How to Launch a WordPress Site
Everybody knows that, with WordPress, anyone can make a website. This is why a lot of people try to do just that, and then struggle at the first hurdle. Yes, it is true that you don’t need extensive coding knowledge to launch a WordPress site. But you do need to understand a little about the ins and outs of WordPress. You do need to do some research beforehand. Not a lot – you barely have to go any further than what is already in this article.
We will discuss in brief the things you need to launch a WordPress site specifically, but some of these basic steps, such as domain name registration and SEO. So, even if you are not going to end up using WordPress for your website’s framework (and we don’t see why you wouldn’t), this article might contain some useful information.
Here’s what we’d like to talk to you about:
Every website needs a domain name. You can think of a domain as a street address for your website. Domain names need to be unique, and coming up with a good one can be difficult. Not to mention the fact that brand building begins with a domain name. If you are stuck for ideas, you can try a blog name generator.
There is a lot of tips on choosing a domain name we could give you, but the gist of it is that, ideally, it will be short and unique. You may also want to check your domain name‘s availability before committing. A lot of hosting providers will offer domain name registration as pat of their package, so you‘d do well to consider hosting and domain name as one package.
If a domain name is like a street address, hosting space is storage. Whatever your website, it needs to consist of files, and files require storage on a server. Said server needs to be up constantly, safe, and secure.
Again, going into details on how to pick a hosting provider would go beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that it is a relatively straightforward affair. Shop around for best offers – some even include a WordPress installation.
Next, you need to install WordPress. A lot of web hosting providers will do it for you, but installing WordPress is easy enough if you have a browser, an FTP client, and a database access tool. There are detailed installation instructions on WordPress‘s home page.
Once you have installed WordPress, you need to choose and install a WordPress theme. There are several ways to do that, but it can be done relatively simply from your WordPress dashboard. We have a theme installation tutorial in case you get stuck, and we even have a video about it:
Choose a theme carefully: it is usually best to have all the functionalities you need as part of a theme. However, even if you can‘t find the perfect theme, you can usually supplement it by installing a plugin.
This is the juiciest part, and also the part where we can‘t offer any detailed advice: you alone know what you have set out to do. WordPress has countless options, but there are some pages that appear on most websites. These include a home page, a separate blog page, an about me page, a contact page, legal pages, and more.
A lot of them will come provided by default as part of your theme, but you can create new pages very easily. You can check out our video tutorial to see how it‘s done.
Once you have your pages all set up, you can start creating posts. Posts are a core feature of WordPress, and are generally the main part of any website, but especially a blog. We have another video tutorial on how a post is created.
Your content is not going to be a lot of good if nobody can find it. SEO is not exactly a science, but it is a job all its own. Competition is stiff, internet users are spoiled for choice, and, without the basics of SEO, you‘re not going to get anywhere.
Fortunately, there is a lot of you can do not to get penalized at the very least. Do your research and optimize your website for SEO. Do not go overboard, though: overoptimizing your website can be cause for its removal from search engine indices. And that‘s just one of the SEO pitfalls you can stumble into.
If you really want your website to grow, you need to leverage social media. Social media are an interesting way of attracting new visitors, and one of the ways of attracting them is through interactions with your regular visitors. How do you turn your regular visitors into your social followers? By featuring links to your social media profiles on your website.
Responsive design means design that adapts to the dimensions of a device. Basically, your website rearranges and resizes and hides elements to make it look good no matter the screen size of the device a user is using to access it.
Not only is a responsive theme immensely useful from a user experience point of view, search engines also take responsiveness into account when ranking a website on its result pages.
Finally, learn as much as you can about your visitors in order to figure out how best to cater to their needs. Create a Google Analytics account, if you don‘t already have one. It is free and easy, as you can see from our video tutorial:
Of course, the account itself needs to be connected to your website, and the way to do that is by installing Google Analytics code on your website. Again, this is fairly simple, and provides you with amazing insights into your visitors‘ behavior.
As you can see, there is a lot you need to know – and learn how to do – before launching a WordPress site. Great achievements are never built on shaky foundations: consider all the choices you need to make early very carefully. It is not impossible to change servers, but it is time-consuming to do so. It is not impossible to change themes, but it can mean a thorough redesign of your website. SEO? Much easier to implement in advance. And with this primer, you are better prepared than many against making rookie errors.
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!