13 Mar How to Set Up a WordPress Site for a Business
WordPress is an open source blogging software that has garnered a large following of online developers and programmers because of its many features, scalability and flexible ease of use. Over time, WordPress has developed into a powerful content management system that allows anyone to add, edit and delete a site’s content without knowing any web programming. Its flexible functionality and the fact that it is completely free and customizable make it a powerful tool for small business webmasters who wish to have complete control over their business website with minimal programming expertise. Following this simple guide, it’s easy to set up a WordPress site for your online business in just a few hours.
Install WordPress on your web host.
Log into your web hosting control panel using the username and password you chose when you set up your web hosting account. Click the “Fantastico” icon. Scroll to the list of blogging platforms and click “WordPress.” Follow the on-screen instructions to install WordPress on your web host. Install the software on the main directory of your domain; do not install it into a sub-directory such as “/blog” or “/home,” because this may confuse your customers and look less professional.
Configure your WordPress settings.
Log into your WordPress dashboard. Typically, you can find the log-in screen by visiting:
http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-adminThe configuration settings have links along the left side of the dashboard. Go through each setting and ensure that they’re all to your liking.
Pay particular attention to the links under the Settings widget.
This is where you can choose exactly how your site will deliver information. Under “General,” input your business name and site description, which will appear in your browser bar and meta tags.
Edit your administrative profile to your liking.
Click “Your Profile” under the “Users” widget. Input as much information about you and your role in your business as you desire.
Add your employees as authorized users.
While logged in to your dashboard, click “Add New” under the “Users” widget on the left side. Follow the on-screen instructions to create additional profiles for any staff members who will help you administer the site. If you’d like them to be able to administer the entire site, including editing and adding pages, choose “Administrator” from the drop-down menu next to the “Role” field.
Select your site theme.
A WordPress theme is the group of files that make up the layout and design of your site. You can upload your own custom WordPress theme via file transfer protocol (FTP), or you can select a free pre-designed theme. Click “Themes” under the “Appearance” widget on the left. Click the “Add New” button and browse through the available free theme gallery until you find one that fits your business image and personal preferences. The theme should also match and look pleasing with your business brand, corporate identity and logo.
Install the theme onto your site.
Click the “Install” link below the desired theme, then click the blue “Install Now” button. Select “Activate” to make the theme live on your site. If you’d like to compare how several different layouts look live on your site, you can install all the themes you like, then click on “Themes” under the “Appearance” widget in your dashboard to preview the themes live on your site.
Add your business logo.
If you have a professionally designed logo, you can add it to your site’s layout for a more branded, professional look. Ensure that your logo is the same height and width as the default header graphic using a graphics software such as Photoshop or GIMP. Some themes allow you to upload your own header graphic directly through their dashboard interface; for others, you must rename the logo to match the file name of the header graphic, then upload it onto your theme’s image directory via FTP. This will overwrite the default header graphic on your theme and replace it with your site’s logo. If you don’t have a logo, just put your site’s name in the “General” link under the “Settings” widget in your dashboard.
Create your site’s static pages.
These are the pages that you don’t anticipate changing often. Click “Add New” under the “Pages” widget on your dashboard and follow the on-screen instructions to create new pages. These pages will automatically show up on your site when you publish them, so choose the names of the pages carefully. Some static pages that are common to business websites include “About Us,” “Mission Statement,” “Customer Testimonials,” “Products,” “Services,” “FAQs” and “Contact.” At minimum, include an “About the Company” page, a page describing your products or services, and a page with your company’s contact information, including your phone number, fax number and email address.
Add your site content.
Anticipate the kinds of information your site visitors may be looking for, then answer them with your page content. For example, if your business has a storefront, include a page with directions on how to get there by car and public transportation. Click the “Publish” button to make each page live on your site. Looking into managing to content management system (.net cms) should be a priority.
Decide if you want the home page of your site to be a blog.
WordPress was originally a blog platform, and it still includes a blog on the home page of each site by default. If you intend to blog for your business, you may be okay with this, so you can leave it as-is. If you’d like a static page to be your home page instead, such as a permanent “Welcome” screen, click the “Reading” link under the “Settings” widget in your dashboard. Click the radial button next to “A static page” in the “Front page displays” field. From the drop-down menu beneath it, select the static page you want to show on your home page. Click the “Save Changes” button when you’re done.
Customize your site’s functionality with plugins.
The WordPress plugins repository has thousands of community-developed plugins, or software add-ons, that help your site do exactly what your business needs it to. For example, if your site is for a hotel, there are reservation and booking plugins; if your site is for a contractor, you can install invoicing and estimate-generation plugins; if your site is an online store, the repository has several powerful shopping carts you can integrate with your site. To install plugins, click “Add New” under the “Plugins” widget and search for the kinds of functions you’d like your site to have. Click the “Install” link to the right of the desired plugin, then click “Activate” to make the plugin live on your site.
Integrate social media.
Social media integration provides a seamless way for your customers to interact with your business and disseminate information about it to everyone they know. Search for and install the Sociable plugin in the plugins repository, then follow the on-screen instructions to customize it. This plugin allows your customers to share any page or post on your site via email, instant messenger, or several dozen social media sites such as Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook – a must for any business.
Add links to your social media pages.
Under the “Appearance” widget in your dashboard, click “Widgets.” This is where you will be able to add boxes of content in the side columns of your layout. Creating a text widget will allow you to add links to your company’s Facebook, Twitter or any other social media pages to help your customers connect with and follow the pages and help you keep in contact with them long after they leave your site.