WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems. It makes building and editing web pages fast and easy, enabling users with minimal technical knowledge to create, customize, and manage WordPress websites.
While installing WordPress and creating web pages is relatively simple, there are some technical details and jargon that can be confusing to people who are new to building websites. This article will explain some of the jargon and give you a few important things to keep in mind when setting up a new WordPress website.
The Basics of WordPress
There are a few things that need to be set up before your WordPress can go live.
The first step is to install the WordPress software with the help of a hosting provider. Then, you’ll need to select a theme, plugins, and hosting service.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the open-source Content Management System (CMS) that’s responsible for most websites online today. Its popularity comes from its ease of use, flexibility, and in-depth customization options—which make it an excellent choice for simple websites as well as complex projects.
While a CMS aims to help users manage a website without needing much technical knowledge, WordPress takes it a step further by allowing users to fully customize the site, host it anywhere using a WordPress supported hosting provider, and use plugins to automate tasks.
WordPress has a large and enthusiastic community that’s constantly creating new guides, plugins, and themes. So if what you want doesn’t exist, chances are that someone’s already working on it. Alternatively, you can always look to the WordPress community support, or pay experts, like Idea Maker, to build and optimize your site.
So let’s say you want to set up a WordPress site on Namecheap.com using one of their hosting plans. Namecheap specializes in web services, like domain registration, website hosting, WordPress hosting, CDNs, and more.
Make sure to choose and register your domain name as soon as possible, otherwise someone else might get it first! You can purchase your domain name before selecting a hosting provider or installing WordPress. Buying your domain is one of the most important steps in securing your brand’s name and identity, so don’t put it off.
After installing Softaculous, click on WordPress, fill in the required information about your website, and then click Install.
Softaculous will run its WordPress script, leaving you a ready-to-use WordPress installation.
Choosing a WordPress Theme
WordPress themes combine all of the necessary code, CSS, and scripts needed to define the look of your WordPress website—things like shadows, buttons, colors, and styles. Picking a suitable theme that fits your brand and resonates with customers is a big part of great design.
Some WordPress hosting providers offer integrated systems that help you find and install great-looking themes with just a few clicks, streamlining the experience of installing your own WordPress themes to make them much more accessible and manageable.
Bluehost’s feature filter is a great way to find the perfect theme. It allows you to filter by category, layout type, and features. Keep in mind that premium themes vary widely in price, costing anywhere from $20 for simple themes to $5000+ for custom-built premium themes.
Picking the Best Plugins
Plugins are a piece of software that integrates into your WordPress website to expand its functionality. They make it quick, easy, and affordable to implement common and necessary website features, like e-commerce stores, restaurant reservations, comment sections, and review systems.
If you have a GoDaddy PRO account (or better), you can browse a library of existing and popular plugins using keywords like e-commerce, restaurant, security, or booking to discover the best-rated plugins for your needs. If you can’t find what you’re looking for or need something unique to the needs of your WordPress website, companies like Idea Maker can build custom plugins to your specifications.
Other Important Considerations
After you’ve installed WordPress, picked the right plugins, and made your site look good, the next step is to get it online.
To get your WordPress website up and running, you’ll need:
- A domain name (to ensure people can find it)
- A CDN (to improve speed and reliability)
- A host (to keep the site online)
- The WordPress software itself (to deliver the content)
This may sound complicated but most of it can be simplified by hiring a reputable WordPress developer—like Idea Maker.
What are Domain Names and IP Addresses?
Accessible websites must be hosted somewhere—options include cloud providers, website hosts, or VPNs.
Your WordPress website can only be found or accessed using a string of numbers called an Internet Protocol Address (IP address). Without a domain name, your website address will look something like this: 22.214.171.124.
Remembering a long string of random numbers and periods is difficult, which is why people register and use domain names that are easy to remember—for example, “mywordpresswebsite.com.”
Domain names are paid for annually and cost anywhere from $2 to $20. Providers like Bluehost, GoDaddy, and Namecheap can ensure that your domain name always points to your website’s IP address.
Keep in mind that your IP will change if you change hosting providers, so you’ll have to update the address and add the previous domain name. This will enable users to visit your website without issues, even with a different IP address.
Using CDNs to Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Content delivery networks (CDNs) can make your website fast and reliable, regardless of where it’s hosted.
When you host a WordPress website without a CDN, the data has to travel from the host to the user’s location, which directly affects how quickly the site loads. For example, if a website is hosted on a server in Dallas and someone visits it from Tokyo, it loads much slower than it would for someone visiting from Houston. Some elements might not even load—and slow load times negatively affect search engine scores, which can heavily impact how many users find your site.
CDNs, like Cloudflare, mitigate this issue by storing multiple website copies on their mirror servers around the world and delivering them to users based on geographic location. This ensures that someone in Tokyo always sees a locally hosted version of the website, which results in faster load times—and superior SEO.
Cloudflare has a free plan with basic functionality for WordPress websites. Cloudflare offers paid plans starting at $20/month for websites needing better mirror servers, performance, and protection. You can find more information on Cloudflare’s pricing page.
Hosting Your WordPress Website
There are several ways to host your website. However, to minimize downtime, you’ll have to pay for a subscription to a web-hosting provider. Hosting providers are responsible for keeping your website online with excellent uptime, security, and management.
A reliable hosting provider like AWS, Bluehost, SiteGround, or GoDaddy can help ensure that your WordPress website is always online and safe.
Many hosts also strive to streamline and simplify website management. For example, when building or hosting a WordPress site on GoDaddy, you’ll find WordPress themes, plugins, and easy WordPress installations, without needing to code.
To learn more about WordPress hosting, check out this in-depth article about WordPress hosting types, their differences, and prices.
WordPress Website Building with Idea Maker
If you want to ensure that you have the best when it comes to WordPress websites—or want to avoid the headache of dealing with hosting, plugins, configuration, and the rest of it—the experts at Idea Maker can help you.
We have years of experience building WordPress websites. Our experts can create beautiful themes, improve your SEO score, create plugins, build safe e-commerce stores, integrate APIs, and much more! Contact Idea Maker to discuss your project.