But where do you begin?
The first step is to decide how you are going to build your website and what software you are going to use. Luckily today we have many different website builders to choose from. This makes building a website that much easier!
That said, I personally build all my websites using WordPress and I would recommend that you do so too.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source content management system.
WordPress is software designed for everyone, emphasizing accessibility, performance, security, and ease of use. We believe great software should work with minimum set up, so you can focus on sharing your story, product, or services freely. The basic WordPress software is simple and predictable so you can easily get started. It also offers powerful features for growth and success.WordPress
What does this mean for you?
It means that WordPress is completely free to use!
Why Should You Build Your Website With WordPress?
Not only is WordPress free, but you also don’t need to know anything about programming or coding to build a website from scratch – no more needing to rely on website developers or designers to bring your small business website to life!
WordPress is also incredibly popular. In fact, it is so popular that almost 45% of all the websites on the internet today are built with WordPress – that’s about 1 in every 4 websites! Pretty impressive right?!
Some famous websites built with WordPress include:
Besides being one of the most popular website-building tools out there, WordPress is also easy to use. And, once you get used to how it works, it will be just as easy as using a program like Microsoft Word or Excel.
Advantages Of Using WordPress To Build Your Website
Just because WordPress is free and easy doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with many other advantages. Here are just a few.
Flexibility – The Types of Websites You Can Build With WordPress
When WordPress was first built, it was used mainly as a tool to build blogs. But since then a lot has changed. Today you can pretty much build any type of website you would like using WordPress.
- eCommerce Stores
- Big and Small Business Websites
- Portfolio Websites
- Membership Sites
- Social Networks
- Q&A Websites such as Quora
- Auction websites
If you can imagine it, you can build it with WordPress!
Simplicity – WordPress is Easy to Install and Use (Even If You Are A Complete Beginner)
Once you have your hosting account, you can install WordPress with just a few clicks!
Not only that, but you can also change how your website looks quickly and easily. Adding different functionality is also a breeze.
By using WordPress themes and plugins you can easily modify and customize your website exactly how you would like to.
What Are WordPress Themes And Plugins?
Themes and plugins are add-ons for a WordPress website.
They are bits of code and software that have been coded by professional coders and developers. To use them, you simply add them to your website with a couple of clicks.
Themes and plugins allow you to quickly and easily add functionality to your website all without needing to do any coding yourself.
Let’s break themes and plugins down further.
Themes are used to change how your website looks. They are an easy way to customize the look and feel of your website and it is super easy to change things such as fonts, colors, layouts, etc.
Plugins on the other hand are tools that are used to change how your website works. They are extras or add-ons that you add to your website to add extra functionality.
Need a contact form for your website? No problem, just install a plugin.
Need a photo gallery? Again, no problem there is a plugin for that as well. In fact, there are plugins for just about any type of functionality you would like to add to your website.
For example, if you would like to build an online store with all the functionality you need (such as payment processing, invoicing, etc), all you need to do is install a plugin! Awesome right?
And the best part about themes and plugins is that many of them are completely free to use! You can literally build a complete online eCommerce store with all the bells and whistles by paying only for your hosting and domain. It really doesn’t get much better than that!
Support – Get Help When You Need It
Because WordPress is so popular, there is a massive community of people out there who use it. So, if you ever get stuck, it is easy to find help and support if you need it. There or tons of blogs, forums, and groups that you can reach out to.
In fact, one of the things that I love about the WordPress community is that most of the WordPress users I’ve come across are really friendly and happy to help you if you get can’t figure something out.
That said, most of the time a simple Google search will give you many of the answers you are looking for if you ever do need help.
SEO – Help Search Engines To Find You
When you build your website, you will most likely want your visitors to easily find you when searching for products and services on search engines such as Google or Bing.
SEO (search engine optimization) is used to help search engines find your website easily. One of the big advantages of using WordPress is that by default it is set up to make your website search engine friendly.
Plus, there are also lots of SEO plugins you can use to help you make your website even better when it comes to being found by Google and other search engines. WordPress sites also tend to rank higher in search engine results.
Speed – Give Your Clients What They Need, Fast
Out of the box, WordPress is built to be lean and clean. This means that by using WordPress your website will load quickly when your clients visit your site.
Of course, if your website has a lot of images or videos it can become slow. Also, the types of themes and plugins you use can also affect its speed. However, there are ways to work around this which we will cover later.
That said, the basic WordPress framework gives you a good place to start building your website with quick loading times in mind.
Media Library – All Your Media In One Place
WordPress comes standard with a built-in media library.
This is where you will upload and store all the images, videos, documents, etc that you need for your site. The media library makes it really easy to manage all your media files and the best part is that WordPress supports any type of media you would like to upload including images, video, documents, and audio.
Mobile Friendly – Look Good On Mobile
With more and more people using mobile phones and tablets to visit websites, it is really important that your website looks good on these devices. By default, WordPress is coded to look good on both desktop and mobile devices.
Secure – Keep Your Data Safe
When you run a business, it is incredibly important that your website is secure. Luckily WordPress is one of the safest and most secure website builders and content management systems out there. And as long as you keep your website and plugins updated, you shouldn’t run into any problems.
There are also additional plugins that you can add to your site to make it even more secure if you are worried about your website.
Easy To Scale – WordPress Grows With Your Business
WordPress is super easy to scale if you need to. This is really important when your small business begins to grow!
When you first build your website you can do so completely for free which is awesome especially if you are on a tight budget.
However, as your small business grows, you might find that you need extra functionality or tools to help you. With WordPress, it is easy to add just about any type of functionality to your website whether paid or free.
Easy To Integrate – Get The Extra Services You Need
Because WordPress is so incredibly popular, most other software services will allow you to easily integrate your WordPress website with their services.
For example, if you have a big email list, you might want to use an outside company to manage the sending of your emails. Many of these email service providers integrate seamlessly with WordPress.
Easy To Maintain
When you use WordPress it is very important to keep the software up to date. This is true for both WordPress itself as well as the themes and plugins you use on your site.
Don’t worry though, WordPress is really good at letting you know when you need to update something!
How Does WordPress Work?
WordPress is a content management system, or CMS for short.
In simple terms, it is software that helps you manage all the content for your websites without any technical or coding skills. It is a simple way to create, format, sort, organize and display all your content quickly and easily.
On the backend, WordPress is broken down into two main sections (this gets a little more complicated but it is good information to know).
The home directory is made up of files and folders that contain all the code that is used to make your website work (you can access your home directory through the File Manager on your cPanel dashboard). This is what a typical WordPress file directory looks like.
All the code for your website is found in these files and folders. Many of the files that you will find here are like standard templates that are used to control how your website is laid out and displayed.
You will see three folders here:
- wp-admin – This folder contains all the files and folders used to display and manage the admin section of your WordPress website.
- wp-content – This folder contains the code for the themes and plugins you use on your website. It is also the place where all your images, videos, documents, and other uploads and media is saved.
- wp-includes – In this folder, you will find functions and code that make WordPress work.
All the files and folders that you see in this directory are needed to make WordPress work properly. If any of these files or folders are deleted by mistake, your entire website could go down or at the very least not function properly.
A WordPress database is connected to the files and folders in your home directory. Your database is like a filing cabinet where all your website data is sorted and stored. All this data is stored in a text format so you will find that your WordPress database is quite small compared to the files and folders in your home directory.
How Does All This Fit Together?
As a very simple example, let’s say you need 5 pages on your website. Back in the day, you would have needed to build each of your pages separately. Like this:
This is very tedious especially when you need to code each page from scratch. Also, if you ever wanted to change the look of your website you would have needed to change each page separately.
With WordPress, templates are used to make everything a hang of a lot easier.
So using our example, if you needed 5 pages, only one page or template needs to be built. The text for each of the 5 pages is saved in the database. When someone requests a specific page, the template is quickly populated using the information from the database.
What this means is that if you ever are looking for the code for a specific page on your website, you won’t find it in your home directory. Instead, you will need to find the text within the database.
What this also means is that if you ever want to change the layout or style of your website, you only need to make the change to the template and your whole website will automatically reflect the change.
I know it can sound complicated but it will all make sense when you start working with WordPress.
The reason why I decided to break down the structure of a WordPress website like this is so that you have a basic understanding of how everything works and fits together in case you ever need to go into the backend of your site.
WordPress is an incredibly powerful website builder that is easy to use. You can build professional websites with little to no coding knowledge and even complete beginners get used to how it works in no time!
I know it sounds complicated and I hope that I have explained how it works clearly. If not, please let me know in the comments section below!