How to Create a WordPress Site?
Here are the 7 steps to building a WordPress website or blog:
1/ Choose a domain name
Your domain name is often one of the first things visitors notice, and it can have an impact on their perception of your site and brand. A well-chosen name piques the interest of users and encourages them to visit your site.
The shorter the domain name, the easier it is to remember and type. Therefore, users will be more likely to find you. In addition, complicated or unusual words can be difficult to remember and write correctly.
If you are creating a website for a company, your domain name should reflect your brand. By including your company name in your domain, you can distinguish yourself, gain notoriety and increase traffic to your website. Just be sure not to use the name of an existing brand or domain name when creating your brand or domain name.
It is also necessary to choose the domain extension. The most popular one is .com, it concerns more than 50% of the total Internet addresses. But there are many others, such as .org, .io, .co, .net, .link, .info, .store, .shop. Not to mention the domain name extensions derived from a country: .es, .de, .ru, .fr, .tk, .uk, .cn, etc…
The easiest and safest way to instantly check if the domain name you are interested in is free, or if it is already in use, is to go to Hostinger‘s Domain Checker page. The prices are among the lowest on the market and the information provided is very clear with no hidden fees. In most cases, a domain name will be offered with the purchase of a new web hosting package.
2/ Choosing a web host
I have been using Hostinger for my Codetahiche.com website since 2021. This web host offers, at the lowest prices on the market, Shared web hosting, but also Cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and managed WordPress hosting. An SSL certificate is offered with the purchase of a web hosting package as well as, if necessary, the migration of the website from another web host.
There are other quality web hosts, such as Flywheel or Cloudways:
Another solution is to use Elementor Cloud. The Cloud offer of the famous page builder is an all-in-one service that takes care of not only web hosting but also the technical aspects of creating a website: you get the Elementor Pro license, a free domain and a free SSL certificate. Thus, WordPress, Elementor Pro and the WordPress Hello theme are pre-installed.
3/ Installing WordPress
The installation of WordPress is usually done in a few clicks and automatically from your web host. There are also manual methods, the most popular being the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client method, using a file manager such as FileZilla.
Another solution is to install WordPress locally, i.e. on your own computer in order to test different configurations of WordPress plugins and themes, without needing a web host for the moment. To do this, simply use free software such as Local by Flywheel. Once you are satisfied with your configuration, all you have to do is copy it to your web host. It is even possible to perform this kind of test, not on your computer, but online, thanks to a website such as InstaWP.
See our detailed articles: How to install WordPress locally with Local by Flywheel software and InstaWP: instant creation of WordPress websites
4/ Setting up WordPress: Homepage, permalinks, categories, pages, posts
From the WordPress dashboard, it is possible to access several tabs that will allow you to set up your website.
– Structure of the Homepage:
By default, the Homepage will be composed of the last published articles. To create a custom homepage, you need to go to the Settings > Reading tab which is located in the left sidebar of the WordPress dashboard. You should select the button “A static page”. In the drop-down menu, select “home page”.
– Choice of permalinks structure:
It is a question of determining the structure of the URLs of the various publications. Go to Settings > Permalinks.
Plain: the big problem with this setting is that your URLs will end with cryptic numbers, like “p=123”. When it comes to page referencing, Google doesn’t like it too much.
Day and name: this setting will display the date and title of the article. As the date is not very useful, this solution should be avoided.
Month and name: this setting will allow you to display the month and the name of your publication, this is a possibility that can be used to create a blog.
Numeric: this setting will also display numbers at the end of your URLs, a solution to avoid.
Post name: this is the most accurate and logical setting. This will allow visitors to quickly find what they are looking for, either the name of the page or the name of the article.
– Creation of categories:
You should go to the tab Articles > Categories. You need to fill in the category name and the slug: this is the part of the URL just after your domain name and the backslash. It is this part of the URL that explains the content of the page. Slugs are obviously important for search engine ranking, thanks to the use of SEO keywords directly in the URL.
– Creation of a blog post or a page:
To create a publication, go to the Articles > Add tab. This will most often be the WordPress content editor, also called Gutenberg, or the Elementor page builder. To create each page of your website and therefore be able to write the content of the pages (Homepage, Our Services Pages, Contact Page, About Page, or others), you should go to the Pages > Add tab.
5/ Installing a WordPress theme
The most popular WordPress themes usually offer a free and a premium version, as well as a large number of ready-to-use templates: blogs, showcase sites, WooCommerce sites.
– OceanWP Theme
OceanWP theme is a WordPress theme offering more than 200 ready-to-use templates, perfect for any type of website representing a professional activity, to create an online store (trade, small business). The cheapest paid version of the OceanWP theme costs $35 per year and allows the management of 3 websites.
– GeneratePress Theme
This WordPress theme is easy to use and it comes with a lot of features that make it perfect for creating any type of website. There is a free version, as well as a premium version with even more customization options ($59 per year or $249 Lifetime).
– Astra Theme
The Astra theme is the most popular. It offers a free version as well as three annually renewable Premium versions, starting at $49 per year, and three Lifetime versions starting at $239.
– Kadence Theme
The Kadence theme offers a free version as well as three annually renewable premium versions, starting at $59 per year, and an all-in-one Lifetime version starting at $649.
– Divi Theme
The Divi theme and its famous Page Builder are available from $89 per year or $249 in Lifetime version. These two packages allow you to create an infinite number of WordPress sites and use hundreds of different templates.
6/ Installing WordPress plugins
- The famous Elementor page builder or its competitor Divi Builder if you prefer the Divi theme,
- WooCommerce to sell products on an e-commerce site, or the new Surecart plugin if it is only selling digital products,
- Rank Math to improve SEO,
- WP Cerber Security or iThemes Security to improve the security of your site,
- WP Rocket or WP-Optimize to speed up the loading speed of your web pages,
- WPML to build a multilingual website,
- Crocoblock to build a professional website,
- UpdraftPlus or Wpvivid to save or migrate your site,
- LuckyWP Table of Contents,
- LuckyWP Cookie Notice,
- Sendinblue for your e-mail campaigns,
- Google Site Kit to monitor the performance of your website,
- Imagify or Shortpixel to optimize your images and thus speed up your WordPress site.
7/ Configure your social networks
This operation must be done by choosing the name of your own website in order to promote it for free by regularly sharing your articles as they are published. For me, I mostly use Pinterest and Twitter.
How to improve the security of a WordPress site?
There are many ways to secure a website, but the simplest and most effective is to use a security plugin. WP Cerber Security is in my opinion the best plugin to improve the security of a WordPress website. This plugin protects any WordPress site from brute force attacks, spam, trojans and malware. WP Cerber Security is free, easy to use, powerful, and can be used on an unlimited number of websites. What more could you ask for?
More details in our article: How to secure an unlimited number of WordPress sites against hackers, spam and malware
How to speed up the display of a WordPress site?
1/ The crucial importance of the web host
We will tend to tell you: find a quality host! Of course, but there is also another area that should get our attention: image optimization! It is estimated that images represent about 20% of the total weight of a web page …
2/ Image compression
The most basic way is to compress your images before uploading them to your website. It is then necessary to find a balance between the size of your files and an image quality that is still acceptable. A simple and free online tool such as TinyPNG will do the trick.
A much more practical solution would be to be able to automate this process. For this you can use a WordPress plugin such as Imagify or ShortPixel. These plugins automatically compress the images when we upload them from the media library. These plugins also allow you to display the WebP or AVIF image format, which is more powerful than the PNG or JPEG formats.
More details in our articles: ShortPixel Plugin: A powerful image optimizer and Imagify: How to optimize your images to speed up your website?
3/ Optimizing the WordPress database
It is also possible to optimize its WordPress database. It must be said that many extensions leave unwanted files after their uninstallation. Many websites, especially older ones, use the MyISAM storage engine. However, the InnoDB standard, which appeared later, is more efficient.
More details in our article: 3 Plugins to optimize your WordPress database
4) Using a CDN
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of servers that makes the content of a website available in several geographical locations at once, from an origin server (where your website is located). All the content of your website is cached on the CDN server network. The result is an improvement in the speed at which web pages are displayed to each visitor request. The most popular is Cloudflare, with over 200 servers worldwide. Cloudflare offers a free package.
5) Optimization of the mobile version
We must also make sure to optimize the mobile version of our website, especially since Google has made it a major criterion for SEO by launching its Mobile First index in 2018. According to Google, “We don’t have a mobile-first index that is different from our main index. Historically, the desktop version was used for indexing. From now on, the content of the mobile version will increasingly be used for indexing.”
More details in our articles: 15 Tips to optimize WordPress and Plugin Super Page Cache for Cloudflare: speed up your WordPress site for free,
How to improve SEO?
1/ Improve your SEO with the Rank Math plugin or the Yoast SEO plugin
This plugin can help you get a deeper insight into your audience and traffic sources with its Analytics module. It can cover keyword research, managing redirects , content optimization, integration of WooCommerce , the creation of sitemaps , optimizing your Local SEO, social media integration, image referencing, thanks to the “Image SEO” module, URL indexing management thanks to the Google and Bing Indexing Module, and the management of several very useful tools.
More details in our article: SEO: 20 rules to optimize your web content with Rank Math
2/ Improve your SEO with a table of contents
For those who haven’t purchased the PRO version of Elementor, there are extensions to have a table of contents at the beginning of each of your blog posts. My favorite extension is LuckyWP Table of Contents .
This allows you to insert either automatically or manually for each new article writing, a table of contents in all your articles. Fully configurable, this small extension also offers you many configuration options.
How to create a WordPress site in multiple languages? WPML: The Multilingual WordPress Plugin
For anyone who wants to develop a multilingual site, WPML is one of the essential extensions.
More details in our article: WPML plugin : how to create a multilingual WordPress site
The Crocoblock tool collection
This is one of the most successful ways to create professional looking websites. Whether your website is a blog, a showcase site or an e-commerce site, this suite can interest you by its ease of use and its impeccable results.
More details in our article: Crocoblock: a pack of templates, plugins and pop-ups for Elementor
How to install WordPress locally?
In order to run a website directly on your computer, you will need a local web server. There are many programs that allow you to do this, but the easiest to use is surely Local by Flywheel.
More details in our article: How to install WordPress locally with Local by Flywheel software
Security: RoboForm Password Manager
RoboForm has a reputation as one of the best password managers and offers, in addition to a completely free version, the “RoboForm Everywhere” plan as well as a “Business” plan for companies. More details in this article: Is RoboForm a good password manager?
3 Good Reasons For Using a VPN
1. Security against hackers
A VPN allows your internet line to be encrypted, which is particularly useful for connecting to public WiFi networks, as these allow cybercriminals to easily hack your private data. For the same reasons, a VPN also makes it possible to secure the consultation of your online bank accounts. This is why it is necessary to keep your VPN turned on to maintain your security.
2. Confidentiality of your personal data
VPNs encrypt all data that travels over your network, making it virtually impossible for hackers, ISPs, and governments to see your personal information.
3. Circumvention of geographic restrictions
Your real IP and your geographic area allow websites to block certain content for broadcasting rights reasons (Streaming, TV channels, Netflix). With a VPN you take control by choosing the country you want to appear from.