How to Implement a WordPress Website
WordPress is free and open source software that powers millions of websites across the world. Because of its popularity and the versatility of its features, it’s a great choice for beginners who want to create a simple yet functional website.
In this article, you’ll discover the steps required to fully implement a WordPress website. You’ll start by installing WordPress to launch your website. Then, you’ll set up your online store by adding products and finishing with some basic configuration. Finally, you’ll explore some advanced options to fully customize your online store.
A key reason why so many people use and love WordPress is because it’s so easy to use. When you first launch the software, you’ll see a colorful dashboard with a number of helpful widgets. Simply click on one of the blue buttons to get started with a basic configuration, like your blog address or email, and you’ll be able to start posting content to your site.
If you’re looking to create a blog, you can choose between a number of pre-built themes that make setting up your site a breeze. When you’re ready to launch your blog, all you have to do is paste in your content and you’re good to go.
WordPress also has a large and active community that provides tons of support if you get stuck or have questions about the software. Since it’s free, open source, and a pleasure to use, many people end up reinventing the wheel frequently and experimenting with different techniques and ideas. This makes for a rich environment of learning and growing as a user of WordPress.
Steps to Fully Implement a WordPress Website
1. Install WordPress
Installing WordPress is super easy. All you need to do is visit the WordPress website and click on the big purple “Get WordPress” button. You’ll be directed to a download page where you can click on the blue “Start Install” button. Wait for the installer to download and install WordPress on your computer.
2. Configure WordPress
Once WordPress is installed, you can configure it to your needs by visiting the dashboard. From the WordPress dashboard, click on the Settings button () in the top right corner, then scroll down to Settings → General. Here, you can configure several options relating to the functionality of your website. For example, under the Domain Settings tab you can change the address of your site (e.g., from johnsmith.com to blog.johnsmith.com).
3. Create a Blog
A website with a blog section is arguably the most basic and fundamental part of any online store. If you’ve ever set up a blog, you can easily create a website using WordPress. To start, visit the WordPress dashboard and click on the blue “Create a Blog” button. Once the blog dashboard is displayed, paste in your blog’s content.
By default, WordPress creates a new blog for you with the domain name wpengine.com. This is usually not what you want, especially if you’re looking to monetize your site. If this is the case, you can change the name of your blog by clicking on the Settings tab in the upper right corner of the dashboard. You’ll then be able to select a different domain name from the drop-down menu.
4. Add Products
Adding products to your site is pretty straightforward. You can use several different methods to accomplish this task, but the most straightforward is to visit the WordPress dashboard, click on the Products button (), and start adding products from the Product Management category.
If you’re looking for a basic online store without a lot of features, you can use WooCommerce to add products and generate sales. WooCommerce is free and open source software that was built specifically to integrate with WordPress. If you’re looking for something more complex, you can use Magento or BigCommerce to create an online store.
5. Configure Google Analytics
Analytics software like Google Analytics helps you understand how and when your site is used. It’s important to note that not all analytics software is created equal, however. Some plugins for WordPress can significantly slow down your site. Therefore, it’s important to pick an analytics software that doesn’t do that.
Thankfully, there’s an easy fix for that. You can select a different plugin from the WordPress plugins directory or delete the installed plugin and install the Google Analytics plugin manually. From the WordPress dashboard, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Google Analytics button (). You’ll then be able to select the WordPress.org plugin from the drop-down menu.
6. Create Email Accounts
Let’s say you’ve created a simple e-commerce store using WordPress. Now you have to provide customers with an email address so they can contact you about your products. You can do this by creating email accounts for your personal and business uses on the WordPress dashboard. Once you’ve created the email accounts, you can set up a free catch-all email address (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) that will send mail to all of your other email addresses (e.g., email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can find and install the Email Addresses plugin from the WordPress plugins directory. Once that’s done, you can go back to the dashboard, click on the Settings button (), and select the Emails tab. Here, you can manage all of your email addresses and send automated messages to your customers in one place.
7. Customize The Design
You can completely change the visual appeal of your site by selecting a new theme from the WordPress themes directory. The best thing about themes is that you don’t have to know any programming languages to install them. Simply download the theme, click on the blue “Install” button, and you’re good to go.
If you’re looking for a specific design that isn’t offered in the directory, you can search for free themes on ThemeForest. This is an excellent resource for designers who want to build websites but feel locked out of the industry because of a lack of knowledge of HTML and CSS.
8. Add Social Media Buttons
Having social media buttons on your site makes it that little bit more social. When someone clicks on one of the social media buttons (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus), they’ll be directed to the social media website where they can engage with your content.
The most straightforward way of doing this is to visit the WordPress dashboard, click on the Social media button (), and select the WordPress.org plugin from the drop-down menu. Then, you can pick a different social media platform from the drop-down menu and click on the Update button ().
You can add a button for each of the major social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus) or just choose one and select it on the WordPress dashboard.
9. Set Up Your Domain Name
Your domain name is the web address by which your site is known. You’ll need to set up a domain name for your store and create an online store with the name you choose. If you’re looking to monetize your site, you can use a free domain name generator to find a suitable domain name that hasn’t been taken.
WordPress comes with a free certificate that lets you setup HTTPS (secure hypertext transport protocol) on your site. Simply visit the WordPress dashboard, click on the Settings button (), and then select the HTTPS Protocols tab. You can now use the generated cert to secure communications between your visitors’ browsers and your site.
10. Set Up Blogger
If you’re struggling to figure out where to start, why not try the most popular and simple to use blogging platform? Blogger is a free blogging service that was created with webmasters in mind. All you need to do to get started is visit the Blogger website and click on the big orange “Get started” button. You’ll then be taken to a quick start guide that’ll walk you through the setup process.
Blogger comes with a free basic blogging service that allows you to create and post blogs with ease. You can use several different styling options to completely change the look of your blog. Plus, you can integrate with several different services (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus) to add a bit of social media feeling to your site.