Setting up your own WordPress website can seem like a daunting task if you’ve never done anything like this before. Fortunately, one of the best things about using WordPress is that it’s so user-friendly and intuitive, just about anyone can do it!
While the technical part of setting up a WordPress website isn’t really complicated, knowing what to put on your website and how to make it work for you can be a little bit more difficult.
Here’s ten easy steps to getting started on WordPress. Simply follow these and you’ll be up and running in no time at all.
Step 1: Define your site
Before you do anything involving WordPress, you need to pick your niche. Trying to develop a WordPress website about something that’s been done 10,000 times isn’t going to prove terribly beneficial. If your WordPress site isn’t for an existing business, make sure you pick a topic that truly interests you, so that it won’t feel like a chore to work on and update your site now or months down the road.
Step 2: Choose a domain name
Your domain name should relate directly to the niche you chose in step 1, and it should be a name that’s so easy for users to remember that they never forget it. Doing some keyword research can also be helpful. Stuck on a particular name but .com is taken? Try .net or .co.
Step 3: Hire a web host
Your next step is to find a reliable web host to handle your site. Here at HostPapa, we offer industry-leading servers and infrastructure. Our multilingual customer support is available via chat, email, and telephone; we also maintain an extensive knowledgebase and video tutorials. What about a shared vs. dedicated server? In most cases, shared web hosting will be just fine and it very popular with WordPress users.
Step 4: Install WordPress
At the risk of stating the obvious, once you have found your web host and domain name, it’s time to install WordPress and get up and running. At HostPapa, installing WordPress is incredibly easy and takes just minutes with our Softaculous script installer.
Step 5: Choose a WordPress theme
Next, you need to decide on a design theme for your WordPress site. There are thousands upon thousands of themes available, ranging from absolutely free to upwards of hundreds of dollars. When selecting your theme, try to ensure that it makes sense for both the topic of your site as well as the layout and content you plan to publish.
Step 6: Configure your plugins
A WordPress Plugin is a program written in the PHP scripting language, that adds a specific set of features or services to a WordPress website. WordPress plugins provide a great deal of customization and flexibility to your WordPress site, as well as valuable features and tools for your visitors. You may not start out with a ton of plugins, but the longer you use WordPress, the more you’ll find ones that benefit your site. Some of our favorites include JetPack and Yoast SEO.
Step 7: Complete your administrative pages
Important pages include your contact page, about page, privacy, and disclaimer page. Get these out of the way before you focus on adding content to your site – after all, it’s easier to add them now than later, when you’re done publishing all of the other, more exciting stuff! These pages also serve to protect both you and your site visitors.
Step 8: Publish your content. Rinse. Repeat.
After you get the important administrative pages published, it’s time to start adding interesting content. Whatever your niche, you want to make sure you include plenty of quality content for your readers. Make your pages visually rich and further, make it a priority to keep adding new content on a regular basis. If blogging, add at least one image to each and every post. Not only does this give your readers something to pin on Pinterest, it also makes your content more appealing. Whether you decide to add content daily, weekly, or monthly, creating a content calendar will help keep you on the right track.
Step 9: Don’t forget marketing
Marketing your new site is a two-fold endeavor. First, there’s SEO (search engine optimization): make sure your pages have relevant keywords in the title, description, and body text. Second, take the time to promote your site in any way possible. Free options include the use of social media sites, forums, and emailing out a regular newsletter. You may also consider guest posting and commenting on blogs, forums, and communities to build up your social connections and link popularity.
Step 10: Back up your site
Your content is your most valuable asset, so make sure you back up your site! For your blog, that means backing up your content in case of a crash so you won’t have to start all over again. If you don’t back up posts, plugins, and affiliate links, it might take you a while before getting back on your feet. If you don’t have time to regularly back up your site, your web host should offer an alternative. HostPapa, for example, offers a terrific automated website backup service that takes just a few minutes to set up – no need to worry about backing up your site ever again!
There you have it – WordPress in ten easy steps!
Need more info? Check out our 6-part HostPapa WordPress video tutorial series