How to Create a Website Using WordPress
With the growing popularity of mobile devices and the convenience of online shopping, many individuals are looking for ways to sell their products directly to consumers. Thanks to the wonders of WordPress, this is a very achievable goal. In this article, we will discuss the steps necessary to create a WordPress-powered e-commerce store. We’ll cover everything from setting up the basic structure of your store to adding products, implementing a shopping cart and processing payments all while being guided by one of WordPress’ most popular e-commerce platforms, WooCommerce.
Set Up The Basic Structure Of Your Store
One of the first things you’ll want to do is set up the basic structure of your online store. To do this, log in to your WordPress dashboard and visit Settings > General. Here, you can decide what type of content you would like to publish on your site (e.g., blog posts or product listings) and whether or not you’d like to have ads (to monetise the content you post).
Next, click on the Builds section of your WordPress dashboard and choose the Free option from the drop-down menu.
This will generate an html file (e.g., index.html) that you can save to your computer. If you are happy with the built-in look of your WordPress blog, you can leave the file as it is and launch your store with the default setup. However, if you’d like to make some modifications (e.g., adding a design or some content), you can download the html file and make any changes you need. When you are ready to launch, simply upload the file to your server (e.g., Apache or Nginx) and replace the existing index.html file with your own.
Choose A Domain Name And Set Up Sub-Domains
One of the first things you’ll want to do after setting up your WordPress site is register a domain name for it. For this example, I’ll be using shopifyplus.com (yes, that’s a real domain name; I couldn’t find a good alternative) as my domain name. Domains are like websites’ “dads.” When someone types in your domain name, they will be directed to your site.
To set up sub-domains, visit your WordPress dashboard and click on the Settings icon (…). Here, you can choose to have your site’s content open to the public (e.g., anyone searching for your website’s name will be presented with your site’s content) or secure (visible only to users who are logged into your site). For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll choose to make my site secure so that only users who are logged into my site will be able to see the content (this will prevent anyone from casually browsing my site’s content while on another site).
To create a sub-domain, simply type in the name you want (e.g., blog.shopifyplus.com) and click on the Save button. Now, whenever someone types in blog.shopifyplus.com, they will be presented with a link to my site’s home page.
Install WordPress To Your Server And Activate Theme Customisation
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems available, and for good reason. Not only does it make setting up and running a website incredibly easy, but it also comes with a variety of free themes and premium themes available for download from its theme repository. These themes can be customized to suit your needs.
To set up WordPress on my server, I logged into my cPanel and clicked on the Install button for the WordPress package. A download bar will appear. When that bar is full, click on the Continue button to begin the installation process. Once complete, you’ll see a confirmation screen like this one:
Congratulations! You just installed WordPress on your server. Now, let’s activate its theme customisation capability so that you can begin editing the look and feel of your website. To do this, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on the Settings icon (…). Here, you can choose to activate or deactivate the option to preview your website’s themes with sample posts.
Click on the Activate button next to Theme Customisation and you’ll see this message:
Activating Theme Customisation means that whenever you make changes to your WordPress theme, those changes will be reflected in your website’s content. This is a great way to ensure that your edits are retained should you decide to do a fresh install of WordPress or should you move your site to a new server.
While we’re waiting for WordPress to start up, why not browse the themes available? You can download a free theme from the WordPress theme repository or upload one that you’ve already developed into your theme folder.
Create A Welcome Page To Introduce Brand Or Product
At this point, your WordPress installation is fully configured and functional. The next step is to create a welcome page that will introduce your brand or product to site visitors.
For this example, I’ll be using the free Blogger blog platform. To create a welcome page for my WordPress site, I navigated to my blog’s Dashboard and clicked on the Edit button next to the Welcome post. A dialog box will appear, asking me to select which page I would like to edit.
I’m assuming that if you’re reading this, you’re either interested in creating a product store or a brand store with WordPress. If this is the case, you’ll want to click on the Plus button (…) next to the Edit button to continue. If you’d like to learn more about creating a WordPress brand store or product store, continue to the next section.
In the meantime, back to our welcome page. We need to give our new visitors a quick intro to our brand or product. To do this, we can use a combination of the blog post’s format and a few well-designed banner ads.
As a general rule of thumb, photos of people using your product or in front of your brand’s signage are always a good idea. Adding a few photos of your product or service in different settings can help bring more identity to your brand. Don’t expect that photos of your product will automatically bring in a lot of traffic. A well-executed blog post can easily outperform a visually-stunning but poorly-written ad. To make the most of your blog post, you’ll want to ensure that it is relevant, well-written and offers something new for your readers.
WordPress offers many different blog article templates. To save time, go to your Dashboard and click on the Add New button next to the Posts section. Once the dialog box appears, choose Blog article from the drop-down menu and click on the Create button.
Here, you can see that I’ve created a standard blog post and named it “About Brand or Product.” To write the blog post, simply click on the Publish button.
Cool! We now have a basic idea of how to create a WordPress-powered website for our brand or product. Before we move on, let’s add a couple more items of note.
Use Your Product Or Brand Name In Your Blog’s Title
One of the things that makes a blog post stand out is its title. WordPress gives you the ability to add a product or brand name in your blog post’s title. To add “Brand Name” as a title in my “About Brand or Product” blog post, I first had to click on the post’s title. Then, I selected the gear icon (…) next to the title and clicked on the Change button. Now, anytime I post a new article, the title will include “Brand Name.”
Add Keywords To Your Blog’s Headings And Content
Another useful tool for bloggers and content creators is keywords. When someone searches for a product or service, keywords can help direct those visitors to an appropriate blog post. To add a list of keywords to my “About Brand or Product” blog post, I first had to navigate to the post’s content and then click on the pencil icon (…) next to the post’s heading. From here, I can add my keywords or phrases.
You can see that I’ve added the keyword “digital artist” to both the post’s heading and the body of the post. As you might imagine, people searching for “digital artist” will now be directed to my blog post.
Make Your Posts Open To The General Public
To make the most of your blog post, you’ll want to publish it so that it is accessible by anyone with an internet connection. To do this, simply click on the post’s title and then select the gear icon (…) next to the Post button. From here, you can choose to make the post public or private.