How to Learn WordPress for Free and Make Your Website
So, you’ve decided to join the WordPress family and build your first ever WordPress based website. Trying to learn the ropes about a topic that is completely unfamiliar to us can be an uphill battle, especially if you don’t have someone to walk you through it. So, in order to try and help you avoid wasting your time on reading dozens of articles just so you could get a clear picture of what WordPress is all about, we have prepared these simple steps that will make learning the basics of WordPress a piece of cake. Although WordPress allows you to create a website without coding, knowing a thing or two will truly help you get most of it. Wait no longer, let’s see what we have prepared for you!
What is a WordPress
In simple words, WordPress is a free content management system used to build and maintain websites. Today, WordPress is the most popular blogging tool on the web that powers over 25% of the world’s most visited websites. This has all been made possible thanks to its unique features that make a life of a blogger much easier, so it is no wonder why many people opt for this tool to start their website maintenance/blogging career.
So, what is it that WordPress provides you with? WordPress basically puts a web-based user interface at your disposal that allows you to design, publish and update all sorts of websites. Once you start creating the very basis of your site, you are no longer required to write infinite lines of code, but instead, WordPress allows you to choose among many premade themes, i.e. templates that differ in design and features they come with. Once you have chosen a theme to go with, you can then modify the layout and build a custom navigation bar that will contain links to different parts of your new website. At this point, you will also be able to create these individual pages through WordPress’ online interface and place any type of media you wish to have on them (text, links, images, you name it). Having done all of this, the only thing left to do is to press the “publish” button that will update your website and make all of the modifications visible to your site’s visitors.
All in all, what makes WordPress such a simple and functional system are, in fact, the numerous built-in tools that make the maintenance process as simple as it can get, allowing you to easily keep track of individual posts, site visitors, user comments or any other elements related to your site. On top of that, if these functionalities are not enough for you, and you need more tools to simplify your work, there are tons of online plugins that you can additionally download to help you solve whatever problems you might have. When you have in mind all WordPress opportunities and obstacles, you can really make the most of this CMS.
Why You Should Use WordPress for Your Website
Ok, so we’ve seen what WordPress is all about, yet you must be still wondering why WordPress is your best choice and not some other content management system. The answer to this question is quite simple if we take into consideration the fact that there are a lot of pros that make it very user-friendly. As a newbie in website maintenance you must be wondering what are the most important things a website should possess, and what do all those features translate into in the real world. Don’t you worry for a second! We have chosen some of the most amazing features that make WordPress a number one CMS, and are planning to break them down to you in the following lines.
- WordPress is completely free
Are you a programmer? Do you know how to write a code for your website? Well, if you’re reading this article, we are guessing not. Instead of paying a professional to create a website for you from scratch, WordPress allows you to build a website on your own completely free of charge. You can download the software, install, use and modify it as per your needs without having to spend a penny. However, we need to point out that only the software is absolutely free. In order to have a fully functional reachable website, you need to provide yourself with hosting and domain that are subject to payment, and of course, there are many other elements that can be added to your site that have their own independent price (such as premium themes, WordPress plugins etc).
- It supports different types of media
Even though it started out as a blogging platform, today WordPress is a versatile website builder that supports not only text files, but rather all sorts of media. A modern website requires a variety of files in different formats, so WordPress made sure you get the possibility to place any of them on your personal site. Images, videos, text, audio or any other variant are more than welcome on WordPress.
- WordPress is SEO optimized
A website that is not visible to a wider audience is basically a website without a purpose. If you want to promote a business, or whatever it is that you’ve made your website for, you must make sure that a vast number of internet users can get to it. There are different techniques you can use in order to achieve that goal and all of them are gathered under one expression that you have probably already heard of – SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There are many sorts of premium SEO plugins that make a great tool to achieve this effect, however the advantage of WordPress is that it comes with some built-in tools that will help you see how SEO friendly your content is. Of course, if you want to boost it even further, you always have the possibility to install additional plugins that will upgrade your content’s performance.
- It is highly flexible
When creating a website with WordPress, the options are numerous. Speaking of the flexibility that WordPress has to offer, this characteristic goes two ways. The first one could be defined as the possibility to build any type of website. As we have mention a couple of times in this article, the original purpose of WordPress was for the creation blogs only, however, that is absolutely not the case today. Nowadays, WordPress makes it possible for you to create online shops, business websites, blogs, porfolios, forums, Q&A websites, and the list goes on and on. You can literally create anything you want. On the other hand, it is also flexible in the terms of complexity of the version you wish to use. If you are a beginner in the field, you can simply use the basic version of WordPress and create a blog where you can place simple posts. You don’t need to be a computer geek in order to learn your way around simple website maintenance – WP will let you do that with the slightest of efforts. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that WordPress cannot support a more complex website. On the contrary, WP software allows you to build up your web-page both in terms of functionalities (you can install as many different plugins as you need), as well as in terms of graphic design (create different layout styles, change your menu’s position etc.).
- WordPress is customizable
We have already mentioned the templates (better known as themes) that are essential part of your website. A WordPress theme is in simple words the visual appearance your website will have, but it also brings with it different functionalities that will define your website’s performance. There are thousands of themes, both free and premium (premium themes require payment) that can be downloaded any minute. Every theme has its own pre-made design and a specter of functionalities that come with it. However, most of them can be easily tailored to your specific needs. You can practically customize them as you wish from your WordPress admin panel. Change your website’s background color, position of different elements, add plugins to bring new effects to it – the options are limitless.
- Security and support come first
If we take into consideration that over 30% of all websites in the world are powered through WordPress, the trust people put in this platform is beyond compare and there surely must be a good reason why. Nobody wants to feel unprotected and on his own, and cyber space can definitely be frightening from this point of view from time to time. If you are a beginner, it is only normal you can find yourself in fear that you won’t know how to overcome some obstacles that you encounter for the first time. When it comes to WP there’s absolutely no need for you to worry. WordPress has an enormous community – it gathers thousands of like-minded people that are always there to help you out. Some of them even host different types of camps or organize educational workshops that are so valuable for people entering this WP world. On the other hand, websites are often targets of cyber-attacks and random hackers, and that can really be a nightmare, especially for those who are still learning the ropes of website maintenance. WordPress was developed with the aim to make the platform as secure and safe as it can get. In addition to its built-in security measures, it allows you to protect your website with additional plugins that would make your website completely malware immune. All you need to do is to explore your options and find the right one.
What Do You Need to Make Your WordPress Website
So, by now, you got familiar with the way WordPress functions and with its advantages. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are now capable of building a website. Therefore, the time has come for us to turn to those practical things and pay a closer attention to the very process of creating it. So, first things first – you must surely be wondering what are the essentials for creating a WordPress based website? As we mentioned earlier, WordPress software is free, however, if you want your site to be placed on the web and accessible to others, the first thing to do is provide yourself with domain and hosting. In order for you to get a better view of the concept behind these two words, we’ll explain what each of them actually means.
Let’s start with the domain. A domain is the name of the website that your visitors will type in their browser URL bar when searching for it (it usually ends with .com). Choosing the right name can definitely be a game-changer in your website’s popularity so you would definitely do good if you brushed upon some tips on how to choose the best domain name. After you’ve decided on the name your website will carry, you need a place, a computer that will have all of your content neatly stored and retrievable at any moment. This is the point where we encounter our second essential – WordPress hosting. There are many different providers that offer their services at a different price range, but let’s say that you can get a web-hosting starting from approximately 8$ per a month. As we’ve previously said, web-hosting is the place where all of your content will be stocked, and therefore is the very reason why your visitor can view your site online. There is no need to say that you really need to weigh your options when it comes to choosing your WordPress hosting, so the wise decision would be to read as much as you can about it on the Internet before choosing the one company to proceed with. Lastly, after choosing these two indispensable elements, the final thing to acquire before starting to work on modifying and publishing your site is a WordPress theme.
Themes or templates are the very core of your website’s appearance. These pre-made templates dictate what your website will look like and, on top of that, they come with different functionalities, so the performance of your website depends on it as well. There are tons of free and premium themes that are available for immediate download, however, not all of them are worth downloading. The perfect theme should be a mixture of alluring design and strong features, which is why you need to be on the lookout for both. Leave one of these things out, and you’ll find yourself with a not-so-successful website. There is no doubt that choosing the right WordPress theme requires time and dedication, so we warmly advise you to read as many articles on the matter as you can, as they usually turn out to be of huge help.
Best Way to Learn WordPress
Now that you know what the steps to making a WordPress website are, you need to get on the “first-name basis” with the whole website managing system. Learning WordPress can become an exciting, revealing adventure that will result in you getting a valuable skill that can be defined as indispensable nowadays. Luckily, unlike the old times when getting information was a strenuous job, today, in order to learn everything you need to know about a certain topic, all you need to do is look it up on the internet. Naturally, learning WordPress is no exception. We’ve mentioned that one of the advantages of WordPress is that it has a large community of users that are more than eager to help you out while making the first steps. It is no wonder that the Internet is basically flooded with all sorts of WordPress tutorials, video clips, online courses or any other possible teaching method that can be used as a guide for WP beginners. The only thing you need to provide from your side is the strong will to learn and a bit of skills in browsing through the Internet in order to find what suits you the most. Once you have found your perfect teaching tools, the next step would be to start trying out these things you are learning on a real WP theme. In case you need additional info and support, you can always follow WordPress professionals who share their knowledge in detail.
If this is the very first time you are trying to build a website, we strongly advise you to start practicing on a free WordPress theme. This way you’ll have the possibility to get a first-hand-experience in using different editors such as Classic editor, Gutenberg or even Elementor. These are all free page-builders that will help you learn the ropes without having to pay anything, while a page-builder such as WPBakery can be either purchased on its own, or it will come as a part of a premium WordPress theme. Furthermore, by choosing a free WP theme, you can install and test numerous WordPress plugins and see how they function and what improvements they can bring to your current website. The one that can be particularly interesting is the WooCommerce plugin that allows you to create online stores and sell your products (quite useful, isn’t it?). All in all, you’ll get to experiment and learn through attempts and mistakes that will build solid knowledge of managing a WordPress website and the best part is, you won’t have to worry you’ve wasted your money at any point.
How Long Does It Take to Make a WordPress Website
The time you will spend while creating a WP website depends on many factors. There can be many problems that can influence the course of your actions and have an undesirable impact on achieving your goals. Nevertheless, there are some factors we consider to be more significant than others when building a website. Such factors definitely include your experience in the field, the complexity of a website you wish to make and, consequently, the type of page builder you will be using. If you are someone who has built many websites in their career, and are already familiar with the obstacles and difficulties that can come your way, it goes without saying that you’ll spend a lot less time on achieving what you’re going for.
The other, much more intricate problem arises when you wish to create a site that contains a lot of content and has many complicated features. It is usually the premium WordPress themes that give you the space to boost your website in such a manner, but fortunately, these themes, unlike the free ones, come with different Drag and Drop WordPress Page builders that speed up the process considerably. If you opt for a premium theme, building a website will be a walk in the park and you probably won’t have to spend hours and hours on the computer inserting your content manually. If you, on the other hand, choose to go with a free theme, you can expect to spend a considerable amount of time trying to create your perfect website.
So, if you’re a newbie in the WordPress world and have many unanswered questions, we hope that this article will help you grasp the basics and inspire you to further perfect your knowledge of WordPress. If by any chance we have missed to bring up some of the issues you have encountered during your first steps, rest assured that the countless tutorials that are available on the web will help you out every step of the process. Plus, there are many renowned WordPress seminars around the world you can join. Here, the leading WP experts share knowledge and best practices, so you can keep up with industry’s trends. Now all that’s left for us to say is – welcome to the WP family!
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!