What You Do and Don’t Need to Know Before You Can Create a Successful Website With WordPress

WordPress is a very popular way to create and publish a website, and with good reason. While it may seem a little bit intimidating to first-time users, it’s actually extremely easy to use. WordPress does all of the “heavy lifting” in generating and displaying the various pages of your website. Once you have WordPress up and running, all you really need to do is add the content.

But there are some things you need to know before you can create a successful website with WordPress. Fortunately, there are also some things you don’t need to worry about when you are just getting started.

You DO Need Some Idea Of Who Your Audience Is

Because the Internet is a very visual medium, you need to have a good idea of your expected audience. In part this will be driven by the subject matter of your site. For example, if your site is about diet and pregnancy, you could reasonably expect your audience to be primarily comprised of pregnant women. When you know your expected audience, you’ll better be able to make decisions about how your site should look, as well as the types of plug-ins you might use to extend your site’s functionality.

You DON’T Need To Know How to Program

While it’s possible to do some custom tweaking by digging into the programming code (HTML, CSS, PHP, JQuery, SQL) that powers WordPress, you certainly do not need to know how to do this. Even a basic WordPress installation without any plug-ins will be able to get you started. When you add in the functions that can come from WordPress themes, plug-ins and widgets, you’ll find that you can accomplish virtually any task with just a few clicks.

You DO Need To Know What You Want Your Website to Look Like

In order to select the best WordPress theme for you, though, you do need to know what you want your website to look like. One way to get a firm idea of your visual goals is to peruse other websites that operate in the same industry or subject matter area as your new site will.

You DON’T Need to Know Graphic Design

The default WordPress theme provides a very clean and elegant (though some might say uninteresting) look. Fortunately, you don’t need to know how to do any graphic design work in order to create a WordPress site that looks exactly the way you want. There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available, and most of these allow a high degree of customization with respect to colors, fonts, layouts and header graphics.

You DO Need to Know What Functions You Want Your Website to Have

Do you want to be able to sell things? Do you want to allow your users to create profiles and interact with one another directly? Do you want to let your visitors upload files or photos? The answers to these questions will determine what types of plug-ins you should install for your site.

Take Action

So get started finding your audience and creating a successful site that meets your current goals. Ultimately the focus of your site may change or become more specific over time. Fortunately, it’s easy to modify your site when it’s built upon the WordPress platform. BUT if you desire to further customize your site you can learn all the extra stuff such as HTML, CSS, PHP, JQuery, SQL and graphic design.

Should You Create A Static Website With WordPress Or Just A Blog?

When using WordPress your content can resemble a static website or a blog. The WordPress platform even gives you the flexibility to have both a static website and a dynamic blog under the same domain name. You are probably asking, “What is the difference between a static website and a blog?”

A blog is in chronological order based on the date the content is posted. Let’s say I wrote something yesterday and then I write a post today and that becomes the first thing you see. So what I wrote yesterday gets moved down. Every time you add something new, what you wrote before is pushed down. Blogs are for interactive communication with your readers. It allows you and your readers to have a conversation.

A static website is where you have information that users may come to your website for multiple times. It can be on Monday and then someone may need the same content again months down the road. Static content does not change regularly. Anytime somebody comes to the website they know where the information is located. A static website can be to provide information, collect a lead, or sale a product.

There is nothing wrong with having a static website and nothing wrong with a blog. But for me I prefer to have a static website with a blog. Meaning that I get the benefit of having a static website where visitors have information always available for them. Then I also have a blog that allows me to add new information on a regular basis, maybe it is news related to the company or the product or maybe providing information like tutorials that my visitors will be interested in. The other benefit of a blog is it makes Google happy and keeps visitors coming back. Fresh content on a regular basis keeps visitors coming to your site on a regular basis.

So when trying to decide if you should have a static website or a blog simply create your static website with WordPress. That way you can have static pages and a dynamic blog all with WordPress. Decide what content needs to be static and what categories of content can be added on a regular basis. Your regular posting schedule for your blog can be daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever works best for you.

How To Safely Install WordPress

Installing WordPress manually gives you more control of the installation process.  When you install WordPress manually you also become familiar with cPanel. The first thing you’re going to do in cPanel is to create a database and a database user. There are things you can do to make your database more secure. However, the process is easy, point-and-click, make up a database user name and make up a database password. That’s all we’re doing copy and paste, point-and-click, to safely install WordPress.

Then you download the current version of WordPress. WordPress has been downloaded more than 13 million times and is the platform of choice for millions of website and blog owners. Use a text editing program to make simple yet powerful changes to WordPress.

To increase the security of your website you can paste-in secret keys, lines of text, to make your WordPress more secure. Adding a unique table prefix also helps to keep unwanted hijackers from easily kidnapping your site. You want to do everything you can to protect your website from hackers. Don’t leave it wide open with the flag up saying, “Hey! Come hack my website.” You don’t want that. You want to do everything you can to make WordPress more secure.
Add special lines of text to improve the user experience of your website. Making these little changes to WordPress is not difficult. You just need to know what to put and where to put the lines of text.

Then you upload the WordPress files using an ftp program. Once the files are uploaded go to your website and create your WordPress user. This is what you’ll use every time you log in to your WordPress admin area, your user name and your password. You want to make sure you make your user name something unique. Your password, you want to make sure you have a strong password. Uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols help to make your password harder to guess. A longer password is better, but no spaces are allowed in the password. Once WordPress is installed and you can log into the admin area you are ready to transform WordPress into a website.

 

Why Use WordPress For Your Website

When I created my first website with WordPress in 2008, I created everything from scratch. I created the theme from scratch. I coded up everything. But, now I’m at the point where I’ve learned there is no need to recreate the wheel. Now when I create a WordPress website just point-and-click, copy and paste. You don’t need all the complexities of learning code, HTML and PHP, or anything like that just to get your website up. I m going to tell you why you should use WordPress for your website.

The first reason why I recommend you use WordPress to create your website is because it’s really simple to use. Let’s say, you want to add a new page to your website. All you have to do is log in to your admin area and go to ‘Add new page.’ You type in the page title. You type in your page content or copy and paste it. In the content area you have a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, with options like ‘B’ for bold, ‘I’ for italics. I know somebody sitting there saying, “Oh man, that’s just like creating a Word processing document.” You’re right! That’s how easy it is to add your content. When you’re finished adding your content or you’re finished making changes to your content, you’ll click the little button that says ‘Publish’ or ‘Update’ depending on what you’ve done, so far. That’s the first reason why I recommend WordPress. It’s just really simple to use.

The second reason is that you can make it look the way you want it to look because there are thousands of themes available for you to choose from. All you have to do is decide, “Okay, do I want one column, two columns, or three columns? Do I want something that already has the colors I want or do I want something that I can change however I want? Do I want to have different page layouts or is the same page layout good for me?” You just decide what you want.

The third item is that you can make it do what you want it to do. You’re like, “Huh?” Well, let me put it this way. Let’s say you want to add videos to your website. Great! There is a plug-in you can add to your website to display videos. A plug-in is a small piece of code that someone else in the WordPress community has written to add additional feature to your website. Maybe you want to collect leads, people’s names and email addresses so, you can send them messages. Hey, great! There’s a plug-in that will do that. Anything that you want your website to be able to do, you can make it do just by simply adding a plug-in. WordPress can already do a lot but, for some things you’re going to want to add a plug-in.

If you notice, I have not told you that you have to learn HTML or PHP because, you don’t! That’s not required for you to create your own website. You can create a website without learning HTML or PHP. Take action now and create your website using WordPress. Why? It’s simple to use. You can make it look the way you want to. You can make it do what you want it to do. Lastly, no HTML or PHP to learn.

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