3 Tips for Building a Wordpress Website
From hosting, and building, to plugins. Make the most of your time with these 3 quick tips for building a website in Wordpress.
The importance of having a web presence
On top of everything else that us small businesses have to do, creating, building, and maintaining a website can seem like an awful lot of work. Despite being a designer and knowing what I need to do, even I put it off! So I totally understand why some people put it at the bottom of their to-do list.
But the importance of having a website should not be underestimated. Even if you’re using a marketplace to sell your goods, a personal website should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Having a website shows that you’re taking your business seriously. The first thing most people do when they hear about you is Google you. A website gives you a little space on the internet which you can call your own and call the shots! You decide what people get to see, not Instagram and its frustrating algorithm.
Also, having your own website is a great back-up. What would you do if your Etsy store got closed down or your Instagram account got hacked? A website of your own gives you some place else for people to find you and keep in touch.
There are many options out there and I don’t claim to be an expert, but I know what works for me. So I’d like to share with you 3 quick tips for building your website through Wordpress. Let’s proceed…
Tips for Building a Wordpress Website No.1
Host your website with a reliable and reputable company
Having your website hosted by a company you trust and that doesn’t charge extortionate amounts is essential to setting up your own website! I’ve known clients that got a great deal when setting up their website and were then hit with extortionate fees for the following year.
I’ve been a customer of 4UHosting since 2008. They are a UK web hosting company that has been trading since 2003. Their service is always outstanding and their prices are great. With 4UH there are no hidden charges, and they give you what you need. Not only that but their customer services, data centres, and servers are based in Tadcaster, between Leeds and York, which is great for GDPR!
Tips for Building a Wordpress Website No.2
For ultimate control use a website builder
The best thing about a Wordpress website is that it gives you control over your website. As a starting point Wordpress has some freely available themes and there are thousands more that you can download and adapt to your own needs. But if you want ultimate control with little coding knowledge then a builder is the way to go!
There are a fair number of builders on the market, each with their own pros and cons and their own pricing structure. A simple Google search for ‘website builder comparison’ will bring up any number of suitable reviews. The one I choose to use, and have done for a number of years is Themify. As with anything there are good points and bad points with it but I’ve been using it long enough now to know the quirks so I’m happy to continue using it. It’s also helpful that I purchased the Lifetime membership when it was on offer a few years back. Something I recommend doing if you can!
Themify has a number of themes to start you off but you can also build your own from scratch using their Builder plugin. They have add-ons and plugins for almost every feature you could want for your website which works great as you only need to install and update the elements that you want to use.
Tips for Building a Wordpress Website No.3
Finally… make good use of available plugins
Plugins are your friend, they can make your life significantly easier. Especially when it comes to creating a Wordpress based website. Here are a few plugins I install as soon as I start building my sites.
Really Simple SSL
This great little plugin allows you to activate your SSL certificate with one click. Your URL then becomes https:// rather than http:// and shows as a secure site in your browser. This is hugely reassuring for visitors to your site, especially if you’re running an e-commerce site.
GDPR Cookie Consent
Site Kit by Google
Get instant access to your Google analytics within Wordpress with this free official Google plugin. It makes life so much easier knowing you don’t have to login elsewhere to see how your website is performing!
If you want to make sure that the pages and posts you create are optimised for SEO right from the start then this plugin is essential. Yoast gives you a detailed breakdown of how each page is performing with clear guidance on how to improve them. If you don’t know much about SEO then Yoast also has some useful blog posts on its website for you to read/watch. There is a free and paid-for version available but I manage just fine with the free version.
Updraft Plus is an automated backup plugin that allows you to back-up your Wordpress website to a location of your choice. Personally I back-up before any major plugin or theme updates and after any large scale changes. I choose to send my back-ups to a specific folder on Dropbox for ease.
Yoast Duplicate Post
One thing that I’m amazed Wordpress doesn’t allow you to do as standard is to duplicate posts and pages. Yoast Duplicate Post allows you to do just that which is a God send. Being able to duplicate a post rather than have to create each one from scratch is a big time saver!
Simple Page Ordering
If you have a lot of pages then the default way that Wordpress organises them can be frustrating. This simple plugin allows you to drag and drop them into a more logical order that works for you.
Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed
A great plugin that quite simply allows you to embed your Instagram feed directly onto your website. This is a great way to encourage visitors to your site to follow your social accounts too.