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I’ve had my fair share of websites over the years, I’ve also worked at different companies where I’ve needed to manage WordPress sites. I have spent HOURS with my head in my hands with the frustration of WordPress not playing ball.
At the beginning of this year I was working my way through a course and it had a module on how to build a website, I watched countless videos, downloaded different softwares and started building my own. I was creating a mood board on Pinterest of the type of design I wanted and by chance I found a website that sold WordPress themes.
After already investing so much time into trying to build a website I felt so demotivated and this stalled me for months on starting. I also thought to myself why on earth am I trying to teach myself how to build a website?! I will never build websites for a living. All I need is a pretty website and a basic understanding of WordPress.
If you are looking to build a simple website, that includes any of the following; an online shop, booking form, portfolio and/or blog. Below is what you’ll need:
1. A CLEAR NICHE
Before you build a website or blog you need to be clear in your niche. What will your website be about? What content will you share? Who will your audience be? This will drive your content, the appearance of your website and how you will promote it.
2. WEBSITE HOSTING
A hosting platform does all the hard work for you, all the techy stuff to get your website online can be done quickly and easy by a hosting platform. Having used many different platforms in the past I would personally recommend having a WordPress account with Bluehost hosting.
You may feel when you’re first starting out you can just stick with a more basic website version like Wix which is completely free, but if you want to build and grow at some point you will want to switch to WordPress. This is a longgggg winded process and speaking from experience, such a faff. WordPress also looks much more professional IMO.
Bluehost sets up WordPress for you, you can buy a domain directly from them and they have a great support chat functionality. Whenever I’ve got stuck or needed technical help I have had to wait around 3 minutes for a response, it’s great!
The basic plan (at the time of writing this) is £3.19 a month and you can sign up for 12,24 or 36 months. It might seem like a commitment but this just means you’re serious about your website! The only additional thing I pay for is the email add on so I have firstname.lastname@example.org, it’s more professional than the gmail address you created in your early twenties but it’s not essential to begin with!
A theme will save you hours of trying to work out WordPress. I have always used themes and cannot recommend them enough. This is the fun bit, where you get to pick which one you like! I would recommend taking a look on Pinterest to begin with and creating a board with the looks you like, you can see my website inspo board here.
If you are beginner blogger, I would highly recommend PipDig, they are beautifully designed themes and so easy to use! I’ve previously used them for my blogs and had no issues at all. Each theme will come with instructions and are very easy to import. You can create a design yourself but personally I value my time and the hours and hours stress it would have caused me was worth the investment 10x over!
There will be things that don’t make sense, you will want everything to align and launch your website asap. But it does require patience. If you do get stuck, use the help available, the Bluehost support, YouTube videos and good old Google. I’ve always also found taking a break from the screen and coming back to it the next day sometimes helps too.
5. QUALITY CONTENT
You may think if you’re a service or a product you don’t need content, but everyone needs content. Quality content builds trust with your audience in that you are an expert in your field. It also massively helps with SEO and organic traffic. I feel like all websites should have a blog section. You can demonstrate your knowledge, show your personality and drive traffic to your website in different ways.
When first starting out I would recommend drafting around 50 relevant content topics, you don’t need to write all of these, and they may change, but it’s great as a starting point to pinpoint what content you want to write and the different categories they will fall into.
And on a final note, don’t let the perfectionist in you slow this process (I say writing this after spending so long trying to perfect my own). Your website can evolve just like your business/blog can!
Let me know if you set up your website using these steps and share it with me once you’re done! 🙂
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