Designed and managed correctly, a WordPress website is a user-friendly and easy-to-access content management system.
You can of course build your site yourself and if you are going to have a try at that here is what I recommend.
1 – Use self hosted wordpress.org
There are two sorts of WordPress sites, those you host yourself using the open source software at wordpress.org, and the commercial arm of wordpress.com.
Use a self hosted site, you have much more control over this and more flexibility in what you can do with your site.
If you feel daunted by the set up process, WordPress has a rather famous 5-minute install which guides you through the process, or you can ask your hosting company or a developer to help you with this part.
2 – Select the right hosting company
This is crucial to your success, I can’t stress this enough. The choice is mind-boggling, and there are all the big players here as well as smaller operations, and TRUST ME, I have come across many.
The one I use for all my sites is encode.host for many reasons, excellent hosting resources, excellent platform, up to date software, daily backups, SSL included on all sites and superb support from Neil Batchelor who is the company director.
3 – Choose your theme wisely
There is an enormous selection of themes to choose from, and it can be a real minefield. In my experience I would avoid purchasing beautiful looking themes from places like Theme Forest, for a beginner these themes can be really appealing, but they often fall short of what they promise to deliver in terms of how your site will look and you will need some technical expertise to achieve a good result. Also they often don’t have the correct upgrade process in place which is a drama.
Pick something simple to work with, better still get a little bit of training to get you up to speed quickly.
WordPress has it’s own native builder called Gutenberg which can be a great place to get started with simple page design. For people who want to get a little more into the nitty gritty of design I recommend Divi by Elegant Themes, they claim it’s the post popular theme in the world right now, which is great for me as I’m a Divi theme specialist and I come across it a lot!
4 – Do your updates
This is CRUCIAL. If you’re building and maintaining the site yourself it’s really important to do this to make sure you site is secure and safe from hackers.
5 – Do your on-page SEO
It’s important that you write valuable content for your site, but also if you spend a little bit of extra time setting your page meta-descriptions using a plugin like Yoast, this can really help the appearance of your site on Google. And if you’re feeling brave, register with Google Search Console.
Of course, the list here could go on and on but this is a great place to start. If you need help then get in touch, I offer a whole range of WordPress installation services, from a simple install-and-go, to an install with training session, and design if you need it. I work with clients on WordPress web design all over Coventry and Warwickshire, delivering WordPress expertise in a friendly and approachable way.