Setting up A WordPress Website From Scratch
What are the essential things you need?
When you’re setting up a WordPress website from scratch, this post shares everything you need to know about the essential things you’ll need. So let’s get going.
$ denotes paid tools, everything else is free.
Fabulous ultra secure, fast hosting, with great customer service, access to the CPanel (the proper back end of your site where the files are housed), easy to connect up to your domain, and a free WordPress installer and plugin which takes you step by step through the setup process.
ESSENTIAL STARTER PLUGINS
What the heck is a plugin?
WHEN YOU ARE BUILDING YOUR SITE BUT DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO SEE IT YET!!
Enables you to create a simple ‘Coming Soon’ page, should anyone stumble across your brand new site; it’s a customisable cover which hides the real website behind it. Really cool.
The best security plugin, with anti-virus, firewall and malware scanning. Easy to set up, and anytime there’s an issue (for example a plugin needs updating) it will email you.
Automatically backs up your site to your G Drive or other place of your choice (though remember to delete earlier backups or your GDrive will soon fill up.) Again, essential for any potential problems when you may need to restore your site. DO NOT rely solely on your hosting for this. Siteground is excellent but this is recommended for a ‘belt and braces’ approach. Note: At the time of writing you cannot back up to the iCloud.
An easy to customise standard cookie notice plugin which is 100% essential for websites collecting ANY data from EU visitors.
Search Engine Optimisation
Yoast offers lots of free tips and suggestions for SEO as well as a ‘traffic light’ system for your content. This is what people can get hung up about. A red or amber light does not mean your content sucks! It’s just a pointer!
Better than Google in my opinion (though you still need to connect it to your GSuite console) it provides a lovely little dashboard overview of your analytics
BONUS STUFF FOR NOSY PEOPLE LIKE ME
You can enter a domain name and it will tell you all of the details of the site -who it’s registered to and so on. So if you DON’T want people to see your home address, ensure you have a WHOIS guard set up (you can organise this easily and for free through your Siteground hosting.)
If you see a cool website that you really like, you can enter the domain into this site and it will tell you whether it has been built in WordPress, and also the theme and plugins used, giving you a bit of a leg up, and some inspiration. I use it regularly!
Now You know the essentials for your new WordPress website
If you break down a site into its components you’ll soon see that it starts with domain – host – platform.
We then add in the theme and plugins. Once they are in place you can start adding in content. That’s the fun part!
If you need a new website but don’t want the hassle of doing it yourself, let me design and build your site for you – the way you want it, at an affordable price. I’ll even train you to keep it up to date, boosting your tech skills and your confidence (or I can manage it for you).
Check out my web design services here.
About the author
Jackie Salmon is a freelance web designer & virtual assistant based in Northumberland, England. She offers website design, Mailchimp and online content support & training for people who help people.