September 23, 2023
WordPress is the world’s largest content material administration system (CMS)—round 810 million web sites are constructed on it.

It’s free to make use of and consists of all of the options any web site proprietor may need. And if it doesn’t have a characteristic you need or want, you possibly can have a developer create it for you as a result of it’s constructed on open-source software program.

However with all of those options come some problems. WordPress has a reasonably steep studying curve in comparison with different CMSes like Wix or Squarespace.

I’ve constructed dozens of internet sites utilizing (not, which is a completely completely different beast) and have narrowed down the method to 9 easy steps that anybody can observe.

Let’s begin with…

Step 1. Get a website title and internet hosting

Each web site constructed on wants a website title ( and a internet hosting service that shops and shows your web site on the web.

You should purchase a website title for a small charge from a website title registrar like NameCheap or GoDaddy. Nonetheless, in case you purchase your area title and your internet hosting from separate firms, you will have to change your website’s Domain Nameservers (DNS) to level your area title out of your registrar to your internet hosting firm.

They appear to be this:

SiteGround DNS settings example

It’s slightly cheaper to do it this manner however not well worth the trouble in my view. As an alternative, most internet hosting suppliers (equivalent to SiteGround or Bluehost) may also promote you a website title and join it together with your web site routinely, permitting you to skip messing with DNS settings.

You possibly can try this guide to choosing a domain name in case you’re unsure what to decide.

Step 2. Set up WordPress

As soon as you buy internet hosting, most internet hosting suppliers have a one-click set up to arrange WordPress in your web site. Listed below are some hyperlinks to guides on how to do that with widespread internet hosting providers:

You can too go for a sooner (however costlier) devoted internet hosting supplier like Kinsta or WP Engine. These firms will arrange WordPress for you once you purchase their internet hosting.

Step 3. Familiarize your self with the UI

Now that you’ve got an internet site with WordPress put in, let’s get into the best way to use WordPress. You possibly can log in to your WordPress dashboard by going to

When you log in, your dashboard will appear to be this (with fewer plugins because you’re on a recent set up):

WordPress user interface

Let me clarify the choices right here:

  • Posts: That is the place you’ll create weblog posts.
  • Media: You possibly can go right here to see all of the media in your website, equivalent to photos and movies. I sometimes add media on to my posts and pages and don’t go to media typically.
  • Pages: That is the place you’ll create static pages in your website, equivalent to your homepage, about web page, and phone web page.
  • Feedback: Right here is the place you’ll reasonable any weblog feedback.
  • Look: That is the place you’ll customise the looks of your web site, equivalent to your web site’s theme, font kind, colours, and extra.
  • Plugins: A plugin is an add-on to your web site that provides performance, equivalent to customized contact types or pop-ups in your web site. I’ll focus on these in additional element later.
  • Customers: Right here is the place you possibly can add customers to your web site, equivalent to writers, editors, and directors.
  • Settings: Fairly easy; right here is the place your normal web site settings are positioned.

Now that you already know what every possibility does, let’s get your web site settings dialed in.

Step 4. Optimize your settings

Your WordPress web site comes with some generic settings that should be modified, in addition to some issues I like to recommend altering to optimize your web site for serps.

Particularly, you need to:

  • Change your title, tagline, time zone, and favicon.
  • Change your permalink construction.
  • Configure your studying settings.
  • Delete any unused themes.
  • Change your area from HTTP to HTTPS.

Let’s stroll by way of every of those steps.

Change your title, tagline, time zone, and favicon

Head to Settings > Normal to search out these settings. Change the title of your web site and the tagline, which may seem beneath the title in case you select to show it.

Subsequent, verify that the time zone is right (in accordance with your native time zone) and add your favicon. A favicon is the little icon that reveals up in browser tabs subsequent to the title of the web page, like this:

Examples of favicons

You may make a favicon without cost with Canva. Simply make a 50×50 design with no matter you need your favicon to appear to be. Try this guide to study extra. 

Change your permalink construction

Head to Settings > Permalinks. A permalink is the URL construction your weblog posts take once you publish them. By default, WordPress shows the date in your URLs, which isn’t nice for search engine optimisation or readability.

WordPress permalink structure settings

I all the time change this to the “Submit title” possibility (/sample-post/) so as to add the title of the publish by default. You need to optimize all your URLs individually when attainable, however this setting will make the method simpler.

Configure your studying settings

Head over to Settings > Studying to decide on whether or not you need your homepage to be a static web page or if you’d like it to be a feed of your newest weblog posts. 

WordPress homepage display settings

Personally, I all the time create a novel static web page to make use of as my homepage as a result of it offers me extra management over the homepage. I like so as to add inside hyperlinks to particular pages to assist them rank larger on Google, in addition to add an electronic mail opt-in type on the homepage.

Try this information to homepage search engine optimisation to study extra.

Delete any unused themes 

By default, you could have just a few themes put in. When you select a theme in step #5 under, you need to delete any unused themes to take away vulnerabilities out of your website (hackers can assault WordPress web sites with outdated themes).

To try this, go to Look > Themes, click on on the unused theme, then click on the pink Delete button within the backside proper.

How to delete unused themes on WordPress

Change your area from HTTP to HTTPS

The “S” in HTTPS stands for safe. Including that is executed with an SSL certificates, and it’s an necessary step. It means your web site is encrypted and safer for viewers.

Having HTTPS as an alternative of HTTP offers you the “lock” icon subsequent to your URL—Google (and most web customers) needs to see a safe web site.

HTTPS secure "lock" icon

Most internet hosting suppliers routinely activate the safe model of your web site. However generally, it must be manually activated by you. Listed below are guides on how to do that with widespread internet hosting suppliers:

In case your host isn’t proven right here, simply do a Google seek for “[your host] SSL encryption.”

Step 5. Choose and customise your theme

When you’ve optimized your settings, it’s time to start out truly constructing your web site utilizing a WordPress theme. A theme is a customizable template that determines what your web site seems like. 

You possibly can browse for themes by going to Look > Themes, then clicking the Add new button on the high of the web page. 

WordPress theme page

The generic Twenty Twenty-Three theme is definitely fairly good. Most WordPress themes nowadays are optimized to indicate up in serps and for necessities of the fashionable consumer, equivalent to being mobile-friendly. 

Nonetheless, some themes have plenty of added bloat that may sluggish an internet site down, so select a theme that solely has the options you want with out extras you received’t use.

Alternatively, in case you don’t like several themes or need one thing that’s extra drag-and-drop, you should utilize an internet site builder like Elementor or Thrive Architect. These instruments make constructing an internet site extraordinarily straightforward, however they do add bloat that may sluggish an internet site down.

I take advantage of Elementor to construct my web sites however solely use it to construct static pages that I need to convert nicely. Then I take advantage of the built-in Guttenberg editor for my weblog posts.

If you happen to resolve to go along with an everyday theme moderately than a theme builder, you possibly can edit the theme by going to Look > Customise. You’ll be taken to the next editor:

WordPress theme customization options

Relying on the theme you put in, you could have extra or fewer choices than the screenshot above. Moderately than making an attempt to cowl each possibility you could encounter, I’ll simply suggest that you simply undergo every choice to see what it does. 

For essentially the most half, the choices are self-explanatory. If you happen to hit a snag, you possibly can all the time do a Google seek for that possibility in your theme to see discussion board posts from different customers and even the theme’s FAQ or handbook.

Step 6. Construct your fundamental pages

After you’ve chosen a theme, you can begin constructing your web site’s pages. Each web site sometimes wants no less than the next pages:

  • A homepage
  • A contact web page
  • An about web page
  • A privateness coverage web page
  • A phrases of service web page

Moderately than going by way of how you need to create every of those pages, I’ll refer you to the next guides:

Needless to say your privateness coverage and phrases of service (ToS) pages will fluctuate relying on the nation you reside in. If you happen to’re within the U.S., you possibly can observe this guide for privacy policies and this guide for ToS pages.

That stated, there are some normal ideas you need to observe when constructing any web page in your web site. Usually, make it possible for your font is straightforward to learn and a great seen dimension (18–20px is typical), your colours match, and also you keep away from an excessive amount of litter.

Right here’s a great instance of a webpage that’s clear, legible, and thought out:

Ahrefs about page example

Right here’s an instance of a webpage that has an excessive amount of litter and shows an advert over half the web page, inflicting confusion:

CNN poor website design

Usually, much less is extra and legibility is healthier than fancy fonts.

Step 7. Set up these important plugins

The most effective elements of utilizing WordPress is entry to its massive library of plugins

A plugin is a customized piece of code written by a developer that anybody can set up on their WordPress web site so as to add particular performance to the positioning, equivalent to a contact type, additional customization choices, or search engine optimisation options.

You possibly can set up a brand new plugin one in all two methods. Head over to Plugins > Add New. From right here, you possibly can both:

  1. Browse the plugins instantly on this web page, then set up and activate them instantly.
  2. Obtain a plugin .zip file from the plugin’s web site, then click on the Add plugin button on the high of the display and add the .zip file.
How to upload a plugin to your WordPress website

Whereas many plugins are free, some are paid or have a premium paid model. It is determined by what you want. Nonetheless, I all the time set up the next free plugins on my web sites:

Rank Math: This plugin makes fundamental on-page search engine optimisation simpler. It tells you in case you’re lacking staple items like metadata, picture alt textual content, and extra. It additionally means that you can create a robots.txt file and a sitemap, that are necessary for serps to crawl your web site the best way you need.

Wordfence: This can be a safety plugin to assist forestall your web site from being hacked. I all the time set up some form of safety plugin on my websites.

Insert Headers and Footers: One of many stuff you’ll typically end up needing to do is insert code into the header or footer of your pages. You want to do that for every thing from establishing Google Analytics and Google Search Console to including the Fb Remarketing pixel and extra. Having this plugin makes it a lot simpler so as to add this code.

Needless to say putting in plenty of plugins in your web site could cause code bloat and decelerate your loading speeds, so solely set up plugins that you really want. 

Step 8. Begin creating content material

Now you already know all of the fundamentals of the best way to use WordPress. However one other necessary factor I need to speak about, which might be why you needed to start out a WordPress web site within the first place—the best way to create content material to your weblog.

Writing weblog posts is a vital a part of displaying up on serps like Google, having one thing to share on social media, and attracting extra guests to your web site.

What you write about is determined by your targets. I all the time begin with some fundamental key phrase analysis to determine what persons are trying to find on Google that pertains to my web site.

A fast and straightforward manner to do that is by plugging a broad key phrase into Ahrefs’ free key phrase generator instrument to get some key phrase concepts. 

For instance, if I’m beginning an internet site about farming, I’ll kind “farming” into the instrument. I can see key phrase concepts like “farming insurance coverage” and “vertical farming,” that are two potential weblog subjects I can write about.

Keyword ideas for farming, via Ahrefs' free keyword generator tool

If I need to get slightly extra particular, I can attempt a key phrase like “the best way to begin a farm.” This offers me concepts like “the best way to begin a farm with no cash” and “the best way to begin a farm in texas.”

Keyword ideas for "how to start a farm," via Ahrefs' free keyword generator tool

Strive completely different seed key phrases—each broad key phrases and extra particular ones—to give you some weblog subjects. After you have just a few concepts, go forward and description the article after which write it and publish it.

Try our information to writing a weblog publish to study extra.

Step 9. Monitor your web site for technical points

A daily a part of sustaining your WordPress web site is conserving plugins and themes updated, in addition to monitoring your web site’s technical well being.

WordPress routinely notifies you of updates to your plugins or themes with a pink circle subsequent to Dashboard > Updates. Log in to your dashboard no less than as soon as every week to replace every thing.

WordPress updates dashboard

Past weekly updates, use the free Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments to run a technical audit in your website and see any points your website could have, equivalent to damaged hyperlinks, lacking metadata, or sluggish loading speeds. 

Ahrefs website audit overview, via AWT

If you happen to click on the All points tab, you possibly can see each problem your website has—with an outline of what the difficulty is and the best way to repair it in case you click on on the ? icon.

All issues report, via AWT

You’ll additionally get electronic mail alerts when something in your website modifications, equivalent to a hyperlink breaking or a web page returning a 404 code. It’s a useful instrument to routinely monitor your WordPress website.

Remaining ideas

Congratulations, you now know the fundamentals of utilizing WordPress. It could have a big studying curve, however studying the best way to use this CMS is likely one of the most respected expertise you possibly can have in at the moment’s digital age.

You should use your WordPress web site to earn cash running a blog, promote your providers as a freelancer, and even promote merchandise on-line. Figuring out the best way to construct an internet site is nearly obligatory nowadays for anybody who needs to start out a enterprise.