Are you one of the large group of people that want to start an online business from home, but suffer from road blocks such as fear or lack of understanding of all things technical.
I have some good news for you, due to the current surge in technology and software scripts out there, building your own traffic producing website is entirely possible, if you only understand the basics of website building and essentials of how the Internet works.
Don’ t worry, in this post, called understanding wordpress for the online business owner I will show you that there really is nothing to be afraid of.
You don’t need to be a software engineer anymore, anybody can do this, the main aim of my blog is to help people start their own online business and I don’t want the fear of technical stuff to stop you.
I will be showing you how to build a website using wordpress and explaining all the benefits of using this web building software to build your blog or website.
The main benefits of using wordpress to build your website.
- Its 100% FREE open source software
- It is user-friendly, perfect for the beginner or experienced blogger
- Its designed for content marketing
- Perfect for affiliate marketing
- 1000’s of FREE themes to choose from
- 1000’s of FREE plugins to choose from
- Can be installed with one click
- Google approves of it
- Its kept constantly updated
- No coding required
- Used by millions of website owners
What Exactly Is WordPress
WordPress is a content management system, which means in simple terms, it manages and displays your content for you, without you really having to do anything except write the content. All the heavy lifting is done in the background and all your content is kept safe on a data base that gets created automatically at the same time you install the software on your domain.
When you install wordpress on your domain you are basically building the framework of your site, which you can then add and expand as you go. It has a great deal of functionality so you can choose the style and layout of your content. Including navigation menus, side bar content, images and a lot more.
When you write your content the HTML and CSS code is written for you in the background, a wordpress website utilises 3 different web languages.
A Brief Introduction To The World Of Websites And Servers
Website Building Languages
HTML = Hyper Text Markup language
CSS = Cascading style sheets
PHP = Recursive acronym for (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) it does all the heavy lifting.
- HTML is used for content structure (Static Language)
- CSS is used for the style of your website (Your theme) (Static Language)
- PHP does all the work in the background it can transfer data from one file to another and is what your data base is built from. (Dynamic )
Note – Your data base is built automatically and you will never need to do anything to it as it runs in the background, just be aware that wordpress does will not work without one. If you own a WordPress website and you want to transfer it to a different web host you must also transfer the data base.
The data base used for WordPress is call MYSQL which stands for Microsoft Sequential Data Base, in simple terms it’s like a spread sheet that is connected to your website on the server which records and holds information about your site.
It is dynamic which means it can be added to, updated and changed. As a wordpress website owner it is rare that you will ever need to touch the data base. The only time you will need to worry about the data base, is if your move or sell your website.
Web Servers – The Basics
The whole internet is made up of servers that are interconnected all over the world, your website will live on a server, the server is like the computer you have at home, but with some fundamental differences. It has but one purpose and that is to serve web content around the world. Because it only has one purpose it does not require and additional programs making it much more secure than a normal computer.
Web servers are built and designed to be able to read an intemperate 3 languages, HTML, CSS, AND PHP, so in essence they are much more simple than home computers. They are designed for speed and security only.
The Domain Name Or URL (Unique Reference Location)
Your domain name is the address of your website, it’s your digital piece of land that you rent from a domain name provider, put simply it’s the digital version of your postcode. Once you purchase a domain you have rented a piece of digital land or real estate. Most domain names will cost you between $10 and $20 per year. You can purchase a domain name from any of the domain name suppliers around the web.
You will need a web hosting platform to host your website on, fortunately these platforms are very cheap and should only cost you between $5 and $15 per month at the most. Most web hosts will have wordpress instillation software on their platforms, when you acquire a web host most of them use C Panel, which is you web hosting dashboard, it like control center for your website.
If you want to build a wordpress site or any other site, it’s very important that you grasp the basics of DNS, which stands for Domain Name System. As soon as you purchase a domain, the domain provider will send you an email with your DNS settings on it. The DNS is the address of your web servers that are currently hosting your domain name on. Keep a copy of this e-mail as it is important information about your web server address.
DNS is a web side system that enables servers to create IP address and keep track of every web address on the internet, you will need your DNS settings if you want to host your website on a different platform than the domain name provider.
If you purchase your domain on namecheap, and host your website on Hostgator you will need to point your name servers to Hostgator before you install wordpress on it.
To achieve this, you will need to take your name server address from Hostgator and go to your dashboard in namecheap and click on >> manage domains. You will see a section that says “manage name servers”, you will then need to copy and paste your Hostgator name servers into the correct box on namecheap, click, save changes a then wait for about 24 hours for the update to take place.
Your web host and your domain name provider will always provide you with your name servers, in some cases you can purchase your domain name and host your website on the same platform. More and more web hosting platforms are now doing this. In such cases you will never really need to touch your name servers at all.
Installing WordPress On Your Domain
This process should be relatively simple on most web hosting platforms, in your dashboard or C Panel there will be a WordPress installation icon. Just click on this and follow the instructions it should only require 3 steps.
- Select the domain
- Choose a password and username
- Click Install wordpress
- Your data base will be built automatically in the background.
Once this is done you will be given an admin URL, (yoursite.com/wp-admin) this URL is the back end of your website, it’s only available to you and no one else can access this. It will have a username and password box for security. Once you log in you will then be able to start building your website.
Choosing Your WordPress Theme.
Of all the parts to building a wordpress site, this seems to be the one that causes the most trouble, I have nicknamed it the, theme blues, when you install wordpress on your domain it will come with a pre-installed theme, you of course can change this to any theme you want. There are thousands of free themes to choose from and people seem to spend hours, if not days choosing one.
The best advice I can give is, to decide on what your websites purpose is going to be, if you want a WP site to display and show off your photography, you will want a different theme than if you are a local business, or a an affiliate marketer. So the first step is to decide what sort of website you actually want to create, then choose your theme.
How To Change Your WordPress Theme.
Once you are logged in you will be in the dashboard area and on the left is the main dashboard menu.
Click in >>appearance>>themes, you will then be taken to the theme area, the theme that is already installed is displayed at the top left corner, if you want to keep this theme there is nothing more you need to do.
To change your theme click on the add new box just above the theme that is installed and you will be taken to the theme selection window where you can scroll through the many themes available to you.
To install a new them, you can click on the preview button and take a closer look at the theme itself, if you want to install a particular theme just click on the install tab and the theme will be installed. Once it is installed click on activate and your new theme will be ready to go
Sequence as follows
appearance>>themes>>add new>>choose theme>>preview>>install>>activate
Choose your theme at an early stage as it can cause problems if you change your theme once you have a significant amount of content on your website.
Types of WordPress Themes
- Free Themes
- Paid Themes
- Child Theme (Two part)
In addition to the themes available within your wordpress dashboard, you can upload themes paid or free, if you have a paid theme or want to upload your own theme, the theme itself will come in a zip file.
How To Upload A Theme From Your Desktop
Go to the top menu and click upload theme
You will be taken to this window
Click on choose file, select the zip file on your PC and then click install now, then activate and your good to go. If you are installing a child theme, the process has an extra step.
Click >>choose file>>select the framework file click >>install but do not click activate, click on >>choose file again choose the >>child theme file click >>install then click >>activate.
Themes with 2 parts are called child themes, they have a frame work and a theme style file. The framework is like the engine of the theme and the child theme is the styling. These themes have more functionality and are usually in the paid theme categories.
Example of A 2 Part WordPress Theme Called Genesis 1140 Pro
This theme is from studio press and is called genesis, it’s a popular blogging theme, the framework part on the left gets uploaded first then the theme called 1140 pro.
The World Of WordPress Plugins
Put simply, wordpress plugins are like apps for your website, they add functionality to your wordpress installation, please be warned however that adding to many plugins can and often does slow your site down. Site speed is crucial in today’s world, your potential readers/customers’ will not put up with slow loading web pages, they will simply click away, so try to keep your WordPress plugins to a minimum.
Just like themes you can add and delete plugins from your dashboard.
How To Add WordPress Plugins
In your dashboard area go to the menu on the left and click plugins>>add new, you will be taken to this window
Click on Add New and you will be then taken to this window.
You can scroll through the list of plugins or use the search function to search for a particular function, if you use the search box you must type in the exact plugin name as it is not like Google, it will only respond when your type in the exact name of the plugin you want.
For example the bbPress plugin will Not appear if you type in the BB PRESS or bb press even the capitals matter, so you will need to know the exact name you are searching for if you are looking for a particular WordPress plugin.
To upload a plugin from your PC is the same as uploading a theme.
Click on Upload plugin>>click on install>>select the zip file>>click upload>>click install>>click activate
How To Build A Website Designed For Your Customers.
If you are building a website for your own needs and it’s your hobby, then how you build it is really up to you, if however you want to actually profit from your website or create an income from it, then you need to build it with your customers’ in mind and not how pretty it looks.
Customer Experience Is Everything When It Comes To Successful Online Business Websites
Below is a list of customer experience points that really matter
- Site Speed Is Extremely important
- Use an SSL Certificate
- Post Regular Helpful problem solving content
- Easy to navigate
- Content easy to read
- Use relevant images within your content
- Embed relevant u tube videos within your posts
- Use pop up sparingly
- Don’t bombard your readers with offers
- Don’t flood your website with affiliate links.
- Make it easy for your customers to contact you
You may have noticed that I did not mention your theme here, because your customers’ don’t care about your theme or how pretty your website is, they only care about what you can do for them. They are all looking for value, so give them as much value as you can.
Your website should be achieving three things.
Use your website to build relationships and not sell all the time, when building your website, put your self in the customers’ shoes and don’t build a website that you love, build a website that your customers love. Get to know your customers focus on them and not on products, find out who the are and how they feel when they are on your site.
I want to serve you the best way I can, I am a WordPress web designer and an online marketer, if you have any questions or there is something your don’t understand about wordpress please let me know in the comments below, I will always get back to you with an answer to your questions and comments.