WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world, with almost 27 million active sites using it as their CMS. Extremely versatile and easy to use, WordPress is regarded as a great entry point to blogging for beginners. Beyond this however, it offers powerful functionality and remarkable customizability that enable pros to create enormously complex and tailored websites. With such a broad appeal, it’s no wonder WordPress seems unshakable from the top spot.
Set Up and Get Set
So just how easy is it to set up a WordPress site? With the main technical headaches removed from the equation, creating a site is more a question of personalization. At its core, there are just five simple steps that need to be carried out in order to be up and running: read on to find out about each, and how quickly you could be started with your next project.
Pick a domain name
Its both the simplest and yet most difficult decision you’ll make: what are you going to name your site? With so many millions of websites out there, you need to try and make yours stand out. There are a few rules of thumb to remember when finalizing on a domain. Anything too long or complex will prove hard for visitors to remember- and to type. Make sure you don’t use any copyrighted words or phrases and consider what would be the best domain extension for your site. For more information about picking the right domain name, taker a read of this previous post that provides insights and tips on the right websites to use.
Choose a hosting package
Hosting is an important topic as it can make or break the performance of your site. Anyone setting up a WordPress site should seriously consider getting a specifically designed WordPress hosting package, in order to get full performance benefits. This option, for instance, offers various additional security benefits. Indeed, if you are planning to sell anything from your blog it is imperative you pick a plan with SSL to ensure the utmost level of fraud protection when visitors go through the payment gateway. Finally, don’t forget that opting for a managed WordPress plan may well save you money by negating the need to hire a systems administrator, as all updates and installations are smoothly handled by the hosting operator.
Select a theme
Approaching the task of picking a WordPress theme can be daunting for a beginner. The options are so numerous and varied it seems impossible to decide upon just one. The best way to approach this is to have a firm list of essential elements you want for your site: whether text should appear in a single column or multiple; whether your header should be large or narrow. Whenever in doubt, it is best to err on the side of caution and opt for a design that is less busy than one which is comprised of too many elements. Remember that your site has to appeal to visitors and be easy to navigate:
while it may look great as a static page, if the interface is too complex or distracting your content will never actually get read.
The all-important moment of getting your site up and running is the instance of uploading your valuable content. All kinds of different audio and video formats are supported, including M4a, MP3, MP4, FLV, WebM, OGG, and WAV files, meaning that you are free to a full range of different media as per your needs. For a full breakdown on how to upload text and media of all different types, visit this WordPress support page for in-depth assistance.
Plugins are the lifeblood of WordPress, allowing you to craft a website that caters specifically to your needs. Much as with choosing a theme, however, picking which plugins to use can be a huge undertaking. It’s best not to overload your site with too many, as this will cause it to run slower and be more prone to problems. Instead, pick a few key performance aspects you want to target: integrate social media or use caching to keep your site load time down. SEO is also enormously important, helping to drive better search engine results for your blog. The Yoast plugin, for instance, helps you to easily create optimized meta-data for improved search visibility.