WordPress has become impressively popular since its release in 2003. Today, according to Who Is Hosting This, WordPress powers 35% of the entire internet including 14.7% of the top 100 websites.
A part of this popularity comes from how user-friendly the platform is to web developers. Not just professional developers either – even the casual designer or new small business can create their own website without much trouble.
Yet, that doesn’t mean that the development process is perfectly spelled out from the beginning. Even such a straight-forward website can take a little time to adapt to. The good news is that, with this handy guide, you’ll have a better idea of where to go for help and how to get your company’s website started.
WordPress: What Beginners Need to Know
Working with a Developer
While WordPress caters to all users, including new ones, it’s still a good idea to reach out for help. A WordPress web development company can add a lot of value to a website because they have the experience and knowledge to create a one-of-a-kind site that isn’t only aesthetically appealing but drives traffic.
This comes down largely to the fact that even with so many features at a developer’s fingertips, it’s going to be difficult to use these expertly if they’ve never seen them before. Additionally, a development company can guide your company through the process.
Learning How to Use WordPress
While the design of the platform accommodates even brand new users, part of the mass appeal of WordPress comes from their community. As mentioned, there are a lot of users on WordPress and they’ve all learned what they know over time. Luckily, many decide to share this information in the form of tutorials and custom plugins to streamline site management processes.
Choosing a Domain Name
A domain name holds a lot of information. To consumers, this is how they’ll recognize your company’s site in particular. It also serves as an important keyword. If someone searches the information in a domain name, the company’s website will come up.
As a developer, it’s key to make this domain name memorable. It’s best to stay as close to the company name as possible but some if a domain name of just the company’s title is in use by another site, remember not to stray too far from it.
Don’t Forget SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is what makes your company’s website easy to find and drives in higher traffic. There are a lot of factors that relate to this rating such as the use of keywords in content, tags, and coding and the overall quality of the site. Don’t forget to incorporate SEO into the site as it’s developed to ensure that you’re effectively driving traffic towards the company.
Knowing About Hosting
There are three main hosting packages: shared, VPS, and managed WordPress hosting. Shared hosting is when many users operate on a single server, splitting the cost. VPS hosting stands for virtual private server hosting and it is a shared server but with a lower population. Managed WordPress hosting is a more individualized approach that offers additional security and traffic capacity but comes at a higher cost.
Don’t Forget Security
WordPress is a generally safe platform for web development but security issues are often the catch for many popular tech tools. Because of this popularity, not only are beginner users able to get familiar with the ins and outs of the website quickly but malicious parties such as hackers can as well. This opens your company up to a significant risk level if the right precautions aren’t taken.
There are some basic steps to take such as making sure to use strong usernames and passwords as well as keeping the platform, themes, and plugins the company uses updated regularly. It’s also a good idea to take the time to incorporate security-related plugins into the site like idle user logouts.
Choosing a Theme for a Website
One of the most basic components of WordPress is the use of themes. Themes give websites on the platform their fundamental appearance and function. The platform offers a variety of pre-made themes and other users have added to the library as well. However, custom themes tend to fare better which is another task that a WordPress site development company can help your business with.
Don’t Overdo It When Designing the Sidebar
Sidebars are a great way to direct website visitors towards other information you want them to see. However, many beginner developers make the mistake of overcrowding the sidebar with everything they think their consumers might take interest in from social media links to ads. Unfortunately, this often has the effect of making the sidebar overwhelming and uninteresting to users.
Instead, developers should make sure that the sidebar contains only the easy-to-consume essentials. This will not only entice users to interact with the sidebar, but it will also go a long way in making sure the site doesn’t look messy or cluttered.
Be Careful with Plugins Too
The sidebar isn’t the only thing that can get cluttered easily. WordPress and its users have released a high volume of plugins and many of them are very attractive. Yet, using too many plugins can have a negative effect.
Namely, the use of too many plugins can clog the site up and slow down loading times. In an era where consumers expect instantaneous results to their requests, this can greatly reduce conversion rates. When users click away from a website rather than stay on it, this also negatively affects the website’s ranking in search engines, making it more difficult to find.
If you’re dipping into WordPress for the first time, don’t worry! The platform welcomes new users with open arms rather than intimidate them away. This is largely thanks to both WordPress’ ease of use and resources like other users and website development companies as well. Once you have the time to experiment with WordPress and lean on the help from resources like this one, your company’s site will be up and running in no time.