up another email client when they could easily do it on your website.
There are hundreds of plugins to choose from, make sure that you install the right plugins to make your site even more powerful than it already is.
#5. Do a Cleanup
If this is your new website, you may have installed all the plugins you can and experimented on themes and widgets you could get your hands on.
Plus, there is also pre-installed stuff that comes with WordPress.
But you shouldn’t sweat over this. Just make sure that you delete plugins you won’t use, remove posts that shouldn’t be there in the first place, and uninstall inactive themes. This will takes you a couple of minutes to complete.
Without a doubt, WordPress provides its users a lot of possibilities. Of course, building a website from scratch can be a real pain. And once you build a functioning one, tweaking could be an endless process. You’ll have to go along with the current trend, fix some of your pages, or update multiple contents you’ve written. In other words, creating a WordPress site requires patience and hard work but will reward you with great results if you try your best.
Christopher Jan Benitez
Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It's still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the timeRead Full Bio