How to Build a WordPress Website – Step by Step Guide
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) on the web. It’s been around since 2006 and currently powers over 31% of the web. It’s popularity continues to rise as more and more people discover the benefits of using WordPress to build their website. In this article, we’ll use WordPress as an example platform, but the techniques we’ll describe can be applied to other CMSs or web platforms as well.
Choosing A Hosting Provider
Before you start building your site, you need to select a hosting provider. You have a few options here but you want to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck. When it comes to selecting a host, the cheapest is not always the best option. For example, it’s generally a good idea to pay a little more for a dedicated IP. That way, if anything does go wrong with your website, you can’t be billed for any of it. Plus, you usually get some perks with a dedicated IP like free backups, free domain privacy, etc.
Another thing to consider is the performance of the host you choose. Many hosts will use shared hosting, which is great for the cheap but you’ll end up with a ton of other sites on the same server as yours. That means your site might get crowded out by the other sites, especially if they’re smaller sites with fewer resources. If you need high performance, look for a host that offers dedicated servers.
Setting Up Your Blog
Once you have your hosting provider, you can set up your blog using a simple 2-step process.
1. Go to your dashboard and click on the “Get Started” button. This will take you to a login page for your hosting provider.
2. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be able to choose a niche, set up your blog with a professional-looking logo, and choose a niche-appropriate name for your blog. When you’re done, click on the “Create Blog” button.
This will take you to your blog’s home page, which you can customize with a beautiful design and a catchy slogan or heading.
You can add content to your blog using the “Write” button on your Dashboard. Once you’ve written something and it’s been approved, it will appear on your blog. You can also use this area to upload images to go with your articles. Your blog’s design and content are completely up to you but the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.
Installing WordPress is a simple process but it’s important to do it correctly the first time. Follow these guidelines to ensure a flawless installation:
- Back up your site before starting work. Just in case.
- Clear your web space before starting work. This is especially important if you’re hosting your site with WordPress itself. Clearing the space means that all traces of previous websites will be erased and you’ll start from scratch. Even if you’ve installed WordPress before, it’s a good habit to get into.
- Use the “Advanced” install option when installing WordPress. It’s usually the best option and it’s what you need to make sure that your site’s performance is optimized.
- Make sure that the database is set up with the right information. This needs to match what’s already in your hosting account. If it doesn’t, it can cause major performance problems once your site starts receiving a lot of traffic.
- Use a free domain name for your site. If you install WordPress and use a free domain name, you won’t have to worry about security issues or renewing your domain name in the future.
- Use a free SSL certificate. Having a secure connection between your site and your visitor’s browsers is important to making sure your website is safe and that your visitor’s information is kept private. Most hosting providers come with free SSL certificates that you can use.
- Use the “Network” option to connect to the internet. This is usually the best option if you’re installing WordPress on a server that’s already connected to the internet. If you’re connecting from a different location, using the “WIFI” option might be the best way to go. WIFI is generally a lot more secure than connecting via a public network and if you’re worried about security, go with WIFI. It’s also a lot faster than connecting via a public network.
- Use a VPN when connected to public networks or when installing WordPress on a server that’s not directly connected to the internet. A VPN adds an extra layer of security to your connection and encrypts all of your traffic, no matter what site you’re connected to. You can get a high-quality VPN for free from reputable providers like NordVPN, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Once you’ve installed WordPress, the next step is to visit your site in a web browser and test out its functionality. This is very important and it’s a process that should not be rushed. Visit your site in a private browser or on a device that doesn’t have any personal information stored on it and see how it looks and how you can interact with it. This will help you identify any problems before too much time and effort has been spent.
Saving And Restoring Backups
Saving and restoring backups is an important step in the process of creating and maintaining a reliable website. The key is in identifying how to save backups and what type of files to save. Let’s review some common scenarios:
- You’re moving your site to a new server. For the first backup, you’ll simply want to make sure that you have the necessary files to restore your site. These should include at least the wp-config file, which contains your site’s basic settings and is located in your WordPress folder. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a backup of your database, which is the collection of all of the data stored on your site. Restore the database back to its original state and you’re good to go. For bigger sites, it’s best to have the database backed up separately so you can easily restore it to its original state should something happen.
- You’re performing an in-house redesign and want to switch to a new blogging platform. If this is the case, make sure to backup your entire WordPress installation, including the database. In the event that you decide to switch to a different platform, you can simply install the new WordPress on top of the existing WordPress installation. For the best results, make sure to fully test out the new platform before you go live with it.
- Your site has been hacked and you need to restore its original state. Follow these steps to save a backup of your site:
- Log in to your dashboard and click on the “Hacks” tab
- Click on the “Restore Lost Site Data” button
- Fill in the requested information and click on the “Restore” button
- Once the restore is done, you’ll have a restored copy of your site with all of its original content and settings. From here, you can migrate any other content, posts, or pages that you may have created on your site to the new location. You can also use this copy to test out the performance of your site and to make any necessary changes before going live.
- You’re going live with an updated design and want to save the changes for future use. For this case, you can simply login to your dashboard and click on the “Design” tab. From here, you can choose “Disable Design Changes” to prevent any further changes to your site’s design. This way, you can make changes and improvements as needed without having to worry about losing your site’s design. Once you’re ready to go live, simply switch back to “Enable Design Changes” and start publishing content as usual.
That’s pretty much everything you need to know about installing and using WordPress to build a website. It’s a very easy platform to use and once you’ve gone through the initial setup process, you’ll wonder why you didn’t use WordPress sooner. It’s definitely a worthwhile CMS to consider should you be in the market for creating a new website or blog.