Building a WordPress Website From Scratch

Building a WordPress website from scratch is a relatively simple process. If your hosting offers it – and most modern hosts do – you can do a basic installation with a handful of clicks.

Then the fun part begins!

The basic WordPress installation gives you a skeleton of a website that you can then completely customize to your needs.

Most people start by tweaking the default settings and removing the sample content that gets installed the first time you run the automatic WordPress installation on your website.

The default settings probably made sense a number of years ago when WordPress was first developed but, over time, they make less sense.

One of the essential things to change is the permalink structure.

A permalink is just another name for the URL of the pages on your website. Internally, WordPress assigns a number to each page because the database it uses handles numbers a lot more efficiently than words.

But visitors to your site are unlikely to know how a seemingly random number relates to the content of a page and, all other things being equal, are less likely to click on it in the search results.

Changing the permalink structure so that the URLs make sense to humans is a good first move and WordPress has a settings option to make changing them easy.

There are a few other tweaks to the default installation that will make sure that your website looks good to human visitors and you can either research these on sites like YouTube or enlist the help of an experienced developer who will know them off by heart and set them as a matter of course.

The next part of the process of building a WordPress website from scratch is to adjust the functionality of the site so that it meets your needs.

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WordPress does this via plugins – extra pieces of code that adjust how the core site works and that can be tailored to your precise needs.

An essential plugin is one such as the Yoast SEO plugin that helps control how your website pages are presented to the search engines.

Before most people visit your site they are likely to find it in the search engine results and an SEO plugin will make it a lot easier to control things such as the page title, the description that shows below it in the search results and even how it is presented if one of your visitors likes it on sites like Facebook.

There are other plugins that I consider essential – I've currently got a shortlist of ten of them that I use every time I install a new website with WordPress – and other developers will have their own favorites.

One of the plugins helps deter hackers by limiting the number of login attempts that use the wrong password – some hosts consider that sufficiently important that they will even include it in the automatic installation process – and there are others that will make sure that your website works as expected.

A good rule of thumb is that once you've done a few installations you should be able to get this initial process down to between 15 and 30 minutes but for your first few installations it's likely to take you a lot longer (upwards of an hour ) as you learn what you need to do.

Source by Trevor Dumbleton

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