So you need a website and you’ve heard that WordPress is what “everyone” uses. What’s involved in building a website with WordPress? Isn’t it just a blogging platform? How much time will it take?
A Little WordPress History
WordPress did begin as a blogging platform. It was a great tool to publish your stuff online, and easy to use. In fact, it was so easy and so dependable, that many business owners decided to ditch their websites and turn their blogs into a full-fledged website.
Yes, you can build your own website with WordPress, even if you’re not technical or a code geek. But what’s involved, and what should you expect?
Building a WordPress website has 5 major phases:
1. Plan Your Website
This is the most overlooked step, but by far the most important. Identify what you want on your website: how many pages will it have, will you sell products? I recommend starting small (with a minimum viable product or MVP), and you can grow from there. Include these standard pages:
2. Get a Hosting Company
What’s a hosting company? WordPress is an app that lives in the cloud (or online). It doesn’t get stored on your hard drive. So you need to hire a hosting company that can provide storage space where your WordPress website will stay, or be “hosted.” I have used Bluehost.com and I highly recommend them for new websites. They offer excellent customer support and are quite helpful when you have a question or things go wrong. (I’m not an affiliate)
3. Install WordPress
Once you’ve purchased hosting, you can install WordPress on your host server (their computer). Usually this is a one-click process that requires you to specify where you want to install it, and what you want your login credentials to be. So far, so good, right?
4. Choose Your Theme
Your WordPress theme is what gives your website it’s look and feel, and aside from your hosting company, is the most important decision you’ll ever make. I do not (read as DO NOT) recommend going with a free theme. This is your business, and your website is depending on your theme to be professionally coded, elegant, and dependable. Pay for a theme.
I’ve used both StudioPress and WooThemes and recommend both highly. They offer a wide variety of themes, many designed for business types like realtors or online stores, and they have online help and forums if you get stuck.
5. Add Content
Now you’re ready to rock ‘n roll! Your WordPress website is hosted, you have a theme, and now you need to add your outstanding content. Here’s where you’ll add your logo, contact details, hours, email, and other standard information. You’ll also be adding the content to your Home page and blog posts.
How Long Will it Take to Build My Website?
The time it takes to develop your WordPress website could be as short as a weekend or as long as a couple of months, depending on what you need. Also, the better prepared you are the less time it will take.
If you start small, have all the graphic resources you need (like logos, product images, PayPal seals, association badges, etc) beforehand, you can build the website in a couple of days.
If you go big from the outset and need a complex website with a shopping cart to sell products, expect it to take a couple of months.
Why not use those services like 1and1.com or the website builders that come with your hosting? Because WordPress is such a widely-used open-source tool, you know it will be supported in the future. What if your hosting company decides to drop the tool you used? You’re out of luck: you won’t be able to make changes to it in the future, and you’ll need to start over again.
That won’t happend with WordPress. Because it’s open-source, it’s supported by a huge community of developers.
And best of all – you own your site. You don’t have to abide by anyone else’s rules.
To learn how to build your own WordPress website, step-by-step, become a member at SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com and take WordPress 101: it offers 10-minute lessons so you can build your site yourself.
Download Your WordPress Website Checklist
Click on the image below to download your own checklist to guide you through the process:
(Members – login in the sidebar to download your checklist)