Got a hosting but don’t know how to setup a WordPress website?
You can either use cPanel or WordPress dashboard to setup your website.
Why use WordPress instead of other CMS?
- It is FREE! Well, simply a good reason
- It is easy to setup, just drag and drop
- It has wide range of themes for you to build a beautiful website
- It has wide range of plugins for you to build a functional and powerful website
*Most importantly – all those features above are FREE to use!
Now you know the benefits of using WordPress to build your website. Want to know more on how to setup a WordPress website?
Step 1: Install WordPress on your hosting
Step 2: Understand WordPress dashboard and its functions
Step 3: Install and edit a theme
Step 4: Install a plugin
Step 5: Design your website
Step 1: Installing WordPress on your hosting
Most of the hosting plans provided on the market do not have pre-install WordPress (except WordPress Hosting plan). If you signed up for WordPress Hosting plan, good news! You can skip this step!
For those who signed up for a normal hosting plan, you can login to your cPanel (control panel provided by hosting company) to install WordPress. Take Exabytes cPanel for an example.
- Login to cPanel
- Point your mouse to “Softaculous Apps Installer” section
- Choose WordPress
- Fill in your website details and hit the “Install” button
- Alright! You are good to go!
Step 2: Understanding WordPress dashboard and its functions
Now you’ve installed WordPress to your hosting, you will see a black dashboard that looks like this:
You might wonder what are the functions of the tabs. No worry, let’s go through them one by one.
- Provides an overview of your website condition and performance
- A tab that enables you to write and post your blog post
- You can find all your media files here, including images and videos
- Enables you to publish pages for your website
- Enables to you to edit your website appearance
- Enables you to install plugins for your website
- Enables you to manage your website users and subscribers
- Enables you to manage your website data – Import and Export
- General website settings such as Writing, Reading, Permalinks, etc
Step 3: Installing and editing a theme
Now you are going to begin building your website. First, your website must have a theme in order to display your information on the Internet. Navigate to Appearance tab and choose “Themes”.
After clicking on the “themes” tab, WordPress will lead you to a theme marketplace. Search your desired theme here and install the theme by clicking on the “Install” button. Themes provided in WordPress Marketplace are Free.
*Note: You can also purchase a premium theme (usually looks nicer with more functions) from Envato Marketplace and upload the theme using the theme upload feature.
Here are some great themes that we recommend for your websites:
- Kalium (Premium Theme)
- X-Theme (Premium Theme)
- Shapely (Free theme)
- Hestia (Free theme)
- Portum Material (Free theme)
Next, you are able to customize your theme’s content by clicking on the “customize” tab on left hand side of the dashboard. For some themes that come with its own website builder, you can edit it directly on each page.
Step 4: Installing a plugin
Plugins are external software that are able to bring certain features or functions to your website. You are able to install plugins in “Plugins” tab. Just like themes, WordPress provides a marketplace for you to search for your desired plugins. Plugins in WordPress marketplace are Free as well.
You can also install your own plugin by uploading it to your website. Plugins that require uploading are usually Premium plugins that users buy from third party, such as Envato Market.
Here are some MUST haves plugins for your new website:
- Contact Form 7 – Helps create a contact form for your website
- Yoast SEO – Helps you configure SEO
- W3 Total Cache – Helps to improve website performance through caching
- WP Smush – Optimizes website images
- Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights – Helps connect Google Analytics
- Backup Buddy – Backup your website data
- OptinMonster – Website popups that help increase conversion
- Jetpack – Takes care of your site security, performance, traffic, images and a lot more
- Akismet – An anti-spam plugin that helps you block spam
- Woocommerce – Build an ecommerce website
*Note: these plugins are FREE.
Step 5: Designing your website
Now you’re done installing the theme you love, it is time to design your desired website. With WordPress, you can easily design your website using either Gutenberg or Website Builder plugin which comes along with your theme (usually included).
A brand new website editor provided by WordPress itself (launched in 2018). It enables users to edit pages and posts with drag and drop method (thank god, I hate coding… ). Basically the feature enables you to use “Blocks” to build and design your website. Here are some of the basic animation walkthrough:
Third Party Website Builder
Usually come along with your theme or installed as an individual plugin. One widely used Third party website builder is Visual Composer and Elementor.
Visual Composer (also known as WP Bakery) is the most commonly used website builder plugin. It usually comes along with themes that you purchased. It has 2 different phases of editing website – Classic view and Frontend Editor
Elementor – a newly launched website builder that enables users to build their website using drag and drop method. It comes with Pro version, enabling you to build almost a complete website without a theme. It is free to install.
Have a look at some of the great examples for inspiration:
- Singapore Website Awards
- The 22 Best Ecommerce Website Designs of 2018
- 16 of the Best Examples of Beautiful Blog Design
I hope you learned something useful in this blog post. Now, it is your turn to build your very own professional website. Still confused? Got questions? Leave us a comment below!