If you’re an aspiring blogger, photographer, small business owner, or you simply have something you want to share with the world, you may well have considered starting your own website.
You’ve probably done a lot of thinking and planning. You might even have put together some ideas for pages, gathered some media, and written some blog posts. Now that you’re ready to share your content with the whole internet, you need to find the best possible way to publish your new web baby.
Let’s start with the basics.
First, you’ll need web hosting to make your website available 24/7 to the public. You’ll need to publish your website on the web host’s server for it to be available for users to enjoy. Once you have a place for your website to be published, you’ll also need a domain name. Your domain name will be the address that users will type into their browser to access your website. For example, our domain name here is WordPress.com.
Next, you need to work on your site’s user experience. You need to structure your content so as to make it easy for visitors to use and navigate through your site. That can be done by designing your website with the help of a customizable theme, arranging information into a clear structure, and adding videos and images.
In this article, we’ll show you how to publish your website using the WordPress website builder.
Why use WordPress for publishing your website?
The WordPress website builder is your best option for publishing your website, as it offers extensive features and excellent compatibility all around the web.
Let’s take a closer look into why you might want to consider using WordPress for publishing your website:
- WordPress is hands-down the most popular website builder out there. Over 40% of the websites worldwide use WordPress as their website platform.
- WordPress.com takes care of web hosting for you. You can also choose a domain name directly through the platform. This way, you won’t need to go through the hassle of setting up DNS servers or learning how to use a dedicated hosting cPanel. All platform and security updates will be automatically taken care of.
The best part is that you can publish a website with WordPress.com in a few steps.
How to publish a website with WordPress.com
Here, we’ll show you step-by-step how to build and publish a website on WordPress.com. By following the steps outlined below, you’ll be able to get your website online in no time.
Step 1: Sign up to WordPress.com
You might already have content – blog posts, photos, videos, and so on – that you want to publish. The next step is to get it online. If you haven’t done so already, go to WordPress.com to start creating your website.
We recommend going with the WordPress.com plugin-enabled plan for maximizing your chances of success. The WordPress.com plugin-enabled plan offers the best value for small businesses looking to start their website with WordPress.com.
In addition to all of the features you get with the entry-level plan, the plugin-enabled plan offers additional features like the ability to install plugins, advanced search engine optimization (SEO) tools, automated site backups and one-click restore, SSH file transfer protocol, and database access.
Step 2: Choose a domain name
Your site’s domain name is the address where visitors can access your website. It’s the first thing that any visitors will know about you or your site, so picking a good domain name is crucial!
You can choose any domain name that you’d like for your website. It can contain any combination of letters and numbers. Domain names also have domain name extensions (for example, use .com or .net) at the end of the address, which you can use to communicate additional info about your site – .co.uk if you want to emphasize you’re based in the UK, .io if you’re tech-focused, etc.
After deciding on your domain name, you must register it to be able to use it as an address to access your website. Since no two domain names on the internet can be the same, you must think of a unique domain name.
You can get most domain names at around $15 to $25 per year, according to how unique and in-demand the domain name is.
Choosing the right domain name is a hard decision for most people as domain names are most commonly the first thing a user sees when visiting your website. A good domain name has the potential to increase web traffic and user interest, but a bad one will do more harm than good for your brand or business.
Here are some pointers to help you choose a good domain name for your website:
- Length. Less is more when we’re talking about domain names. A two-three word domain is easier to remember than something that’s long and complex.
- Keywords. Keywords are important if you want users to find you via search and understand what you do. For instance, you can use keywords such as “football” in the domain name itself if you’re running a football-related website. This will let your users know what they’re in for.
- Brand name. Your brand should also be represented by the domain name of your website so that people can associate your website with your brand. If you use your unique brand name in your domain name, you can increase visits to your website, stand out and maybe also gain a little more recognition.
Step 3: Build and publish your website
Now that you’ve signed up for WordPress.com and chosen a domain name, you can start building your website.
Choose Your Identity
In addition to a domain name, you’ll also need to come up with a Site title. This is what will show up in search results and browser tabs.
Here’s how you can do this using the WordPress.com website builder:
- Log into your WordPress.com account and go to My Site → Manage → Settings.
- Click on the General tab.
- Enter your website’s name in the Site title field.
- Optionally, you can enter a Site tagline to briefly explain what your website is about. It’s a great way to capture the visitor’s attention when they first land on your website.
Once you’ve entered the site title, click the Save settings button to continue.
Design Your Homepage
Choosing the type and number of elements on your homepage will determine the overall look and feel of your website. A simple blog might just need a single-column text post and a few contact details; a photography portfolio will require a gallery for showcasing your images; and so on.
You can let your imagination do the work and start out with a blank page. You can also use any of WordPress.com’s pre-built page layouts to create a stunning homepage for your website quickly. All you have to do is load up the design and then customize the whole layout based on what you need. You can add your own images and content to the layout.
Create More Pages
After creating the home page, you can add more pages to your website to which you can add more content. Most websites have an About Us page and a Contact page.
Here’s how you can add a page to your WordPress website:
- Log into your WordPress.com account and go to My Site → Site → Pages.
- Click the Add new page button.
- You can start with a blank page or choose a layout.
You can use the WordPress.com block editor to add blocks to your pages. Different blocks let you add different features to your website.
For example, if you wanted to add a contact form to your Contact page, you could simply add the form block to it. Once you’ve built the page, click the Publish button to continue.
Set Up Your Menu
A menu displays a list of links across the top of your website for readers to navigate to different sections of your website. You can add your newly created pages in the previous steps to your website menu.
Here’s how you can use the WordPress website editor to set up your menu:
- Go to My Site → Design → Customize → Menu from your WordPress.com account.
- Click the Primary tab.
- Click the Add items button to add more pages or posts to your primary menu.
- To reorder menu items, click the Reorder link.
You can also choose the menu location and set menu options from the same screen. Once you’re done, click the Save Changes button to continue.
Add Your Social Media Presence
If you’re big on social media, you can use that on your website to promote your social media pages even more. It’s not rare to see social media buttons similar to this on most websites around the web.
You can add these icons to your website’s menu using the Social links menu. Additionally, if you want to add these to a piece of content on any page, you can use the Social icons block to help you with that. Most popular social media platforms are supported by WordPress.com’s editor.
Grow Your Website
Once you’ve published your website, you can start growing it by enhancing SEO and adding more content to it. Here are some ideas to help you get started with a step in the right direction:
- Help search engines find your site using helpful tools that work seamlessly with WordPress.com
- Blog regularly to drive more traffic to your website.
- Use keywords on your site to increase website visibility in search engine result pages.
- Use appropriate tags to make it easier for people to find the content they’re looking for.
- Connect to the community and spread the word to increase your readership.
- Read and comment on other blogs to start conversations.
- Link to other blogs to build community.
- Share on social media to get the word out about your website and content.
- Bug your real-life friends to check out your website and blog.
- Let people know about your posts by sharing it with them over email.
Publish your website today
Following these steps will help you publish your website in no time. By using WordPress.com to power your website, you’ll have plenty of room to grow and add features to it as you go.
If you still are unsure about publishing your website confidently, keep these pointers in mind:
- Choosing an identity or a name for your website is the first thing that you should focus on.
- How you arrange and design elements on your website really decides the overall feel and look of your website, so make sure everything works as well as it looks.
- You need to create more pages to provide a home for all the additional content that your users might be interested in.
- If your users have an easier time navigating your website, they’ll enjoy viewing your content more. Creating menus for easy accessibility to everything on your website greatly improves the user experience on your WordPress site.
- Don’t just rely on good luck and the traditional ways of gaining attention; advertise your social media anywhere and everywhere you can – that includes your website too!
Ready to start creating and publishing your website? Sign up for the WordPress.com plugin-enabled plan today!