So you’ve decided to start your own WordPress site. Great! Creating and maintaining a WordPress website will force you to learn several useful skills. If your website is successful, it can be a great addition to your skill set should you decide to pursue a different career. Unfortunately, the process of starting a WordPress site can be a bit overwhelming at first.
If you’ve experienced difficulties in setting up a WordPress site of your own you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I will give you five tips that will help you establish a successful WordPress site of your own. This article is also the first entry in an on-going series dedicated to helping people build their own WordPress site, so if you want to learn more about WordPress keep checking back with us so you can get all of the information that you need to succeed with designing a site of your own..
Tip 1: How To Install WordPress
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms in the world, and it’s used by hobbyists and professionals alike. To install WordPress, first you’re going to need a domain name and a web hosting company. I recommend SiteGround, as they offer 1-click WordPress installs and their support is one of the best out there. The 1-click installs are perfect for WordPress beginners. Simply sign up for an account over at SiteGround and the installer will walk you through the rest of the process.
Tip 2: First Steps After Install
Now that you have got WordPress installed you may need to change your site’s website title & tag-line. The first thing that you need to do in order to accomplish this is enter the “Setting Tab” located on the left side of the screen in your dashboard. Next select the “General” option in the menu. Here you can change both your title and your tag-line.
Tip 3: Change The Reading Settings
In WordPress, you have the option to configure your site to either show your latest posts or to show a static page (showing a static page means that the set page will always show on the home page). If you’re offering services, you may find that a static page will allow you to display information to your readers easier (you can set a separate page to display blog posts also). But keep in mind that if your site is more topical you will be better off setting it to display latest posts.
WordPress displays your latest posts by default. However, if you decide that displaying a static page would be a better option for you, configuring WordPress to do this is actually a pretty simple process. Just enter the “Settings” tab and select the “Readings” option. In the “Front page displays” section of the “Readings” tab you will see two options; “Your latest posts” and “A static page”. To configure your site to have a static page simply select the “A static page” option.
Tip 4: Installing Plug-Ins
WordPress plug-ins are extensions that add various features. Most users won’t need very many plug-ins, if any at all. But some users appreciate the extra control that plug-ins offer.
Installing plug-ins is actually very easy once you get some practice at it. To install a WordPress plug-in first select the “Plug-ins” menu in your WordPress dashboard area. Select the “Add New” option. This will take you to the plug-in archive, where you can select from all of the various plug-ins that WordPress has to offer. Next select the “Installed Plugins” option from your “Plug-ins” area. From here you will be able to see a list of all of the plug-ins that are installed on your WordPress site.
To enable the plug-in that you just installed look directly under its name, here you will see the word “Activate” in blue letters. Simply select that and you’re good to go!
Tip 5: Integrate Social Media
Integrating social media sharing into your website is the one of the easiest steps that you can take in order to broaden your audience. I’m sure that you’ve seen those social media icons on different websites that you visit, right? Well, their purpose is to allow your readers to share the contents of that page with their followers and friends on various social media networks. This is very important when your site is just starting out because you are going to need all of the readers that you can get.
My favourite plug-in for social media integration is WordPress Social Media Feather. Simply install the plug-in with the process described in the above section and the plug-in will integrate your site with all major social media platforms.
Hopefully, this article helped give you some insight in setting up your own WordPress site. If you have any questions feel free to contact me here, or read some of the other articles in our Beginner’s WordPress series.