Getting Started with WordPress – Learn How to Build a Website with WordPress and Start your Own Business online Today
That’s the number of people reading blogs and articles published on WordPress sites each month.
More than 23 billion pages have been read and 58+ million new posts have been produced each month. Last but not least, 50 000 + WordPress sites are added daily. That’s crazy!
Look at the live activity across WordPress.com sites only to see what I mean: WordPress stats.
As you may see, we are all involved in these huge numbers.
We are either readers or builders. But let me tell you a secret: If you only read posts published on WordPress sites you are missing big times. Why? Because you are not getting a piece of the million dollars revenue online business owners earn each month.
Having that in mind, let me ask you a question:
Do you have a website?
If you don’t, or you have one but you want to build a better one, in this detailed walkthrough I am going to show you the essential steps for getting started with WordPress from scratch.
Get the perfect domain for your online business
Often people that are just getting started with WordPress get confused by the term domain name. They think that this is the actual site. Let’s make things clear. Your domain and your website content are two separate things. The domain is the thing you type in the browser to pull up any website. But this is not the actual site (content and stuff), this is only the name of it.
Your domain should represent your main idea for a site in one or two words tops. Think of it like naming your child, it’s that important.
Before proceeding any further, you need to get some ideas for a domain name. Take your time and find the best possible domain for your own business, using these steps below:
5 things to consider when searching for the perfect domain:
- Brainstorm a couple of words – Get a piece of paper and a pen and start writing. Write down words that can best describe your business idea. Go beyond that. Search in the dictionary for words that are similar to the ones you wrote. Use this online dictionary for further assistance: Online Dictionary; Find Synonyms.
- Make combinations – Make different combinations with the words you just found. Change positions, use prefixes, suffixes.
- Does it sound relevant? – Make sure the domain you are going to get is sending the right message to your visitors. Can you tell what your site is all about only by hearing the domain? If yes, then you are on the right track.
- Make it short and memorable – There is nothing more frustrating than a long and hard to remember domain that doesn’t resonate with your main idea.
- Avoid using hyphens and numbers – Sure, there are successful sites that have hyphens or numbers inside their domain names but that took years and a lot of cash to happen. Sites using such symbols are indexed poorly by Google, and you don’t want that. Avoid numbers by using the written form of it. This will make the name less confusing and easy to type.
I’ve prepared a couple of useful tools that will help you make the best decision for a domain name. Feel free to share other tools you know in the comments below:
Extra tip: You found a couple of combinations , but you are still not sure if they are OK? Take your time to think it through, go to bed and see if you still like the domains in the morning. Additionally, you can contact me for an opinion. I will be happy to hear what domain you decided to get.
Find Safe and Secure Hosting Provider
WordPress is content management system which is free for everyone, however, you will need to get reliable hosting provider to actually use it.
What is hosting?
Hosting companies lease space on servers that are connected to the internet, making sites available throughout the World Wide Web. They take care of the traffic going through your site, maintain the servers and more.
In short, you simply can’t start running an online business without a hosting provider (and domain name).
Isn’t that expensive?
No. Signing up for a hosting will cost you around 6-9 $ a month including the domain name. Keep in mind that this will be the price if you are just starting. When your business grows and you start getting a lot of traffic to the site, prices will be different. Which is understandable. More traffic means more revenue, thus more costs to keep the business operational. But we will worry about this later.
From among the hundreds of hosting companies is getting harder and harder to choose the right one. However, I will give you some advice that will help you find the most suitable host for a new WordPress site.
The most important things you need to know when searching for a hosting provider:
Extra tip: In case you are going to research and contact hosting companies, make sure to look for these things:
- Price – If you are new to WordPress and you are just getting started, the price for such services shouldn’t be more than 4-9 $ a month. Sure, there are companies that offer hosting solutions that cost thousands of dollars, but in your specific case, you will be more than enough for shared hosting solution that cost no more than 9$/month.
- Support – Make sure the hosting provider you are going to choose has 24/7 support and can be reached in different channels. The best scenario will be if they have live chat, phone support and a technical team around the clock. The top providers most certainly have such level of support.
- Speed – Fast loading website is something really important. Make sure your hosting has optimized servers and they constantly update their servers.
- Uptime – The beauty of building an online business is that you can sell 24 hours a day, 7 days of the week. Meaning, that you will want your site to be up all the time.
- Backups – Things do go wrong. No matter if we want it or not. This is why backing up your site every day is so important. That way, you can rest assure that you are prepared for the worst. Even though you can make backups on your own, you don’t necessarily have to. Most make backups every day and that’s included in the services.
- Years of experience and what is special about them? – Like I previously mentioned, there are hundreds of hosting providers offering pretty much the same price with the same features. This is why the final decision is so hard. Make sure to check what the hosting you are going to go with do different and how long they have been on the market.
Where do I get my domain and hosting?
If you’re just starting out and are looking for a host for your first website, then you should definitely consider getting a hosting with SiteGround Hosting. Get exclusive deal (up to 60% off) from any if their packages: SiteGround Deal
SiteGround hosting has been a well-known hosting company with reliable performance for different types of sites. With award winning technical support and 99.9% uptime, they are a user favorite. Their unmatched support is always there to help. SiteGround also has optimized WordPress Hosting solution for business owners, making it even easier to build a better website with them.
Install and Setup WordPress on your hosting account
You are one step away from becoming a proud WordPress website owner.
The installation itself is a pretty seamless process if you already did it a couple of times. I know I had my concerns when I first started. This is why I am going to show you how to easily install WordPress, step-by-step:
- Log in to your hosting account.
- Access your cPanel (control panel).
- Find and click the Softaculous icon. It should be under section Software services or Autoinstallers.
- Click the Install link on the WordPress install section:
The software setup window will appear. Follow the steps below to add the information correctly:
- Choose Protocol – You have the option to choose from 4 different protocols. If your site has SSL, then make sure to select https:// or https://www. If not, choose from www. or non www. My personal advice will be to go without www.
- Choose Domain – Select for which domain you would like to install WordPress.
- In Directory – Leave that empty.
- Site Name/Description – Personalize your WordPress website by adding a name and a description. You can always change that later.
- Admin User/Pass – Important – Make sure to use a different user from admin and add a very strong password. Adding a strong password will protect your site from being hacked.
- Admin Email – Make sure to change the email here with one you have access to.
- Install – Start the installation of your WordPress by pressing the button.
Don’t close the loading screen till the installation finishes:
Congratulations! WordPress was installed successfully! This should be the final message. The page will give you the website and admin URL’s:
Accessing your WordPress backend (admin area)
I’ve installed WordPress, now what?
Before we start building, there are a couple of other things you will need to know.
To access your WordPress admin area, you need to type yourdomain.com/wp-admin. Make sure to change yourdomain.com with the domain you’ve purchased from SiteGround (or other). You will be immediately redirected to your WordPress login page. Type the user and password you’ve chosen during the installation process and click Log in:
Welcome to your WordPress dashboard. This is how it will look like:
Change your Site Title and Tagline
If you didn’t add a custom Title and Tagline during the installation process, or you simply want to change it, go to Settings > General and make the changes:
Customize the Permalink Structure of Your Site
The permalink structure is what people (and Google) will see inside the browser. It’s not advisable to leave this with the default settings for two main reasons:
- First – it looks “ugly” inside the browser. The URL, if you don’t change it, will look something like this yourdomainname.com/?p=125
- Second – People, and more importantly Google, will not understand and index your pages, which is something you need to avoid at all costs.
To update your permalink structure go to Settings > Permalinks:
Click on Custom Structure and add the following code: /%category%/%postname%/
Save the changes.
Find and Install WordPress Theme
If you just installed WordPress on your hosting and you went to it by typing yourdomain.com in the browser you already saw that it has very clean and basic design.
How to make my site look better?
The design of your website largely depends on the theme you are going to use. Since there are thousands of free and paid Themes available online, below I am going to show you some of the best and most used Free and Paid WordPress Themes. Get ready:
Free WordPress Themes
The choices here are numerous. Still, the 3 themes you fill find below are some of the best available via the whole web (if gone through most of them):
Premium WordPress Themes
Again, thousands of options. Of course, there are a couple of themes that are standing out:
Additionally, you can check the sites below. The Theme markets below have some of the best themes you can buy:
Once you decided which one you want to go with, click on Appearance > Themes > Add New:
Click Upload Theme:
Find the .zip file containing the theme files from your PC and click install now:
Use Plugins to add Features to your site
What is a Plugin?
WordPress plugins are add-ons that will expand the functions of your WordPress site. For example: by using a plugin you can easily add a shopping cart to your site and start selling stuff.
As with themes, there are a lot of free and paid WordPress plugins available.
Below I am going to show you how you can easily install a plugin.
Go to Plugins > Add new, inside your WordPress dashboard:
Here you have a couple of options.
- Click upload to install a plugin you’ve already downloaded on your local PC.
- Search for a plugin using the search bar.
- Install plugin by pressing the corresponding button.
Make sure to check my “WordPress Tutorials” section for more detailed guides that will further help you customize and personalize your new or existing WordPress site.
Even though there are hundreds of plugins available online, a couple of them are a must to have:
Check out my guide for installing and configuring must have WordPress plugins.
Add Categories and Write Your First Post
There is one more step you need to take before you publish your first blog post – add a category that will store this post.
Put simply, all of your posts go to a certain category. If you don’t create a specific category, all of them will be stored inside the category uncategorized, which you don’t want.
To create your first category go to Posts > Categories > Add new Category, Slug, and write short description:
Publish Your First Blog Post
You’ve set your categories, now is the time to write your first blog post.
Go to Posts > Add New > Write Title > Add Text > Choose your category > See Now the URL will look like > Preview > Publish:
To make your post really stand out, make sure to add relevant images to your post and also use the H1, H2 or H3 headings. To do so, click on Add Media select a file from your computer and upload it. Setting heading is done by expanding the toolbar. Click Toolbar Toggle and choose the preferred Heading option:
The Toolbar allows you to also add links, align your text, add blockquote, create a bulleted list, bold text and etc.
Adding links to your posts is really important to increase your page views (also for your site ranking) and redirect users to your sales pages. The process is really simple:
Highlight text and click on the Insert/edit link located on the toolbar of your WordPress post editor:
This will open a new window where you can add the link you will want your visitors to go to, you can change the text you just highlighted and decide if you want that link to open a new page or on the same page:
Main Differences Between Pages and Post and How to Add a Page
Publishing pages to your WordPress site is simple as adding posts. But what is the difference?
The main difference between pages and post is the structure of the URL’s. Like we already mentioned, when you add posts, the URL of the article will be something like this: yourdomain.com/category/post-title. But more importantly, this post will be published inside the category. If you want to create a section on your site where people can contact you or read more about you, this has to be a page. The URL of a page will be for example yourdomain.com/about. This page will be independent and won’t be related to any other pages or posts.
A lot of people think that WordPress can be used only for blog websites, which is totally wrong understanding. Using pages, you can create a fully functional website. If you don’t want to have a blog, you simply don’t add posts, you add only pages.
With that in mind, important pages that most of the sites have are Home; About; Contact Us; Products; Team page.
To create a new page go to Pages > Add New > Add a Title and text > See what will be the URL > Publish:
Add a Main Navigation (Menu) Inside Your WordPress Website
Ok, you’ve created your pages and added a blog category (or different), but how will people access these sections of your site? Simple, by adding them inside your primary navigation. I believe you already noticed how other sites have a menu on the top of the page. These menu sections are used to display your pages.
To create your own, go to Appearance > Menus > Give your menu a name > Create the Menu:
Your menu is created, now you will need to add some links to it. Choose from adding Pages, Posts, Custom links (for example paste entire URL) that will open specific links from your site or other sites or entire Category. Drag and drop to arrange the menu and assign it by selecting on of the check boxes shown below. Keep in mind that different WordPress themes have different theme locations:
Save your menu and go to your main page to see all the changes:
Not so difficult right?
As you can see, the whole getting started with WordPress process will take you no longer than 5-10 minutes.
Just find a suitable domain for the site you are going to create, purchase hosting account and install WordPress.
Once this is done the next step will be to actually start building the site using WordPress. See my Building directory to create an amazing site using some of the best WordPress themes.
One last thing.
If you found this guide useful, feel free to share it using the buttons below. By sharing, more people will learn how they can easily get started with WordPress and build their own online businesses.
Comment below if you have further questions or contact me directly: Contact Me.
(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclaimer page.)