How to create a wordpress website? This article will explain plugins for wordpress, wordpress themes, and the basic of creating a blog website.
Read more: Best Way to Create a Website
Plugins for WordPress
There are thousands of plugins on the WordPress plugin directory. These are the essential plugins which will give your website all the functionality you need from the start.
To create a wordpress website, you need to installing plugins
On the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins:
Select Add New.
You can install plugins two ways:
1. Install straight from the Plugin directory by finding the plugin and pressing install now.
2. Select Upload plugin and upload the .zip file you get after downloading a plugin.
Recommended Plugins to create a wordpress website
- a3 Lazy Load – Speeds up your websites performance by only loading what is on the visible page for the user.
- AddToAny Share Buttons – Perfect for blogs and websites, let users easily share your content to social media platforms.
- Contact Form 7 – Lets you create simple and flexible contact forms to handle user queries.
- Embed Google Map – Useful if you are planning to use locations for businesses.
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – Displays Google Analytics reports and real time statistics. See detailed information on your visitors and their behavior when on your website.
- MailChimp for WordPress – Start creating a mailing list by offering users the opportunity to sign up for newsletters and mail blasts.
- MailPoet Newsletters – Create and send newsletter sand automated emails. Import and manage your mail lists.
- PopupAlly – Create opt in popups for your website, increase subscriber numbers.
- SEO Optimized Images – Automatically adds alt and title attributes to all images, drastically improves your search engine rank.
- Simple Custom Post Order – Reorder posts on your homepage (for blogs) so they do not display in date order.
- WP Smush – Compresses image file sizes, improves website performance and boosts your SEO ranking.
- WP Super Cache – Very fast caching plugin for WordPress, improves speed and performance of your website.
- Yoast SEO – The all in one plugin for search engine optimization. Provides on page analysis of your content and suggests improvements for maximizing search engine optimization.
On the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins. At the top of the page select Add New.
You can search for the plugins by name here or visit the plugin pages shown above and download them as .zip files.
Press Choose Files under the ‘Install Plugins Directly From Your Local Machine’. Use CMD (mac) or CTRL (windows) to select multiple files.
Once these plugins are installed and activated, its time to start changing the design and appearance of your website.
Updating your settings
Before you start changing the appearance to create a wordpress website, you should consider changing a few of the settings of your website.
- General – change the Site Title and Tagline, your date and time preferences, default membership status for visitors and website language.
- Writing – change the default post category, post format and link category.
- Reading – choose what is posted on your front page, how many posts to show at once as well as showing the full text or just a summary for your blog posts.
- Discussion – manage settings for comments and new users.
- Media – set the default size for image uploads and default upload path (you shouldn’t have to change this)
- Permalinks – change the default settings for new posts. A permalink is the permanent link address for that post such as www.mywebsite.com/article/permalink. You can leave this how it is for now.
- A3 Lazy Load – enable Lazy Load under Lazy Load Activation.
- WP Super Cache – select Caching On (Recommended).
- Appearance – The appearance section on the WordPress dashboard is where you will be changing all aspects of your websites appearance.
- Themes – add new themes and customize the ones you already have installed. Themes are pre made templates for controlling how your website looks.
- Customize – customize your current theme generating live previews of your website as you add or change features.
- Widgets –Manage which widgets show on your website and their position on the page. Many plugins come with pre-installed widgets and the majority of what you see on a WordPress website other than their content is widgets.
- Menus – add and manage the menus on your website. You can link pages together or add external links to other websites.
- Header – this will take you to the theme customizer where you can add a header image or text depending on the theme you have installed.
- Background – This will take you to the theme customizer where you can add a background image to your website.
- Editor – Add custom code to your website. If this is your first website you will not need to worry about this but we will explain how to add simple CSS code to alter elements of your website later on.
To create a wordpress website, you need choose a theme
Now it is time to install a theme to change the appearance of your website. Navigate to Appearance Themes (installed themes shown here) Add New
If you’ve downloaded a theme from an external website, then you can upload it by pressing on the Upload Theme button.
When you find a theme you like, select preview to see what the theme looks like.
If you’re satisfied with theme, press install. Once the theme is installed you can select Live Preview to see how the theme looks on your website with your current content.
If you’re happy with the theme select Save & Activate then press the X to go back to the WordPress dashboard.
Free Business Themes to create a wordpress website
Free eCommerce Themes to create a wordpress website
Nimbus Themes – 35+ free eCommerce WordPress Themes.
Free Blogging Themes
Free themes are useful for building your first website, but as you gain more knowledge and want to create more unique and professional looking websites, you may want to consider purchasing a premium theme.
The average price is around $30-$60, but always do your research before purchasing a premium theme.
Creating a blog
Appearance For our blog, we will be using the Baskerville blog theme. This is one of the professional looking blogging themes, and offers a lot of functionality for a free theme.
Head to the theme browser and install Baskerville.
Once installed, select to customize the theme from the theme dashboard. This will bring you to the live customizer. This allows you to edit elements of your websites appearance and see the changes instantly.
The clever part is that you can see how your website will look on a range of devices, from standard PC screen to tablet and then to mobile.
Simple click on the icons at the bottom left of the page to switch between the views.
The majority of WordPress themes are now mobile optimized, which means you don’t have to carry out any extra work in order for visitors to view your website with full functionality on their mobile devices.
This is where you will enter your website name, as well as a tagline that could be your slogan or the purpose of your website; this is usually 4-6 words.
Your site icon will be your favicon as mentioned earlier. You will want a square image of your logo or something to help identify your website, in either .PNG or .JPG format.
Upload your image, select ‘Generate icons for Web, Android…’ and press ‘Create Favicon’.
On the next page select ‘Download the generated favicon’. Extract the file by double clicking on the .zip file. Navigate to the extracted folder. Go back to your website and upload the favicon-96×96.png file in the Site Icon section.
This preview should appear, select skip cropping and your website should refresh to now show your icon in your browser.
On this theme, this allows you to only change the background colour. Different themes offer different levels of customization. We will be keeping this at the default as it gives the website a professional look.
You can upload your logo here instead of the default Baskerville text, on this theme however on this theme you will not be able to display your tagline at the same time.
You will want to make sure your logo has a transparent background, this can be done on GIMP and Photoshop by deleting the lowest default background layer, but should come as standard if you purchased your logo.
You can change the image behind your logo text, we will leave this as default for now but if you want to change it, you can download a variety of free WordPress headers from freewebheaders.
If you would prefer a background overlay instead of a base colour, you can upload a high quality image here.
You can build the menus for your website here.
WordPress makes it very easy to control your menus, submenus and links.
The menu location section is where you can choose where to place menus in each theme. Some themes have multiple locations such as header menus at the top of the page, footer menus at the bottom, and social menus with links to different social media platforms.
Add a menu, choose a name and press create menu.
You can add menu links to a number or locations, either to posts or pages you have created or to categories of posts, custom links or tags.
For now we will just add a link to our default ‘About’ page. As we create more content, we will return to this section to add additional items to our menu.
To add a dropdown menu, drag a menu item under another and slightly to the right.
The result will look something like this:
Use widgets to create a wordpress website
Widgets are the foundations to much of the extra functionality on a typical WordPress website.
By default, there are a number of widgets already added to this website, such as a fully functioning search bar, category lists and recent posts.
Many plugins come with their own widgets and different themes have different locations for widgets.
The most common locations for widgets are in the footer and in the sidebar, if your theme supports one. In our case, we only have the footer to place widgets.
To add a widget, press ‘Add a widget’ and select your preferred widget from the list. Then press the dropdown arrow to edit any settings for this widget.
Other widgets may have extra settings that can be accessed from the WordPress dashboard. We will be installing a variety of widgets later on.