How to Create a Website Using WordPress – The Ultimate Guide
WordPress is the most popular open-source content management system (CMS) in the world. With almost 20% of the world’s websites built on it, it’s clear that this project has proven itself. If you’re looking for a platform to build your website or portfolio, you can’t go wrong with WordPress.
Though it’s been around for a while now, it’s only recently that people have started taking advantage of it. For those who are completely new to web design, this article will teach you the basics of creating a website using WordPress.
Why Should You Build a Website With WordPress?
If you’re looking for a CMS that is free and open-source, then WordPress is a great choice. Not only is it easy to use and install, but it also offers a vibrant community helping users with any problems that they might encounter. If you’d like to know more, check out the WordPress website or follow them on Twitter.
WordPress’ main competitor, Joomla, is also free and open-source, but it was designed to be used primarily for larger organizations. In some ways, WordPress is the answer to Joomla’s question of whether or not a self-hosted website can work for small businesses.
Additionally, if you’re looking to start a blog, then WordPress is one of the best platforms for that as well. Themes and plugins for blogging make it incredibly easy to get started with a blog in minutes. Just make sure that you install a reputable blogging platform like WordPress or Automattic’s own blogging platform, WordPress.com.
What Is A CMS?
Content management system, or CMS, is a type of software that allows website and blog owners to edit content, such as web pages and blog posts, without having to be technically skilled. Essentially, a CMS allows non-technical users to create and update content without needing to be continuously assisted by developers, which is an expensive option.
CMSes are incredibly useful because they free up time for website and blog owners to focus on other areas of their business. If you see content being updated frequently and professionally, then it’s likely that the site is hosted on a CMS.
What Is a WordPress Theme?
WordPress themes are what gives a website its overall look. Just like a magazine, newspaper, or blog post, they set the tone and style for the platform. Themes vary from being minimalist, such as TwentyThree, to being as flashy as the WordPress Logo itself, with the ability to fully customize the layout and colors.
The reason why WordPress is so flexible when it comes to the look and feel of your website is because most themes are completely customizable. This means that you can use the tools within WordPress to change almost everything about the appearance of your website.
To change the overall look and feel of your website, you’ll first need to choose a theme that matches your brand’s voice and style. Once you do, you can use the Theme Options link within WordPress to make small changes to the code of the theme.
How Do You Install A WordPress Theme?
Installing a theme is very similar to installing any other software or application on your computer. First, you’ll need to download the theme’s.zip file and extract its contents onto your computer’s hard drive. Next, you’ll need to go into the WordPress Dashboard and click on the Install button at the top.
Depending on your website’s hosting plan and how new you are to WordPress, this could take a few minutes to a few hours. During this time, you’ll need to wait for the plugin system to download and activate the theme. Once that’s done, you can navigate to your website and start using the new theme.
What Is A Plugin?
Plugins are extensions to the functionality and features of WordPress. They can be used to change the appearance of your website, add new features, and more. There are hundreds of plugins available to download and use on your WordPress site.
Some examples of plugins include the All-in-One SEO Pack to help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which integrates various SEO features including the ability to generate and edit XML sitemaps, perform keyword research, and more; and the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin, which automatically stops spam before it even gets to your email inbox.
What Are Some Of The Pros Of Building A Website With WordPress?
There are a wide range of advantages to building a website with WordPress. Here are just a few:
- Community: The WordPress community is one of the world’s best when it comes to offering support and being helpful. If you have a question about whether or not something will work with your site, you can always search the forums or ask for help from the community. Though it is an open-source platform, many companies and brands rely on WordPress and its community of users for their very existence.
- Reliability: Like most other content management systems, WordPress is extremely reliable and available. Though there are some rare instances where websites have been lost to hack attacks and data breaches, for the most part, WordPress has proven to be extremely secure and stable.
- Scalability: WordPress is extremely scalable and can be used to create small websites or huge media-sharing platforms. Though it’s been around for a while now, recently, more and more people are realizing the potential of WordPress. If your site grows suddenly and you need to add more content or features, you can easily do so with WordPress.
- Ease Of Use: Though it’s been around for a while, the WordPress team continues to improve the platform and make it easier to use. If you’re completely new to web design, setting up a site with WordPress is child’s play and will require minimal effort and training to use.
- Freedom Of Choice: Having a choice in theme and plugin selection when building a site means you have a chance of choosing a design that suits your needs. Though WordPress offers thousands of themes and plugins, you’re not bound to use them all. If you find that one particular brand or style of theme presents a challenge, you can always choose an alternative.
The Main Drawbacks Of Building A Website With WordPress?
Just like with most other tools and software, there are drawbacks to building a website with WordPress. Here are just a few:
- Cost: Like any other tool or software, the cost of building a site on WordPress is not free. You’ll need to purchase premium services to unlock certain features. Though it’s possible to build a completely functioning and functional site for free with WordPress, you’ll need to go without many of the platform’s useful features in order to do so.
- Limited Use: Once you begin using a CMS, you cannot fully remove it from your site. Though you can disable plugins and themes, doing so will break your site and you’ll have to rebuild it from scratch. Having a CMS on your site is not optional. You either need to use it or leave it.
- Security: Though WordPress has maintained its reputation as a secure and stable platform, it’s still not entirely risk-free. Just like Google, Apple, and other major tech companies, WordPress recommends using a Content Management System Shield (CMS shield) to help protect your content from being hacked or altered.
- Usability: Though WordPress continues to make improvements to the platform, it is still not as easy to navigate or use as say, SquareSpace or Wix. If you’re looking for a drag-and-drop interface that’s intuitive and user-friendly, then you might consider one of these platforms instead.
- Extensibility: Whereas other content management systems have limited the features that can be accessed and used on websites, WordPress offers a wealth of options for customizing the appearance and functionality of your site. Though this is great if you want to fully maximize your ability to create the site you want, it can also lead to information overload and complication.
Where Do I Start?
So you’ve decided that you want to build a website, but you don’t know where to begin. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the most useful resources for those seeking to build a website. Hopefully this will be helpful to you.