WordPress for Beginners: How WordPress Works

The steps to follow to build a website using WordPress are simple and include:

  • Decide on a WordPress plan
  • Choose a Domain Name
  • Choose a Hosting Provider
  • Choose a WordPress Theme
  • Add pages and/or posts
  • Customize your WordPress website
  • Install plugins
  • Optimize your website

Decide on a WordPress plan

WordPress.com has several options for users that include a free plan and at least two paid plans. f you are not going to monetize your website, the free plan will be sufficient. Or, if you are a beginner, the free plan is also your best choice.

If you intend to monetize your website, then you may decide that one of the paid plans is better for your purposes. One key difference between the free plan and the paid plans is the ability to add or install an unlimited number of plugins with a paid plan.

Choose a Domain Name

Choosing a domain is a crucial decision

A domain can be compared to an address – it is where on the internet your website can be found. Once you decide on domain, you will need to ensure that it is available. In other words, you must make sure it is not being used or owned by another person, business or entity. Once availability is verified, you will be able to purchase the domain for a small annual fee (usually between $9.00-$15.00 USD).

Choose a Hosting Provider

Once a wordpress plan and a domain name are chosen the next step is to make the website ‘live’ on the internet. To do this, a hosting plan is necessary – essentially, a hosting plan is the process of purchasing internet space where your website and the information will live.

There are different types of hosting plans each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Choose a WordPress Theme

A wordpress theme is a group of files that is responsible for the overall website appearance. The theme can control the website’s layout, color scheme, headers and footers, typography and backgrounds.

There are free themes available as well as premium or paid themes. In considering what theme is most appropriate for a website, one must prioritize website functions and understand his or her requirements in a website.

In choosing a wordpress theme, one might consider:

  • Check if theme is customizable
  • Check compatibility with plugins
  • Check ratings and reviews
  • Check optimization for search engines
  • Check theme updates

Add Pages or Posts

Create Page in WordPress

In the left-hand side navigation menu within wordpress, use the ‘Pages’ tab. Click ‘Add New’ in the top left-hand side of the next page. This will allow one access to the wordpress classic page editor.

  • Add a Page Title
  • Add Content on the page
  • Click ‘Publish’ in the top right-hand side to make the page live
  • Click ‘Update’ in the top right-hand side to update the ‘live’ page if and when one makes changes or additions to the title or content of the page

Create Post in WordPress

In the left-hand side navigation menu within wordpress, use the ‘Posts’ tab. Click ‘Add New’ in the top left-hand side of the next page. This will allow one access to the wordpress classic post editor.

  • Add a Post Title
  • Add Content on the post
  • Click ‘Publish’ in the top right-hand side to make the post live
  • Click ‘Update’ in the top right-hand side to update the ‘live’ post if and when one makes changes or additions to the title or content of the post

Customize your WordPress Website

The easiest and most streamlined way to customize your wordpress website is to use the WordPress Customizer.

Once logged into the wordpress admin area of the website, click the ‘Appearance’ tab in the left-side menu and then select ‘Customize’. This will allow one to customize everything the wordpress theme allows to be customized.

Step-by-Step Guide to WordPress Customization

  • Configure WordPress Settings
  • Add New Users
  • Customize the Theme
  • Install and Set Up Essential Plugins
  • Integrate SEO
  • Create your Content
  • Build a Contact Form
  • Add Widgets
  • Setup Menu(s)
  • Connect to Google

Install Plugins

A plugin is software that is added or ‘plugged in’ to a wordpress website. Plugins enhance or add functionality to any wordpress site that can include ecommerce, directories, portfolios, scheduling, contact forms, website backups, and much more. There are over 50,000 available wordpress plugins as of January 2023.

There are three methods to use to install a wordpress plugin:

  • Use the Plugin tool in the WordPress dashboard left-hand side menu
  • Manually upload a Plugin
  • Add a Plugin using FTP (file transfer protocol)

Optimize your Website

Optimization is the process of enhancing and customizing the wordpress setup to improve overall site performance, speed and discoverability. To achieve this one can adjust specifications, update plugins, update wordpress, optimize WP database, and optimize speed.

WordPress Website | WordPress Plugins | Building a WordPress Site | WordPress Customization

SEO for Franchise Locations

When a business has multiple locations the challenge of Search Engine Optimization becomes bigger than if a business has just one local location. Franchises must focus on what is called Franchise SEO.

Franchise SEO

Businesses with multiple locations or has franchises must ensure the websites focus on local website traffic and promotion of the broader overall brand identity. This requires creation of landing pages for local content and keyword research for both the local traffic and broader brand driven traffic.

Additionally, there are technical issues that are often seen with franchise websites; the quality of each franchise website; and SEO approaches that are scalable. It is important that repetitive content is removed – if there is duplicate information when examining the franchise website with content and information from the brand website and the localized franchise location website, the duplicate content must be removed.

Google My Business Profiles

It is important that each franchise location has created a Google Business Profile. The information in this profile must be accurate to ensure that your business will show up in Google’s results. In particular, your goal should be for your business location to appear in Google’s 3-pack for local businesses.

The information that must be present and accurate in your Google Business Profile includes: primary category, secondary category, name, phone number, and hours of operation. If your business has a physical location, you should also ensure that the listed address is accurate and verifiable.

Incorrectly categorizing your business will also lead to either being listed in Google’s results for the incorrect category and keyword searches or you will miss the opportunity to be listed in Google’s 3-pack for local businesses.

Keyword Search for Franchises

A major part of Google’s algorithm is E-A-T which refers to Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This is how Google determines if the content is important or helpful to users. In essence, E-A-T is a measurement of the quality of a webpage or website.

Expertise refers to the content’s author.

Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness refers to the author, the content itself and the website or webpage being evaluated.

To improve SEO, businesses should frequently update the content of the website(s); ensure the content of the website is helpful, trustworthy, and produced by an industry expert; and ensure the website where the content is found is an authoritative website. Authoritativeness is often helped by quality backlinks.

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