How to Create a Professional WordPress Website
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform around currently, with a whopping 80.9% of all websites using it as their platform. This makes it a no-brainer for anyone looking to start a blog. For those seeking credibility as a thought leader in their industry, however, the choice of whether to use WordPress or another platform becomes far more complicated.
If your ultimate goal is to create a professional, industry-recognized website to host your blog on, you have to ask yourself one question: Is WordPress the right choice?
The answer is no, it is not. For those seeking credibility in their industry, it is best to host your blog on a custom platform built from the ground up to accommodate professional standards.
Still wondering whether or not to use WordPress for your blog? Read on and you’ll discover all there is to know about creating a professional WordPress website from the ground up.
Why Should You Avoid Using WordPress For Your Blog?
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t use WordPress for your blog. To begin with, WordPress is one of the most popular platforms around, boasting a whopping 16.9 million downloads as of 2019. This makes it the perfect choice for anyone seeking to blog. Even better, many web hosts, like Bluehost, make it extremely easy to set up a WordPress website with a free trial.
WordPress also happens to be very insecure when it comes to creating a professional website. In fact, the WordPress core team itself admits that the platform is lacking in several important security-related areas. To cite their own words, “WordPress has a hackable security model that makes it easy for attackers to compromise your website.”
Lastly, WordPress is a completely open-source platform, which also makes it extremely easy for anyone to view the code and modify it to their liking. This inevitably leads to a fragmented WordPress ecosystem, where outdated plugins and overgrown themes can make it difficult to maintain a site once it has been launched.
What Is a Professional WordPress Website?
If you are completely unfamiliar with the term “professional,” it can mean different things to different people. To put it simply, a professional website is one that is built with a skilled hand, following a certain set of design principles, and meets a certain level of functionality.
That being said, there is more than one way to create a professional WordPress website. It simply won’t do to run around with a cheap, pre-built theme designed for social media websites and small business websites, or even large business websites, for that matter. The trick is in selecting a pre-built theme that is both secure and functional.
Before you begin to build your site, take the time to review the security features of the themes you are considering using. Even then, you should only use WordPress as a platform to power your blog. Do not use it to build your entire website, as this will only lead to problems down the line.
A secure and functional WordPress website will feature the following elements:
A Safe And Sound Web Hosting Environment
Since we are dealing with a blog platform here, one of the most vital elements of a blog is its web host. Your web host ensures that your blog can be accessed from any location, and allows you to easily update and modify content as needed. A safe web hosting environment doesn’t just mean that your blog will crash if too many people attempt to access it at once. It also means that your data is protected and secured at all times, and that you won’t experience any downtimes or performance issues.
A good web host will also feature a safe, sound, and fast loading web server that is optimized for WordPress, along with a fast, responsive dashboard that makes editing content a breeze. In the end, a safe web host will make all the difference, as it prevents headaches down the line.
A Custom Logo
A custom logo serves many different purposes for a WordPress website. First and foremost, it is used on your website to identify it and establish credibility. For example, if your website is about nature, marine life, and you want to showcase your catch of the day, you can use a fish symbol as your custom logo to establish this connection.
A custom logo also helps establish corporate identity, particularly if you use the same logo design throughout your website and social media platforms. Even if you have a completely different subject matter, the use of a custom logo will still have the same effect.
Ultimately, a custom logo allows you to build a brand identity that is completely unique to you. It also gives your blog a professional touch that will make it stand out amongst the thousands of other blogs on the internet.
A Completely Minimalist Design
The layout of a WordPress website is a crucial element that can either make or break a blog’s visual appeal. A completely minimalist design will feature very little content or features other than that which is necessary to make the site function correctly. Naturally, this will mean that there will be no custom designs or photos that you have inserted yourself, as the site will appear exactly as it was designed.
As much as possible, you should strive for a completely minimalist design. It makes for a more professional and polished appearance when compared to a busy, cluttered layout. Busy layouts are great for smaller blogs and websites serving a local market, but as you grow, you will want to keep an eye on the appearance of your website.
An Up-To-Date Plugins And Themes
You may think that your WordPress license allows you to use any themes and plugins you want, but this is far from true. This is because as soon as you update your WordPress software, the active plugins and themes automatically disappear from your website. Since it is impossible to keep track of all the available plugins and themes, you should try to avoid using these older versions.
By keeping up with the latest plugins and themes, you ensure that your website will remain secure and that it will continue to function correctly. This is more important than ever, given the rising number of attacks and hacks aimed at WordPress users. Updating regularly also prevents you from running into compatibility issues with future versions of WordPress.
A Fast Loading Dashboard
A fast loading dashboard is anything but a luxury. It is, quite the opposite – in fact, a slow loading dashboard can seriously hurt your website’s credibility. A fast loading dashboard is vital, as it allows you to quickly and effortlessly perform all the necessary functions to keep up with your schedule. The faster your dashboard loads, the more time you have to put into creating content and engaging with your audience.
To give you a fast loading dashboard, your web host will need to have a minimum level of expertise and be equipped with at least a basic caching system. In addition, they should also have a free, customizable, VPN (Virtual Private Network), which gives you complete control over your online privacy and secures your data while on the go. For an extra measure of security, they can also integrate Two-Factor Authentication, so you have to enter a code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your login credentials, to access your account.
If you are looking for a high-quality, fully-functional WordPress website that is also secure, take a look at these top-class hosts:
Bluehost – We love bluehost because of their dedication to promoting a better, cleaner internet. Not only do they offer one of the most beginner-friendly installations and the best price/performance ratio, they also support WordPress MU and offer unlimited sites, backup, and transfers. Most importantly, the price is right – who doesn’t like getting something for free?
Dreamhost – Dreamhost is one of the biggest hosting providers around currently, with a very secure platform and great customer service. They also offer a free domain name with your hosting package, and give you 10% off your first billing cycle. Essentially, with Dreamhost, you are getting a free domain name, free backup, free transfers, and a fast load time.
Weebly – Weebly is the ultimate easy-to-use blogging platform, which also happens to be completely free. To create a fully-functional WordPress website using Weebly, you will only need to follow a few steps, and not a whole lot of tech skill. This makes it an ideal platform for beginners or anyone who is simply looking to create a quick, temporary website for something they are working on.