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Building an entirely new website, from the ground up, can be very daunting and scary. But, it doesn’t have to be, no matter the type of website or industry, if the process is taken one step at a time. In this post, we’re going to discuss the straightforward process you can take to get a website from conception to production.
We often see people with an excellent idea for a website, but they don’t know where or what to do next. They may have some examples of their work and a way for patrons to contact them, while a few only have an idea. We suggest starting small by deciding what problem your website will solve, then build everything else from that, one step at a time.
WordPress has a very simple to follow framework, which makes it easy to jump right in and start using it. Most web hosting companies offer a quick and straightforward way to deploy WordPress’s opensource, self-hosted application, or you could use WordPress.com and allow them to host it.
Just be aware, if you use WordPress.com, you won’t have nearly as much functionality as if you host the website yourself. We’ll go over the differences between the self-hosted and WordPress.com hosted versions in a later post. There are pro’s and con’s of each version, and it boils down to the needs of the individual and website.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how or aren’t able to set up WordPress. Almost every web hosting company online, including us, gives you a simple way to do it yourself. Most can even do it for you if requested at no additional charge. There are several web hosting companies that also specialize in WordPress hosting, such as On Budget Services. These web hosting companies specialize because once third-party plugins and themes are installed to WordPress, it can become very sluggish and insecure. They configure and optimize WordPress websites individually, so they operate as fast and efficiently as they can.
Website Starting Steps
Below are a few steps to help you get started with your new WordPress website.
- Step 1: Pick a web hosting company that suits your needs and budget.
- Be sure to do your homework here, as some require lengthy agreement terms. You don’t want to pre-pay for a year or more and not like the company or the service they provide.
- Step 2: Decide if you’re going to build a custom theme, or use a pre-built theme.
- Pre-built themes are exceptional nowadays and are very cost-effective. We’ll go into more detail about picking a theme in a later post. Spend some time on this step and make sure to get a theme that is updated often, has plenty of features, and includes premium plugins.
- Step 3: Pick your theme, or pick your design and development company.
- Due to the changes in the industry, we’ve recently moved away from doing nothing but custom WordPress websites. Instead, we’re also using pre-built themes and customizing them to suit our clients. We feel this is a great way to get a fantastic looking website at a fraction of the time and cost investment
- Step 4: Deploy your new website and install a theme.
- Get a copy of WordPress installed or set up an account at WordPress.com. Install your theme. Regardless if you go custom, or pick a pre-built theme, WordPress websites always have a theme.
- Step 5: Decide on which Plugins you may need or want.
- Are you going to request information from your viewers? You’ll want a form management Plugin for that.
- Will you be selling something? You’ll want a shopping cart Plugin to handle the heavy lifting.
- Showcase your new art? You’ll want a portfolio Plugin for that.
- Remember that this isn’t the only time you can install or set up plugins. Adding, removing, or even altering plugins can happen at any time, pre-launch, or post-launch of your website.
- Step 6: Install and configure all of your Plugins.
- Remember to configure your plugins before you launch. Almost all plugins require some form of setup or configuration to function.
- Step 7: Write your content.
- This step is your most time-consuming step. Plan, plan, plan! Oh, and be sure to plan!
- It can be arduous to write large amounts of content that need to be informative, entice someone to buy, and is SEO-friendly. Having an outline to follow will make producing your content a more manageable task.
- Step 8: Build your pages.
- With an excellent plan for your content, this should be a straightforward process. Try not to get caught up in design creep. You can always go back and edit your pages after they are published. Get it done and get it out there.
- Step 9: Secure your new website before it goes live.
- This step is not an easy one for someone who doesn’t know how the Internet or websites work. Some Plugins can help with this step to make things easier. A good rule is, if you aren’t sure, let the experts do it for you. It’s easier to stop a website from being hacked or infected before it happens, than to clean up the mess after it does. A small fee, in the beginning, could save you thousands in damages in the future.
- Step 10: Publish
- This step is by far the most fun but also the most stressful. As mentioned in Step 8, you can always come back and make changes. Proof your content, have at least two others do the same and then publish. It’s easy to fix and make changes after your website is live, exactly what WordPress does.
Hopefully, we’ve covered all the basics of starting a WordPress website, and now you’re ready to hit the ground running and start planning your next great website. Don’t let the size of the WordPress ecosystem or community deter you. If anything, that should help push you into using it more. There is always a Plugin for that, and there’s always someone to help. Find a great community to join, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a webmaster in no time!
Have you run into any issues starting a new website?
Were there any problems or issues that you weren’t able to solve?
Let us know in the comments below! We love helping new website owners, small businesses, or sole-proprietors with their next big project.
Author: Mike Bowden
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