You might be thinking that creating a website from scratch is something that just a web developer can do. Well, given how intuitive and easy to use CMS (content management systems) have become, setting up your own website is something that you can do with little to no professional help.
One of those CMS is WordPress, which allows you to both host and build your website, while also customizing it to your own preferences. You can choose to build a blog, a business website or even an online store by making use of all the features WordPress has to offer. Follow the tips below for a better understanding of how to make the best out of a WordPress website.
Choose the Domain and Hosting
When it comes to hosting, WordPress offers two options. You can either choose to host your website through a different hosting provider, or WordPress can host your website for you. If you choose the free hosting that the website provides, your domain URL will look something like this: yourwebsitename.wordpress.com. If you choose another hosting provider or choose to upgrade your WordPress account, your URL will look more professional, such as www.yourwebsitename.com.
When deciding on the name of the website, choose something short and easy to remember. For example, if it is a business website, you can choose the name of your brand for a domain name, or if it is a personal blog, pick your own name or a nickname.
Use High-Quality Media Content
Media content can either make or break your website, so pay close attention to what you choose to upload. If you need to showcase some of your products, contact a professional photographer to take the pictures for you, to make sure they are well-executed.
If you need to use the internet to find pictures for your articles, there are lots of free photo resources out there that you can choose from, as well as paid ones that will provide top-notch options. Make sure to always provide credit if you choose to use someone else’s work, to avoid copyright issues.
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Pay Attention to Font Choices
You might be thinking that fonts such as Arial or Helvetica look boring, but simplicity is key when you want to appeal to a large number of visitors. If you want people to read your content, it has to look smooth and professional. There is no point in using complicated fonts that, although may look good on photos or captions, will tire the eye when used in long articles.
Unfortunately, not all fonts can be used on the web and look good, so stick to the basics and choose something that is easily readable and stands the test of time. If you feel your articles might look boring, focus your creativity towards something else, such as images or videos.
Stick to a Color Scheme
When it comes to colors, be careful not to use too many and make everything look like a children’s playground. A good rule that you can stick to is using two neutral colors, such as black and white, and add one pop of color throughout the website.
Another option is to use the colors of your brand, to make it more recognizable and easy to associate with the business itself. Lots of themes provide the option to customize the colors, to match your desired color scheme, but make sure not to overuse it.
Keep it Simple
This seems to be the trend for the past few years has turned out to be a recipe for success. To make your website look professional, keep it as uncluttered as possible. While you might need advertising in order to gain profit from your website, excessive advertising will only distract the reader and drive them further away from the actual content of the website. Instead, distribute ads wisely throughout your website, in places where visitors can see them, but they don’t disturb the overall look of the page.
Keep away from other forms of distraction as well, such as auto-playing music or annoying pop-ups, as well as too much use of social media buttons.
Always Post Well-written Content
The way you write your content is the most important aspect of the website. Good quality content is what makes people come back to your website, so make sure you pay attention to both the content of the articles and the way they are written.
After writing every article, make sure you proof if before posting, to avoid typing and grammar mistakes. There are a variety of online tools you can use, such as Grammarly or Hemingway, which scan your text and highlight mistakes. If you don’t trust a computer and feel your articles might need a human touch, you can choose services such as The Word Point, where professional writers can edit and proof your articles.
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Get a Good Theme
You have two options when it comes to themes: build your own or use one that was pre-made. The advantage a pre-made theme brings is that it was already tested and will work well the moment you hit “save”. Lots of pre-made themes can be customized to your own likes, which is much more simple than having to do all the work yourself, from scratch. Plus, when you get a theme from a designer, you will also often get support in case you need some help with installing or editing it. There are multiple online options you can choose from, both free and paid.
Customization is Key
If you decide to install a pre-made theme, you can still customize it to look just how you what it. Take some time and look at online tutorials that teach you how to do just so. You can customize everything, from colors to fonts and the number of posts displayed on the home page.
The key is to design your website in a way that better tells the story of your brand and aligns with the values you stand for. If one of your core values is minimalism, stick to a simple theme that takes away the clutter. On the other hand, if you stand for a more colorful lifestyle, make sure to show that to people.
Install Useful Plugins
Plugins are key to making your website more customizable or help you track certain aspects, but make sure you choose the right ones, or it can quickly turn into more of a mess, than a help. If you want to stick to the basics, you only need a plugin that helps you with SEO, Google Analytics, social media sharing, and website security, to streamline your work. If you want to take things a bit further, get a plugin that page caching, to make your website load faster.
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Connect to Social Media
If people can’t share your content on social media, how are others going to find out about you? Make sure to include social media buttons on your website, to allow visitors to either share your content or connect with you via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube. Encourage visitors to share your posts by organizing giveaways or other sorts of campaigns that include sharing some of your content on social media.
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