Are you looking for a platform to promote your ideas, your thoughts, your work? Are you on a tight budget and still want to open an online store?
Do you want to write a professional blog that will be reminiscent of everything you stand for? Fret not, for you are not alone.
People across the globe have been where you are, and they have chosen one fine path, and it isn’t the road not taken. It is a road that billions take every day – the Internet.
The best way to put yourself out there is to set up a comprehensive website to serve all your purposes, and there are numerous website builders to assist you in the process.
One of the best options for you to try building a website is WordPress, an easy-to-use platform that can help you make your website free of cost.
Millions across the world have chosen WordPress to make their websites. It is responsible for roughly one-third of today’s websites.
Let us discuss how to build a personal website using WordPress.
Designing A WordPress Website
Getting Your Domain Name
Before starting with WordPress itself, you will have to procure a domain name, a URL for your website. Now, not all domain names are free, so it might cost you a little money to purchase your very own personal parking spot on the web.
It would be best to get a domain name that closely resembles your website and is easy to remember and spell. Additionally, go for a shorter domain so that it is easier for any interested users to Google.
As for the extension, “.com” is the most common one used, but you can also go for others. Extensions like “.net”, “.org”, or the trendier “.co” are also available for website builders.
Once you get your hands on a domain name you are satisfied with, you need to look for an adequate hosting provider. WordPress itself recommends you to use Bluehost, a hosting provider that fulfills all of the necessary criteria.
In addition, using Bluehost, you will share the host server and the bandwidth with all other WordPress sites, giving you more traffic.
Bluehost’s services aren’t free, though, so you will have to choose a payment plan that fits your bill. Then, after settling down on a domain name and a hosting provider, you can move on ahead with the actual WordPress website builder.
Setting Up WordPress
After swashbuckling with your site’s networking and admin details, you can go down to the WordPress website. You can install WordPress with a single-click download using Bluehost.
Downloading the service can be a bit of a hassle if your hosting provider did not give a one-click download, but it still is not difficult.
Like all other website builders, WordPress begins its process by asking the user to choose a theme. Next, you can select your theme from the WordPress library, which gives you a mountain to choose from.
A theme is a collection of templates for your website; in fact, it is a fully designed website design that you can incorporate into yours.
Once you log in to WordPress, you can go to ‘Appearance’ and select ‘Themes.’ Next, click “Add New.” You will enter the realm of different types of themes. They will be segregated according to the purpose of your website.
For example, you can have unique themes for a portfolio, a small business, etc. You can also search for themes under “Popular” or “Featured.”
It helps to demo a few themes before settling down on one. Then, once you’ve found the perfect theme and template, you can hit “Install” to download it. After installation, you can activate the theme and use it on your dear website.
WordPress also allows you to upload any other themes that you might find elsewhere online. You can check out numerous theme directories online and download a .zip file of the ones you like.
Then you can upload those onto WordPress and use them on the website, too.
Now that you’re done and dusted with a theme, it is time to build a skeleton of your website. Every website has multiple pages that create a structure and flow.
It would be best if you had that flow jotted down so you can add or subtract pages on your website accordingly. Many themes are already packed with certain necessary template pages, like an “About Us” template.
You can customize them any way you want.
Next, you will want to add content to your site. You can add posts or textual content using text blocks. Moreover, you can add images, videos, or galleries in your posts between the text.
You can even embed videos from sites like YouTube on your posts.
Make sure you preview these posts before publishing them and check out how they look in the mobile version of WordPress.
Customizing Your Website
After putting life into your website, you must add your signature branding to it. WordPress allows you to change the title and tagline of your website. You can do this in General settings. Don’t forget to save all the changes you make.
You can also add a navigation menu to your site. To do this, hover over ‘Appearance,’ and then click ‘Menus.’
Next, give a name to your menu, and select the pages you’d like to add under the list. The list will follow the design of your theme.
You can also edit the homepage of your site; it could be static or dynamic. You can find this option under ‘Reading Settings.’
You will have to click on ‘Front Page Displays’ and choose whether you want a dynamic or static page. If you want a moving page, you can select what posts will show up on the page.
Adding Relevant Plugins
What other website builders call ‘Apps,’ WordPress calls Plugins. These are special applications designed to help your website thrive, get more traffic, and analyze data.
You can use WordPress plugins for free, but you’ll have to upload any other plugins you’re trying to use. Innumerable plugins and apps are available on the internet to fulfill any service.
You will have to purchase some, install them on your device, and upload them to WordPress to use them.
WordPress provides more than 50,000 plugins to its users. You can choose whichever ones suit your needs and install them on your website. However, a tiny piece of advice – too many plugins will slow your site down.
Some plugins on WordPress allow you to enable ‘drag-and-drop editing features, which can be beneficial if you are not used to code. There are also numerous SEO plugins available on WordPress that will optimize your content.
Lastly, like all other website builders, WordPress provides plugins to convert your site into an e-commerce store.
The option to add plugins is located on your dashboard itself.
Do Not Skip Updates
WordPress helps you create magnificent websites, but it is crucial to stay on top of your themes and plugin updates.
That is where WordPress differs from other site builders; the website owner has to keep the updates in check because it is almost like you’re using third-party code.
The themes and plugins that you downloaded are not updated by WordPress management, and you have to make sure that the update to your themes and plugins is compatible with WordPress.
Thankfully, the option to update the things mentioned above is present right on your dashboard. So do keep a lookout for the same.
Lastly, your domain name and hosting provider are also hired for a limited time. So make sure you update those payments as soon as possible to keep your site running smoothly.
WordPress Vs. Competitors
WordPress is a brilliant website builder with beautiful themes to work with. However, users need to have basic knowledge of coding to leverage the awesomeness of WordPress to its fullest extent.
Also, even though the site is free to use, it does not give you a free subdomain. Additionally, it needs a hosting provider to run smoothly. Getting a free subdomain is not bad if you’re interested in running a simple blog website or a portfolio.
Getting your themes and plugins may require additional payment, too. That is what WordPress lacks among its competitors – there isn’t a lot of free stuff.
The WordPress editor is also not the easiest to use since it requires code. Even though you can get a plugin that gives you a drag-and-drop interface, there still is the extra step of installing a plugin.
Looking at all the positive and a little bit negative aspects of WordPress, you have to admit that it is the place to be if you want a classy and extraordinary website. WordPress’s reach is unmatched.
Its servers will work tirelessly to take your website before as many eyes as possible. In addition, the site itself has a significant brand value that you would be lucky to cash in on.
So, get yourself a suitable domain name and get cracking on your WordPress website.