This is an overview page to take you through the process of setting up a brand new WordPress blog or website.
I’ve broken down the process into a set of step-by-step instructions, each with a tutorial to show you how to do it.
1. Get a Domain Name & Hosting
You have to decide what web address you want your blog or website to live at.
If you don’t already own your domain name, you can buy it when you sign up for hosting by following the steps in this video.
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If you’ve already purchased your domain name through GoDaddy or a similar registrar, you’ll want to follow the steps in this video instead:
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We strongly recommend using InMotion Hosting to host your blog or website. SetUpWP visitors save over 50% on their hosting plans by using our affiliate link.
If you’ve followed the steps in those videos, you should have WordPress installed at your domain.
Now it’s time to start customizing your blog or website.
2. Do Some Housekeeping
Before we get into the design of your site, it’s a good idea to do a little bit of housekeeping in your WordPress admin area.
I like to change the permalinks to use the post name. Then I like to make your media files upload into one folder. You can also set the proper timezone for your site, and edit your site’s title and tagline.
It only takes a minute or two, and you can follow along in the steps of this video.
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3. Install a WordPress Theme
Now you’re ready to start customizing the design of your site.
WordPress uses a template-based design system called Themes. There are a ton of places you can buy WordPress themes.
We strongly recommend StudioPress themes, and use them for all of our own websites.
We own the StudioPress Pro Plus theme package which gives you access to every theme StudioPress makes (including all future themes they develop); but you can also just buy their themes individually.
A quick note about choosing a theme: There are thousands of WordPress themes you can choose from, and my development company has worked with hundreds of different themes over the years. We’ve found that it’s worth spending a little bit of money to buy a theme from an actual company that is going to be around as long as your website is around. You want to be able to get support and updates when you need them. Some of the themes sold by independent developers are great, but we’ve had trouble getting support from some of them. On the other hand, StudioPress themes power more than 100,000 WordPress sites, and are built on rock-solid code. They’re the leading company in the premium WordPress theme space, have a fantastic support team, gorgeous designs that look great on all devices (including mobile devices), and airtight security. That’s pretty much all I have to say about choosing a theme. I’ll be using a StudioPress theme for the rest of this guide, but you can still follow along using any theme you like.
This video shows you how to install a WordPress theme.
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4. Create Some Posts and Pages
Your WordPress site needs some content, so it’s time to create some posts and pages.
I’ve created a quick guide explaining the difference between Posts and Pages here. http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/what-is-the-difference-between-posts-vs-pages-in-wordpress/
Basically, if you’re using WordPress as a blog, you’ll want to use Posts for most of your content. You can put Posts into Categories and display them in reverse-chronological-order (newest stuff on top).
It makes sense to use Pages for more static content. On this site, most of the tutorials (including this one) are built using Posts. I’m using Pages for the WordPress Resources page and the About page because those pages don’t change much over time.
This video will show you how to create a new Post, including some formatting tips for adding images, embedding a video, styling text, and adding links in your content.
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5. Installing WordPress Plugins
Because WordPress is an ecosystem, there are thousands of great plugins you can use to add extra features to your website or blog.
We’ve mentioned some of our favorite WordPress plugins on the Resourses page. __link
One of my top recommended plugins is called Gravity Forms. I use it to power the contact forms on this site.
I shot this video for you to show you how to install Gravity Forms and configure it to create a contact form on your site.
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Check out our other recommended WordPress plugins here. __anchor link to resources page SEO, Social Sharing,
6. Connect Your Email List
If you’re building a blog or a business website, you really need to be leveraging the power of email marketing.
We use a simple free plugin that works with StudioPress themes to connect a nice email subscribe form.
You can see a video of us installing and configuring the plugin to work with our Aweber email marketing service.
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__ Check out our tutorial about Advanced Email Marketing for some great ideas on how to build your email list faster. (LeadBoxes, OptinMonster)
7. Get Support & Maintenance
Take a deep breath. You’ve already done a ton of work. You’ve set up your web hosting plan, installed WordPress, installed a theme, published a few posts or pages, installed a plugin or two, connected your email list. Wow! Pat yourself on the back because you’re officially a web developer.
But what if you need a little extra help? Maybe you want to customize your theme a bit, or you’re stuck trying to get some formatting just right.
If only there were an amazing and affordable WordPress help service you could turn to… Hmm… maybe it’s time to check out WP Curve.
WP Curve is pretty much the most amazing thing to happen to the WordPress ecosystem in the last few years. It’s a subscription service that offers 24-hour live support, maintenance, and small fixes for WordPress sites, starting at $69 per month. I honestly don’t know how they can afford to charge such a small fee because they offer unlimited jobs and live support. Anyway, it’s a pretty amazing service run by world class developers, and I highly recommend it.