How to Create a WordPress Database Driven Website Using a Plugin
You might be thinking about creating or updating your personal website, but maybe you’re not quite sure how to go about it. Perhaps you’re not even sure what a personal website is or what it should include. Whatever your reasons for wanting to create a website, you can use the steps in this article to create your very own beautiful and functional WordPress-based site.
Creating a WordPress site isn’t as easy as it seems. Sure, the basics are pretty simple, but that’s all. You need some experience to make it happen. Luckily, with WordPress itself being a platform and also having a dedicated community and several excellent web design plugins, you can already have a site up and running in no time. That’s what this article will show you how to do.
Step one: Install WordPress and choose a domain name
This step is pretty basic and doesn’t require much explanation. You need to have WordPress installed on your computer in order to begin creating your website. You can find WordPress at https://wordpress.com/ or download the.deb file from https://wordpress.com/download/ and install it manually. In either case, make sure you download the latest version. The only difference between these two URLs is that the second one goes through your web host and is usually slightly faster than the first one. After you’ve installed WordPress, you need to choose a domain name for your website.
If you already have a domain name (yourname.com for example) that you want to use, you can go ahead and continue with this step. If you don’t have a domain name yet, you can use a domain name generator to get a new domain that you can use for your website. If you choose the free option when you register a new domain, you’ll get a pretty decent amount of free storage too.
Step two: Grab a template
The next step in creating your website is to find a template that suits your needs. There are several free and open-source templates available online that you can use to get started. You can find one that is quite frankly, perfect for you, or you can take the time to find one that is custom made just for your needs.
When selecting a theme for your site, you need to consider a few things. First, make sure that the theme is responsive and mobile-friendly. This will help ensure that your site looks good on all devices. Another important consideration is the color scheme of your site. You want a theme that is easy on the eye and doesn’t overwhelm your readers. Last but not least, make sure that the theme has a lot of features. This includes things like a built-in contact form, social media integration, customizable header, and footer, to name a few. Don’t just rush into choosing any theme because they are free, although those are usually the best choice. Make sure that you research and read reviews about the themes you are considering.
Step three: Install and configure the desired plugins
After you’ve found a theme that suits your needs, it’s time to install and configure the plugins. While WordPress comes with several useful built-in features, having more plugins installed means you can access more functionality.
There are several plugins that are used to create and manage blogs and websites. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Akismet – anti-spam protection
- Activate Google Analytics and set up a Google web store – for analytic purposes
- Advanced Custom Fields – flexible content builder
- AWeber – to send out automated emails
- Bulk Emailer – to send out automated emails
- CAPTCHA – to protect your blog from spam
- Contact Form 7 – to create contact forms
- Evernote – to create to-do lists and save articles for later
- Fancy Headlines – to create bold text for headlines
- Flickr – to integrate with your favourite social network
- Forestry – to manage and track your blog’s performance
- Hide My WordPress Admin – to protect your blog from unauthorized users
- Live chat – to have live chats with potential customers or forum participants
- Magnolia – to create beautiful wedding websites
- MyCalendar – to create event calendars
- My Movie Rental – to find and watch movies online
- MySQL – to manage the content of your blog
- Page Builders – to create and edit regular pages inside your blog (e.g. About me, Contact, etc.)
- PayPal – to integrate with your favourite e-commerce provider
- Pheed – to create to-do lists
- Press This – to create customizable landing pages for your blog or website
- Pretty Links – to create pretty links to other sites
- Redirect Manager – to manage redirects from.com to your blog or website
- RSVP – to create online invitations
- Simple Local Search – to build local search functionality into your website
- Sociable – to bring friends together via social media
- TinyLetter – to create a simple online letter
- TrackingClicker – to track the click-throughs on your website
- Wordfence – to protect your blog from spam
- Yahoo Small Business – to find and connect with potential customers
- Yelp – to find and connect with potential customers
- Zendesk – to provide customer support via email
These plugins are just a small selection of the many available to WordPress users. You can use the search bar at the top of the page to find more plugins that suit your needs.
Step four: Customize the website as needed
Once you have a basic WordPress installation with a few plugins installed, it’s time to start customizing your site. You can use the Appearance menu in WordPress to do this. This is also the place where you can switch between different themes that you’ve installed on your site. Themes are like skins for your blog or website and can change its overall look and feel. For example, you might want to switch to a different theme for your About me page as opposed to the default theme for your entire site.
You have a few options here. First, you can use the Classic theme by default and then switch to a different theme for certain pages. You can also add pages where you want to use a specific theme (e.g. switch to a business theme for your About me page). Lastly, you can use child themes which is what we’ll do here.
To start creating your site, go to the Appearance menu and click on Customize. From here, you’ll see a number of settings and features that you can use to build your site as you see fit. To create an About me page with some basic information about yourself, click on the Add New button and select About Me from the dropdown menu. A new page will open up with all the available fields filled in.
You can add your social media accounts here (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+) as well as give the page a short description. You can also edit the page’s header and footer to customize the look of the page.
Click on the blue Publish button to save the page.
Step five: Set up your blog’s email list
The final step in building your website is to set up your blog’s email list. A blog’s email list is a collection of email addresses (your blog’s readers) that you can use to send out promotional emails about your blog and its content. There are several plugins that can help you do this, but we’ll use MailChimp’s integrated with WordPress to set up an email list.
Head over to the MailChimp integration section of your WordPress admin to get started. If you’ve never used MailChimp before, this is the step where you can get all the necessary information to create an email list for your blog.
You’ll see a section called MailChimp under the Settings menu. Here, you can choose the list that you’d like to use (make sure you’ve created one in advance) and then click on the blue Subscribe button to get started.