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A step by step guide to building a WordPress website for beginners.

Congratulations on finishing your WordPress website set up! Now, it’s time to learn some actionable tips on building a WordPress website.

Setting up your WordPress site was just the start; it’s the building that sets the framework of your website.

When I first started, I had no clue what I was doing. I just learn as I go, so it took me twice the time to figure things out.

So, to help you save time in building your WordPress website, here is a complete guide that can help you finish in no time.

The sooner you’re done, the sooner you start creating your content.

Simple Guide To Building A WordPress Website

WORDPRESS DASHBOARD

The WordPress dashboard is where you control what goes into your website, codes, images, articles, and more.

Your website will have two parts, a front end, and a back end. The front end is what your readers will see when they go to your site while the backend is where you write your blog posts and customize your website.

WORDPRESS SETTING

Before you start writing posts or installing a theme, I would recommend you complete the basic settings first.

 COMPLETE PROFILE INFO

 Completing your profile will help secure your account. Changing the default information will make it harder for hackers to go into your account.

 BLOG NAME AND TAGLINE

 Customize your site by adding your blog name and your tagline. If you do not have a tagline yet, don’t worry, you can add it later. I changed my taglines so many times in the past.

To do this, from your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings>>General.

 TIME AND DATE

 Update the date and indicate your timezone. 

To update, from your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings>>General then scroll down.

PERMALINK STRUCTURE

Updating your permalink structure is important for search engine optimization.

You would want your post URL to be https://yourdomain.com/blog-title instead of https://yourdomain.com/2020/02/03

To do this, from your WordPress dashboard go to Settings>>Permalinks>Select Post Name

Install A Theme

Now it’s time to install your website’s theme. A theme is the overall look of your website. And you have many options; you can go as minimalist as you like or as busy as you want. 

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    When I started my blog, I went for a FREE theme because I was not making any money then. 

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    Then as my blog grew and started to load slower, I upgraded to a premium theme. 

     ASTRA

    As a beginner blogger, I would recommend the Astra theme because it loads faster than the other free themes, at least from my experience.

    Also, you can pretty much customize almost everything. And the best part is, Youtube has a lot of tutorials, which makes it easier to use.

     BLUCHIC

    Once my site got a little more traffic, I upgraded to a Bluchic theme, which is more feminine and cleaner.

    With the premium theme, I was able to get more customization, regular updates, and a bug-free guarantee.

     DELETE UNUSED THEMES

     After installing your theme, make sure to delete unused themes. It will help your site to load faster.

    Branding

    Branding is what makes your website professional. It sets you apart from other sites out there. 

     COLORS

    Select 2-4 colors that complement each other to have a uniform feel to your website. 

     FONTS

     Choose 1-2 fonts that you will use across your website.

    Use your selected brand elements on your logo, site icon, images, and in all of your branding. Be sure to be consistent.

    I use Canva to create all of my blog graphics. Canva makes it easy for me to stick to my branding.

    This course will help you come up with a branding that will work for you.

    Plugins

    Plugins increase the functionality of your WordPress blog. And most of the time, they are free.

    However, it is important to note that you should only install and use plugins that you really need.

    From your WordPress dashboard, you can access the plugins by going to Plugins>>Add New.

    Check out these FREE plugins that you should have on your site. Make sure to delete plugins that you are not using.

    Posts

    The Posts section is where you will write and publish your blog articles. The one thing I recommend in this section is adding categories.

    It will help you organize your posts, especially when you build up a good amount of content.

    Here is a step by step guide on building a WordPress website that you can do as a beginner.

    Pages

    The Pages section contains contents that are not blog posts. Some of the pages that you should include are:

     ABOUT ME PAGE

    This is where you introduce yourself and what your blog is about. You can add a photo of you or your logo.

     CONTACT ME PAGE

    This is where your readers can contact you. I use the WPForms Lite Plugin, and it’s easy to set up.

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     HOMEPAGE

    You can set up your homepage, in which you can just display your recent blog posts, or you can have a customized page that contains your email sign up or product promotion.

    As a beginner blogger, start with a simple homepage with your latest posts.

    From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings>>Reading>>Select “Your Latest Posts.”

    LEGAL PAGES

    If you are serious about your blog that you want to monetize it eventually, your blog should have all of these pages.

    • TERMS AND CONDITIONS
    • PRIVACY POLICY
    • DISCLAIMER

    Although you can find free templates online, I would recommend using these Legal Bundle Templates made by a lawyer, so you are confident that you and your blog are protected.

    Menus

     PRIMARY MENU

    Also known as the navigation bar or the top menu. It can contain your logo and your categories.

    To access this from your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance>>Menu>>Primary Menu

     FOOTER MENU

    Also known as the bottom menu. It usually contains the legal pages and contact page.

    To access this from your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance>>Menu>>Footer Menu.

    SIDEBAR WIDGETS

    Widgets are basically areas on your website, which display information that is separate from your main content. 

    They can be located anywhere on your page, either side, on the footer, or any other areas that your theme allows. 

    They can contain ads, email optins, your recent posts, search box, etc. 

    Sidebar widgets are located on the side, either on the right or the left, but mostly on the right. 

    Set Up Social Media

    When you are just starting your blog, Google does not know you exist yet. Your content will take a while to start showing on search results. 

    Therefore, you need social media platforms to share and promote your content. 

    However, I’d recommend starting with one or two social media platforms in the beginning. 

    Don’t spread yourself too thin. I have learned this the hard way. I tried to be everywhere. In the end, I was frustrated and had gotten nowhere.

    Each platform has a different strategy. Try to master one platform first before moving to the next one. 

    A lot of bloggers found success with Pinterest. I, myself, have Pinterest as the primary traffic driver. 

    Start with Pinterest. Learn everything you can. This free course is perfect for beginners, and it helped me reach over 670K monthly views. 

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    You can add Facebook since it’s the perfect place for networking with other bloggers as well. 

    Set Up Professional Email Address

    Having a professional email address will help build trust with your readers. 

    I don’t know about you, but I would rather receive an email from a charity@yourdomain.com than from yourdomain@gmail.com

    If you have Siteground, it is so easy to do. Check out this video and follow along. 

    Add Email Sign Up Form

    Collecting email subscribers is one of the things that seasoned bloggers recommend. However, this is something that you should not invest money on right away.

    Start with an email provider like Mailerlite, which is free for the first 1000 subscribers. Once you build up your email subscribers, then you can upgrade to Convertkit, which has more functionality.

    Set Up Google Analytics and Google Search Console

    Last but not least, you will need to set up your Google Analytics and your Google Search Console to boost your SEO.

    GOOGLE ANALYTICS

    1. Create a free Google Analytics account.
    2. Once logged in, click “Admin” in the lower-left corner.
    3. Click “Create Account”
    4. Follow prompts.
    5. You will get a code called meta tag, copy the code.
    6. Paste code into the <head> section of your website.

    *If you have the Insert Headers and Footers plugin, paste the code on the Header section then save.

    GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE

    You will need the Yoast plugin and the Insert Headers and Footers plugin to connect the Google Search Console to your website.

    After installing plugins, head over here for a step by step guide.

    Finally, the last step is to submit your URL to Google.

    1. Go to Google Search Console.
    2. Click “Sitemaps” from the left sidebar.
    3. Remove sitemap.xml or any invalid sitemaps.
    4. Click “Add New Sitemap.”
    5. Enter sitemap_index.xml into the text box.
    6. Click “Submit.”

    Wait a few days for Google to crawl and index your site and then check if your site has been correctly submitted to Google.

    To do this, type site:yourdomain.com into Google.

    There you have it! You’re done building your WordPress website.

    You now have a complete website. Now, all you have to do now is create great content that will help your readers.

    Did you find the complete guide to building your WordPress website helpful?

    Complete Guide To Building A WordPress Website

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