Building a Website or Blog Using WordPress
WordPress is a website building system originally designed for building web blogs.
For those of you new to web building, a blog (web log) is simply a website with the content arranged chronologically (like a diary).
Although originally designed for bloggers it is a very powerful platform for building standard websites.
By a standard website, I mean a site arranged hierarchically around content themes in very much the same fashion as a book is organised into chapters.
By simple control panel changes WordPress can be setup as either:
- A standard blog
- A standard website
- A website plus blog
and can be used for creating professional business, personal, and even ecommerce websites and blogs.
WordPress was designed for content publishers rather than web designers, and as such it is far easier to create/publish new content with WordPress than with conventional web building tools like DreamWeaver or FrontPage.
If you are looking to build a professional easy to manage website then you may want to consider using WordPress as your platform.
WordPress offers many advantages when compared to the traditional such as:
- Open Source (free)
- Easy to Use- Ideal for beginners and the not so technically minded
- Built in Easy To Use Visual Editor
- Hundreds of free professional templates
- Templates are easily customised
- Content and Layout are completely separated
- Content creation and management done using a web browser
- Look and feel easy to change.
- Easy to add extra functionality like voting, contact forms, sitemaps using plugins.
- Uses PHP and MYSQL which are supported on almost all web hosts.
The video below will give you a quick overview on WordPress and why I recommend you consider it for your website platform.
Building versus Design
Many new site builders are put off by the idea of designing a website. However the truth is that you can build a very professional website with no design skills at all, as WordPress comes with ready made professionally designed templates.
You simply need to select one to use. This leaves you free to concentrate on building your site by creating content.
What You will Need
You don't need any web editing software like Dreamweaver all you need is a web host that supports PHP and MYSQL (almost all do).
The ones I use to host my WordPress sites are:
Setup Your Hosting Space
Before you can do the install you need to get acquainted with the hosting space as the install will then make more sense.
It is vital that you do this if you will be doing a manual install.
Installing WordPress on Your Site
The first task is to install WordPress.
There are two install options depending on your host -Manual and scripted.
Scripted install is the easiest and should always be used if your host supports it.
WordPress was originally designed as a blogging platform. A blog is simply a website arranged in a particular way.
Because it as designed for non technical users it has become the number 1 platform for building all types of websites from simple information sites (like this one) to ecommerce sites, auction sites, realtor etc.
WordPress installs as a blog and if you want to use it as a blog you don't need to create any special pages, as the home page becomes the blog page.
To configure as a standard website then you will need to configure a static front page.
To configure WordPress for a static front page you need to do two things:
- Create two pages one called home and the other called blog.
- Go to settings>reading and set the static front page to be the home page and the posts page to the blog page.
Note: if you don't want a blog then there is No need to set the posts page just leave it blank.
To make the site more search engine friendly you need to configure what is knows as pretty permalinks. This simply means that pages have names, and not numbers (WordPress default)
To change it go to settings>permalinks. See WordPress permalinks
I also recommend that you install and configure the following plugins.
- All in one SEO
- A WordPress backup plugin
Add Your Content
Now you are ready to add content to your website. Content takes the form of text, images and maybe even video. With WordPress you can use either pages or posts.
Generally Posts are used when operating WordPress as a blog and Pages when using WordPress as a standard website
Related Articles and Resources:
- Free Beginners Course on my other site.