Want to create a custom WordPress website but not sure where to start? Don‘t worry my friend, I‘ve got you covered!
As a long-time technology geek and web developer, I‘m going to walk you through the entire process of making a WordPress site from start to finish using SiteGround.
I‘ll share plenty of insider tips, interesting stats, and my own expertise to help you launch your WordPress site like a pro. Just grab a refreshing beverage and let‘s get started!
But first, why choose WordPress in the first place? Well, here are some compelling stats about WordPress that highlight why it‘s the best platform for creating websites:
Powers over 41% of all websites – Yes, WordPress now has a 41.5% market share of all websites globally, according to W3Techs.
Used by major brands – Big names like Microsoft, Sony, Facebook, CNN, Forbes, and more use WordPress for their websites.
60 million+ websites – There are currently over 60 million live WordPress websites on the internet and counting.
6000+ plugins – WordPress has over 55,000+ free plugins that allow you to add all types of features without coding.
Complete control – With WordPress, you fully own your site files and data. You‘re not locked into any proprietary platform.
Easy to use – WordPress has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and thousands of themes. No coding needed.
SEO optimized – WordPress sites are designed to be search engine friendly. This helps you rank higher in Google.
Clearly, WordPress offers major advantages over other website building options. Its immense popularity and usage by top brands tell you all you need to know.
Now let‘s look at why I recommend using SiteGround specifically for hosting your new WordPress website.
As a web developer, I‘ve used many different web hosting providers over the years. After thorough testing, I can confidently say SiteGround is my top pick for hosting WordPress sites.
Here‘s why SiteGround dominates when it comes to managed WordPress hosting:
Lightning fast speeds – SiteGround consistently tops independent speed tests thanks to its optimized configurations.
Maximum uptime – You can expect near 100% uptime for your WordPress site with their enterprise-level servers.
Top security – Your SiteGround account comes locked down tight with the latest security protections built-in.
Expert support – Their guru-level 24/7 customer support is fully trained and experienced with WordPress issues.
Free migrations – SiteGround will actually migrate your existing site over from another host for free.
30-day money-back guarantee – You can get a full refund within the first 30 days if you‘re not fully satisfied.
Powerful features – Comes with free CDNs, auto-updates, caching, backups, and more for optimal WordPress performance.
Affordable pricing – Their managed WordPress hosting plans are competitively priced for the quality you get.
I‘ve used their GrowBig shared hosting plan for multiple client sites and consistently been impressed with SiteGround‘s performance and support.
Based on my first-hand experience and their stellar reputation, SiteGround is hands-down the hosting provider I recommend for launching a new WordPress site.
Alright, enough background info – let‘s start walking through the steps to build your WordPress website hosted with SiteGround!
The first step is signing up for SiteGround web hosting to power your new WordPress site.
Choose a Plan
SiteGround offers three shared hosting plans optimized for WordPress:
StartUp – Best for new sites with up to 10,000 visits/month. Starts at $3.95/mo.
GrowBig – Ideal for growing sites with up to 20,000 visits/month. Starts at $5.95/mo.
GoGeek – For advanced sites that get high traffic. Starts at $11.95/mo.
I suggest GrowBig for most users since it perfectly balances price and features. But select the plan that matches your unique needs.
Register a Domain
When signing up, you‘ll need to register a new domain name (your website address) unless you already have one you want to use.
Try to pick a short, brandable .com domain name for your site. Make sure to check availability before purchasing.
Signup and Pay
Next, complete SiteGround‘s signup process with your account details and payment information.
You can pay monthly or get discounted prices for 1-year and longer terms when checking out.
Once your account is created, you‘ll have SiteGround‘s managed WordPress hosting ready to go!
Time to install WordPress.
SiteGround makes installing WordPress fast and easy thanks to their auto-installer tool.
Launch the Auto-Installer
First, log into your SiteGround account and go to the "Web Hosting" section. Launch the auto-installer and select the domain you want to use.
Choose the latest version of WordPress and check the box to agree to the terms.
Finally, click the "Install" button and SiteGround will fully automate the WordPress installation process for you.
In just a few minutes, WordPress will be successfully installed on your hosting account, ready for setup.
Save Login Details
Your new WordPress admin credentials will be displayed. Be sure to save this username and password somewhere secure.
Access Your Dashboard
You can now access your WordPress dashboard by appending "/wp-admin" after your domain name (e.g. yoursite.com/wp-admin).
That‘s it! With SiteGround‘s auto-installer, you‘ve got WordPress installed super fast. Now for the fun part – setting everything up!
Once WordPress is installed on your SiteGround hosting, it‘s time to pick and customize a theme.
The theme controls the overall design and layout of your WordPress site.
Choose a Premium Theme
While free themes are available, I highly suggest purchasing a premium theme for the best quality and customization features.
Two of my favorite theme stores are:
StudioPress – Industry leading themes from the creators of Genesis Framework. Highly optimized for speed and SEO.
Elegant Themes – A massive library of beautiful themes with plenty of customization options.
For beginners, the Astra or GeneratePress themes are excellent choices that work great for blogs, businesses, and more.
Install and Activate the Theme
After purchasing your theme, log into your WordPress dashboard. Go to Appearance > Themes to upload and activate the theme files.
Customize the Design
Next, go to Appearance > Customize to modify your theme settings:
- Change colors, fonts, layouts and more
- Upload your logo
- Set up navigation menus
- Customize header, footer, etc.
Tweak the theme until you have the perfect design for your brand.
Each theme has its own settings and options, so review the theme developer‘s docs to take full advantage of the features available to you.
The right premium theme and custom design will make your WordPress site look clean, professional and on-brand.
One of the great benefits of using WordPress is being able to extend its functionality with plugins.
WordPress plugins are bits of code you can install for extra features without needing to code yourself. There are over 55,000 free and paid plugins available.
Here are some must-have plugins I recommend installing on your WordPress site:
This hugely popular plugin helps you optimize your WordPress site and content for higher rankings in search engines.
WP Rocket speeds up your WordPress site by caching pages, minifying code, defer loading JS, and more.
Connect your WordPress site with Google Analytics to access in-depth tracking and analytics on visitors, traffic sources, conversions and more.
Quickly and easily build all kinds of WordPress forms such as contact forms, surveys, popups, and more with drag-and-drop simplicity.
Sucuri Scanner checks for malware, protects against hacking attempts, monitors uptime, and hardens WordPress security.
To install a plugin:
Login to your WordPress dashboard.
Go to Plugins > Add New
Search for the plugin name.
Install and activate the plugin.
These essential plugins will help boost your WordPress site‘s security, speed, conversions, and more.
Now it‘s time for the fun part – filling your WordPress site with content!
Quality content is what keeps people engaged and coming back to your site. Here are some tips:
Create an "About" Page
Add an About page that introduces visitors to who you are or what your website is about.
Set Up Main Navigation
Use the Menus option to set up your primary navigation bar linking to your important pages, like Home, About, Contact, etc.
Write Informative Blog Posts
Publish helpful, informative blog posts consistently about your niche, products/services, etc. Make sure to optimize posts for SEO.
Add Visual Media
Upload images, slideshows, videos, infographics and other visual media across your content to make it more engaging.
Check Word Counts
Aim for long-form, in-depth content over 1000+ words rather than short superficial posts. More value!
Share your content on social media, email newsletters, forums, and elsewhere to help drive traffic back to your site.
Consider curating and linking to external content in addition to publishing original content, when relevant to your audience.
Focus on providing content that educates, entertains, informs, or helps your audience in meaningful ways. Search engines and visitors will reward you for it!
Your awesome new WordPress website is ready to go live! Now it‘s time to get the word out and drive visitors.
Optimize for SEO
Make sure to optimize your site for search engines by installing Yoast SEO, creating XML sitemaps, writing SEO-friendly content, and securing backlinks. This will help you rank higher in search results.
Leverage Social Media
Promote your content across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and other relevant social platforms where your audience is present.
Run Paid Ads
Consider running paid ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Ads, Reddit, Quora, and via content discovery networks. Target your ads to your ideal audience.
Outreach to Influencers
Contact relevant bloggers, journalists, industry experts, and influencers to see if they will feature or link back to your new site to help generate buzz.
Network with other site owners, brands, or businesses in your space to partner on guest posts, influencer marketing, social shares, webinars, etc.
Send emails, newsletters, and updates to your customer email list highlighting your new site launch and best content.
With some hustle across the tactics above, you‘ll quickly drive quality traffic and exposure for your shiny new WordPress website!
Once you‘ve built an audience, it‘s time to unleash the fun part – making money from your WordPress site!
Here are some of the top options for monetizing a WordPress website:
This is the easiest way to quickly earn money by displaying targeted Google ads on your site. Just apply to join the Google AdSense program.
Directly sell ad space to advertisers interested in reaching your audience – through banners, sponsored posts, etc.
Promote affiliate products, services, tools, or SaaS solutions related to your niche and earn a commission on sales.
Create and sell your own digital products such as online courses, ebooks, templates, stock images, etc.
Build an online store using WooCommerce to sell physical, digital, and affiliate products directly on your site.
Offer exclusive premium memberships that provide special perks and access to gated content, communities, and resources.
Offer your own one-on-one consulting, coaching services, or freelance services to site visitors.
Host paid webinars, virtual events, or in-person events and charge for tickets.
Non-profits and personal blogs can accept donations, tips, or support directly through their sites.
With the right monetization strategies tailored to your niche, you can turn your WordPress site into a money making machine!
Here are some best practices for properly managing your WordPress site hosted on SiteGround:
Regularly backup your site using SiteGround‘s auto-backup tool or a plugin like UpdraftPlus in case anything happens.
Monitor site speed using SiteGround‘s Speed Test or Google PageSpeed Insights and optimize any slow pages. Fast sites get better SEO and conversions!
Uptime is key so use SiteGround‘s uptime monitoring to receive alerts if your site ever goes down. Their servers provide 99.99% uptime.
Update WordPress, themes and plugins whenever new versions are released for security, features and performance. I recommend automatic background updates.
Moderate comments on your blog posts and other content to foster productive discussions and filter out spam.
Install security plugins like Wordfence Security for firewall protection, malware scans, blocking threats, and more. SiteGround blocks over 2 million attacks daily.
Keep up with SEO by resubmitting XML sitemaps monthly to search engines as content is added or removed. Produce new content regularly.
Watch traffic analytics in Google Analytics to see audience insights, popular content, referral sources, conversions and KPIs. Let data guide your strategy.
Expand resources by upgrading your SiteGround hosting plan if you need more server space, speed, bandwidth, or advanced features. Their support can advise the best plan.
Stick to these management best practices and your WordPress site will perform optimally for the long haul.
Well there you have it friend! Now you‘re fully equipped to create a custom WordPress website hosted with SiteGround like a boss.
Here‘s a quick recap of the key steps we covered:
- Sign up for SiteGround managed WordPress hosting
- Use their auto-installer to deploy WordPress
- Pick an awesome premium theme and customize the design
- Install essential WordPress plugins
- Create engaging, valuable content
- Promote your new site across channels
- Monetize your website traffic
- Manage your WordPress site for optimal performance
With SiteGround‘s blazing fast servers, rock-solid security, and guru-level WordPress support, you have the perfect hosting solution for your new WP site.
I‘m excited to see the awesome website you build using the strategies and tips in this guide! Don‘t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions during your WordPress website journey.
Now get out there, execute, and prosper my friend!