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Top Tips: Creating a Website on WordPress

Welcome to our regular tips and tricks on all things digital!

If you’re a new business or sole trader, and you’re thinking of setting up your own website, WordPress is a great place to start.

What is WordPress?

“WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. It is the most widely used CMS software in the world, and as of June 2021, it powers more than 40% of the top 10 million websites and has an estimated 64% market share of all websites built using a CMS.

WordPress started as a simple blogging system in 2003, but it has evolved into a full CMS with thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes. It is licensed under the General Public License (GPLv2 or later).”

[Source: https://wordpress.org/support/article/overview-of-wordpress]

5 Steps to Create a WordPress Site

  1. Determine the difference between Wordpress.com vs Wordpress.org – what site do you want to set up your website with?

There are two websites for WordPress – Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org. What’s the difference between them, you ask?

Wordpress.com offers full-hosting and more mix of self-hosting and a managed platform, whilst Wordpress.org is self-hosted – which means you need to purchase hosting with another provider and install WordPress on it.

For more information, check out details on .com vs .org here.

  1. Branding for Your Website

Make sure you have a brand for your website – fonts, photography/illustrations, and a colour scheme. Once you’ve got a brand (and a name), you can then determine the best theme on WordPress that works for your website.

You can find lots of free fonts on the internet – check out some of these links below.

Want to create a colour scheme? Here’s a few links to get you started.

  1. Plan Your WordpPress Website

Now you’ve got a brand and a name, and a decision where and how to host your website, here’s a few things to think about when you’re planning:

  • What Pages do you want to add to your site? Think about ‘About’, ‘Contact Me’, and perhaps an ‘Events’ page to start with, as well as a Blog/News Page.
  • What’s your Content Strategy? Do you have a list of topics you’re thinking about writing about, and a schedule?
  • Do you have a list of categories you want to organise your content by? You can tag blog posts and other types of posts, but if you want your target audience to check out specific content, it’s a good idea to have a list of 5-10 categories.
  • What is your plan with integrating social media into your WordPress site? Is the content strategy going to link or not?
  1. Download/Log-in and Set-up Wordpress

Wordpress.com simply needs you to login to get started! But to download Wordpress.org, click here.

  • Update your Profile on the WordPress site (some information will show on your WordPress Theme) under ‘Users > Profile’.
  • Add your ‘About Page’, ‘Contact Me’ and other Information Pages by going to ‘Administration > Appearance > Themes’.
  •  If you want to change the look of your website, you can browse a load of Themes on the WordPress website.
    • Otherwise, if you want a custom-made website created for you on WordPress, speak to us at Cosmic as we are qualified for web design and services.

Read more about setting up here.

  1. Widgets and Plugins

Once you’ve set-up the Theme and Pages, you can then investigate adding Widgets and Plugins.

Widgets are content and features you can add to your sidebar and footer. Examples include:

  • Categories
  • Tag Cloud
  • Search

Simply go to ‘Theme Customizer’ or ‘Appearance > Widgets’ in the WordPress Admin section.

Plugs are ways to extend and add to the functionality that already exists in WordPress.

There are countless Plugins, and they each offer custom functions and features for you to use to get the best from your website.

Here’s a list to investigate.

You can either search via the WordPress Plugin Directory and download the ones you want as a zip file to upload to your site, or you can go to the WordPress admin site. Go to ‘Plugins > Add New’, and you can browse for them within the dashboard.

Want to know more about WordPress?

We have regular training workshops here, and if you want 1:1 support from our Training Team, we offer that through our fully-funded projects here.

We also offer bespoke website design using WordPress. Find out more here.

Further Reading

Read next - Ten Tips for your WordPress Website.