If you are ready to start your own business and secure your future, starting a WordPress website is an excellent place to start. Millions of entrepreneurs have already found their fortune on the internet, and the WordPress platform is custom designed to help newcomers get their share.
But just setting up a WordPress website is not enough. There are thousands of sites launched every single day and if you want to be successful, you need to make your site stand out from the rest.
You also need to take the right steps when you first launch your WordPress website; the steps you take in this initial period could make or break your online business. Here are some critical steps to take when beginning your WordPress journey and setting up your brand new website.
Secure a Meaningful Domain Name
The days of the internet gold rush are long over, and many of the most popular domain names have already been snatched up. If you are dreaming of a common English word as your new domain name, you can probably forget it.
However, that does not mean that you cannot create a meaningful domain name and a valuable brand. After all, the word Etsy was pretty meaningless until it become the go-to site for craftspeople, and no one knew what an eBay was until the online auction site launched. If you want to build a great brand and secure a great domain name, you need to think outside the box.
The easiest way to get a domain name is through the same company you choose as your hosting provider.
Find Quality WordPress Hosting
If you want to succeed online, you need to keep your new website online. No WordPress website no matter how carefully designed can do its job when it is offline. If someone tries to access your website and it’s offline they will immediately go to a website that works.
That need for near perfect uptime makes WordPress hosting an essential part of the picture. When it comes to quality web hosting you cannot afford to guess; you need to know that the host you choose has the equipment, the expertise and the desire to keep your site up and running 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
When it comes time to secure a WordPress host you will need to decide between dedicated hosting and a shared hosting arrangement. While shared hosting will be more affordable, dedicated hosting can be more secure and more easily scalable.
You can always move from one to the other, of course, and many new WordPress website owners start small and ramp up their operations as their profits increase.
I have had great luck with the SiteGround GrowBig plan. They have great service and very helpful customer support, should you need anything.
Whatever hosting company you choose, make sure to do your due diligence and research them thoroughly. Getting stuck with bad hosting is not something you want to deal with down the road.
Once a domain name and hosting have been purchased, the next step is to install WordPress on the server provided by your hosting company. This is usually incredibly easy.
Chances are your hosting company has a “1 Click WordPress Install”. This means they make it fast and simple to install WordPress. You just provide a few details about your soon to be website and the hosting company configures the setup for you.
Once it is installed you can log in to your new website and start making customizations and additions.
Find a Good Theme
After installing WordPress you will need to get a theme. Out of the box, it comes with a basic theme installed but you will want something unique that fits what your website is trying to convey.
The WordPress Theme Directory has many great free themes in addition to paid commercial themes. Themes are also available from theme marketplaces like ThemeForest, MOJO Marketplace, or Theme Palace to name a few. ThemeGrill makes great themes too.
The main difference between free and paid themes is the support. Free themes usually offer little or no support. There are some free themes that offer extensive support at no charge but it isn’t very common. Whereas paid themes generally offer better support.
Sometimes this support is only available for one year and requires an additional purchase for extended support. In other cases the support lasts forever, you will have to check with each theme developer to determine what kind of support is offered.
Features are also a big differentiator between free and paid themes. Often free themes will be fairly basic and paid themes will include more features and fancier designs.
Create Great Content
Now that you’ve chosen the domain name, purchased hosting, installed WordPress and installed a theme it is time to build the best site you can. You have worked hard to great a foundation, but now it is time to make a great website.
Great content will be at the heart of your new WordPress website and you cannot afford to cut corners or skimp on quality. If your site doesn’t provide value to viewers no one will visit it.
Fill your website with entertaining or informational blog posts, personal reflections and anything else that fits your theme.
Get a logo
A logo gives a website identity and uniqueness. The right logo makes your site identifiable and provides public recognition.
If you are handy with graphic design software making your own logo might be a piece of cake. For those of us not so gifted, services like Fiverr offer logo design in all price ranges. Additionally, check for local graphic designers in your area that can build a website logo.
Add a favicon (site icon)
Favicons are the little icon on the left side of browser tabs and icon displayed when you save a web page to the home screen of your phone.
Often a site icon will just be your website logo.
Adding one will make your site look more professional and make it distinguishable among others when a visitor has multiple tabs open. They are also very important for creating branding for your website. To learn more about favicons and how to add them to your WordPress site check out the post How to add a favicon or site icon to WordPress.
Keep Your Site Updated and Protected
If you want your readers and fans to keep coming back you need to give them what they want. That means creating a steady stream of fresh new content, compelling visuals, and expert advice in your chosen field.
In terms of content it is important to update your WordPress website on a regular basis. Do not forget to categorize your content as the site grows. That will make it easier for readers to find what they are looking for and discover new content on your site.
It is also essential to keep your site well protected with a secure password on the login page and a strong emphasis on security and site stability. You can work with your WordPress hosting service to build security into your new site, but you must have a basic understanding of what needs protection and how to make it work. This includes keeping your theme and plugins updated. Along with only installing themes and plugins from reputable locations.
One of the best ways to increase security and prevent spam on your site is by adding Google reCAPTCHA to your WordPress site. It will allow you to secure your login page, comment section, and contact forms from malicious bots and spam. Take a look at Eliminate WordPress spam with reCAPTCHA v3 for step-by-step instructions on how to add it to your website.
Creating a WordPress website is a great way to get online, express your ideas to the world, promote your business, or start a business. Whether you want to become the next prominent blogger or build out an online presence for an existing business, you can do it all through the power of the WordPress platform. Taking the right steps now can improve your site later.