Do you need a website for your business or blog?
At Namecheap we make the process as simple as possible for you. The following steps will guide you from start to finish, giving you the most professional start possible. You’ll find that WordPress gives you effective options to build your site, easily add more content, and allow you to focus on your customers, clients or readers.
What is WordPress?
WordPress powers over 26% of the top one million websites worldwide. Because it’s one of the most stable, easy to use, and robust programs, it’s a clear favorite among website designers.
For those aren’t developers, WordPress is perfect for those that want to build a website without knowing any code. It allows you to build a professional site that takes advantage of advanced features such as social media integration and that works on all browsers, including mobile devices.
The first thing you need to do is register a domain.
Your domain name is the anchor that defines your brand. You’ll add this to all your marketing materials, including your email signature, for maximum exposure.
There are many types of domain extensions (also called TLDs, or top level domains) such as .com, .org, and .net. Those three basic TLDs are still the most recognized, but you might also consider others like .travel, .mobile, or .coffee. You can also consider protecting your name or brand by registering multiple names that point to the same website, called “parking.”
Best Practice: Choose domain name that’s as short as possible, that reflects your business or brand, and probably a .com (they’re still the gold standard).
Still need help? Check out our article on choosing the best domain.
Choosing Your Virtual Home
Website Hosting: Once you’ve carefully chosen your domain name, you’ll need to decide where you’ll host your website. Hosting comes with all kinds of options and features. Keeping with our theme of keeping it simple, look for secure email administration and point-and-click installation of WordPress.
Best Practice: Hosting with Namecheap includes cPanel, a popular and robust management system, and email administration and WordPress installation are included, along with dozens more features. Be sure to check out our Knowledgebase article if you need help getting started with a Namecheap domain plus hosting.
Connecting to The World
Email Addresses: If you’re like most Internet visitors, before taking action on a website, you need to have a certain level of trust. Having a free email address like gmail.com, hotmail.com or aol.com doesn’t help with that confidence factor. With Namecheap hosting you have professional email included. You can use the point-and-click method to set up your email addresses, or you can take it even further using private email to synchronize things like shared calendars and staff tasks.
Best Practice: Set up boxes for yourself or employees by name. You can also set up a general email box called “info” or “hello” that forwards to yourself or a staff member.
Installing The Goodness
Install WordPress: You would think that this step would be the longest and most detailed, but Namecheap uses a simple point-and-click method of installation. There’s no need to know SQL or PHP, or even what those are. Just open your cPanel, click on the “Softaculous” icon, and follow our easy steps.
Best Practice: Be sure to choose something other than “admin” as your username for the most secure installation, and let the system assign a strong password. Be sure to write this username and password down and keep it safe.
Extra tip: If you’re brand new to WordPress, there are lots of websites with free tutorials to get you started. However, why not start with the handy tips at WordPress.org?
Once you’ve gotten WordPress installed on your website, you’re ready to login to the administration and make a few final edits.
- Edit the default “about” page that WordPress automatically creates for you. Just open it and edit it with your own information using the text editor that comes with WordPress.
- Edit the default “post” that’s also installed with WordPress.
- Secure your WordPress installation. Here’s a handy step by step guide.
- Choose the look and feel of your site by clicking on “Appearance” and choosing from one of the many themes.
Best Practice: Look for “responsive” themes that have built-in mobile versions. Since mobile traffic is exploding, insuring that your site is ready for mobile traffic keeps you one step ahead of the curve.
WordPress has endless features to explore after these steps, including widgets, plugins and theme frameworks, but stopping here gives you a professional and basic platform to jump from and take your website anywhere you want to go. You’ll have a great domain name, professional hosting, a point-and-click website management system and the security you need.
What are you waiting for?
Chelle Honiker is the executive director of the Texas Freelance Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping independent workers start, grow and manage their freelance and gig work or businesses. She’s also the chief barista for the Revien Group, a caffeinated digital project management consulting firm.