Nowadays, almost every company must have a website, being the business visible on the internet is something that most entrepreneurs must have. Today, being visible on search engines is much more difficult than ever and it is not enough just to build a web page. This is why most companies are looking for top agencies and software solutions in order to receive qualified professional help. Other companies, such as start-ups, choose to build their own website to reduce costs, and WordPress is the most popular open-source content management system that helps you build your website. But we will see that just creating a website is not enough to have a successful website.
This article is intended for those who want to build their own website and attract visitors using the existing resources found on the internet and there are many. In the article we have introduced 4 steps where anyone should consider them when creating a successful website.
Building the WordPress Website
Domain - First of all, you need a domain name for your website. If you don't already have one, you can buy the domain name directly from the hosting service where you intend to host your website avoiding any complications like DNS settings, domain transfer, etc.
Hosting - Assuming you have the domain name, now you can buy a hosting service for your domain. Usually, the site where you bought the domain name also has hosting packages. The domain name will point to the host from where your website will be loaded. Almost all hosting companies offer dedicated wordpress hosting packages at good prices such as the well-known ones: GoDaddy, Namecheap, Hostgator, Dreamhost, Bluehost etc. Most packages offer CPanel access to a standard LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) configuration, storage and bandwidth, everything you need to deploy a wordpress site.
There are also cloud-based hosting services from Digital Ocean, AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, IBM, Rackspace, etc., but you need a system administrator to set up a physical / virtual server that allows scalability and optimizations for more advanced requirements.
Installing WordPress - Installing wordpress is quite easy once you have the hosting service ready. There are a lot of tutorials on the internet on how to install and it usually takes about 2 minutes to finish. WordPress files can be downloaded from the official website and then you can upload them via CPanel / FTP, create a database and then follow the instructions to configure the final steps and complete the installation.
Web Design - Once WordPress is installed, the website can be loaded by default from the internet browser. But the process has just begun, because you will need a branded design and content for the website. There are several ways in which you can design your site in wordpress. For example, you can start using a free or paid template that matches your requirements. For paid templates, Themeforest is one of the best resources, with a wide range of templates organized by business categories. You can use a free or paid template, and it can be customized in the WordPress content management system, but one of the easiest and most intuitive ways to design your website is to use the Elementor plugin. Elementor helps to design the website without having to code, just using a very intuitive interface with a wide range of customization options.
For advanced requirements, it's best to hire an agency or freelancer to design your site, either using a template and customizing it as a starting point, or making a custom template coded from scratch. Here you will need a well documented project and qualified developer to help you.
I think the most important part of a successful website is security, so none of the above helps if you don't protect your site as well. Following a few things will ensure the security you need for your site.
Domain privacy - Although it is not mandatory when you buy a domain, you can optionally add domain privacy as well. Some domain name registrars offer it for free in the first year, and other companies ask for extra cost when buying the domain name. The privacy service will turn the domain user information, found on WHOIS directories, to a different information provided by the domain name registrar. This reduces possible attacks by not finding personal information attached to your domain on WHOIS directories such as contact data.
SSL certificates - It is a digital encrypted certificate to prove ownership of a domain and is guaranteed by the authority that issued it. Internet browsers check the validity of the certificate so that users can safely browse the website. SSL certificates prevent sensitive data from being stolen from the website. It also plays a role in improving the visibility of a website on major search engines. I would include an SSL certificate as required when launching a website.
CAPTCHA - When designing the website, we recommend that you include CAPTCHA in all contact forms and blog comments to determine whether or not the user is a human. This will prevent attacks such as SPAM and phishing messages.
Strong passwords - We recommend to use more than 8 characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation and special symbols. Another good practice is to change the password on a regular basis.
Website updates - Always update the website when necessary and hide the URL path to wp-admin from being accessed by anyone.
Top WordPress Plugins to Use
We have been building WordPress websites since 2010 and, based on our experience, we have come up with the top 14 plugins that we believe any website made in WordPress should have.
Elementor - The plugin allows users to create and edit website pages using a drag-and-drop technique.
Autoptimize - An important plugin to increase the response speed of the webpage using the cache memory.
Akismet - Anti-spam plugin.
Contact Form 7 - The most used contact form for WordPress, there are many other plugins available that add more features to this plugin.
Disqus for WordPress - Replace the standard wordpress comment system with one trusted by millions of publishers.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP - An easy and intuitive way to track your website visitors.
Really Simple Captcha - Apply CAPTCHA to contact forms.
Really Simple SSL - Easily migrate your website to SSL.
Smush Image Optimization - Increase page load speed by optimizing all images found on your website with a single click.
UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore - Back up your WordPress files whenever needed, with many features, even with the free version.
Yoast SEO - The plugin is very important when you start to optimize the website for search engines.
Yoast SEO: Search Index Purge - Another SEO plugin to purge attachment URLs from Google index.
WP Mail SMTP - We recommend that you send emails using a cloud-based SMTP service, the plugin helps you easily connect with their APIs such as: SendGrid, Gmail, Pepipost, etc.
Most of the plugins listed above also have a premium version, but they also have a consistent free version that will allow you to start using it on your website.
Website promotion starts during construction and an important part is its webpage optimization for search engines, in other words on-page SEO. There is a lot of information about on-page SEO on the internet. In order to rank higher in search engines, you need to create your content in a way that attracts relevant traffic, this can be done by carefully placing keywords and meta tags on the website. Finding the right keywords can take some time, and you have helpful tools to work with, such as Google Keyword Planner and Search Console. There are many professional SEO and marketing agencies that can help you when you do not have the knowledge and time to optimize your website, but for those with a tight budget and availability, following the steps below can produce excellent results.
Off-Page SEO - I think the most important part in optimizing your website is having quality backlinks that points to your website. This plays an important role in ranking your website among search engines and increases your domain authority (DA) score. Building your backlink network takes time and effort, as it must come from relevant, "natural" and high-ranking domains. Backlinks can come from news, PR articles, guest posting, directories, etc. You will find a lot of information across the internet about backlinks, also called inbound links.
Inbound Marketing - Lately, inbound marketing has become an important part of the marketing process as it helps increase traffic by attracting visitors to your website with useful information, generally with information in the field in which the organization is active. This can be done by placing useful content on web pages, news, insights, blog posts on a regular basis.
Paid Marketing Campaigns - Paid advertising campaigns require preparation and time both for the website, such as building landing pages (for target customers and metrics), and in terms of budget optimization. We recommend working with an experienced marketing agency before you start spending money on a marketing campaign. They will help you control your budget and find the best advertising channels for your website.
If you still want to find an agency to build your website, we can help you with your request, we can help you with the project scope and find out the implementation costs before anything else. Go to our contact page, fill in the required information and one of our staff will contact you for more help.