If you had to ask me 1 year ago how to build a website or if i would ever consider building a website I would have answered no! However with the coronavirus situation i had time to sit down and think.
Basically after 3/4months of struggling, quitting and trying again i managed to set up a blog.
So how do you actually set up a blog? or website?
1.Go for a Content Management System CMS like WordPress
I personally choose WordPress (which is a free open source software) as my main CMS, the reason for this is that its an easy to understand platform, you can get started up immediately, and there are loads of tutorials online that can help you learn about WordPress, plus it’s free to use and powers over 32% of webpages on the internet.
WordPress offers features like plugins that are mostly free that can enhance your site’s speed, appearance, SEO (search engine optimization), email marketing.
WordPress.com is a hosted service that allows you to run a blog or website without managing the backend stuff, it’s like renting a room without managing the maintenance, the pipes, painting, and the physical problems of that room you are renting! So when signing up on a website using the WordPress.com site.
WordPress.org on the other hand is where you can download the free software and use it on the the web server however you must take care also of most of the backend stuff.
The software can easily be downloaded onto the server you will be Hosted on from wordpress.org
Again knowing HTML, CSS and JS are not essentially needed to work on wordpress however are of great help when you need to add code or modify some aspect of the website.
Unlike wix or weebly or Squarespace, WordPress requires you to take care of most of the website design, such as themes, appearance, plugins, security contacts, although it may seem daunting at first its actually pretty easy and straight forward to do.
With loads of Hosting companies out there it can be easy to fall for an upsell that sells you hosting for .99c and than expects you to pay $8/month after 1 year. So how exactly do you find hosting services?
If you search a forum like Reddit.com and type Best Web Hosting 2020, the results give you the following:
- SiteGround$6.99/moTop Recommended
- Digital Ocean$5/moFor Developers
- Bluehost$3.95/moGood (EIG) Alternative
SiteGround by far has the best quality and the best services, although it can be pricey at $6.99 per month if you actually think about it its as much as a wrap or pint of beer. Others such as BlueHost might be cheaper but the service is not as good as SiteGrounds.
I personally like SiteGrounds for the speed and support offered.
After setting up the Domain and Hosting its time to install WordPress which you can download from WordPress.org.
3.Install Themes and Plug-ins
The next step once you are able to set up WordPress is to install Themes and Plug-ins. The most common themes for WordPress in 2020 are the following:
Personally the 2 themes i have tried for myself are the Astra theme and Divi theme. Overall its hard to pick and choose between two themes, as the outcome depends on what you really want out of your site.
Divi is more of an all in one package, where by you have the Theme and the page builder, on the other hand Astra is more Versitile and can be used with page builders such as Elementor and beaver builder. If you are serious and getting started with WordPress and want results fast Divi and its features allow you to build a site easily with drop in place all in one approach. The ASTRA theme on the other hand is simpler however you need to install plugins that complete the theme, if you are new it may take longer.
Pricing is also important when buying a theme, this depends on your budget!
The free themes although are great might be limited and not that customizable, however if you are going for a free theme i would go for Astra, OceanWP and Hestia.
WordPress Plug-ins you need
WordPress plug-ins are always being updated, and there are always some new plug-ins poping up on the market. The most utilized plug-ins are:
4.Google tag manager
The Yoast SEO plug in is important as it helps you to modify the Search Engine Optimization for the Google crawlers and helps to place your site higher up in google search. Yoast allows you to modify Key Words and Focus Key Words and meta tags.
Also yoast provides advice on what to modify when i comes down to readability of the site and youre post’s wording.
Elementor is a WordPress editor (that i have been using myself for this blog) That allows you to modify the posts by adding and removing parts on the blog just by adding and dropping sections into the blog post. Its extremely versatile and easy to use, it makes blog writing a fun experience.
Make Your Site Beautiful
After that go to appearance and themes in the back end and start to customize the site by adding and removing sections.
Widgets such as social media buttons, search boxes and sidebar posts also are important at making the site look better.
This is a Work in Progress
Building a website is a work in progress and it takes time to set up and modify the site. Traffic towards the site will start growing over time however its hard work.
Its important to look out for Keywords which are essential at driving traffic to the site.
keep on learning by using free tutorials online and blogs on how WordPress works. The learning material i recommend are the following:
After setting up your site, go ahead and publish it !