WordPress Website Design & Development

WordPress  Websites are feature -rich, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly, a highly versatile and gives an edge over your competition and ROI (Return on Investment).

WordPress For Websites 

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) created initially as a blogging platform. It is highly preferred by web developers as the framework provides fully customizable advanced features to build a powerful, highly functional websites. WordPress is a powerful W3C standard CMS that can store images, audio, video, PDF files, and other documents for easy integration into web pages. It can be utilized to build brochure style websites, E-commerce websites, or social media portals including blogs.

Advantages of Website Design using WordPress CMS

  • Open Source. Available free for distribution
  • Easy to install and utilize
  • Easy to customize as per requirement
  • Automatic backup and upgrade feature
  • Large community support base
  • Simple content and spell check editor
  • Wide range of plugins available
  • Spam resistant
  • Easily scalable

Basic Steps to start a WordPress website

1. Pick your desired domain name

It refers to the URL of your website. This is your unique identity over the internet. It is further split into four sub-parts:

  • Top-Level Domain: TLD or Top Level Domain is the tertiary component of your domain. The most popular TLD is .com
  • Root Domain: It is the main component of your domain. For instance, domain.com is a root domain. One has complete freedom in selecting their desired root domain unlike in the case of TLD wherein flexibility is slightly limited. The only prerequisite of your root domain is that it must be unique and not already registered previously with someone else.
  • Sub Domain: It precedes the domain. Subdomains can be created at any time necessary with no extra cost since you already own the primary domain. Subdomains facilitate the organization of your content. It has been found useful when you have a multi-store location business and you want to serve certain types of products in a particular but not all areas. Example of a subdomain is sub-domain.domain.com
  • Sub Directory: It appears in the URL after the top-level domain. It is also commonly known as subfolders. Like subdomains, the purpose of subfolders is to help you organize your data. You may ask should I choose a subdomain or subdirectory? Experts have debated on this subject for a long span and still appear to be divided on the subject. Guess it is a matter of personal preferences. An example of a subdirectory is domain.com/sub-directory.

2. Select a hosting provider

Hosting refers to the space that you pay a hosting provider to store your files in a server on the internet. You may either buy the domain along with hosting from the same service provider as a package or you may opt for separate host provider and separate domain name service provider. Generally, people opt for the packaged plan alternative which includes both domain name registration and hosting. Some popular hosting companies if you are not aware of hosting are:

3. Setup the Name-server

If you have opted for the same domain and hosting provider then you do not need to follow this step. If not, you will need to have your domain and host provider details before you proceed.

The purpose of the name-server is to point the domain to the host. So essentially it acts as a bridge between the domain and the host. Without this step, your domain and your host (in which your content is stored) will be isolated entities.

Your host provider should have sent you (if not get in touch with your hosting provider) name server details. Search for the name server details option in c panel (also known as a control panel) and enter the details. This process takes 24 to 48 hours to reflect the changes.

If everything is configured correctly when you enter the URL of your website your content which is in your host server will appear else you will need to contact your hosting company for assistance.

4. Upload WordPress to your server

Download the WordPress setup from wordpress.org and unzip your file using winzip or winrar (free software). Next, you will need another free software to transfer your file from your computer to the host server. This software is known as FTP client software (File Transfer Protocol). The most commonly used FTP client software is Filezilla.

After you have downloaded and installed Filezilla, when you run the Filezilla program it will prompt you to enter your hostname, username, and password which should be given to you already by your host provider else ask your hosting company for the credentials.

After connecting your computer to the host via the FTP search for a folder named public_html in the list of folders you see. This is also known as the root of the website. Upload your WordPress unzipped folder here.

5. Let’s create your database

Just like your bank account is where your money is safely stored, the database is where all the content such as pages, posts, etc. of your website will be stored.

Login into the c panel of your hosting provider. Select the PHPMyAdmin option and follow the process to create a database, username, and password. Using these credentials WordPress will be connected to the database.

Next, using your FTP client rename the file from wp-config-sample.phptowp-config.phpand open the file in a text editor like notepad or notepad++ etc.

Locate the following code:

  • define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘database_name_here’); – Replace text in bold with your database name.
  • define(‘DB_USER’, ‘username_here’); – Replace text in bold with your username.
  • define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_here’); – Replace text in bold with your password.

6. Let’s dive into WordPress

Go to your domain. Enter the information prompted in WordPress and complete the installation to create your WordPress account. Now, you will be able to log into the admin panel at domain.com/wp-admin. You should also get a confirmation email about the same.

7. Time to get creative

The next step is to select a theme. This is the crux of a flawless WordPress website design. You can choose themes from the WordPress in-built theme gallery from free themes to premium themes. You may consider buying themes from outside WordPress. Popular choices include:

Your next step is to select a theme. This is the crux of a flawless WordPress website design. There are plenty of theme alternatives depending on your need, preferences, and industry type as well. As it is said too many cooks spoil the broth selecting an ideal WordPress website design can very quickly turn from being fun to become a nightmare.

Here are a few pro tips from Dharne your WordPress website design expert:

  • Select a theme that is fully responsive.
  • It should have a clean design and look elegant.
  • Should be compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
  • Have at-least a four preferably a five-star rating.
  • Should have more than 100 reviews. (personal preference)
  • The theme must be SEO optimized – support structured data, w3c validated.
  • Compatible with HTML5/CSS3/Twitter Bootstrap.

8. Get a few basics rights to avoid future road-blocks

By default, WordPress URLs are set to look like For Eg: example.com?p=232. Go to Settings→Permalinks option in the admin panel and replace the default permalink pattern to %postname%. This will make your URLs search engine friendly and you can customize your URLs.

9. Armor your WordPress website

Although in reality, no website can be 100% secure, the least you can do is make your website a tough nut to crack. Not being stereotypical, but maintaining a backup is crucial. A general tendency is to avoid creating a backup but it becomes is your glimmer of hope in case you lose information. You can use plugins like Vault Press, Backup Buddy, WP-DB-Backup, etc. to expedite your backup process. Here are a few tips from Dharne your WordPress website design expert to secure your WordPress website:

  • WordPress has security upgrades when it updates its version. Ensure that your WordPress version is updated at all times else it leaves your website vulnerable to attacks. Remember to create a backup before you hit update version else you will lose previous data.
  • Change the prefix of the database tables from the default wp_to something unique.
  • Avoid setting the site username as admin. Instead of needing to decipher only your password earlier, now hackers will have to crack a code of higher complexity.

You can choose to install security plugins available in WordPress to automate the above process. We recommend All in One WP Security (personal preference again).

10. Create Necessary Pages

To create pages in WordPress go to Pages→Add New. If you want to write a blog post you should use the posts option instead. Few basic pages to get you started are mentioned below:

  • Home
  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • Products/Services

11. Leverage Browser Caching

Each time a page is requested by an individual user, WordPress retrieves that page stored on your host server. Since this process can take the time it gives you the impression that your website is slow. So, what can you do to ensure that your website does not suffer from this insufferable delay?
You need to minify your website CSS and JavaScript code for your page to load faster. Don’t worry you won’t need technical knowledge to manually minify the code to make the page load faster. Thankfully, WordPress has plugins to leverage caching. We recommend W3 Total cache plugin (yet another personal pic).

There you have it, a complete step by step guide to creating a flawless WordPress website design.

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