Have you decided to launch a WordPress site? Excellent! Considering WordPress powers 14.7% of top 100 websites in the world, you’re in good company. Plus, WordPress is the most popular content management system available, so you can have confidence knowing you made the right choice.
But choosing to use WordPress and building a website are two entirely different beasts. Fortunately for you, we’re all about helping our friends create successful WordPress sites. For an effective WordPress website, follow these steps.
1. Choose and Secure Your Domain Name
WPBeginner defines a domain name as a name used to identify a website on the internet. The first step to launching a WordPress website is to find and purchase your domain name. Unfortunately, however, not all domain names are available. Thanks to the .com era, numerous domain names have been owned for decades.
But don’t fret! There are endless domain name possibilities. You can also end your domain name with everything from .biz to .co. You’re not limited to a .com domain name.
2. Set Up Website Hosting
After securing your domain name, you must next set up the hosting for your WordPress website. Hosting ensures that your website “lives” somewhere on the Internet. There are several types of hosting available for websites. For instance, at Bluehost, we offer:
Without a hosting service, you can’t build and launch a WordPress website. Choose the hosting service that meets your needs and move on to step four.
3. Download and Install WordPress
Once you have your hosting and domain name all set, it’s time for the best part – installing WordPress! If you’ve elected to use Bluehost for your hosting and domain name, we’ve got a guide to help you set up WordPress in 5 minutes (or less.)
If you’ve chosen another hosting service, you can use the official WordPress installation guide for assistance. The process is quite simple if you follow the step-by-step instructions. Remember, if you have any questions along the way you can rely on the WordPress community or a Bluehost support team member!
4. Choose a Theme
With all of the technical details taken care of, it’s time to start building your WordPress website. First, you must choose a theme. Selecting the right theme can seem like a daunting task. But if you keep these bits of advice in mind, you’ll have no problem finding the right look for your website.
When searching for a theme, it must be:
- Mobile Responsive
- Compatible with Top Browsers
- Supportive of Plugins
In addition, some WordPress themes have built-in page builders to help streamline the website creation process.
Instead of hastily choosing the first theme you see, make a list of features or elements your website needs. Then narrow your choice of themes down by this criteria. Don’t feel the need to rush or settle on a theme right away. Take your time and make sure the theme you choose is ideal for your website goals and objectives.
Keep in mind you are not set to one WordPress theme throughout the lifespan of your website. You can change it if need be, but certain technical elements of one website theme may not transfer to another.
5. Edit Away
Now that you’ve selected a theme, you can edit it to your heart’s desire. A WordPress theme sets the foundation for your website structure and appearance. It is up to you to customize the theme appearance to meet your brand or blogging needs.
This means you may need to:
- Choose a new font
- Add your brand assets to the theme
- Customize the menu
- Add or delete pages as necessary
- Upload and format imagery
- Rearrange the structure of the menu
- Add or delete menus
- Include social media icons
- And so much more
Customizing your WordPress theme is a crucial step to building an effective website. Given that 38% of users will stop interacting with a website if the content or layout is unattractive, your website shouldn’t contain the stock imagery, text, or arrangement provided by the WordPress theme. We can all spot obvious stock imagery on a website!
6. Add Website Content and a Blog
After finishing up the format and structure of your site, you need to add compelling content to your site. While an appealing design is key to an effective website, the content is equally important. After all, Adobe found that two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain if given 15 minutes to consume content. This means your website design and content must work in tandem to create an engaging experience for website visitors.
With that said, your website copy and content must be:
Although the point for meeting a specific word count can be made for SEO purposes, you don’t need to cram your website with content. Instead, focus on writing website copy that informs the reader about your brand, organization, or blog.
In addition, your website needs to have a blog. Most WordPress themes contain a blog page you can add at your leisure. You can also customize your blog to contain certain features such as sidebar widgets, social sharing buttons, email subscriber sign-up forms, and more. Once you’ve set-up your blog, start creating captivating content to share with the world.
7. Optimize Your Website for SEO
You want people to find your website, right? One of the top ways Internet users discover websites is through search engines. As such, you need to enable your website to appear higher in the search rankings through a marketing technique called search engine optimization (SEO).
Within SEO, there are several ways you can manipulate content, structure, links, and other components of your site with the goal of ranking higher. One quick way to get started is by adding the right SEO plugins to your website. Some of the top WordPress SEO plugins include:
- Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress
- All in One SEO Pack
- SEO Optimized Images
- Broken Link Checker
- The SEO Framework
At the very least, you can start by adding a plugin such as Yoast or All in One SEO to your website. These plugins will help you add crucial SEO information to each piece of content and page of your website.
8. Add Necessary Marketing Tools
The last step to building an effective WordPress website is to add any marketing tools or plugins you may need. Look at the goals you have for your website and decide which marketing strategies would be best to accomplish them.
From social media marketing to email marketing, there are many marketing tools and tactics at your disposal. Plus, some of the top marketing platforms and tools offer robust WordPress plugins to supercharge your website promotion efforts. For instance, CoSchedule’s WordPress plugin helps you organize your entire content marketing calendar and social media efforts.
After completing these eight steps, you’ll have built an effective WordPress website. What do you think a WordPress website needs to be effective?