Think you know how to use WordPress? Think again…
First, we give you tons of credit for choosing to create a business website using WordPress – we wish you good luck with your venture! But before you begin, there are some nitty-gritty details and WordPress queries that you will need to understand. So, buckle up, and enjoy reading this piece:
Important things to keep in mind when starting out on WordPress
1. The domain name
The domain is the unique identifier of your website. For example, “facebook.com”. You should look for a name that is easy to remember and that is related to the name of your company or business line to which you are engaged. That way, visitors can intuitively understand the purpose of your site. It also helps with consistency to increase customers’ connection with your brand.
Each domain name has a suffix – .com being the best known. There are others quite widespread such as .net or .org (for organizations or non-profit organizations) or .edu (educational institutions). With the increase in the volume of traffic on the network, more and more available suffixes are being enabled to allow growth. Today, some cities like London or Mexico City already have their individual suffixes.
There are also suffixes .com.country, but they are used for businesses that have a more local scope.
The domains are not expensive in general, and you can setup a payment for a period of one year or you can pay for multiple years up front. It’s really a preference thing.
2. The hosting provider
To use WordPress, you need to have a hosting provider where the software may be installed. You don’t really need to learn a lot about computing, but you need to understand the basics. So that you can register your domain and install the software easily.
At this point, the recommendation is to go with a provider that is friendly in the WordPress environment so that you have an easy-to-understand user interface and also, so you can handle all the basics yourself. You may have to pay an additional price for it but it wouldn’t be too costly.
Your WordPress site can be customized to look how you want, but there are a lot of great themes available if you want to take that route and customize from there. There are many free themes available and others for a one-time fee that varies between $10 to $100.
Just do an Internet search on WordPress themes or read more WordPress blogs (understand their WordPress font), and you will find many options. You can even find some with specific applications such as photography sites, restaurants or architecture studios, etc.
The plugin architecture is largely responsible for the success and evolution of WordPress. Using plugins, you can extend the functionalities of your site to do practically anything you can imagine. There is a directory of more than 44,622 plugins available, among which you will surely find something to implement your project.
Before choosing a plugin, verify that it already has an existing (happy) customer base. Choose plugins with more than 10,000 active installations (although very specific plugins may have fewer installations). It is also advisable to look for a significant number of positive comments. That is a way to make sure that you are going to choose a solid one and that it is already being used without problems. For example, Akismet, a useful plugin which blocked 100 billion spam comments once in 2013.
Often, we find that new WordPress users neglect to pay attention to security. Given the popularity of the platform and the large number of sites that use it, the platform always remains a target of malicious attacks.
WordPress is a secure platform and has a good response capacity when a security problem is identified. However, it is important that as a user you take some measures to protect the integrity of your site. With that objective, we give you some suggestions:
- Always keep updated, the themes and plugins you use.
- Make sure that all user accounts, particularly that of the administrator, are properly identified and have passwords that are difficult to guess.
- As far as possible, install a plugin that increases the security level of your installation.
- Have a way to obtain backups and recover them in case of a problem.
As you can imagine, you can find different plugin options to make backup copies. It is even possible that your hosting provider offers you that service as part of the package. The WP Help, which is a WordPress hosting provider offers just that! With site security and maintenance, you get a good package for your website’s hosting needs along with 24/7 support.
6. Search Engine Optimization and letting your customers find you
SEO comes from the acronym Search Engine Optimization, which means optimizing the pages of your website to appear in the first search results. The idea is that when someone searches for a product or service in the same category as yours, they can find you before the competitors.
The SEO issue is quite complex. However, there are some basic steps you can take to optimize your website in a high percentage and with very little work. For that purpose, you can also use some of the available plugins.
The fundamental idea is that you understand how search engines index the pages of your site and how you can help them to index it properly for your interests.
Follow the aforementioned important steps, and by all means, you will be able to create your own website using WordPress in a weekend. You’re good to go! 🙂
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