How to Make a Website With WordPress
WordPress is the #1 content management system (CMS) in use today, powering millions of websites around the world. Since its founding in 2007, WordPress has established itself as the premier solution for creating a website, with a robust community supporting and contributing to its growth. Many businesses, non-profits, and government agencies rely on WordPress’ simplicity, usability, and flexibility to power their websites.
If you’re looking to create your own website but find the complexity overwhelming, this is the perfect alternative for you. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how easy it is to get up and running with WordPress, featuring a live demo at the end.
What is WordPress?
If you’re unfamiliar, WordPress is a content management system (CMS), which means it serves as the backbone of your site. When someone visits your site, they’ll be presented with content created and managed by you (the site owner). WordPress ensures that every piece of content, including posts, images, and other media, appear in the correct order and are securely stored so they can be accessed at any time.
WordPress uses a publish/subscribe model to ensure that content is always up-to-date. When you publish content, it is subscribed to by users and WordPress communities that want to follow your activities. This feature alone makes WordPress indispensable when it comes to keeping content fresh.
WordPress is free and open-source, with no formal announcements of charges or fees. This allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to use it.
Why use WordPress?
As we mentioned above, WordPress is a content management system. This means that it serves as the backbone of your website. Its strong emphasis on creating a simple, streamlined user experience makes it the perfect fit for businesses that want to establish themselves as an information source or sell products online.
WordPress was also designed to be user-friendly. Its interface is incredibly simple and easy to use, even for those without technical background. Plus, WordPress supports a large number of extensions, allowing you to further customize its behavior and appearance.
These extensions make WordPress even more usable and customizable. There are tons of extensions available for WordPress, including those that extend its capability to allow users to create events, sell products, or provide customers with an online store.
How does WordPress work?
WordPress is built on a modular structure, making it extremely flexible and customizable. This structure incorporates an internal PHP function, which allows the platform to integrate with other CMSes, like Shopify, Drupal, and Joomla. Plus, WordPress is certified open-source, so you’re free to modify and contribute to the program as it continues to grow.
This flexibility and openness make WordPress the most popular content management system in the world. It truly is the gold standard for establishing and maintaining a website.
Step 1: Installing WordPress
Installing WordPress is incredibly easy. Typically, you’ll begin by downloading the latest version from their website, and then, using a few simple instructions, you’ll have WordPress installed and ready to use on your computer in just a few minutes. It is highly recommended that you complete this step by following WordPress’ installation instructions, as this will ensure that you have a clean slate and the program is set up correctly for you to begin building your website immediately.
Step 2: Setting up a simple blog
After you’ve installed WordPress, you’ll be presented with a sleek, modern dashboard, which serves as your guide to creating a new site. From here, you can navigate to different areas of WordPress, including the dashboard itself, a variety of post types (including blogs), and, if you’re curious, the community forum. In the next section, we’ll highlight the essentials you need to know to get started.
The WordPress Dashboard
As you may have guessed, the WordPress dashboard serves as the starting point for your website. This dashboard gives you access to all of WordPress’ essential features, including content management, the blog (the section we just discussed), and more. On this dashboard, you’ll find the main menu bar, which features the different sections of your site (such as blogs, events, or products).
To create a new blog on your site, click on the “Add New” button at the top of the dashboard. Doing so will bring up a blank page, where you can fill in the content for your new blog. You can either use the default blue blog layout or choose from one of the many pre-made blog templates available in the WordPress Dashboard.
Websites that were originally designed to be used for writing purposes, like blogs, are one of the simplest and most popular ways to create a website. Essentially, a blog is a platform for you to write and share your thoughts, observations, and other relevant information with your audience.
You can create a blog with all the content you want and you can use the WordPress dashboard to promote and manage your blog’s content easily. Doing so is incredibly simple. Once you’ve created a blog on your site, you can access it from the main menu. You can then begin writing content, which you can either use to promote your own projects or to share with the public at large.
To create a new page on your site, click on the “Add New” button at the top of the dashboard. Doing so will bring up a blank page, where you can type in the content for your new page.
A plugin, or short for “plugin”, is a piece of software that can be attached to WordPress to enhance its functionality or to change its behavior in some way. For example, there is the WooCommerce plugin, which provides functionality for online stores. Or, there is the Gravity Forms plugin, which enables you to create multiple contact forms for your site.
WordPress itself is very flexible and has a very large community of developers, who create and contribute plugins to the program’s growth. One of the easiest ways to find and use plugins is from the WordPress dashboard itself. To do so, click on the “Plugins” tab at the top of the dashboard. Doing so will display a collection of popular plugins, as well as a short description of what they do. From here, you can either “Try Now” or “Install” each plugin to use them on your site.
Finally, we have the Settings section. This is where you can configure different aspects of WordPress, including its appearance, security, and more. You can access the Settings section from the WordPress dashboard.
The Settings section of WordPress is where you can find the Admin Panel, which gives you access to all of WordPress’ essential features. To create a new administrator account, click on the “Settings” tab at the top of the dashboard. Doing so will bring up a page with the different administrator roles, as well as a create new account box.
Step 3: Customizing your site
WordPress provides you with a wealth of functionality out of the box, but you may want to add a little “oomph” to the platform to make it fit your needs better. To do this, you’ll need to customize it using different tools and plugins.
Luckily, WordPress is very open and allows for a lot of customization. For example, let’s say you want to add a custom header to the website. You can either do this through the theme’s own customization features or, if you’re a developer, you can create a new plugin to handle this particular task for you. Once you’ve added this custom header, you’ll want to make sure that it appears on every page of your site. To do this, you can either use a text editor to go through and change all the instances of “
” to “
” or you can use the Find and Replace feature in WordPress’s dashboard to make this change automatically.
There are several other things you can do to your site to make it more dynamic and useful, like adding different layouts for different types of content, changing the color scheme, and more.