A step-by-step tutorial on learning how to create your own website in less than 60 minutes
Developed by a team with a 10-year experience
If you have always wanted to build your own website by yourself but didn’t know where to start, here’s what you need to know – and more.
Making your business worldwide available has never been easier than now. Due to the high rise in technology development, valuable assets shown on the market and the striking innovative methods of becoming a digital web presence, a website is your online business card – one that tells a lot about yourself, the products or services you offer, as well as about your overall reputation on the long run. Yet, before heading towards finding out the massive benefits of owning one, learning how to make a website should come in handy.
What is a website?
Back in time, when the number of websites was quite low and the technology development was not skyrocketing, the only method of generating a website was through the use of brute code (using programming languages like HTML, CSS and more). Whoever wanted to open up a website needed to have some programming skills to get things going – and a building up a professional website required a whole team to be set up. Even so, in 2020 things are easier than ever expected. And we’re about to should you how.
Put simply, a website is an online source of information accessible by anyone who uses a web browser and an Internet connection. Creating a website requires almost zero technical background. Back in the days, everything was written using lines of code, yet the current blogging platforms come with a GUI (graphical user interface) useful enough to make each step more intuitive than ever. Thus, things are pretty basic – once you open up a website, the content uploaded there is displayed to the public and worldwide accessible.
How does a website work?
The entire mechanism is pretty simple. By default, a website impersonates a digital business card, further spread out in the wild for everyone who wants to access it. But it has to be perfectly organized in order to provide users with the proper purpose. Technically speaking, a website can be:
• Static – also known as one of the easiest website types, due to the fact that a static website is both quick and cheap to obtain, without having to pay a high fee on hosting. Usually, it is chosen by small companies only to obtain a web presence online;
• Dynamic – is usually used in many areas such as e-commerce, intranet/extranet, content management system and many more.
Due to its dynamic characteristics, users can interact with the website in terms of uploading or downloading stuff. It is highly intuitive and requires low usage knowledge, usually obtained through tutorials.
Once a certain content is generated and published on the website, it is further stored using your web hosting choice (which is basically a server) available to be accessed by any visitor. Each time someone connects to your website and accesses the content, videos and images that are being uploaded there, the connection is actually made up to the server. That is the place from where all of the information is being obtained.
What is a website platform?
No website could ever function without a platform. Technically speaking, a website platform is made using lines of code specially written to create the dynamic web pages used by any website to run properly. Thus, a platform is a requirement for any website to work as expected.
By far, WordPress is one of the most commonly used and recognised website platforms of all times. It is basically a CMS (content management system) very intuitive and easy to work with at any time due to the powerful editor included. This one provides you further with the ability of formatting the content and making it appear just as you want. Other key features that come with WordPress are:
• Intuitive options with respect to publishing methods and the proper management of the content;
• Great editor used to easily customize the content as you like;
• Convenient platform due to the large number of available themes and plugins;
• Increasing community with loads of new and strong ideas.
The first step towards making a website is to choose the right platform. Only after that can you move forward and create the perfect appearance of your website.
How to choose the right platform
When building up a website, there is a series of factors known to influence the level of success – and thus, make a general assumption regarding how it will turn out in the end. Among these factors, the following are utterly important:
1. User experience – nothing determines a visitor to drive by your website again like an user experience that is 100% intuitive. Yet, until that point, building your website should be by default an intuitive experience. Platforms like WordPress checks this item off from the list;
2. Power – despite the high number of website visits or consistent changes within the website platform, WordPress covers a wide range of website types that it supports. Due to its high level of trust, it is powerful enough to run and handle any problem;
3. Mobile optimization – since smartphones have taken up desktops and laptops in terms of the most used way of accessing websites, the right platform should have the mobile optimization feature included. WordPress is yet again one of them;
4. Free of charge – even though it is said that the most qualitative stuff are to be paid for, there is also a saying which tells us that the best things in life are free. WordPress is free of charge and requires nothing more than a domain and a hosting plan to be bought before being used;
5. Networking – the website platforms are filled with web developers who are eager to give a hand whenever possible. One of them is indeed WordPress.
By definition, WordPress is considered to be both an open source software and a CMS properly configured to sustain either a blog or a real website. Due to its open source characteristics, its original code can be accessed, redistributed and even modified by anyone in the whole wide world. Statistically, during the year of 2019 WordPress has been chosen by 50% of website owners found among the top 10 million. It has great benefits, starting from a vast freedom in terms of design, great flexibility of content management, compatible with any e-commerce website and nonetheless, it has amazing options for extensibility such as useful plugins.
Decide upon the domain and web hosting
In order to run, a website needs a domain name (known as the easiest method through which people can access your website). Besides that, you’ll need a hosting plan where all of your content will be stored in a safe and sound manner. Whenever someone accesses the content of your website, the connection will be made to the server owned by the company you decided to hire as your host.
As an open source platform, WordPress comes with a free domain coupled with a free web hosting. Yet, this offer has some drawbacks ought to be mentioned – first of them is that the domain is actually a subdomain, followed by the string ‘wordpress.com’ (example: www.thisismydomain.wordpress.com). Because of this, the hosting service is slow, looks unprofessional and stops you from taking proper advantage of the benefits a real website provides you with.
Choosing the right hosting plan for your website should follow a series of needs and characteristics, such as:
• Your website’s dimension and storage requirements;
• An approximate number of both visits and visitors to your website per month;
• The available budget for both web hosting and domain name;
• Alternative services required from the hosting provider.
Only after filling in all of these information you will be able to make the right choice for your website, since it will help you eliminate part of the available choices.
Consider the costs
Even when working with WordPress, choosing a free domain name and a web hosting plan might lead you to unsuccessful results. Instead, you should opt for a paid option which in reality comes with rather small prices. Take into account the costs:
· Of the domain name – it is known as the address to which visitors go in order to get to your website. In the online word, it is its own identity. You can either purchase it at the same time with the web hosting plan (basically within the same offer) or separately, from websites like godaddy and namecheap. Siteground offers new domains with prices starting from $12,95 to $14,95 per year, depending on your requirements;
· Of the web hosting – any website has to be stored somewhere, specifically in large data centers. This is indeed one of the most important steps in how to make a website, since web hosting is useful in managing and worldwide accessing your website’s content. At siteground, the web hosting plans start from $3,95 and go up to $12,95 per month.
Making a cut in either the domain name or web hosting expenses will generate a drawback on the long run, since a larger website would not provide proper replies on time if it has the smallest web hosting plan package. The same goes for the domain names, which vary in terms of safety and worldwide accessibility as prices go up.
How to choose the domain name
Tips and tricks are always helpful, especially coming from people who have already been dealing with the same issue. When it comes to making a website, it is not at all easy – even the domain name requires special attention. And there’s no wonder why – a domain name is the first thing people see, access or are curious about. Since there are thousands of websites nowadays, it might be hard to find the right one from the very beginning. Even so, consider the following characteristics:
• Make it catchy – people love smart stories able to get their attention. A catchy domain name should be able to tell a tale in a single word (or two, but no more than three);
• Always unique – believe it or not, the mere domain name is able to determine the level of success your website should get to once it goes live. By making it unique, you differentiate yourself from the crowd;
• Hard to forget – each and every day we hear and forget lots of stuff. Still, when it comes to domain names, make sure to choose one that is hard to forget – here is where your creativity should kick in.
As a general rule of thumb, your website should own a domain name that perfectly describes your niche. Should this proportion not be followed, your website ranking might be affected, since quality is again a special factor. In case your website’s niche doesn’t match the domain name, this is indeed a problem. The same goes for trying to get names which are already famous, yet with different extensions. Mixing these two up would definitely generate a bad traffic to your website.
Although some successful websites own local domains (known to be cheaper, such as .uk.com), it is highly recommended to go for dot-com domains. One of the massive benefits of using them is that they target a wider audience and can be easily accessed (such as .com, .net or .org). This recommendation goes hand in hand with keeping your domain name short, since when being online people enjoy simple stuff. Whatever is easy to type, write down or remember, makes wonders in the long run. Still, a successful domain name contains no numbers. According to various experiments conducted throughout the last few years, it has been shown that words are easier to remember than numbers. The same principle applies to hyphens which make it harder to generate a simple domain name.
10 years after we have first tried the services provided by a host provider, we developed a broad experience in testing worldwide renowned providers, as well as reviewing and sketch feedback upon their utility. Each comes with different advantages, drawbacks and prices, in order to solve most of the needs of previous, current and future clients. To help you make the best choice from the very beginning, we managed to put up a list with the finest on the market – having the best price per quality ratio.
Register a Domain Name and get Web Hosting
Out on the market nowadays, there are loads of domain provides and web hosting service suppliers available for purchasing, depending on the client’s requirements and budget. If you need a step-by-step walk-through, this one might give you a hand:
Building a website has never been easier. SiteGround works smoothly with WordPress – just go to the official website and hit Get Started. The next lines will get you to the outcome in less than ten minutes.
2. Decide upon the Web Hosting Plan
On Siteground home page you will find this, select WordPress Hosting
SiteGround offers 3 different web hosting plan types, depending on website storage capacity and number of visits. Find out more about them here:
o StartUp – it is the first and most basic web hosting plan, starting at $3,95 per month. The offer includes a single website, almost 10 GB of web space and approximately 10,000 visits per month. In addition, it features the essential WordPress elements, such as free WordPress install, free SSL, HTTPS (which usually are paid for) and daily backup. This last feature has a massive advantage, since it assures you of all the content even in case of a ransomware attack. The plan has also a free email for any domain name and a 24/7 support accessible from anywhere in the world;
o GrowBig – if your WordPress website seems to be growing overnight, GrowBig is the right choice to go for. The monthly fee is $5,95 and covers unlimited websites, up to 20 GB web space and supports up to 25,000 visits per month. Moreover, it comes with all the features found in essential WordPress (a free WordPress installation, domain email, SSL and HTTPS, WordPress Migrator, daily backup, Cloudflare CDN, autoupdates, 24/7 support and a return policy within 30 days) and premium WordPress (SuperCacher and advanced on-demain backup);
o GoGeek – works best for real WordPress geeks. This web hosting plan starts at $11,95 per month and features the following: unlimited websites, a web storage of 30 GB and up to 100,000 visits per month. In addition, it comes with essential and premium WordPress features, together with Geeky WordPress features (advanced priority support, pre-installed Git and management of white-label site).
Any of the previously discussed web hosting plans is properly created to suit different needs. This is the main reason why knowing your website’s dimensions, traffic rate and niche is so important in making the decision.
3. Decide upon the domain name
In order to obtain traffic, your website requires an increasing number of visitors. To do so, they have to know what (and how) to access in order to get to your website’s content. The domain name is thus regarded as the address that is being accessed by visitors. According to SEO’s general rules, the easier and more intuitive it is, the better. When deciding to work with WordPress, you can either decide upon a brand new domain name or choose one that you already own. Some of the most common extensions that we recommend for further use are: .com, .net or .org.
Once you set up your domain name, this will remain as your website’s identity. When seeing it, people should remember quite easily about your website.
4. Manage your account
After deciding upon the domain name and web hosting plan, it is time to create your account. All the required details to be filled in are actually used in the billing process, so make sure they are as accurate as ever (name, email address, address and payment methods).
Now to make payment of your hosting plan, enter your card details.
Here choose the data center. You can choose one from these four data centers:
- United Kingdom
Tips: Always choose that data center where you want the most visitors for your blog.
SiteGround comes with a wide variety of subscriptions to help you get going. Choosing the hosting period of 36 months helps you obtain the highest benefit from it. Yet, the 12-month period subscription is the second-best one, since starting with the second year, the charging rate becomes regular but is higher than the starting one.
SiteGround has also the option to hide the user’s domain information from the public. To do so, tick in the Domain Privacy box – or, in case you don’t want to keep it away from the public eye, leave it as it is (blank).
The last but not least feature it comes with is the Site Scanner which can be used to daily scan your blog. To ensure this task, tick in the SG Site Scanner. Mark nothing if you don’t wish to further use it.
Setting up the domain and host providers represents the first step in creating a website. Not only does it offer you the link through which your website can be accessed, but from now on you can make sure that the search engine applications will take your website into account.
Still, there are additional steps to follow until the work is completely done. If you’re up for this, stick with us to discover how to install WordPress on your website, along with the right way to configure it.
How to install WordPress
Right after purchasing the proper web hosting plan and choosing the best domain name, it is time to make your website visible. The entire process takes no more than a few minutes and is super intuitive.
In order to work properly, the website platform WordPress has to be installed. You can either go for the automatic installation (which requires only one click) or for the manual one, which is rather uninteresting and could generate a series of errors.
This automatic WordPress installation requires nothing more than a single click to make it work properly. While being on your SideGround account, there is a Customer Area field in which you need to sign in. Once you fill in the required information, a spot called Set up Your Website will come across and you will need to choose the Start a new website option.
Further, you will be asked to choose the desired software to be installed, with options like WordPress, WooCommerce, Jomla, Drupal and Weebly. Since we decided that this is a WordPress installation, go for the first choice.
but not before deciding upon your WordPress login details, email and password.
After inserting the required credentials (your own Email Address and Password) and hitting Continue, you will proceed to a page where the SG Site Scanner is being displayed. In case you wish to add it, you can click on ADD but keep in mind that this will charge 18,60$ per year.
If you would rather like to skip this step, click on Finish and wait until your site is being created. Usually, it takes less than 2 minutes to be done.
While this process is finished, you can further check your inbox and see if you got a VERIFICATION REQUIRED mail. This one is your green card telling you that your domain needs to be verified by the admin (yourself) as quickly as possible. To do so, click on the link within the mail – it will redirect you to a website filled with your contact details. After checking them and see if they are right (or wrong), go further and click on VERIFY INFORMATION. You will now be transferred to a final page, where you are informed that the contact data has been verified.
Now, you are all set. It is even written on the page telling you that your own website has been finally created.
The next step is to access your WordPress admin. To do so, scroll down and click on Log In Admin to see the Welcome to Your WordPress Site interface. Once you get here, you know you’re where you should be. Next, click on START NOW and you are ready to go.
This will automatically take you to your website’s dashboard in a blink of an eye. From here on, you are inside your website and can make any desired changes.
The entire process is easy, takes less than five minutes to be completed and requires zero technical knowledge. This one is way more appealing than the manual alternative, which might not provide you with the outcome expected.
Finding the right theme
After buying your domain name, the right web hosting plan and setting up WordPress, it’s time to make your website bloom. Since we wish to attract visitors and generate more and more unique (and not only) visits, we need to offer something to them. And indeed, a theme is all that it takes.
The first step is to insert your login details within the WordPress Dashboard (username/email and password). Usually, the web address has the following string after the website’s extension: /wp-login/. After logging in, you will clearly see the entire Dashboard with all of its buttons and possibilities. Regardless of how complex it looks like at first, it actually isn’t. Among the options found on the column from the left, you will spot most of which you’ll be working with during the time your website will be up and running.
Generally speaking, a theme is formed by a series of files which can be downloaded from WordPress in order to create your website’s front end. Most of them are created using font designs, page layouts (and even templates), stylistic details, the structure and style of the menu and also, the colorful themes and overall image of the whole website.
By default, WordPress comes with a series of basic themes from which you can choose, such as Twenty Fifteen. It is clean, simple, easy to follow but quite common among website owners. If you wish to stand out from the crowd, you should rather consider the following:
WordPress comes with an impressive number of free themes from which you can choose. In order to access them, you just have to hit the ‘Appearance’ button which, in turn, provides you with the ‘Themes’ section. Here, you can see all the free-of-charge options, which are in number of thousands. Right after you scrolled down through all of the available options, it is time to choose the one that suits best your requirements and make it live just to see how it looks like. The ‘Add New’ button will open up the wide range of free WordPress available themes, starting with the Most Popular section, going through Featured and ending up to Latest Theme. Not to mention the ‘Feature Filter’ which, in this case, gives you the possibility of finding the right theme in just a blink of an eye – since it has all the important details your theme is able to display;
Guide How to install a free WordPress theme
Step 1: Decide between the high numbers of available WordPress themes and pick your own free theme, one that seems and feels extremely attractive to fit your website. To do so, log in into your website’s dashboard and spot the Appearance section. From here, right below it you should see the Themes subsection and click on Ad New which provides you with the necessary models to help you get going. Moreover, there is the search box useful enough to help you get to your WordPress theme faster than ever, as long as you know its name.
Step 2: Right after you’ve spotted it, it’s time to look for the Install
and Activate buttons.
They should be both easy and fast to find, as well as right in front of you. If you are not keen on only one choice related to the WordPress themes, you can always choose to Live Preview and only after activate it completely and officially upon your website. This is definitely a useful aspect, since it makes everything easier and better in the long run.
Among the free options, WordPress features a series of premium themes which are used to provide your website with a professional and perfectly designed appearance. There are various benefits of using a premium theme, such as trustworthy code base coupled up with excellent support ought to making your website work smoothly – let alone the fact that a premium theme works better and easier than a free one. Aside the already mentioned benefits, if you want to play a bit with your theme design, you can obtain the right flexibility without affecting the code quality or superior support. You can have all of these by choosing one of the many WordPress premium themes that are right at your disposal.
In order to install the desired WordPress Theme, either talking about a free or a premium one, the required button to be pressed is ‘Install’. Further, click on it and wait for the theme to match your current website from head to toe. It is simple, requires no technical requirements and can be done even by a kid. In addition, the choice of the theme is not to be done only once in your website’s lifetime.
And there’s no need to panick – whenever you feel bored with your current WordPress theme, you can change it up with anything else that pleases your eye. Even though simple is the new sexy, a properly designed theme is able to get more visitors than one that is just popular among website owners. Moreover, a new theme does not affect in any way the content that is already published on your website (such as blog posts, images, videos or any of the set up pages). Once you decide upon a new theme and install it, every piece of content will match the new setup without something being lost in the wild.
How to install a premium WordPress Theme (using the WordPress admin dashboard). [The Easiest Method]
The most common way to install a premium WordPress theme on your website is through the WordPress platform. There are only three requirements to it – (1) the theme should be downloaded on your personal computer as a zip file, (2) the theme should be paid for and (3) it should not have a big size. If the latter is too high in size, you’ll need to use the second method (with FTP). Until then, let’s see how a premium WordPress Theme is installed using the WordPress admin dashboard:
Step 1: Log in into your WordPress website’s dashboard using your credentials.
Step 2: Find the Appearance section and after that, click on the Themes subsection.
Step 3: Look up on the top of the dashboard, next to Themes to spot the Add New button. Click on it and follow the further steps.
Step 4: Use the Upload Theme button which pops up now and upload the zip file which is related to the premium WordPress theme that you have just downloaded.
Step 5: Click on the Choose File button and choose the zip file you wish to upload on WordPress.
Step 6: Hover over the Install Now button and press it.
Step 7: If you want to see how the new premium WordPress theme looks like live, make a click on the Live Preview button. It will give you a glimpse of how it is meant to design your website.
Step 8: Find the Activate button and click it as soon as you want to make the theme available.
How to install a premium WordPress Theme (using FTP)
Some premium WordPress themes have different sizes, usually bigger, or even different formats. In this situation, the best way to help you get going is to use FTP (the file transfer protocol) in order to make the right files available on your WordPress website.
FTP (also known as the File Transfer Protocol) is widely used due to its great advantages. Technically speaking, it is a network protocol through which files can be transferred from a client to a server – in our situation, from a computer to a server.
Even though it might seem hard at the beginning, as time goes by you’ll definitely get a hand in it. Let’s see how:
Step 1: Get information related to your FTP server credentials
Without it, you are able to do nothing related to uploading the premium WordPress theme on your website. Basically, your FTP server credentials (FTP server URL, FTP username and FTP password) should be accessed via your web hosting account (after logging in to it, obviously) or by asking your web hosting company about them.
Step 2: Get a FTP application or program
One of the best recommendations we got for you is FileZilla. It is a FTP application widely used and preferred among most of the WordPress users, not only because it is free-of-charge, but also easy to use and user friendly. On top of that, it is released under the GPL.
Step 3: Get your theme ready to be uploaded on the server
Before uploading your premium WordPress theme on the server, you need to unzip the file and obtain the unzipped folder. This is what you’ll later upload on the server.
Step 4: Upload (or install) the premium WordPress theme on the server
4.1. Use your FTP credentials (FTP server URL, FTP username and FTP password) to log in to the server.
4.2. Go to the wp-content/themes/ path.
4.3. Find the unzipped folder on your computer and upload it to the server. Use the drag-and-drop procedure to make it easier and quicker.
4.4. Wait a few minutes until the theme has been uploaded and can be further used.
4.5. Look up for the theme within the wp-content/themes/themefolder. The themefolder is actually the name of the premium WordPress theme you have just uploaded.
Step 5: Activate your uploaded premium WordPress theme
To activate the premium WordPress theme that you have just uploaded, go to the WordPress admin and find it. After it is completely uploaded, click the Activate link to make it live.
From now on, your premium WordPress theme is ready to be seen by your visitors.
Add content on the website
Your website receives its Google ranking based on the quality of the content. A website that has interesting and unique content is always in the eyes of Google’s perfectly designed algorithms to place among the first results when certain keywords are being searched for.
How to add new content to WordPress:
Step 1: Use your credentials to log into your WordPress dashboard. The URL you need to follow should have the /wp-login/ ending and it should look like this: http://thisismywebsite.com/wp-login/.
Adding content through a new post:
This is a great way to create different posts on various topics, providing your website with a clearer and better organized structure. By this way, visitors will find your website appealing and useful.
• Create categories within the Categories section and select which ones seem to fit best. This will help your content have a better reach;
• Hover your mouse over the Post section within the dashboard and click on Add New;
• Insert the desired new content, along with a Title;
• Look for the Save Draft button placed at the top right of the page to save your content for later edit. This will not make your content live on the website;
• Press Publish in case you have already made your last proofreading and are ready to show the content with your audience;
Adding content through a new page:
Nothing makes a website better than having fresh and updated content added via a new page. Here’s how to do it:
• Place your mouse over the Page section within the dashboard and click on Add New;
• Add the content you wish to publish, together with a Title;
• Find the Save Draft button which should be located in the top right of the page. By this way, you will save the entire content you have already added for later edit. Even so, nothing will go live, not at this point;
• Hover your mouse over the Publish button and make it live, as soon as you decide the content needs no additional checking;
• Whenever you feel like, you can schedule the content for being made live by searching for Edit and choosing the right time for it.
There is also a nice tip related to WordPress usage. Even if it comes with a rather new technology in website building, you can use some tips and tricks to help you get going.
Whenever you are adding or editing your current content, if you press Return you get to create a new paragraph.
Also, if the combination between Shift and Return is being pressed simultaneously, all the content from there on will be added to a new line. Departing with these two aspects into one’s mind, you’ll definitely get a glimpse of how to use WordPress like a pro – without you having to watch specific YouTube tutorials on the matter.
How to edit your existing WordPress content
Besides creating new, fresh and exquisite content on a brand new post or page, WordPress is specially designed to welcome additional paragraphs to an existing post or page. In short, you can always edit anything you want, without even changing the timestamps. Let’s see how:
Step 1: Log into the WordPress dashboard using your personal credentials related to your website;
Editing content located in an existing Post:
Publishing a post is a great way to make your voice heard and seen by millions of people that live worldwide. Still, from time to time, certain information is ought to be updated for the post to be still valid and sought by a wide variety of people. To edit the content which can be found within an existing post, follow the next guideline:
• Find the Post button on top of the dashboard;
• From the drop-down menu that has just popped-up, choose All Posts;
• Decide among the list of posts that is being displayed and find the post you wish to edit;
• Click on its title or find the Edit button, usually located right below the title;
• Change the post and update it in the right format;
• Save the changes for further use without publishing yet the content. To do so, click Save Draft;
• When you are ready to make the content live on your website, press Publish;
• If you aim to publish the updated post later, look for the Edit button and decide among the desired period of time.
Editing content located in an existing Page
From time to time, certain pages require an update – either related to a specific year (2020 instead of 2019), a change in names or just new information ought to be included into the existing page. Here’s how to do that:
• Hover over the Page section and choose the All Pages subsection;
• Search through all of your pages and find the one you wish to modify;
• Click on its title to open it or rather click on the Edit button, usually found when the title is hovered over with a mouse;
• Do the modifications you wish to;
• Keep the changes you have just did on the existing Page by pressing Save Draft located at the top right of the page;
• Rather Publish the page with its new changes as soon as you think it is ready;
• Decide to schedule publishing the updated page by choosing a different period of time. To do so, click on the Edit button which lies next to the Publish Immediately one.
The same hints apply to the editing process of either a page or a post. Since we know how important it should be to reiterate them, we’ll bring them up to you.
While editing the content found on a post or a page, if you press Return, you’ll be surprised to see that a new paragraph appears. Moreover, when you press at the same time Shift and Return, the next content you create will be inserted into a new line.
Add plugins on the website
By definition, the use of plugins is best spotted in the WordPress CMS. Once they are installed, a website has more modules and extensions which are used to develop more capabilities to the website. Anything from tools, wider usability and additional features can be obtained with only the mere help of plugins.
In order to properly understand the vast plugin usage, consider the fact that just a small number of them can turn a plain website into a real online shop. In other terms, with the right plugins, your website could crash the SEO requirements and make it to the top in Google ranking. But that’s not it.
As there are various benefits of using plugins on a website, you should first of all know how to add one wherever you want to. Thus, search for the ‘Plugin’ section that is found within the Dashboard menu. Once you spot it, click ‘Add New’ and look up for the right one(s) for the website.
Only on WordPress, you can choose among more than 30,000 available. This might take you some time, since the right choice can be difficult to make. As expected, not all the WordPress plugins are neither useful nor practical, but this is why variety matters – so that you can add the ones that suit your website best. A general tip in here is to look up for a specific plugin’s review, to see what other users say about it and even tricks on how to better take advantage of it. Yet, before deciding to add it, remember to check for possible updates since most of them come up with new versions every once in a while.
Guide how to install Plugins on WordPress
Learning how exactly to use WordPress is a piece of cake when you know where to start. Since plugins are worldwide renown due to their massive advantages, learning how to install them is a serious must. Believe it or not, it might actually be your key to success.
Before you start, there are some functionality guidelines extremely important to keep in mind. Additional plugins are not available for WordPress.com websites, because of the fact that each plugin comes with a bunch of limitations.
However, you can install new plugins to your WordPress.com website as soon as you upgrade to a business plan or migrate to a self-hosted WordPress.org website.
But let’s not beat around the bush anymore and see exactly the step-by-step guide on how to add plugins to your WordPress website.
There are three wide and detailed modalities to add plugins to your WordPress website, specifically:
1. Using the WordPress Plugin Search [The Easiest Method]
Since it is a feature found within your WordPress dashboard, it is applied only for the plugins that are part of the WordPress directory. Remember that this selection is rather limited and relates only to the free plugins provided by WordPress.
Step 1: Log into your WordPress dashboard using your own credentials;
Step 2: Hover over the Plugins section found on the left sidebar. Here, you’ll find the Add New subsection which will open up a page called Add Plugins.
Step 3: On the top right a Search Box is displayed, where you can look up for your most desired plugin that you wish to add and install.
Step 4: Add the name of the wanted WordPress plugin and click Install Now.
Step 5: Wait for the plugin to be downloaded and automatically installed by WordPress. A success message should pop-up immediately.
Step 6: Click on the link related to the plugin’s activation (or click on the return message). We recommend activating the plugin as soon as possible, to make it work on your website.
Each plugin comes with a bunch of default settings which, in turn, can be changed upon your own requirements.
2. Using the WordPress Admin Plugin Upload
This method is specifically designed for the paid WordPress plugins. Since they cannot be installed using the previous guideline, this is exactly how you can use the WordPress admin plugin upload to make use of a premium plugin:
Step 1: Find the desired plugin online and download it on your PC. It is usually in a zip file format, which will definitely come in handy since it has a reduced size.
Step 2: Get back to the admin area within the WordPress dashboard and look for Plugins. Here, click on Add New page.
Step 3: Click on the Upload Plugin button. It should be located on the left top of the page. As soon as you open it, you’ll get to the plugin upload page.
Step 4: Hover over the Choose File button and search through your own files in your PC until you get to the plugin file which you have previously downloaded on your computer.
Step 5: Press the Install button which is on the right.
Step 6: Wait for the plugin file to be extracted from your PC and installed on your WordPress website. At the end, a success message pops-up, letting you know that the installation is finished.
Step 7: Click on the Activate Plugin link to finally activate it and start using it further.
Step 8: Set up the right settings that seem to fit your website.
3. Using FTP to manually install a WordPress Plugin
Believe it or not, there are few situations in which neither the plugin search, nor the admin plugin upload work. This is the main reason why you should go for a manual installation of your WordPress plugin using FTP.
This is by far the hardest and most technical guide on installing a WordPress plugin – there’s no reason why it might not seem difficult at first. However, we’ll show you how, step-by-step:
Step 1: Download the plugin that you wish to install on your WordPress plugin. It usually comes as a zip file, reason why it needs to be extracted before being uploaded on the website.
Step 2: Use your FTP credentials to log in, in order to upload your WordPress plugin. Both your username and password are requested to access the FTP manager. In case you don’t have them, you’ll need to get in touch with your WordPress hosting provider to obtain them.
Step 3: Double-click on your FTP client that is located right into your computer and create a connection with your website by using the credentials (password and username).
Step 4: After the connection is being made, follow the path: /wp-content/plugins.
Step 5: Add the folder that has been automatically created after unzipping the previously downloaded WordPress plugin to the /wp-content/plugins path that is both located and able to be accessed on your server.
Step 6: Right after you have uploaded the files, the next step regards visiting your WordPress website’s admin area. Here, you need to click on the Plugins section, hover over the Installed Plugins subsection and find the WordPress plugin which you have previously installed.
Step 7: Click on the Activate button to start using your WordPress plugin as expected.
After activation, you can start to configure the settings the right way as suitable for your website. It is important to remember that not all plugins share the same settings, reason why they might not work as expected from the very beginning.
If the wide variety of plugins is impressive and you don’t know where to start from, you can get some inspiration right away.
Some of the greatest WordPress plugins used by most website owners are:
• Yoast SEO – comes in either the free or the premium version. By default, this plugin is used to organise your content in order to generate organic traffic. This plugin is pretty essential if you wish for a high Google ranking and makes it easy to add images, the desired text and even the expected format. The free version comes with only one keyword, readability check and even updated tricks for Google’s algorithms. The paid version comes with various other features, such as great suggestions for internal links, some content insights, automatically redirection from the old URL to the new ones (and thus avoiding 404 Not Found errors), no ads and a complete support 24/7 available, free-of-charge during one year. You can get Yoast SEO for your website for as much as $79;
• Elementor Page Builder – create the website of your dreams in just a blink without dealing with the back-end. With Elementor Page Builder, you are able to adjust the frond-end of your website the way you want to. Besides being extremely intuitive, it is already taken up by more than 180 countries and 3,000,000 users pursuing its installation. Moreover, 3,000 from the reviews are a five-star. Due to its development method, it can be easily used and grows a great flexibility in WordPress usage. If you aim to get it, there are three available subscription to help you get going: the Personal one (requiring $49 per year and covering functionality for one website), Plus (able to be purchased at $99 and covering up to 3 websites) and, nonetheless, Expert (starting at $199 and being able to function on 1,000 websites). As expected, the last subscription is also the most popular.
• TinyMCE Advanced – edit the way your Visual Editor toolbar looks like using TinyMCE Advanced. This useful plugin makes it easy to add, remove and adjust the locations in which the buttons are being placed within your block editor (Gutenberg). Since it’s not that easy-peasy working with the new and updated version of WordPress, using the Classic Paragraph block is the best shot to get the outcome expected in no time. And that’s what TinyMCE Advanced is all about – let alone the fact that it can easily be used even without special plugins (which are not able to be installed or used yet). You can get the TinyMCE Advanced plugin starting at $0 for Starter, $20 for Developer subscription and $80 for the Pro version. Again, as expected, the most popular choice is the last one.
• WP Super Cache – take advantage of a lower loading time for your website with WP Super Cache. This useful plugin makes it possible for a website to obtain static html files which are later used in order to help your website load pages quickly. Besides of being easy to use, it requires no more than 5 minutes to be set up. In addition, it features a cache service – which means that all of your website’s pages will be stored for further use. Besides being free of charge, it comes with three methods of serving the cached files, as following: Simple (used widely due to the fact that there’s no need to edit the PHP files), Expert (used for its fast caching method, yet needs a modification upon the .htaccess files) and WP Super Caching (used specially for known users – website users, users who leave comments etc. – in order to cache pages for them).
• Disable Comments – get rid of any unwanted comments on various post types with Disable Comments. This WordPress plugin is specially designed to work globally, which means that none of these configurations will be able to be overridden for each post individually. Moreover, any item that is related to comments can be taken down directly from Dashboard, Admin Bar, Widgets and Admin Menu – all in a blink of an eye. Still, beware of the fact that this plugin is not useful in case you want to get rid of comments selectively – only if you don’t want them at all. WordPress already has the first option installed, so you can remove certain comments whenever you want.
• Classic Editor – make work easier both for you and for the rest of your WordPress website’s users with Classic Editor, one of the greatest plugins you can use in order to get the previous WordPress editor back on track. Besides its various plugins usage, this one helps you add various old-style meta boxes and will be up and running at least until 2022. In short, by using Classic Editor, administrators can: pick the default editor used by all of the users, provide the users with the possibility of switching the default editor they are using and many more. As expected, the plugin removes all of the functionalities found within the new Block Editor, known as Gutenberg.
• Google Site Kit – finding the best strategy for your website might be a tough path to follow from the very beginning. There’s no special receipt to chase in order to obtain a successful website – everything works by trial and error. Yet, the Google Site Kit is a special plugin configured to help you get information found on Google Search Console, Google AdSense, PageSpeed Insights and Search Console. If read properly, all of these details might help you generate improvements for the website to further monetize it;
• Contact Form 7 – has a long history of existence, being one of the oldest yet extremely useful available plugins. Moreover, it is used to create various contact forms and methods to customize the form fields.
The new website
Once all of the steps that have been discussed until now are followed, you should already have your new website running smoothly. But before making it live, don’t forget to add:
• About us – every professional website should provide information about the person (or the team) behind the words, images and the entire set up. Statistically speaking, visitors who enjoy the content of a website usually look for details regarding who is running it and how it does it – and everything should be found within the About Us section;