A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a WordPress Blog for Business
Blogs have become essential for most of today's content marketing strategies.
Thankfully, building and designing simple blogs for business promotion is becoming easier day by day. There is no need for you to create it from the scratch or learn about the complications of layout and code-based designing. Even a non-technical beginner can create appealing blog sites using content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress. Here is a handy guide to teach you how to build a better WordPress blog for your business.
Creating a WordPress Blog
Primarily there are three things, which you will need for creating a WordPress blog:
- An ideal domain name complementing to your brand name.
- An account for Web hosting.
- A few hours to dedicate to the basic designing and structuring of the blog.
Yes, you can start a blog in just a matter of hours. Let’s walk through the step-by-step process.
Step #1 – Setting up
Here, we are going to go with WordPress as this is the most favored CMS platform that today's bloggers use. There is a free and a premium version of WordPress available for you. As a beginner you can go with the free version, which offers countless themes and enough plugins to perform the basic tasks. At first, you need to:
- Choose a domain name with which people will identify you. Registering a domain may cost about $10 to $15 if it's something that is not in use or highly sought after.
- Get a good Web hosting service, which may cost about another $10 to $15 a month depending on storage and features.
You can find plenty of domain registration and hosting service providers, and you can make the booking through an online transaction. There are many providers that offer domain name registration for free and hosting services at a reduced rate. However, always check the fine print to see the subscription charges for long-term use to identify the best one. You should also note that cheap hosting may come with excessive downtime and other performance issues that will cost you dearly in the long run.
Step #2 – Installing WordPress
You can do a quick installation of WordPress through a C-Panel hosting service. While doing it, the marketplace may prompt you to choose different WordPress themes and layouts, but there is no need to do it at this point. Once WordPress is installed, you will see successful process completion, and it will take you to the page with a WordPress login and password. Upon logging in, you will be taken to your blog's dashboard.
Step #3 - Choosing WordPress Theme
The visual appearance of the blog will play a vital role when it comes to attracting more number of visitors. You will get a default WordPress theme when you first log in. There are a lot of free and premium pre-built WordPress themes available. You can choose the one that suits the niche of the blog.
- To add new theme, go to the menu and click on add new.
- Choose one and install the theme and activate it.
After installing a theme, you will get the option of personalizing it with various customization features. We will discuss about the design part in more detail at the second part of this article. Once you set the theme and add the final touches, it will be time to publish your first blog content.
Step #4 – Publishing your first post
To create your first post, you would have to click on "add new." You can get a text editor field where you can type or paste your write-up. After formatting the content as per your preference, you need to click on the "publish" button to make your post go live.
Step #5 – Using plugins
You can always manipulate the visual elements and add more features such as contact form, galleries, sliding feature or an "about us" page with the use of plugins. WordPress has tens of thousands of available plugins to help you add more functionality to your blog site.
Web Designing Tips to Make Your Blog More Appealing
The design of your blog will determine the visual quality of the site. No matter how good the content is, if the design is an eyesore, visitors will be forced to click away from it. Therefore, you need to try and make your blog look as appealing as possible and WordPress themes can help.
The theme can also be considered as a colorful “skin” to your blog. However, a good WordPress theme serves a more important purpose. It gives you more control over the total feel and presentation of the blog. There are themes for specific niches such as travel, tourism, logistics, medical etc. The files in the theme are known as template files, and the choice of template determines the style sheets, images, custom pages and the code files.
Paid WordPress themes range from $30 to $200-plus. Premium themes offer a number of great features that can surely add more value to your site if you maintain it for business purposes. There are a lot of customization options available on premium themes. You can have complete control over the font, color, width and navigation style etc.
If you have a limited budget, you can choose from the hundreds of free themes available on WordPress. These are easy to install and uninstall. However, with free themes, you may not be able to achieve that unique look since other sites may also use the same theme. Compared to paid ones, free themes will not have much functionality or customization features.
The best places where you can find good WordPress themes are:
- Colorlib: It offers nearly 50 free responsive WordPress themes.
- Codexcoder: It has around 100 excellent WordPress themes to install with one click.
Having a logo
Another thing which makes your site unique is a logo. A logo is the face of a brand. If you want people to remember you, a logo will surely help. However, the design of the logo should represent the value or meaning of your brand. If you already have a logo for your business or brand, use the same one on the blog.
Another important aspect to take care of while making a good design is to make it user-friendly. A minimalist approach is the trend in blogging nowadays, and site navigation should also be made comfortable to the users. It is not mandatory that you have to stick to the same design forever. On WordPress, you have the option to change the design whenever you want to.
About the Author
Tom McMurray is a Web engineer at How to Create a Blog. He has released a number of blog posts to assist beginners and experts on Web development and design aspects.