How to Make a Website for Your Business Using WordPress
WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily create and manage your own website. Due to its popularity with bloggers, marketers, and business owners, it is not difficult to find resources that can guide you in using WordPress to build a website. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most useful tips and tricks for creating your own website using WordPress.
Pick A Theme That Suits Your Needs
When choosing a theme for your WordPress-based website, it is important to consider what features you need and want. There are hundreds of free and premium WordPress themes available, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your needs. For instance, if you are looking for a responsive (mobile-friendly) theme that is simple and easy to use, then perhaps the free Blogger theme by Google is the right choice for you.
However, if you need specific features, such as a booking form or a forum, then you might want to consider investing in a premium theme.
Find The Right Host For Your Website
One of the most important aspects of having a website is hosting it. In order to do this, you need to first find a web host that is willing to offer you the level of service that you need. Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular web hosts along with their pricing:
- Dreamhost: one of the most popular shared hosting services that supports WordPress is priced at $2.95 per month. (You can also try their free hosting service which is great for testing or small blogs.)
- Bluehost: another popular shared hosting service that supports WordPress is priced at $2.95 per month. (You can also try their free hosting service which is great for testing or small blogs.)
- Nova: this is a popular dedicated hosting service that is designed for WordPress users and is ideal for those who are running large websites. It is priced at $15.45 per month. (You can also get a free domain and install WordPress for free with this hosting service.)
- Hoster: this is a new hosting service that is offering some amazing deals for WordPress users who are looking for a place to host their websites. Specifically, they are offering an introductory pricing of $2.95 per month for the first year. (You can read our in-depth review of Hoster here.)
Not all web hosts will offer you the same level of service, so it’s important to do your research before making a selection. Some of the things you may want to consider include:
- Data transfer: determine how much data you will need to transfer (i.e., how much space you need for uploading media files and how much you need for storing text and other content).
- Support: does the company offer any kind of support? Do they have an active forums that you can participate in?
- Money back guarantee: do you get your money back if you’re not satisfied with the service for any reason? (Some web hosts will only give you 30 days to try their service, so it’s important to know what kind of guarantee they offer.)
- SSL security: does the host offer an SSL certificate that you can use to secure your website? (An SSL certificate encrypts your website’s traffic, ensuring that it is more secure and that your visitors cannot be tracked by third parties such as Google or Facebook.)
- How many website owners are using your host: this gives you an idea of how popular the host is with other users and how likely you are to get assistance if you have any questions.
- The price: as mentioned above, this is an important consideration. However, you should also look at what kinds of features are included with the price. Some hosts will include features such as a free domain, free backups, free spam filtering, etc. So, be sure to check out what is included in the price to avoid getting shocked when the bill arrives at the end of the month.
Create A Maintenance Plan
Just because you have a website now does not mean that it’s time to call it a day and go relax. You need to be preparing for the future by creating a maintenance plan. This is similar to a to-do list for your business. Just like you make a to-do list for your business, you need to make a similar list for your website. (It’s highly recommended that you use a task management tool such as Wunderlist to keep track of all these tasks.)
On this list, you will want to put everything from updating the content on your site to fixing broken links and ensuring that your domain name is secured. Updating the content on your site is a common and necessary task, but it is also something that you can outsource to people who are better at doing it than you are. For example, if you run a blog for your business, you may want to consider hiring a freelance writer to help you with the content on your site.
Securing your domain name is another important item on your list. If someone steals your brand name and uses it to try to sell products or services, you will need to make sure that you take legal action against them. This also goes for if someone uses your website’s URL (i.e., http://www.example.com/) in a way that is similar to how you use it (i.e., as the domain of your website). Changing your site’s URL to something else means that you will have to get all of your links and buttons switched over to the new URL. This can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, so it’s important to have a plan in place before you start changing any links or buttons on your site.
If you’re new to web design, it can be difficult to know where to start. Where should you position the menus? How about the calls to action (e.g., like buttons) or the site’s header?
When designing a new website, you will typically start with a blank slate and then use a tool like InVision to design the layout. Below, we’ll walk you through the process of designing the layout of your future website using InVision:
1. Select Layout from the main menu.
2. In the sidebar, find the Horizontal navigation menu. (Notice how the menu is aligned to the left, which is the default setting for InVision. If you want to change this, you can do so by clicking the gear icon at the top right of the screen.)
3. Now, drag the orange bar beneath the menu to create more space on the page. You can also do this by clicking the bar to bring up the sidebar. When you drag the orange bar, you are creating a new column on the right side of your page. This means that the space formerly occupied by the menu is now available for other elements on the page. (If you haven’t used InVision before, take a few minutes to read their documentation.)
4. On the main content area, click the gear icon once again to bring up the sidebar. You can then click the layout tab to see the different type of layouts available. (Note that this is using InVision’s default settings, so if you don’t see the layout tab, click the gear icon at the top right of the screen.)
5. Now, you can either use the mouse or the touch screen to choose the layout you want from the drop-down menu. Once you’ve made your selection, click the gear icon again to save your changes.
Calls to Action
We can’t talk about building a website without mentioning calls to action (e.g., like buttons or links). When a potential customer (or reader) lands on your website and sees that there isn’t anything clearly marked as “Buy now” or “Subscribe now,” they may leave your site without making a purchase or signing up for anything.
Calls to action should be carefully placed on your site so that they are both visible and accessible. Ideally, you want to place them in areas of your site that are likely to get some interaction (e.g., in the form of a click or an action).
Some businesses rely on email marketing to generate leads, and you can use calls to action in your emails as well to prompt the reader to take a specific action (e.g., subscribe now, sign up for our newsletter, etc.).
Your website’s header is an important part of the layout. There are three things you should do to ensure that it works well for your site: