Once you’ve bought your domain and set up hosting, then it’s time to get rocking and make a Wordpress website, which is really quite easy.
Most quality hosting companies come with a cPanel which will include a one-click install of WordPress option through something like Softaculous or Fantastico.
Once you install WordPress, then it’s time to get your site set-up. With WordPress, there are both Pages and Posts. Pages are what you use for static content – things that aren’t getting updated very often. For instance, your Services, About, and Contact pages. Posts are what you should do for your blog posts or articles.
In addition to creating a few of your main pages, you also want to make the page and post URLs more SEO friendly. To do this, you want to go to Settings >> Permalinks and select the %postname% option. This will change a post like marketingbeast.com/?p=123 to something like marketing beast.com/how-to-make-a-wordpress-website. Since keywords are in the URL, search engines have a better idea as to what the content is about.
Plugins are a way to extend the capabilities of your WordPress site—an add-on, if you will. Whenever I set up a new website, I install the following plugins, which are all free:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: This is the premier plugin for SEO settings which cover things like meta-tags, site-maps, etc.
- JetPack: This plugin by Automattic, Matt Mullenweg’s company (he founded WordPress), allows you access to a whole slew of abilities. To use the JetPack plugin, you’ll need to register with WordPress.com which is totally worthwhile.
- Analytics by Yoast: Installing Google Analytics is the best way to monitor your website traffic, trends, and opportunities. Yoast’s plugin allows for easy integration with Google Analytics and even pulls in some of the data to the WordPress dashboard.
- SumoMe by AppSumo: This is an all-in-one social sharing and lead capturing plugin that does a whole bunch of great things. It provides share buttons for posts and pages, adds a lead capture pop-up box to pages, offers heat maps, and more. While there is a paid version, the free version will more than get you off the ground.
One of the great things about WordPress is that there are quite literally thousands of themes available, both free and paid. While free themes are almost certainly enough to get you going, I recommend going with a paid theme for a few reasons, such as the fact that they often provide better support and their developers are incentivized to keep their themes up to date and bug free. One of the largest marketplaces for WordPress themes is called Themeforest. When searching for the best WordPress theme for your business, I recommend looking for one that is responsive, has lots of great reviews, and has been downloaded hundreds of times. More customers usually mean a better supported theme.