Building a WordPress Website

I’d like to share some basic tips on creating a WordPress website. Before I go into details, I’d like to declare I have no affiliation with WordPress or any plugins mentioned in this article. Its the platform I prefer and use to create my website and websites for my clients. There are plenty of other web building programs for the DIYer. Squarespace, Wix and Big Cartel are just a few. I’d also like to point out with any ‘free’ online service, there is always a catch. It could be their logo on your website or unwanted advertising.

before you begin

I am going to assume you have the basics. We’ll run through that just in case:
You have purchased your domain (web address)

You have paid for hosting (where your website lives)

You have downloaded WordPress to your host site

You have a logo and branding manual

Planning

Prior to building your site, plan out how you want your site to navigate, what information you’d like to share and any images you require. The quickest and easiest way is a basic flowchart.

This is for a basic website and we are going to set it up with 4 pages:

  1. Home page – this is the first page clients will see.

  2. Services page – all your services on this page.

  3. Portfolio – images of your work.

  4. About us / Contact us – About your business, where you are located and contact details.

Content

Ensure your content is easy to read and engaging for your potential clients. Try to have at least 300 words per page. There are plug ins that will assist in writing for optimal SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Images

Make sure all your images are clear and good quality. The size of the file size could be the difference between a fast loading site and slow site.Try and keep image file size to 80Kb-300Kb. There are plugins you can use like SreSmush.it, EWWW Image Optimizer and Compress JPEG & PNG images.

Links

Get all your external links ready. This will save so much time. If you have social media pages, you want to make sure they link from your page. If you have MailChimp you will need your API to hook it up to your site.

Branding

Again I’m assuming you have your logo and branding manual which should include the colours your business uses and any taglines etc. Keep a record of the web colours as you will need to ensure these colours are used on your site to promote brand recognition.

Choosing a Theme

Now you have your web building platform (WordPress) you now need a theme, which is like a template. There are tonnes out there. Some free some require payment. If you are on a tight budget, by all means, go with a free site. Just be aware your editing capabilities will be less than if you purchase a theme. The best way to choose a theme is to read the reviews, watch the demos and see how much support is out there. See samples of websites built with the theme you like. Once you have picked a theme you like, you need to upload it to your site. Most themes will have pages pre-built. Depending on the theme you chose you should be able to alter some, if not all of the pages. Run through the demos on how to build your site.

Plugins

Plugins assist your site to add elements that are required outside of your theme. For example, Yoast SEO will give you hints on optimising your content for each page. Again read the reviews and how many users have downloaded the plugin and how active the developers are if there is a bug. You could think of plugins like apps for your phone. Here are 3 essential plugins:

  1. Yoast SEO for WordPress: This plugin guides you to optimise your SEO.

  2. Google Analytics: Track your visitors and more.

  3. Contact form 7: This allows you to create all sorts of contact forms

These are all the essential elements you need to start a WordPress website. Always update your site with new images or information. Consider a blog, they are great for driving visitors to your site and help improve your SEO. Start thinking of adding sign-ups for newsletters which can be done through MailChimp. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you get stuck.

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By | 2018-06-12T10:26:51+00:00 June 12th, 2018|Creative, Design, web design|