Learn WordPress: How to Build Your First WordPress Website
WordPress is easy once you get the basics down. Need to learn those basics? That’s what we’re here for. Today at Agile 451, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know to build your first WordPress website. Let’s get right into it.
How do I Start Using WordPress?
Now you’re probably asking, “how do I start WordPress?”
The first step is going to WordPress.org and clicking on “Get WordPress” in the top right corner. It is 100% free — though you will have to pay to host your website. What’s hosting? It’s so your website can be published online. Don’t worry, we’ll go over that now.
You’ll just need a few things to get started with WordPress:
Quality web hosting
A domain name
The WordPress software installed on your website (most web hosts will handle this for you.)
If you’d rather use the hosted version of WordPress available on WordPress.com, you’ll simply need to create a WordPress.com account to get started. Fair warning through, the .com version of the site is not free and is more limited. However, your first website may not need all of the capabilities the .org version has. If you want to learn more about the difference, check out our blog on WordPress, here.
Learn WordPress Before You Dive In
Before you dive into WordPress, you need to know what to expect. WordPress has an extensive library and a ton of menu options that can be confusing for first-time users. So be prepared before you dive in so you’re not overwhelmed by all of the options.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is a WordPress Plugin?
A WordPress plugin is a package of additional code that you can upload to your website to add new features, functionality or integrations. In simpler terms, they help customize your site so you can accomplish what you want to accomplish.
If you want SEO trackers, e-commerce capabilities, custom drag-and-drop website builders, redirection capabilities, and more, there are plugins for that!
To find them, follow these steps:
Click on the Plugins menu in your WordPress dashboard (usually on the left hand side)
Using the built-in search function, you can find a free plugin available on the WordPress.org Plugin directory.
Plugins can also be packaged as zip files that you upload through the Plugins menu uploader in your WordPress dashboard.
All WordPress websites will benefit from these must-have WordPress plugins. You can find them in your left-hand toolbar. From there, hit Plugins > Add New. Then search for these:
- WordPress backup plugin – WordPress doesn’t have a built-in backup function, so having a WordPress backup solution in place will save you a ton of headaches should you lose any data on your website.
- WordPress security plugin
- Yoast SEO can help you add additional SEO (Search Engine Optimization) features and functionality.
- Ninja Form — adds forms, such as contact forms, to your website
- WooCommerce — adds e-commerce capabilities and tracking to your website
What is a WordPress Theme?
A “theme” is a pre-design for your website. They’re known as the site’s framework, which controls your website's overall design, fonts, color scheme, style for blog posts and archives, page layouts, widget locations and more.
We highly recommend using a pre-built theme for your first website, especially if you don’t have the budget for a website designer or a web developer.
Some themes operate like WordPress page builders, allowing you to create your own page layouts without code. These let you drag-and-drop in content, images, videos, and move around the page layout with ease.
To find them, locate “Appearance” in your left-hand menu. Click on “Themes” to find the theme builder menu. If you’re lost on what to pick, don’t worry. We have a recommendation for you in the next section.
Right to Go? Here’s How to Build your Website
Understand what plugins and themes are? Amazing! You need one more thing to build your website with ease: Divi. It’s a drag-and-drop page builder that comes with layouts and templates for free. It makes building your website a breeze. Play around with it and have fun. It’s almost impossible to break anything using Divi, so don’t worry about messing up your website.
We always recommend using the “Preview” button first, too! This allows you to see your website page before you publish it to go live.
Where To Build Pages
Making new pages, such as a Service page or an About Me page is easy. All you need to do is find “Pages” in the left hand menu, and click “add new.” If you have a theme builder, it should automatically be integrated into the page.
From there, it’s really a matter of writing your content and dragging and dropping in your assets. Add a few calls to action, your business information, look it all over, and hit “publish.” Then you’re done! Easy, right?
If you’re still a little lost, don’t worry. Web development can be confusing. If you need the help of a white-label professional developer, reach out! We’ll be happy to help!