How to Make a Professional WordPress Blog – A Complete Guide (With No Steps Skipped)

How to Make a Professional WordPress Blog – A Complete Guide (With No Steps Skipped)


When it comes to blogging there’s
arguably no better tool for the job than WordPress. Over 29% of all web
sites on the Net use it. It is quite simply the most popular content
management system in existence. In this video, we’ll show you how to make a
stunning WordPress blog step by step from start to finish and
with no steps skipped. By watching this video and following the guide, you’ll
have a technically superb blog, entirely of your own, set up and running in no
time. If you want to see what we’re working on at any time, you can head over
to AudioGrad.com to see the finished product. Let’s get started. WordPress is the most popular tool in the world for building a
website and for good reason. It’s feature-rich, customizable, and remarkably affordable. What’s more is that it’s also highly
scalable. It’s just as happy powering a small blog with ten visits per month as
it is the biggest blogs and websites in the world. All of this makes WordPress an
excellent choice for creating a blog of any size. But how do you get started?
WordPress has a famous 5-minute install, but what happens when you’ve completed
this? How do you get to that point? How do you navigate the world of hosting, themes,
and plugins? This video has all the answers. We’ll take you from start to finish with easy-to-follow steps on a journey to
create the best possible WordPress blog. This will also be your standalone
guide. We may bring in other resources for a deeper exploration of a topic, but
don’t expect to need to click away. WordPress is a huge topic, but it’s
possible to overcomplicate the basics. We won’t do that. This video is detailed, but no longer than it needs to be. We’ll also strive to
make very few assumptions throughout the video. The only exceptions is that we’ll
assume that you’re using the self-hosted version of WordPress rather than
WordPress.com and that you’re comfortable with a budget of $100 to $200 with some of that recurring every year. If you’re good with those parameters, then we’re good to proceed. We’re going
to start with choosing what your new blog should be about. Then, we’ll tackle
the basic setup including hosting and website name. Then, we’ll move on to
installing WordPress, adding your initial content, choosing a design, and
configuring plugins. So if you’re on board with all of that, we won’t waste
another second. Let’s get started. Here is the complete step-by-step beginners
guide to creating the best possible WordPress blog.
What are you blogging about? Before we get to the practical how-tos of
creating the best possible WordPress blog, you must be absolutely clear on
what you’re blogging about. This is your site topic or niche and sorting this
first allows you to build your blog to fit your purpose. Your blog topic should
be easy for the reader to identify. A single topic is typically best as this
allows readers to quickly decide if they’ll be interested in what else you have to say. Choosing a topic is challenging and will
require some serious thought. Most advice on what to blog about says
you should follow your passion. This is a reasonable starting point and you’ll
have a lot to write about for your given topic. So, it’s useful to start with some
things that you’re interested in. However, this shouldn’t be your only test.
Here are some other criteria that you should think about. Are you an expert on
the topic or do you at least have knowledge and insights that others will
find valuable? Are you going to be interested in the topic in two years? In
five years? Passion fits into this, but also consider whether your topic is a
passing trend or around for the long term. Do you want to make money from your blog?
Who else is doing what you want to do? If you have commercial aspirations,
competition is incredibly important. If others are writing about the same topics,
how can you put a unique spin on it? Finally, can you write a concise elevator
pitch for your blog? Think of how you describe your blog to a friend. Is the
pitch attractive? If it takes you more than 30 seconds to explain it,
visitors are going to have a hard time understanding what you’re doing so
you’ll need to simplify. You may find it helpful to get a piece of paper and a
pen and sketch out your various ideas. Then, test it against the criteria. If
you’re all good, can you now think of 10 blog post ideas? If, yes, then you’re good
to go. The whole process will take some extra time, but it’s completely worth it.
You don’t want to sink hours and hours into your new blog only to realize in
six months or a year that you’re writing about the wrong thing. We’ll use a case
study throughout this video to take you through the entire process of starting
the best possible WordPress blog and will start by following the exercise
just mentioned to find out what our blog should be about. Here’s our pitch for the
example blog we’ll build in this video. “As someone who makes videos and podcasts
for a living, we’re aware that many other multimedia sites can benefit from
knowing a little bit more about the equipment that they’re using. As online
courses and podcasts are becoming easier to produce at home, there are a lot of
new players entering the market who will want to know how to get set up. Audio
Grad is a place that will review new audio gear, create beginner guides, and
teach people how to create good, clean sounding audio and video using hardware,
software, and their environment. Our goal is not only to share our knowledge, which
we definitely want to do, but in the long term generate some side income from this
project.” Everything just mentioned makes for a
decent pitch for a new blog. We now need to think up 10 blog posts. Assuming we
can do this, we’re all good to go. We’ll keep coming back to our new audio blog
throughout this video. Working out what you’re blogging about, what visitors
should take from your blog, and what you want from your blog are exceptionally
important considerations. It will take time to work things out, but getting this
right now will save a huge amount of time later. So, with this covered, we can move on to the first technical part of creating the
best possible WordPress blog: getting your new blog set up with
WordPress running on it. This first section is going to quickly get you up
to speed on basic purchases, installation, and setup you’ll need for your WordPress
blog. We’ll start with hosting, look quickly at
website names or domain names, and then get WordPress installed on your website.
The very first thing we need to look at is hosting. A website only has a couple
of requirements to make it viewable online. We’re going to get our domain
name next, but first let’s talk about the most important aspect: a server. When you
purchase a server from a company so you can store your website, it’s called
hosting. And, at the most basic level, this is a publicly accessible computer that
stores and manages connections to your website. The “self-hosted” part of
self-hosted WordPress means that you’ll need your own hosting and you’ll need to
choose your hosting provider. Choosing the right hosting can be a
daunting task as there are a huge number of competing providers all offering
different packages, price points, and features. Fortunately, once you know if
you have the basics, it’s easy to make an informed decision. The most important
choice is between shared and managed hosting. Shared hosting is relatively cheap
(from $5 a month), but your website shares the same server with lots of other websites. Thus, shared hosting can only handle up
to around 50,000 visitors a month. You’ll also, probably, have to take care of
backups, security, and optimization yourself. Managed hosting on the other
hand is pretty expensive. It could start at $30 a month, but they take care of
everything for you including backups, security, and optimization. Plus, there’s
no upper limit on how many visitors you can have each month.
In addition, you’ll also want a host with excellent uptime, fast speeds, and good customer support. When you are evaluating hosting, there are a few questions that you
should ask before you decide to make a purchase. Can you talk to a person? If you’re going to be setting up and supporting your own
website, it means that you’re going to want good support.
Great documentation and videos are fine, but chat and phone support is incredibly
important as well. Will your site scale? This goes back to the excellent uptime
aspect. It seems like putting the cart before the horse, but the earlier you
start thinking about your site getting hit with a ton of traffic, the better.
Does your host offer the ability to easily grow your site and quickly switch
plans in case your blog makes it big? Will there be automatic backups? This is
another difference between shared and managed hosting. This is not a deal
breaker, but it’s good to know going in because you’ll know if you need to
handle backups yourself. Will they help make your site secure?
This can come in many forms like site monitoring, easy, free secure sites using
SSL, or even mitigating hacked websites. Again, this is important information to
know up front in case you need to handle it yourself. Shared hosting is fine for
new WordPress blogs and most small to medium sized WordPress sites. So, if your
site fits one of those descriptions — which it does — then you should choose
shared hosting. You can always move it to managed hosting later if you change your
mind. If you’re just getting started, there’s arguably no better host to than
SiteGround. They offer excellent service and an unparalleled feature set for your
money. Which is why for the purposes of this video, we’ll be showing you exactly
how to set your site up with them. If you’re a more advanced user with a much
larger budget and really want the best managed hosting right from the start,
consider using WPEngine. For details on why we specifically recommend these two
hosts, have a quick read on the Guide to the Best WordPress Hosting which
you can click in the top right corner. You’re now ready to purchase some hosting and
get your WordPress blog started. Hooray! But, first, you need to choose a domain
name. This is a really important step and worth investing some significant time in.
Hopefully, your blog will be around for a long time
so you’ll want to make sure you choose a name you’re happy with.
So, how do you choose a domain name? Well, this step is complicated by the
fact that more than a hundred million domain names are registered already. This
greatly reduces the pool of good domain names available. So, you need to be
patient and a little bit creative. Most obvious names aren’t available
so be prepared to try a lot of different options. Choosing a good domain name
involves following a couple of rules and then using a tool to bulk find available
domain names that meet your criteria. Here are some rules you should follow.
If possible, choose the .com. There are many domain extent
available or TLDs (top-level domains). These are the .somethings (the
.com, .net, .co, .uk and .io). But .com is the most recognizable and the most
future-proof. As a matter of fact, about 70% of all top-level domains are .coms,
even as the number of domains grows. That means that most people will have an
easier time remembering a .com and they’ll most likely try that first. Short
domains are best. Try, if you can, to keep it under 11 characters. A short domain
will be easy to type. Also, make sure it’s easy to speak. A hard domain will send
people to the wrong place or dissuade them from going to your website at all.
So, on that same token, try to avoid numbers and hyphens. They are very hard
to speak (Is the number typed out or is it the digit?) and hyphens are often
forgotten about. Include a keyword people will search for to find your website, if
possible. Is your blog about audio? Then, try incorporating the word “audio” into
your domain name. The only caveat here is if the word is trademarked, you should
not include other people’s trademarks in your domain name. For example, WordPress
is trademarked. That’s why this video is part of WinningWP.com rather than
WinningWordPress.com. Don’t use the definite article. Did you know that
Facebook started out as TheFacebook.com? They dropped the “The” because it makes
for a bad domain name. It doesn’t add any value and it adds to the length of the
domain. Your domain name should be brandable, spellable, and pronounceable.
This goes back to the, “Make it easy to type and speak.” You need your visitors to
find your site and remember it. Check the history of the domain name. Somebody else may have owned your domain in the past so check what was on the site. You can
use Archive.org for this. Type in the name, check the results, and if you don’t
like what you see, avoid using that name. Finally, double check that you can’t form
any unwanted words with your name. This avoids a bit of embarrassment later on.
These rules are remarkably simple in practice. You can use one of any number
of tools to find an available domain name for you and from there you just
need to ensure that your shortlist of domains follow the rules. There are a couple of excellent domain finding tools that you
can use. You don’t need to buy the domain name through these tools.
We’ll do that with SiteGround next, but you can use them to make the
discovery process easier. A couple of our favorites are NameMesh,
Wordoid, Impossibility, and Lean Domain Search. So, our rules are that we’re going
to have “audio” in the domain and we’re going to try to find a .com. To find our
domain, we’re first going to try NameMesh. NameMesh has several different
categories for finding our domain. So, we’re going to type in the word we want,
which is “audio”. You can see that not too many results come up because “audio” is a
very, very common word. NameMesh also recommends we try two to three different
keywords. So let’s try “audio gear”. When we put “audio” and “gear” separated by a space,
we do come up with a few more different domains. With the Similar category, if we scroll down, the list we’ll keep coming up with
more until it runs out. You can also see under SEO we’ve got
“audio gear” with an A, an I, or an E, but we want to try to avoid that because it’s
not very easy to speak or remember. Under the list of Similar, we do have a
few possible ones, like Audio Garb. But, again, Similar is using a thesaurus and
“gear” can be synonymous with clothing which “garb” is also synonymous with. Because we’re having some difficulty
finding a good .com, let’s try a different resource. Impossibility has a
pretty simple generator where you can say, “Add adjectives verbs or nouns or
anything to the beginning or end of our word.” So, our word is “audio” so we’ll click
search and you can see that essentially it generates a list of unregistered
domains with random adjectives, nouns, or verbs. This can really help you brainstorm, even
if you don’t come up with a name that you really like. You can also click Get
More to generate a brand new list. And you continue to do this until you find
something you really like. You could see that Audio Grad is also available. We’re
going to try to go with that one because it better communicates our mission of
educating people on audio. So, the next thing we’re going to do is go to
Archive.org and type in “audio grad” to see if that domain has been taken. You
can see some results do come up for AudioGrad.com. However, we’re having
trouble finding actual content. The domain hasn’t been in use for several
years. Because the last used domain is nearly seven years old, I think it’s
pretty safe to say that we can use this domain for our purposes without
attracting the wrong kind of crowd. So with that, let’s go ahead and get our
hosting from SiteGround. Before we choose our hosting, it’s good to point out
the beginner’s guide on WinningWP to choosing the best hosting service.
The guide will take you through several questions that you might have in choosing
a host. So you can come here to make an informed decision if you decide
that you don’t want to go with SiteGround. However, we do strongly
recommend SiteGround, especially for shared hosting or hosting for a beginner. Navigating down to the recommended
shared WordPress hosting, we’ll go ahead and click on the SiteGround link. When
we get to SiteGround, you’ll see that they offer a special deal for WinningWP.com
visitors. As part of the deal, we get a small kickback from SiteGround
if you click through from our link. Although, this certainly isn’t the reason why we
recommend them; it’s just an added bonus that helps us continue to create
great content and run WinningWP. We’re going to choose the StartUp plan
because it’s the most affordable and it offers everything that we need to get started
including one website, some space, that’s suitable for a small amount of
visitors. It also includes all of the essential WordPress features which will
come in handy for us as we setup our WordPress blog. So, we’ll click Get
Started and then we’ll go through the registration process.
We’re going to type in the domain we just found, which is AudioGrad.com.
Domain registration is an extra $15 a year. We’ll click Proceed and then we’ll
put in our account information. We’re going to be creating a new account
where we need to put in our personal information here: our name, address, and
our payment information. Once we put in our billing information, we can choose
the purchase information. In order to avoid the setup fee, we’re going to
choose the “12 month” Period. This will give us the special $3.95 price.
We’re also going to make sure that we can register our new domain through SiteGround,
but we’re going to get rid of the domain privacy and SG Site Scanner. If
we want to add those services on later, we can. Our total is going to be $62.35 and we’ll click Pay Now. Once our order is
submitted, an account will be created for us where we can proceed to the Customer Area.
When we proceed to the Customer Area, SiteGround is going to take us
through the Website Setup Wizard. This makes it very easy to create a new
WordPress site. The very first option we see under Ready To Get Started is “Get
WordPress pre-installed on this account.” So, we’ll automatically install WordPress
and then get WordPress optimized hosting services from SiteGround. We’re going to
click Proceed on this. Next, they’re going to ask us for login details for the account.
They’ll use the admin email that we signed up with and then we can create
our username and our password. They’re also going to check to make sure
that we’re using a strong password. We can also choose to have a template (or
theme) pre-installed with our WordPress installation. However, we’ll be going over
themes a little bit later so we’re going to skip this for now. Once our Account Setup Assistant is
complete, we’ll be brought to a completion page. Our account information
will be displayed and we can also choose from some documentation on what to do next. We’re going to proceed to the Customer Area. As far as WordPress site setup goes, we’re
all set. We should have an email in our account now that our WordPress site has
been installed and if we go to audio AudioGrad.com, we’ll see that’s true.
We have a brand new blog with some default information and the default WordPress
theme. We also have some posts and categories already configured for us. Now
that WordPress is installed on our new hosting account, we’re going to log into
the WordPress Dashboard to start configuring it. The WordPress Dashboard
is where you can control all of the elements of your WordPress site. You can
access this at any time by going to YourSite.com/admin. In our case, we’re
going to go to AudioGrad.com/admin. Once we do that, we’ll be presented with a login screen. And once we’re logged in, we’ll be greeted
with the WordPress Dashboard. The main Dashboard screen is fairly
intuitive. You’ll find the menu down left and the main content in the middle.
However, it isn’t especially useful and WordPress’s new onboarding is fairly
bad so you’ll benefit from taking a moment to get to grips with the key terminology.
Posts refer to blog posts or articles. WordPress was originally a blogging platform so these received some prominence.
Pages refer to website pages. These are for static content such as your About or
Contact pages. The main difference between Posts and Pages is that posts
can be listed and categorized. They’re generally listed in reverse
chronological order which means that the most recent post shows up first. Pages
don’t have much organization to them besides the fact that you can have
parent and child pages, but you cannot categorize or tag them and they’re not
listed in any certain way outside of the menus that you create.
Appearance is where you can change how your site looks. This includes adding new
themes and the Customizer. The customizer is a way of changing the look of your
site with a Live Preview of the finished results. You’ll also find Widgets. These
are pre-built, customizable modules that you can drop into predefined areas of
your theme such as the sidebar. Plugins are packages that add extra
functionality to WordPress such as a contact form or faster loading speeds
and even eCommerce. The really nice thing about WordPress is that it separates
content from appearance and functionality. That means that, theoretically, you can swap out one theme for another
or add and remove plugins without affecting the main content (that is the
posts and pages of your website). Settings is where you’ll find general options
for how to set up your site. Some plugins will also add their setting pages here.
Jetpack is a plugin that’s pre-installed by SiteGround and it adds
some of the most wanted functionality to WordPress. Jetpack is made by Automattic,
the same people who make WordPress.com, and this requires a little extra setup.
I recommend you click around the various options and pages to get a sense of how
WordPress works. Click on Posts, for example, and you’ll find that SiteGround
has already published a post on your site. We’ll come back to creating your
first post later on, but have a quick look now if you’re curious. Just to get a
feel, we’ll show you how everything works and how to make the changes you want
later on. Feel free to pause this video, if you’d like, to click around yourself
in your own WordPress admin. The only other QuickStart setup we’re going to do
at this stage is connect Jetpack. Jetpack needs to be connected to a WordPress.com
account to unlock its full range of features. From your dashboard, you’ll see
a nice big area for Jetpack explaining all of the benefits it has to offer and
urging you to connect to WordPress.com. To remove this box, we’re going to do
that now. So, go ahead and click to Connect to WordPress.com. You’ll then be
brought to a WordPress.com signup page. If you don’t already have a WordPress.com account, here’s how you can create yours. If you already have an account,
you can click on the Sign In button below. Once you’ve created your
account or logged in, you’ll be asked to approve the connection to your new
website. So, go ahead and click the Approve button. Your connection will then
be authorized. You’ll then be asked to pick the plan that’s right for you.
Jetpack offers some premium features at different price points.
We’re going to start with the Free account now which offers everything that
we need. Once we’re brought back to our WordPress
Dashboard, Jetpack can automatically activate the recommended features which
you can see below. This includes easy Sharing features, a way to Subscribe to
your blog Contact Form, and a few other nice features.
We want to keep this as light as possible so we’re actually going to
activate only a few. We can do that by going to the Settings page. You’ll see
that the Jetpack modules are organized into different tabs and that
some are turned on by default. For example, “Check your spelling, style,
and grammar.” The main modules that we want to make sure are activated are
found in Sharing. We want to “Publicize our connections” which means that our new posts will be automatically shared to our social networks (that’s already
checked off) and we want to make sure that the “sharing buttons” are added to
the bottom of each post. Again, that’s already active. Finally, we’re going to
click on the Traffic tab and enable the “related content after posts”. Once we have
enough content, Jetpack will use this to automatically recommend related posts to
our readers at the bottom of the post that they’re currently reading. With that, let’s go back to the Dashboard.
You’ll notice that the big Jetpack box is gone and we’re left only with the
Get Started box that was above it. WordPress has assembled a few links to
help us get started. For example, we can click on the Customize Your Site button
to be brought to the Customizer. We can write our first blog or add
an About page and more. We’re going to “change our theme
completely” so we’re going to click on that link. This link can also be found
under Appearance→Themes. When we do that, we’ll be brought to the WordPress Themes
page. You’ll see that it has a few already installed including the current
default theme and the two previous default themes. But what are WordPress
themes? WordPress themes are pre-made website designs that can be installed on
any WordPress-powered website. This makes for an incredibly affordable way to get
a professional website design. Plus, the best WordPress themes are customizable
so you can integrate with your branding and tweak to get just the precise look
you want. In this section, we’re going to give you a few details that you need to
choose, install, and set up the perfect WordPress theme for your WordPress blog.
The first thing you should do is define your blog’s aims and niche. You probably
already did this a little bit when you thought about the topic that your blog
is going to cover, but you should be prepared to spend a fair amount of time
choosing the right WordPress theme. There are literally thousands to choose from
and your theme is the very first thing that visitors to your website will see
and judge so it’s crucial that you get it right. It’s important to consider two questions: what do visitors want from your website
and what actions do you want your visitors to take? Our audio blog might answer these questions the following way: “Visitors want to easily find and read information about audio equipment and we want to
convert visitors to subscribers by joining our mailing list. Alternatively,
our audio blog can aim to get readers to audio product reviews so
the site can make affiliate commissions as a result of purchases from those
reviews.” An eCommerce site would have different answers, as with a corporate
blog or a food blog. Take some time to think about these questions and write
down your answers. You can derive inspiration from similar or competing
sites if you need to. This will be very useful for eventually making the right
theme choice. WordPress themes come in fairly well defined categories so you
should now take your analysis and fit it into one of them. Here’s what you have to
choose from: Blog (which includes niches such as food, fashion, and recipe),
corporate (which includes niches such as academia, medicine, and construction),
Multi-author (news or magazine style blogs), Portfolio (which includes
professional portfolios and photography showcases) and E-Commerce (which
includes all the different types that you can possibly name). These cover the most
common categories, but you’ll find WordPress themes in almost every niche
from wedding to nonprofit to real estate. Try to fit your site into one of these
categories that we’ve named, but if it has very specific requirements (real
estate, for example, requires very specific sorting features), then specify
down to that specific niche. Our audio blog can happily fit into the Blog
category. When you’re looking for a well-designed theme, you can do a simple
Google search that will yield dozens of articles outlining the same things when
it comes for tips for choosing a good WordPress theme. Over at WinningWP.com,
we even have our own guide specifically for choosing the right theme.
We want things like mobile-friendly or responsive. SEO-friendly. We want good
settings and options for the Customizer. These are all attributes that are
commonly listed. But what is seldom listed is features that make for a good
design, especially when we’re talking about blogs. WordPress is a very versatile tool that’s used for all sorts of sites as
we’ve discovered. So, what specifically should you look for when finding
a good design for your blog? First, you want to make sure that it’s
easy to read. Your visitors are coming to your website for one primary function: to
read what you’ve written. Your blog, first and foremost, should be easy to read.
That means throwing out terms like “good contrast” and “lots of whitespace”.
Something that looks clean. But what exactly do those terms mean? A good example
is Medium. Medium’s design (which is featured on screen now) is the perfect
example of clean design. The font is nice and big, the text is well spaced, and it’s
a single column of text. It screams, “Read me!” So, let’s look at some of the
elements of this good design. First of all, there’s dark text on a white background.
This has been proven to be the easiest color combination to read.
It’s not straining on the eyes which means users won’t experience reading
fatigue. There’s also a big serif font. Serif fonts (which are fonts with the
curls and flourishes on the letters) are easier to read because the letters are
more distinguishable. This is why most books use a serif font.
Notice the generous amount of white space on the left and right and the
spacing between the lines in the paragraphs. Readers can quickly move
from line to line without losing their place because each line is clearly recognizable. And, finally, there is a single focus. With
one column or a large main content area with a smaller sidebar, readers are not
distracted by other elements on the page. You’re also going to want to figure out
the code quality. Does it look like the author knows what they’re doing? Is the
theme fast? Speed is very important because of visitor satisfaction and
search engines and it’s generally a good indicator of high quality code. Run the
theme demo through a speed tester. A loading time of more than two seconds is a red flag. You should also research the author. Find
out who they are. Have they been around long? Are they well established? How
seriously do they take WordPress? If you find, for example, that they’ve recently
sponsored or spoken at a WordPress conference (called a WordCamp),
that’s a good sign. Equally, if you find they sell themes on
WordPress.com, the higher code standards there are another good indicator. If you
can’t find anything, this should be a red flag. This can all sound daunting. but
it’s just a checklist. In a moment, we’ll look at places where you can find
WordPress themes and, once you’ve found one that you like, we can run it against
the checklist. But there is one caveat. Before we proceed, you should avoid
“Do It All” themes that offer all of the functionality under the sun. Themes that
need to cater to everybody typically makes them slow and bloated and leads to
a poor user experience. It’s much better, therefore, to look for a theme
specifically built for the category that you identified earlier. We’re now ready to find you your perfect
WordPress theme. There are two types of themes to consider: free and paid. When it
comes to finding free themes, the best place is the WordPress Theme Repository.
This is accessible through your WordPress Dashboard. Each theme in the
WordPress Repository is reviewed before being listed, accessible right from your
WordPress installation, and is easy to update. It’s also easy to filter and
search for themes with specific features. If we click on Add New Theme from our
WordPress Dashboard, you can see that there are a few different categories for
the themes including Popular and Latest and there’s also the Feature Filter.
This will allow us to pick the type of layouts we want and the kind of features
that we want to find in our theme. We can also choose the subject matter
which comes in handy since earlier we identified the type of blog that we want to have. Once we click Apply Filters, all of the
themes that we see will be narrowed down to just the ones that fit into the
categories we selected. If we don’t see any we like, we can always edit the
filters to broaden our search results. When it comes to trying to find a
premium or paid theme, there are a wide array of theme marketplaces that offer
different services, pricing, and options, but there’s no single source for paid
themes. The most popular marketplace is ThemeForest and the biggest
independent sellers are StudioPress, Elegant Themes, Themify, and ThemeIsle.
There are also a number of niche sellers which have excellent themes including
Anariel Design, Array, WPZoom, Elmastudio, and Themetry. Going to individual
sellers and marketplaces can be very time consuming. This is why the category
of theme that you identified earlier can come in handy as this will let you
quickly sift through sellers themes for one’s potentially appropriate to you.
There are a few ways that you can evaluate a premium theme as well as some
benefits to having a premium theme. With a premium theme, you’ll get support and
help from the developer. Premium themes mean the developer is invested and
willing to help their customers. It also means that they are getting paid to
develop the theme allowing them to dedicate time to support. On that same
token, you’ll get updates and security. Premium theme developers want to support
the theme in another way. They want to make sure that it works with each
version of WordPress as well as keep it safe and secure. You may not have that
guarantee with a free theme. Finally, you’ll get a unique, quality theme. Since
more time is generally put into premium themes, you’ll get better code quality.
This reinforces a safer theme. But it also means that if you want to build on
top of it, you will have an easier time with a premier theme. And, since fewer
people are using premium themes than free themes, you’re more likely to have a
nice, unique-looking theme to help your blog stand out. Earlier we named several good theme sellers and finding one, again, can be a
daunting task. You can also search the best WordPress themes for your category
to find long lists of available themes. Although, note that these lists are often
driven by advertising and don’t always highlight the best choices available.
It’s better, therefore, to see which themes come up multiple times on
multiple lists. The WordPress Foundation also keeps a list of verified premium
theme sellers that’s worth checking out. You’ll want to create a short list of
possible themes once you’ve found a few good sources. Once you’re happy with the
list and options, run through the checklist that we set out earlier. This
should narrow your options down even further. From there, choose the one that
you think is the most appropriate for your site. You may even decide that you
want to purchase multiple themes and try them out. But be wary. You may or may not get a refund for the ones you decide not to use. But the design of your website is a big
deal, so it’s very important to get right. While there are lots of great themes out
there, we feel that it’s best to use a free one for the purposes of this video.
We’ve decided to go with the theme Lovecraft by Anders Norén. Anders has
been around for a long time and creates themes regularly. They’re all beautiful
and featured in the WordPress Theme Repository which means that the code
quality is up to snuff and he updates them with the latest version of WordPress.
In order to install Lovecraft, you’re going to want to go to the Add
Themes area that we saw before. If you need a refresher on how to get there,
click on Appearance→Themes and then click Add New Theme. From there, in the
Search Themes box type Lovecraft. You should only have one result.
Go ahead and click Install and, once it’s installed, you can click
Activate. If you visit the front end of your site, you’ll see a brand new theme
is active. Now, it’s time to customize our theme. To do that, click on the Customize
button that’s next to the screenshot of Lovecraft. You can also access this by
clicking Customize under Appearance. You’ll see that you have a box on the
left that has different options for you to customize and you have a version of
your website on the right. As you make changes on the left, you’ll see them
happen in real time on the right. The first thing we’ll want to do is change
the site identity. We want to make sure that our site title and tagline matches
the mission of our website. Under Site Identity we also have the opportunity
to add a site icon. The site icon is used as a browser and app icon for your site.
It must be square and it must be at least 512 pixels wide and tall. We can select and upload an icon of our
choice. Once we do that, we can click Select and
it will give us a preview of the way it looks in the browser. With that done, we can go to the next
area to customize our site. That will be Colors. Lovecraft gives us only one
option here and it’s an Accent Color. We’re going to choose an accent color
that matches the icon we just uploaded. We can do that one of two ways: by
dragging the color picker until we find one that’s close or by obtaining the
hexadecimal value or color code. If we have a logo prepared, we can also
upload that here, but note that the logo will replace the default site title so
unless you have a specifically made one that matches the approximate size and
shape of your title, we don’t recommend this. The rest of the customizations we
will make later on in the video, but our site is now one step closer to being our
own. We’ve selected a theme and we’ve customized the site title and tagline.
We’re going to go ahead and click Save and Publish. One more note, different
WordPress themes have different options available in the Customizer. While we have
a few options to customize our website, premium themes may have even more to
give you more control over the look and feel of your site. This is another thing
that you should evaluate when choosing your theme. With that done, we’re going to
click the X to get out of the Customizer. This will take us back to the page that
we were previously on and from here we can move ahead with further customizing
our website. Before we create our first blog post, we’re going to go down to the
Settings section and make sure that everything looks right there. We’re going
to click on Settings to be brought to the General Settings tab. You’ll notice a
few things going on here. First of all, we can change the site title and tagline (which
we did from the Customizer). We also have the WordPress address and site
address. Unless you absolutely know what you’re doing, you should not change this. The things that we do want to change are
the Timezone. The Timezone setting is especially important because it will
determine the publish date and time for all of your posts. Most people would
want this to align with where they live, but it doesn’t have to. We’re going to
choose the New York timezone so that our posts and pages are published using
Eastern Time. You can also change the date and time format based on your
location. Since we’re publishing in a United States time zone, we’re going to
keep the date format one that aligns with what’s most familiar to Americans.
Then, we’ll save the changes. Next, we’ll take a look at the Writing and Reading
sections which are sub menus under Settings. Under Writing, you’ll find some
default settings for your blog post. We don’t have any content or categories yet,
but you can revisit this page once you do. Under the Reading settings, you can customize how many blog posts are shown
on your feed page as well as what shows up in RSS. RSS stands for Really Simple
Syndication and it allows people to access your content from other sources or apps. You can also choose Search Engine
Visibility. It’s worth checking now to discourage search engines from indexing
your site while you’re working on it. You don’t want people to see an incomplete
site. However, it’s absolutely crucial to make sure this is unchecked before
you launch. Finally, since we have Jetpack-related posts installed, we can
choose to customize how users see the related posts at the bottom of each post. Under Discussion, you have some settings
for if you want people to be able to comment on your blog post. You can
choose the amount of security you want regarding comments, like if you want the
comment author to fill out a name and email or if they have to be registered
and logged in to comment. You can also close comments, moderate comments, and
more. The next thing we’re going to look at is Permalinks. The Permalinks tab is a
really important one because permalinks are how people are going to access your
website. Permalinks are pretty easy to remember, SEO-friendly, URL structures.
Many times the default setting will be the plain option you see at the top. This
is where the URL is appended with an identification number for each post.
This is not easy to remember, nor is it SEO-friendly. SiteGround, by
default, sets the permalink to “Day and name”, but we actually recommend using
“Post name”. Not only does it make the URL shorter and therefore easy to remember,
but it’s more manageable as your blog grows and it’s more SEO-friendly because
it places the keywords towards the beginning of the URL. Finally, because we
enabled Jetpack Sharing we can configure these settings. Here we can choose to
connect our website to several different social networks for when we publish new
posts and we can choose the services that we want to show up at the bottom of
each post. For this video, we’re going to choose Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and
we’re going to give users the ability to print. We can also choose how we want our icons to look.
We can choose “Icon and text”, “Icon only”, or choose the “Official buttons” for each service.
We’re going to go with “Icon only”. We can also choose the Sharing label
(which will keep the same) and choose where to show the buttons. We want the
buttons to show up only on the post pages. With all of our settings configured
and our theme chosen and customized, it’s finally time to create our first post. We’re going to do that by clicking on
the post’s label. You’ll see that we already have one post pre-installed by SiteGround. We’re going to go ahead and delete that
now and now we’re going to click the Add New button near the posts heading. When
we get to the Add New Post page, you’ll notice a few things. First of all, we have
a big header and editor area. We also have some Publish information, Format,
Categories, Tags and a Featured Image. As we add plugins, we might see more
information show up here. For example, the Yoast SEO plugin adds a
box for us to add keyword information to our individual posts. But for now, we’re
going to go ahead and just create a simple post. First, we’re going to add the
title, Choosing the Right Microphone, and then the text. We can also format the
text or add links by using the TinyMCE buttons that you see across the top of
the editor. If we click on the toolbar toggle, we can have even more options for
changing the text color, pasting text from things like Google Docs or Word, and
changing the text format so we can add headings, paragraph text, or pre-formatted
text. For this post, we’re going to bold a few things and add links. For
example, in the second paragraph we recommend the Blue Snowball so we’re
going to bold that by pressing the Bold icon and then we’re going to click the
Insert/Edit link. This will allow us to paste a URL and apply it.
We’ll do the same thing for the Blue Yeti. We’ll bold it
and then we’ll add the link. For our last link in the final paragraph,
we recommend the Shure SM7B Dynamic microphone. We’ll bold that the same way,
but here’s a little shortcut to add links using the WordPress editor. You can
highlight the text and then press CTRL V to paste the link. This will automatically
change the text to linked text with whatever URL you copied. We’re also going to add a Category
here for Microphones. We’ll also add some Tags and
we’ll upload a few images here. This box, specifically, is for the Featured
Image. Depending on your theme, the Featured Image will show up in different
places for the Post Listings page and the single Post page. So we’re
going to upload the image that we want featured and then
click Set Featured image. If we want to be more specific about
where certain images show up within our post, we can add images directly to the
editor. To do that, we place our cursor where we want the image to be placed and
then click Add Media. We can then upload the image. Unlike the featured image, we also have a few display settings. We can choose the
alignment (either Left, Center, Right, or None), we can choose to link it somewhere,
and we can choose the size. WordPress will automatically generate a few sizes
for our image. And themes and plugins can generate even more sizes. You can see
that we only have three sizes here because the full size of our image is
640 by 480. If we were to upload a bigger image, we’d have one more size here
called Large. We’re going to keep it at the Medium
image and align it to the Right. Then, we’ll click insert post. You can see that our image is now
in line with the rest of our text. We’ll add one more image here for the
Shure SM7B. Another way that we can upload images is
by simply dragging them into the editor once we place our cursor. This will automatically bring up the
Media uploader and upload the image. You can see since this image is a bit bigger,
we have one more size called Large. We’re going to choose the Full Image size
for this one and have it aligned Center. You’ll also want to be mindful of image
sizes that you upload. While it’s better to have big images to make them look
crisper for your blog, you’re also going to increase the amount of time it takes
for users to download your web pages. So, you want to try to find a happy medium
and take advantage of the image sizes that WordPress creates for you.
With our images and links added as well as our categories, tags, and featured
image, we’re ready to publish our post. We’re going to do that by clicking
Publish. Once our post is published, we can click View Post to see what
it looks like on the front end. Now that you know how to create blog
posts, go ahead and populate your blog with a few more to get ready for launch.
If we go back to the WordPress Dashboard, you’ll find that the page creating
experience is very similar to the post creating experience. We’re going to make
use of the WordPress Get Started area from our Dashboard screen here before we
go ahead and dismiss it. So, we’ll click the Add an About page. Clicking
this will bring us to the New Page area. You’ll find that we have the
same exact title and editor areas that we have on our Post page as well as the
same Publish area. However, we have in lieu of a Categories and Tags area a
Page Attributes section. This allows our theme developers to create different
templates for different types of content. You can see that this one has the
Default Template as well as the Full Width Page Template. So, if we have a page
where we want our sidebar to be excluded, we can use the Full Width Page Template.
We also have the Featured Image area that we saw from our Post page. So, we
can go ahead and create an About page here. For the time being, we’ll use the
text that we use to define our blog. Since we wrote out that text in
Microsoft Word, we’re going to use the Paste as Text feature here. So, we’re
going to paste our text in Plain Text so that no formatting is brought over.
The editor we’ll clean up our text automatically. We can now turn this Off and format our
text exactly the way we want it. You’ll also notice that a permalink is
automatically generated for every post and page we create. So, this one takes our
title, cleans it up a little bit, and makes it the slug or the end part of our
URL. We can also modify this by clicking the Edit button. Since this is going to
be our only About page, we can go ahead and just make the slug “about”. Finally, we will add a Featured Image and
we’ll use the same one from our previous post (this can be the image that we
decide represents our website the best) and then we’ll click Publish. When we go to View Page, we’ll see that the featured image is in the similar spot.
However, you’ll notice that we’re missing the post metadata that we saw on the
Post page. That’s because date, category, and tag doesn’t really matter for pages. With that, you can go ahead and start
creating your pages for your blog. With most of our content created, it’s time to
look at the endless possibilities of WordPress plugins. We’ll be using one of
those plugins to create a form which will be the last page we need to create
before we build out our menus and widgets. But first, let’s talk about how
we can add more functionality to our WordPress site. WordPress plugins are
pre-built bits of functionality that you can bolt on to your WordPress site.
Plugins are one of WordPress’s best features as they let you add specific
functionality you want for low or even no cost. We’ve already installed and
enabled Jetpack which gives us lots of great functionality through modules.
We’ve already seen the Sharing and Publicized modules and there’s one more
that we haven’t looked at yet. But the possibilities are endless as far as
other WordPress plugins goes. Knowing how to find the right plugins, what range of
functionality is available, and how to set them up is your secret weapon when
it comes to creating the best possible WordPress blog. Plugins allow you to make
your blog really standout. And now, we’ll show you everything you need to know
about plugins and how to use them on your site. Similar to their theme counterparts,
WordPress plugins are available in two flavors: free and paid. Also, as with
themes, free plugins are available in the WordPress Plugin Repository.
Paid plugins are available across the web. There’s no formal central
marketplace, but CodeCanyon is home to a lot of WordPress plugins.
There are also some excellent independent plugin sellers. While there
are plenty of free plugins available, it’s often worth paying a modest fee for
premium versions (typically $20 to $100 a year) for the guaranteed support if
something goes wrong, the extra features typically available in the Pro plugins,
and the general commitment to future development of that plugin. The final
point is more ambiguous, but especially important as WordPress plugins tend not
to be a security risk for your site, per se, but they need to be kept up-to-date
and compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Paying for a plugin
provides some protection against your plugin being abandoned or neglected by its developer. It’s really important to choose plugins
carefully and only use plugins from reputable sources. Because plugins are
pre-built bits of code they can be running anything on your website. When
used maliciously, this code could open a door to hackers or spammers. Don’t be
frightened by this; it’s just something to be aware of. Be careful to only
install plugins from their original author and avoid websites that are
bundling other people’s plugins together. Look for the usual signs that a seller
or developer is reputable and look for other people’s recommendation of a
plugin and you should be fine. One final note here, because plugins are
running extra code on your site, they can slow your website down. It’s not
necessarily true that the more plugins you have, results in slower loading
speeds for your site. But, generally, sites with more than 20 to 30 plugins will be
significantly slower than sites with 5 or 10. With so many plugins adding
so many excellent bits of functionality, it could be tempting to install as many
as possible. It’s a useful exercise to use restraint here. Only install the ones
that you absolutely need and set your maximum limit to around 30 plugins.
So, let’s talk about how to install plugins on your WordPress site. You can
access your plugins area by clicking on the Plugins entry on the left hand side.
From there you’ll see a list of all the plugins you have installed. The ones that
are active are highlighted in blue. You can add new plugins by clicking on Add New. Here you’ll see a similar interface to
what you saw when you installed a new theme. You’ll see a list of the Featured
plugins, Popular plugins, and more and you can do a keyword search for specific
plugins. For example, if you’re looking for a forms plugin, you can
search for the keyword “forms”. You will then see a list of possible
free forms plugins. If you decide to go the premium plugin
route or add a free plugin from outside the WordPress Plugin Repository, you can
add it by clicking on Upload Plugin from the Add Plugin screen.
Then you can click Choose File and upload a zip of the plugin that you’ve
downloaded. When you activate a new plugin, you may be asked to go through a
setup process similar to what we saw with the Jetpack plugin, but now you
know how to find and install plugins on your WordPress site. So, which plugins
are the best? We’re going to look at a handful of recommended plugins and then
we’ll go through configuring the ones that we need to get our site fully operational. The first one is Akismet which comes
pre-installed on your WordPress site. Akismet is an excellent spam comment
blocking tool that’s also made by Automattic, the same people who make
Jetpack. Akismet protects your blog from unwanted, unsightly, and unprofessional
comment spam that all WordPress blogs inevitably receive. Akismet is available
from the WordPress.org Plugin Repository, but it often comes
pre-installed with your WordPress site. If you don’t see Akismet in your
installed plugins area, you can find it for free by going to Add New. Once
Akismet is installed, we’re going to click Activate and then we’ll see a big
blue button that’s asking us to set up our Akismet account. We’ll go ahead and
click that and you could see that we’re brought to an Akismet page under the
Jetpack heading. Because we’ve already enabled Jetpack and Akismet and Jetpack
are made by the same company, we can simply connect Akismet with Jetpack so
we don’t have to go through a separate verification process. We’re given an API
key and we can determine how strict we want our spam filter to be.
Now, we’ll click Save Changes and our blog is being protected from comment
spam. If we ever decide that we need stronger protection, we can upgrade our
Akismet account to a paid one. The next plugin we’re going to look at is going to help
us with our search engine optimization. It’s called Yoast SEO and it’s free from the WordPress Plugin Repository. So,
we’ll hover over Plugins and click Add New and then we’ll search for Yoast. That’s Y-O-A-S-T. When we see Yoast SEO by Team Yoast we can click Install Now. And, once it’s installed, we can click the
blue Activate button. After activation we’ll be brought to the Plugins page and
you can see that Yoast SEO is now installed and active.
We’ll also have a new entry on the left-hand side under Settings so we’ll
hover over the SEO tab and click Dashboard. The first thing that we’ll see
is Yoast is letting us know if there are any serious SEO problems. If earlier you
checked off “block search engines from crawling our website”, you’ll see that
problem listed here. Moving from the Dashboard and clicking the General tab
you’ll see that Yoast SEO has a configuration wizard. We’re going to
click and walk through that because it’s the fastest way to get our website SEO-friendly. The first thing we’ll do is click
Configure Yoast SEO. Now, it’s going to ask us about our environment. It’s going
to ask us if our site is live and ready to be indexed or still under
construction. Assuming this is right before we’re ready to go live, we’ll go
with Option A and then click Next. It’s also going to ask us what type of
site we are so we’ll click “A blog”. Since we’re a single person running the
blog, we’ll make sure that our site is represented by a person and
then we’ll put our name in. Yoast SEO will also tell search engines
about related social media profiles. So if you’ve created a Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram, LinkedIn, or more, you can add those links here and then Yoast will
make sure that your website and your social profiles are associated. Step 6 is
to specify which type of posts we want to be visible to search engines.
Aside from Posts and Pages, WordPress allows something called Custom Post
Types. These are custom types of content that you can add to your WordPress site.
You’ll see all of the posts and custom post types here. Since we’re a basic blog
and we haven’t installed any new custom post types, we see three: Posts, Pages, and
Media. We want Posts and Pages to be visible, but we want Media individually
to be hidden from search engines. Next, it’s going to ask us if our site has
Multiple Authors. That’s because WordPress can create Author Archives so
each author has their own personalized page on your WordPress blog.
However, if you’re the only author, Yoast SEO will go ahead and delete the author archive and deactivate it to make sure that you don’t run into duplicate
content issues. Yoast SEO also makes it very easy to connect with the Google
Search Console. This allows you to make sure that your website is being properly
detected by Google and that the overall search engine optimization health is
good. If you’re logged into Google, you can click Get Google Authorization Code.
You’ll be prompted to allow Yoast SEO to view and manage your search console
data for your Google account. You’ll then be given a code that you
need to paste in the application. This will help authenticate your website
with Google. Once you do that, you can move to the next screen. Now, it’s time
to configure the Title Settings so you can make sure your
website is named correctly and you can choose a Title Separator. While it’s
often debated which symbol is best to use for these separators, we’re going to
leave the default selected. If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest
search engine optimization news, you can go ahead and sign up for Yoast SEO’s newsletter. Finally, if you feel like you need a
little bit of extra help, you can upgrade to the Yoast SEO Premium plugin. Once
you go through all 12 screens, your website is ready to be search engine optimized.
We’ve got the basic settings down. The other piece of functionality that
Yoast SEO adds to your website is a box on the individual Posts and Pages. So if
we go to Posts→All Posts and then click on our blog post, Choosing the Right
Microphone, we’ll now see a new box appear.
This allows us to add a focused keyword that is the keyword that we want our
blog post to rank for. Yoast SEO will then evaluate our post
based on that keyword. Yoast SEO will then analyze your content
for your keyword. Green dots mean that these are good to go and don’t need to
be addressed. Orange dots means that you might want to pay some attention to them,
but they’re not critical. The red dots are issues that you should definitely
address. The same goes with the Readability tab.
Yoast SEO will also analyze your content to see how readable it is ranking six
criteria. Once again, the green dots mean that these criteria are good to go, the
orange dots means that this could use some attention, and the red dots are
critical issues that should definitely be fixed. If you’re unsure of what any of
these dots mean, Yoast links to their own blog to explain them more in depth. With
Jetpack, Akismet, and Yoast SEO configured, we’re just about ready to launch our
website. However, we still need to create one more page and that’s our Contact page. Because WordPress is focused more on
blogging and content creation, there’s no built in form builder. However,
one of the modules that have been included in Jetpack is a forms module. So,
if we go to Pages→Add New and then add a title called Contact, you’ll notice that there’s a button next
to the Add Media button called Add Contact Form. This will
add a simple form in line for your website. You can click on it and then click the Pencil or Edit button to modify some of
the information and fields. For example, you can change the subject
as well as the email address. You can also modify the Form Fields to
some extent. You can add a field or change a field type to add things like
checkboxes, drop-down menus, or radio buttons. Because we have a simple contact form, the pre-built form is good for us. With
our Form configured, we’re going to click Publish and then view our page and you can see that we have a nice
contact form on our new page. If you need more flexibility with your contact form, we recommend using Ninja Forms which is
a free plugin available from the WordPress Plugin Repository. It offers a
beautiful and intuitive user experience and interface. It allows you to create
multiple forms and it has premium add-ons to extend the plugin as much as
you need to. With all of our content created, our theme selected, and our
plugins configured, it’s time to do one more thing before we launch the site and
that’s configure our Menus and Widgets. There are two ways we can configure our
menus and widgets: we can do it through the Customizer by going to Appearance→Customize where we’ll see selections for our menus and widgets or we could do it
the more traditional way of going to Appearance→Widgets or Appearance→Menus.
We’ll do it this way for now to get a better view of what exactly this
interface means and what functionality WordPress offers us. Let’s start with the
Menus. So, here we’ll see that we can create and add menus and that one has
already been created for us. We’re going to go through the process of creating a
brand new menu. To do that we can click Create New Menu and then we’ll give it a
name. I always like to call the main navigation or the primary navigation Main Nav. Once our menu is created, we
can choose a display location. Our theme only has one, but other themes
might offer different menu locations in the sidebar, in the footer, or on custom
page templates. We’re going to select this and then we’re going to add our
menu items. We only have two pages created, About Audio Grad and Contact,
so we’ll add both of those. We can reorder by dragging and dropping
the menu items. And we can create sub menus by dragging the menu item we want
to be in the sub menu to the right underneath the main navigation item.
Clicking on one of these items will give us more options like changing the
navigation label. By default, the navigation label is the name of the page.
But if we want to have a tighter menu or want to customize the navigation label,
we can do that here. We will just call our About Audio Grad page, About. If we
want to get even more granular with the customization. We can also add one more
thing to these boxes. If you click on Screen Options, you’ll notice that we can
show advanced menu properties like Link Target, Title Attribute, CSS Classes, and
more. For Link Target, we can choose to open the link in a new tab. While this is
generally not recommended for main navigation items, if you’re taking the
user away from the site, you might want to do this. CSS Classes allow you to add
pieces of CSS to your specific menu items to change their look and feel. The last thing we want to do here is add
a Home link. Now, we haven’t created a Home page because the Home page is our
most recent blog post. Instead, we’re going to create a custom
link. The URL is going to be our main URL, AudioGrad.com, and the link text is going to be “Home”. We’ll click Add to Menu and then we’ll
drag Home to the top. Now, we’ll click Save Menu. If we visit
the front end of our website, you’ll see that our menu has changed and it’s what
we just created in the WordPress Dashboard. The next thing we’re going to do is customize the sidebar area. These are our Widgets. We could do that by going to the Dashboard and by clicking on Appearance→Widgets.
You’ll notice that Lovecraft gives us four widget areas: the Sidebar we just
looked at and then three columns in the Footer. Depending on the information that
you want to show your users you can customize these however you want.
WordPress gives us a lot of widgets out-of-the-box or pre-installed. Jetpack
adds even more to that. But if there’s a widget that you want to add that you
don’t see in this list, you could always look for a plugin that does the same thing. For our Sidebar area, we’re going to keep Search and Categories. We’re going to delete
Archives and Meta. We’re also going to add two more widgets. We’re going to add
a Text widget which allows us to add arbitrary text to
our sidebar. We’re going to add a “Welcome” message. You’ll notice that this looks
very similar to the editor on our posts and pages and, in fact, the Text widget
allows us to do things like format text or even add media. Once we
have our text we’ll click Save and then we’ll add the last widget to
our sidebar which is going to be the Subscribe box. We’ll find that under the
label Blog Subscriptions and this is added by Jetpack. It will allow users to
add their email address so that they’ll get emailed every time you update your
blog. Here we have the simple Widget Title which we’ll just change to
“Subscribe”, some text to display to our readers, the
placeholder text, and the Success message. So, we’ll go ahead and click Save on that. Finally, we’ll definitely want to make
use of our Footer widgets. This could be any information you want so we’ll just
add a couple here that we think will do really well for users who make it
down to the bottom of the page. The first will be the Recent Posts widget. This will be what we add to Footer One and
this is the leftmost column. For any of these areas you can add as many widgets
as you want, but you might want to be mindful of how it will look and what the
experience will be like for the user. We’re going to add one widget to each of these areas. For Footer Two, it’s going to be the
Calendar. The Calendar is a widget that shows users when posts were published so they can go to any day and see the posts that were published on that day.
And, finally, for Footer Three, we’re going to add the Social Media icons that have
been included with Jetpack. Here you simply add your username for
each social network that you want to be added. Jetpack will handle the rest.
With our widget areas configured, let’s see what our site looks like now. You’ll see we have our text and our
Search form. Our Categories, our Subscribe box, and if we scroll down to the bottom,
you’ll see the most Recent Posts with thumbnail, a nice Calendar displaying
what days we’ve published posts, and our Social Media icons. Congratulations! You’ve now completed
this video where we created a blog from scratch starting with buying the hosting
and the domain, setting up our theme, adding our content, configuring our
plugins, and more. Check out the description for links that we’ve
mentioned and subscribe to this channel for more great tips.

7 thoughts on “How to Make a Professional WordPress Blog – A Complete Guide (With No Steps Skipped)

  1. I use wordpress for all my websites and blogs. It is fast and easy and I can manage multiple blogs from one place using this mywordpress.ml including backups and virus scanner

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