You have made the decision to build a website with WordPress. Yay! Great choice, WordPress is a trusted website builder for thousands of entrepreneurs and business professionals alike. But sometimes getting started with your very first website can seem intimidating. Don’t worry, you got this. Here are the first 4 steps to get you started.
Choose Which WordPress Option you Want: WordPress.com or WordPress.org
This needs to be your very first decision because it will affect all of your next steps.
If you want to go the ‘.com’ route that means WordPress technically owns your site and is your host provider. So your URL will be [www.yourwebsite.wordpress.com]. This option is completely free and your website can literally be set up in minutes, although with that ease of use comes some some restrictions. With wordpress.com, you are not able to add plugins (aka additional functionality) and are only allowed to choose from WordPress’s limited theme options. This is a good solution if you just want an easy, simple website that is easy to maintain.
If you want to go the ‘.org’ route, technically WordPress.org software is free but you will have to set up your website with an outside host provider which typically has a monthly fee attached to it ($5-30/mo). If you are creating a site for your business this is still a great option because it becomes a business investment that will be well worth it once you start bringing in clients and customers from your site. Using a third-party host with WordPress.org will give you awesome perks such as ability to use advanced plugins and premium theme customizations and add-ons.
If you are just starting out or don’t want to invest any money, ‘.com’ is probably your best bet since it’s easier to go from .com to ‘.org’. However if you are really looking to grow your business and need more freedom and flexibility, ‘.org’ is where it’s at.
Related post: WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?
Do Some Research on WordPress Features
Unless you are a computer wiz, you might benefit from reading up on some WordPress articles. WordPress is one of the most popular website builders out there, and that is because it has so much to offer! But sometimes more options also means it’s more complex to use.
The good news is that once you understand all of the features and functions, it becomes easier and quicker! Doing research could save you from making tedious mistakes in the future. Here is an article that I found super helpful when creating my own WordPress website.
Pick your Website Theme
Now that you have all of the website basics down, you can pick your website theme. This is where you may start to feel impatient and just want to get something up and launched, but getting your website up faster is not always better. Anyone can make a website, but the ones that truly stand out are the websites that have time, creativity and strategy put into them.
Related Post: The Essential Guide to Branding for Female Entrepreneurs
If you are using WordPress.com, then you will have to pick from a built-in WordPress theme. There are plenty of amazing themes to choose from and this is a great option for beginners, because you can always change your theme! This only means that your website could look similar to someone else who is also using the same theme.
If you are using WordPress.org, then you have that added benefit of being able to upload an outside theme that you can purchase from sites such as Etsy, Creative Market or other theme marketplace. This gives you a little more creative freedom but again, someone else could have the same theme.
Another option is to work with a web designer. This is typically the most pricey option, BUT hiring a designer also means your website will be completely customized to you so that it not only looks amazing, but has your specific business goals and strategy integrated from the start!! Here are some resources about working with designers:
Related Post: How to Find a Brand Designer That Totally Gets You
Whatever you choose, picking a theme will give you a foundation for the rest of your WordPress site, and will relieve some stress that I’m sure you are feeling about this whole process!
Customize your Website
Once you’ve picked/purchased a theme, or hired a web designer, the next step is to make your website yours and make it truly special, because you and your brand are special!
This could mean anything from the colors you use, to the fonts, or the copy on your website. What is in your footer? Do you want a sidebar? …And so much more! This is where the majority of the work will go and where doing that research will come in handy as well as looking up inspiration before you get started.
The hard work you put in will pay off and creating a WordPress site is a huge accomplishment that you should be proud of. It is always hard to get your feet running with a new project, but hopefully these few steps will get the ball rolling.
Need help getting started with WordPress? Message me and we can find out the right option for you!
Rachael is the founder of Planned in Pink where she assists small business owners with digital marketing strategies and implementation. She is also a bullet journalist and reader!