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What Are the Steps to Setting Up a WordPress Site?

Setting up a WordPress site can be something you do for work, to start a new business, or just as a hobby. Using WordPress is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to have a website. The features make it simple even if you have limited technical skills. 

You often don’t need a web developer or any coding experience to set up a WordPress site. 

There are some steps that you have to do to have a complete site, however, including choosing cheap web hosting that’s also reliable and meets your bandwidth needs. 

In general, the following are some of the primary steps that come with setting up a WordPress site. 

Get a Domain Name

The first step to build a WordPress site is to choose a good, simple domain name. This is how people are going to find you. If you can get one that’s descriptive or reflects your brand, that’s great, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. If you can, your domain name should be pretty close to your business name. 

Keep your domain short, too, to help people find you. 

When choosing a domain you have options for your extension, including .com, .org, .co, and .net. 

It usually costs just a few dollars a year for your domain, but in some cases, if you get a premium domain it can be thousands of dollars. 

Choose a Hosting Service

Once you have a domain name, the next step is to get a hosting provider. 

Cheap web hosting is important when you’re starting out, but there are other considerations to keep in mind. 

Your hosting provider gives you a place of space to rent on the internet where your site will reside. 

You can go with shared or managed WordPress hosting. If you use shared WordPress hosting, you share your traffic capacity and storage space with other sites. It’s cheap, however. 

Managed WordPress hosting can be dedicated hosting or a VPS. If you have a larger site or expect you’ll need more resources, you might want a managed plan. 

When you’re choosing a hosting plan, it’s always a good idea to go with something that has the basics of what you need but gives you the option to scale up in the future pretty easily. 

After you choose a hosting service and plan, you’ll need to link it to your domain name. 

Once you have a domain name along with a hosting plan, you can install WordPress. 

Installing WordPress

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Next, you can install WordPress. The majority of hosts have a quick-install option. In the past, or if that option isn’t available, you would need to download the script from the WordPress site and then upload it to the host. 

If you have a quick-install option, then you can go to your cPanel, find the script for WordPress and install it. 

Manual installation isn’t so easy. You have to download WordPress to your computer and then reupload it to your hosting platform. 

One-click installs are significantly easier, making it a good idea to go that route when choosing a hosting provider. 

Pick a Theme

One of the many perks of WordPress is the ability to choose a theme. 

A theme is a pre-made template for your site. It’s like an example site that you choose, and you can then add your content or customize it in different ways. 

There are free and paid WordPress themes. You can try them out to see how they’ll look before you install them. 

Along with the themes offered via WordPress, there are also third-party options. ThemeForest is popular, but you do have to remember when it comes to themes, simpler tends to be better. A feature-rich theme might look great but it can slow your site down and make for a clunky user experience. 

If you are going to install a paid third-party theme, you download the Zip file of the theme. You then log into your dashboard and go to appearance. 

Choose themes, which will take you to the theme dashboard. 

You’ll see a button above the themes that says Add New. 

Then you can go from there and upload the theme. 

By the way, if you’re doing a premium theme, expect the cost to range anywhere from around $10 upwards to a couple of hundred dollars. 

Creating Content

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Once you have a theme installed and you’ve tweaked it to get it the way you want it, you can start developing and adding content. 

One type of content is a page. 

A page stays the same unless edited. It’s a static component of a website. You might have a navigation menu at the top of your site so people can easily find different pages. 

Some people will instead use widgets in their WordPress theme to show their pages. 

Then, there are posts. 

Posts are blogs. 

You can arrange them to show in different orders. 

When you’ve decided to add a post or page to your website, you’ll add your own content and then publish it so it can be seen on your site. 

Design Considerations

Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay

There are a few technical and design considerations that are important to keep in mind for search engine optimization and the overall look and usability of your site. 

You’ll need to add a title to your site, and your navigational menu layout and design are very important. Otherwise, people aren’t going to be able to find what they’re looking for. 

Finally, when you’re using WordPress, there are tens of thousands of plugins available. These let you add features to your site, and some are free while you have to pay for others. 

These plugins can pretty much do it all. You can use them for design, SEO, traffic management and analytics, or any number of other objectives. 

Just be aware that, like having too many features in your theme, too many plugins can slow your site down. A slow site means that you may be penalized in the rankings by Google and it’s going to create a poor user experience.