Beginner’s Guide to Starting a WordPress Website
Whether you want to create a personal blog, business website, or online store, WordPress is a fantastic platform to use. With over 60% market share, WordPress powers over 40% of all websites on the internet. This beginner’s guide will teach you how to start your own WordPress website from scratch.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that allows you to build professional websites without needing to know how to code. It has a user-friendly graphical interface and thousands of free themes and plugins available.
Why Choose WordPress?
There are many benefits to using WordPress:
- Easy to use – The dashboard interface is intuitive and easy, even for beginners.
- SEO-friendly – WordPress sites are optimized for search engines out of the box.
- Great support – As the world’s most popular CMS, there is extensive documentation and help available.
- Completely customizable – Thousands of free and premium WordPress themes and plugins allow you to customize your site.
- Scalability – WordPress can power everything from a small personal blog to a large enterprise website with millions of visitors.
Choosing a Domain Name
Your domain name is the website address that visitors type in their browser to access your site. For example,
wordpress.org is the domain name for the official WordPress site.
When choosing your own domain name, aim for something short, memorable, and easy to spell. Using relevant keywords in your domain can also help with your website’s SEO. There are two main domain types:
.com – The most common generic top-level domain. Easy for people to remember.
.yourname – A personalized domain that ends with your name, brand or business niche. Makes your brand more recognizable.
Finding the Right Web Host
To launch your WordPress site, you’ll need to sign up for web hosting. Web hosting provides the server space and technology infrastructure required to host your site on the internet 24/7.
There are 3 main types of WordPress hosting to choose from:
- Shared web hosting – Cost-effective starter option that “”shares”” server resources with other sites. Popular picks include Bluehost and HostGator.
- Managed WordPress hosting – Tailored specifically for WordPress sites, with built-in speed and security optimizations. Companies like WPEngine and Kinsta offer these plans.
- Cloud hosting – Highly scalable hosting on virtual cloud servers. Amazon AWS and Google Cloud offer cloud-hosted solutions.
Expect shared hosting to cost $5 – $15 per month. Managed WordPress plans cost more but can significantly boost site speed and security.
Once you have your domain and web hosting ready to go, you can install WordPress with just a few clicks:
- Log in to your web hosting control panel, like cPanel or Plesk.
- Look for the “”WordPress Installation”” option, or navigate to the auto-installer tool.
- Enter your domain name and admin account details.
- Click install. WordPress will automatically install and configure itself!
The hosting provider usually guides you through the installation process. But if you need help, you can refer to WordPress’ famous 5-minute installation guide.
Customizing Your WordPress Theme
WordPress themes control how your website looks, feels, and functions. There are thousands of free and paid themes available, suited for blogs, businesses, ecommerce stores, and more.
By default, WordPress installs with the basic “”Twenty Twenty-Three”” theme. To customize it:
- Go to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard.
- Click “”Customize”” to view the WordPress Theme Customizer.
- Here you can tweak options like your website logo, colors, menus, widgets, and more.
Adding Plugins and Widgets
Plugins add extra functionality to WordPress. There are 55,000+ free plugins available, allowing you to add features like contact forms, ecommerce, galleries, SEO, security, and more.
Some handy plugins for beginners include:
- Yoast SEO – Improve your search rankings with this powerful SEO plugin.
- Contact Form 7 – Add a contact form to your site and receive submissions by email.
- WPForms Lite – Build beautiful contact, payment, order and other types of forms for your site.
- WooCommerce – Run an online store and sell products through your WordPress site.
Widgets are small sections of content you can add to widgetized areas like your sidebar or footer. This allows you to display things like social media icons, popular posts, categories, calendar, and more.
Promoting Your WordPress Website
Here are 5 effective ways to promote your new WordPress site:
- Optimize your website for search engines (SEO) – Install a SEO plugin like Yoast to focus on relevant keywords, quality content, backlinks and speed.
- Social media marketing – Market your website and build your brand’s social presence. Focus on visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
- Email marketing – Collect newsletter subscribers to send updates, offers and engaging content to your audience.
- Influencer marketing – Reach out to bloggers and social media influencers in your niche to see if they will feature or backlink to your site.
- Run online ads – Create Google, Facebook and Instagram ads to drive more targeted traffic to your site. Effective but can have high costs, so keep a budget in mind.
Launching a website on WordPress is easier than ever today. Follow this beginner’s guide to register your domain, install WordPress, pick a theme, customize your design, add plugins and widgets, create killer content optimized for SEO, and promote your site.
With the power of WordPress, you’ll have a beautiful, functional site up and running in no time! Need help getting started? Get in touch with WordPress experts at WordaThemes today.
What is the best place to buy domain names and hosting?
Popular places to purchase domains and hosting include GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, SiteGround and Namecheap. Compare prices and reviews to find the right option for your needs and budget.
Do I need to know coding to build a WordPress site?
The main benefit of using WordPress is that no coding experience is required! Thanks to its user-friendly interface and range of drag-and-drop page builders available, anyone can start a website in WordPress without needing to know HTML or CSS.
How much does it cost to make a WordPress website?
If using free options like the base WordPress software, free themes and free plugins, you can launch a site for less than $100/year including hosting and a domain name. Paid plugins, themes, stock images and optional services like web design can increase costs.”