This WordPress Introduction is intended for anyone new to web design including those who have never before created a webpage. College students, small business owners, even folks searching for a new job should consider learning WordPress. Using WordPress to publish content can increase your exposure throughout the web enabling employers or clients to find you. Having a solid web presence also legitimizes any job applicant or business offering. The best part about using WordPress is that you don’t have to be a programmer!
Note to small business owners
You may prefer to hire someone else to create your WordPress website. You too should have a rudimentary understanding of WordPress so that you can ensure your provider is giving you reliable information and estimates. It is also highly likely that you or one of your employees will from time-to-time wish to update content on your new WordPress website. By knowing the basics, you can save money and time by updating your website on your own. Updates might include, publishing new posts such as news, promotions, blog articles); new pages (temporary sale, etc.); or updating contact or hours on an existing page.
There are two main ways to easily publish using WordPress. You can publish a WordPress “blog” for free at WordPress.com but this is not suitable if you want to create content other than blog articles and have a unique domain name. The recommended way to publish your website is by first purchasing a domain name (also called “URL”) and a web host service then installing WordPress.
A note on web host services
HardScrabble Solutions clients tend to use a variety of web host service providers. These include 1and1 IONOS, Bluehost, Bravenet, GoDaddy, and Acorn Host. Others have dedicated local servers that they have purchased. Domains, likewise, can be purchased through a variety of providers including all of the above. Web host service plans vary in price and term lengths. These also vary by server storage space, email host options, SSL and other security add-on features, access to FTP/SFTP, and overall customer service satisfaction. It is best to consult with us prior to making a purchase so that our team can help you make the best decision for your web hosting needs.
Setting up Your Website
Most people believe that to create a website you must start programming by manually writing code into a text document. WordPress is a simpler, fluid way to accomplish web design. You may have heard that WordPress is a content management system (CMS). As a CMS, WordPress provides user-friendly, novice approved tools for:
- Installing a theme to control the overall design of a website
- Warehousing and publishing posts, images, and documents
- Installing plugins such as Woo Commerce, Pirate Forms, PDF embedder, or social media feeds, for example
- Revision and update controls and monitors
- Access to open source features and forums
Some of the above tools are available if you opt to create a free WordPress.com blog. It is a good idea to experiment with the free version if you are inclined to invest in hosting a WordPress website in the future. This will give you an opportunity to acclimate to the WordPress dashboard and create a few posts with special design features.
WordPress is an amazing tool. Since using the free WordPress.com blog option is very different from installing WordPress on your web host, we will be publishing two more articles on the topic over the coming weeks. Be sure to subscribe to our RSS or follow HardScrabble Solutions on Facebook or Twitter.