How to Build a WordPress Website

With WooCommerce

This is a description of the provisioning you get when you commission me to build your website.

Building a WordPress website can be relatively easy or difficult depending on your level of experience with web development and the complexity of the website you want to build. If you’re familiar with basic web development concepts like HTML, CSS,  and have experience working with content management systems, then building a website on WordPress should be relatively straightforward.

Plugins control what your WordPress website does, WordPress themes enable you to change how your site looks

This guide covers how to build a WordPress website using the same software and configuration environment that I use.

Choosing the right domain name is an important part of building a WordPress Website. Your domain name is the address that people will use to access your website, so it’s important to choose a name that is memorable, easy to spell, and relevant to your brand or business.

Here are some tips for choosing a domain name:

Make it easy to spell: Choose a domain name that is easy to spell and pronounce. Avoid using  unusual spellings that might confuse people.

Keep it short: Shorter domain names are usually easier to remember and type. Try to keep your domain name under 15 characters if possible.

Make it memorable: Choose a domain name that is catchy and easy to remember. Consider using a unique word or phrase that is related to your brand or business.

Use keywords: If possible, try to include keywords in your domain name that are relevant to your business or industry. This can help improve your search engine rankings and make it easier for people to find your website.

Consider your branding: Your domain name should be consistent with your branding and messaging. Choose a name that reflects the personality and values of your brand.

Check for availability: Before you choose a domain name, check to make sure it’s available. Use a domain registrar or hosting provider to search for available domain names. Hyphens are your friend.

Choosing a Hosting Provider

When you build a WordPress website, you’ll need to choose a hosting provider to store your website files and make them accessible to the internet. Look for a provider that offers reliable uptime, good customer support, and easy integration with WordPress. After you purchase, it will take some time for the domain to become active- you can check DNS propagation here. You should pay for SSL and request it be auto installed for you.

When your new domain is active go to https://yourname.com/cpanel to install wordpress

Using cPanel

cPanel is a web hosting control panel that makes it easy to manage your website files, databases, email accounts, and more. Softaculous is a script installer in cpanel that lets you quickly install WordPress and other popular software with just a few clicks.

cPanel is a web-based control panel that is commonly used to manage web hosting accounts. It provides a graphical interface that allows you to manage various aspects of your web hosting account, including email accounts, website files, databases, domains, and more. Here are the steps to use cPanel:

  1. Log in to cPanel:
    go to https://yourname.com/cpanel

    Then enter your username and password to log in.

  2. Manage email accounts: cPanel allows you to create and manage email accounts for your domain. You can create new email accounts, set up email forwarding, manage spam filters, and more.
  3. Manage files: You can use cPanel’s file manager to upload and manage your website files, including HTML files, images, and other media. You can also create and manage FTP accounts to upload and download files.
  4. Manage databases: cPanel allows you to create and manage MySQL databases for your website. You can create new databases, manage users, and edit database settings.
  5. Install applications: cPanel includes a tool called Softaculous that allows you to easily install popular web applications like WordPress, WooCommerce and many others.
  6. Manage domains: You can use cPanel to manage your domain names, including adding new domains, setting up subdomains, and managing DNS settings.
  7. View website statistics: cPanel includes a tool called Awstats that allows you to view website traffic statistics, including visitor numbers, page views, and more.

These are just a few examples of what you can do with cPanel. The interface is user-friendly and offers a range of tools to help you manage your website hosting account efficiently.

Softaculous

Softaculous is a software application installer found in cpanel that is commonly included in web hosting control

panels like cPanel. It provides a simple and easy-to-use interface for installing a wide variety of web applications, including content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, and many other popular applications.

Using Softaculous, website owners and administrators can quickly and easily install and manage a wide range of software applications without requiring any technical expertise. Softaculous handles the entire installation process, including creating databases and configuring settings, in just a few clicks.

Softaculous also provides options for automating updates and backups of installed applications, which can help to keep websites secure and up-to-date. Additionally, Softaculous provides a user-friendly interface for managing and uninstalling installed applications.

Overall, Softaculous is a useful tool for website owners and administrators who want to easily install and manage web applications on their servers without requiring technical expertise.

Install WordPress with Softaculous

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Log in to your cPanel account.
  2. Look for the Softaculous Apps Installer icon and click on it.
  3. Once you are inside Softaculous, locate the WordPress icon and click on it.
  4. Click on the “Install Now” button to start the installation process.

Now, let’s go through the installation process step-by-step:

  1. Software Setup: Under the “Software Setup” section, choose the version of WordPress that you want to install. It’s recommended that you install the latest version. You will also need to select the domain name where you want to install WordPress. yourdomain.com/  –  NOT yourdomain.com/wp !
  2. Site Settings: In the “Site Settings” section, enter the name and description of your website. This information will be used to create the title and tagline of your website.
  3. Admin Account: In the “Admin Account” section, enter the username and password for your WordPress admin account. You will use this information to log in to your WordPress dashboard later on.
  4. Choose Language: Choose the language you want WordPress to be installed in. The default language is English, but you can select a different language from the drop-down menu.
  5. Select Plugins and Theme: In the “Select Plugins” and “Select Theme” sections, you can choose to install additional plugins and themes if you want to. However, this is not required, and you can skip this step if you prefer to install them later.
  6. Advanced Options: You can set up automatic backups for your WordPress installation. Daily with a rotation of 2 while in development is appropriate.
  7. Install: After you have configured all the settings, click on the “Install” button to start the installation process. Softaculous will now install WordPress on your server.

Once the installation process is complete, you will see a confirmation message. You can now log in to your WordPress dashboard and start customizing your website.

That’s it! You have successfully installed WordPress using Softaculous.

Choosing a WordPress Theme

A WordPress theme will define the look and layout of your website. There are many free and premium themes available, so choose one that fits your brand and the purpose of your website. Some popular theme marketplaces include ThemeForest and Elegant Themes.

I use Virtue Theme as the most flexible

Virtue Theme

Virtue is a WordPress theme that offers a clean, modern design and a range of customization options. Here are the steps to install the Virtue theme on your WordPress website:

  1.  Log in to your WordPress dashboard, and then go to “Appearance” > “Themes”. Click on the “Add New” button at the top of the page, and then click on “Upload Theme”. Choose the Virtue theme .zip file that you downloaded, and then click “Install Now”.
  2. Activate the Virtue theme: Once the theme has been installed, click on “Activate” to activate the Virtue theme on your website.
  3. Customize the Virtue theme: To customize the Virtue theme, go to “Appearance” > “Customize” in the WordPress dashboard. From here, you can customize various aspects of the theme, such as colors, fonts, and layout options.
  4. You will be prompted to add additional modules from Kadence. Please do so.

That’s it! You’ve now installed and activated the Virtue theme on your WordPress website, and you can start customizing it to create your design.

Installing Plugins

Installing plugins is a great way to add extra functionality to your WordPress website. Here are the steps to install WordPress plugins:

  1. Go to the “Plugins” section of your WordPress dashboard: To get started, log in to your WordPress dashboard and click on “Plugins” in the sidebar menu.
  2. Click on “Add New”: This will take you to the “Add Plugins” page where you can search for and install new plugins.
  3. Search for a plugin: You can search for a plugin by name or keyword in the search box at the top of the page. You can also browse popular or recommended plugins by clicking on the “Featured,” “Popular,” or “Recommended” tabs.
  4. Install the plugin: Once you’ve found a plugin you want to install, click on the “Install Now” button. WordPress will then download and install the plugin.
  5. Activate the plugin: After the plugin has been installed, you’ll need to activate it. To do this, click on the “Activate” button that appears after the plugin has been installed.
  6. Configure the plugin: Once the plugin is activated, you may need to configure its settings. This will vary depending on the plugin, but most plugins have a settings page where you can configure options and set up the plugin to work the way you want it to.

That’s it! You’ve now installed and activated a WordPress plugin. Repeat these steps for any additional plugins you want to install on your website.

WordPress Classic Editor

WordPress Classic Editor is a plugin that restores the previous (classic) WordPress editor interface for creating and editing content. It was introduced as an option in WordPress version 5.0, which replaced the previous editor with a new block editor known as Gutenberg.

The Classic Editor plugin provides a familiar interface that many users prefer, with a single text editor box and traditional formatting buttons. This can be useful for those who are used to the old editor and find the new block editor more difficult to use, or for those who have existing content that was created with the old editor and want to continue using it.

The Classic Editor plugin is available for free in the WordPress plugin repository, and can be installed and activated like any other plugin. Once activated, users can switch between the classic editor and the block editor as needed, or choose to use the classic editor by default for all content creation and editing.

Optimizing Your Website for SEO
Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress plugin that can help optimize your website for search engines. Here’s how to use Yoast SEO:

  1. Install and activate the plugin: To get started, you’ll need to install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. You can do this by going to the “Plugins” section of your WordPress dashboard and searching for “Yoast SEO.”
  2. Configure the plugin settings: Once the plugin is installed, you’ll need to configure the settings. Go to the “SEO” section of your WordPress dashboard and click on “General.” Here you can set up your default SEO settings, including titles and meta descriptions.
  3. Optimize your content: As you create new content for your website, Yoast SEO will provide you with a content analysis that can help you optimize your pages and posts for search engines. When you create a new page or post, scroll down to the Yoast SEO section and enter your focus keyword. Yoast SEO will then analyze your content and provide suggestions for improving your on-page SEO, such as optimizing your title, meta description, and content.
  4. Use the readability analysis: In addition to the content analysis, Yoast SEO also provides a readability analysis that can help you improve the readability of your content. The readability analysis checks for things like sentence length, paragraph length, and use of transition words.
  5. Monitor your site’s SEO health: Yoast SEO also includes a dashboard where you can monitor the health of your site’s SEO. This includes information on crawl errors, indexability, and XML sitemaps.

Yoast SEO is a powerful tool that can help you optimize your website for search engines. By following the recommendations provided by Yoast SEO, you can improve ranking in search and get more traffic.

LiteSpeed Cache

is a WordPress plugin designed to speed up your website by optimizing your site’s performance and delivering faster page loading times. It features server-level cache and a variety of optimization tools that can help improve website speed and reduce server load. The plugin is compatible with popular page builders and supports various content management systems, including WordPress, Magento, Joomla, and Drupal.

LiteSpeed Cache is free to use and provides several features such as cache purge, browser cache, lazy loading, image optimization, and minification. Additionally, the plugin has a premium version that includes advanced optimization features, such as database optimization, object caching, critical CSS generation, and more.

Converter for Media

This is optional and used with Basic preset on Litespeed Cache

Converter for Media is a premium WordPress plugin that optimizes images on your website by compressing and resizing them. It is designed to help improve website performance and speed by reducing the size of images without compromising their quality.

The plugin is capable of optimizing both new and existing images on your WordPress site. It uses advanced compression algorithms to reduce the size of image files while maintaining their visual quality. The plugin also supports bulk optimization of images, which can save you time if you have a large number of images on your site.

In addition to image compression and resizing, Converter for Media also offers other features such as:

  • WebP image format support: This feature enables you to convert your images to the WebP format, which is optimized for the web and can significantly reduce image file sizes.
  • Lazy loading: This feature delays the loading of images until they are actually needed, which can help reduce the initial page load time of your website.
  • Image backups: The plugin can automatically create backups of your original images before optimizing them, ensuring that you have a copy of the original file in case you need it later.

Converter for Media is a useful plugin for website owners who want to optimize their images and improve the performance

Site Kit by Google

Site Kit by Google is a free WordPress plugin that enables you to easily integrate various Google services and tools into your website. The plugin provides you with valuable insights into your website’s performance, as well as helps you optimize your website for better search engine rankings.

Site Kit by Google supports the following Google services:

  1. Google Analytics: This service helps you track your website’s traffic, page views, user behavior, and more. With Site Kit, you can view your Analytics data directly from your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Google Search Console: This service helps you monitor and improve your website’s presence in Google search results. With Site Kit, you can view your Search Console data directly from your WordPress dashboard.
  3. Google AdSense: This service helps you monetize your website by displaying ads on your pages. With Site Kit, you can view your AdSense data directly from your WordPress dashboard.
  4. Google PageSpeed Insights: This service helps you optimize your website’s speed and performance. With Site Kit, you can view your PageSpeed Insights data directly from your WordPress dashboard.

Site Kit by Google makes it easy to integrate these services into your website, as you no longer need to manually add tracking codes or authentication tokens. Once you’ve installed and configured the plugin, you can view all of your Google data directly from your WordPress dashboard.

In summary, Site Kit by Google is a useful plugin for website owners who use Google services and want to easily access their data and optimize their website for better search engine rankings.

Submitting Your Website to Google Search

Google Search Console

Once your website is live, you’ll want to make sure it’s indexed by Google and other search engines. To submit your website to Google, go to the Google Search Console, Then, use the Submit URL tool to request that Google crawl and index your website.

Google Search Console is a free web service provided by Google that helps website owners and webmasters monitor, maintain, and improve the presence of their websites in Google search results. The tool provides valuable insights into how Google crawls and indexes your website, and can help you identify and fix any issues that may be affecting your search engine rankings.

Some of the key features of Google Search Console include:

  1. Search Analytics: This feature enables you to track your website’s search performance, including search queries, click-through rates, and average position in search results.
  2. Sitemaps: This feature allows you to submit a sitemap of your website’s pages to Google, helping the search engine discover and index your content more efficiently.
  3. Coverage Report: This feature shows you the indexing status of your pages and alerts you to any errors or issues that may be preventing Google from crawling and indexing your content.
  4. Security Issues: This feature alerts you to any security issues on your website, such as malware or hacked content, that may be affecting your search engine rankings.
  5. Mobile Usability: This feature helps you ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and provides a good user experience on mobile devices.

By using Google Search Console, you can gain valuable insights into how Google views and ranks your website, and make changes to improve your search engine

Tracking Your Website’s Performance with Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service provided by Google that helps website owners and marketers track and analyze website traffic and user behavior. The service provides valuable insights into how users interact with your website, what pages and content they engage with the most, and where they are coming from.

Google Analytics uses a tracking code that you install on your website to collect data about user activity, such as the number of visitors, the pages they visit, the duration of their visit, and how they arrived at your site (e.g., through search engines, social media, or referral sites). The service then aggregates this data and presents it in a user-friendly dashboard, which allows you to analyze your website’s performance and make data-driven decisions about your marketing strategy.

Some of the key features of Google Analytics include:

  1. Real-time reporting: This feature allows you to see how many visitors are currently on your website and what they are doing in real-time.
  2. Audience insights: This feature provides information about your website’s visitors, including their demographics, interests, and behavior.
  3. Acquisition reporting: This feature shows you where your website traffic is coming from, such as search engines, social media, or referral sites.
  4. Behavior reporting: This feature provides insights into how users interact with your website, including what pages they visit, how long they stay on each page, and what actions they take (such as filling out a form or making a purchase).

By using Google Analytics, you can gain a deeper understanding of your website’s performance and user behavior, which can help you optimize your website for better user experience and increase conversions

Wordfence security plugin

Wordfence is a security plugin for WordPress websites that provides a range of security features to protect your website from various types of cyber threats. Here are some of the main features of the Wordfence plugin:

  1. Firewall: Wordfence includes a firewall that helps to block malicious traffic and prevent hackers from accessing your website.
  2. Malware scanner: Wordfence includes a malware scanner that can detect and remove malware from your website. It can also monitor your website files for changes and alert you if any suspicious activity is detected.
  3. Login security: Wordfence provides various login security features, such as two-factor authentication, brute force protection, and login page CAPTCHA, to prevent unauthorized access to your website.
  4. Live traffic view: Wordfence includes a live traffic view that allows you to monitor your website traffic in real-time and block any suspicious activity.
  5. IP blocking: Wordfence allows you to block specific IP addresses or entire IP ranges to prevent access from known malicious IPs.
  6. Email alerts: Wordfence can send you email alerts if any suspicious activity is detected on your website, such as failed login attempts, file changes, or malware infections.

Here are the steps to install and configure the Wordfence plugin in WordPress:

  1. Log in to your WordPress website’s dashboard.
  2. In the left sidebar, go to Plugins > Add New.
  3. In the search box, type “Wordfence” and press Enter.
  4. Find the Wordfence Security plugin and click on the “Install Now” button.
  5. After the installation is complete, click on the “Activate” button.
  6. Once the plugin is activated, you will see a new menu item in the left sidebar called “Wordfence”. Click on it to access the plugin settings.
  7. The first time you access the Wordfence dashboard, it will prompt you to enter your email address to create an account. Follow the instructions to set up your account.
  8. Once you have created an account, you can configure the plugin settings. Here are some of the main settings you should consider:
  • Firewall: You can enable or disable the Wordfence firewall and configure the settings to your liking.
  • Scanning: You can schedule regular malware scans of your website and configure the scan settings.
  • Login security: You can enable two-factor authentication, configure password strength requirements, and set up other login security settings.
  • Live traffic view: You can enable or disable the live traffic view and configure the settings to your liking.
  • Email alerts: You can configure email alerts for various security events, such as when a new user is created or when a malware scan detects an issue.
  1. Once you have configured the settings, click on the “Save Changes” button to save your settings.

With these steps, you should now have Wordfence installed and configured on your WordPress website to help protect it from various cyber threats

By using the Wordfence plugin, you can significantly improve the security of your WordPress website and protect it from various types of cyber threats.

Ready for Woo Commerce

To add WooCommerce to your WordPress site, you can follow these steps:

  1. Install and activate the WooCommerce plugin:
    • Go to your WordPress dashboard, and navigate to Plugins > Add New.
    • Search for “WooCommerce” in the search bar, and click “Install Now” next to the WooCommerce plugin.
    • Once installed, click “Activate” to activate the plugin.
  2. Setup the WooCommerce plugin:
    • After activating the plugin, WooCommerce will prompt you to set up some basic options, such as currency, shipping, and payment methods.
    • Follow the prompts and fill out the necessary information.
  3. Add products:
    • Go to Products > Add New in your WordPress dashboard.
    • Fill in the product information, such as name, description, price, and images.
    • Repeat this step for each product you want to add.
  4. Customize your store:
    • You can customize the look and feel of your store by going to Appearance > Customize in your WordPress dashboard.
    • From there, you can customize your theme, colors, fonts, and more.

Your WordPress site should now have WooCommerce installed and ready to use.