WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) known for its user-friendly interface and flexibility. It powers over a third of all websites globally, from personal blogs to business websites and online stores. But, if you’re a non-techie, the idea of setting up and managing a WordPress site might seem intimidating. This guide aims to break down WordPress into digestible pieces, making it approachable for beginners.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free, open-source CMS that allows you to create and manage websites without needing to know how to code. There are two versions: WordPress.com (a commercial site where you can host your website) and WordPress.org (a self-hosted version, where you host the website yourself). This guide focuses on WordPress.org, which offers more flexibility and control.
Step 1: Getting Started with WordPress
Before you can start building your WordPress site, you’ll need two things: a domain name and web hosting.
- Domain Name: This is your website’s address on the internet (e.g., www.yourwebsitename.com). Our favorite place to buy domain names is Namesilo because it’s not expensive when it comes time to renew the domain name. Other alternatives are GoDaddy and Namecheap.
- Web Hosting: A web host is where your website’s files are stored. There are many hosting providers out there, but some of our favorites are: Siteground, BlueHost and WpMU.
Additionally, when you are setting up a web host, you can purchase domain name and web host at the same time.
Once you have your domain and hosting, you can install WordPress. Most hosting providers offer a one-click WordPress installation feature in their dashboard, making the process straightforward.
Step 2: Understanding the WordPress Dashboard
Once WordPress is installed, you can access the WordPress dashboard by typing your domain followed by “/wp-admin” (e.g., www.yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin). The dashboard is the control center of your WordPress site, where you create and manage content, install themes and plugins, and customize your site.
Here are key areas of the dashboard:
- Posts: This is where you create, edit, and manage your blog posts.
- Pages: Similar to posts, but for your site’s static content like ‘About Us’, ‘Contact’, etc.
- Appearance: Here, you can change your site’s look by installing themes. You can also customize your site and create menus.
- Plugins: Plugins extend the functionality of your WordPress site. You can install plugins for SEO, security, contact forms, and more.
- Settings: This section allows you to configure your site’s basic settings like site title, tagline, timezone, and more.
Step 3: Choosing a Theme
The theme dictates the overall look and feel of your site. WordPress provides many free and premium themes that you can choose from. You can preview and install themes from the ‘Appearance’ section in your dashboard. There are themes available for all kinds of websites, so you can find one that suits your needs. Remember, most themes offer customization options, so you can tweak the layout and color scheme, among other things.
+ Our favorite theme/builder is Avada.
+ Click here to read our article, Why You Should Use Avada.
+ Tutorials on How To Install a WordPress Theme.
Step 4: Creating Content
The most crucial part of your website is its content. To create a new post, go to ‘Posts > Add New’ in your dashboard. Here, you can write your content, add images, and format your post using the WordPress editor.
Creating a new page is similar. Go to ‘Pages > Add New’ and add your content. Pages are typically used for content that doesn’t change often, like ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact’ information.
+ Read our article- Crafting Engaging Content: A Guide for Authors.
Step 5: Adding Functionality with Plugins
Plugins are like apps for your WordPress site, allowing you to add new features. There are thousands of free and premium plugins available. Whether you want to add an SEO tool, a contact form, a photo gallery, or improve your site’s security, there’s likely a plugin for that. To install a plugin, go to ‘Plugins > Add New’ in your dashboard.
+ Here’s a more in-depth article on how to install a plugin: How to install a WordPress plugin?
Step 6: General Maintenance
Once your site is up and running, it’s essential to keep it updated. WordPress regularly releases updates for its core software, themes, and plugins. These updates often include security patches and new features, so it’s crucial to install them. You can update your WordPress site from the ‘Updates’ section in your dashboard.
+ Updating WordPress, themes and plugins is easy. Follow these instructions.
While WordPress is a powerful tool with many features, it’s designed to be user-friendly, even for non-techies. With a little patience and practice, you’ll find that managing your WordPress site is not only doable but also enjoyable.
In the end, if you don’t want to maintain your website, Sajah’s Design Studio would love to help. You can prioritize and focus on your brand/business and we will handle the rest. Purchase a Maintenance Plan today!
When you get the chance, also check out How to set up a Home page and How to create a WordPress Page.
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