In this tutorial, we will be discussing on how to purchase a domain and web-host for your business, WordPress Installation, build a website using the software and how to maintaining your WP website.
This might be your first time you step foot inside the WordPress dashboard, you will be marvel at how simple it all appears to explore the environment. A management sidebar on the left, an interface to work within in the center and notifications at the top.
You may feel overwhelmed when you start to discover the layers of functionality within the content management system, don’t be scared we get you cover as we about to discuss the practical steps outlined below.
This article assumes you understand the benefit of using WordPress to build your next web projects. So, let’s proceeds on how to install WordPress in web-server.
How can I create a WordPress Website?
Sometimes I may use the initial of WordPress as “WP” so don’t be confused. The following WP tutorial will walk you through all the necessary steps in setting up your first WordPress site successfully, you can as well navigate by clicking any of the topic below.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Choose A Domain Name
- Purchase Web Hosting
- Install WordPress In Your Web Server
- Search For A WordPress Theme
- Install Your WordPress Theme
- Configure Your WordPress Theme
- Configure Your WordPress Settings
- Create Navigation Menu
- Publish Your First Page
- Install Essential WordPress Plugins
Now, let’s explore the topics in details…
Step #1: Choose A Domain Name
It is necessary to get a domain name if you intend to have an online presence because Domain name is the online identity of your business. In other words, it is your URL or website address which anyone type on the address bar of a web browser to visit your website.
Choosing a domain name might be a thoughtful task especially if you’re new in the game of online branding. Below are some of the things you must consider while creating or choosing a domain name:
- Keep it simple and short if possible: Choose a Domain name that is easy to remember, simple and short, it enhances the chance of users typing your website address correctly on the browser.
- Ensure your domain name is relevant to the website content you going to publish on the website. Besides, you can also include keywords on the domain name if need be for SEO optimization.
- Choose an appropriate domain extension such as .com, .net .org, .us, .ng etc. which is added at the end of web addresses. Suffix of .com for commercial, .org for Organizations, .net for network, .us for United States, and .ng for Nigeria. The first three extensions are the most used extensions which you can use based on the nature of your site; however, .com is always preferred.
Besides, there are some domain name generator tools which help to create a cool brand-able domain name. I personally make use of www.namemesh.com and www.domainwheel.com whenever I want to create a domain for a new project.
How do I purchase a domain name?
There are several domain name providers online from where you can buy a domain name. Most of the domain name providers have a domain name search tool where you can type the name you want and it checks the availability of the domain name if its available to purchase.
Below are some of the top domain Registrars you can check out:
Step #2: Purchase Web Hosting
Web hosting as the name applies: it “hosts” websites. In other words, web hosting companies own and manage giant web servers located in data centers around the world.
It’s on these web servers where websites like yours are resides, so you don’t have to buy or manage any of the server technology yourself. You pay these companies what amounts they charge monthly or annual rent for space and bandwidth on the server, just like a traditional house rent. Then, you can focus on building your website in WordPress.
Next, you have to find out the best WordPress hosting service which suits your needs and budget. There are several web hosting companies offering different types of WordPress hosting plans. Below are the types of WordPress hosting plans you should know about:
- Shared Web Hosting: Cheapest hosting plan. With shared hosting, multiple websites share the same IP address and resources of the server including the memory, hard disk space, and the bandwidth. (Pros: Budget-friendly plan monthly or yearly. Cons: Limited space, compromised speed and security).
- VPS (Virtual Private Server): With VPS plan, you will be provided a certain portion of server resources. You will share a server with other VPS users but there’ll limited users, not as many as in shared plan. (Pros: Secure, Option to get more server resources anytime as your business grows. Cons: Bit expensive for beginners and small businesses.).
- Dedicated Hosting: Very expensive plan. All the server resources are dedicated to a single user. (Pros: Full storage, bandwidth, and full control over the server resources, more secure. Cons: Not a cost-effective plan for small companies).
- Managed WordPress Hosting: Managed WordPress hosting is hosting cum WordPress management solution which provides some of the essential WordPress tools. It is a kind of dedicated hosting specific to WordPress platform. (Pros: WordPress-centered hosting. Cons: Quite expensive for small and growing businesses.
There isn’t no perfect hosting providers but WordPress does give some solid recommendations on companies that not only work well with WordPress websites but that offer affordable hosting plans. I’d suggest you start with one of these if this is your first website.
Step #3: Install WordPress In Your Web Server
There are a number of ways in which you can carry WordPress installation successful. However, most web hosting providers will provide you with an easy-to-use one-click installation process that simplifies the whole process.
We will be using Bluehost as an example, here is what you need to do:
First, log into your new web hosting account:
You’ll arrive at your hosting dashboard:
You’ll look for a button that says “Install WordPress” then click on it:
Simply follow the on-screen instructions for installing WordPress. Once you have completed the WP installation and created your WP login credentials, it’s time to step inside. Unless you change your login domain (which you eventually should for security reasons), your admin login will be located at ‘www.yourdomainname.com/wp-login.php’.
Step #4: Search For A WordPress Theme
A WP theme is a pre-designed and pre-coded interface template for WordPress. Basically, it saves you the trouble (and money), time of having to design your own website from-scratch or to pay someone else to do it for you.
Your first time of login into your WP site, WordPress will automatically assign their latest theme to your site by default when you visit your website URL (www.yourdomainname.com).
You have to search for a WordPress theme that works best for your niche, don’t be scared to look around and find the best and most responsive WordPress theme for your purposes.
Bear in mind that every theme requires some configuration. Also, not every theme works the same way. Some use a basic text editor (which looks similar to the blank page in Microsoft Word) while others use a page builder or visual editor. So, switching from one theme to another will force you to carry out reword if or when you make a change. If you want to save yourself the possible hassle, then don’t move on to the next steps until you’ve found the perfect WP theme for your site.
Step #5: How To Install Your WordPress Theme
When you’ve finally settle for that perfect WP theme, it’s time install it in WordPress platform.
Install Free WordPress Themes
If you’re in a tight budget then go for a free theme from WordPress repository, here is what you need to do:
- Inside WordPress, at the left-hand side, go to the Appearance tab and click on “Themes”.
- At the top of the page, click on “Add New”. It will take you to the WordPress repository within WordPress. Use this option so you don’t have to do any manual installation.
- Once you’re in the repository, do a search for the WordPress theme you want to use (example: search phrase for news theme “News Magazine”). Hover over it, and click the “Install” button. You can as well click on preview to see how the theme look before installing.
- When it’s done installing, you then have to activate it in order to publish it to your WordPress site.
- Click on “Activate” (in the same spot where the “Install” button was) and wait for it to take you back into the main WordPress dashboard.
Install Premium (Paid) WordPress Themes
If you’ve decided to purchase a premium WordPress theme, the process will differ as third-party theme developers and marketplaces don’t sync directly to WordPress. Here is what you need to do:
- Go to your WP third-party theme’s page and purchase the file. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can download the theme file to your local computer.
- If there is an option for it, download the “Installable WordPress Files Only”. This will give you a zipped folder you can then upload directly into WordPress.
- To do this, go back into WordPress dashboard, click on the Appearance tab, and go to “Themes”. Click on “Add New” at the top. Only, this time, you’ll select the “Upload Theme” option.
- Select the zip file from your computer and click Install Now. With your new theme uploaded into WordPress, you can now activate and publish it to the site.
Step #6: Configure Your WordPress Theme
Upon activation of the theme, you’ll proceeds to configure your theme. This can be done by going to the Appearance tab and then click “Customize” However, you should spend some time now to go through each of the modules and acquaint yourself with what you have the power to change. Below is likely changes to be done here.
- The Site Identity is an important one to fill in, ensure you look at that first.
- Colors allow to update your site to your brand’s color palette (if you have one). If you have brand’s color palette then you update your site colors.
- Widgets allow you to add content to your header, footer, sidebar.
Step #7: Configure Your WordPress Settings
Most of the settings offered by WordPress control things related to your pages and posts, and that’s not necessarily something you’d understand until you’ve actually created them for your site.
So, it’s time to go through your WP settings one-by-one and make sure your WordPress site is configured to work exactly as you want it to perform.
WP General Settings
- Site Title: This is what will appear at the top someone’s browser tab when they arrive at your site.
- Tagline: this isn’t a required field. This can be altered when you create content for your home page.
- WordPress Address: This is the domain URL of your main site.
- Site Address: For most of you, this will match the WordPress Address. However, if you are setting up something like Multisite that requires each site have its own sub-domain, you’ll specify that here.
- Email Address: This is for the main administration of your site, so it can receive all related notifications regarding it your WP.
- Membership: If you want people to subscribe to your site for updates or a membership site, click this box.
- New User Default Role: Keep this to Subscriber or Customer so that they can’t gain access to the backend of your site.
- Site Language: Choose your desire language.
- Date Format: I would prefer d/m/y but it depend on your country like United States is m/d/y.
WP Writing Settings
- Default Post Category: If you intend including a blog on your site, you should eventually come in here and remove the “Uncategorized” category. You’ll choose any of the category created, If you fail to assign a category to a published blog post it will automatically store in the default post category.
- Default Post Format: This should be “Standard” unless you’re using your blog to share video, audio, or image galleries.
- Post via email: If you want to be able to write WordPress posts and email them to your site (which I wouldn’t advise), you can enable this setting here.
- Update Services: Leave this field be unless you have a private blog and don’t want people to know when you have new content available. This field should be left blank if the blog is a private one and don’t want people to know when you have new content available. For more info click on the Update Services to learn more.
WP Reading Settings
- Your homepage displays: You have two choices when setting up a site in WordPress. You can set your homepage serve as the main blog so that visitors first encounter “Your latest posts”. Or you can create a full-blown website and let “A static page” you created serve as the home page.
- A static page: If you select this second option, you’ll need to designate a page to be your homepage and a page to automatically display your posts on.
- Blog pages show at most: If you show a summary of your blog posts (see option below), you can display up to 10-12 posts per page. If you choose the full text, try to limit this to 3 posts.
- Syndication feeds show the most recent: When your blog shows up in someone’s RSS (syndication) feed, this setting enables you to choose how many recent posts they’ll see initially.
- For each post in a feed, include: This is up to you to decide, though I believe a summary is probably the best for improving the overall look on a main blog page’s feed. It also gives visitors a reason to click through and visit another page (which is good for SEO).
- Search engine visibility: Unless your website is private or maintenance mode, do not check this box.
WP Discussion Settings
- Default article settings: The first setting refers to backlink notifications. The second setting refers to pingbacks and trackbacks. The third has to do with allowing comments on your blog.
- Other comment settings: If you want visitors to leave comments, you can set the requirements on who they are as well as how comments appear.
- Email me whenever: Staying engaged is important with people who take the time to comment on your content is a good thing. Check these so you can more easily stay on top of that.
- Before a comment appears: Update these settings if you’re worried about spam or abusive comments coming through.
- Comment Moderation/Blacklist: You can decide more specifically who is allowed to leave a comment (so long as it’s moderated) and who isn’t.
- Avatars: If you’re not running a membership site that allows users to create a full custom profile, be sure to update these settings to give your comments section a little personality.
WP Media Settings
You can leave as the default settings unless you know what you’re doing. In using this setting, you can streamline the media upload and sizing process. That way, visual content automatically goes into your pages at the right size and you don’t have to worry about making adjustments of it in your design software or compromising visibility of the image once it’s in WordPress.
WP Permalinks Settings
I recommend you to select “Post name” for the purposes of SEO optimization of your post.
Step #8: Create Navigation Menu
When you hit the “Publish” button on a Post and it goes straight onto your blog feed, Pages needs to be added to your site’s navigation menu if you want it to display on your site.
So, the first thing to do is to create those pages for your site as describe below. Next, navigate to the Appearance tab at the left-hand side and select “Menus”. This environment is where you create and manage your site’s navigation menus.
First and famous, let’s look at the menu selection dropdown. However, some theme automatically creates secondary or footer menus for you, be sure to select the one you actually want to create/edit here. Next, You have two section, “Add Menu Items” form of a sidebar at the left while “Menu Structure” at the right. let’s take a look at the sidebar options.
Add Menu items has a collapsed effect when you click on the down arrow, when you click it will expand these tabs, you’ll be presented with pages, posts, and other types of custom post types and content that already exist on your site. Now, it’s time to create your menu.
Click on the pages checkbox next to the page (or pages) you want to add to the sidebar. Then click on the “Add to Menu” button. You’ll see those pages then show up under Menu Structure.
Within this interface, you can now drag-and-drop your pages and design your menu to appear however you’d like it to. You can also change the page labels that appear in the navigation. One other thing to point out here is the Menu Settings box at the bottom.
If you know that you’ll be adding new pages regularly to your website and don’t want to have to repeat this process every time, you can click on the “Automatically add new top-level pages to this menu” option to streamline your process. When you’re done setting up your menu, save your changes.
Step #9: Publish Your First Page
There are three types of “pages” you can create for your WP website;
These are traditional web pages that exist within the main navigation of a site either at the top (header) or bottom (footer) of the site. The mandatory pages are About page, Contact page, services pages and legal pages all are made using the Page feature in WordPress.
These are blog post which belongs to a category created under Post Tab that will only exist within the blog on your website unless you designate the home page to serve as the blog feed.
WP Custom Post Type
You can create any custom posts and give it a name of whatever you want. Examples of custom posts are Review, Portfolio, Products, Testimonials etc. These type of post will have a defined custom fields and its own category structure but they are plugins that use a custom post types to store data on your WP site such as Woo commerce, Member-Press, WPForms etc.
Please note: WordPress also comes with these post types: Nav Menu, Revision, and Attachment. Subscribe by tapping the notification bell find on the website to be the first person to receive tips and guides when we publish details information about different custom post types and how to create them.
WordPress interface always remain consistent regardless of whether you’re creating a page or post or custom post type. There are different settings you need to apply to each, but the main area in which you work remains the same, which makes it a workspace that’s easy to familiarize to. Moreover, if you’re working in a theme that uses a page builder or a visual builder tool to create content, this is going to look a little different.
It’s time to create your own content for your site in regardless of which content creation tool your WordPress theme uses, If you’re running a blog, simply get started writing your first Posts. Once you hit the Publish button, your blogs will go live on the designated Blog category.
Let’s get started to create and publish a page.
For example: I want to create a page and name it About Us, next, I will go to Pages and click Add New. There are two fields and a side-bar at the right-hand side. The first field is Add title, I will type About Us after some seconds thereafter, WP will automatically generate a permalink (the page link) “www.yourdomain.com/about-us/. The link can be edited should in case you don’t like it.
The next field looks like a Microsoft Word document, this is the area you compose the content of the about page and it comes with full formatting tools to edit your contents. When you’re done hit the Publish button.
I will be coming up with a tutorial to create stunning pages and post so ensure to subscribe to be notify of the next post.
To create and publish a Blog Post is same process with Pages just that you have to click on Posts, Add New but before doing that you need to create a Categories for example Lifestyle, on publishing the post you’ll choose the Lifestyle category if the post content is about Lifestyle.
Step #10: Install Essential WordPress Plugins
This is the final step in the WordPress setup process.
What is a WordPress plugin? it’s a piece of software that is installed and add functionality of your WordPress site. As for what it does? Well, plugins can do a lot of different things. They can help you;
- Integrate a social media feed into your site
- Resize and compress images
- Block spammers and hackers
- Create a forum
- Add a payment gateway
- Translate your site
- And much, much more
While it’s tempting to look through the WordPress repository that currently houses over 50,000 free plugins and install all of the ones that seem really cool or worthwhile, be careful.
WordPress plugins are like any other kind of file or software you install on top of your site. With more weight, it results to slower loading times and that’s not something you want for user-experience.
Note that some of your plugins will generate their own new tab on the sidebar. Slider Revolution, for instance. If you’ve chosen to use this image slider plugin, you’ll now find that it’s installed a new option on your sidebar. So, be sure to look out for those new tabs after activation as they hold valuable settings and features you’ll want to start accessing right away.