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How to Get Started With WordPress

So, you’ve decided to set up a new website, and you are considering using the WordPress platform. 

In case you aren’t sure how to start or you don’t remember how it works, then this guide will help make the process easier by taking you step by step on how to get started with WordPress.

Things to Consider

  • If are not a ChemiCloud customer, you can consider hosting your site with us. At ChemiCloud we offer WordPress Hosting plans with unmatched speed, reliability, and security. One of the features we offer to make things easier is our one-click WordPress installer.
  • If you are a ChemiCloud customer, we’ll assume that your domain already points to our DNS servers.

How to Install WordPress

Our WordPress one-click installer called Softaculous is well-known for its ease of use. Installing WordPress is a very simple process and takes less than five minutes to complete.

1) The first step is to Login into your cPanel.

If you don’t know how to log in to your cPanel account, please see this tutorial.

2) Once you are logged in to cPanel, scroll down to the Softaculous Apps Installer section and click on the WordPress logo.

3) This will open a screen with several options,  click on the Install Now button.

WordPress Setup

4) Now it’s time to choose a protocol for your WordPress site (http or https).

We strongly recommend you to choose the https protocol. If you already installed a Free Let’s Encrypt SSL, then you would use https. If your site doesn’t use an SSL, then http protocol will be just fine.

5) Choose Domain allows you to choose the domain name on which WordPress should be installed. If you are hosting multiple domains under your cPanel, as Addon domains, use the drop-down menu to choose the relevant domain.

6) If you want your domain name to go directly to the application, make sure the In Directory field text box is blank. If you wish to install it to a subfolder, like yourdomain.com/blog, simply type “blog” in this field.

Site Settings

7) In the Site Name text box, type in the title of your site which will appear in any search engine.

8) In the Site Description text box, type in the description of your site will also appear in any search engine.

9) Enable Multisite (WPMU): This option will Enable WordPress Multisite option for your WordPress site. WordPress includes the ability to create a network of sites by using the multisite feature. If this is not needed, please leave this option un-checked.

Admin Account

10) In the Admin Username text box, type the administrator username.

11) In the Admin Password text box, type the administrator password

A good security practice is to use a custom administrator username and not the default “admin” one. It’s also recommended to choose a strong password! The Softaculous installer provides a ranking for your password’s strength and turns green when the password is strong. Alternatively, you can use the Random Password generator. 

12) In the Select Language list box, select the default language for your WordPress site.

Advanced Options

We advise you to leave the advanced options that are configured by default for the database name and table prefix. From this area, you will be able to enable auto-updates for your WordPress version, theme and plugins.

Review Installation

13) To receive the WordPress installation information after the installation is complete, type an e-mail address in the Email installation details to the text box.

14) Review the installation and then click Install.

First Steps with WordPress

So you’ve just completed the one-click WordPress install using Softaculous. So what is your next step?

Log In

The first step is to log into the administration panel, or the back end, of your WordPress website. Visit your site’s login page by placing wp-admin after your domain name (e.g. example.com/wp-admin). Replace “example.com” with your own domain name.

WordPress Admin Login

Enter the username and password you created during the install and click on the Log In button.

After logging in you will see the Administration Screen called the Dashboard. This is the place where the management of your WordPress site begins.

Using Themes

What is a Theme?

A theme is a collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress site.

Finding Themes

Being so popular, there are lots of themes available for WordPress, both free and paid. To see the wide variety of free WordPress themes that are available, please visit https://wordpress.org/themes.

While free themes are a great way to get started, premium (or paid for) themes are the new standard. Premium themes offer more customization and often include many more features than the themes you’ll find in the free theme directory.

There are many premium theme marketplaces where you can purchase a new theme for your website. Themeforest is a good place to start to find a premium theme, with over 11,000 themes to choose from on different categories of interest.

Installing Themes

After you choose a theme, the next step is to install it.  The most common way to install a WordPress theme is by using the WordPress administration interface. However, if you already have a .zip file that contains a WordPress theme you bought, you can install it manually.

  • Choose and install a theme from WordPress directory

To install and activate a new WordPress theme using the WordPress administration panel, follow the steps below:

1) We’ll assume that you’re already logged Log into your WordPress administrator panel.
2) Under Dashboard, click Appearance, and then click Themes.
3) Click Add New.
4) To search for a theme by name, type the name or keyword in the text box, and then click Search.
5) Once you find a theme that you want to install, click Install Now.
6) You can preview a theme’s appearance without installing it. To do this, click Preview.

To activate the new theme, click Activate. To view your site with the new theme enabled, click Visit site.

  • Upload and install a theme you have already downloaded

If you have a .zip file that contains a WordPress theme, you can upload it to your site and install the theme. To do this, follow these steps:

1) We’ll assume that you’re already logged Log into your WordPress administrator panel.
2) Under Dashboard, click Appearance, and then click Themes.
3) Click Add New.
4) To upload your theme from your computer, click Upload Theme.
5) Once you have uploaded the .zip file of your theme, click Install Now.
6) You can preview a theme’s appearance without installing it. To do this, click Preview.

To activate the new theme, click Activate. To view your site with the new theme enabled, click Visit site.

Customizing Themes

Once your WordPress theme is installed, you can start to customize the appearance of your site, using the widgets, menu(s), header and background. These can all be changed using the Customize feature which you can find under Appearance. 

Make your changes live by clicking Save & Publish

Using Plugins

Finding Plugins

Being so popular, there are lots of plugins available for WordPress, both free and paid. To see the wide variety of free WordPress plugins that are available, please visit https://wordpress.org/plugins/

Be wise when it comes to plugins. Look at the “Last Updated” date and how many ratings a plugin has. It is strongly recommended to stay away from outdated plugins and the ones that have bad ratings.

A hand-picked list of the best WordPress plugins

From SEO plugins to project management plugins, you‘re about to discover some of the most popular WordPress plugins.

Yoast SEO is the SEO plugin that we officially recommend, as well as the plugin that we use on our site.

Sucuri Security is a freemium plugin that offers a comprehensive approach to WordPress security.

WP Security Audit Log helps you keep track of every single change made on your site by you or other users.

WPS Hide Login helps you further hide up login security by letting you move your site’s login page to a different URL.

Lite Speed Cache is the caching and performance plugin that makes a wide variety of tweaks to speed up your WordPress site. It’s also fully compatible with ChemiCloud’s caching system built on LiteSpeed.

Elementor is one of the most popular website builders with over 1 million active installs, according to WordPress.org. It offers a generous free version that lets you build complex designs using a simple drag and drop and a visual preview.

Beaver Builder is another big name in the WordPress website builder world. It utilizes the same style drag-and-drop builder on a live preview of your site.

Social Warfare helps you add share buttons to your WordPress site. Your visitors can click on the button to quickly share your content on social media.

Instagram Feed helps you display Instagram photos from your Instagram account on your site.

Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular contact form plugins.

WooCommerce isn’t just a popular eCommerce WordPress plugin, which helps you build an eCommerce store.

TablePress makes it easy to create all sorts of tables. You can import from JSON, CSV, Google Sheets, Excel, etc.

Akismet helps reduce spam comments.

Slider Revolution is an innovative, responsive WordPress slider plugin.

Installing Plugins

Navigate to Plugins > Add New, and you can browse and search for plugins from within your dashboard.

Each plugin listed in the WordPress directory has an “Install Now” button so you can easily add it to your site.

Click Activate to activate the plugin.

Creating Content

Now that you’ve installed WordPress, and done customization to your site, it’s time to create some content.

When you add content to your WordPress website, it’s done through posts and pages.

  • Posts are typically used for blogs and portfolios because they automatically place your newest website content at the top.
  • Pages are static which is why they often appeal to business owners — the added content always remains in the same place.

Creating a Post

To add a post to your website, go to the administrator dashboard. In the left-side pane click Posts and then Add New. You can add a title for your post, insert photos, or change the format.

Click Save Draft to save your changes as a draft or click Publish so the post immediately goes live.

Follow the same steps to create multiple posts for your website.

Creating a Page

To add a page to your website, go to the administrator dashboard. In the left-side pane click Pages and then Add New. You can add a title for your page, insert photos, or change the format.

Click Save Draft to save your changes as a draft or click Publish so the page immediately goes live.

Follow the same steps to create multiple pages for your website.

WordPress Performance

Website performance is a critical part of the user experience. If a page on your site takes too long to load, your visitors will move quickly to another site.

You can improve your website’s performance by taking advantage of caching. To enable caching for your website, we strongly recommend you to install and enable LiteSpeed Cache plugin.

Hardening WordPress

When talking about WordPress security, many things can be done to secure your website and prevent hackers and vulnerabilities from affecting your online presence. Check our WordPress Security Checklist: 12 things to do to secure your website. 

Conclusion

Creating your website doesn’t have to be a daunting process. At least not with the WordPress platform.

WordPress is completely customizable for all kind of needs. With no prior knowledge necessary, you can start building your site for your business, blog, portfolio, or online store immediately.

Ready to Get Started With WordPress?

Whether WordPress powers your blog, web store or company website, our WordPress Hosting is fully optimized for the best speed and reliability.

Updated on October 19, 2019

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