Getting started with the first WordPress website can be a considerable challenge for most users. Especially for those who want to have only easy magic tools understandable even for grandpa. The magic wand is real but only in Photoshop, therefore, this post is not about it.
Here I’ll try to examine some of the most needed points where to start and overcome common issues connected with building a WordPress site from scratch. Hopefully, you’ve already chosen the most suitable WordPress theme and looked through the famous 5 minutes installation guide for any WordPress website, so we can proceed with the rest of details.
There a lot of professional hosting providers across the web, but you may consider the ones that also specialize in WordPress-powered websites.
Tons of positive recommendations gets the easily managed WP Engine web hosting optimized for WordPress sites. A lot of WP users highly rate it because of good speed, top quality support, automatic caching, secure updates and daily backups, so you can feel technically safe and have more time to spend for customization itself. It also proposes various hosting plans to suit any type of business.
One more top-rated company is SiteGround which has built a very positive reputation within the WordPress community. It’s one of the most popular hosting providers which ensures high speed and high level of security. They also offer automatic upgrades, built-in WordPress caching, intuitive admin area and much more options. Quality 24/7 support is also guaranteed.
WordPress junkies also recommend InMotion web hosting. It proposes a full range of intuitive admin instruments for beginners including one-click installation tool. It’s trusted by WordPress users for a number of reasons. The inMotion guys are using solid state drivers, so all the hard drives containing your site data are not moved. They also offer free backups, secure email hosting, integration with Google apps and more useful features.
There are also a couple of terms to keep in mind and ask the hosting company before choosing your hosting plan:
- bandwidth really matters if you are going to run a website with a lot of huge uploads. Wide bandwidth usually means better surfing speed, so if the site is chock full of the large media files, they must be loaded quickly enough to increase the UX (user experience). Any proficient hosting company should be able to help you choose the appropriate hosting package to meet your business needs
- good processing power is required if you expect large volumes of traffic
- the reliable type of drive is usually the one without moving parts.
If you’ve already found some trusted host, make sure it at least meets the bare minimum of WordPress hosting requirements. You may also pay special attention to the recommendation for better website security (it can be found on the same page of system requirements). And if you are a fan of comparison pricing tables (good strategy!), you may google for ones, they may be pretty informative.
Page Builder for your WordPress website
This is something that can help you forget about confuses of working with default WordPress editor. Most of the drag and drop editors were created to help beginners build professionals website without tech staff. Which one is good for beginners? Probably the editor that doesn’t require reading ten pages of instructions before use. The one you’ll be able to operate without contacting the tech team every day. Here are some popular and reliable ones among WordPress users:
Which one is good for beginners? Probably the editor that doesn’t require reading ten pages of instructions before use. The one you’ll be able to operate without contacting the tech team every day. Here are some popular and reliable ones among WordPress users:
- Live Composer is a highly popular front-end drag and drop builder with multiple content blocks you might ever require. Any page element can be customized visually. Thousands of users have already chosen this free software.
- MotoPress Content editor is perfect to suit all the needs of beginners because of its hassle-free installation and a very handy dashboard. This drag and drop solution has already helped many freelancers and developers to create a multipurpose unconventional WordPress website. MotoPress techs develop a lot of the plugin addons on a regular basis to suit the needs of different business niches. The demo version is also available.
- Page Builder Sandwich is one more cool visual page builder, which helps to create responsive column based content, using all the necessary widgets you are more likely already familiar with. It also works perfectly with any WordPress theme.
- Minimax page builder is a combination of a super huge amount of different widgets and easy WYSIWYG editor – 2 main things you need to customize your WordPress website. There are several videos on the site to check this builder in action.
You still may read more about this builder or even better try the demo version of each to see how it really works. Practice is always more important than theory!
Website load time is one of the most important factors for the search engines rankings. The following speed-up plugins can be easily integrated and installed.
W3 Total-cache plugin undergone a lot of testing and bug fixing, thousands of installations and improvements. It’s recommended by newcomers and professionals.
The plugin works with page caching, database caching, minification (deleting all unnecessary characters from website source code without changing its functionality), CDN integration (content delivery network which allows to host your static files on the subdomain linked to a worldwide network of servers, i.e. it can load your website faster because of linking to a closer server), and much more.
Though all the plugin settings may be a bit complicated for the beginner, there are a lot of tips on where to click to install it and make work.
WP Super Cache is also one more popular plugin to speed up your WordPress website significantly as it generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress website. What does that mean? It generates html files that are served directly by Apache (most used web server software worldwide) without processing comparatively heavy PHP scripts. Here is also a step-by-step guide for beginners.
You may also join the WordPress Speed Up Facebook group to get all fresh speed-up news and methods on time and on the go!
Today it’s easy to build an e-store with a help of powerful and free WordPress eCommerce plugins. It’s difficult to get confused which one to choose because there are some reliable ones that are simply the buzzwords of eCommerce tools for WordPress website.
The first one is, of course, wooCommerce plugin that provides the beginners with all necessary tools like a user-friendly dashboard with detailed instruction on how to track the sales and manage sales statistics.
However, you will need a WooCommerce compatible WordPress theme to use this plugin properly and get the maximum out of this amazing WordPress product that will help you to create your online shop within couple of minutes.
WP e-Commerce plugin is not of inferior quality, it’s fully compatible with WordPress themes and plugins providing many drag and drop shopping options for happy user experience. It ensures high marketing ready standards thanks to flexible coupon rules, a variety of cross-selling options, popular payment gateways, quantity discounts and Google Base integration, to name a few.
Jigashop is one more powerful eCommerce solution. It’s a lightweight secure plugin supplied with numerous widgets and shortcodes. It also comes with awesome reporting features like stock reports and sortable sales graphs.
You may also test how intuitive its dashboard by running a demo version of Jigoshop store installed on one of the default WordPress themes. You’ll be able to even save the updates and see how it works in real time.
Topmost essential plugins
These are highly rated on the WordPress repository and are useful for beginners:
- SEO WordPress plugins to boost your rankings: WordPress SEO by Yoast, All in One SEO Pack, SEO Friendly Image
- Social sharing plugins: Social sharing toolkit, Ultimate Social Media
- Contact form plugins: Contact form 7, Ninja forms, Form Maker
- Backup plugins: Updraft Plus, BackUp WordPress
- Security plugins: Sucuri Security, WordFence Security
Resources to read
There are a lot of them, of course, but the following ones are updated regularly and won the trust of many WordPress junkies and beginners. The selection listed below is my choice, but each to his own.
As you might sum up, starting a website is not a zero-prep activity, but it’s, in any case, would be pretty useful to bookmark a couple of good resources of how to create a stunning WordPress website.
They could also help to eliminate the confusion that may arise with different WordPress-related terms and requirements needed to be understood at the beginning. Hopefully, you are already awarding yourself a pat on the back for knowing some right answers on how to start working on WordPress platform.