This is not your average “Building a WordPress Website” site…
I am going to show you how you can create your own website based on WordPress, a static website which you can manage online and which looks like a standard website.
Domain Name and Registration
The first thing you need, once you get the idea for your site, is a good domain name and get that registered.
Choosing a good domain name is hard, you need to think about a few things:
- Is the name easy to remember?
- Is it short enough?
- Is it easy to type in your browser address bar without obvious typos?
There is a difference between coolwebsite.com and koolwebsite.com
- Does your site name contain Trademark words, or could you get into other legal problems with that name?
This domain name, for example, is wpsitebuilding.com and not wordpresssitebuilding.com (Read more here and here)
- Is it catchy or brand-able?
- And last, is it still free? You can check that by just typing it into you browser address bar, or check it at Namecheap.com*
I can highly recommend them as a domain registrar, but you should also check the box for Auto-Renewal to make sure you won't loose it because you missed a notification.
WordPress Website Hosting
Now you need somewhere to place your website so it is reachable by everyone on The Internet.
So you rent some hard-disc space on a large server that is maintained for you by specialists. You also need to pay for bandwidth and other stuff related to the hosting of your website (back-ups, server updates, support, etc)
Sounds expensive? With a Shared hosting account, you won't break the bank. These hosting accounts are around 5 to 7 dollar. I recommend getting a reliable and secure hosting account from either from Greengeeks.com (which is where this site is currently hosted) or Siteground.com.
Both hosting companies use the secure suPHP option on their servers, keeping your WordPress website as secure as possible.
Got your hosting package ready? The go back to Namecheap.com, log in and point your domain DNS servers to the servers your hosting company assigned to your account.
The biggest benefit of this setup (domain-name and hosting separately) is that you can change hosting providers very easily if needed.
You could also create a backup site at a different provider and change over directly if any problems occur on your main site.
There are basically two way's to install WordPress, manually or with a hosting provided script that will do the most parts for you.
If you want to do it all yourself, these are the basic steps to take:
- Create a MySql database with username and password (see the instructions of your hosting company)
- Go to the WordPress.org site and get the latest version of the Free WordPress Software.
- Unzip the files onto your PC / Mac hard disk
- Upload all the files to the www or public_html folder of your hosting account via FTP (Filezilla Client or Cyberduck)
- Go to your domain name URL (or subfolder) and start the installation, you will be asked for the information at step 1.
- Log in to your new WordPress based website and start the configuration.
If you want to install WordPress the easy way using a script, choose the Quick install option if you are on Siteground (aff) or the Softaculous App installer at Greengeeks (aff) (my favorite option because you can control everything to make the site even more secure)
With the last installation option, you are running the site within 5 minutes or less.
Basic Options to Configure in WordPress
Once you have installed WordPress on your website, I will show you what settings you need to configure, including some special things.
You can reach and change these options via your “Dashboard” menu on the left side on your screen.
- The first thing you need to do is to check the Settings -> General and change the Tag Line from “Just Another WordPress Weblog” to something that is fitting for your website. Now you can also change the time zone if needed.
- Change your user profile, especially your screen display name so you won't show your login username. Go to Users -> Your Profile -> Type in your Name and Nickname and then select your choice in the drop-down box below.
- Set the Permalinks option (Settings -> Permalinks) to Post name, which will change your post and page URLs from /?=755 to something like /which-widgets-to-use-in-your-sidebar. Which is much more user and search engine friendly.
- Remove the sample WordPress Hello World post ->Posts -> All Posts -> Delete Hello World
- Delete or change the sample About page -> Page -> All Pages -> Edit or Delete.
- Check if you can upload an image -> Media -> Add new -> Select a file from your harddisk and see if it works, then you now the rights for that folder are ok, and you can upload images and insert them into posts and pages.
- Replace / remove the default sidebar widgets like the meta box. Go to Appearance -> Widgets -> Open Primary Sidebar on the right and drag the Widget Recent Posts and Categories into it. If you have any others you don't need, delete them from that sidebar for now.
You can add new ones later, see Which Widgets to Use in Your Sidebar
- Change the Uncategorized category name to you main website topic Posts -> Categories -> Uncategorized -> Edit -> type in your main website topic name and clear out the text uncategorized in the slug field! Save it and WordPress will create the new slug itself based on the first field.
- Check out your site at the Frontend to see everything is working.
WordPress Themes and Layout
WordPress layouts and site presentations are done with themes, which make it very easy to change the way your website looks. There are several designs available at the theme's site of WordPress.org, all of which are free to download and use.
There are some websites out there that sell great themes. I suggest you check the template code to get an understanding of how they work. If you buy a commercial theme, you will get access to tutorials that show you how to get the most out of your purchase.
For a true static website impressing, rather than a blog you will need to change some items in the theme.
You will see how to edit WordPress themes to take out some of the features only used for blogging…
It is important to understand that ANY theme can be used to create a Static WordPress website, but there is a difference between building a site this way and using a WordPress Magazine Style Theme*. Using a theme such as the WordPress Magazine Style Theme is not the same because you use posts to fill your site with post's content instead of pages.
I will give you tips on how to work with both types of themes further on in the site.
You can also create your own WordPress menus for easy navigation and links into your website.
WordPress Plugins are extensions for the WordPress software that can assist to overcome some limitations of the blogging software by helping extend its possibilities.
Of course, there are some plugins needed to optimize your website for search engines.
You will find the best WordPress plugins to get your site up and running in no time, as well as get you indexed in search engines.
Plugins are also essential to:
- blocking spam comments
- create a sitemap
- create a secure contact form
- secure your WordPress website against hackers
- create back-ups
- optimize your database
- etc., etc., the options are almost limitless…
Build a Website with WordPress Costs Overview
Setting up a website with a content management system could cost you thousands of dollars.
However, you are already looking into one of the better and cheaper options, WordPress!
The most valuable asset of all is your time, but I cannot start to image how much that will be!
As for as the costs are for your domain and site:
- Domain name registration – Yearly cost around 15 dollars
- Web hosting package – Yearly costs around 60 dollars
- Premium Theme (Optional) – One-time cost from 35 dollars (ThemeForest*) to 99.95 dollars (StudioPress Theme Selection Tool*)
- Premium Plugins (optional) check CodeCanyon* for extra functionality
- Also optional is a special designed WordPress theme, which will cost you at least several hundred dollars.
- … anything you want :)
So if you just go for the basics, your total cost per year will be around 75 dollars for your first domain.
Remember the hosting packages mentioned before? They come with the Unlimited Domains option, which means for your second domain you just pay the yearly registration fee, that second domain goes on the hosting package you already paid for. So it's very easy and cost efficient if you want to start a second WordPress based website…
Start to Building a WordPress Website Now!
Overall, you want a website that is easy to set up and to maintain and doesn't cost too much, right? So let's get started!
Today is a good day to build a website with WordPress and see how far you can get creating your own place on the Internet.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
* = Affiliate Link