Let me guess. You’re going to create a website. You already know the subject matter, the content you want to add and what you are going to sell on it. So you’re ready to start, right? But wait a minute. You don’t know how to get started with WordPress ?

This article will help you with the process. Today I come with my technological sherpa cape to tell you the first steps you need to take to create your website and start your entrepreneurial adventure the best way.

Step 1: Choose a Hosting provider

Before you start with WordPress, you need to contract a hosting service.

You can have your own server and install WordPress on your computer, but if you have no experience in this type of operations is easier to hire a company that already has servers ready to host a web in WordPress.

Some of these hosting services are free and others are paid. I recommend a paid one because they offer better features and customer service.

The types of hosting you can find are basically the following:

  • Shared Hosting: this is a shared server with many users.
  • VPS Hosting: this is a server partitioned in such a way that everything works as if it were a single machine. It is more advanced than the previous one.
  • Dedicated Hosting: when you have a server just for yourself.

If you are a novice user and you have no idea the scope that your website can have, the first option is perfect for you.

Step 2: Name your website

You probably already have a name for your website or a small list of names you like. Great!

If you still don’t know what your project will be called, when choosing the name, keep in mind that it has to be a reflection of the purpose you have with it and also be attractive to visitors.

The other aspect of the name of a website that is often not given due attention is the domain name.

In technical terms, the domain is the part of a URL that identifies IP addresses (which are the ones that identify computers and devices in a network) and web pages.

Every domain name has a ending, such as .com or .org. You can register any domain that has not yet been purchased for an annual fee.

Some hosting services also give you the domain for free during the first year, as an offer of the service registration process. However, you can always buy your domain from domain registrars such as NameCheap or GoDaddy.

After you have purchased your domain, follow the instructions of your hosting company to complete the registration process.

Now is when the serious work starts and when you are really going to start with WordPress.

At this point you should look at the administration panel of your website and take a look at the desktop options. This will give you an idea of what WordPress is like inside.

Step 3: Choose a template (or theme)

When you start working with WordPress you get a default template. You can work with it, customize it or change it to another one.

To see the WordPress template directory, go to “Appearance” and then to “Themes“. If you click “Add New“, you will see a list of free WordPress.org directory templates, information about them, and preview and installation options.

You can also install themes developed by third parties. Here you will have more variety of themes and features than in the free directory. After you have downloaded the template of your choice, go to the theme directory and click “Upload“.

On the next screen you can already see the theme. Follow the instructions to install it and once you have installed it, you have to activate it to make it work.

Other parts you can customize are the widgets, menus, header, and background. All of this can be changed with the “Customize” option, which is within the “Appearance” options of the menu on the left side of the screen.

WordPress comes with a number of widgets. Some are activated and appear in the sidebar but you can modify them. If you want new ones you can install them from the plugins directory.

Your template has different menu options. If you don’t have the options you want, there are plugins to fix it. But don’t worry about this until you have designed several pages.

Step 4: Install and activate the necessary plugins

Depending on the use you want to give your website and the functionalities of your template, you need to install and activate plugins.

Plugins increase the number of functions your website can perform.

Step 5: Create your website pages

Unless you want a single-page website, all websites should have multiple pages, including an About page and a Contact page.

Depending on the objectives that your website must meet, you will need other pages, such as a portfolio to show your work.

It is the same if you sell products: you will need a page for it. I also recommend that you have a blog to upload your content.

Step 6: Import and export content

When it comes to getting started with WordPress, these options are often overlooked.

If you’re new to WordPress, but already have another blog or website, you may need to use the import or export options. Both options are in the Tools menu on the sidebar.

To move content from an old WordPress page, use the export tool. To bring content from another website, use the import tool. Both options need specific plugins for these functions, which you will be told in the process.

If you buy a premium template, it probably comes with test content that you can import to help you get started with WordPress. I recommend that you import the test content if you want to have a clear idea of how to use the template or if you want to see a specific demo (especially when you have a template with lots of demos to choose from).

Ready to get started with WordPress?

You may never have had a website or you may have but you have never worked with WordPress. In both cases it’s hard to get started. That’s why it’s very valuable to have a guide to getting started with WordPress.

The use of the options and plugins I recommend will make the process easier and you will take less time to get your website up and running.