You have your domain and your web hosting account. Now you just need a website, but you aren’t ready to bring a designer and coder onboard. For lots of small and medium-sized sites of all kinds, including e-commerce sites, WordPress is a great solution.
Long established as one of the premiere blogging platforms, WordPress is now more than just a blogging platform – it’s a great platform to build all kinds of websites with.
Use an Auto-Installer.
Just about every web host has WordPress available to auto-install and it generally doesn’t take more than pushing a couple of buttons to complete the installation. If you are shopping for a web host and think WordPress will meet your needs, make sure your prospective host has it easily available.
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Find a Great Template.
A theme or template is a set of files that changes the visual appearance of your website. (The words “themes” and “templates” are used interchangeably in the WordPress world.)
The best and safest place to search for free themes is in the official WordPress.org themes directory – in fact, you can search for and install themes from inside your WordPress admin panel. Go to Appearance > Themes > Install Themes. Use that page to search for and preview themes. Once you find a theme you like, click Install (don’t forget to activate it to make it live on your site).
While WordPress was originally developed for blogs, themes are available today that look unlike any blog you’ve ever seen. It can even be used for effective and inexpensive e-commerce solutions.
Find the Plugins You Need.
WordPress allows you to install plugins, which add features such as site statistics, spell checkers, social media sharing and search engine optimization. Many plugins are free, and there’s also a host of great commercially available plugins.
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WordPress has a directory that includes some 20,000 plugins. Here are a few plugins you may find useful right off the bat:
- Akismet (helps stop blog comment spammers)
- All in One SEO Pack
- Google Analytics
Add Quality Content.
You can add two basic types of content to your WordPress site:
- Pages. These are permanent pages; use this type for the main pages of your site.
- Posts. These are blog posts; use this type for news, blogs, articles, etc.
Make a Kick Butt Homepage.
By default, your homepage will display a list of the most recent “Posts” you have added to your site. If your site isn’t a blog, you’ll probably want to change this – here is how:
- Create a new Page with the content you want displayed on your homepage.
- Go to Settings > Readings and choose the page you want displayed on your homepage, as shown below.
Ask an Expert.
You will be able to accomplish a lot using WordPress in tandem with all the available templates and plugins. However, there may come a day when you want a design that is 100% customized to your brand, or you may want a custom feature added. There are many WordPress professionals who can assist you in customizing your WordPress site even further.
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