In the beginning, the building of websites was the exclusive domain of the technically gifted. As the Internet continues to gain steam as a critical method of communication, people outside the field of technology want to build their own websites. People have opinions they want to express, art they want to display, or other talents they want to share. Times have changed. It’s no longer necessary to hire a professional web designer for thousands of dollars, because WordPress makes it possible for the beginner to build their own beautifully designed website.
It’s always best to have your own domain name. There is a yearly fee, which can vary depending on where you make your purchase. Make a list of several acceptable domain name choices, as it may take several tries to get a one you like. Two of the lower priced domain sellers are godaddy.com and namecheap.com. They also offer website hosting services. When selecting your hosting company, ask if they will install WordPress.
Choosing Your Look
There are hundreds of WordPress themes available, and dozens of them are free. Choose one that best represents the theme of your website. You can choose several themes, and switch between them. That is one of the great benefits of WordPress.
Choose from seasonal, hobby, occupation, sport, photography, art, and many generic themes. Many themes allow you to make changes in color, banner, and layout. The versatility of WordPress allows the user to make it very personal.
The WordPress Dashboard
The general settings for your WordPress page are found in the dashboard. Fill them out with the information that applies to your website.
Adding your First Post
Everything you need to create a great website resides in the dashboard. When you are ready to add your first post, click on “add new,” and the simple word processor style work page will open.
Everything you need is in the post creation window. You can underline, bold, italicize, insert links, and make bulleted and numbered lists. If you can use an email program, or word processing program, you can use WordPress. You can also upload photographs, video clips, and music in the same window. Hover over the icons to see what action they provide.
Always check your content when you are done. Be sure you have used correct grammar, and included valuable content. Your visitors want to gain information, learn something new, or validate their opinion. Don’t fill your page with fluff or you will not be successful.
More Dashboard Functions
The WordPress dashboard links to every function you will need to use while developing and maintaining your website.
The above graphic shows some of the dashboard selections. When you click on any of the selections, a page will open and provide all the available options relating to that selection. You can create categories for links and posts. You can have these categories listed on all your WordPress pages.
Your individual posts will appear in a blog format. The most recent will appear at the top of the page. You can have a directory on the side of the page that lists all your posts in a monthly archive. This allows visitors to choose any post that interests them, including older posts. Your pages will be static, and the titles will appear in the menu. A static page does not move. It stays put unless you move it. The most common uses for static pages are contact information, about us, faqs, videos, gallery, and other specific topic pages that do not change.
With WordPress you can build a website, make design changes whenever you desire, update the content, and have total control of your site at all times. It’s time to build your website. You don’t need to know HTML; you just need to be able to type.