Powering over 30% of the internet, WordPress is an excellent family to join if you’re looking to create your own website, add another website to your roster, or need to help a client promote themselves online. It is a robust platform accessible enough for beginners without any coding experience but still gives you the creative freedom to design your website exactly as you like and add whatever features you need. Bloggers, businesses, online sellers: they’re all welcome at WordPress.
Of course, if you’re just starting now, it can be helpful to have a little guidance along the way. So here are some bases you need to cover and tips to help make the process a breeze.
Get Your Hosting Sorted
Until you’ve taken care of hosting, your site can’t go live on the internet. And aside from this primary function, your hosting provider will also provide resources that will allow you to handle your site traffic, avoid crashes and downtime, and give you the site speed you need to keep visitors happy.
First, you need to find the right hosting plan for your site – there are several different types with different levels of features. A good place to start is by checking out some WordPress-specific hosting plans, which will make setting up and running your site very straightforward.
Review your WordPress theme choices carefully
WordPress offers an extensive range of professional, functional, and fun-to-use themes. When you’re choosing your theme, in addition to reading about what type of project or venture the theme was designed for, it’s a good idea to make use of theme demos. This way, you can view a theme – and sometimes even try it out – before committing to it.
Keep in mind that you also want a theme you feel comfortable using because although you can customize WordPress—unless you’re skilled in coding or are working with a developer—your theme will be a big part of how you enjoy running your own website going forward.
Install An SEO Plugin & Google Analytics
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is critical for the success of any website. If you want to grow your audience, it goes without saying that you should enlist the help of an SEO tool. And thankfully, you have plenty of good (and even free options to choose from). Rank Math and Yoast are two such tools that we have GANDT have found very helpful. The free versions are almost identical, but you have an easy extension to do structured data with Rank Math, which we currently use.
Google Analytics is a well-known tool for tracking performance, recording data and giving insight into how people are interacting with your site. As you don’t want to overload your site with plugins, though (it will slow things down), keep in mind that you can Google Analytics via both a plugin or a coded API.
Compress your images
By compressing the images you use on your site, you will be reducing the file size, saving storage space, and ultimately ensure that your loading times are in check and your site runs faster. We use Imsanity, which can automatically resize huge image uploads. You simply choose whatever size and quality you like, and it will take care of the rest.
Stay up to date
Like many online platforms, WordPress updates its software regularly to help things secure. Minor updates occur around every two weeks, while major updates happen roughly once a month. The minor ones usually aren’t a big deal and consist primarily of small tweaks. That said, you should check for them regularly in order to avoid a situation when your site becomes outdated and vulnerable to annoying bugs. It pays to be proactive here! Simply go to your WordPress dashboard, where it’ll tell you if you need to update your plugins, themes, or version of WordPress.
A final word on WordPress
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to use WordPress and lots of tried and tested tools to help. Mona Altheimer, our GANDT expert in SEO, Ecommerce, and websites, recommends WordPress for a variety of reasons. “Thanks to the hugely broad diversity of templates, there is something for every project, regardless of whether you want to create an online shop, blog, or showroom. And from an Ecommerce perspective, it is great because all sorts of integrations are possible, including WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and more.”
Ready to get your business online? Get in touch to speak with one of our experts.