How to Make a WordPress Website on DreamHost
You may be interested in launching a blog or a website to share your thoughts or ideas with the world. But what stage are you at in terms of building the content and infrastructure for your site? If you’re just starting out, this guide will help get you up and running with a basic WordPress website that you can optimise and grow over time.
Choose A Domain Name
You’ll need a domain name for your website. Ideally you’ll want to choose a.com version of your site’s name. This is mostly for branding and SEO purposes. However, you could also use a.org,.net, or other extensions to create a themed domain that’s relevant to your site content.
In terms of pricing for domain names, you’ll likely want to consider the cost of a.com domain name. This can run you about $12.95 per month on a quality hosting plan from a reputable provider such as DreamHost. If you are unable to secure a.com domain name, you’ll need to look into purchasing a.org extension for $15.45 per month or a.net extension for $19.95 per month through a reputable domain registrar such as 1and1.com. Finally, if none of the above options appeal to you and you have a limited budget, you can use a free domain name through one of the many domain registrars that offer this option.
Launch The Website
Once you have your domain name, you can launch your website with the launch button on your webpage’s dashboard. You’ll then be presented with a form to fill out regarding the content that you’d like to include on your site. Depending on the theme that you select, the form may ask for different information. For example, if you choose the blank canvas theme, you won’t need to provide much content to create a functioning website. If you select the twenty sixteen theme, you’ll need to provide at least a brief description of your site’s purpose and a featured image (i.e. a branding logo) to go along with it. You may also want to provide additional information in the form of a blog post or two about your site’s topic.
Once you’ve launched your site, you can use the dashboard to navigate to different areas of the website such as the about or services pages. You can also leave a note for yourself regarding any content that you may want to add to the site down the road. This will serve as a reminder to yourself or another person (i.e. a staff member) to add more information about the subject matter that you’ve covered in your blog posts.
Get The Most From Your Website
Now that you have a functioning website with some content, you can begin to optimise it for the best possible performance in terms of SEO and user experience. Since we’ve laid the foundational pieces, we’ll assume that you’re using a reputable brand name for your products and services (e.g. HubSpot, Squarespace, WordPress, etc.). If you want to rank higher than your competitors in the search engines for a particular phrase (i.e. the name of your product or service), you can use the free SEO tool at WordPress.com to generate a keyword list.
You can also use the free SEO tool to find and fix any errors on your site’s pages with the W3C Markup error checker. In addition, you can use the Google Keyword Planner tool to get an idea of how many people are searching for specific phrases related to your site’s topic.
Once you have a working knowledge of SEO and the keyword research tools, you can begin to improve the user experience of your site by taking the following steps:
On The Front Page, Use The Description (meta)
You’ll want to provide a concise description of your site’s purpose on your front page along with a few keywords.
If you’re feeling creative, you can use the meta description to answer the question: “What is this site all about?” If you have 1-3 sentences, you can use these to engage your audience and explain what will make them interested in your site. Keep in mind that you’ll also be using the meta description to promote your site on social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.
On The Front Page, Use The H1 Tag
The H1 heading should be used to briefly describe the content of a page. If a page contains more than one section, you can use the h1 tag to promote the relevant section.
On blog posts, use the h1 tag to briefly describe the content of the post. If you have more than one paragraph on the post, you can use the h1 tag to promote the relevant paragraph.
Use The Alt Tag For Images
With more and more people using images to promote their content on social media channels, it’s important that your images are accessible to these users. To make your images more engaging and memorable, you can use the alt tag to provide additional information about the image such as its definition or origin. You can also use the alt tag to provide a short summary of the content that the image is promoting.
For example, if you create an image that’s relevant to the holiday season, you can use the alt tag to promote the various items that are a part of this seasonal theme (e.g. ornaments, Christmas trees, etc.). In addition, if you use the wp-caption shortcode, you can add a caption to your image to add more information. The wp-caption shortcode allows you to add a text caption to your image.
Add More Keywords Where Appropriate
If you have a page or article that’s relevant to your industry, you can use any of the free SEO tools to find additional keywords that you can incorporate into your content.
If you choose the title option on your page’s form, you’ll see a drop-down menu of suggested keywords. You can click on any of these keywords to see more information about how to incorporate these keywords into your content.
Use The Content Shortcode
The content shortcode is a useful tool for bloggers or content creators who want to quickly and easily add content to their site. You can use this code to add a gallery, video, or audio to your posts.
For example, if you have a photography blog, you can use the content shortcode to add a portfolio of your recent work. Or if you have a podcast and you want to add a short episode description and some sample audio to your content, you can do so using this shortcode.
Use The Navigation Shortcode
The navigation shortcode is a tool for bloggers or content creators who want to add a drop-down menu of their most relevant posts to the top of their page.
For example, if you create a blog about fashion, you can use the navigation shortcode to add a drop-down menu of your most recent posts from the fashion category. When a visitor selects an item from the menu, the relevant content will be displayed below the post’s excerpt.
This is also a handy tool for product reviews and other types of online directories where you want to promote your content inside a sitemap.