Having a website in today’s age is crucial regardless of the size of your business. A website makes it easy for you to connect with your prospects and customers and showcase your offerings to your target audience.
Setting up a business website may seem daunting at first, especially if you’re a non-techie, but don’t worry. Content management systems (CMS) like WordPress do not require you to be a coder, so even without any programming proficiency, you can build and publish your first website!
In this article, we will look at how to create a business website from scratch using WordPress. So, let’s dive in!
Why Set Up a Business Website With WordPress?
WordPress is arguably the most widely used CMS right now and rightfully so. First of all, it is an open-source platform, that means WordPress is free to use, and anyone can improve on the existing platform. Along with that, the CMS is highly flexible and simple to use even without having you to know anything about programming or coding.
These are the 2 primary reasons why WordPress is so commonly used to build websites.
Step 1: Prerequisites for Developing a Website
Let’s look at the 2 main things we need before we get into the actual nitty-gritty of developing a website.
A Domain Name
A domain name is the address of your website. An easy way to come up with the domain name for your site is to use the name of your business and choose .com as the extension. Check whether the domain name is available using a website like Instant Domain Search. If the website is available, you can go ahead with it otherwise you can tweak the name a bit or choose a different extension such as .net or a country-specific extension.
For example, if the name of your business is Local Grocery, you can go choose localgrocery.com as the domain name. If the name is not available, you can choose a domain name such as localgroceryonline.com or localgroceryonline.net or localgrocery.ca (If your business is based out of Canada).
A Web Hosting Plan
Web hosting is the place where your website data is stored. There are multiple web hosting service providers you can choose from, but for illustrative purposes, we will stick to Bluehost for this article.
When you land on the homepage of Bluehost, begin by clicking on the Get Started Now button:
Upon clicking, you will be taken to their signup page where you will be asked to choose a pricing plan among the following 3 plans. If you are a small to mid-level business, it’s wise to choose the plus plan. You can always upgrade as the scope of your business grows.
(Note: While we were working on the article, Bluehost was offering a special discount on the choice plus/prime plan. We would recommend going for the prime plan if the offer can still be availed.)
After selecting the plan, you have to enter the domain name of your website.
If you’ve opted for the prime plan, you’ll get the domain privacy protection feature for free. For other plans, you can choose it as an add-on. Domain privacy protection is a useful feature as it keeps your details hidden from the public.
After adding the payment details, you’ll receive a confirmation mail. Once you’re registered with Bluehost, you’re good to go!
Step 2: Installing WordPress
Bluehost and almost every major web hosting service provider offers 1-Click Installation for WordPress and other CMSs such as Joomla and Drupal.
Below are the steps to install WordPress using the 1-Click Installation feature:
- Log into Bluehost (Or any web host you are using)
- Go to the control panel
- Click on the WordPress icon (Install WordPress) which you can find under the website section
- Choose the domain where you’d like to install WordPress
- Enter the site name, admin username and admin password of your choice, and once you’re done, click on Install Now
Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed WordPress, and now you are ready to build and customize your site.
Step 3: Installing a Business WordPress Theme
The first step in customizing your WordPress website is to install a new theme. To do so, log into your WordPress account. You can find the admin area by typing <domainname>.com/wp-admin in the address bar of a browser.
Log in using your admin username and password, and you will see the WordPress dashboard like this:
The next step for us is to install a business WordPress theme. WordPress comes with a default theme called Twenty Nineteen, but you can find a lot more themes in its theme repository and you can choose a WordPress theme that can represent your business in a better way.
To add a new theme, go to Appearance —> Themes and click on Add New.
In the Search box, you can type in keywords such as business or ecommerce to find themes relevant to your brand. Similarly, you can use Feature Filter to view themes by categories and other criteria. You can check the preview of any theme in the themes section itself, and if you like it, you can go ahead and install it.
Apart from the free WordPress.org themes which have limited functionality, you can also choose to buy Premium WordPress Business themes from reputed theme shops like us.
WordPress themes are usually very intuitive and easy to customize, so, with a little bit of experimenting, you’ll be able to figure out everything by yourself. Simultaneously, you can also watch its tutorials on YouTube.
Step 4: Adding New Pages to Your Website
Now that you have installed a theme that represents your business, you are all set to add new content to your website. In this section, we will look at how to add new pages and posts to your website.
Adding new pages to your WordPress site is a cakewalk. Click on Pages —> Add New on the left pane of your dashboard and you’ll see a screen like this:
(Note: Don’t worry if the text editor looks slightly different in your CMS. It will have the same functionalities as the one shown above.)
You can add content in the text editor, and your page will be live when you hit the Publish button located in the top right corner.
Now, let’s look at the 4 must-have pages on your website:
The homepage is the first page users will see when they land on your website. So make sure you set up your homepage so that it makes a strong first impression! Your homepage should ideally give a sneak peek of your business. Talk about what you do, your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), contact details and your offerings briefly.
This page is your sales pitch. Talk extensively about your products or services. If you sell multiple products or offer different services, create multiple pages for each product/service depending on the requirement. At the end of each page do not forget to add a call to action button to purchase the product or to get in touch with you to know more details about the offerings.
About Us Page
Buyers are curious to know more about the brand they’re doing business with. Use this opportunity to tell the world about what your business stands for. Talk about your vision, mission, values and how dedicated you are to serve your clients.
Contact Us Page
Visitors need to know how to get in touch with you. The Contact Us page serves this purpose. Mention your business hours, the physical address of your business, phone number, email address, and other applicable contact details.
Depending on your requirement, you can add additional pages. Also, if you are keen on starting a blog to talk about your products, business or looking to help your customers solve their problems, you can add Posts similar to Pages.
Step 5: Setting Up a Navigation Menu
Once you have added a few pages to your website, it is necessary to make them easily discoverable for your website visitors. Setting up a navigation menu at the top of the page helps us do that.
To set up a navigation menu, follow the below steps:
- Go to Appearances —> Menus
- Click on Create a new menu
- Type in the name of your menu in the Menu Name text box
- Click on the Create Menu button
Once you create your menu, you can add pages, pages, categories or external links to it as below:
Once you add menu elements, you can drag and drop to rearrange their order. And once you’re done, hit Save Menu:
After saving the menu, perform the following steps to set it as your primary menu:
- Click on the Manage Locations tab
- From the Primary Menu drop-down, choose the menu of your choice
- Click on Save Changes
Step 6: Installing Plugins
Sometimes certain functionalities are not offered by the theme or by WordPress, plus it is not feasible to build them in-house either. That’s where plugins come into the picture. A WordPress plugin is an app coded specifically for WordPress that consists of a specific set of features.
Having the following plugins will enhance the overall functionality of your website:
If you keep the comments section of your website open, you are going to be bombarded with thousands of spam comments.
Akismet blocks these spam comments effectively. The plugin is developed by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.
The plugin allows you to review blocked comments and so that you can restore genuine comments.
You can start using the plugin for free, but you need to subscribe to their premium plans if you are running a commercial or an enterprise site.
2. Yoast SEO
With over 5 million active installations, Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. SEO can be intimidating particularly for beginners. Yoast SEO helps you optimize your website for search engines.
With Yoast SEO, you can edit title tags and meta descriptions to make it search engine friendly. It also helps you by providing a comprehensive analysis of your pages or posts in terms of focus keywords, keyword density, etc.
The plugin also submits the XML sitemap to search engines which makes it easy for search engines to crawl your website
Note: Installing this plugin won’t necessarily make your website GDPR compliant. It is recommended to consult your lawyer to understand all the requirements.
Contact Form 7 is arguably the easiest contact form plugin you will come across. It is incredibly simple to use and allows you to add different types of fields such as name, email, contact number, drop-downs, CAPTCHA, etc.
The plugin is free to use. However, you can make a donation to support the plugin
Building a great looking website doesn’t have to be difficult. With the help of Elementor page builder, you can design pages without having you to write zero lines of code. Elementor comes with a drag & drop editor that makes building beautiful looking pages a walk in the park.
Google Analytics tracks visitor data and helps you make informed decisions. It enables you to understand the user behavior and which marketing efforts are bringing in the maximum results. Now, adding the Google Analytics code in your website is a headache if you have no programming experience. That’s where GA Google Analytics comes in handy.
All you have to do is to add the Google Analytics property ID, and let Google Analytics do its work!
If you’re running social media or display remarketing ads, then you have to add multiple scripts to your website. Along with that, there are certain tools that require you to add their tracking code to your site. With the help of the Insert Headers and Footers plugin, you can add any script or piece of tracking code without any hassles.
If you’ve come this far then, you would have realized that creating a business website using WordPress is not as difficult as it seems. WordPress is a powerful yet flexible CMS that lets you build professional looking websites in a short period of time.
If you have any questions, do let us know in the comments below!