You need to get online quickly. You’ve already purchased your hosting and set up your email, but now you need to create your website. The great news is that you can easily create a beautiful website with WordPress.
The open-source platform supports many modern, mobile-responsive themes and with its intuitive dashboard, customizing your website is a breeze. This guide will help you build your professional WordPress website fast.
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Plan Your Website
To make the best use of your time, the first thing you should do before jumping into the build of your website is planning it out. Think about and categorize the pages and items you definitely want on your website when it first launches versus the pages and items that can be added further down the road. Like most digital marketing assets, your website can and should be constantly updated. What you decide now isn’t etched in stone, you can always change your website as your business and audience grow.
The easiest way to plan out your website is to think about how you want end-users to interact with your website. When they land on your homepage, what will they see and what action do you want them to take? In addition, what other information or features to you want to make available to them?
For example, if you’re starting a life coaching business, on your homepage you may want end users to see your headshot and a short welcome message followed by a summary of your services. The action you may want them to take is to contact you to schedule a session.
Continuing with the above example, based on the needs listed and the desired action by the end-user, the life coaching website should at least start off with a home, about, services and contact page. In addition, the home page should have a section for services, a section about the life coach, and buttons to schedule a session linked to the contact page.
Planning out your website will help you focus your build efforts and launch your new site quickly!
Choose a Theme
With your website plan created and WordPress installed, it’s now time to choose your theme. A WordPress theme is a template design that allows you to create a beautiful website quickly. The design of the theme is carried throughout your entire site, so you do not have to code certain repeating elements, like fonts and colors, on every page you create. This saves you time and allows you to focus on the main elements of your site, like content and functionality.
Depending on your website plan and business needs, some themes may be better for your online marketing and growth. Certain themes have specific elements for particular businesses. For example, themes leaning towards visual businesses like photography have more gallery layouts for images, or a theme may have eCommerce integration for a business hoping to sell products or services in the future.
Though you should choose your theme with care and consideration, also know that the theme can always be changed later down the road. The beauty of WordPress is its customization and flexibility. Choose the theme that best fits your needs now. Overall, most themes are already mobile responsive, allow eCommerce solutions, and work with the majority of the plugins on the market.
Customize Your Website
After you’ve chosen and installed your WordPress theme, it’s time to customize your website in preparation for launch! Because of the intuitive nature of the WordPress dashboard, and the added ease of using a theme, customizing your website will be a breeze. However, here are a few considerations for each main section of your website to ensure you get the most out of your new investment.
- Homepage: Your homepage is the first thing an end-user sees when they land on your website. Your homepage should (through visuals and copy) tell them what your business is about, as well as encourage them to take a promoted action — like contacting you for more information. When customizing your homepage, make sure you have these essential website elements to increase your online traffic and profits.
- Inside Pages: Your inside pages give the end-user more information about your business. You may have a services page that lists out and details each service your business offers. If your business hosts events, you may have a page with a calendar of events and/or event registration information. Overall, the purpose of your inside pages is to provide additional information a user may need to make the decision to hire or purchase from your business.
However, of note, the content on your inside pages should not be more than two Word documents with a 12 point, double-spaced font. Long, dense content will overwhelm the end-user and dilute your brand message. They will not read blocks of text and you risk losing leads by having too much content. Keep your content concise and your message clear to help nudge the end-user into making a purchase
- Contact Page: Arguably more important than your homepage, your contact page is the vehicle that allows the end-user to contact you and solicit your business. You can easily create a contact form with one of the many powerful WordPress contact form plugins.
However, in addition to your contact form, also consider adding additional means of contact on your contact page — like a phone number, address, or social media information. Even if that information is in the header or footer of your website, adding it to the contact page gives the customer another avenue for accessing that information.
Launch Your Website
Once you’ve finished customizing your website, before your launch, use SEO plugins to review and optimize your website for search engines. SEO plugins like BoldGrid Easy SEO and Yoast SEO allow you to update your description seen on search engines, as well as give you advice and guidelines on how to better optimize your content for SEO.
Once your website launches, make sure you continuously update your content and the content on linked profiles, like social media accounts. Keeping all of your digital platforms updated will help build trust with end-users and assist in your online growth for the long term.
Need to get online quickly but don’t know where to start? Review our Get Online Quickly ebook to launch your website presence fast and easy!
Congratulations, you now know how to build a professional WordPress website fast. Enjoy your new website and check out our WordPress Education Channel for more tips and tricks.