So you are interested in creating a website or blog using the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), WordPress. Lyqwid has come up with a list of valuable tips that can save you a lot of time and hassle with your new website. If you find this post to be helpful, please share!
First Lets Talk About – Why WordPress?
WordPress has recently claimed that over 25% of all websites on the World Wide Web are running WordPress so you have a valid reason to be considering using WordPress over the other CMS platforms like Joomla, Drupal, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc. WordPress is an open source platform which means that ANYONE can contribute to the development of themes, plugins, and other aspects of the CMS. This enables WordPress to be a very versatile tool because you have access to edit and manipulate ANYTHING on your website. Other CMS platforms (ex. Squarespace) may seem easier to setup and use, however, these platforms have strict limitations on what you can edit, add, and manipulate which could hurt the opportunity for your company or blog to expand. With WordPress, you have the option to self host your website which means that you will have complete access to the raw files of your website and backend access. Let us not forget to mention, WordPress is FREE!
Tip 1 – Do Not Be Scared By Complexity
Yes, WordPress has unlimited amounts of customization options but there are many free or inexpensive tools out there which can make your website very simple to edit. Considering that WordPress is the World’s most popular CMS, there are also unlimited resources and tutorials online to help you accomplish what you need to get done. YouTube is probably the most popular source and gives you access to step by step tutorials on virtually anything you may need help with.
Tip 2 – Select the Best Hosting for Your Website
Having a good hosting provider is critical for the success of your website. For those of you who do not know what hosting is, in a nutshell, hosting is a company who manages servers. These servers store website content and information and push it to the World Wide Web. The typical stats you will see when selecting a hosting package/company are:
- Disk Space (similar to the hard drive space in your iPod or Phone that allows you to store content)
- Bandwidth (amount of traffic your website can handle)
- Server Type – Shared, Virtual Private Server, Cloud, or Dedicated (typically refers to performance and speed)
Though these stats can be very confusing, most NEW websites that are 10-30 pages can usually be hosted for around $10-20. Read reviews on hosting companies and make an educated decision on what is right for you and your website.
Tip 3 – Don’t Be Cheap, Purchase a Theme
I cannot stress this enough! Imagine that the theme of your website is the foundation for your website, and without a solid foundation, your website is going to be very stressful to build upon. Plan to spend approximately $40-60 for a theme but remember that themes typically include very valuable plugins which will end up saving you hours of design and development work. One thing that we look for when purchasing a theme is whether or not it includes a plugin for drag and drop editing. One of the most popular plugins for this is called “Visual Composer” which is included with many themes.
The most popular place to purchase amazing WordPress themes is themeforest.net. Once you go to Themeforest, click on WordPress and then sort the themes by most popular or highest rated and you can make your decision from there. Some of our favorite themes include:
- X Theme
So you don’t have to start from scratch, it may be wise to import the themes demo content so you can use there design layouts as well from the theme. We go over the installation of a theme and installing demo content in our full WordPress tutorial video here http://youtu.be/J0_Ujk-FSeA.
Tip 4 – Utilize Powerful WordPress Plugins
What are WordPress plugins? Plugins are tools that developers around the world have created for you to install on the WordPress platform. There are thousands of plugins available to download directly on your WordPress dashboard and there are many more out on the web that you can find and install. Plugins are specific applications that allow you to achieve a specific task like visually editing the content on a page, increasing your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), adding a Mailchimp newsletter signup form, and much more!
Some of our favorite WordPress plugins include:
- Visual Composer – Click & Drag Page Editor (Purchase on Themeforest)
- Yoast SEO (Easy Search Engine Optimization)
- Slider Revolution – Full Page/Width Custom Slideshow (Purchase on Themeforest)
- PopUp by Supsystic – Popup Newsletter Signup or Message (Available on WordPress)
- Wordfence – Easy Security & Website Protection (Available on WordPress)
- Essentials Grid – Custom Animated Grid Content (Purchase on Themeforest)
- Gravity Forms – Contact Form Plugin (Available on WordPress)
- WooCommerce – Ecommerce Store for WordPress (Available on WordPress)
With so many choices, it is critical that you make sure that the plugins you download and install are trusted plugins. This means pay attention to reviews and the amount of times the plugin has been downloaded. It is wise to download plugins that have a high rating with a significant amount of downloads to verify the plugin is secure and will not harm your website.
Tip 5 – Use the Resources Available to You
Since WordPress is the most popular CMS platform in the world, there are an unlimited number of resources available for you to use to complete a website. An obvious one and one of our favorites would be Youtube. You can find long tutorials that give you step by step instructions on how to make a simple WordPress website or search for instructions on how to use a specific plugin or feature. If you like to read rather than watch, another great resource would be WPBeginner.
If you end up purchasing a theme or plugin like we have suggested, don’t hesitate to contact the developer of the theme/plugin for assistance. With the many websites Lyqwid has created, we often find ourselves reaching out to these developers inquiring about how to use them or optimize them for our websites. Our experience may differ from yours but we have found that the majority of developers are quick to respond to your questions and are happy to help (because you did purchase a product from them)!
Our goal at Lyqwid is to empower creative individuals and give them the tools to create their own amazing WordPress websites. To make things even easier, we offer WordPress hosting for as little as $9.99/mo and are dedicated to making the process as simple as possible for you. Once you have signed up for our service, you will find that we have a WordPress Quickinstall button that instantly installs WordPress on your server space eliminating the hassle most people encounter just installing WordPress. You can also watch our full feature tutorial video that teaches you step by step on how to get started with our hosting, installing themes, and much more. Check it out here http://youtu.be/J0_Ujk-FSeA.
Though WordPress is an amazing tool, it may not be for everyone. Not everyone has creative abilities or the technology savvy to make things function properly and look good. This is where we can come in to play! Contact us for a FREE quote on designing and developing a website for you or your company!
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