The Full Guide to Setting up WordPress.

Welcome to the full guide for setting up WordPress.

In this guide you will learn:

  • About WordPress
  • Is WordPress for you?
  • What will you need to run a WordPress Site
  • How to pick and register a domain
  • How to pick a host
  • How to pick a theme
  • How to build your site
  • What plugins to use
  • And more

NOTE: Please read this whole guide before starting. You will need to keep all of the info in mind when making decisions.

About WordPress

WordPress was started in 2001 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. It was originally a script to enhance typography. Now WordPress powers 27% of the top million sites on the web.

WordPress is a CMS designed for blogging. Over time WordPress has also expanded into all kinds of websites. Nowadays any kind of website can we created with the help of WordPress and its ever growing plugins and themes.

Sources — https://wordpress.org/about/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPress

Is WordPress for you?

In my opinion, WordPress is for anyone who likes the right mix of customization and user friendliness. With WordPress, you can basically do anything you wish (with knowledge of PHP, HTML, CSS, and JAVASCRIPT). But without knowledge of code, you can still do most things with WordPress.

Here are some things to check to see if WordPress is for you

  • Have you seen the type of site you want to make, made with WordPress? (Theme demos are great for this)
  • Are you happy to put in a bit of time? (Setting up a great WordPress site will take a few hours)
  • Are you willing to learn a bit of SEO? (Search Engine Optimization)

If the answers to these questions are a “yes”, then WordPress is probably going to work for you.

What will you need to run WordPress

To run a WordPress site you will need the following:

  • A domain
  • Hosting
  • Time

How to pick and register a domain

How to pick a domain

Your domain should normally be your name or business name. In some rare cases, you can use your service as you domain name eg. (www.haircutsNYC.com). This can help with SEO but is not good when people are trying to find your brand.

Register a Domain

For this guide I recommend Namecheap

Just put the domain you picked in the box and follow the steps.

How to pick a host

Picking a host is a bit more tricky.

AWS Free Tier — Advanced (Only recommended for techies or sites with large traffic)

AWS free tier is one year of free linux hosting (you can host wordpress on Linux). This path coming with one year of free hosting and then costs about $8 per month. Please note that AWS has lots of tiers and types of payment plans and it can be very confusing. With AWS you will get a free year but everything else costs. I do use AWS but this is only because I like the freedom to break my own server 😇. (and it’s free)

Bluehost — Easy (Please use this one)

Bluehost is one of the oldest WordPress hosting services. It is the most reliable and has great support to help you with any issues you might have.

Other hosts

There are lots of other great hosts but please be very careful with the super cheap ones and never spend more than $20 per month for a basic plan.

How to pick a theme

WordPress default theme 2017

How to pick a theme in 2017. Themes are always changing and new ones are being made all the time. There are free and paid themes. You don’t have to get a paid theme but for the best experience, I would.

There are so many themes that I can’t recommend any as every different type of site needs a different theme. But I can tell you where to get them.

Free Themes

I would start by looking here:

WordPress.org theme directory.

Also Google “WordPress #TYPE OF SITE# Theme free”. e.g. “WordPress finance theme free”. This will come back with lists of themes for that type.

Paid Themes

For paid themes there is only really one place to go:

ThemeForest

It is where all the great themes are. Just look around for a bit and you will find lots of great themes for your site.

How to build your site?

Building your WordPress website is probably the longest and most frustrating part. For a new site I would recommend installing the demo that came with the theme as it is a great starting point and includes the main features of your theme.

Pages

I would recommend the following pages:

  • Home

Put the main info that a viewer needs to know about what you are selling and remember a ‘call to action’. They are important and when they don’t exist can they will negatively affect sales.

  • Other (Portfolio, Past Work, Blog)

Having a way to show your work is very important and a great way to sell yourself or product.

Or

Having a blog is great for SEO. They can bring in a lot of traffic that might then filter out into the rest of your site.

  • About

An about page is important for potential customers to connect with you in a personal way. If it’s about your team or the story behind your product this page can be very helpful.

  • Contact/Buy Page

A contact or purchase page is most very import as it’s where the income will come from. Having all the other pages link to this one is helpful for getting people in contact with you so you can start to gain income from your site.

Building Pages

Most themes will have a custom way of building the home page but the other pages are up to you. There are a few ways to build each page here are a few:

  • WordPress default builder

The WordPress default builder is made for making blog posts but with shortcodes you can create decent pages. This way of building is not recommended and is normally only needed if you went with a free theme. So Google “WordPress page builders”. This will come back with some free (not amazing) drag n’ drop builders.

  • Visual Composer $39

Visual Composer comes with nearly all paid themes and is one of the most featured page builders. It is full drag n’ drop with some very powerful features to help you build very powerful and responsive web pages.

  • The page builder that comes with your theme(Not with all themes, mostly paid)

Some themes come with their own page builder. Sometimes they also come with Visual Composer. Use the page builder from the theme as that is where the features are.

Plugins!

Woohoo, we made it to plugins. This is where you get to add cool features to your website. There are thousands of great free plugins to add functionality to your WordPress experience.

Here is my list of must have plugins:

  • Yoast SEO (One of the best SEO plugins for WordPress and a must have if you want to get on the front page of Google.)
  • Contact Form 7 (a contact form plugin)
  • WP Fastest cache (speeds up your site)
  • WordFence (keeps your site safe)
  • EWWW Image Optimizer (makes images small)
  • Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights (analytics are very important)
  • Feel free to add more 🙂

NOTE: Try not to get too many plugins and only activate the ones you are using they do slow down your site.

Now you’re a WordPress Pro 😎

We have come to the end of the guide! Thank you for reading this. If you have any questions please comment or email me [email protected]. If you are looking for someone to build your site please also send me an email.

Also please take a look at the rest of my site.

I’m out!

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