If you want to set up a website from the beginning, that will serve you well in the long run, you really need to go with WordPress.
There are other options, but WordPress has become the internet standard for websites.
There is a reason more than half of the websites on the internet utilize WordPress as their vehicle for content management and design. It has to do with usability.
You see, WordPress makes it easy for you to build and modify your website with little to no coding experience.
Plus, WordPress is free.
They have tons of themes to choose from, and those themes can be easily modified through the use of plug-ins.
A plug-in is simply a small application that you upload to your WordPress site allowing it to perform a different function or add a different function to specific sections of your site.
Plugins allow for complete and total customization.
You don't need to know how to write any code! Plugins do the work for you!
Even further, most plug-ins come with a support capability, and most come with an upgrade option.
For instance, if you want to use a contact form for the “Contact Us” page on your website, simply install the “Contact Form 7” plug-in and you are ready to go.
You only have two forms available to modify with the free version, but that is no problem.
By paying paying to upgrade to the full version, you will unlock many other features.
That is the beautiful thing about WordPress and its plug-ins. Most of the plug-ins work great without upgrading to paid features.
However, if you want to upgrade them, doing so is very easy, and does not affect your website or its code, in the least.
This saves you incredible time and expense in the long run.
Theme is Everything
The main thing you want to consider when installing your WordPress site is theme.
It is what your customers will come to know as your personality online.
It is simply a basic layout and design scheme for your site.
WordPress literally has thousands of themes available.
You can find them at places like:
and of course, the WordPress site itself.
There are also a ton of other theme providers you can find with a quick Google search.
Many of these are free.
Others are paid.
You can also upgrade many of the free themes to a paid version in order to unlock more functionality or layout options.
This is why WordPress reigns king in the online world.
The ability to take an existing theme and customize it without using traditional HTML coding has made web design possible for even the most unskilled novice.
Look at my site, jasonwbritt.com. It's not the most fantastic site, but it works, and I did it myself.
Plugins are the new HTML code baby!
Get a Paid Theme
However, since you are going with a theme, why not get a paid theme.
The cost outlay is very minimal considering what it would cost you to hire a web design company, and it comes with a lot of extra bonuses that make it more than worthwhile.
For instance, security is much more secure with paid themes.
The developer constantly updates the code and keeps the theme defended against potential holes for cyber attacks.
This is not the case with free versions.
Once those themes are uploaded, they are kind of left to their own devices.
Over time, the internet grows and adapts, but the free theme does not.
This is very dangerous for your website because it leaves it wide open and vulnerable to attacks.
Second, with a paid theme, you get continuous support from the developer and access to critical updates that address issues of design or functionality.
Most of the paid themes range between $50-$150 for full versions.
That is a drop in the bucket compared to what you would spend hiring a web design firm to create a custom theme for you.
But where to start?
Which theme is best?
How will I know?
What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Fear not my friends. I have you covered.
Simply answer the following questions.
Question to Ask When Choosing Your Theme
Does it have support?
As I mentioned earlier, a good theme will have proper support and is often time backed by a full-fledged development team.
This is important for having a site that consistently delivers.
How is the SEO
Most paid themes will have a degree of SEO built into the theme itself to make it easier for Google to find it right out of the box.
Your blog posts, keywords, and web copy all contribute to this; but having a great theme that is SEO ready, and SEO friendly, is crucial.
How much modification is needed?
How much modification is needed?
You will run across a temptation to choose a theme that looks amazing, but actually does not suit your needs very well.
Everyone that has an online business runs into this.
Bells and whistles can hook you in.
To keep that from happening, look carefully at the site and honestly think about how much customization will be needed in order for the site to do, and work, like you want it to.
If you are looking at two or three months of customization, you might want to choose another theme.
Is It too Much?
If a theme is more than $200, keep looking.
You should be able to find great themes for just under $100.
I would spend no more than $150 on a theme because there are literally thousands of great options out there to suit your needs for much lower prices.
Are there any recurring fees?
Be sure to check and see if the theme you are purchasing requires an annual renewal fee.
Typically, once you purchase a theme it is yours for a certain period of time.
You might have to pay for a completely new redesign or pay a support fee every now and then if you need continued access to the development team.
Usually though, these are not cost prohibitive.
Is It Responsive
If a theme is not responsive then DO NOT PURCHASE IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE! Is that clear enough for you?
By responsive, I mean a theme looks good on a desktop computer, tablet, and mobile device such as your smart phone or ebook reader without having to be coded differently.
The theme itself is coded “respond” to a new environment by presenting itself as cohesive and readable, no matter the display device. This makes you look professional and on point. Make sure your theme is responsive.
Nothing is more frustrating than purchasing a great theme only to discover that you have to create separate versions for mobile use.
This is a big pain in the keister and absolutely unnecessary.
There are many phenomenal themes that are responsive right out of the box.
Oh also, the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow (European, not African) is about 24 miles per hour, or 11 meters per second. Now when your Monty Python friends smart off, you can fire back!
Use the tips above to help you get your WordPress site up and running in no time!
Once you choose a hosting company, you can upload your WordPress site and begin customization.
Many web hosting companies offer free WordPress installs to help with the process.
However, if you can follow instructions, installing WordPress on your web hosting company's server by yourself is not that difficult.
The key is to simply keep your strengths in mind.
If you don't want to mess with the headache of an install, select a web hosting company that will handle it for you.
Usually it does not cost any more, and will save you some time.
The big thing to keep in mind is your choice of theme.
Answer the questions above to help you choose a theme that will really make your site stand out and continue to be relevant for several years down the road.
A quick word before we move to the next section.
To maximize your website's potential, it is imperative to have a sales funnel.
Simply put, a sales funnel is a way to capture leads that find their way to your website from one of your blog posts, a paid ad or simple organic traffic.
I have another ebook that addresses this issue specifically. It is a cheap, good read.
This guide will show you how to create a system that works day and night to reel in customers and make sales.