Well, this post brings you back to the basic on how to actually create a WordPress website blog.
If you’ve yet to try create your own website, then this post is for you.
Or if you’ve create a website before, but not sure if you’re doing the right thing, then I hope this article will somehow help you solve your problem.
If you plan to become blogger, then the step-by-step below will definitely help you create an amazing blog for people to follow.
So how to create a WordPress Website / Blog ? Here’s the summary of the steps.
- First, select a niche that you’re passionate about
- Then, select a relevant domain name
- Select a web hosting company
- Install WordPress to the domain
- Install necessary theme and plugins
- Create your first post
- Share it to the community!
The steps provided is just a simple guidelines on how to create a WordPress Website Blog. There may be some minor difference with what you actually need. All the information provided are based on my own experience and recommendation.
1. Select a niche
This step may look stupid to you. Because you JUST WANT TO CREATE A WEBSITE!
No. Actually this step is the most critical one.
Because if you don’t have a purpose of creating a website, then might as well save your time to do something else.
Hence, you must be sure why you want to create a website and in which field or niche this website will be talking into.
We must understand that visitors that comes to your website is looking for something.
If your website is not clear on what you’re going to provide, your visitors will leave.
Selecting a niche can be difficult. My recommendation is to start with something that you’re passionate about. This way you’ll be able to publish your posts genuinely.
By the way, micro-niche topic is better than a more general niche.
General Niche = Bakery
Micro-niche = Cheesecake Bakery
Deeper micro-niche = Occasion Customized Cheesecake Bakery
You can do a better research and find out which niche actually draw much attention and buzz. Then you start from there.
2. Select a domain name
In simple words, domain name is actually address to your website.
Visitors will need to know your domain name in order to access to your website.
And domain name is associated with a specific IP address (after the next step).
Domain name is what you type into your web browser to access a particular website.
This step is important as well. We recommend you to select a domain name that is relevant to your niche for a few reasons.
- Help search engine to understand what your website is about
- Improve ranking/relevancy in search engine result page (SERP)
- Easy to remember by your followers
- Better search engine optimization (SEO)
Yes, you may challenge that so many other big brands out there that use domain name that doesn’t really make sense. But do you know how many money they put in to actually rank their website? How much they hire marketing company just to help them create a branding?
I’ll not get into that.
Thus for simplicity and budget constraint wise, yet we get some level of optimization that we need, my advice is to get a domain name that’s relevant to your niche.
After you’ve selected your domain names (get ready a few), it’s time to see if the domain name is still available.
You can compare both the price provided by Namecheap and GoDaddy respectively and see which one suits your need.
I’m using Namecheap more frequently due to it’s simplicity and cheaper price for first year subscription. It also comes with discount coupons every month for new domain registration. Selling back the domain name to others is easier done as well, you can just put your domain name for sale in the marketplace.
If you want to use a free subdomain from WordPress, all you have to do is sign up and follow the step-by-step instructions. Then you can skip to step 5. Your domain name will be something like http://xxxxx.wordpress.com
3. Select a web hosting company
Why do you need a web hosting company anyway?
You already have your domain name which is the address. But on that address you need to build your house there so that you can put your furnitures. In simple metaphor, web hosting is where your content is saved.
Domain name (address) will point to a specific IP address referring to your web hosting, and web hosting will retrieve the information saved and present it to the visitor.
Without web hosting, visitor will not see anything from your web address.
There’re lots of web hosting company out there that you can select.
You can just venture into a few of the below.
Recommended read: The Best Dedicated Web Hosting Services of 2017
Criteria to consider when choosing the web hosting company and the packages:
- Price of the package – you can select monthly, yearly, or paid 3 years in advance
- 24/7 support – help you to solve problems when you encounter one related to hosting
- Speed – HDD is built for capacity, while SSD is built for speed
- Shared hosting or dedicated hosting – if it’s for business and security is your concern, dedicated hosting will be better choice
- Number of domains it can host – depends on how many websites you want to maintain
- Bandwidth – if your traffic outlook is huge
- Storage size – with the same price, HDD can store more compared to SSD
There’s no best web hosting company in my opinion. You’ll just get what you’re paying for.
My recommendation is to use HostGator. It’s a more well-balanced web hosting. Which is what I’m using right now.
Once you’ve purchased your plan based on your needs, then you will be able to access to the CPanel (which is your control panel) to customize your settings.
Example shown below is from HostGator.
Then you will need to assign the DNS server to hostgator IP / name servers.
Just scroll down to the bottom of the CPanel. You should find your dedicated nameservers.
Then you will need to assign the DNS server to hostgator IP / name servers.
Then you’re done!
4. Install WordPress
In this step is to install WordPress platform used for your website.
WordPress platform powers 27% of the websites on the internet worldwide. It ranges from personal blog, online business to e-commerce store. And because of the huge community (409 million people viewing and 15.5 billion pages viewed each month), the team constantly provide updates almost everyday.
Another reason is because WordPress is totally free, and it’ll remain free in the future as well. Thus, it’s a great platform to work on and maintain your website through this publishing tool.
So how can you install WordPress publishing platform to your domain?
Method 1: Famous 5-Minute Install
This method is more technical than you think. But if you understand the instructions, then it should be easy to get WordPress installed.
You can download the latest WordPress version here.
And you can follow the detailed instructions from here.
Method 2: Through CPanel
If you’ve chosen HostGator as your web hosting company, then it’s easy to install WordPress. And I think most of the web hosting provider out there is using CPanel as well. So the step will be somewhat similar.
So when you get access to your CPanel, you can search for the Quick Install or WordPress install option.
Then fill in the domain name that you want to install the WordPress publishing platform to. Next, fill up the necessary details of the website.
And you’re done! You’ll received a mail with your login details to access your website using WordPress platform.
Your login page will be http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
Remember to make some initial customization to your website to suit your niche.
5. Install theme and plugins
In this step it’s the easiest to do. All you have to do is search for the theme or plugins, install it and activate it.
WordPress Theme is a collection of template files that produce a graphical interface with underlying design for a website or blog. A theme actually modifies the way your website is displayed.
Selecting a great theme that suits your need takes more exploration. Certain theme is suitable for blog, while others may be suitable for e-commerce. Thus, you need to fully understand your purpose of the website that intended to create before you can even choose your theme.
There’s a wide range of WordPress Theme available to choose. You can search for the FREE theme from the list.
Or you can actually access to external theme shop to get your customized theme. Here you can find variety of themes that suit your needs.
The theme that I used is called GeneratePress theme. It’s very lightweight, simple, responsive and free. The reason I choose this theme is because it’s lightweight, which will not affect your website load time. It’s also comes with a lot of customization options, compatible with major page builders, language translation ready, developer friendly, secure and stable.
If you need more customization options, you can always invest in the premium version to make your website more awesome. Which I did. 🙂
WordPress Plugins are something like add-on features to the existing WordPress platform. It provides extended functionality to your WordPress website. There’re thousands of different plugins for you to choose from in the library. Most of it are free, while some offers paid option with pro features.
Again, you can find WordPress plugins at WordPress website (link here), your web hosting provider listing (they should offer you theme or plugin after you install WordPress through CPanel), do a simple Google search, or any external plugin shop.
There’s no hard rule on which plugin is a must to have. But I do have some recommended plugins that maybe useful for your website.
- Jetpack by WordPress.com → it’s a start up package to help you setup your WordPress website with a few clicks. Single sign-on feature allows you to login using your WordPress account
- Akismet → Anti-spam plugin
- WP Super Cache → help you manage cache for faster page load
- All in One SEO Pack → SEO configuration to help in customizing details to help in website ranking in SERP
- Wordfence Security → Security firewall to help you prevent malicious attack
- WooCommerce → suitable for e-commerce store or website
- Contact Form 7 → Simple fill-in form to get feedback from your visitors
- Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights → used to track your website’s performance
- Yoast SEO → SEO configuration, helps in on-page SEO on your article
- Google XML Sitemaps → Help you generate XML sitemaps that help search engine crawl and index your website
- Beaver Builder → page builder that you can use for advanced customization or organizing pages
- UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin → backup your website to avoid missing precious content
- Redirection → Redirect your permalink to different destination. Can be used to mask your affiliate link
- Social Media Share Buttons | MashShare → help you invite more shares on your content
If you’re obtaining the plugin from library search within your WordPress website, all you have to do is click on the “Install Now” button on the plugin that you need. Then click “Activate”.
If you’re obtaining the plugin externally, you can just click the “Upload Plugin” beside the Add Plugin title. Browse to your folder where you save your downloaded plugin. Then click “Install Now”. After that you can browse to the “Installed Plugins” tab and activate the respective plugins.
6. Create your first post
Before you even create your first post, I would recommend you to update some details on your WordPress website.
Settings → General
- Update Site Title, Tagline, Email Address, Timezone
Settings → Reading
- Update Front page displays: Choose “Static page” if you want your website to show the same home page every time, else choose “Your latest posts” to show updated posts
Settings → Permalinks
- Update Custom Settings to Post name for better SEO
After you’ve done updated above details, then you can start to create your first post.
In this step, it requires much more work that it seems. Because upfront you’ll need to do keyword research on your niche and find the relevant keywords to target for SEO purpose. This will help you prepare a post that’s SEO friendly and help search engine understand what is the post all about.
Apart from that, knowing what to write is also important. Posts that address someone’s problem is more popular and may get more views. Thus, combining keyword research and analyse what people want to know is a huge advantage on getting free traffic source from search engine.
For keyword research, you can utilize free Google Keyword Planner (you must sign in to Adwords before you can use it) or use simple streamline search on Google/YouTube/Facebook search to benchmark competitors.
You’ve done your research and you’ve done your draft article. So now is to post it up.
You can choose to use the default Posts → Add New feature on WordPress to complete your post and publish it. Alternatively, if you’ve installed any page builder, you can customize the layout and arrangement of the section before you publish it.
If you’ve installed Yoast SEO plugin, then you can check the keyword density, readability, and SEO score to further improve your post.
7. Share it to the community
What’s the point if your great content is not seen by others? Yes, don’t waste your effort so you need to do this simple last step which is to share it out!
You can use a few of the methods below to reach out to your potential audiences.
- Share it through social medias like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
- Share it through your niche related forums
- Share it through article publishing like Ezine Articles
- Convert articles into audio and share it through Podcast
- Convert articles into video and share it through YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, etc.
- Convert articles into slides and share it through SlideShare
- Request your friend or closed group to help spread the words
And that’s it! You’ve done well in creating your first ever WordPress website / blog.
If you prefer a video version of this guide, please view the video here. I’ve purposely made it for you.
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Really appreciate your time in reading this. Cheers!