WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that allows users to easily create and manage websites. It is known for its user-friendly interface and wide range of features and tools, making it a popular choice for both beginners and experienced users. WordPress is available in two different versions: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is a commercial website building and hosting service that provides users with a variety of pre-designed templates and tools to help them create and customize their websites. It is a good option for small businesses that want an easy-to-use platform and don’t need advanced customization options.
On the other hand, WordPress.org is an open-source platform that allows businesses to download and install WordPress software on their own web server. This gives them more control over their websites and allows them to customize and extend the functionality of their site using plugins and custom code. WordPress.org is a good option for businesses that want more control over their website and have the technical skills to manage it.
Overall, both WordPress.com and WordPress.org offer businesses a range of options for creating and managing websites. But for businesses looking to scale, we recommend starting out with WordPress.org, as you’ll save yourself time and money not having to migrate later!
Below, we’ll outline the benefits and the process of setting up and managing your WordPress.org website. Plus, we’ll provide tips on customizing and promoting it to reach your target audience.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. Photo Credit: © CodeinWP.
Benefits of using WordPress for your business
There are many benefits to using WordPress.org for your business website, including the following:
- Easy to use and user-friendly interface: WordPress has a straightforward and intuitive interface that makes it easy for anyone to use, regardless of their technical expertise. You can easily create and publish content, customize the appearance of your website, and manage website performance without any coding knowledge.
- Extensive community and resources available: WordPress has a large and active community of developers and users who contribute to its continuous improvement and provide support. This means you can find a wide range of resources and tutorials to help you get started and troubleshoot any issues you may encounter.
- Customizable and flexible: WordPress offers a variety of themes and plugins that allow you to customize the appearance and functionality of your website. You can choose from a wide range of pre-designed themes or hire a developer to create a custom theme for your business. There are also thousands of plugins available that can add various features and functionality to your website, such as e-commerce integration, social media integration, and more.
- SEO-friendly and responsive design: WordPress is designed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, which means it has features that help your website rank higher in search engine results. Additionally, WordPress themes are typically responsive, which means they automatically adjust to fit any device, such as a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. This is important for improving the user experience and attracting mobile users.
Overall, WordPress is an excellent choice for businesses looking for an easy-to-use, customizable, and SEO-friendly CMS. Its large community and resources make it a reliable and flexible option for building and managing a professional website.
Setting up a WordPress website
Setting up a WordPress.org website is relatively easy and can be done in a few simple steps:
- Choose a hosting provider and purchase a domain name: The first step in setting up a WordPress website is choosing a hosting provider and purchasing a domain name. A hosting provider is a company that provides the space and resources for your website to live on the internet. There are many hosting providers to choose from, and prices vary depending on the level of service and resources you need. Once you’ve chosen a hosting provider, you’ll need to purchase a domain name, which is the address of your website (e.g., www.yourwebsite.com).
- Install WordPress: Once you’ve set up your hosting account and purchased a domain name, you can install WordPress on your hosting server. Most hosting providers offer a one-click install option, which makes the process simple and easy. Alternatively, you can also install WordPress manually by downloading the software and uploading it to your server via FTP.
Select a theme: After installing WordPress, you’ll need to choose a theme for your website. A theme is a pre-designed template that determines the appearance and layout of your website. WordPress has a wide range of free and paid themes to choose from, so you can find one that matches your business’s style and branding.
- Add pages and create a menu: Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can start adding pages and creating a menu for your website. Pages are static content that don’t often change, such as an “About” or “Contact” page. You can add pages by going to the “Pages” section in the WordPress dashboard and clicking “Add New.” To create a menu, go to the “Appearance” section and click “Menus.” From there, you can add pages and custom links to your menu and rearrange the order of items.
By following these steps, you can set up a basic WordPress website in just a few hours. From there, you can start adding and publishing content, customizing the appearance of your website, and adding functionality with plugins. With a bit of time and effort, you can create a professional and user-friendly website for your business.
Customizing your WordPress website
One of the great things about WordPress.org is that it’s highly customizable, which means you can tailor the appearance and functionality of your website to fit your business’s needs and branding. Here are some ways you can customize your WordPress website:
- Choosing and installing themes: A theme is a pre-designed template that determines the appearance and layout of your website. WordPress has a wide range of free and paid themes to choose from, so you can find one that matches your business’s style and branding. To install a theme, go to the “Appearance” section in the WordPress dashboard and click “Themes.” From there, you can browse and install themes directly from the WordPress theme repository or upload a custom theme that you’ve purchased or developed.
- Customizing the appearance and layout: Most WordPress themes allow you to customize the appearance and design of your website, such as the color scheme, font, and header image. To customize your theme, go to the “Appearance” section and click “Customize.” From there, you can use the theme customizer to make changes to your website’s appearance and preview them in real time.
- Adding functionality with plugins: Plugins are add-ons that add extra functionality to your WordPress website. There are thousands of plugins available that can add various features, such as e-commerce integration, social media integration, and more. To install a plugin, go to the “Plugins” section in the WordPress dashboard and click “Add New.” From there, you can browse and install plugins directly from the WordPress plugin repository or upload a custom plugin that you’ve purchased or developed.
- Using widgets and customizing the sidebar: Widgets are small blocks of content that can be added to your website’s sidebar or other widget-ready areas. WordPress comes with a variety of default widgets, such as a search bar or recent posts, and you can also install custom widgets with plugins. To add or customize widgets, go to the “Appearance” section and click “Widgets.” From there, you can drag and drop widgets into the sidebar and customize their settings.
By customizing your WordPress website, you can create a unique and professional website that reflects your business’s brand and values.
WordPress dashboard with starter templates. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.
Managing content on your WordPress website
Once your WordPress.org website is set up, you’ll need to manage the content on your website, including creating and publishing blog posts and pages, adding media, and setting up user accounts. Here are some tips for managing content on your WordPress website:
- Adding and organizing pages: Pages are static content that don’t change often, such as an “About” or “Contact” page. To add a new page, go to the “Pages” section in the WordPress dashboard and click “Add New.” You can then add a title, write your page content, and add any media. To organize your pages, you can create a hierarchy by assigning parent pages and child pages. This can help create a clear structure for your website and improve navigation.
- Creating and publishing blog posts: To create a new blog post, go to the “Posts” section in the WordPress dashboard and click “Add New.” From there, you can add a title, write your post, and add any media (such as images or videos). You can also assign categories and tags to your post to help organize and classify it. When you’re ready to publish your post, click “Publish” and it will be live on your website.
- Using media: WordPress allows you to easily add media, such as images and videos, to your website. To add media, go to the “Media” section in the WordPress dashboard and click “Add New.” From there, you can upload your media files and insert them into your posts and pages. WordPress also has a built-in media library that allows you to manage and reuse media files across your website.
- Setting up user accounts: If you want to give others access to your WordPress website, you can set up user accounts and assign different permissions. To do this, go to the “Users” section in the WordPress dashboard and click “Add New.” From there, you can create a username and password and assign the user a role (i.e., administrator, editor, or contributor). This allows you to control who can access and make changes to your website.
By managing your content effectively, you can keep your website up-to-date and engaging for your visitors.
Promoting and marketing your WordPress website
Once your WordPress.org website is set up and running, you’ll want to promote and market it to attract visitors and customers. Here are some tips for promoting and marketing your WordPress website:
- SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results. Many factors can impact your website’s SEO, such as the quality and relevance of your content, the structure of your website, and the use of keywords. WordPress has built-in SEO features, and there are also many SEO plugins available that can help you optimize your website.
- Social media: Utilizing social media is a great way to promote your website and reach a wider audience. You can share links to your website and blog posts on social media platforms, as well as engage with your followers and respond to comments and messages. WordPress has built-in social media integration features, and there are also many social media plugins available that can help you manage and automate your social media presence.
- Email marketing: Email marketing is a powerful way to connect with your audience and promote your website. You can use an email marketing service, such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact, to send newsletters, promotional emails, and other types of communication to your subscribers. WordPress has many email marketing plugins available that can help you manage your email list and send emails directly from your website.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that allows you to track and analyze your website’s traffic and performance. Integrating Google Analytics with your WordPress website will enable you to gain valuable insights into your website’s visitors, such as their location, demographics, and behavior. This can help you understand your audience and optimize your website for better performance.
By implementing these marketing strategies, you can effectively promote and grow your WordPress website and reach your target audience.
Smartphone and laptop on black background with marketing strategy. Photo Credit: © AntonMatyukha via DepositPhotos.
Working with a developer or digital marketing consultant/agency
Based on the guidance above, it is possible to set up WordPress on your own, especially if the website is information and not e-commerce. However, based on your business goals and objectives, it might make sense to work with a professional developer or digital marketing consultant/agency to set up and manage your website. There are several benefits to working with an experienced website development team:
- Expertise and experience: A professional developer or agency has the knowledge and experience to help you set up and manage a successful website. They can recommend the best plugins and themes for your business and help you with more advanced customization and functionality.
- Time-saving: Working with a professional can save you time and effort, as they can handle the technical aspects of setting up and managing your website. This can be especially helpful if you’re busy running your business and don’t have the time or resources to focus on your website.
- Professional quality: Hiring a professional can help ensure that your website is of high quality and meets industry standards. This can improve the user experience and help you attract and retain customers.
When looking for a developer or agency to work with, it’s important to research and choose one that aligns with your business goals and values. You should also consider their experience, portfolio, and reviews from previous clients. It’s also a good idea to discuss your budget and any specific needs or requests upfront to make sure they can meet your requirements.
Overall, working with a developer or digital marketing consultant/agency can be a valuable investment for your business, as they can help you create and manage a professional and successful website.
In this blog post, we’ve covered the basics of WordPress and how it can be a valuable tool for businesses looking to create and manage a professional website. We’ve outlined the benefits of using WordPress, including its easy-to-use interface, extensive community and resources, customization options, and SEO-friendly design. We’ve also provided a step-by-step guide to setting up a WordPress website and tips for managing and customizing your website.
We hope this WordPress for beginners guide has given you the confidence and knowledge to get started with WordPress and take your business to the next level. Whether you decide to work with a developer or digital marketing consultant/agency or tackle it on your own, WordPress is a powerful and user-friendly platform that can help you build and grow your online presence.
Thank you for reading, and we wish you the best of luck with your WordPress journey!
Moxee Marketing is a London-based digital marketing agency. We help our clients, whether based in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the globe, meet and exceed their digital goals and objectives across various channels.