Want to set up a website but have been scared to do so because of the technicalities involved? With WordPress, you can create any website without having any tech knowledge.
Creating a website has always been a complex and costly thing to do especially for startups with little or no experience in web development and businesses avoiding the extra cost of hiring a web designer. With the establishment of WordPress, web development hasn’t been easier, enabling a cost-effective and easy way out.
WordPress is a powerful and user-friendly content management system that allows you to build professional websites without extensive technical knowledge. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of or used WordPress before, I will make it easy to understand as I walk you through, step-by-step to set up your WordPress website.
Steps to Set up Your WordPress Website
Step 1: Purchase Domain Name
The first step in creating a website not only that of WordPress is to select an available domain name and purchase it from an accredited domain name registrar. Your domain name is your website’s address on the internet. You can buy a domain for as low as ₦1,150 ($1.45) for a year on WebManger.NG. It is important you set the domain name to renew automatically instead of manually, to prevent your website from disappearing in case you forget to renew.
Step 2: Purchase Website Hosting
Both purchasing a domain name and web hosting are the foundation of developing all websites and WordPress is not an exception. Web Hosting is a service provided by companies to store all your website’s files. It is crucial to select a reliable web hosting provider that offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, efficient customer support, SSL certificate, flexibility, and backup. I use and recommend WebManger.NG.
Many website owners have experienced great service since they migrated from their previous web hosting providers to WebManager.NG. You can choose to register your domain name separately and host your website with another web hosting provider, but It’s advisable to use the same web hosting provider to host your website and register your domain name so as to eliminate the stress of pointing your domain name to another hosting provider each time you renew.
Step 3: Install WordPress
Once you’ve secured your domain and hosting, it’s time to install WordPress. Many hosting providers send an email offering one-click WordPress installations, making the process quick and straightforward. If not, you can manually install WordPress by downloading the software from the official website and following the installation instructions. You can learn how to set this up in this step-by-step tutorial.
Take note, there are two versions of WordPress. WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Their differences are as follows:
WordPress.com will host your website for you for free just like WordPress.org, but you don’t own the site. WordPress.com does.
In WordPress.com, your URL will be yourbusiness.wordpress.com instead of yourbusiness.com, and you can’t customize your site as much as you want.
For WordPress.org. you will have to pay for hosting, but you’ll own your site and can choose anything you want for your URL.
in WordPress.org you can customize your site the way you want and use plugins to make your site really effective.
Step 4: Configure the SSL certificate
If you subscribed to a web hosting provider that issues SSL certificates like WebManager.NG, then the next thing would be to give you directions on how to Configure the SSL certificate on your website. An SSL certificate authenticates your website and establishes an encrypted connection between your website and the people who visit it.
If your site has an SSL certificate, Google will give you the green light and the first part of your URL will be like this:
Step 5: Choose a Theme
With WordPress installed, and an SSL certificate configured, you would proceed to choose a theme for your website. Themes control the appearance and layout of your site. There are thousands of free and premium themes available on WordPress, that cater to various industries and design preferences. Look for a theme that complements the content of your website.
To install a free theme on your site:
Go to your website dashboard
Go to “Appearance” then “Themes” located in the left-hand column.
Click “Add New Theme“.
Filter the themes at the top by featured, popular, latest, and favorites.
Click “Preview” to take a look at the theme (sometimes it doesn’t actually look very pretty though).
Click “Install” to install the theme to your site.
If you don’t like the theme, you can just choose another theme to install. Just be sure to delete the old one.
Step 6: Design and Customize your Website
Designing your website is where the fun begins. Go to the WordPress Customizer and personalize your site’s colors, fonts, header, footer, and other elements. You can also add widgets and menus to enhance your site’s functionality and navigation.
It’s important to have a clear picture of the kind of branding you want for your website before designing it, as a result, you write copies based on the brand and pages you intend to display on your website.
I recommend having at least these 4 pages on your website:
To customize your site with a free theme:
Go to “Appearance“, “Themes” then “Customize”.
Go through each of the sections listed to customize the look of your site.
Edit to your satisfaction. Note! Don’t edit the CSS if you’re not familiar with coding.
Step 7: Install Essential Plugins
Plugins are like apps for your WordPress website, which add extra features and functionality. Some essential plugins to consider include a security plugin to protect your site from threats, an SEO plugin to improve your website’s search engine rankings, and a caching plugin to boost page loading speed. See the plugins available on WordPress here
Step 8: Create Compelling Content
Content is the heart of any website. Create high-quality and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Use a mix of text, images, and multimedia to make your content visually appealing and informative. Regularly update your site with fresh content to keep visitors coming back.
Step 9: Test Your Website
Before launching your website, thoroughly test it across different browsers and devices to ensure compatibility and responsiveness. Check for broken links, typos, and any other issues that could hinder the user experience.
Congratulations, by following these steps, you’re ready to launch your WordPress website! Make it live for the world to see by clicking the “publish” button. Don’t forget to share your website on social media and with friends and family to generate traffic.
Now note that Building a website is an ongoing process. Regularly update your content, monitor website performance, and respond to user feedback. Continuously improve your site’s design and functionality to keep it relevant and user-friendly.
Setting up your WordPress website is a rewarding experience that allows you to showcase your ideas, products, or services to a global audience. By following these practical steps, you have equipped yourself with the knowledge to create an attractive and functional WordPress website. Remember, it’s essential to stay curious and explore new tools and techniques to keep your website at its best.
Happy website building!