7 Ways to Quickly Build Your Website
My last article titled, "Install WordPress in 5 Smart Steps" outlined how to install the WordPress application and how to select a WordPress theme that is appropriate for your type of website. Now that you’ve completed these steps, let’s prepare to build your website.
1.The first step in building a website requires you to install some plugins. But, before we install them I’ll give you a brief definition of plugins. WordPress plugins are pieces of software containing functions written in the PHP programming language that adds features and functionality to the WordPress application. While there are loads of awesome plugins to choose from, I suggest starting with the following list of free basic plugins that should be installed on a WordPress website.
- Black Studio TinyMCE Widget – A visual editor that adds functionality to the Page Builder.
- Contact Form 7 – A simple contact form.
- Livemesh SiteOrgin Widgets – A collection of widgets for the website.
- Page Builder by SiteOrgin – An easy-to-use drag and drop page builder.
- SiteOrgin Widgets Bundle – A collection of widgets bundled into a single plugin.
2.The first plugin to install is the Page Builder by SiteOrgin. This plugin can be thought of as the foundation upon which the other plugins are built. From your WordPress Dashboard menu, select “Plugins,” then “Add New.”
3.In the search bar on the upper right side of the plugins page, type “SiteOrgin,” then select the Page Builder by SiteOrgin plugin. Make sure that the plugin description states: “Compatible with your version of WordPress.” After selecting the plugin, click the “Install” button. After the plugin is installed, click the “Activate” button. Return to the “Plugins” page to see that the Page Builder by SiteOrgin plugin has been installed and activated. Repeat the steps above to install the remaining four plugins.
4.The next step is to create the web pages. The first pages to be created are the Home, About, Contact, and Blog (optional) pages. From the WordPress Dashboard menu, select “Pages.” Then “Add New.” In the page name area type “Home.” This is the name that will appear on your site's main and secondary menus. Repeat the steps above to create the remaining pages.
5.Now we’ll need to set up the Home page according to the type of website that you will have. Hopefully, you have decided if you will have a basic website, a blog, or a website with a blog. Let’s assume that you’ll have a website with a blog. We’ll set up the Home page to be a static page so that all of the new blog posts will appear on the Blog page. We’ll accomplish this by following the instructions below.
- From the WordPress Dashboard menu, select “Settings,” then select “Reading.”
- Select the “A Static Page” radial, then from the “Home page” dropdown menu, select “Home.”
- Next, from the “Posts page” dropdown menu select “Blog.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Save Changes” button.
6.Now you’re ready to select the layout of the pages so that content can be added to them. From the WordPress Dashboard, select “Pages,” then select “All Pages.” Scroll to the Home page area and click edit. There are several tabs at the top of the interface, but we’ll only focus on the “Add Widget,” “Add Row” and “Layouts” tabs for now.
7.Now, let’s talk about layouts. There are two ways to install a layout on your web pages. You can click on the “Layouts” tab where you will get options of layouts to choose from. You will need to select a layout, then click the “Insert” button. The second way to install a layout is to create your own by using the “Add Row” and “Add Widget” tabs. The “Add Row” tab gives you the option of choosing the number and size of the row. The widgets tab allows you to install widgets within the rows. Follow the steps below to create your own layout.
- Click the “Add Row” tab, then select the desired number and size of the row. Click the “Insert” button.
- Click inside of the row that you added then click “Add Widget.” Select the “Visual Editor” widget then click the “Save Draft” button.
- To insert content, rollover the right edge of the “Visual Editor” widget and click on “Edit.” In the open widget, click on the “Text” tab and insert text and/or images then click the “Done” button. Once you are at the page interface again, click the “Save Draft” button again.
- Follow the steps above to add more content to your website. Once you’re ready to go live with your website, you can click the “Publish” button.
My next article will provide more detailed information on adding content and widgets to your website. You can add functionality to your website with widgets for calendars, image and photo galleries, social media buttons, and many other elements. In my next article, I’ll provide some tips on how to install some of these elements.
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Diane Penny is a full-stack Web designer, author, and blogger. For more information on how to set up a professional website and stay up-to-date on current Web trends, click the "Subscribe to Feed!" link for our RSS Feedburner feed. You may also use the “Sign-up” button above to subscribe to the "Tech Realm Newsletter." In addition, you will find some great video tutorials on Web design and development by following this link to the Diane Penny Web Design YouTube channel.
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