Why Use WordPress And Not Website Builders
- 1. Its FREE
Unlike website builders or web design software, WordPress doesnt cost a dime to download, install or use. Its built by web developers and theres a large developer community who have designed beautiful free themes and templates, making it easy to get going fast.
- 2. Its highly customizable and user-friendly
If you know how to use Google Docs, you already know how to add your own content. WordPress can be easily expanded with free add-ons to handle just about any site you can imagine from small business websites to e-commerce sites. With WordPress plugins youll be able to add contact forms, subscription forms, image galleries, stores, and so on for your website. And its all pretty simple.
- 3. Your site will be responsive. Meaning itll work on smartphones & tablets, too
The website you build will instantly be responsive, looking great on every mobile device, smartphone, and tablet. No need to hire a web developer for that.
- 4. Help available from the community
In fact, I built WebsiteSetup.org using WordPress, too. Below are samples of my homepage and blog page:
WebsiteSetup Blog Page
Does The Theme Allow You To Add Custom Colors
Many themes have a built-in feature to add custom colors to the design. So, for example, if the design has blue buttons and header copy, you could change it to your brand colors . Look for this feature when choosing a theme as its a free and easy way to add brand personality to your site!
Once youve answered these questions, its time to narrow down your search and choose a few themes that meet your requirements. Spend time to preview different designs in your browser so you can envision how theyll look for your business.
With most website builders, you can switch website themes after youve picked one. That said, its easier to confirm the one you want from the start. You can then move on to the next steps: planning your site structure and populating your site with content!
Pick A Design Template You Love
Okay, now were at the fun part time to set the design of your website by choosing a template or theme to work from. Your website builder will guide you to this stage after youve signed up. Templates are categorized by industry or site type. Take a few for a spin before you settle on your favorite.
OK, so youve followed our steps to the letter: youve chosen a website builder, signed up for a plan, and registered a domain. Youre ready to start creating a website. Rather than leaving you to do this all by yourself, website builders support you through the process with templates.
Templates provide a framework for your website a canvas for you to paint the content of your site onto. Theyre how you can have a site that looks good without having to hire a designer.
Whichever website builder youve chosen, youll have an extensive selection of design templates to choose from. Generally speaking, the better your plan, the more templates youll have access to. The top builders provide hundreds of templates across dozens of categories. Whatever the focus of your site is, there will be a template for it. For example, if youre thinking of starting a fitness website, most builders will let you filter your template search accordingly.
These are just a handful of the other categories you can expect to find when starting your own website:
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Connect The Domain Name To A Web Hosting Account
If you buy a domain name from Hostinger, it will automatically connect to Hostingers nameservers. This step is specifically for users who bought their domain names and hosting plans from different providers.
For this tutorial, well show you how to point a domain name to Hostinger.
Keep in mind that it may take around 24 hours for the domain name changes to take effect. However, you can clear your DNS cache to speed up the process.
How To Create A Homepage
OceanWP gives you two different ways to create a homepage:
- Your latest posts. Your homepage showcases your latest blog posts.
- A static page. You create a page to become your home page.
The first option is straightforward: Create blog posts and the homepage will automatically show all your latest blog posts.
Thats why we want to walk you through creating a static page for your website. This can be especially useful for companies that just want a branded page to introduce their audience to the website.
Its also much more customizable than a page showing your latest blog posts.
First, head back to your WordPress website dashboard and click on Pages> Add New.
Now, youll be in WordPresss page editor mode. This area allows you to create a page by adding text, images, videos, memes, or whatever else you want to showcase on your homepage .
In the Add title box you can create the you guessed it title for your home page. This will display a big piece of text at the top. Below that is the content box where you can add text or media.
On the top left, you can click on the + button to add new content blocks.
This is a very important area that allows you to easily add media, quotes, pull quotes, new paragraphs, headings, and more.
On the top right, youll see five buttons:
Create a basic homepage now by adding a title and content. It doesnt need to be fancy. Were just doing this as a test run. You can always change it later.
Select that page, then click on Publish at the top.
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Make The Introduction Brief
As tough as this might sound, people really dont care much about who you are until they see what youre capable of . For that reason, we want to keep the introduction brief.
Heres a combination that never fails:
A good photo of yourself + your name + a one-liner of what you do
Heres a good example by Anders Norén:
This really is everything that people need to know about you at this point.
Oh, and one more thing dont get tricked into using loading screens. This only makes the experience worse for the person reading. You need to provide real information as quickly as possible.
Make It Clear What The Deal Is
The next section in the portfolio is about your services or about providing a clear message that youre available for work .
Keep in mind this is not only about a simple, hire me headline. We need something more to seal the deal.
At this point, your prospective client whos reading the portfolio is already interested in what you do so now is the time to give them that final nudge to reach out to you.
a) List Your Key Achievements and Skills
There are various ways in which you can present your skills. To start with, you can do it in a simple list form. However, a more modern method is to use individual blocks that put a bit more focus on each skill that you bring to the table.
Heres an example by Denise Chandler:
As you can see it looks quite simple and easy to grasp. The main advantage of this form of presentation is that it allows the reader to have a quick glance at your skills without having to fish things out of a lengthy text description.
As for your key achievements, this is where the next point comes into play:
b) Include Testimonials
If you have them, testimonials can be an incredibly powerful element when youre learning how to make a portfolio of your work, and probably the best way to prove that your achievements and the value you can bring are indeed real.
Heres a great example by Matt Farley:
c) Mention Your Education
d) List Your Services/Employment Status
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How Can I Get A Free Domain
A domain name is the unique web address that visitors can type into the browser to find your website, e.g. www.website.com. You can get a freedomain with all Website.com premium plans, which also include web hosting and intuitive tools to make your website.
It is not possible to obtain a domain name entirely for free on its own, as domain name providers must pay the central domain registry tohave your domain registered. However, for some website builders and web hosts , we cover the cost of your domain name as aperk of subscription plans.
Guides For Website Builders
To help you create your website faster, we put our know-how in useful guides for Wix, Squarespace, Joomla, and many other website builders.
Wix is one of the most popular website-building tools out there. Over 180 million people use it worldwide. And its that popular for a good reason Wix is very beginner-friendly and easy to use thanks to its flexible editor. It can be used to create business/personal websites, online stores, and portfolios. So if youre
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Connect Domain Name With Web Hosting
If youve bought a domain and web hosting from the same company, you can skip this step.
Otherwise, you need to point your domain name to the hosting server to connect with each other. Its very easy to do.
Just log in to your hosting account and copy the nameservers. If you are using HostGator shared hosting, just log in to your cPanel and youll find the nameservers in the right sidebar under General Information.
Then log in to your domain provider and edit your nameservers. If you are using Namecheap, you can do that by clicking on the Manage button and then editing the nameservers.
How Do I Make My Website Mobile Friendly
Globally, 62% of users access the internet using a mobile phone, which means having a mobile-friendly website is key for reachingpotential visitors. Mobile-friendliness is also a crucial aspect of SEO.
That’s why Website.com makes it easy to make your website design optimized for mobile, with tools to refine text placement and mobiletemplates with a hamburger style menu. You can create a mobile version of your website in one click, and use the mobile editor tofurther enhance your mobile site.
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Whats The Best Website Builder
The best website builder depends on your needs. Heres what Ive found:
- Squarespace Has outstanding templates, thoughtful features, and intuitive design. I chose it as the best all around website builder.
- Shopify Has a clear interface, useful app store, and industry-leading innovations and is the best website builder for e-commerce
- Webflow A great custom design tool with a full CMS. Great if you want to create your own templates.
- Square Online The best free website builder.
Tips For Planning Your Website:
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What Is A Website Builder
A website builder is a tool that enables you to build a fully functional website even if you have no technical skills. Thats because it usually doesnt require manual code editing. If you subscribe to a website builder, web hosting will be included as part of the package.
Ready to build your site? Heres how you can do it:
Why A Good Domain Name Is Important
A domain name is your unique identifier among billions of other websites on the web. Thats why having a memorable and easy-to-type name is essential for having an online presence.
Your domain name serves as an extension of your personal or business name. In that sense it:
- Improves recognition and awareness.
- Adds extra credibility to your venture.
- Eventually boosts visitors recall.
Also, choosing a good domain name is important for SEO. Several years ago exact match domains were all the rage, but today most people choose brandable domain names.
Memorable domain names get typed to Google more frequently. Algorithms keep track of that and assign more authority to your website. As the branded search volume grows, your domain name earns extra authority points, so that it gets easier to rank for related keywords.
With that being said, lets move on to the how-to part.
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Linux: How To Host Your Own Website On A Linux Machine
Lets now cover how to set up Apache, MySQL, and PHP on a Linux system. LAMP stacks are the most common Linux hosting configuration but dont be afraid to play with NGINX or LiteSpeed webservers.
Step 1: Install Your Software Using the Terminal
To start our LAMP software install, type the following in the terminal:
sudo apt install apache2 mysql-server php libapache2-mod-php7.0
During the installation process, you will be asked to enter a password for the MySQL root user. Technically, its not necessary , but just to be sure, we will restart the Apache webserver.
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
Any time you change the global configuration of Apache, you need to execute the command below, unless you do the configuration using local .htaccess files.
Step 2: Check PHP
To confirm your PHP server works and see what PHP modules are currently available, you can place a test PHP file in the webserver root directory :
sudo echo "" > /var/www/html/info.php
We can now visit that PHP page by browsing to http://localhost/info.php.
You should see the currently running PHP version, current configuration, and currently installed modules. Note that you can later install other PHP modules using the Ubuntu package manager, as some PHP applications might require that. To determine which extra modules are available, search within the graphical package manager, or simply use the command line:
apt search php | grep module
Step 3: Check MySQL
$ mysql -u root -p
Step 4: Configure DNS
Add The Functionality You Need
If youre running a basic informational website, you can skip over this section. But if you want to add a technical component like ecommerce or online booking, youll probably need to add a plugin, widget, or app depending on the website builder and template youre using.
Some functionality to consider:
- Online payments For if you want customers to purchase products or services through your website . Check if you need to set up an account with a payment gateway like Stripe or PayPal to process payments.
- Online booking For if you want visitors to book appointments or time with you online versus calling or emailing you. Research appointment scheduling systems or plugins like Calendly or SimplyBook to find a tool thats right for you.
- Lead capture For if you want to collect email addresses, either by asking visitors to subscribe to your newsletter or to download an asset like an ebook.
- Forms Similar to lead capture, this is for if you want your visitors to fill out a form to get more information before you contact them .
- Google Maps For if you want to show your location on a map or show stores that sell your product.
- Social media feed For if you want to pull in your Instagram social media handle or Twitter feed at the bottom of your website.
- Security This is important if youre launching a WordPress site that doesnt automatically include an SSL certificate or security feature. Find a plugin that can support this.
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Choose A Theme For Your Sites Design
The fun begins its time to pick your WordPress theme! This will provide the basic design springboard, from which you can build your own personal website. There are plenty of free themes available through the WordPress theme directory, while you may have to pay a small amount for a premium theme.
While website builders have templates, WordPress has themes. Your theme affects how your site looks. There are free themes and paid themes, and you can change your websites theme as often as you want.
The upside with free themes is the cost, obviously, though bear in mind a nice free theme is likely being used on a lot of sites already. Paid themes are more exclusive in that sense. Some only require a one-off payment, while others offer a subscription in exchange for support, updates, and maintenance.
Once you select your WordPress site you will find yourself in the WordPress dashboard. This will be your online control room from now on, and its here that you can manage themes. A handful of default themes are waiting for you when you arrive, and adding new ones only takes a few minutes.
To add a new theme, go to Appearance and then Themes. Click the option to Add New to the right, and youll be taken to the WordPress Theme Directory to browse a new theme.