WordPress powers 455,000,000 websites around the world. Yes, that is 455 million websites out of the 1.3 billion websites globally. The sheer number tells us how dependable the system is, and it is just right that you launch your first website in WordPress.
But how do you do it? What steps should you take, and are there other tools you need to set-up to launch?
I will answer all these questions today, and you should be ready to launch your first WordPress website after this tutorial.
Here are the things we will cover:
- Choose domain name
- Web hosting service
- WordPress installation
- Website builder
- An alternative to website builder
Let us get started!
Choose Domain Name
The first thing you need to launch a professional website is a domain name, which I suggest you buy from a different registrar. Do not buy a domain name from the same company that also hosts your website, as some problems may occur later on and you’ll get stuck, with the same organization.
A domain name is the URL name that points to your website. It is the thing that ends with .com, .net, .org, etc. If possible, use a top-level domain such as the ones I mentioned because they have higher authority and credibility than others.
Here are some tips in choosing a domain name:
- Single to double word – your domain name must be short as it is easier to remember; they could be more expensive, but they are worth it. The maximum number of words that you should use for your domain name is three words.
- Must match your business name – this is not an option; it is a requirement. If your business name is ABC Company, then your domain name must be an exact match or close to it. You will not be a credible business if your business name is ABC, but your domain name is XYZ.com.
- Simple – the domain must be simple and readable; never use fancy names that are hard to remember like scientific equations or gibberish made of random letters
After buying a domain name, you also need to buy an email address tied with that domain name. Later on, you will integrate this domain name with your web host.
Web Hosting Service
A web hosting company is the company that houses servers. The servers are storage devices that are online 24/7. All your website files are stored here, and the servers “serve” these files to the user who is looking for your website.
A web hosting service is not costly, but all of them are subscription-based. You can get a hosting server for as low as $4 a month, which will increase by $10 per month after your first year.
Here are some important tips for choosing a web host:
- Must support wordpress
- Must have a one-click install for WordPress
- Must provide SSL certificate
The two best web hosting providers in the world are BlueHost and SiteGround. After signing-up, the only thing you have to do is to install WordPress with one click of a button, and you can now access your WordPress dashboard.
The next step is to install WordPress. What this means is that you are integrating the WordPress software with your host. What happens in the backend is that your host is going to recognize the WordPress software as the source of your website content, which the host will show to your website visitors.
All it takes is a click of a button. After the installation, you should be able to see an area where you can log-in to your WordPress Dashboard. Before creating your website, there is one last thing to do.
After installing WordPress, you need to tell your domain registrar that if someone types your domain name, it has to the point that user to your host. Your host, in turn, will point your site visitor to your WordPress website.
Here is what happens in this process:
- Somebody types your domain name on a browser, like ABC.com
- Browser goes to domain registrar
- Domain registrar says the browser must go to web host
- Browser goes to web host
- Web host shows your WordPress website
To do this, you have to get the NS server names from your web host, and then type these names in your domain registrar.
This is optional, but it is best that you buy this now and build your website with a website builder. The two best builders out there are Elementor and Thrive. They cost somewhere in the lines of $49 to $55 per year.
With website builders, you are not limited to how a theme is designed. You still need a theme, but you can edit how it looks without learning how to code.
Here are some benefits to using website builder software:
- Add hero banners
- Remove sections
- Add tables and other elements
- Customize the appearance of your sections
- Choose fonts and colors
- Create your own email subscription settings
Web-builder tools like Elementor and Thrive are the real drag-and-drop website editors. The possibilities are endless, and you can even insert rows inside sections. You can also split columns if you want, and create designs that are not possible in basic themes.
An Alternative to Website Builder
If you do not want to use a web-builder, the alternative is to use a WordPress theme. Many themes are free, but they all have limitations.
There are also many paid themes whose prices usually start at $49. However, all themes have limitations. If a theme has no sidebar, there is nothing you can do about it unless you code the sidebar yourself. Some themes are fast, and some are super slow.
Here are some tips when choosing a theme:
- Make sure it has a sidebar
- Choose fast themes
- Choose themes used by thousands of people
- Use paid themes that offer support
- Choose a theme that has a high user rating
Before you make a decision, you must have a clear idea of how you want to present your website. Changing themes is a nightmare. It is likely that you will have to begin from scratch if you ever change your theme one day, and this is why subscribing to a web-builder tool is a lot better than buying a theme.
A paid theme cannot be changed. It is flexible, but not as flexible a web-builder tool. Themes are like Facebook—you can add photos and upload videos or texts. They are basically templates, but you cannot move sections from one place to another, much less create columns if you want to.
The technical process of launching a WordPress website is easy to understand. The developers of hosting services and the other tools you need have made sure that their software programs are intuitive—it is like using Facebook. You do not need to learn how to code, and all you really have to do is to click and then drag the widget you want to appear on your website.
WordPress still reigns supreme as the best content management system in the world. It is free to use, plus there are thousands of plug-ins that you can install to make your website better and more functional. Once you start, do not get overwhelmed with all the buttons—you will get used to these applications in no time!