How to Launch a WordPress Website in 5 Minutes
I’ve been meaning to write this piece for a while, and it’s high time that I did. WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) out there, and for a good reason: it’s very easy to use and it provides incredible flexibility. The fact that it’s so popular means there are hundreds of pre-made themes and plugins you can use to launch a website in no time at all. This is exactly what I will show you how to do in this tutorial.
Before we begin, let’s cover the basics. You’ll need a domain name that you can purchase from a reputable domain registrar (search for “free domain names” to find the best one). Next, you’ll need to install WordPress on your hosting account (if you haven’t already). If you’re worried about how to install WordPress, don’t be! There’s a step-by-step tutorial for that, and it’s quite easy to follow. Simply check out this tutorial to learn more.
Step 1: Install WordPress
Installing WordPress is the first step in creating your website. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen, and make sure you install the most recent version of WordPress.
The next step is to activate the “Wordpress dashboard” by clicking on the word “wordpress” that appears in the upper-right corner of your browser window. You’ll see a landing page that asks you to create a WordPress user named “admin” with a password of “admin” (if you use a different username/password, you’ll be prompted to change them once you log in).
Once you create your user account, you’ll be taken to the WordPress dashboard. From here, you can see all the resources (themes, plugins, etc) available to launch your website. Selecting a theme is optional, but it can greatly enhance the appearance of your site. You’ll find more than 300 themes available for free on the WordPress website. For this tutorial, we’ll use one of the many free themes called “Twenty Twelve” by the amazing team at WordPress. You can download the theme directly from the WordPress website (click the “Live” link next to the theme name in the upper-right corner of your dashboard).
Step 2: Login To Your WordPress Dashboard
Once you have downloaded and installed WordPress, you’ll need to log in to your dashboard. To do this, enter your user name and password in the spaces provided on the WordPress login page.
You can use the following link to quickly reach the login page from the dashboard: http://yoursite.com/wp-login.php. When you’re on the login page, you’ll see the greeting “Hello, nifty!” (in green) in the upper-right corner of your screen. Nifty is the codename of the WordPress dashboard.
Step 3: Create A Blog Post
This step is crucial to the success of your website. A blog post is where you’ll put all your thoughts and perspectives on different topics. For example, if you’re passionate about lifestyle design, you could write a blog post with the tagline “The Ultimate List of Fashion Blogging Tips” and then expand on the following topics:
- Setting up a blog
- Choosing the right keywords
- Writing for your target audience
- Building a community
- Curate content
- Testing out new ideas
- And much more
Choose a topic that you’re truly passionate about so that you can write meaningful content that will attract potential customers to your website. The more you write, the more you’ll learn, which will ultimately help you improve your craft.
Step 4: Customize Your Site With Themes
The next step is to customize your site with themes. As mentioned, WordPress comes with more than 300 themes available for download. You can use the “Appearance” menu under “Settings” in the WordPress dashboard to browse and install themes. Simply search for the type of theme you’re looking for (i.e., “blogging”) and then click on the “Install” link.
To choose a theme, simply click the “Live” link next to the theme name in the search results. This will take you to the theme’s home page. You can then click on the “Install Now” button to install the theme.
On the site’s home page, you’ll see a short description of the theme and a few features (click on the “Features” tab to see all the features). From here, you can download the theme directly to your computer. As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid purchasing a theme with too many features (the more features, the more baggage it brings). Instead, look for simple and clean themes that can be easily customized.
Step 5: Launch Your Site
At this point, you have a completed WordPress dashboard with a blog post you’ve written. It’s time to launch your site. First, you’ll want to click on the “Edit” tab on the post’s page and then click on the “Publish” button.
This will take you to the Settings page where you can choose from a wide range of publication dates for your blog post. You can either select one of the dates or leave the setting open-ended (i.e., “Publish Immediately”).
Finally, you’ll want to click on the “Reading” tab to view your blog post. Once you do, you can click on the “Visit Blog” button to launch your site, or you can simply hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard.
That’s it! In no time, you’ve got a beautiful and functional website that you can simply update with new content whenever you want. Of course, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak, but this should give you a good jumping-off point.
If you’d like to learn more, you can click on the word “wp” in the upper-right corner of your browser to visit the WordPress website. From here, you can select the “Online Classes” tab and then take advantage of the massive amount of knowledge available on the web.