Your WordPress Website – First Steps After a Fresh Install
By tradition we keep posting articles for web beginners. This time we will pay more attention on how to build a website by using WordPress. WordPress installation will take only a few minutes through the cPanel and the Softaculous library, which are available in every shared hosting and Managed VPS plan.
Congratulations! You have just installed WordPress! What's next?
Even if you have chosen a theme before installing WordPress, it now doesn't look anything like the preview. You wanted a website, but you've got a blog? Not exactly! WordPress is basically a blogging platform, but with only a few clicks you can turn the freshly installed blog into a magnificent website!
Choosing a theme
There are many prerequisites when choosing a theme. The installation itself is done easily through the website administration. You can edit the theme settings: you can change colors, add background images, logo or a favicon. In this way you will make your website one of a kind as you are using the unique colors of your brand with no need to delve into the theme code.
Most of the websites consist of pages, regardless of what their topic is and who they are intended for. The main pages which the majority of the sites have are:
- About us
If your website is about a family-run hotel, you can create a page for the different room types – single, double, studio or suite. If your website is offering SPA treatments, you can add single pages for massage, sauna, fitness, swimming pool, different sports activities, etc., or for all products and brands if your website is a corporate one.
Pages are edited easily and quickly. Furthermore, you can change the content anytime.
If you are having a news, lifestyle, or recipes website, and you are providing useful information that is rapidly growing and changing, it is not the best approach to create a single page for publishing new information. Instead, you can use posts (articles). They are also very easily edited, but have the advantage that allows them to be grouped into categories. If you do not need separate categories, but you wish to add "News", "Events" or "Blog" section, you should use the posts again (for example, if you are selling furniture or are offering interior design services, you can use the "News" section to publish interesting information on design tends, tips for furniture manufacturing and the techniques or materials used).
As you already have guessed, categories include groups of publications on the same topic. Categories are very useful for media websites or blogs. For example, if you have a lifestyle news site you can add categories like: "Curious", "Style", "Fashion", "Culture", etc. If you are going to post cooking recipes, you can add single categories for appetizers, main dishes, desserts, drinks, etc. You can also add subcategories. The subcategories for main dishes might include chicken meals, pork meals, rice meals, vegetarian dishes, etc.
Each website has a menu where categories and pages are ordered, but your website still does not look like this? Although you have added many pages to the website, it is possible that they are still not displayed anywhere. The reason is that they are not present in the website theme yet. You can do this by adding a menu. The menu contains the categories and pages which will show on your website navigation. The best part is that you can add items to your menu (for example, if you stop with the mouse over the "News" section, a drop-down menu with "News from Bulgaria" or "International news" will appear) or if you are building a beauty studio website and stop over the hairdressing services, a drop-down menu for "Short hair", "Long hair", "Curly hair", "Straight hair" will appear.
You can also add different plugins to the menu. For example, you may install a gallery plugin. After you set up a gallery, you can create a new gallery page and add it to the menu. In this way you will have a "Gallery" or "Images" section where the visitors will be able to get more familiar with your work, projects or your team. In an upcoming article we will tell you more about the plugins.
What should I do with the widgets?
Your website now looks less like a blog. But you can still see annoying and awkward elements like comments, archive, calendar, meta information or an admin login form. It is a good idea to leave some of them on your site, but you might not like where they are displayed. You can add, delete and move them through the WordPress administration by using widgets. Widgets provide the information that is displayed on the sidebars, as well as on the header and footer.
- We recommend using pages which you can group together in the menu in order to add products, brands and services on your website.
- To add news, tips, recipes or useful information, use posts by grouping them in appropriate categories and adding them to the menu.
- Use both pages and categories in your website navigation and frequently ask yourself the question: "What do I want the visitors of my website to see and how should I make it easy to access?"