WordPress has won the CMS war. Hands up those who still think Joomla, Drupal or other CMSs can have it right. Hands up, I want to get a good look at them -- because there is no history, and Today I want to talk to you about how easy it is to create a site with WordPress.
WordPress for Online Business
In a matter of a few years, WordPress has managed to take the throne and hold on to it, for a number of reasons, as simple as they have (always) been known to the world of development and computing in general.
To its advantage initially played the concept: an easy-to-manage blog with essential functions, a neat interface, and without a high demand for resources.
Second, it won because of its ease of development. WordPress is the most developed system by independent programmers and major organizations precisely because its modularity and simplicity make it perfect for any use you want to make of it. From personal blogs to corporate intranets, from professional e-commerce sites to communities.
Thanks to the implementation of plugins and themes, today it is possible not only to change the graphic appearance of a site in WordPress in minutes, but also to add incredible new features or completely change its destination, without even knowing a line of programming code and without high costs.
If you're wondering how to install WordPress, I'll tell you right now that it's a piece of cake. WordPress runs great on any shared or super basic hosting service, you really only need the little, configuration LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySql and PHP), which has become the standard (supplanting that thing called ASP on Windows Server), and that you can also afford to install WordPress locally, that is, on your own computer, using free software like MAMP.
How to install WordPress
The best way to do this is to use a shortcut like Fantastico Deluxe or 1 Click Install, two apps found inside cPanel, the most popular control panel (perhaps on par with Plesk) used by many hosting providers.
With a couple of mouse clicks, and a couple of options to choose from (site name and domain to install on), in less than 10 seconds you have created your site in WordPress with an administrator (admin) user configured.
However, if you want to install WordPress locally or don't have cPanel with Fantastico Deluxe et similia, you can always download the installation files from https://it.wordpress.org, unzip the zipper file, send everything to your space or folder locally, create the MySql database and launch the installation.
It may sound complicated, but it's not, so much so that the WordPress team is renowned for creating the "famous 5-minute installation."
You can follow the official step-by-step guide, and in Italian, here:
You will also find there precise instructions on how to install WordPress through different control panels or providers.
Creating a site with WordPress: the features
Blessings be upon plugins! These software components, which you can install without even going through FTP or your server's control panel, allow you to add specific functionality to any WordPress installation.
They range from implementing social sharing buttons to e-commerce engines. It all goes through plugins that can, in some cases, be so complex (but not complicated) that they can upend your site and turn it into the business of your dreams.
One example out of all: WooCommerce. The plugin for making e-commerce websites, which has outperformed all the competition in power and functionality, also because... it's free!
Along with WooCommerce I also want to point you to the best premium plugins (the term commonly used to define paid components):
- WPML Is the standard for multilingual sites. If you want to add content in multiple languages, you need to use this plugin. It makes it easy for you to manage translations for each part of your site and its content.
- Visual Composer is the best plugin you can find on the market for making complex layouts and layouts. It includes dozens of options and ready-made design elements that you can integrate into every page of your website, transforming it as you see fit.
- RapidMailer used in conjunction with an SMTP to send emails, is a great newsletter engine. It integrates directly into your WordPress installation and allows you to collect subscriptions, create autoresponder sequences and registration forms.
- WooCommerce as mentioned just above, is the best WordPress e-commerce engine and in my opinion, the best ever. Capable of supplanting Magento, Prestashop and all the others, it combines the flexibility of WordPress with its innate ease of use. It also has a far less steep learning curve than other systems, which in a nutshell means: you install it and you're up and running in a couple of hours.
- Bookly is the ideal plugin for those who want to manage reservations of any kind: from restaurant to dentist, from mechanic to hotel. It accepts online payments with Stripe, Paypal, 2CO and others, is responsive and works great!
- If you want to collect email addresses more effectively, you have to have a popup, and Ninja Popups is what you need. With 1 click you install a complete popup system that you can hook up to any provider (Mailchimp, GetResponse, Aweber, Infusionsoft...) and thus have beautiful, feature-rich popups.
Creating a site with WordPress: the theme (or template)
The second component you definitely need to consider If you want to create a site with WordPress is the theme or template. It began as the component dedicated to appearance: graphics, layout, structure, but thanks to the enormous development that this CMS has had and its incredible flexibility, today you can find themes that also fulfill many functions, taking the game to another level.
Whereas until a few years ago to make, I don't know, a classifieds portal with WordPress you first had to look for a nice theme and then install all the plugins needed to transform it properly, today there are themes that carry all the functionality with them.
In a nutshell: for many types of businesses today, it is sufficient to purchase a premium theme, without any other expense or addition.
I give some examples here:
- Listable tipermits you to create a directory, giuda or information portal, TripAdvisor style. It handles everything from photo galleries of stores, to a map with directions, to selling access to the merchant who wants to manage his or her own page. Nice huh...?
- If you are a professional photographer (or would like to become one), you cannot ignore Photography. This theme offers a series of incredibly curated layouts for managing your photo portfolio, with dedicated features, dynamic galleries and, of course, selling your shots or services thanks to compatibility with WooCommerce.
- Okay that the real estate market is in a depression, but that does not mean that we should give up on property management in a smart way and especially with a marketing perspective. Real Home is one of many themes (the best-selling one now), for real estate agencies. At only $59 you end up with a complete, elegant and very easy-to-use system for managing all your locations.
- Finally, if you work in fashion or otherwise want an e-commerce that is flexible and at the same time polished in image and layout, I recommend you take a look at Flatsome. Compatible with WooCommerce and very, very nice.
Creating a site with WordPress: the difficulties
OK, all that glitters is not gold, there are in fact difficulties that you may encounter when you set out to create a site with WordPress.
The first difficulty is: installing the components.
It is true that they upload directly from the restricted area, but not everyone knows how to pick up the files and send them back to the right place. Sometimes plugins or themes don't work as they should because they conflict with others, that's where, if the component we're trying to make work we've paid for (premium theme), we may well lose patience...
The second problem is: the breadth of choice.
Don't take me for a fool, but sometimes too much choice can be a problem because you don't know which theme or plugin is best, and since the most professional components have (albeit minimal) cost, you can't afford to try them all.
While for the first problem you have to follow the old strategy of "try and try again, you'll be luckier" (at least until you've gained confidence or experience with WordPress), in the second case you can use this theme called Be that you can find on ThemeForest at this link, to have the opportunity to install, test, experiment, delete or do whatever you like, without the risk of doing damage, and with an already refined choice of more than 210 templates and components that allow you to make the YOUR CUSTOM THEME, whatever your type of business is.
So, using the theme Be you will be able to create:
- sales pages or landing pages
- Authoritative websites (for professionals, coaches, authors...)
- pages for downloading your content
- product review websites
- personal blogs
- photo galleries
- pages with video in the background
and then 3d animations, a library full of graphic elements to use, compatibility with WooCommerce and much more.
Be is in English but it is really trivial to use, the terms used are simple and intuitive, the support and community are great so that you too, step by step, will discover how to create a site with WordPress by installing this top-notch premium theme.
Update August 2021.
Keeping up with the evolutions of Worpdress is not easy; this CMS platform has become the standard of web design and website creations of all sizes, from personal blogs to e-commerce.
Over time I have continued to follow its evolution, although I have long since (and with great satisfaction) switched to Kajabi, and to publish useful information for all those who still use WordPress as the basis for their online business and the Web marketing strategies.
An interesting article is this one about plugins "The 10 Best Free WordPress Plugins", since the CMS is basically developed by uploading them and a theme.
Meanwhile, builders have also emerged, including. Elementor e Divi.
The mobile part and optimization should not be overlooked.
The first because of the habits of users, who are increasingly mobile, and because of the predilection Google now has for these devices, advantaging in SEO those who have a responsive site or a progressive web app.
If the site is fast, so much the better. Better yet... WordPress web page loading performance-which in itself is not the best-can be greatly improved by tools that take the trouble to optimize pages and code.
The tools I am talking about in this article are Wp Compress e AppMySite of which I wrote an extensive review, which I hope you will find useful.
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