WordPress is one of the most popular content management system (CMS) and blogging platforms in the world. Having a website built on a content management system simply means that you are able to easily update and add content to your site, without ever needing to have any coding experience.
The beauty of WordPress is that it’s open source (which effectively means all the code is available for anyone to look at and use to develop custom solutions). WordPress is also free (that’s right – you can download the WordPress software for use on your site for free) and it has a large developer community very passionate about building, refining and advancing the capabilities of the platform.
That is the benefit of using WordPress over other custom built small solutions – there is excellent support for the platform and constant innovation.
I’ve used self-hosted WordPress as the basis for all the sites I’ve created (for clients & myself) because it provides the flexibility to build a personal blog for your daily thoughts, an authority blog for you to build expert status in your industry, or a business website to promote your products and services and anything in between.
If after reading this page, you feel that you cannot build your own website, nor have the time to do it, just head over to our SERVICES page and we can do it for you.
WordPress is the engine that runs your website, and just a like a car needs a body surrounding the engine for the driver to sit in, WordPress needs a theme where you can place all your content.
With WordPress as your content management system and a hosting account (the server that keeps all of your website content) you will have total control over what you want your website to look like and get the traffic results you are looking for.
WordPress lets you design your website to work on regular computers as well as tablets, iphones and android platforms.
Depending on which hosting company you used, you need to install WORDPRESS for your domain name.
On Namecheap.com, you will have to go to “Products” and click on Manage. You then have to LOGIN to your CPanel. Scroll down to “Software” and note you Username. You will need it to Login.
Once you login in to your CPanel, scroll down to the bottom to SOFTACULOUS APPS INSTALLER and click on WORDPRESS. Click on Install. The only things you will have to fill in is under Admin Account – make a password and put your email address that you want wordpress to send you messages. Then scroll to the bottom and click on INSTALL. You will get a message that WordPress was successfully installed.
You will now use your ADMIN login to get into your WordPress site.
If you are using BLUEHOST as your hosting company – you will use a similar way to get to WordPress. Login to your CPanel and go to SITE BUILDER. Click on WordPress and it will be installed.
Now you are ready to pick your theme and get started building your website.
At the Install Theme page you will have several themes to choose from.
Look through these themes and choose one that you like. Most themes don’t look like websites when you start. They look like plain blog pages so I just want you to find one that seems like it will let you customize the templates, has sidebars and lets you create at least 10 pages. Read the DETAILS before you choose.
While you may only ever look at your website on your desktop or laptop computer, an increasing proportion of internet users are accessing websites on their iPad or iPhone (or another smartphone/tablet).
Up until a couple of years ago, if you visited a website on your smartphone, it was just a miniature version of the main website – difficult to read because the type was so small, and if you did the double tap on your screen to increase the section to the size of the iPhone, it required a lot of scrolling to see the entire site.
In response to this size issue, some clever little plugins were created to convert a WordPress website into a mobile friendly version – so you want to make sure that the theme you choose has a plugin or a way to make your website tablet-friendly. The word you are looking for is “responsive” when you are picking a theme.
It’s all about styling that automatically adjusts the structure of your site to the size of the device it is being viewed on, whilst keeping text readable and all your branding in place. All without the need for any additional plugins!
And, the responsive design is not just a smaller version of the website – the layout of the components actually adjusts to the size of the device and a great responsive theme will also resize images and other components such as image sliders.
When you choose a free theme, click on INSTALL. Once it is done installing, you need to click ACTIVATE.
Once it’s done installing, a menu of options specifically for that theme will come up and you will make your choices to how you want the website to look.
One easy step to do before you really get started adding your pages is to go to the Media button on the left hand side of the screen and click on ADD NEW.
Upload all of your pictures, photos, logos and other media you plan on using on the website. This will save you time later on.
ADD PAGES TO YOUR WEBSITE
On the left side of your screen go to PAGES and click on ADD NEW.
Enter the title of the page.
Now go down to where you type the body of the text like in the example below.
You will type your text, format it using the icons above. If you want to add a picture, go to ADD MEDIA from the LIBRARY that you uploaded before.
When you are doing this page – click on SAVE DRAFT on the right side of the screen.
When you are formatting your text, you can Bold, Italicize and Underline text. Check out all of the little icons and see what they do. You can do Bullet Lists or Numbered Lists and quotes for your testimonials.
If you want to add a link to some other website, there is an icon for adding a link.
You can add images by using the Insert Image icon. A hint here about images: search engines like descriptions on pictures. So when you add an image – make sure you add a description of what that picture is.
You can click on PREVIEW to check out how it looks without actually publishing the page yet. Once you PUBLISH – it is out there in cyberspace so don’t publish until you are happy with your page.
If you have several different products and services, you can actually add more pages under a certain main page. To do this, you would add a new page for each of the products or services and change the Hierarchy of that page.
Then you would go to APPEARANCE on the left side of the screen and then click on MENUS. So by default, there is no menu. You are going to create a new menu called NAVIGATION. Now you are going to choose what shows up in this navigation by creating your own menu. You will have your main 5 pages and then insert the sub pages under the main page titles. It will look like this:
Then click on SAVE and go preview your Home page to make sure it all got set right. This is something that you might have to tweak a few times before it looks right.
Continue to add other pages until they are all done. It will take you a while going back and forth tweaking each page until you get it the way you want it.
YOUR BLOG PAGE
OK – now when you get to adding your BLOG page, you need to go to the right side of the screen and change the Template to LIST POSTS. That will make it a blog page and not just a static page.
The articles that you write are going to be the pieces that really gain traffic for your website and give you the “expert” title in your field. This is the information that you will share with your readers and customers and as such, should be treated with the respect they deserve by residing on your own blog or business website.
What’s so excellent about having a self-hosted WordPress website is that all the articles you write are contributing to increasing your influence and boosting your website’s usefulness in the eyes of the search engines.
On your blog page, you can categorize your posts into different sections. You might have different products you use or services that you provide. You can add CATEGORIES to your blog page to keep all of your information organized.
Categories are like buckets to differentiate your information. When you add a post to your blog page, you can put that piece of information in one or more categories.
WIDGETS AND PLUGINS
If you are using a free theme, you can go to Plugins on the left hand side of the screen and search for the ones you need.
PLUGINS are the add-ons that you can install when you’re looking to add a specific type of functionality to your website.
There are several plugins available for whatever you want to do. If you need one, just click on ADD NEW and put a keyword in the search box for plugins and you will get an entire list of what is available. And just like you did with the theme, you install the plugin and then activate it.
For each plugin that you use, there will be options that you need to tell it how you want it to work.
WIDGETS are the little boxes that show up on your sidebar and sometimes you might need to install a plugin to add a new type of widget.
You will definitely will use both widgets and plugins so that your site has all the functionality and all the customization that you are looking to achieve.
WordPress gives you a certain amount of widgets automatically. You can go to APPEARANCE on the left hand side of the screen and click on WIDGETS under that menu.
On the right side of the screen, you will see the different widgetized areas. These are different areas of your website where you can change and rotate widgets that show up there.
You want to make sure that at the top of the sidebar area on your home page is a widget for an email opt-in form. That is the only item I will tell you where to put it.
Your opt-in form should show up on the top of every sidebar on your website. You want to give your prospect EVERY opportunity to sign up to get your offers.
MAINTENANCE AND UPDATES
Now that your site is basically complete, and you like the way it looks, there are other things that you have to go back to and add so that you get the search engine optimization you need and maintain it.
Regularly, you will want to sign in to your Dashboard because there will be updates to WordPress and the Plugins you are using. You need to keep these programs updated because with so many WP sites out in space, there are a lot of hackers and people who are trying to attack sites. The good thing is that WordPress and the Plugin developers are always keeping themselves up to date against these attackers. So they are always updating their code and always making sure that you are secure on your website.
But in order to keep that security, you need to actually keep everything up to date on your end with the latest versions.
When you are at your Dashboard, when you see UPDATES AVAILABLE just click on it and it will ask you which updates you want to do.
You also want to backup your site on a regular basis so that you are never stuck if your website host gets struck by lightning or something. I use Updraft Plus Plugin for this.
It automatically backups my website as often as I like onto my computer.
CUSTOM TITLE TAG
For each of your pages, the Custom Title Tag will be the Title for that page that you want to show up in the Search Engine Results.
Title tags will play a critical role in optimization. Title tags should be kept under 65 characters.
Now you can see how it shows up. You can create your custom title tags for each page of your website to show up like this in the Search Engine Results.
The same goes for the META DESCRIPTION:
Description tags play a slightly less important role in optimization relative to the title tag. Unlike title tags, description tags allow for 165 characters. Your keyword phrase should be positioned first followed by a short description of the page’s topic.
Keywords for your website will be words or phrases that your prospects might search on to find a company like yours.
Google, Bing and Yahoo almost always provide searchers with recommended phrases while they type in a keyword. These are the words that show up as you type in whatever it is your searching for in the search box. If your phrases (that you are looking to use) are not recommended before you finish typing them – this will reduce the likelihood someone else will type in your keyword before selecting a recommended keyword.
If you want an easy way to build links for your WordPress site – check these out!
MEMBERSHIP SITE – If you want to have your WordPress site be a membership site where your members sign in – you need this Plugin – Instamember – The Ultimate WordPress Membership Plugin
When you get stuck, or need more help, you can email us at info@GypsyRoseFree.website or go to
Jupiter Jim’s Marketing Club website – Jim has a ton of free information on his site and for $10 per month – it is well worth joining! He is an expert in his field and knows a helluva lot more than I do! He has a ton of tips and tricks to make your site really great!