Steps to build your own WordPress Website:
Creating a website can be hard work, but if you have the time, creativity and technical inclination you can do it yourself. First, we’ve included all the steps we go thru to make sure you have a professional and successful website. Probably the hardest part is customizing your theme, especially for someone without web coding experience.
We generally recommend a WordPress website for people who need more control over their site and plan to grow but if your budget is very small you can try out a website builder – see recommendations in box.
Build your Own Using Website Builder!
Short on money but have lots of time? We are in the process of testing and evaluation the following builders. They range from free to a few dollars a month for everything. Check them out:
Think of us as your WordPress Website Consultant
We can help you if you need it. To get a feel for costs we’ve added an estimate for each step. Remember, the cost associated with each step is just an estimate based on our past experience, we may charge a little more or a little less depending on your specific situation.
- Choose A Domain (estimate for us to help: 1 hour):
Keyword matching is not as important as it used to be. What is important is your domain name tells your customer about your business. But you need to have a unique domain. Check out available domains on Godaddy(right now there is a deal for $5.99* .COM).
- Set Up Hosting (estimate for us to help: 1 hour):
Most websites are fine on a shared hosting server. Monthly prices range from $4 per mo to $9/mo. Check out the following hosts:
Bluehost – currently $4.95 a month, has a 1-click install and a free domain!
HostGator – currently $3.96/mo, 1-click install and we use them
GoDaddy (click for 50% off) – some of our clients use godaddy – it can be cheap but sometimes slow and does not have 1-click install for its economy plan (but you can manually install wordpress)
note: Check out comparison of BlueHost and GoDaddy (HostGator and BlueHost are different brands of the same company).
another note: If you have your domain with godaddy and you host with bluehost you will have to set up custom nameservers.
- Get a Logo (estimate for us to help: 4 – 6 hours):
We don’t normally do logo design but we can recommend someone. We did do our logo, and the logo for Substance Abuse Testing of Savannah – nice bubbles, right? (all jquery).
- Site Structure (estimate for us to help: 1 hour):
This includes your main menu and main landing pages. See this article about How to create a site structure Google will love. Use this tool to create site structure online or just use a piece of paper!
- Choose A Theme (estimate for us to help: 2 hours):
There are SO MANY THEMES – no question this step can be overwhelming. What we do is try and get a good feel as to what you want the site to look like before we start looking thru all the themes. We have the most luck at themeforest or WordPress theme area. We really like themes that are “Responsive” and use “Bootstrap” – we recommended these search terms. Take a look at this article on Smashing Magazine – scroll down to “Choose A Theme”. If you have a good idea of what you want we can help narrow down your choices to 3 themes.
- Set Up Site (estimate for us to help: 2-4 hours):
Hopefully you have your domain, your host, set up your nameservers, picked out your theme and have a nice logo – now you need to put them all together. To install WordPress search on 1-click installs for your host or check out this link for a manual install: setting up your hosted website. Installing your theme involves logging into your Dashboard, Clicking on Appearances, click on install theme – either from wordpress or upload it from your computer. Activate your theme and then use the theme options to upload your logo (different for each theme) – see our Simple WordPress Guide for more information.
- Theme Customization (estimate for us to help: 3-5 hours):
Most people don’t like the way the site looks right out of the box. Try adding your content and menus and a few widgets. Maybe your theme has the ability to change colors, backgrounds – try that, if you get stuck we can help. See our Simple WordPress Guide for more information.
- Add Your Content (estimate for us to help: 2-4 hours):
We don’t currently write content because you are the best at that but we can help you set up your menus and load it up on your site – see our Simple WordPress Guide for more information.
- Test and Optimize Your Keywords (estimate for us to help: 3 hours):
Exact keyword match isn’t as important as it used to be but you should definitely have well-structured and high-quality content. There are tools at google webmaster tools that can help you analyze your content.
- Security and Backup (estimate for us to help: 1 hour):
Backup and security are important – we like the plugins backwpup and xcloner and take a look here for security tips.
- Analytics (estimate for us to help: 1-3 hours):
Set up your google analytics account and install tracking software.
- Basic SEO (estimate for us to help: 4 hours):
Basic Analysis of keywords and content and starting to find some local directories and other high quality sites to place your new website link.
- Social Networks (estimate for us to help: 1-2 hours):
Setting up a LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and google plus account.