The Ultimate Guide to Starting a WordPress Site
Whether you are seeking to start a website for business, family, or fun, it’s tough to top the freedom and flexibility offered by WordPress. WordPress is not only the fastest-growing content management system (CMS) in the world, it is also the largest. Holding 50-60% of the global CMS market, it has retained this title for seven years in a row (find out more on this WordPress review).
When you’re ready to have your website be one of the 19.5 million online using WordPress, there are a few questions you will need to answer first. If you want to know how to get started on WordPress, you have come to the right place.
An Essential Question to Answer
First up, who do you want to host the website? WordPress itself or a third-party hosting provider? If it is the latter, you’ll want to visit WordPress.org, download the software, and use it to manage a domain bought from another party.
If you want to use WordPress to host and manage your website, you will go to WordPress.com. Keep in mind that “WordPress” will be part of your domain name in this instance.
WordPress.com offers six different plans with six different prices:
- Free: $0
- Blogger: $3/month
- Personal: $5/month
- Premium: $8/month
- Business: $25/month
- eCommerce: $45/month
All of them have different features that grow more impressive as you go up the escalator. Compare your wants and needs for your site to each plan’s features to determine which one makes the most sense to your objectives and your bank account.
Most people will opt to find their own hosting platform and install the WordPress software on it. Each site comes with a basic theme, but there are lots more to try for free and even more that can be purchased. Picking a theme other than the one that comes standard is a great way to set your site apart from the rest as well as highlight the parts of you or your business that are unique. Don’t worry if you get tired of your theme, you can always go back and change it anytime you want a fresh look. When you’ve selected a theme, you can customize it under the Appearance menu on the back end of your WordPress site. Things like colors, fonts, and the placement of menus and other items can be picked here.
Bring on the Content
Now that your site is looking pretty, it is time to start filling it with the goods. This means adding in your own photos, text, links, video, and other elements that will populate your site. If you’re planning on running a business, you can make your home page into a landing page for customers visiting your site for the first page. You can also set aside a page for a blog, and direct readers to follow it or share your posts on social media, thus drawing more eyes to your site, and hopefully more dollars as well!
Each time you want to add a new page to your site, it is as simple as selecting “Pages” and “Add New page”. This will create a new blank page that you can name, add to your site’s overall architecture, and use for any purpose you see fit.
Engage With Your Viewers
A site where you write or take photos or videos is great, but it can be even better if you have the opportunity to hear back from the people visiting your website and see where they are coming from and what they are looking for.
For the former, you can install a comments section that appears under every blog post you make or when you post new articles, photographs, or video. Even better, you can set the controls so that you are sent a message when someone makes a comment. That lets you review posts before the posts go live to ensure they are appropriate and not spam. All WordPress sites also come with some form of analytics package allowing you to see where visitors are coming from, what website they are using to find yours, and several other perks.