WordPress is a platform for creating websites which allows you to set up and update a website without needing to know how to program one from scratch. It originally started to create a blog but has become quite popular for all types of websites. The chances are that you go to a website that uses WordPress daily. It now powers 26% of websites.
For most businesses, WordPress is a great way to get a website up quickly and for you to be able to customize it to your needs. There are a few things to consider before diving in.
Hosted vs. Self-hosting
The first thing you need to decide is if you want to host your WordPress site yourself or pay a company to host it for you. Either way you are going to need to pay for hosting but specialty WordPress hosts tend to be a bit more expensive than a regular website host.
If you want to host your site yourself then there are many guides to help you through the process. If you want to use a specialized WordPress host, then you will be able to get started a little faster but it will cost you a bit more in the long run.
What many non-technical people do not know about websites is that there is a separation between functionality and design. Themes are what cause your website to look the way it does from the way it is laid out, to the colors, and even the fonts that are used.
A new WordPress site starts with a simple, default theme which is often a white background with a menu on one side and your site name on top. But there are an unlimited number of ways you can design a website and many people have created themes that will help you do that. You can download some themes for free by searching on Google for “free WordPress themes”. Other themes can be purchased from marketplaces such as Themeforest (https://themeforest.net/category/wordpress).
As opposed to themes providing your website design it is plugins that provide the functionality. There is a vast “plugin ecosystem” for WordPress so for almost anything you want your website to do you can by using a plugin. Most plugins are free but there are also premium plugins that provide high levels of functionality for businesses.
You can search for plugins right inside of WordPress by clicking on Plugins on the left side of the admin panel. Find a plugin and click install. Each plugin then has settings you can use to customize it to just how you want it.
Keep it Updated
Because WordPress is so popular it is also a popular target for hackers. Luckily a lot of people work on WordPress so when a security vulnerability is discovered they quickly provide patches for it. If you host your own WordPress site, then you want to set a reminder on your calendar (at least weekly) to log in and check for updates. It only requires a couple of clicks and a couple of minutes to make sure your site is up-to-date.