If you’re reading this, it's likely that you are an entrepreneur starting your first or third business. Maybe you’re a photographer building their portfolio for the first time. Maybe you don’t know what you want to do, but you know you should have some sort of “digital presence”. Whatever position you may be in, the commonality is that it is time for you to build a website.
This isn’t a guide for simply any beginner to get started on Wordpress, the world’s largest publishing platform. This is a guide for the movers and shakers that know it takes a little more than just elbow grease to make things happen and are expecting expansive growth to come.
Who is Wordpress for?
If you’re here, you may also be vetting a few of the other publishing platforms like Squarespace, Weebly, GoDaddy and Wix or any other website contender and are looking for a little more agility in your website.
While it can be confusing to go back and forth between all of the millions of sites… Here's the run of it.
If you know that you will eventually want to have some legit, hardcore features in your website (interactivity, design features and more) then you’ll want Wordpress. Of all the builders, it has the highest learning curve, but also, the most flexibility in customization. Wordpress is great because it has thousands of templates to choose from, plus it is virtually universal. Over half of the world’s websites are built on Wordpress.
Wordpress is a great place to get started but still know that you have the ability to hard code and make additional adjustments later on down the road as you grow.
Wordpress is best for:
- Web creators who have some digital skills (yes, even if you had a Tumblr or Myspace, it counts)
- Small business owners (who will need some more interactivity or design further down the line)
- Medium to Large Business owners
- Freelancers and Agencies with High Design Needs
If you’re simply wanting to set up an e-commerce store or have a no frills and easy to manage site - use one of the others like Squarespace or Shopify that have simple drag and drop features. This way, you won’t need to find a tech whiz to help you make slight tweaks, and just do it yourself.
Everyone wants their site to be PERFECT when they launch, but the truth is- it won’t be. The saying in the startup world goes, “ If you wait for things to be perfect before you launch, you’re too late”.
In life, the ones who win are often the fastest to market, because they are able to test the model out in the real world as opposed to hypothetical arguments and ideations with yourself in the shower.
The first thing you’ll need to do is create an account in Wordpress. It may seem intimidating because of the wild array of options but fear not, we simply need to streamline and design. Before you create an account, think about the main goal of your site. What do you want the visitor to do?
Do you want them to make a purchase? Sign up for a newsletter? Share with a friend? RSVP for an event?
Deciding what your metrics are for success will help to dictate what type of design you should incorporate. For example, if you’re a photographer, you may want to have a website template that offers gallery style imagery to show off your photos.
> Before you create an account, think about the main goal of your site. What do you want the visitor to do?
If you’re a small business you may want to have a shopping cart and simple purchase buttons. As you create an account, try to think of the end goal. The best part is, even though you have created a theme in Wordpress, you can always change it!
Here’s how to create an account in Wordpress.
Next, you’ll create an About Me page on Wordpress. In many instances, the about page is the most viewed page after the homepage. It’s important for your visitors to know what the site is all about. After all, people are more inclined to support a brand when they can align with the mission. This is where you can share your story, why you started the business, why you are here and what is the value for the user.
An about me page can also be more personalized.
But what to write about? Well, the reality is that there are lots of people who can benefit from you sharing your honest story. Did you start your business with $50 and a dream? Did you start doing this when you were 65 and having a career pivot? Vulnerability speaks to customers, and sharing the ins and outs (and not just the perfect parts) can truly help to turn visitors into advocates. Here’s our interactive guide to creating an about me page on Wordpress.
How to Create a Portfolio Page on Wordpress
The portfolio page will be your biggest asset when it comes to showing off your work. Whether you’re a designer, writer, photographer, producer or artist - having a portfolio is the difference between telling someone and showing someone. Many artists break into new industries by doing “spec work” or creating projects “on spec”, for free in order to showcase their talents. These projects, while not necessarily commissioned by a brand or client officially, can be a way for creators to build brand awareness or get hired.
This is a common practice especially in the film production and advertising industries. Here’s how you can create a portfolio page to showcase your work on Wordpress.
There you have it, a beginners guide to setting up your Wordpress account. Be sure to explore this and 4000+ interactive how to guides on our site for free.