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WordPress for Beginners

So you’re thinking of creating your own website but you’re not sure if WordPress is the right platform for you.

Let me give you some pointers…

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an easy to use website and content management system (CMS) that has been designed with usability and flexibility in mind.  As WordPress themselves say “Beautiful designs, powerful features, and the freedom to build anything you want. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.” An excellent explanation!

Now just to keep in mind there are 2 versions of WordPress

1)           WordPress.com
2)           WordPress.org

The main difference is who’s hosting your website.  On WordPress.org, you are hosting your own website on a domain of your choice (eg www.mywebsite.com)  (this is what I would recommend) whereas WordPress.com hosts your website and you run your website or blog as a subdomain of theirs (eg www.wordpress.com/mywebsite/).  WordPress.com is free and easy to setup a website or blog but there are some downsides to this in you cannot remove WordPress’s ad’s and branding, you can’t add in your own plugins or themes that aren’t available on the platform by default,  you get limited disk space and you can’t monetise your blog or website.  Because of these downsides I would highly recommend you use WordPress.org and that is what I am will be writing about in this blog

Domain and Hosting

In order to create a wordpress website you will need your own Domain (www.***) and you will need hosting.   A hosting provider is someone who you pay to look after the files of your website.  There are multiple hosting providers available to you.  

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My preference is Siteground*, all of my websites are on Siteground and if I create any new ones for my clients I recommend they use them too.  In my experience their sites are fast and their customer service is great should you ever need it.  Currently a domain and 1 yr hosting is approx. £60.

Once you have purchased your domain and hosting you can then install WordPress.org onto your domain.  Siteground make this super easy with a WordPress installation wizard in your CPanel.

Themes

In WordPress you have templates that make your site look pretty which are called Themes.  There are free themes and there are paid for themes.  Deciding on which theme you want is obviously completely up to you.  

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As a default WordPress is installed with a free theme and currently the theme is called Twenty Twenty, it is designed to show off the features and can be used to create most basic websites.  Personally I use a theme called Divi*, which I absolutely love.  I use it on all of my own sites and when I’m creating a new website for my clients this is what I install for them.  The reason I love Divi is that is easy to use, its intuitive and you can build beautiful websites, with lots of functionality that are easy to use by the end user. Yearly access to the Divi theme is $89 and that gives you access to 100s of website packs, product updates and great support, that you can use on unlimited websites. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee so if its not right for you, you can get a refund.

Plugins

Just like on a smart phone or tablet you have Apps that give your diffent functions, you add Plugins to your wordpress website to give you whatever functionality you want.  Again there are free plugins and there are paid plugins, depending on what you want to achieve.  Some of the plugins give you basic functions with the free version and extra functions in their paid versions. 

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There are absolutely loads of plugins available from the Plugin library within WordPress, which you download, install and activate onto your site.  You may want to use plugins to add functions like social media sharing, an online shop, backing up your website, appointment booking systems and so on.

Pages

You create pages on your website that hold information about different areas of your business.  For example most business websites will have pages called Home, About Us, Products/Services and Contact Us.  These pages can contain text, photos, videos, audios and more depending on what you want your customers to see.  You are not limited to the number of pages you can have on your website.  These pages can be linked to your menu tabs so it is easy for your customers to find them.

Posts

Posts can be created if you decide you want to have a Blog on your website.  A blog is a series of articles, that are normally stored in reverse calendar order, so the newest first.  Again these posts can contain text, photos, videos, audios and more, depending on what you are sharing with your customers.

Media

Within your wordpress website you have an area called Media which is where all of your photos, videos, PDF’s and more are stored.  These media items can then be used on your pages and posts.

Users

You can have multiple users of your website.  Initially when you create a site you have 1 user whose role is Administrator and this allows you access to all areas of your website.  If you wish you can add other users with different roles, such as Author or Subscriber.  Each role is allowed to perform a set of tasks called capabilities.  Users can be added or deleted as needed.

Whilst WordPress is easy to learn, like anything it will take you time to do so, but it can be very satisfying.  That is how I got into creating websites many many years ago, because I wasn’t happy with the results that I had paid others to create, so I decided to teach myself and 15 yrs on I’m still learning and loving it.  If you are wondering if you should create your own website or get someone to do it for you, you may also be interested in the blog post I wrote Should I Create My Website Myself

If you have any questions about WordPress, please do get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.

* Disclaimer

If you click on some of the links marked with a * and you then make a purchase, I may receive compensation from the companies.  I only promote the products I have invested in myself and recommend based on my own opinion