Do you have an idea that you think would be great if made public? Are you looking for how to setup WordPress website? Do you want to reach millions if not billions of people with your writing? If your answer is yes then this post is dedicated to you.
I have faced the same issue when I was planning for this website. Initially, I was on wordpress.com and self-hosted WordPress was an alien topic to me. I was hesitating to move to self-hosted WordPress because of complex nature of it. Though I am from a technical background I was not so sure of going ahead with self-hosted WordPress.
But then I learned everything that’s needed for building a website with WordPress, and trust me it was never easier than it is right now to make a website on WordPress. WordPress has gone through a lot of changes since its inception and it is now one of the best platforms to create a website.
No matter what your background or what your age is by the end of this WordPress for beginners guide you will have a clear idea on how to setup a WordPress site and get started with monetizing it.
A brief about WordPress
WordPress is free open source content management system based on PHP & MySQL. This software is the medium between your ideas and your readers.
WordPress powers around 29% of the web, that little over a quarter and that’s really huge. Few big names using WordPress are:
- Facebook newsroom
- Sweden’s official website
- Mercedes Benz’s official website and 60 million more websites.
WordPress is a blogging software which let’s create SEO friendly post and a beautiful website. WordPress gives you 100% customization access to grow your idea into a brand. The CMS needs to be installed on a web server i.e your hosting space which is the place where your website lives and your domain is mapped.
Consider this example to better understand this concept. Your hosting space as the plot and your website as the house you will be building and the domain name as the address of your house.
Why should you go for WordPress?
Okay, so far so good. The basics are fine but you’d ask “Why should I go for WordPress? Is it the best website builder available?”
I’d say no and yes together. WordPress is no doubt the best CMS in my views. If I had the last penny left with me, I’d bet that on WordPress and I’d not be let down. Question to consider here is What is your need? Are you looking for a user-friendly and easy to use/learn/get used to CMS? Then WordPress is the platform I’d suggest.
Ingredients for building website with WordPress
- Hosting space
- Domain name
- Ideas ready to become posts
- 30 minutes of your time to read this post.
So you’re all set with the ingredients and a basic idea of building a website. Without taking further time let us dive into learning how to setup WordPress website.
Step 1: Get a hosting space for your Idea
As mentioned earlier, hosting space is the plot where you will be building your website(house) and mapping the domain(house address) to that plot. Hosting is the basic necessity for the website, this is where everything required for your website will reside. It is the container for your website on a web server.
A web server is a computer that is accessed via the web. You, as the admin, will be able to do anything required and your users/readers will be seeing the information you share on the website. All this is fetched from the web server for end users and updated at the exact same location in case you make any changes from your side.
There are a lot hosting providers available in this industry, but I’ll suggest the best of the bestest in here. It is Bluehost, that is leading in WordPress hosting. Bluehost provides servers for Indian customers and rest of the world.
Before getting a hosting space it is a good practice to have your domain registered, you can do this later also but it is always good to have the domain first. Buying the hosting space is as easy as shopping online, begin with registering your domain and then choosing the right hosting plan for your website. You can find the suitable domain and register directly from here.
Step 2: Install WordPress for your website on Bluehost
You’ve registered the domain, got the hosting space and now it is the time to install the Ginnie of your business plan. You must have got the credentials for Cpanel (control panel for your hosting space) via email.
- Login to Cpanel and scroll down till you find website/Script section.
- Click on WordPress Icon and you will be taken to the details page, click Install Now there.
- Once WordPress is installed, you will need to create a user. By default it will be the admin, make sure you change it to something that makes more sense to your audience. If you feel admin is right, let it be.
- You will get the admin URL to access WordPress along with the credentials. This is the URL you need to bookmark and use it for posting your content online.
Congratulations you have successfully created your website using WordPress.
Step 3: Customize your website with themes
WordPress was built to bring the user to the driver’s seat. Themes are the proof of this. Depending upon the need of your website, you can opt for themes.
There are over 4100 free WordPress themes which are SEO friendly and super responsive for your readers/users. The range of these themes is so wide that it supports almost all purposes of having a website. There are a lot of premium themes too which you can buy and customize it as per your needs.
One thing here to note here is that not all themes have a premium version i.e. the full version of the theme is for free, and they’re awesome too. So awesome you would feel the premium-ness of it, but they’re very very less number of such themes.
Some of the top theme providers that I’d recommend to go for are:
The two theme providers are leading in this league, you can opt for other themes too as per your need. By default, there will be a simple yet beautiful theme installed for your website. You can either customize it or change it completely.
How to customize themes for WordPress website?
- Login to WordPress Admin using the URL you got after the successful installation.
- On the left navigation pane click on Appearance » customization.
- Customizer will be loaded and here you can customize almost everything on your theme.
Step 4: Write your first post
I know it will take time to get used to the new ambiance of WordPress, and that is perfectly fine, take your time to customize the theme and to play around. Once you are done with the customization, you are ready to bring your ideas in front of billions of eye balls.
How to write your first post?
- Login to your WordPress admin dashboard.
- On the left pane, click on posts.
- Clear the default post and pen down your own content.
- Double check it and if you feel everything is fine, go ahead and publish it.
Read also: How to rank high for any keyword on SERPs
Few important things to note here…
On the right of your editor (where you will be writing your content) are some fields that are really important for your posts.
Categories: This section helps in categorizing your posts for the better user experience of readers and curating all your posts for the better structure of your website. You can create new categories using +Add New Category link at the bottom of the section.
Tags: Tags are the Hashtags within blogs for posts. It is recommended to have at least 3 tags for each category, and ideally, there should not be more than 2 categories linked to a single post. Instead, you can opt for tags, have as many tags you want.
Featured Image: This is the image that appears on the top of the post, i.e. before the title. In some themes this feature is disabled. In case you choose a theme that supports this feature, have a catchy high definition image would be really helpful in attracting viewers from social media. In case theme doesn’t support this feature, get in touch with the developer and ask for assistance. Either a CSS code would work or you will need to upgrade to premium.
Step 5: Install recommended plugins
This is the best of WordPress which no one in the race has, Plugins. There are so many other platforms who serve as CMS but none of them are even close to the number of plugins WordPress has. There’s a plugin, in fact, there are plugins for every need you can choose from. If your need is unique, WordPress let’s add your own custom plugin code(which will not be available to anyone else)
This itself was convincing enough for me to opt for WordPress, called me biased but I love WordPress for this reason and I don’t hate any other blogging software either.
There are some general plugins that are must have for any website or a blog, here’s the list.
Yoast: This is one stop plugin for all your SEO needs. As a blogger, it is very important for us to reach in front of the right audience and Yoast is the catalyst for this. You can navigate to Dashboard» Plugins » Add new or directly navigate to their WordPress home page.
Jetpack: This plugin has everything you need to know about your audiences. Jetpack includes Stats & analytics, social sharing, Related posts section, SEO tools for Google, Bing, Yandex, twitter etc and advertising program. Jetpack also takes care of the security of your website.
Contact form 7: This plugin helps you with creating contact forms for any purpose. You can create any number of forms using this plugin. You can also customize to look exactly the way you want.
Akismet: Spam detection on your blog is one of the major things as once your posts are live, they are vulnerable to a lot of spam. Akismet handles it with ease and grace. All the comments are run through Akismet and only the legitimate ones are sent for your approval.
Step 6: Monetize your website/Blog
The best part of blogging is the journey one goes through to reach this point. This small part of the journey is called monetization. This will be the life support of your future investments to enhance the user experience. A good businessperson is the one who earns to invest and not for interest.
By now you’re having a clear picture of what your website/blog will look like, and you will already be having some great ideas for posts. But to keep running the service you need revenue, and the blog itself will be the source of it. Many bloggers commit a mistake of monetizing their websites/blogs at the wrong time.
I’d recommend to not monetize your website/blog heavily, keep it light and keep experimenting. You have nothing to lose at this stage. Here’s how you can monetize your website/blog.
Google Adsense: Number one since ages. When it comes to monetizing an online asset, Google Adsense is the first thing that comes to our mind. Configuring the same is super easy and is a three step process.
- Sign up for Google Adsense publisher account.
- Fill up the application form and submit for review.
- Once approved, copy the ad codes of various sizes available and place it on your website at the prime location.
Experimenting the ad placements is really important and Google Adsense has this feature of experimenting within their platform.
Affiliate Marketing: The current trend of earning money online is affiliate marketing. There are some blogger solely dedicated to affiliate marketing and are doing great. They are not into blogging, and they promote affiliate links through emails, social media or videos. Affiliate is nothing but, the commission you get for promoting a certain product or service. Depending upon the niche you are in, search for affiliates+<your niche> in the search engine and you will find tons of companies offering their affiliate program.
CPM Advertising: CPM is the cost per thousand impressions, i.e you get paid by a certain amount(depending on your traffic) for every thousand times an ad is displayed. There are some top CPM ad networks for CPM Ads for the publisher who are great at giving back.
Here’s the list of twenty-five legit ways to earn online through your blog, go through it and find the best that suits you. However, if your website is new keep the monetization light. Focus on building the brand first and then monetizing it will return exponentially.
I have found a couple of courses that can teach about WordPress in a series of video lectures on Udemy, they are listed below:
These courses are worth trying and the curriculum offered is top notch. I highly recommend to go for either of these course(s)
Having a website in this internet era is enabling your idea and business to grow in length and breadth. Doing it right way is what makes the difference, now that you’ve spent 30 minutes of time for right reasons I am sure that you won’t go wrong in this move. Even if you do, I am always there to help you and your business.
Over to you, what according to you is the best thing you came to know from this post? Or do you know someone who’d be benefitted with this post? If yes, then share this post with them.