How to Construct a Website Using WordPress
WordPress is a fantastic content management system (CMS) that allows for easy website construction. Whether you are a seasoned Web developer or designer looking to take the reins on your first project or just want to dip your toes in the water, WordPress has you covered.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the top techniques for constructing a website using WordPress. We’ll cover everything from how to choose the right domain name through to how to populate and style your site with content.
The Essie You’ll Need To Get Everything Done
Before you get started, it is important to establish the right toolset that will allow you to get the job done. For that reason, WordPress comes pre-installed with the following applications:
- A Web browser
- Text editor
- Media viewer
- Style library
- FTP client
Along with these essentials, you will also need to make sure that your platform is set up for success. For that reason, it is a good idea to take the time to familiarize yourself with the following aspects of your server:
- PHP version
- MySQL version
- WordPress version
- FTP user name
- FTP password
To get the most out of WordPress, you’ll need to keep your content fresh and up to date, which is why content maintenance is so important. This is where things like SEO (search engine optimization) and SMM (social media management) factor in too. The more you put in, the more you get back. For more on content management systems, take a look at the following resources:
Choosing The Right Domain Name
For many businesses, a website URL (uniform resource locator) is just another word for a product’s web address or brand’s online identity. To ensure that your site will be picked up by Google and other search engines, you will need to take the time to build a good relationship with the search engines and ensure that they see your site as a worthwhile addition to their vast indexes.
When choosing a domain name, always remember that you will need to purchase the right to use this domain in the event that you decide to forego the use of.com. Make sure that your chosen domain name reflects the contents of your site perfectly and that it ties back to your target audience. In addition, you can use digital marketplaces like Shopify, Miva, and Google Adwords to help you pinpoint the perfect domain name that suits your needs. Not only will this save you time, but it will give you the ability to test out different names and see which ones get the most traction.
Installing WordPress is a simple two-step process that will guide you through the steps required to get the application running on your server.
Step one: Download the WordPress software archive from WordPress.org. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be using the Zip format since that is the most common file type used by WordPress. You can choose to download the complete version of WordPress, or you can choose to install the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) platform which will give you the most flexibility in case you want to add more functionality to your site in the future.
Step two: Unzip the WordPress archive you downloaded in Step one somewhere on your computer. You will need to have PHP installed to continue with this step (you can use the LAMP platform to accomplish this).
Once you’ve installed WordPress, it’s time to move onto the next step.
Creating A Username And Password
Before you start writing content for your site, you’ll need to create a user account with WordPress. Since the contents of your site will be accessible by the public, it is a good idea to use a unique username that will not be used by any other site. For added security, you can choose to create a unique password for your user account.
While this may seem like a tedious task, creating a unique password that will not be used anywhere else is a great way to keep your content fresh. If you forget your password, WordPress will email you a link to reset it. For those of you using a CMS (content management system), you may also be emailed a link to reset your password in case you lose control of your domain (for example, if your domain gets suspended by the hosting company).
Setting Up Your Site Hosting
Once you have a WordPress user account set up, it’s time to move onto the next step and begin hosting your site. WordPress sites can be hosted on a variety of platforms, the most common of which is WordPress.com. However, if you want to take advantage of all the tools the platform offers, you’ll need to host your site via WordPress.org. WordPress.com provides you with all the tools you need to get started, including a free domain, but you’ll need to choose to upgrade to the paid version in order to take advantage of the rest of the platform’s features. For those of you looking for a no-cost option, you can sign up for a free.gov domain with WordPress.org. Along with a free domain, you’ll also get a free hosting plan with the public-facing website (that is, the one that is available to be accessed by the general public).
There are a variety of hosting services to choose from when signing up for a WordPress account. You want to look for a service that is cost-effective for your needs and offers a variety of features. Some of the more popular choices are:
- Amazon Web Services
- InMotion Hosting
As a general rule of thumb, always look for a hosting service that allows for easy installation of WordPress plugins. This will help you boost the functionality of your site significantly.
One of the unique things about WordPress is the fact that it is a completely open-source platform. This means that anyone can upload a plug-in (additional software or tools that can enhance your site’s functionality) and share it with the rest of the community. For this reason, installing plugins is extremely easy. Simply visit the WordPress repository to find the desired plug-in and click on the Install button to begin the process.
In addition to being easy to install, plugins can also be a great way to enhance your site’s functionality. Take the time to browse through the thousands of plugins available in the WordPress repository to find the one that suits your needs best. Along with plugins, you can also use tools like BuddyPress and Facebook’s Open Graph to build a social media network within your site.
Creating a professional-looking website is easier said than done. However, with a little bit of research and the use of the above-mentioned tools, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the platform and begin building your site today.