WordPress is the most popular content management system and an excellent platform to create a website. It was created for blogging but now can support any type of home service business website. It can be expanded with plugins and have its appearance changed by themes.
Before talking about how to install WordPress, one of the things you need is an email account. You can use an email account that you have already, but I suggest you create a dedicated email account using Gmail. This email account can be used for your website and for different Google services related to your website.
There are a few ways to install WordPress. If you picked a managed website hosting company, they have probably already installed WordPress for you. If you went with a shared website hosting company, they probably have a simple installation routine to install WordPress. You enter some information and a few minutes later, WordPress is installed.
But, briefly, I want to explain how to install WordPress if you decide to do it yourself on a shared website hosting company. Here are the general steps:
- Download WordPress software from wordpress.org
- Copy the files to your website hosting account
- Create a database in MySQL
- Open a web browser and go to the website URL
- Enter the database connection information
- Enter username, password and email address for your WordPress admin account
- Wait for installation to finish
After the installation, your WordPress website will be using a default theme for its appearance. You can use that to create your website, but most people like to customize the appearance of their website. This can be done but installing a different theme. A theme is a set of files that controls how the different aspects of your WordPress website look.
There are many places to find WordPress themes. The default installation of WordPress includes a few. WordPress itself allows you to search for other themes and they are all free. You can also find paid themes which may add other features along with changing the appearance of WordPress. One place to look for paid WordPress themes in ThemeForest (https://themeforest.net/).
With so many themes to chose from, it is hard to make a selection. One of benefits of WordPress is you can change your theme at a later date and all the text and images you already entered will still be there but in a different appearance. This only applies to simple themes, but the key is your have options to change your mind in the future. So, don’t worry so much about picking exactly the right theme to get started on your home service business website. However, you do want to pick a theme that has been download many times and has a fair number of positive reviews.
A few cautions about picking themes. Be careful about picking a free theme from any random website. They may include malicious software. The free themes that can be searched from within WordPress have been checked. If purchasing a paid theme, also look for popular themes with many reviews and that is updated frequently.
I have a few recommendations. If you are looking for a free theme, try:
For a paid theme, I recommend Avada (https://avada.theme-fusion.com/).
WordPress plugins extend the functionality of WordPress to do almost anything imaginable. You add some files to your WordPress website and activate the plugin to enable the new features.
There are almost too many plugins to imagine so picking one is difficult. Like themes, look for plugins that have a high installation number, number of reviews and that is frequently updated.
Here are just a few of our recommended plugins:
- Backups – BackWPup
- Website forms – Contact Form 7
- Security – Wordfence
- Email – WP Mail STMP
- SEO – Yoast SEO
WordPress is a great platform to build your local service business website on. It gives you unlimited flexibility in the appearance and features you want for your website without learning programming. It is easy to keep up-to-date and help is available through many sources on the Internet.