Every now and then, this fast-paced + chaotic world has me wishing I’d been born in a simpler era. One with more emphasis on quality of life + savoring the moment, rather than on speed/quantity + rushing through things to get onto the next one on the list.
Of course, it doesn’t take me long to remember that, “Yes, it would be lovely to live in a simpler time, but I’d miss this modern world!”
There are plenty of things I love about the 2000’s (like… Rascal Flatts! Digital e-readers (I’m a recent Kindle convert); Harry Potter, and Twilight too! And then there’s my latest obsession, The Selection *swoons emphatically* ♥).
But, seriously, I just love modern technology—especially, that genius website + blogging platform called WordPress.
If you’ve been hanging out in the online business ‘sphere for very long, then you’re probably aware that WordPress has become the go-to platform for small business websites. Everybody and their mother is using it. I use it. My clients use it. Why? Because it’s flippin’ awesome, and I don’t know how we ever did without it!
Maybe you’re on that “This WordPress thing sounds perfect! Sign me up!” bandwagon right now—because you need to establish a website for your fledgling biz, or maybe your current site arrangement is driving you nuts, and you want to switch it to WordPress, like, yesterday.
No problem! Here are some essential guidelines to follow, to get started on WordPress…
BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE: You might already know this, but just in case you don’t, there are three things you need to get, to put up a WordPress site…
1) You need a domain name.
2) You need a web host.
3) And you need to install WordPress on your site.
My favorite way to accomplish all those things in one neat package, is to pick a good web host that offers a free domain name with your hosting package, plus easy-peasy WordPress installation right in their control panel. One-stop shopping, done. <--That’s my affiliate link for Bluehost. I’ve hosted my own website with them for a good 5+ years now, and couldn’t be more pleased, both with the price point and the excellent service they provide. But, if affiliate links give you the willies, or you don’t like the idea of me getting a kickback for you signing up on my recommendation, use this link instead.
ONCE YOUR SITE IS ONLINE: Get to know the WordPress interface + how to do basic tasks. A quick search on Google and/or YouTube will bring up loads of helpful tutorials; anything from creating a new blog post, to installing a plugin, and so forth. Take advantage of the abundance of free and quick learning out there! 😉
THEN: Start creating your content. Begin with your main pages (Home, Blog, etc.), and gradually add more pages and content (like the web copy, photos, contact forms and so forth) as you go.
AND: Decide which WordPress theme you’ll use! Themes come in both free and premium options, and depending on your needs, you can even hire a designer to customize your chosen theme, or go all out and get a WordPress developer to build you a custom theme from the ground up. Technically, you can pick and/or change your theme anytime, but I recommend waiting until after you’ve created at least a few pages with content—that way, you can see how your actual stuff will look with each theme you try.
ALSO IMPORTANT: Get friendly with some WordPress plugins; they’ll enable you to do nifty stuff like add a contact form, setup a shopping cart, add social sharing buttons to your blog, and much more. And be sure to set up some basic SEO for your site, so people can find you via web search, and hook up Google Analytics to track your site’s incoming traffic and conversions.
SO—Tell me, what’s your #1 concern about getting your biz site up on WordPress? Did I address it here? If not, let’s tackle it in the comments…
Want a FANTASTIC WordPress site for your biz? Go here to learn about my site design & theme customization services…
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!