Millions of bloggers worldwide make use of WordPress, which is website design software that’s free and easy to use. It’s one of the best tools to get started with a blog or a new website for your small business. The hardest part may be choosing which of the free WordPress themes to use. You can research online to find WordPress website help, or follow this step-by-step guide to get your new website started right away.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
Although it can be tempting to choose the completely free option from WordPress.com to create a blog or website, you’ll be stuck with a domain name, or URL, that includes “wordpress” in it (yourname.wordpress.com). You don’t have to pay for a domain name or hosting, but your website’s name won’t have a professional look to it.
If you spring for a domain name and find a web host, you’ll find it’s actually quite affordable. In this case, you’ll want to direct your browser to WordPress.org, download the software and install it on your computer. Now you can start designing a website using WordPress.
Web Host Setup
Once you’ve decided on a domain name and purchased it, you should sign up for web hosting. You can research the best web hosts for WordPress websites in our review here. Familiarize yourself with the web server so you know how to use it. Also, make sure you have file transfer protocol (FTP) software for moving files easily from your computer to your web server.
Download & Install
The next step in designing your website is to download and install the WordPress software. You can choose to do this manually, or you can opt for one-click installation. If the web host you chose supports one-click installation, it’s a simple process and you can follow the instructions there. Otherwise, you need to create a database on your web server for WordPress, rename a particular file (wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php) and then add your database information to the file. Your chosen web host may offer Plesk, cPanel, phpMyAdmin, MySQL Client or DirectAdmin. Then upload WordPress files to your web server.
Next, you need to open a browser and go to http://yoursitename.com/wp-admin/install.php to run the install script.
Choose a Theme & Plugins
Perhaps one of the most difficult steps in creating your own WordPress website is choosing a theme that you like. You have access to more than 2,000 free WordPress themes, so you can sift through them to find the one that best fits your business or blog.
WordPress also offers tens of thousands of helpful plugins that you can run on your website. These added widgets can run in the background or directly on your site. Some of them block email or comment spam, others protect your site from malware. You can put a CAPTCHA module on your site to ensure those who use your site are not bots, or you can add a contact form or employ Google Analytics so you can see how well your site is performing.
Creating a website using a WordPress design is easy and quick, and it gives you a professional-looking website – especially if you go the WordPress.org route.