Today you will go through the initial steps of setting up your website. All of these steps are important to get your website setup and functional. By the time you complete these steps, you will have a functioning website for your online business!
Site name and tagline
The first thing you will do is update your site name and tagline.
After logging into WordPress for the first time you will be taken to the WordPress Dashboard. Your dashboard will look something like this:
From there click on Settings → General
That will take you to the next page where you can enter your site name and tagline. It looks like this:
For your tagline, you can put a slogan or something that says more about what your online business does. When completed click on save changes.
Next, you want to update your WordPress permalinks. By default, WordPress will display page and post links as numbers. For SEO and usability purposes you can change the permalink structure. To do this go to:
Settings → Permalinks.
Then choose the option for “Post name” and click Save changes. It should look similar to this:
Delete sample content
When you install WordPress, it adds sample content that should be removed. To find this content first click on posts → all posts from the WordPress dashboard.
This will show all posts on your website. You will most likely see a sample post titled “Hello World.” You can remove that by hovering over the post title and clicking on the trash link that pops up. Repeat this process by going to pages → all pages to remove any sample pages that may exist.
Create foundational pages
Next, you will create the standard foundational pages for your website. At this point, you are not concerned with the content that goes on these pages. You’re just creating the pages for now and in a later lesson, you will create the content for those pages.
Here are the recommended pages you should create:
These are the standard pages on most online business websites. You can adjust as you see fit for any custom pages your particular business may need.
Next, you will create the legal pages that go on your website and make them easily accessible to your website visitors. Always consult a lawyer when creating these pages and do not consider any information in this guide as legal advice. The information in this guide is for entertainment purposes only.
For quick and easy legal pages you can use a tool like WP Legal Pages to create the necessary legal pages you need. With a plugin like this, you enter your business details and it will create the legal pages that you need.
After you have your legal pages created you can include them in your website menu as well as your website footer on all pages. This makes sure that anyone visiting your site can easily access them.
A good way to add them to your website menu is by creating an item on your menu titled “legal” and then making your legal pages a child to the parent “legal.” When you do this people will hover their mouse over legal and your legal pages then become clickable links.
Next, you will create your website’s main navigational menu. To do this go to Appearance → Menus.
Then click on “create a new menu” at the top of the page.
Name your new menu “Main Nav” then click “create menu”.
Next, you can select the pages you created earlier by adding a checkmark in the checkbox next to each one and then click on add to the menu.
It should look something like this:
After your pages are added to your menu you can drag them around to reorder them.
Next, you will click on Manage locations at the top of the screen and set the location for your main menu. This will be different depending on the theme being used.
Home and Blog page
Next, you will select what page you will use for your website’s homepage and blog page. This is done by going to settings → Reading. Then click on Your homepage displays as “a static page.” For the home page, you will select “home” and for posts page, you will pick “blog.”
At this point you are ready to pick any plugins you will use for your website. Plugins add additional functionality to WordPress. For example, there is a plugin called “Contact Form 7” that allows you to add contact forms to your posts and pages. This plugin can be installed to add a form to your contact page.
Frequently Used Plugins
- Contact Form 7
- W3 Total Cache
- Google Analytics For WordPress
- Wordfence Security
- Social Icons
Install any plugins you see as necessary now and later you can add more plugins as needed. If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution. Too many plugins can make your website sluggish and hurt you in search rankings.