4.8 (Rating) – Are you ready to build yourself a new WordPress website? Good, because this easy step-by-step website setup guide will guide you through the nooks and crannies of getting all of this setup. Once you are done with this “how to design a website with WordPress” guide, you will know all the essentials of creating a new WordPress Website.
Chapter 1. Getting A Domain Name For Your Business
a) What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is a website’s address (URL) on the internet, just like Google.com or LearnedGold.com. It is what your customers type into their browsers to go ahead and visit your website. You can typically get a domain name for under $15.00 a year.
b) Why do you need a Domain Name?
On the open web, your domain name is your unique identifier. Any individual, business or organization that is planning to create an Internet presence should definitely invest in a domain name. By owning your own domain name, website and email addresses, you will allow for your business to have a more professional look.
c) How to Come Up with the actual Domain Name?
Start by thinking of new words. Like yahoo.com, google.com, ebay.com, bing.com etc.. That’s what they all did. Use interesting words that already exist (from a Thesaurus). There are a ton of cool words out there to choose from. You can also use name generators. The name generators are amazing tools and should be utilized when looking to create a new domain name. Just do a google search for a domain name generator, there are a ton of them out there.
d) How to get a Domain Name?
To obtain a new domain name, you can actually go right ahead and do a search in the below Search Box (provided by NameCheap.com). Its as easy as typing in a few words and clicking search.
Find a domain starting at $0.88
powered by Namecheap
Chapter 2. Getting Website Hosting For Your WordPress Website
a) What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is an web service that allows you to publish your website or web application on the online world. Once you sign up for a hosting service, you basically rent some space on a server on which you can store all of your files and data that is necessary for your website to function properly.
b) Why do you need Web Hosting?
If you want to have a business and a website on the Internet, then you need to invest in a hosting service. Fortunately, web hosting is so affordable that you can just skip a Starbucks coffee or two for the month and there you go, you can now afford to have web hosting. Two cups of coffee to own a piece of the web with your own website.
c) How do you get Web Hosting?
So now that you have a better understanding of web hosting, how would you actually sign up for a cheap but good quality web hosting service? The hosting company that we recommend is called BlueHost.com. These guys have been in the business of providing Web Hosting Services since 2003 and offer one of the absolute best services out there. And best of all, its super cheap. Check them out below.
Chapter 3. Choosing Your CMS Platform (Self Hosted WordPress)
One of the very first few things that you should learn about when trying to figure out “How To Design a Website With WordPress”, is what the best CMS solution for building your website might be. You will learn more about that here in this section.
a) What is CMS & why does it matter?
As we are now starting to get into the actual Build-Your-Website part of this guide, we can start getting into some more of the technical stuff. I will definitely still keep it very beginner-friendly, but please do follow along at your own paste. When it comes to creating a website for your business, event, or portfolio, you will need to familiarize yourself with the term CMS or/ Content Management System. A Content Management System is a computer based application that is utilized to create or, as the name suggests, manage a website’s digital content. The CMS allows you to do this by providing a platform where you can add, edit, or delete your website’s content that is due to be published on your website. The management system provides you with a very easy way of building up your website from scratch. Gone are the days where you would need to know how to code ones and zeroes in order to build a website.
b) Which CMS is the best for your Website?
When it comes to website building, nothing comes close to WordPress. This CMS system is KING when it comes to building a new website from scratch. This is the part where we mentioned earlier that “its so easy, that just about anybody can do it”. Currently, the WordPress CMS owns roughly about 30% of the total market share when it comes to website design. And best of all, it is 100% FREE to use. Yeah, you heard that right; zero cost. Talk about a steal of a deal.
Chapter 4. Installing Your WordPress CMS – How to Design A Website With WordPress
a) How do you install a CMS on your Website?
Just as WordPress is super easy to work with, it is also really easy to install on your new web hosting service. I will go ahead and provide a breakdown of BlueHost’s WordPress installation instructions. You will use BlueHost.com to install WordPress through the Market Place interface. Here we go…
- Log in to your Bluehost cPanel account.
- Find the Website section and select Install WordPress.
- Click the Install button.
- Choose the domain name to install it to. In the field next to the domain, you can enter a sub-folder such as ‘blog’ or leave it blank if you want the site’s main page to be the blog.
- If necessary, you can edit the email address, username and password for the new WordPress installation. Click “advanced options” and you can change those settings.
- Read through the license and service agreements and check the boxes.
- Select the Install Now button.
- The End.
Yep, it really is that easy to install WordPress. Next stop, Website Design.
Another super important section for this “How To Design a Website With WordPress” beginner’s guide. The WordPress Dashboard. Here is where you will be spending quite a bit of your time.
a) What is the WordPress Dashboard?
The WordPress admin dashboard is where you control almost all of the functionality at your WordPress site. Think of it kind of like your WordPress site’s mission control center. Often called WP admin or WordPress dashboard, it lets you create new posts or pages, choose which theme your site uses, install and work with plugins, change general settings, plus plenty more. Because all of this functionality is located inside the WordPress admin area, it’s important to understand what all the admin dashboard lets you do.
b) How to Access your WordPress Dashboard?
Your WordPress admin dashboard is usually located at:
If you’re already logged into WordPress, you’ll be able to access your dashboard right away by visiting that URL. Otherwise, WordPress will redirect you to the WordPress dashboard login page.
To log in to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll need to enter the username/email address and password for your WordPress account. You should have chosen these credentials when you first created your WordPress site:
c) Exploring the WordPress Dashboard Sections
Posts are regular, yet time-specific pieces of content that you can write up to get more people to your website. They are typically SEO optimized so that the Search Engines recognize them and bring you traffic. They’re what you would use in order to ensure that your WordPress site is fresh, relevant, interesting and full of new content. By default, the posts on your website’s homepage are listed in a reverse chronological order so that the latest and freshest post always appears first.
When it comes to posts, they can be sorted into a variety of different tags and categories. This way, when your visitors are searching for particular content, your posts can be easily found. The search engines also love it when a website utilizes categories to stay organized. What’s more, when visitors sign up to your email list or feed, they will have your posts automatically fed to them via email or other forms of notification. All of these things make it much easier for your posts to be shared, liked and categorized. By doing all of these things right, your traffic can grow substantially. Please continue reading this “How to Design a Website With WordPress” guide for more information about posts.
In contrast to your categorized and optimized posts (which in turn can create what is called a Blog Roll), pages are the standard components of a successful WordPress Website. The pages are a more ‘permanent’ fixture, for instance, the very obvious examples are the About Us and Contact pages.
Within your WordPress website, the pages can look similar to posts, however there are definitive differences between the two. Pages are typically not assigned tags, but with that said, they can still be organized into groupings or hierarchies. For example, you can group pages under a Terms page, Policies page and a testimonials page under the main About Us hierarchy. This is typically done through the WordPress Menu system.
No CMS system would be complete without a Media Library. So with that said, the WordPress Media Library is definitely something that you want to acquaint yourself with. The Media Library is a portal within the WordPress system that allows for you to manage all of your images, audio files, videos, as well as documents all in a central location.
In order to access the Media Library, once you are in the Dashboard; go ahead and click on the button that says Media (usually on the left side of the WordPress Dashboard. Once you inside the Media Library section, you can go ahead and view your existing files as well as add files directly from your computer. Just click the “Add New” button to go ahead and select the files that you want to upload. There is also a section there that allows your to just drag and drop files directly onto the Add New Media page. How to design a website with WordPress continued..
I’m sure that throughout your time on the internet checking out different websites, you came across people commenting on different articles and posts. Heck, you’ve probably even done some commenting yourself. But, how would Commenting play out on your own WordPress website? Would you want to even utilize it? Continue reading to find out.
When it comes to comments, they are an absolutely necessity of almost every WordPress website out there. It is super important to have your website’s comments completely free of spam. It is also super important to only allow the comments under the pages or posts where you want them to appear on your site. In the Comments potions of your WordPress Dashboard (left side usually), you can actually control most of the aspects of the visitors that are commenting on your site.
If the comments are enabled on your website (which they usually are) your visitors and traffic can share their thoughts and opinions on the content posted on different pages and posts. Comments are absolutely great for your website because they allow for you to see what content on your website is becoming popular and what your website’s visitors need and want.
What are WordPress Plugins and how can they help your website? Technical definition: plugins are small programs that are created with PHP script and provide additional tools and functionality that can extend the use of the WordPress platform. They help enhance the common as well as not so common features of WordPress. Plugins can altogether add entirely new features to your website. They are usually developed by volunteers or business individuals and are typically available for free to the public.
You can access the Plugins are via the WordPress Plugin Directory in the Dashboard. Although the plugins that you will find there are thoroughly tested and generally considered to be safe to use, they can be of varying quality and are often still works in progress. It also helps to mention that plugins are constantly updated with the newer versions of WordPress, so you definitely need to make sure that you stay on top of the updates.
You can get new WordPress plugins by going to the Plugin Directory as described previously, and clicking on the “Add New” (Plugin) link. Here you will find a ton of plugins and tools that you can utilize on your website. The star rating and reviews are typically a good way to judge if a Plugin should be used or not.
6. Appearance – How To Design a Website With WordPress
The Appearance tab on the WordPress Dashboard allows for you to change many basic settings and layouts of your website. This is a place where you can change the Theme that you are using for your site, you can change the menu’s, widgets, custom edit the CSS file for your website and more.
One of the corner-stone features of WordPress is the “Customize” option under the Appearance tab in the WordPress Dashboard. This Customize section of the Appearance tab allows for you to make many changes to your website. Things like site title & tagline, background image, navigation menu changes, colors of your website, the header image and many more.
The Settings tab in the WordPress Dashboard is the central configuration place for all of the settings of your website. The Settings secion contains multi-level sub-sections as well as many WordPress plugins that end up adding their own section there as a menu item under the Settings tab. When you click on the Settings tab, you are automatically taken to the General section of the settings. Other sub-sections are also there such as Reading, Writing, Discussion, Media, Permalinks and more.
Take a look around the different options under the Settings tab as they ultimate help you setup your WordPress website correctly.
Chapter 6. Changing Your WordPress Theme
a) What is a WordPress Theme?
When it comes to WordPress, a theme is a large collection of stylesheets and templates that are used to define the appearance, design and display of a WordPress website. Each WordPress Theme comes with a different set of design, layout, and feature tools. You as a website builder / owner will need to choose the one that best suits the style, taste and technical requirements for your WordPress website. Some Themes out there are designed to serve specific a specific industry or purpose. For example, you have WordPress Themes that focus on Photography, others focus on online store and product selling, some focus on offering website services, etc…
b) How do you Change your WordPress Theme?
The WordPress Themes can be changed, managed, added and removed from your Website via the WordPress Dashboard area under the Appearance, Themes tab. The WordPress Themes universe is quite a large one. There are hundreds, thousands of various WordPress Themes out there. Some are completely free, others are paid. When it comes to the free ones, WordPress.org has quite a large collection of free WordPress Themes in their Repository. Please continue learning more with this “How to Design a Website with WordPress” guide. Lots more sections to cover.
Chapter 7. Creating Your Website’s Pages
a) What is a WordPress Page?
A page in WordPress usually refers to the page post type. It is one of the default pre-defined WordPress post types. Pages are static. That means that the information displayed on a page doesn’t change, or doesn’t change often. A great example of a page would be the About or Contact Us section of a website.
A little history about the Pages: WordPress started out as simple blogging tool which allowed users to write posts. In the year 2005, Pages were introduced in WordPress version 1.5 to allow users to create static pages that were not part of their blog posts. For example, an about page, contact page, legal info, etc.
b) How to Create a “Contact Us” WordPress Page?
When it comes to your WordPress Website, nothing is more important than having a Contact Us Page. You need to have a way for Customers to reach you with questions and inquiries. The best way to create a Contact Us page in WordPress is to go ahead and utilize a WordPress Plugin. The Plugin that we recommend for this is currently free and available for download here: WPForms Plugin. Here is an example screenshot of the plugin in action on another website’s Contact page using this same Plugin.
The WPForms Contact Form Plugin is super easy to use and carries a cost of zero dollars to operate. Once you download the plugin from the above link, install it and activate it via the Plugins Tab in the WordPress Dashboard.
Once The Plugin is activated, go ahead and navigate to the WPForms tab at the bottom of your Dashboard’s admin menu and click on the “Add New” button to begin creating your new WordPress contact form. Its super easy, give it a shot. If you are really interested in learning more about the topic of web design, please continue reading this “How To Design a Website With WordPress” guide.
Once you have the Contact Form built in the WPForms plugin, the next step is to go ahead and create the Contact Us page by clicking the Add New button under the Pages section of the WordPress Dashboard. In the new page that you just created and named “Contact Us”, you can take the shortcode that the WPForms plugin provided you with and type it into the body of the Contact Us page. Once you have written some basic Contact Us jargon on the page, go ahead and click Publish. This will publish the new Contact Us page with the WPForms Contact Form. Super easy right?
c) How to Create “Privacy, Policy & Terms” WordPress Pages?
Go to this page: WP AutoTerms and Download, Install & Activate the WP AutoTerms Plugin.
Once your WP AutoTerms plugin is activated, go ahead and access it on the left side on your WordPress Dashboard. Here, you will need to click on the Add Legal Pages link. Just follow the instructions on that page to help you create the Legal Pages that your site requires. This part of the WordPress website creation was a bit more involved, but still not too bad right? Alright, let’s continue on to the About Us page creation.
d) How to Create an “About Us” WordPress Page?
The About Us page is one of the most important pages on your WordPress blog. Wait, what? Yeah, you heard correct. Even thought most websites owners out there just slap some basic About Me information on there, you really should take your time to write a proper about us page. Th reason for this is that the About Us page can be one of the main vehicles for building trust relationships with your visitors.
Since quite a few website owners quite often neglect this page, I thought that I would help you learn the proper way of creating a great About Us page. All courtesy of this awesome “How to Design a Website with WordPress” page.
So what type of content should go on this About Us page? Well, to put it in easy to understand terms, your page content should be about things that you can provide for your visitors. Here is the thing, your visitors are really only on your site for one reason; and that real is for them to help themselves.
If you think about it, why did your user come to your website? Well, they came there because they needed something that your website is able to provide for them. And this is where you need to start with your About Us content. Ask yourself this question, why are my visitors here? And then answer that question. Yes, feel free to discuss things a bit about yourself, who you are, your background etc.. But ultimately, focus on providing solutions to your customers.. Even on your About Us Page. Here is a very good example of a great About Us page.
Chapter 8. Creating A Blog Post Page
a) What is a Blog?
A Blog is a short version of the term “weblog,” which turn describes a website that maintains an ongoing and constantly updated chronicle of information. A blog website or a blog page features a diary-format of commentary and links to articles on its own website as well as other external websites. The blog page/website is usually presented in a list of entries type of format that displays a reverse chronological order of posts and articles.
b) What is a Post?
When it comes to writing articles and creating fresh content for your WordPress website, you have a couple of options to choose from. You can write either a WordPress post or create a static page. A post is what makes up the blog or weblog aspect of your website site. Keep reading to learn more about how to design a website with WordPress.
WordPress posts are generally used when writing about news or information based updates about a certain topic or niche. As mentioned earlier, WordPress posts are listed in a reverse order and can be assigned tags and categories. When it comes to the RSS feed that is a large part of WordPress, posts are what is typically used on your WordPress website. When someone signs up for your RSS feed, the posts that you publish will be the content that they will be seeing in the inbox. You can think of WordPress posts as an informational news article part of your website. Posts are both dynamic and constant provide the content that your visitors want to see. Posts are typically the pages that bring new traffic to your website if you do the search engine optimizing correctly.
c) How do you Add a Blog To Your WordPress Website?
So now that we have learned all about posts, how would you go about creating a blog on your site? Not to worry, we’ll cover all of that here in this section. The first step in creating a new blog page where all of your posts will go to create a Blog Roll is to go ahead and Add a New Page. See below for the how-to instructions.
1. From the WordPress Dashboard, choose Pages, and then click Add New. Once you do so, you will see a new page come up.
2. Type in a name for this new page that you are building for your WordPress Blog. If you enter the word Blog for the title of your new page, this will become the page’s slug as well. So your blog will be located here: http://www.yournewwebsite.com/blog
3. You don’t want to type anything into the Content area of this page, leave it completely blank.
4. Click on the Publish button on the right hand side.
5. Next thing that you have to do is to go ahead and Assign this new Blog Page so that it can be used as the Blog Roll page for your posts.
6. Go ahead and go to the Settings button on the left side of your WordPress Dashboard. Select the Reading Tab / Option.
7. Here you can select the page that you want to display your posts on. Go ahead and select the new Blog Page that you created and click Save.
8. The last piece here will be to go ahead and add the new Blog page to your site’s menu so that your visitors can actually go there and view the posts. I will go ahead and provide a bit more information as far as how to add new and existing items to your website’s navigation menu. Continue reading to learn more about how to design a website with WordPress to learn more..
d) How do you Create Posts for a Blog?
This is a super easy one. If you are trying to create a new post in WordPress, all you have to do is to go into your WordPress dashboard and hover with your mouse over the posts icon on the left hand side. There, click on the Add New button and you will be taken to the new WordPress post that you are trying to create.
Make sure to come up with a cool and SEO (Search Engine Optimized) friendly title. For instance, we called this page here “WordPress Website Design 101 (Complete Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide)”. We purposely selected this as the title of this guide as the page provides exactly what the title specifies. The next thing is to go ahead and add content to your post as well as media (images and/or video) to compliment one another. The content that you write about should be well thought out and organized in such a manner that it would help the visitors stay engaged and interested.
Once you have the content written out, go ahead and add a TAG or two on the right side. The TAG(s) should reflect what the pages is about. You can also add a featured image to the post. The featured image is usually displayed on the very top of your post (once published) and it usually displayed on your Blog Roll (on your new Blog Page) along with an excerpt of the content from your new post.
I hope you are liking this how to design a website with WordPress page so far. We’ve pact it full of some awesome material. Keep learning.
Chapter 9. Setting Up Your Home Page (Static vs Blog Roll)
a) What is a WordPress Home Page?
The term home or home page is often used in the web development world to go ahead and refer to the the main page of a website (in our case a WordPress website. The homepage is often located in the navigation menus as well as other elements of a website to help direct users to the site’s main homepage. When it comes to WordPress, the homepage will typically be a page that shows all of your latest posts. This is the Blog Roll setup that we have been discussing.
b) Difference between Static Homepage & Blog Roll Homepage
By default, a WordPress website will automatically show your most recent posts on the front page of your website. This is a default setting that many WordPress users completely forget about. When it comes to most of the WordPress users out there, most everyone wants a static front page or a splash page as the website’s front page instead. This “static front page” makes it very easy to get specific or welcoming information in front of your users by having it readily available and on display on your website’s front page. When it comes to the actual look and feel of the front page, this is going to be largely dependent on your personal choice of design as well as with the combination of the different features and options that come with your WordPress Theme.
c) Which is better, Static or Blog Roll Home Page?
Hint – We personally like the Static option better here at LearnedGold.Com – How to design a website with WordPress.
So when it comes to these two homepage types, which one would be the better choice? Well, to start things off, the majority of blogs currently out there utilize a blog post roll page as their front page. With this being so however, we should still consider the fact that quite often web designers and developers just leave it as the default setting on the WordPress and continue building the site. When using the Blog Roll homepage type, you really do not have to put in lots of efforts into the creation of the homepage for your site.
One of the PRO’s about using a Static Page however is the fact that you can actually optimize your Homepage for SEO. Since you are able to have complete control over the content that is produced on the page, you can easily tweak things as needed and optimize it for the search engines. When it comes to the Blog Roll homepage idea though, it is not as easy and almost impossible to SEO optimize your homepage.
The clear conclusion that I see after building websites for years now, is that there is really no right or wrong here. The two main options each have their own merits (both good and bad). There are countless examples out there of high profile and successful blogs / websites that using either one of the two homepage types that we just described.
d) How do you change the Home Page type? Blog Roll and Static Page Instructions
If you really are not happy with your homepage and absolutely must change it, there is a super easy way to do that. As we had discussed “Creating a Blog Roll Page” in the previous chapter, all you would have to do to modify your homepage into the Blog Roll option, is to go ahead and create a brand new WordPress page in your admin panel.
Once you have the new Blog Roll page created, you can then to go the Settings button in your WordPress Dashboard and click on the Reading option. Here you can just assign the Blog Roll page that you just created as your main homepage for your website. On this same place, you could also change the homepage to a completely different page (lets say that you created a new page using Elementor for example). Check out our main homepage at http://learnedgold.com for ideas.
A WordPress Navigation menu allows you to present your website’s structure to your visitors. The menu’s help users find information as they browse through the many different sections of your WordPress website. Since the navigation menus are so important for keeping your website organized, they are typically placed on the very top in most WordPress themes
WordPress comes with a few different types of navigation menu system. These different menu’s allow even the novice of website design to go ahead and create / manage navigation menus. The location of the actual menus can vary quite a bit when you look at things on theme level. Almost all WP themes come with at least a couple of menu location options. Typically a header menu as well as a footer navigation system. By utilizing Widgets (more on that in a bit), you can place menu’s almost anywhere on your website, top, bottom, middle, sidebar, even within content etc..
This is another one of my favorite things to do when it comes to building WordPress sites. Please take a look below on how to create a navigation screen as we continue forward with this how to create a website with WordPress guide. P.S It’s possible to add icon’s to your menu items like we did on our LearnedGold.Com website. Leave a comment below if you are interested and we will share the “how to add icons to menu” solution below.
So how do you actually go about create menus in WordPress? Well, you go ahead and open up the WordPress Dashboard and navigate to the Appearance, Menus option. Once you click on the Menu’s there, it will bring up an Edit Menus screen which is in turn divided into two other columns. The column on your left side will have your different content there (pages, posts, categories etc..). And the column on the right will contain the section where you can add and adjust the newly added menu items.
Alright, now that we know a bit more about menus, let’s go ahead and create the first navigation menu for your site. You will need to type in a name for your menu (example: header menu). Once the title is in. go ahead and click on the create menu button. Doing so will expand the menu’s main area. The WordPress location names and placements vary from theme to theme, but you can typically find the top menu location, or header menu location in this main area.
So, you have the title and the location of the menu, the next thing that you need to do is to go ahead and select the pages and/or posts that you would like to add to the new WordPress menu. You can do exactly this by going ahead and selecting the pages/posts listed in the left column and clicking on the “Add to Menu” button. Once you have added the new pages to the navigation menu, go and click on the ‘Save Menu’ button within this main area. Now, if you go to look at your website and you don’t like where the newly created menu is located, don’t worry about that at all. You can always change the navigation menu’s location in the same place where you initially created it.
How would you say we are doing so far on this “How to design a website with WordPress” page? Please let us know below in the comment section.
Chapter 11. WordPress Widget Customization
a) What are WordPress Widgets?
Learn all about it here on the How to Design a Website with WordPress Guide
A Widget within the WordPress CMS is a small block of data that performs a specific function on your website. You can add these small widgets within sidebars as well as within certain areas of posts and pages (utilizing Elementor for this). Initially, WordPress widgets were created to provide a super simple way of providing design and certain structure control within the WordPress theme. Widgets came in very handy for new developers that just wanted to change certain aspects of their site.
The cool thing about widgets, is that they can be easily dragged and dropped within specific widget areas. If you want to see where those widget friendly areas are located, you can go ahead and navigate to the Appearance, Widgets area within your Website’s dashboard. Widgets in the WordPress CMS, allow for you to go ahead and add content as well as new features to the widgeted areas of your website. The WordPress widget-ready areas can be located (depending on the theme) within the header section, the footer, the website’s sidebar, below the written content, or any other area within your particular WordPress theme.
b) What are the Different Types of WordPress Widgets?
When it comes to WordPress widgets, there are a ton of different types of widgets. They come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some examples: categories, tag cloud, navigation menu, calendar, search, recent posts, contact form, sign up form, advertisement, banners, media widget and more.
c) How do you Use WordPress Widgets?
1. Go ahead and go to the Appearance, Customize section within your WordPress Dashboard Screen.
2. There, you will find the Widget menu. Go ahead and click on it. This will allow you to access the WordPress Widget Customization Screen.
3. You can click on the down arrow of Widget Area to go ahead and list the already registered Widgets within your WordPress theme.
4. If you click the Add a Widget button on the sidebar, it will show you a list of the available widgets that you can use on the sidebar.
5. Once you click the widget that you want to add, the WordPress widget will automatically add to the sidebar.
6. I usually like to have a second tab open with my actual WordPress website up so that I can refresh it and watch the changes that I am making (after saving).
7. Most things within WordPress are click and drag. This is definitely true for the widget area as well. So, in order to arrange the Widgets within the Sidebar area, click and hold the widget and drag/drop it where you want the widget to be placed. Click done once you have the widget in place exactly where you want it.
WordPress Widgets & Instructions – Exclusively on this “How to design a website with WordPress” page
Chapter 12. WordPress Sidebar Customization
a) What is a WordPress Sidebar?
A sidebar within a WordPress website is often referred to as a widget-friendly area used by WordPress themes in order to display specified information that is typically not a part of the website’s main content. The sidebar is not always a vertical column either on the left or right side on your website’s page. It can also have a horizontal location on your pages below or above the website’s content area. However, typically the sidebar is either on the left or right side of most WordPress websites.
When it comes to the various websites out there, the usage of sidebars can vary quite a bit. It all depends on the choice of the website owner as well as the WordPress theme’s designer. Most WordPress themes out there typically support multiple sidebars on either the left or right side on the website.
b) What do you typically Put on the WordPress Sidebar?
With WordPress websites, sidebars play a very important role in the website’s design and layout. It is able to display content that is typically not found on the website’s main articles and pages. For instance, if you want to include a recent articles list, recent comments, a list of your website’s pages, or the most popular articles for your site, you can go ahead and place small Widgets on the Sidebar. You can have your sidebar only show up on certain pages, or you can have it appear on every single page across the entire site. Sidebars make for for a very easy way to display content site wide without too much coding or setup required.
Quite often, WordPress website owners use the Sidebar to display advertisements, products or marketing pieces. You can easily drag and drop items into sidebars from the Appearance, Widgets menu in the WordPress Dashboard panel. These items can be dropped in the form of Widgets.
c) How do you Add & Customize the WordPress Sidebar?
In order to utilize and customize a Sidebar, you need to make sure that your WordPress theme includes it. The best way of checking for this is to go ahead and open up the Customization options for your WordPress theme by going to your WordPress Dashboard and hovering over the Appearance section and clicking on Customize. This will bring your your WordPress theme’s Customization options. If your theme includes a sidebar option, this is where you will find it.
Typically, once your are in the Customization section of your theme, there will be a section on the left hand side called either Layouts, Display Sections or just a simple Sidebar option. If you end up having to go into the Layouts or Sections options, there you should be able to find something that say Sidebars. Once you click on Sidebars, you should be taken to an area that shows you your Sidebar options. Every theme is different, and every theme utilizes different wording for their customization section, so please make sure to thoroughly look through all of the options for find the section for the Sidebar customization.
Chapter 13. Customizing Your WordPress Website With Plugins
a) What are WordPress Plugins?
WordPress Plugins explained on this “How to design a website with WordPress” page.
A WordPress website plugin is a piece of software (compiled code) containing a group of website functions that you can go ahead and add to your site. Plugins can extend the functionality and add additional features to your WordPress website.
These plugins are typically written in the PHP language and can integrate perfectly within your WordPress CMS website. If you need to add a certain feature or functionality to your site, there’s most likely a WordPress plugin out there for that. Plugins are so user friendly and make it super easy for website administrators to add new and additional features to their website without knowing a single thing about programming languages.
b) Where do you get WordPress Plugins?
So now that you know a bit about WordPress Plugins, where can you actually get them? Well, as there are literally thousands of them available for free, all you have to do is to go ahead and open up your WordPress Dashboard and on the left hand side mouse over your Plugins section and click Add New.
Once you click on the Add New option, you will be taken to the official WordPress Plugins repository. Here is where you can search out for the exact Plugin that you want for your website. Now, one thing to keep in mind. Just because the vast majority of plugins are completely free, doesn’t make all of them a good choice. There are sometimes quite a few different options of plugin available for the same task that you are trying to accomplish. Just make sure to pick the one that has a good support structure behind it and that gets regular updates to keep up with the newer versions of the WordPress CMS system as well as the newer Theme updates as they come out.
c) How do you Install WordPress Plugins?
As mentioned on the previous section, to find Plugins, all you have to do is go ahead and go to your WordPress Dashboard, mouse over Plugins and click on Add New. Once you are at the “Add New Plugin” section, just search for the plugin that you want via the Search Box. When you find the plugin that you want, go ahead and click on it, then select install. Once installed, click on Activate. And that’s it, you have just installed your first plugin. Yep, its that easy.
As you can see, there are just a small number of simple steps to follow in order to create your new business website utilizing the WordPress CMS. One thing to remember, when building your site; make sure to use a catchy theme along with a variety of Plugins to really help your website stand out.
Once you actually learn the ins-and-outs of the WordPress Content Management System, creating a website becomes a breeze and actually quite fun.
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This concludes our How to Design a Website With WordPress Guide!