I have written about Website Design and the main elements required to build up a website. I have also recommended that you use WordPress as the Content Management System (CMS) as WordPress is widely used (about 25% of all websites worldwide are developed on WordPress).
And because WordPress usage is so prevalent, you can find lots of support online if you encounter some problem. Simply google the issue you face and more often than not, you will find your answers.
WordPress is effectively the back-end content management where you design the look and feel of your website, fill up your website with contents, set up the navigating menus, upload photos and videos and so on.
With the advancement of technology, it is now very simple to set up a basic website all by yourself and also maintain it on your own with updates of contents regularly.
Today I am going to walk you through step by step the basics to setting up a simple website.
Get Domain Name and Web Hosting
There are a number of web hosting providers. In Singapore I highly recommend using Vodien services. Their most basic service starts at only S$10 a month and provides 5GB of disk space, 10 email boxes and can host up to 5 websites. The domain name would probably cost about $20 a year.
Once you make the payment, you are going to get a number of emails from the provider, and one of them is the Web Hosting Account Information. In there, you will get the log-in information to the Cpanel, which is like the software console that “controls” the web server.
Until you get more advanced, just follow the steps I describe here as the Cpanel itself has many other things that you have control over.
When you log into the Cpanel, you will see something like this:
You want to scroll down to the bottom till you see Softaculous Apps Installer and you will see WordPress as one software you can install. Install that and you can also specify the log-in details for your WordPress, login is usually from the url www.yoursite.com/wp-admin.
For the purpose of the rest of the illustration, I will be creating one website with a free domain on an online internet marketing training portal Wealthy Affiliate. and I call it www.wordpresstrainingsg.siterubix.com (note it ends with siterubix.com as it is a free domain, you can always get a paid domain).
If you are keen to learn WordPress but haven’t had your domain and web hosting, you can try it out below too (absolutely free, no credit card required).
When you log into WordPress, it will look something like this:
This is the back-end if you will for you to design and develop your website.
I will illustrate step by step the key functionalities of the left hand side menu bar where you see Posts, Media, Pages, Appearance, Plugins etc.
Under Appearance, you will see Themes.
A WordPress Theme is the basic “architectural” design of your website, the look and feel, and the layout design of the website is largely determined by the theme you choose, unless you want to start writing codes yourself to customize your website. For now, you can play around with the free themes available and choose one that you like.
A paid theme will allow you much more flexibility and you can invest in one at a later stage (suggested reading: Free Vs Paid WordPress Themes).
I am going to use Storefront theme here (no particular reason except that it is ideal if you want to do e-commerce later). Search for Storefront, install and activate it. And this theme is already more complicated than some simpler ones, but don’t worry as I will go through the key things.
At this point, your “raw” website may look something as follows and we will make it more presentable as we go along in this WordPress training.
Site Identity Settings
Next, I will click on Appearance ==> Customize. I want to customize the site identity a little.
You can upload a logo which I won’t be doing here, but I will change the Tagline to “The Best In Singapore”.
Pages & Posts
There is actually not a whole lot of difference between the two except that pages are your main Website Pages while posts refer to blog posts which will appear on your Blog section.
I will go ahead and write a page titled WordPress Training For Beginners which shall be my Home Page later. To do that, simply head over to Pages and Add New and then publish.
While writing this page, I will also insert an image (this is sort of my Header Image). To insert an image, when composing your page, look for a Add Media button and then insert the image.
There is currently a post titled Hello world. I will just leave it there.
In the left hand side menu, you will see Plugins. Plugins are additional pieces of codes which you can install which make your website more functional. The use of plugins is also what makes WordPress so powerful and easy to use. There are probably thousands of different plugins available.
When I want additional functionalities for my website, I search for a suitable plugin. However, don’t flood your website with plugins as doing so may slow down your website loading speed.
I will go ahead and install a Contact Form 7 plugin. To do that, hover over Plugins and click add new. Search for Contact Form 7, install and activate it. This plugin provides you with a form where your website visitors can leave messages for you.
Now, when you go to your installed Plugins, you will see Contact Form 7, click on settings. You will see a shortcode for the form.
The next thing you want to do is to create another Page title Contact Us and copy this code and paste it onto the page, but switch the “Word Processor” to Text from Visual when you are doing that.
You website is taking shape now actually.
Next you want to set up the navigational menu for your website. Before that, set up another page titled Blog to contain all your blog posts.
Now hover over Settings and click on Reading. You have a choice to display a static page as your home page and indicate the Blog page.
The next thing you want to do is hover over Appearance and click on menu to set up your menu structure. I have set it up like this.
There you have it, you have the most basic website set up. Check it out. It is time to fill it up with great contents, stories, images, photos and videos.
Of course there are many other features available on WordPress CMS itself but this should get you started.
Anspire Consulting provides a full suite of digital marketing services and we welcome you to contact us for discussions.