How to Own Your Own WordPress Website?
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re interested in learning how to create your own WordPress website. Congratulations, you’re on the right track!
WordPress is the most popular content management system used on the web today. It’s easy to use, offers a lot of features, and is incredibly flexible. If you can think of an idea for a blog post, you can probably find a WordPress theme that will help you put it into practice quickly and professionally.
However, not all WordPress websites are created equal. In fact, aside from the extra features that come with a hosted solution, the freedom to modify theme and functionality, and the massive amount of support, you actually have a lot less control over the site’s look and feel than you would with a custom designed site.
So how can you retain some of that control while still keeping all of the benefits that come with using WordPress? The answer is simple: design and build your own WordPress website!
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. If you’re looking for a flexible and cost-effective way to launch your own professional online presence, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about designing and building a functional and aesthetically pleasing WordPress website.
Why Build a WordPress Website?
Inevitably, you’ll reach a point in your professional life where you have to ask yourself: do I want to continue building websites for other companies, or do I want to take the leap and build my own?
You may be convinced that you’re the best person for the job and that you’ll bring a unique set of skills to the table, but there’s always the nagging doubt in the back of your mind. Is this really the right career for me? How do I know if I’m going to like it? How much money am I likely to make? How hard will it be to actually get the work done?
The truth is there’s no easy answer to any of these questions. You may feel completely confident that you’re going to like working in design, but you’re still not sure if your particular niche is going to be lucrative. You also don’t know how long it will take you to become “the expert” that brands and organisations look to for advise. The list of questions goes on.
On the other hand, if you’re absolutely certain that building websites is going to be your forte, you can approach the task with confidence. You’ll have all the necessary skills needed to bring a high-quality product to the table in no time. You won’t have to grapple with any uncertainty. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re building something that provides value to others.
Skills Needed To Design And Build A WordPress Website
To become a successful freelance web designer, you’ll need to develop a number of specific skills. Not only do you need to be able to design websites, but you’ll also need to possess an in-depth understanding of what makes a good user experience. In fact, the ability to research and synthesise information efficiently and professionally is one of the most in-demand skillsets in today’s job market.
So let’s take a look at the key skills you’ll need to develop to become a successful freelance web designer.
HTML & CSS
If you’re reading this, I assume you know what HTML and CSS are. In simple terms, HTML is the markup language of the web, and CSS is the styling language of the web. More specifically, HTML is the HTML5 specification that defines the structural aspects of an actual website, such as the layout and the content positioning. In CSS, you define the colours, layout, and general appearance of the site. Just like when you design a printed piece of work, you’ll usually start with the layout and work your way to the content.
To become a successful web designer, you’ll need to know both languages deeply. You’ll need to know the difference between the various HTML and CSS properties and how to properly use them. For example, if you’re using a WordPress website for your portfolio, you’ll need to make sure that the fonts you’re selecting are compatible with the design of the site and don’t cause any conflicts with the CSS language.
Not all web designers are fortunate enough to have a team of people by their side to help with the actual creation process. For those who do, however, Photoshop is quite probably the most popular design tool. Simply put, Photoshop allows for non-linear design where you don’t necessarily start from a flat image. This makes it much easier to come up with unique designs and layouts that wouldn’t be possible without the use of Photoshop. Also, through the use of layer styles and filters, you can quickly apply different effects, blends of colours, or transformations to alter the look of the image significantly.
With Photoshop, nothing is impossible. You can take a basic photo and turn it into an elaborate design in moments. Not only that, but you can also take a design produced in another software package and bring it to life using Photoshop.
As you can see, all these skills are closely related. Knowing how to use each of these tools individually, as well as having a working knowledge of the languages themselves is going to be critical to your success as a freelance web designer. Now you may be wondering, “if I know so much about design, how can I become profitable?” Well, you may not need to be entirely profitable, but you should at least be able to charge what the market will bear. In other words, you should be able to find a balance between what you produce and what you spend so that your overall financial situation doesn’t deteriorate too much. This is an important point to make, because even though you’ll initially be producing stunning works for major brands and organisations, the constant need to upgrade software and acquire new skills means you’re always going to be struggling to stay ahead.
Where To Start
So where do you begin if you’re looking to build a WordPress website? Well, first and foremost, you need to decide whether you want to go the easy road and use a pre-made theme or whether you want to roll your own. There are plenty of high quality themes out there, but if you don’t have the time or the inclination to learn how to modify a theme directly, there are many options available. You can find a basic theme that suits your needs and then modify it to suit yourself.
The first step is to choose the right domain name. Ideally, you’ll want to pick a.com or.org domain. This will be the key to finding your website in the search results, and the more relevant and descriptive the better. When you type in your chosen domain name into Google, you should be able to find your website in the search results.
Once you have your domain name, the next step is to build the actual website. WordPress is a free content management system, so you’ll want to make sure that you have a WordPress account. If you already have a blog, you can use that as a basis for your new site. Alternatively, you can use a free blog hosting service like Blogger to build your site.
Once you have your WordPress site up and running, the next step is to connect it to your Google Analytics account. Google Analytics provides you with detailed insight into how your site is performing, allowing you to make further improvements and optimise for better results. You can also use the platform to identify any problems that might arise from a technical standpoint. For example, if you’re getting a large number of visits but aren’t really engaging with the content, you might want to consider upgrading your site’s hosting to meet the demand.