Starting a website is easier than ever today. However, the process still requires several steps. If you skip any of them, launching your site may not be as good as you wish. Also, understanding how to start a website without any planning is a recipe for disaster.
In this article, we will go over eight steps that you need to cover when you start a website using WordPress. We will cover virtually everything you need to do from the conceptual stages of your site to its launch. We have a lot of ground to cover, so roll up our sleeves and get down to work!
Step 1: Develop the concept of your site
Every great website starts with an idea. For example, you might want to write about video games, movie reviews, or even technology tutorials. Each of these ideas should also have a clear goal.
For example, a website focusing on technology tutorials might have the ultimate goal of getting people to sign up for an online course or sell a product. Before starting to work on your site, you must have a well-resolved concept. Otherwise, you will go around without a goal and waste precious time.
At this stage, we recommend doing the following:
- Write down what you want your website to focus on.
- Define which is the ultimate goal of your site (ie make money, position yourself as an expert in your field, just a hobby, etc.).
- Imagine who you want your target audience to be.
- Find potential names for your site.
Numbers one and two are relatively simple as you probably already have an idea of what you want. However, understanding who your potential audience is can be difficult. The key is to think of who could benefit from the kind of content you want to publish, as they should make up the bulk of their traffic.
Having an audience in mind is important because it will help you stay focused on your blog's goal. Finally, coming up with a name for your website is a highly personal decision. However, we recommend that you use something that is easy to remember and type, as you will need to purchase a corresponding domain (which we will review in a minute).
Step 2: Purchase a domain for your website
Now let's move on to the conceptual stage and on the technical side of learning on how to launch a website. Your next move will be registering a domain for your site.
There are many places where you can buy a domain. For the most part, we recommend that you use a dedicated domain registrar, as they tend to have the best selection of top-level domains (TLDs) at reasonable prices.
During the first step, you've found some potential names for your blog. If you have not restricted them yet, we recommend checking which of these are available as domains:
In most cases, we recommend that you stay true .com TLD because they are classic choices that people know and trust. A normal .com the domain should take you around $ 10 a year, so it's a small investment for the future of your site.
Once you have arrived on a domain you like, registration should take only a few minutes.
Step 3: find a suitable WordPress hosting (and install the platform)
The next step in your journey is to find the web host that will host your website. The supplier you choose will depend greatly on the platform chosen for building your site.
Of course, we recommend WordPress to feed your website, as you can create professional websites with relative ease thanks to the wide range of features, plug-ins and themes.
You will also have to opt for a WordPress-compatible web host. We have looked at many web hosts, so we recommend that you take a look at our results before making a final decision. In any case, the most reliable hosts will allow you to configure WordPress automatically for your website. If they do not, installing the platform yourself is easy, so do not be scared of the idea!
Step 4: Create the essential content of your site
Most new websites are launched without much fanfare. Usually, the initial content is largely unread until the traffic levels resume after an indefinite period of time. But that does not mean that early creation of the most essential content on your site is not incredibly important.
It is difficult for a new website to gain adherence, especially at launch. In our experience, the best way to increase traffic numbers is to create long-lasting blog content that targets a keyword that you think can be classified.
For this to work, you need to develop several potential topic ideas and do some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) research. So, aim to write an article that beats anything else that competition has on the same topic. Because it works, we like to use an approach called "Skyscraper Technique".
Ultimately, your goal is to put you on the map from day one. However, a single article will not be enough to make your website relevant, which is the last step.
Step 5: Choose the perfect theme for your website
With WordPress set up on your site and your essential content created, it's time for your website to start to take shape. The first thing you should do is to install a theme that reflects the style you want for your site.
In general, there are two types of themes you can use. You have niche themes, which are built with specific types of sites in mind. You can also look at multi-use themes that are specialized in being flexible and able to adapt to almost any type of website. For example, our flagship Divi theme includes a dedicated page generator that lets you design and build websites without any coding knowledge. You can essentially create a unique layout for each of your pages and add any "form" to specific elements such as galleries, contact forms, cursors and much more.
Ideally, the choice of theme will be a long-term decision. With this in mind, we recommend taking your time to choose the perfect choice for you, test it and only then move on to the next step.
Step 6: Install the required plug-ins
The "plug-ins" are one of the main strengths of WordPress and you will probably want to use them to enhance the additional features of your site. They are essentially add-ons and your choices will largely depend on the features your site needs to include. However, some are essential and we have written a lot about some of the best plugins for a particular case of use before:
Those are just the tip of the iceberg, though. You can find over 50,000 free plug-ins in the WordPress.org plugin directory only, so the best thing you can do is spend a little time looking around. If a plugin interests you, there's a small disadvantage to prove it.
However, we recommend that you ignore plug-ins with less than a four-star rating and no recent updates in the last six months. Those may have incorrect bugs and other vulnerabilities, so keeping this rule of thumb in mind is a key consideration.
Step 7: Customize the design of your site to adapt it to your content and goals
Due to the wide variety of themes and creators of pre-designed pages in WordPress, this part of the process usually has a considerable advantage. You can start with the standard design of the main theme and customize it according to your needs. And with builders like Divi, there can be hundreds of pre-designed layouts to choose from.
That said, putting together your site's design will probably take some time, especially if it's your first rodeo. But it's worth taking the time to get everything that looks right here, so the rest of your site's launch runs smoothly. Always remember to keep in mind what you want each page and each post to be made and designed based on that need.
Step 8: What to do after your site is live
After publishing your first content on your new site, we recommend setting up a program for new posts. For a new website, blogging at least once a week is a good way to create an audience. That's why it's a good idea to write all the essential contents of your site before you even start. In this way you can spend your weeks or even months after launching putting all your energy into marketing and backlink building.
In addition to backlinks, we also recommend setting up a social media presence so you can interact with your growing audience and create a list of emails. With a list, you will be able to send campaigns and set autoresponders, which can help bring traffic to your site in the long run.
Ultimately, your long-term goal will decide how you'll go from here. For example, monetizing your site has different tasks than simply creating a "hobby blog". However, finding and nurturing visitors is a perennial consideration.
Almost anyone can create a WordPress website. However, this does not mean that you should cast it blindly. If you want your site to get off on the right foot, you need to plan ahead, develop a concept, think about what you want to include, decide what kind of content you want to publish, and more.
Once these elements are clear in your head, you can start with the technical aspects. This means getting a domain, finding a web host, configuring WordPress and a host of other steps.
Do you have questions about how to start a website? Let's talk about them in the comments section below!
Preview image of the Sentavio article / shutterstock.com.