Checklist to Get a WordPress Website Up and Running
Whether you are a seasoned website developer or a beginner, it is essential you plan your website carefully. It helps to follow a detailed step by step checklist. In this blog I share my checklist to get a WordPress website up and running. You will also find useful tips and links to the resources you will need to get started.
Here are a couple of key pieces of information that go hand-in-hand with the checklist. It is food for thought as you consider your own decisions.
Bouzane Consulting monitors technical reports to see what the market is saying about current trends and then compares products to determine which ones we consider best for our use. We share that information with our clients along with our recommendations.
W3Tech reports that WordPress now powers 41.1% of all websites. Now that is significant! It outplays Shopify, Joomla, Squarespace and Wix.
2 out of every 5 websites now use WordPress
Every website must have a content management system (CMS) – an application for creating and managing the content of a website. There are quite a few applications to choose from and it can be so confusing when you are just getting started.
Bouzane Consulting uses WordPress for ALL websites we create, including our own.
WordPress wins every time!
Which Page Builder?
Another fact from the marketplace …
Elementor, a WordPress-based website builder, is the fastest growing content management system, besides WordPress itself.
Page Builders are plugins that give you the flexibility to create own layouts for your page content without having to use code. It gives you the ability to structure and design pages with minimal effort and time.
Drag and drop page builders are fantastic tools for building websites. We’ve experimented with a number including SiteOrigin, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg and Elementor.
While each of these provide their own unique features, we have found Elementor the best for functionality and ease of use.
Basic Steps to get Up and Running
- Determine purpose of your website
- Purchase hosting package
- Choose your domain name
- Install WordPress
- Choose a theme
- Set up pages
- Add plugins for functionality
1. What is the purpose of your website?
The first step is to give some thought to the purpose of your website. What features do you need right away and what do you want the website to do for you over the long haul.
Is the website for information or for selling or both. Do you want a blog, contact form, online store, reservation systems, memberships, recipes, photo gallery, etc? Make a list of what features you want to see on the website overtime.
Trust me! The initial thought process about the purpose and your expectations will be well worth the effort. Making the right choices depends on it. A solid foundation will be well worth it as it will save you hours of time and frustration in the future.
2. Purchase Hosting Package
Click on ‘Get Started’ in the Bluehost ad. It will take you directly to Bluehost. Alternatively, click on SiteGround to see what packages are offered by that company. Determine which hosting package best suits your needs and complete the purchase.
NOTE: There are ‘free’ hosting sites out there. However, BEWARE! Click here to read our blog on Free vs Paid to get a better insight.
3. Choose your Domain Name
Your domain name (url) is your address and how visitors will find you on the web. You received a free domain when you purchase a hosting package with Bluehost. As well, an SSL certificate is provided for each domain that you host with them.
NOTE: Your domain name registration and web hosting packages are easier to manage when done through one company. However, there are circumstances when that may not be possible. For instance, .ca extensions are NOT sold through Bluehost or SiteGround. To purchase a domain name with the .ca extension, please contact Bouzane Consulting or go directly to godaddy.com.
4. Install WordPress
Installing WordPress is a one step operation at Bluehost and SiteGround. If you run into any troubles, have a chat with one of their representative who will take you through the process.
NOTE: SSL certification is included with all sites hosted by Bluehost and SiteGround
5. Choose a Theme
Once you’ve installed WordPress, you need a Theme for your site design. Luckily, there are some really good quality themes out there from which to choose. This is where the initial planning starts paying off. You can select one that best suits the purpose of your website. We have found the Astra theme to be the most versatile. The Brainstorm Force team have done an exceptional job of building a platform that allows you to build your website the way you want.
The Astra Theme is also updated regularly to keep up with the latest trends and technology. Such a feature is essential when selecting a theme for your website.
There’s nothing worse developing an amazing website only to find that a year or two later, the theme you selected has been abandoned by the developer!
Brainstorm Force has crafted many popular products and solutions that include but are not limited to Astra Pro, Schema Pro, ConvertPro, Ultimate addons for Elementor, among many more.
Get Up and Running
we can help
6. Set up pages
The pages and content of your website will depend on the purpose and your overall goals. Most websites include the following pages regardless of the area of specialty
To get up and running, set up similar pages for your website to give your visitors the essentials of who you are, what you do and how to contact you.
7. Add plugins
Plugins will be needed to give added functionality to your website. Once again, this is where your initial planning will pay off. What is it that you need your website to do?
Bluehost and WordPress will have added some plugins at the start. Here are others that are necessary for every site:
- social media interface
- Page Builders (Elementor is our choice)
- website backup
- statistics on traffic and visitors
How Long Does it Take?
Yes! You read it right!
... up and running in an hour
The basic steps to create a WordPress website will not take long to complete – which is GREAT!
But don’t underestimate. This is really just the beginning! Making sure your website has quality content and that it speaks to your brand will take more time.
Website Maintenance should be part of your ongoing business processes!
Now that you’ve invested time and resources into building an amazing website, take care that you keep it maintained properly. Click here to find out more about website maintenance and why it is so important.