WordPress. You’ve probably heard of it, but you may not fully understand it. Without getting too technical, there are actually two versions and no, it’s not just about sharing your hopes and dreams with the masses via a blog. In fact, sharing a blog is just one of the many options you have with WordPress.
As I mentioned, there are two versions. There are wordpress.com and wordpress.org.
We are talking about wordpress.org.
Wordpress.org is a free framework (that’s right, free!) that allows you to build a site so you can put your business, your store, your programs, or even your hopes and dreams online for the masses to access.
MAJOR BONUS FOR YOU AT THE END!
So, without further ado, here are six things you need to know and understand to start working with WordPress.
Your Domain. You will need to purchase a domain (or the address where your site can be found). You can go to namecheap.com and type your domain name ideas into the search box until you find one that is available. And, Namecheap always has an active coupon code each month so you can save a little bit of money and purchase your new domain for just under $10 a year.
Your Hosting Account. You will need to purchase a hosting account (this is where your site and all of its files live or are stored). Everyone has their own opinion about the best hosting service, but it really depends on your needs and your budget. I have used HostGator for years and you can set up a hosting account that allows for you to host multiple domains (or multiple sites) for under $150 a year. They also run specials throughout the year for new customers, so make sure you look into that when you’re getting ready to purchase! HostGator also makes it super easy to install WordPress with just a few clicks of the mouse. SiteGround is another great WordPress hosting platform. At SiteGround, you receive your first Domain name for free.
Your Theme. Now, let me warn you, once you have installed your site and you go to view it for the first time, it’s going to be a little rough around the edges. That’s because it comes preloaded with a default WordPress theme. However, there are literally thousands of options out there when it comes to themes. There are free themes, paid for themes, or you can even have a web designer put something together specifically for you. Your theme will be what dictates the layout of your site, the primary colors used, the way your titles, your pictures, and your posts appear. You will find all kinds of themes if you simply Google “WordPress themes”. And if you have particular sites that you like the look and layout of, you can actually use an online tool called “What WordPress Theme is That?” (Google it!) and find out what themes your favorite sites use (assuming they were built with WordPress which you will find that the majority of them are) and where to purchase them. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that many of the sites you enjoy might use these themes as their foundation and then have unique coding in order to give them their precise look and feel. So, basically, if you purchase the same theme it doesn’t mean your site is going to be identical to the ones you were admiring. Want to use the most popular theme among successful entrepreneurs? BONUS for you at the bottom!
Pages. Once you have your theme installed it’s time to start adding content to your site. The pages on your website are static or remain the same (for the most part). This would be your homepage, about page, contact page, sales pages, and anything else that you want to be available to the viewers of your site. These are also what you see when you click on the different items found in the menu bar of a site.
Posts. The posts (or your blog) are where you share your content on a regular basis. There is generally a page that hosts your blog where people can go and scroll through all of the different posts you have published. When you are reading someone’s blog on their site, you are viewing all of their different posts. And unless you disable it, you will find that there is a place for your readers to comment on your individual posts at the bottom of each one which is a great way to interact with your audience.
Plugins. Plugins can be both free and paid and can serve numerous purposes. There are plugins that allow you to keep your site secure, track your Google analytics, add forms, change the appearance of pictures, add scheduling software, and so much more! If there is something you want to add to your site, chances are if you Google “(that thing) Wordpress plugin” you will find one that fits your needs. (BONUS: Plugin recourse download attached below.)
WordPress can be a very powerful tool for getting your content online. It can take time to get familiar with your dashboard (the back end of your site), but once you do, your options are really limitless.
In fact, many of the sites you look at on a daily basis are probably built using WordPress without you even realizing it!
You could spend hours looking for the perfect theme & plugins (I spent days).
Download a list of the most popular themes and plugins used by successful entrepreneurs below.
Author: Julie Daq
Julie is a WordPress whiz and a Business Developer at juliedaq.com. She works with aspiring entrepreneurs as well as established businesses to help them create a business that makes everyone happy. She uses both her years of not-so-awesome employment experiences along with her passion for building businesses, marketing, branding, online platforms, and life in general to help you create and build a business that thrives.