WordPress Basics: A Step by Step Guide to Setting up a WordPress Site for Your Business

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Today’s economy is still in shambles, and this leads a lot of people to the Internet in hopes of building a web business. Still vibrant, the online market is vast, easy to tap into, and definitely strong enough to help you get a solid business off the ground. However, the start-up costs can be rather large if you want a professional, functioning and attractive website.

There are a few great ways around these costs, however, like by setting up a WordPress site for your business. WordPress is one of the web’s best content management systems, and other than a few dollars it will cost you for a server and a domain, you can build a professional website with this system for no cost whatsoever.

There’s a great WordPress video tutorial dealing with this on YouTube, by PressTheWord, wherein every single step is explained in full detail in an easy-to-follow, user-friendly fashion.

So, let’s look at these important steps in detail below.

8 Steps to Creating a Great Website with WordPress

1: Setting up a Web Host and Selecting a Domain

The first step in this process is to select a web host. This is where your site is actually going to be located, as in stored, so you need to choose a solid hosting service here. Host Gator is a great choice. At Host Gator, you will find the Baby Plan option, giving you unlimited domains or just the Hatchling plan with a single domain. You can select whichever fits your needs and choose the monthly payment option. After this, you’ll need to select a domain name to use – the actual address of your site. Either use an existing domain or purchase a new one from the site, and make sure to use the coupon code “PressTheWord” to get a 25% discount.

After filling out the required info and selecting your package, make sure you keep the email you receive from Host Gator. This contains your login information that you will need to continue.

2: Installing WordPress

From your email, you can log into the Host Gator site and get into your Control Panel. Choose the Quick Install option for installing a WordPress theme here. On the left-hand side after clicking Quick Install, choose WordPress and then continue. You will find the site’s name in the drop box under “Install WordPress.” Just fill out the fields and click on Install. Make sure you remember your login info. After this, give the site about 4 hours to fully load.

3: Installing Themes

After the 4 hours, you should be able to access your WordPress site by entering the address (your domain). Now you want to install a cool theme to make your site look professional. On your WordPress homepage, you’ll see an Appearance tab. Go to this, click Themes, and then Install Theme. Check under the Featured Themes for the Responsive theme option. The Responsive theme is able to adapt to any device or to any size, so this is what you want.

After finding and installing this theme, you need to ensure it works correctly. To get the right layout, you will create two pages here, a homepage and a blog page. See the step below to set up your pages.

4: Adding Pages in WordPress

Enter your WordPress Dashboard and hover over the Pages options, then clicking Add New. A blank page will come up, allowing you to title it. You can name these pages anything you want, like “About Me,” subsequently adding content, photos, etc. The process for creating a new page is very easy. However, you have to make sure your homepage is set up correctly and that the Responsive theme is operating the way you want it to. So, for right now, you just want to create a homepage and a blog page. See the next step on changing the homepage.

5: Changing the Homepage

These two pages you’re about to create will give you the right Responsive layout. So, to get started, follow the steps to add new pages and title your first page as Home, and then publish it without adding any content. Follow the same steps for a second page, titling it Blog. After publishing this without content, hover over your Settings tab in Dashboard and select Reading. You can set your Front Page to the “Home” page you have created, and your Posts page to “Blog” using the same steps. From your Dashboard, follow the same steps you took to add new pages. You can now select your Front page from your dashboard, which is your Homepage, and you can add any type of content to it you want. Remember, though, this is only a rough draft for now. You can tinker around and change things at a later date. And you can subsequently add as many new pages as you want once the layout is functioning.

6: Adding Widgets

When setting up a WordPress site, the many different widgets you can select provide you with a great chance to really appear professional. You can view three widgets at the bottom of your homepage, titled accordingly. To change them, go back to your Dashboard, select Appearance, and then Widgets. You can simply drag and drop widgets into their respective position. The video will give you more exact details here, like how to add icons and the importance of the Black Studio TinyMCE Widget.

7: Getting a Free Logo

You don’t need Photoshop for a great logo. Just stop by www.pixlr.com to create one. From Pixlr, open the Editor Advanced option and then go find a PNG logo or image you want to use. PNG means it will be transparent, which will allow the logo to appear the same on any background without a box or border. So after saving the image you want, load it into the Pixlr page and begin editing. To change the size, select Edit, Free Transform, and hold down the shift key so all the edges move in proportion. You can tinker around with this tool until you have a logo that’s right for you, even adding text and different layers and blur effects if you want.

8: Adding Social Media Widgets

On your homepage, you’ll see different boxes set up on the right-hand side. These are widgets that you want to change to include social media, such as YouTube and Facebook. To add YouTube, go to your Dashboard, then to Install Plugins, and type in YouTube Subscribe. Select it, install it, and then activate it. After which, return to Appearance in the Dashboard, choose the Widgets option, and drag your new widget into the selected box. You can set your height and width at w250 x h105 for the right size. For Facebook widgets and other widget tips, the video contains more detailed information.

As you can see here, creating a professional-looking, fully-functioning website using WordPress is fairly easy stuff. If you need a longer explaining or need to see the steps in action, don’t forget about PressTheWord’s YouTube tutorial on the subject.

[Featured image credit http://dribbble.com/PurtyPixels]

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