How to Create a WordPress Website in 2016 – With Katrina Relief in Mind
With the new year already underway, it’s the perfect time to look back on the past year and plan for the future. If you’re looking to launch a new business this year, you might want to consider creating a website for yourself to show off your products or services. But before you rush out and buy a domain and hosting package just to throw together a basic website, there are things you need to think about.
The Purpose Of The Website
As the name suggests, a website is a webpage that is hosted on the Internet. Your particular website can be anything you want it to be, whether it’s a blog to keep track of your adventures or a store where you sell and discuss products with your customers. There are no right or wrong answers because it all depends on your personal preferences. The most important thing is that you have a reason for creating the website in the first place.
Depending on your budget and technical know-how, you have a variety of options when it comes to the technology you’ll use to build your website. If you have a limited budget, you might want to consider going with a simple WordPress installation. You’ll need to purchase a basic hosting package from a web host to set up your blog or website, and you’ll need to take care of all administrative tasks through a WordPress user interface (UI).
The nice thing about WordPress is that it’s incredibly popular and there are tons of free and paid resources available online to help you get up and running quickly. Plus, as a totally free software package (though there are paid add-ons available), it’s completely customizable.
If you have an extensive knowledge of technology and are comfortable diving into the code yourself, you might want to consider using some of the better-known content management systems (CMS) like Joomla! or Drupal. Both of these CMSes are very popular and have a ton of third-party extensions and plugins available online that you can use to enhance your site.
Security And Privacy
As we’ve established, a website is simply a collection of webpages stored on servers all over the world. For your site to function properly and be accessible to the general public, you need to take security and privacy seriously. That means using a reputable host for your site, keeping your WordPress passwords secure, and implementing an SSL certificate on your site (if you’re using WordPress).
Even if you have the utmost faith in the security of your host and the quality of their service, there’s always a chance that one of your site’s visitors could potentially break in and do some damage. To prevent any unauthorized access to your site, you could opt to use a VPN to securely route all of your site’s traffic through a clean and untrusted IP address that is concealed by encryption.
Keeping your WordPress installation and all of its content safe and secure is pretty much essential to running a successful blog or website. For this reason, you should only use plugins and themes that are known for being safe and secured and keep your WordPress version up to date with the latest patches and fixes. If you follow these security best practices, there’s no chance that a hacker could ever break into your site and do any damage.
The most important thing on your website is the content you put there. Your site’s purpose is to provide your visitors with valuable information they can use or benefit from, so everything you put on your site should be directly related to that purpose. For instance, if your site’s purpose is to educate your readers about international relations, then you might want to include articles related to this subject matter.
With WordPress, your content is simply written blogs or webpages that you can add to your site directly from your WordPress dashboard. To keep your site fresh and engaging, you can use a tool like Growbot to easily find the latest and most popular content on your niche topic across the web and either republish it on your site or even use the content in your next blog post. You don’t necessarily have to have a lot of content to effectively use a tool like Growbot. Just make sure that the content you do have is good and covers a variety of topics related to your niche so that you can consistently generate valuable content for your site.
Good design is not only about sticking to the technical aspects of creating a functional website; you also want to make sure that your site’s look is as streamlined and engaging as possible. For this reason, you should consider using a CMS like WordPress that is pre-designed with a basic layout in mind, then simply customize it with your content and images. You can also find plenty of free and paid theme options available online that you can download and install on your site.
Once you’ve got your basic site set up, you can start adding more polish and functionality to your site using tools like Layout Builder, Revolution Slides, or Canva to make the most out of your site’s content.
A good website is effectively navigable. When someone visits your site for the first time, they’ll immediately want to know how to navigate their way around your site. Unless your site is very simple, you’ll want to add a navigation menu on the left side of your page so that your readers can easily access the content.
If your site has more than four or five pages, then you might want to consider creating a hierarchy of pages so that your readers can easily find what they’re looking for without having to go back and forth from page to page.
Even if your site is not mobile-friendly, almost all of your readers will still be able to browse it just fine because most people nowadays access the web on their mobile phones. Whether you’ve got a touchscreen phone or a small hand-held device, your readers should be able to easily navigate your site on the go.
To ensure that they have the best possible experience and can easily find what they’re looking for, you might want to consider creating a mobile-friendly website or app. When someone visits your site on their phone, the first thing they’ll want to do is to find and click on the mobile-friendly icon at the top of your page to have your site displayed in a mobile-friendly format. Once they’ve done that, they can easily navigate your site without having to worry about the layout or styling of your site changing as a result of their phone’s screen size.
If your site is going to be used and relied upon by your audience, then you need to ensure that they can find what they’re looking for and trust what they find. To provide your audience with credibility, you might want to consider adding a few different badges and certifications to your site. For example, you could add the Google Certified SEO badge to your site’s footer or the SiteBlue badge to your site’s header.
Aside from these basic website setup and design tips, you’ll also want to make sure that all of your links are effective and don’t lead to 404 errors. One of the best tools out there for checking and optimizing your links is the Google Keyword Planner. By entering a few key phrases into the tool, it will instantly tell you the popularity of these phrases and the competition level for each one. If you’re worried about building a brand and reputation, these are essential tools for any online marketer.