I am willing to bet that even if you have some loose knowledge of the internet and websites, you have probably heard of WordPress or at least have some idea of what they offer. In this guide, we are going to have a look at what WordPress offers and how you can get your own site up and running for free or next to nothing.
In the beginning….
WordPress was launched in 2003 and since then, WordPress has gained speed around the world as the leader in crisp and clean sites which are all designed to be user-friendly and provide your customers or clients with a straightforward journey to your goods and services.
Some of the best-loved features that WordPress offers lies in the easy to set up sites, super helpful video tutorials, dedicated WordPress gurus who are just a click away and the incredible variety of designs available for everyone from florists to consultants. You will be sure to find something that will appeal to your inner designer and be pleasing on the eyes.
Themes as far as the eye can see…
WordPress sites are made up primarily of Themes (some free and some paid) and Plugins (e-commerce, language, features, data capture etc) I will run you through what these look like later in this guide.
First things first – we need to have an idea of what you want from your website (is it a portfolio, information style blog, resource website or e-commerce website and everything in-between). Once we have a rough idea of what you want your site to look like, it’s off to WordPress.com to get started and have a look at what’s on offer.
By creating an account with WordPress, you are given access to an excellent database of themes and plugins to get you started. All of these sites come preloaded with text just to give you an idea of what the site will look like fully populated and most are a standard five page set up (although you can add pages and take pages out later if you wish). Have a look at some of the themes WordPress suggested as I was writing this guide. WordPress offers free hosting as well so if you have a domain name sorted out, getting your site live and available to the masses is easy and stress-free or there are many paid hosting options that have a ton more features such as cPanel and website builders included.
Keep an eye out for featured themes and plugins offered by WordPress as well because these themes are styled after their best sellers and after one year are made available to their community for free in most cases. Once you have chosen the theme that works best for the style and functionality you want from your website, have a browse through available plugins for that site which are all made easy to find by the helpful people at WordPress.
Plugins are designed to give your website and added boost in functionality and offer some awesome extras like the ability to auto generate survey for your customers (MailChimp etc) or can turn a standard theme into a fully responsive and functional e-commerce site. I strongly suggest you spend some time getting comfortable with how plugins work and how they can give your website an edge among the masses. If you are ever in doubt, have a quick look at YouTube or ask the helpful people at WordPress about how best to utilise plugins within your website.
Once you have these parts together, you can either have a go at creating the content required to attract and convert customers or have a look on popular freelance sites like Peopleperhour.com and hire someone else qualified to create the content. Once you have the content in place on your website you can go live with the click of a button and WordPress will walk you through what you need to do in order to get your site in cyber space.
If you have been bitten by the WordPress bug and want to boost your knowledge and skill around the sites, there are a multitude of resources available to brush up on your skills for free and by committing a few hours you may have spare. Sites like Udemy.com offer a load of free courses to gain skills in content writing and WordPress masterclasses to get your skills in shape. From there, who knows…you might just start your own business offering the best WordPress sites on the market to people who need one.