Why do you need a website? You probably need it for your business, blog or portfolio. Now, how do you create one? If you’re a beginner, consider using WordPress to create your sites. This online tool makes it easier to customise websites based on your needs.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that helps you host and build your website. It contains:

● Plug-ins: pieces of software that provide added features or functions.
● Templates: pre-formatted site pages.

With this set of tools, you can customise your website and turn it into a blog, online store or portfolio page.

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How to set up a WordPress website

Select a hosting provider, plan and domain name

WordPress has two product offerings. One is free, which you can get from WordPress.org. However, you have to purchase the domain, plug-ins, themes and other necessary components. You also have to select a hosting provider.

If you prefer a paid version, there are five plans to choose from WordPress.com. They’re all the same, except for monthly payments, types of customisation and available marketing tools.

Once you have chosen a paid plan, the next step is to create your domain name and choose a host provider for the website. Depending on the WordPress paid plan, you have the right to choose your domain name.

It’s also essential to select the right provider because it can affect your site’s:

Once you’ve chosen a hosting provider, you’ll need to install the WordPress CMS to connect your domain to the website.

Install WordPress and choose a theme

After installation, you’ll have to answer some questions related to:

It may take at least 24 hours before the hosting provider confirms the successful installation of your account. After setting up the domain, you only need to select a few options relating to your website.

Now you’re ready to customise your site with the help of themes and templates from WordPress. You can choose the:

While WordPress sites have a default theme, your visitor may not be impressed with its ‘plainness’ but you don’t have to use a paid customised theme. A free one is fine, can appeal to your customers and looks professional.

Add posts and pages

Any content you add is displayed as posts or pages:

You can use either one or both of these options, depending on your needs.

Customise your website

There are multiple ways to make your site unique. Here are several options:

You can also customise your navigation menu to help visitors find information on your website more easily.

Install any required plug-ins

These pieces of software provide additional functions for your website. Choosing the right ones can enhance the user experience. Currently, WordPress has thousands of plug-ins to do this. Some popular plug-ins include:

You can select the plug-ins you want from WordPress and install them immediately. However, take care not to include too many because they can slow down your website.

Optimise the site for speed

Loading speed is essential for your website’s success. According to this blog, pages shouldn’t take more than three seconds to load. If it takes longer than that, around 25 per cent of your visitors could choose to leave.

Fortunately, there are many ways of boosting your loading speed. In WordPress, you can use browser caching. It’s a way of storing a site’s data to a visitor’s browser. This will minimise, if not eliminate, much of the loading process.

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How to design a WordPress website that will attract customers

If you intend to use a website for business, consider designing it using the following tips:

Develop an action plan

Start with a plan that will answer the following questions:

Answering these types of questions will improve your engagement with people.

Get inspiration from the competition

By visiting and exploring your competitors’ sites, you can check and implement the best designs for attracting your target audience. However, before you apply any feature, consider reviewing it to ensure that it meets a specific need.

Remember, not every design is suitable for all websites. It will only help your site if it serves your target audience’s needs.

Remove all the clutter and add white space

The average person has an attention span of around eight seconds. So, it’s crucial to design a site that will engage your visitors quickly. You can start by creating quality content with suitable photos and images.

Also, introducing a substantial amount of white space can create the impression of a ‘clean’ website. So, consider removing large image files or complicated animation since they also slow down your site.

Impress visitors with your typography

Nobody will read your content if it’s hard to understand. For example, words written in uppercase can ‘turn off’ your target audience. It also looks unprofessional.

Consider using:

If your content has plenty of text, use sub-headers and short paragraphs to break them down. Also, include a summary for longer pages.

Engage your audience with appropriate imagery

Using appropriate photos can help engage your visitors. While many images are licensed, there are still plenty available that you can obtain free of charge. However, refrain from using stock images that are not appropriate for your website. Instead, consider using actual pictures of your company’s products/services and its people. This will help your visitors relate to your business.

Make your site user-friendly and mobile-friendly

A disorganised site can leave visitors confused. When that happens, it’s more likely that they will leave. So, start making your website user-friendly by creating a navigation menu with intuitive controls and streamlined content. Remember, the primary purpose of the navigation bar is to help people quickly find what they’re looking for.

Also, consider adding a mobile version for your website to take advantage of Google’s mobile-first index. This initiative is as a result of the increasing popularity of using mobile devices to access the Internet.

Guide visitors to the landing pages using call-to-action

A call-to-action (CTA) is a word or phrase that can convince visitors to take action. Most of these CTAs appear as buttons or image links and are used to persuade people to:

Post regularly on social media

If you want to build your online presence, consider posting your articles and other content on various social media platforms. By strategically posting them, you can boost your online traffic and business reputation. Also, showing social proof is an excellent way of generating customer confidence.

Conclusion

Having a website is an excellent way of connecting with visitors and leads. However, your site needs to create a positive impression and encourage conversions. Fortunately, designing a website is now easier due to popular online tools, such as WordPress. This CMS system provides all your web building and design needs. Furthermore, you don’t need too much technical knowledge when building your own business, blog or portfolio site.

Author’s bio

Sam Sayer is the Creative Director of DeType; a creative agency based in Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK.