If you want to build a website and you’ve been looking around at all the available platforms, then you would have come across WordPress. It’s one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) used by website owners.
Here is a quick guide to WordPress and how you can use it to build an effective website to grow your business online.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is free, open-source software that helps you build a website. It is self-hosted, which means you need to buy a domain and a hosting package from a third-party to create your site. A WordPress website has many features, such as being able to build pages and host a blog. These functions are included free within the basic programming of the software.
However, you can also add different plugins and themes to your WordPress website to add functionality and improve the design.
What is WordPress Used For?
WordPress is very versatile. The basic software can create a blog that can contain many features including affiliate links and more. But with the use of plugins and themes, you can extend the functionality of your website so you can create a website that suits your needs perfectly.
For example, you can use WooCommerce to create an online store that can sell physical, digital or a mixture of products. The software can take payments, manage stock and even handle shipping for you.
Another example is creating community websites which have social media qualities or forums.
Or, you can create membership style websites where customers pay a subscription to access certain features or content. A good example of this would be dating websites.
The limits of WordPress are only confined by your imagination, which is what makes it a great option for those who want a fully functioning website.
What are WordPress Plugins And Themes?
WordPress themes are the basic design styles that are applied to a WordPress website. They determine the general appearance of the website from where certain elements are located to color schemes and more. You can make small changes to theme designs using custom CSS or a page builder plugin.
There are numerous themes available for WordPress. Some of these are free and suitable for use on your WordPress website. However, there are also premium WordPress themes.
Plugins are additional codes that add functionality to your website. There are thousands of different plugins available and they add lots of different functions to your site. For example, you can add plugins that help with your SEO, create a shop on your site or to help customers download documents in exchange for their email address.
How Much Does WordPress Cost?
WordPress is rather inexpensive for even some of the more highly functioning websites. For instance, if you want to create a site that has membership or eCommerce functionality, you can do this by adding free plugins to your website.
WordPress also has lots of themes that vary in cost from free to more expensive options. If you’ve seen a website with WordPress, with a good theme, you can see which theme that site is using by using this free WordPress Theme Detector tool.
Some plugins and themes do require a regular subscription. These are often not very expensive. However, you will find that most functions can be found for free.
Therefore, the only cost that you can really expect to pay for WordPress would be the domain and hosting. However, there are options to use premium and more expensive plugins if you so wish.
How do you Get WordPress?
WordPress can be downloaded for free from WordPress.org. It can then be installed onto a server that is connected to your domain. Once installed, you can start to setup your website easily and then build upon it until you’re happy.
Alternatively, you can buy a hosting package from one of the numerous website hosting firms and use their one-click install option. This is often a free service that installs the latest version of WordPress onto your server for you. When the installation is complete, you will be contacted via email and can then start to setup your website.
Both of these ways are valid and will yield the same basic website.
How do you Change the Design of your WordPress Website?
Once installed on your server, you can edit your WordPress website. The first thing you should do is to look for a general design that you like for your site. The theme is an important part of that. There are thousands to choose from.
To install a theme on your WordPress website, you only need to look through the theme catalog accessed from the WordPress dashboard underneath the Appearance and Themes settings. Once you’ve found the right theme, you can click on install and it will be done for you.
If you want to use a theme that has been developed by a third party, you can also install the theme through the upload theme files option at the top of the same area.
If you’ve seen a theme on another website powered by WordPress that you like the look of, you can see what theme it is with this WordPress Theme Detector.
How Do You Add Functionality (A Plugin) To Your WordPress Website?
At some point you’ll want to get more functionality onto your WordPress website. This might be because you need to add some functions for regulations (like GDPR) or because you want to monetize your website with a store, advertising, something else.
For this you will need to have a plugin. You can find most plugins on the Plugin repository through your WordPress dashboard. When you’ve found your plugin on the store, you can simply click on install and the plugin should be installed automatically.
When you have a third-party plugin from another website you want to install, you can upload that through the store as well.
To make the plugin work, you will need to activate the plugin. Once activated, it will make changes to your site and you will be able to use the functions included in the plugin.
How Can You Monetize WordPress?
There are many ways you can monetize a WordPress website. The easiest, and most common, is that you build an eCommerce store using a plugin like WooCommerce. This is where you can sell products, take payments and manage orders. However, you can also run advertising on your site, sell memberships and be part of an affiliate program.
There are so many options, that those who are running WordPress websites can often benefit from more than one revenue stream. WordPress takes no cut in the revenues earned from your sales on the site, that is in contrast to other platforms that do.
Final Word: What Is WordPress?
WordPress is one of the best content management systems you can use to build a website. It is highly versatile, powerful and easy to use. The costs are low and you’ll be able to add functions to the site as needed. The only limit to a WordPress website is your imagination.
To have a WordPress.org website, you need to be sure that you have a domain name and a host. However, once you have those, you can have a functioning website built within hours. It doesn’t take any special skills and you don’t need to hire a developer.
With a WordPress website, you can really make your business, and website, a success.