Setting up a website using WordPress

You can develop simple websites using WordPress, without learning a programming language.  Though HTML / CSS  / PHP / ASP.NET, etc. are used for developing websites & web applications, it is possible to create websites using WordPress although WordPress was originally developed for blogs.

Options to create using WordPress:

a. Install WordPress, Install a page builder (page builders are software that can be used to create web pages without writing code) and develop websites.

b. Select a theme (with dummy content) that in turn create a complete website (this is the fastest method). Then modify the website using page builders. There are several free & paid themes that help you to quickly create attractive blogs & websites without writing a line of code. Some themes may require you to purchase paid components during installation, it is recommended to refer each theme documentation prior to selection.

Page Builders

If you would like to build a website without writing any code (and if you know how to use Microsoft Word or similar software), you can use web site builders. You just have to drag and drop elements like photos, videos, text, etc. and these Web site builders write the code for you. Some popular web site builders:

Elementor

SiteOrigin

Note: Some web site builders have limited functionality in free versions, which is usually sufficient to start with. You can compare the features between free & paid versions and decide.

Tip: You can find lots of tutorials & examples for using web site builders in YouTube, etc.

Steps:

You can setup a website if you already have a web hosting plan as most hosting providers include the popular 1-click installer to install WordPress (need to follow basic instructions). Some hosting providers offer “WordPress Hosting Plan”, which includes WordPress installed.  

WordPress 5.8.1 (normal installation) includes the Twenty Twenty-One theme by default. You can continue to use this theme or, you can use a theme of your choice.

To view themes, Select Appearance > Themes.

Select “Add New”, to view a great list of themes available for install.

Example #01: Astra

a.Search for “Astra”

b.Select “Install”
c.Select “Activate”

Note: Astra includes an option to install one of their themes with dummy content. You can replace the content with minimal effort and modify the whole website as per your requirements.

d. Select “Astra Options”

e.Select “Install Importer Plugin”

You have to select one of the compatible web site builders. You can use the selected web site builder to modify this website without writing code.

f.Select “Elementor” (for example)

You will see a list of templates, with different layouts & designs. Some of them are meant for use with WordPress and rest of them for WooCommerce. Please refer https://wpastra.com for live demos and details.

For example, Select “Outdoor Adventure” (this is a simple WordPress based website).

g. Select “Import Complete Website”.

Note: If you prefer to see how the theme looks like, select “Preview Site”. You can preview different themes one by one and choose the one you like.

h.Enter details in popup and select “Next”
i. Select “View Site”.

Now you should a website similar to the live demo.

Note: Since you have logged on in WordPress, you will notice extra navigation bar with options. Sign out of WordPress and view the website.

Managing WordPress Websites

WordPress based websites have:

A. Pages are regular web pages like the home page, contact us page, about us page, etc. Pages are static and have fixed content (with or without animations, videos, etc.).

B. Posts are similar to pages that are sorted by date/time,  categories, etc. Posts option should be used if you wish to provide periodic content such as news, updates, articles, etc. to users. Posts can be sorted by date/time, categories like “Music” or “Electronics” and so on, to help visitors locate relevant articles. You can include photos, gallery, videos, etc. in posts as well.

For example you can create:

A. a website with 3 to 5 pages like 1. Home Page, 2. Contact Us, 3. About Us, 4. Services, 5. Products & 6. Blog. You should use “pages” to create web pages.
B. a blog section for your website using posts. You can create posts every week focusing on topics like “Most wanted skills in Sep 2021”, “Top 10 Products sold in 2021”, etc. to engage visitors. You should use “posts” to create dynamic content. You can create a placeholder on any of your pages, to display the blog section which will automatically updated as you add new posts. You may add a blog section to the website, if you prefer or, leave the website as it is.

WordPress Settings

You have to modify handful settings before making a website visible to the public.

Go to Settings > General

Following is a list of settings that require attention:

Site Title – Name of the website

Tagline – A short phrase about the website

It is recommended to keep the WordPress Address (URL) & Site Address (URL) like “https://example.com” or “https://www.example.com”; it is recommended to use one of the formats (with or without WWW prefix) and stick to it forever.

You should specify an email address, which is used for receiving (and sending) all email notifications. 

Rest of the settings on this page are self-explanatory. You may choose to modify settings on other tabs like Writing, Reading, etc. but it requires a clear understanding before modification; please refer documentation.

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