For day three of the Complete Digital Marketing Course, I have been learning about how to use WordPress.org to create websites. Here are my notes:
There are several reasons to use WordPress over competing content management sites like Weebly, Wix, and the such.
- 29% of the web is powered by WordPress. Therefore, there may be a higher demand for WordPress sites to be built.
- Open source software means you only pay for hosting, and you don’t risk losing your site if you can’t afford hosting (just switch to another host) or if the platform suddenly shuts down.
- WordPress features a massive plugin and theme ecosystem. Over 10,000 themes available.
How to Get a Free Domain and 60% off Bluehost Hosting Services
When setting up your WordPress site, you’ll first want to pick a plan on Bluehost.
- Basic plan – $2.95/mo for hosting on one site. Normally $7.99/mo; take the Complete Digital Marketing Course to get to discount.
- Plus plan – for hosting multiple sites. Better if you plan to be building a couple different websites on WordPress, whether for a client or yourself.
Now, pick your domain name, or enter one you already own into the second box.
When creating a domain name, remember:
- Try to keep it under 20 characters.
- Make the name memorable; it should roll off the tongue.
- Don’t use tons of keywords in the domain – it doesn’t do much to help you rank in search engines and may end up sounding silly.
- .com sites are the most memorable, but use what makes most sense for the organization or person the website is for.
A few more things to remember when registering your site with Bluehost:
- Domain privacy – playing for this feature is only necessary if you don’t want the contact information registered with your domain name to be public. If you don’t mind a couple random marketing emails here and there, then you can save $0.99 a month.
- Site backup – good to have in case the servers ever crash and you can’t afford to have your site down. Extra $2.99 a month.
- Remember to verify your WHOIS information on your email.
Adding Pages, Posts, Menus, and Widgets
First things first, you’ll want to pick a theme. Go to the sidebar and click:
Appearance > Themes
From here you can browse the multiple free themes that WordPress.org has available for your use. Themes are even divided by type, and there are themes specialized for e-commerce sites, corporate, personal blog, portfolios, etc.
Next, you’ll want to add pages. To add a page, look on the sidebar and click:
Pages > All Pages
Then create your page. You’ll want to change the permalink, title, and then write in any content you want the page to display.
To make sure the page shows up on your site, you’ll need to add a menu:
Appearance > Menu > Add Pages to Menu
You’ll see something like above. Select the pages you want the menu to display.
After, you may customize the menu structure in the box to the right. Simply drag the different topics around and it will change the order they appear in.
You now want to take a look at any widgets you may want your site to have, such as a calendar, email sign-up box, etc. To do this:
Appearance > Widgets
And then simply add any widgets you are interested in having! You may rearrange the order the widgets show up on the sidebar by using the same drag-and-drop process as used with your menu.
Now you may want to start adding posts. TO do so:
Posts > Add New
You probably also want to change your site identity from the default – site identity is the “title” of your site. To do so:
Appearance > Customize > Site Identity
Lastly, make sure that your site is live. Go to the Bluehost tab on the sidebar and click the button that says launch site. Your website is now live!
Premium WordPress Themes
You can purchase premium WordPress themes through a number of third-party sites. www.mythemeshop.com is what Daragh uses. They have good tech support for the non tech-savvy, and plenty of themes that are SEO friendly and categorically organized.
If you purchase a theme and want to install it, follow the instructions sent to your email.
Most likely, it’ll have you follow a similar protocol as below:
Appearances > Themes > Upload > Activate
Make sure you click the “import theme options, widgets, and content” button, otherwise you may not get the full functionality of the new theme.
You’ll want to download the zip.file for the new theme prior to this process.
From here, you can now customize the them, add widgets, and import or create content.
I hope you enjoyed reading my notes on how to create a website on WordPress.org. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave feedback in the comments below!