It’s no secret that having a website is extremely important for your business. Nowadays, websites are integral in helping you:
- Attract Leads — Most consumers use the internet to find local businesses. This means that you can attract leads with an intent to buy with a high-quality website.
- Build Brand Awareness — A website serves as a digital business card for any business.
- Convert Leads — Not only does having a website help in attracting leads, but you can succeed in converting them into paying customers as well.
In previous years, only a select few could develop a website and they had to do so by scratch. This continued on up until the early 21st century. Then, content management system (CMS) tools like WordPress became popular.
WordPress is completely user-friendly, as anyone with limited technical and coding knowledge can create a website in no time. WordPress is also an open-source CMS, which means that it’s advanced enough for experienced developers to use.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can develop the perfect website for your business using WordPress, then you’ve come to the right place. This complete guide will cover all the aspects of building an excellent custom website with WordPress.
What is WordPress?
WordPress was founded on May 27th, 2003, by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. The free tool was designed as an open-source CMS written solely in PHP. At the time of its inception, WordPress was a revolutionary CMS for a few compelling reasons:
- WordPress attracted a community of millions of entrepreneurs, developers, and amateur users.
- The platform featured a diverse plugin architecture system, allowing users to improve their website with pre-built and custom website features, such as contact forms, email lists, galleries, etc.
- The platform also featured an extensive template system referred to as “themes.”
WordPress is able to function on both Windows and Linux and is used comprehensively throughout the internet. In fact, WordPress controls a 64.1% market share and powers 39.5% of all websites on the internet.
If you want to pursue the most archetypal, easy-to-use website development tool in the world, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better one than WordPress.
What Can You Do With WordPress?
If you understood the time and effort it took to create a custom website, you would be amazed at the simplicity of WordPress’ platform. If you wanted to build a basic template-based website, you could do so in a few hours.
However, using a template could prove too challenging if you have a unique brand or sell highly-specific products or services. For this reason, building a custom website that can easily match a brand’s image is the most preferable option for many businesses.
With WordPress, you can choose the skeleton or wireframe of a website by selecting a free or premium theme. WordPress employs a wide range suite of stylish themes to accommodate the design of your website, like so:
And, this one:
And, finally, this one:
Once you select the theme of your choice, you can move forward in customizing it to fit your brand’s image. This involves adapting the theme to your brand’s color, fonts, etc. The good news is that if you don’t find the theme you like, you can hire a designer to create a custom theme for you.
In any case, once your theme is fully set up, you can begin creating each page. WordPress allows users to select from pre-built about, contact, gallery, and service pages that just need to be filled in with your custom text or content.
After your website is finished, you can hook your domain, send it live, and submit your sitemap to Google so it begins to rank. As you can see, WordPress allows just about anyone to create a custom website.
But, each step is much more complicated than what was previously explained. Below, you can review a step-by-step guide for how to build a custom website with WordPress.
Step #1: Define Your Strategy
Before you begin construction of your custom website, you’ll need to ask and answer the following questions:
- What is the purpose of your website? — What function will your website serve? Do you want to attract more leads to subscribe to an online service? Do you want to sell products, or do you want to build more awareness about a service?
- Who is your target audience? — Who are you trying to reach with your website? What are their motivations and demographics?
- How do you want your audience to view your business — What feelings do you want your audience to experience your website? Do you want them to feel more attached to your cause, or do you want to compel them to visit your store?
- What action do you want your audience to take? — Do you want your audience to purchase from your store or sign up for your email list. Ultimately, your website should be constructed to achieve a conversion instead of looking its best.
- What is your competition doing? — How do your competitors’ websites look? Are their websites successful, or are they poorly designed?
- What is your unique value proposition (UVP)? — There are trillions of websites on the internet. How is your website and business different from the rest? What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
- What is your budget? — Building a custom web will cost. Make sure you prepare an appropriate budget for developing a custom website with WordPress.
- Do you plan on scaling your website? — Do you plan on growing your website in the future?
If you can answer all of these questions, then you can obtain a great sense of direction on how to develop a custom website with WordPress. Website development prices are notoriously expensive.
However, when you use WordPress, you can begin with the basics and expand on your website when it becomes necessary.
Step #2: Choose a Hosting Provider
Every website needs a hosting provider. You can choose to use the following options when selecting a hosting provider:
- Your personal computer.
- A server that’s shared with other websites.
- A server rented from a hosting provider.
- The cloud
Experienced website developers may prefer to use their own computer for testing purposes, but this is usually not recommended. You can alternatively use shared hosting for your website to save money.
However, you’ll likely want an option that’s faster and more reliable. Most people rent a server from a reputable hosting company like GoDaddy and HostGator. These methods work well for traditional websites.
Though, if you plan on maintaining large amounts of website traffic, you’ll need to pick a more stable option. This is where cloud hosting comes in. Cloud hosting has been gaining immense popularity in previous years.
Basically, cloud hosting providers manage websites on remote servers on the “cloud” instead in remote storage facilities. This allows for inexpensive and more secure hosting integrity.
Other benefits include:
- Flexible Pricing Structure — With a cloud hosting provider, you simply pay for the hosting and data storage you use. This is much better than paying an expensive monthly fee or flat rate for hosting.
- Scalable Hosting — You can scale your hosting capabilities based on the growth of your website unlike traditional hosting providers.
- Increased Availability & Uptime — If you’re using a traditional hosting provider, your server’s uptime will depend on its physical environment. If one server goes down, your website’s availability can be compromised. This typically never happens with servers on the cloud.
- More Convenient Maintenance — Server hardware can suffer from wear and tear, leading to lower uptime over time. Digital servers on the cloud will never suffer from this kind of problem.
Step #3: Create a Fantastic User Experience
User experience (UX) is one of the most important aspects of any website. It refers to the type of positive or negative interaction a standard user has on your website. UX will ultimately impact your website’s performance, traffic, and conversion rate.
For this reason, you should never design a website that looks great to your eye. Instead, you should develop a website that allows for seamless user interaction. Basically, create a custom website that allows users to land and convert immediately.
Provide them with the information they need and eliminate any obnoxious factor that prevents them from converting, such as unnecessary sign-up forms, large and blurry images, and slow website speeds.
Hire a UX designer to make sure that your website serves as a funnel where potential customers enter on one side and convert out on the other end.
Step #4: Develop a Beautiful Website
Creating a stunning, custom website isn’t difficult using WordPress. WordPress has a comprehensive library of elaborate themes you can choose for your WordPress website.
Whether you choose to select a pre-built theme or customize your own by hiring a designer, this step is the most straightforward in the entire website development process.
Step #5: Provide Features Your Audience Wants
WordPress also provides a library of plugins developed by its community. You can choose and download the plugins your audience is looking for on your website.
If you’re looking for inspiration in downloading plugins for your website, you can take a look at existing or competitor websites. Chances are that your competitors are using a WordPress website.
The good news is that you can model your website after another one you’re interested in with WordPress plugins.
Step #6: Integrate SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of ranking your website on major search engines like Google and Bing. The higher your website ranks on these search engines, the better.
The average internet user will typically click on the first few search results when they search for a keyword. If your website is found on the second page of Google, or can’t be found at all, then your business basically doesn’t exist online.
Every website needs to be integrated with SEO to rank online. Luckily, WordPress offers Yoast SEO, a powerful diagnostic tool that can assess your website’s current SEO standing and offer improvements you can make.
Search engines, like Google and Bing, send bots to scan every website that’s indexed. These bots look for quality signals indicated in a central algorithm. If your website aligns with the quality standards major search engines are looking for, then it’ll receive a favorable ranking.
Otherwise, Google and Bing will drop it below better websites. As a result, it’s extremely important to optimize your website. This will be discussed in the next step.
Step #7: Optimize Your Website
Most people hire an SEO company to optimize their websites. For good reason, optimizing a website is a time-consuming exercise that requires a deep expertise in digital marketing.
Nonetheless, the most basic steps of optimizing your website include:
- On-Page SEO — This is the process of making sure that all pages and features on your website can be read by search engine bots.
- Local SEO — If you’re running a local business, you’ll need to set up a Google My Business profile and ensure that your name, address, and phone number are consistent throughout your website.
- Keyword Optimization — You should perform keyword research to discover the most popular keywords in your niche and embed them on your web pages and images.
SEO is more in-depth and comprehensive than all of this. It’s recommended that you hire a reputable SEO agency to avoid missing any critical steps and rank your website where your target audience will find it.
Build a Custom Website Today!
As you can see, there are several steps involved in creating a custom website. If you lack the time and expertise to do all the work yourself, you should hire a software development agency to help.
This is where we come in.
To learn more about how we can create a custom website with WordPress for your business, contact us today to speak to a member of our team.
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