Why you should have a website?
- Social media handle has its major limitations in terms of design, layout, content, and functionalities;
- Your client takes you more seriously as a professional;
- More insights from traffic analytics and user behaviour;
- Can moderate comments and avoid hate speech and spam.
How WordPress is better than Wix?
There are four major steps that you need, to set up your web site.
The domain of your website is like an address to your house. It tells other where your website is located in this vast world of internet. It directs them to your website.
Web Hosting & SSL
Web hosting is like a storeroom of your house on the internet, which stores all of your web content (e.g., photos, posts, web pages, etc.).
SSL is a security certificate that tells others that entering into your house (i.e., website) and staying there for a while, is safe.
Themes & Plugins
Themes are primarily how you want your house (i.e., website) to look like as a whole, just the same way you may have seen a thematic restaurant.
Plugins can be understood as utilities and appliances that you need to install in this house, to perform different functions.
Web Pages & Menu
Web pages on your website are different rooms in this house that your guests (i.e., visitors) may like to visit to see what lies there.
Menu is the floor map which can direct others to be where they want to be.
01. Domain Registration
While you are free to choose any domain registration service provider (e.g. GoDaddy, Namecheap, Bigrock, etc.), the only thing you need to pay attention here is, their support services. Most importantly, before you buy a domain name, you should ensure that:
Keyword & Brandability: The domain you choose, should have the key words that represent your business and also be brandable at the same time.
Simple and Easy: Needless to say, the name should be easy to spell, read, pronounce, and remember. Avoid numbers and special characters.
Trademark: Make sure that the domain name is not protected under trademark registration and represents your brand.
02. Web Hosting & SSL
There are many choices available when it comes to web hosting. However, you should be mindful of your budget, quality of support services, and ease of use.
Buying an SSL Certificate is optional but highly recommended, as it will help you replace the message “Not Secure” that Google shows along with your website URL, with a lock symbol, making your website look secure.
WordPress Hosting: Next you have to tell which domain name you want this web hosting to work for. Once done, you have to choose the option to build a new website. You will be eventually direct to the page where you can select WordPress hosting and create a WordPress account. You can skip choosing a theme, if you want to install a theme of your choice. When prompted to choose a server/website location, you should choose ‘Singapore’ if you are from India or other Asian countries.
Linking Domain and Web Hosting: There is always a possibility that you domain registration and web hosting may be from two different service providers. In this case, you need to copy the nameserver details shown on your web hosting service provider and paste it on the domain registration service provider. This will link your domain with the web hosting. You can find the name server details once you have completed the web hosting set up mentioned previously. Once this is done, you have to go back to your web hosting service provider and look for the option to edit website, which will direct you to the control panel of WordPress.
SSL Certificate: If you want to also purchase an SSL Certificate (for a single website) to keep your website secure for payments and exchange of personal data, you may do so either at this stage itself or at anytime later.
03. Themes & Plugins
Once you are on the WordPress control panel (back end), you can go to: Appearance – Themes – Add New. Once here, you can either choose a theme from the wide variety of themes offered by WordPress itself, or you can click the button ‘Upload Theme‘ and upload a third party theme of your choice from your local desktop (i.e., the zipped file you downloaded from the third party website).
Next stage would be to install necessary plugins. Let me list out some of the necessary plugins that you may consider installing: Jetpack, Elementor Pro/Thrive Architect (for building web pages), Yoast (SEO) Akismet Anti-spam, Advanced Gutenberg, Smush (for compressing images), Under Construction (for site maintenance), Updraft Plus (for automatic back-ups).
04. Web Pages & Menu
You can build web pages by using pre-prepared templates and block editor from WordPress itself. You may further enhance them by applying some of the advanced features offered Advanced Gutenberg plugin. This would not cost you anything extra.
However, if you are not satisfied with what is offered by WordPress and Advanced Gutenberg, you may choose to download paid plugins from Thrive Architect (for 67$ one time) or Elementor Pro (for 49$ recurring annually) for building web pages. Once you download the zipped file on your local computer, please go back to the WordPress control panel and go to Plugins – Add New – Upload Plugin. Once the external plugin is installed, you are good to go.
For creating Menu, you need to go to Appearance – Menus – Create a New Menu. Name this Menu that you intend to create, and then start dragging pages (e.g., home, about, services, contact, etc.) to this menu in the order you want them to appear on the top of your website. If you want to have sub-menu (i.e. drop down menu), just drop the pages/ custom links little rightward under the broader head of the menu item under which you want them to appear. Once done, set this menu as the ‘Primary’ under the menu setting (display location) and do not forget to save this menu.