We live in an era when creating and launching a website takes a matter of a couple of hours. Long gone are the days when you’d need a large team of developers and designers to have a good looking website. Now there is WordPress, and there are tons of possibilities and options to have your website up and running. It’s like literally several clicks away.
As the most popular and feature-packed CMS, WordPress gives you thousands of options to run and manage any kind of website or blog, be it a corporate one, or just a personal blog to share a couple of posts from time to time.
If you’ve been thinking of starting a blog or launching a website for your business for quite a long time, it’s the right time to do that. With WordPress it’s easier than ever before, and I’m here to lead you through some steps needed to establish a good looking, functional, and fully-finished website.
Let’s get started.
Tips and Tools for Launching Your Own WordPress Website
As this is not a “step by step guide “ on how to create a website from scratch, I won’t go deep into all the issues with choosing a domain, hosting or WordPress installation process. Those are very specific steps, that are fully up to you to decide. I would rather give some clues and suggest a couple of tools that will come in handy when you’ve already gone through all those steps.
So, you’ve already installed WordPress, now it’s the time to give it some personality. And the best way to do that, is to choose a template or, more commonly referred to – a theme for your website. There are too many choices when it comes to WordPress themes, the difficult part is to choose the right one for you.
Depending on the purpose, topic, and niche of your website the choice for a theme may vary. However, if you don’t want to narrow down the scope of your blog to a specific topic or niche, the best choice to go with is to choose an advanced multipurpose theme that would handle multiple tasks and work out of the box.
Sauron is an excellent example of a WordPress multipurpose theme, and a great choice to go with from the head start. It’s a one-page multipurpose WordPress theme that works out of the box with all types of websites. Whether you run a photography blog or a corporate website, Sauron has the right set of tools to make it stand out. It uses one page scrolling design with parallax technology and features a fixed menu at the top. It comes with a full-width posts grid display and features a powerful lightbox that shows photos and media files in a full-width slideshow.
As it is intended for various purposes , it comes with various section-like pages for blog, gallery, testimonials, diagrams, etc. Overall, Sauron features a clean design, it’s responsive, SEO-friendly and super easy to setup and use.
Once the theme for the website is selected, then is the time to equip it with the right functionality. There is no shortage of WordPress plugins, but the trick here is that not all of them are created equal. So, being a little bit picky won’t do you any harm.
Again, the kinds of plugins you’ll need highly depends on the type of your website, but there is a bunch of them that are so versatile and multifunctional that work equally well for all types of websites. Find some of them below.
Whether you run a business website, personal blog or a news site, there is no way without search engine optimization. If you want to see a quick growth for your website in terms of visitor flow and search rankings , Yoast SEO plugin is the ultimate tool to go with. It takes full control over the optimization of your website, and makes sure it’s one of a type search engines will definitely love.
Yoast SEO helps you to write a keyword rich content, reminds you to insert image alt tags and metadescriptions whenever you upload an image or photo, checks whether your headlines and headings are long enough, etc. The plugin features a live preview functionality which instantly shows you how your posts or pages will look in search results.
Facebook Feed WD
A tendency that I come across quite often on popular blogs and websites recently, is displaying Facebook feeds as a post or within a page. Well, this is a very smart way to engage visitors and bring some social feel to your website along the way. With this in mind I recommend checking out Facebook Feed WD plugin. With the help of this WordPress Facebook Feed plugin you are able to display unlimited page/public group/profile feeds in your posts and pages, and showcase them as a widget on the sidebars of your website.
The feeds are displayed with custom configurations to best fit your website tone and feel. The best thing about the plugin is that if you don’t want to showcase the whole timeline of a particular profile or page, you can choose a specific content (photos, videos, events, statuses, links) to display. The feeds are displayed in Masonry, Thumbnails, Album or Blog style views, depending on the feed type you choose to display.
The plugin comes with tons of configuration options, such as feed update interval, lightbox settings, comment specifications, multiple customizable themes and a page info display possibility.
The first thing I do whenever I’m about to launch a website is add a contact form on it. Honestly, contact forms are the best way to address the needs/requests of your visitors, and they also come in handy when you need to obtain any information from them.
WordPress Form Maker plugin will come to the rescue when you need to add any kind of form to your website, be it a questionnaire, survey, application, contact or registration form. The forms are responsive and come with tons of field options for text input, date and time, custom select, checkbox, Google Maps, etc.
This WordPress form builder supports three types of Captcha protection (ReCaptcha, Simple Captcha or Numeric Captcha) to ensure the submitted forms don’t contain spammy content. The submissions section of the plugin is searchable, which makes it easy to manage it. The plugin also provides simple analytical data about the choice based answers. Actually, there are many more features that Form Maker comes with, you just have to try it out to see all of its advanced features in use.
Security comes first. When you launch a website, you’d better take care of its security before it gets too late. Wordfence plugin is a bundle of useful tools such as, email alerts on critical problems, live traffic view, virus scanner, login security features, etc, necessary to keep your website safe and secure. It scans your website against any vulnerabilities and malware and notifies you if any are found.
Its powerful Firewall stops you from getting hacked by blocking attackers and protecting you from the latest threats. The plugin comes with advanced blocking features and leaves literally no way for unknown attackers, malicious networks, scrapers and bots to do any harm to your website.
When it comes to the protection of your website Wordfence can be your best partner.
As one of the most popular and highest-ranking plugins in WordPress, Updraft is the ultimate solution for the backup of your website. Why? Because it simplifies backups and makes files restoration easy as never before. It provides tons of file backup and restoration options, so that you can choose the most suitable one for you.
You can set automatic backups for files and database and quickly restore them afterwards. Moreover, you can choose which files you want to backup and which of its components you want to restore later. There are multiple backup storing options available, such as Dropbox, Google drive, Amazon S3, Rackspace cloud, email, etc. the plugin automatically resumes the failed backups until they are completely done.
Though launching a website got way easier than it was before, managing and maintaining a website still requires a lot of consideration and time. Fortunately, there are also quite a lot of advanced and useful plugins out there that can help you to better manage it and get the most out of it.
These WordPress plugins are essential for the smooth operation of your website and come with tons of valuable options to make the right foot forward.