The WordPress Marketing Team markets WordPress and its community to the wider world.
Our work is tracked on the GitHub Marketing Task Board under the WordPress organization. If you are looking for a card you think should be transferred from the old repos, check the previous repositories and then let the team know the link.
If you are planning a Marketing Table at a Contributor Event, please let us know in the Slack channel.
Come and be part of the #marketing channel on Slack. You can join our next Weekly Marketing Chat at its new time for 2023: Tuesday 15:00 UTC. Note: the first meeting of 2023 will be Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at 15:00 UTC. Diary dates
Is having an online presence important or useful for your organization? Then creating a business website is one of the first steps you will take. It is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to find clients both locally and around the world.
So how do you actually create a website? We will take you through the ten key steps.
First, let us look at why you should build your business website using WordPress.org.
Why you should create your business website with WordPress
WordPress is one of the most trusted and used Content Management Systems (CMS) and platforms in the world. Reasons for choosing WordPress include:
31% of all websites run on WordPress. With nearly two billion websites in the world, that is a lot of users putting their confidence in WordPress.
Websites small and large use WordPress. From personal blogs to large newsgathering sites like CNN, WordPress can handle all types of sites.
Get the look you want. You can create a unique style for your website by utilizing thousands of free and paid themes available for WordPress.
Huge community available to support you. WordPress users can access help and support from one of the largest Open SourceOpen SourceOpen Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. communities consisting of developers, writers, editors, and designers. You will find no end to the amount of assistance available in the community’s support forumSupport ForumWordPress Support Forums is a place to go for help and conversations around using WordPress. Also the place to go to report issues that are caused by errors with the WordPress code and implementations..
If you are a small business operating on a tight budget, using WordPress helps you build an online presence more easily. The WordPress Open Source CMS is free to download and use. You need to pay for your domain, hosting, and maintenance (if you choose to hire a developer).
You also have the option to join an amazing network of people by contributing to one of the WordPress groups. These groups are organized at https://make.wordpress.org/
Now that you have chosen WordPress to help run the website for your organization, we will explore what you will need to build it.
A domain name is the website ‘name’ or the web address where users can visit your site, like www.yourcompany.com. There are a variety of top-level domains available. These can be country-specific and have a suffix like .com, .uk, .ie or represent the type of organization for example .biz, .org
Many domains will have an option for you to choose an email address which uses your website address, for instance, firstname.lastname@example.org
An email address where prospective clients or customers can contact you is a vital part of having an online presence. It may not look as professional if you use a personal email address.
You can purchase a domain name through a domain name registrar. There are a number of registrars available. Each one is equipped with its own set of features and comes with a number of advantages and disadvantages. Once you have identified the one that fits your organization, you can pay to register your domain name for a set period, from a year to a maximum available from that particular registrar.
Many of the domain name registrars will also offer email addresses for your business at an additional cost. While you are viewing the benefits of each registrar it is a good idea to see which email package fits what you require based on the number of accounts you can create and amount of storage you might need.
Now that you have your name and contact details set up, it is time to think about exactly what you want from your website.
What does Your Website Offer?
It can be beneficial for an organization to have an online presence. But do you know what you want it to achieve?
A starting point is to consider what makes your offering unique. In other words, why will people want to buy your products or services? One of the best ways to do this is to write one clear sentence outlining your company’s value proposition.
The next step is to plan what your website will include. This can include text, images, selling or sign-up options. Make a list of the features and functionality you will need. Do you need an FAQ page to answer complex questions? What about a blog? Do you need an eCommerce option to make online sales? Do you need a contact form?
At the top of this list should be what you will include on your homepage. It can’t have everything so you will need to choose what elements are the most important to your organization. This can be by considering what will maximize customer conversions – whether that is for sales, leads, subscribers or anything else
This screenshot shows how you can add pages to your website using WordPress.
What is your branding?
A strong brand is important for businesses of all sizes. It improves recognition of your organization and fosters confidence in it which, in turn, can generate more repeat customers.
The first step is to design your logo which is consistent with your existing brand or helps you define one for your company. If you do not have an offline logo you can adapt for the web, you can either design one yourself using a graphic editors or hire a design agency or freelancer. The style and wording that form part of a logo are aimed at reflecting your business and its offerings. You will want your logo to reflect your company in a meaningful way and this can be discussed and developed as you explore what you want through the design process.
Another factor to take into account is your logo’s color — something you will also need to think about for the website as a whole. Different colors create different emotions for customers. Are you creating a youthful brand or one that is a bit more mature? Your color palette can help you develop and market your brand.
How will you build your site?
There are two general approaches to building your business website — either doing it yourself or hiring a developer to help with part or the entire project.
If your knowledge of coding is mainly basic HTMLHTMLHTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. and CSSCSSCSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site., you can build your business website using WordPress or using a drag and drop WordPress page builder. Page builders allow you to customize much of your website without having to write complex coding yourself. However, while page builders are much more powerful nowadays, they still come with some limitations.
The new WordPress Editor named GutenbergGutenbergThe Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ has features aimed at supporting you in developing your website pages and posts through the use of blocks.
Gutenberg and WordPress
If you have limited time and would like to work alongside a web specialist, you can hire a developer, web designer, or a web content builder familiar with using the WordPress CMS. When hiring a developer, make sure they have have a track record of building reliable, fast websites, is aware of mobile-design and has an understanding of search engine optimization (SEO).
Who will host your website?
You will need a hosting space for your website. This is where the website will live.
Before selecting a host, carry out some research on what might best fit your organization’s needs. There are generally three main factors to consider when picking a host: ● speed ● customer support ● uptime
You can start by reviewing the hosts recommended by WordPress.orgWordPress.orgThe community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/.
Think about the look and feel you want to have for your website look and and how it is going to fit in or change your existing organization’s branding.
On WordPress you can browse through thousands of themes to select one which will help your website content stand out. In the Theme Directory, you can find out more about each theme, whether it is compatible with your version of WordPress and the experience of other users. Here are some factors to consider when picking your theme and theme provider:
● is it being regularly maintained? ● are other users of the theme satisfied with what it offers? ● does it support your chosen plugins? ● will it help make your website easier to find by search engines (more on this later)?
Good content is what brings people to your website, stay there, and eventually make a purchase or build their relationship with your organization. This is why you will need to plan the information and how it is structured. Here are some things to think about:
What information do you want your customers to find on your homepage? In WordPress you have lots of options from a static homepage with a welcome message to a series of blog posts and sections showcasing your products or services
What will appear on the landing pages (the webpage visitors reach when they follow an external link to your website)?
What is the strategy for the type and style of your regular articles? These may be in the form of a blog or updates to your news pages
When creating content, think about how people will find your information when they are searching the internet (more on search engine optimization below).
How will your website be found?
How do you get people to find your site in the first place so that you can engage with them and encourage them to spend time on the content you are providing?
Developing a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is vital. There are lots of good templates available which can be adapted for an organization’s needs and incorporate useful tips from members of the WordPress community. By following a SEO strategy, you will be helping potential customers find your website through their online searches, which in turn can improve your sales conversions and increase brand awareness.
There are two avenues you can go down to increase search traffic: paid or organic.
Paid search involves an advertising budget to increase a search engine result when someone types in a word or phrase.
Organic search is based on publishing content using good SEO practices.
An effective way to organically optimize your results is by researching “long tail keywords.” To illustrate, a shoe company may want to rank first for “shoes” as may thousands of other firms. Given the popularity of the keyword “shoes,” you would need to spend a lot of money to rank well for that specific term.
A better option would be to target long tail keywords, for example, “women’s white air force 1s.” The keyword “shoes” will have more searches, but the consumers typing in “women’s white air force 1s” are much more likely to make a purchase. If your search engine strategy involves paying for Google Ads, it can be cheaper to pay for long tail keywords than a keyword like “shoes.”
Once you have planned your keywords, you can also plan how they link with each other. A URLURLA specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org map (also known as keyword mapping) can help:
your visitors in their journey around your site
encourage visitors to explore material you have linked together
help search engines in mapping the usefulness of your information, pages and posts
assist you in developing new content and promotion opportunities as the maps can help identify what other pages should link to each other and the keywords you are using on different pages.
Can your website scale?
Now that you have your SEO strategy planned, you will need to ensure that your website is capable to support your needs in delivering it.
WordPress plugins are like apps which you can use to add new features and functionality to your website. Plugins need regular updates to gain new functionality and to help keep your website secure.
Your first step could be to install an SEO pluginPluginA plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party to assist you in maintaining your website SEO by:
optimizing your content
giving you more control of your breadcrumbs (navigation paths which appear at the top of your page and help search engines understand your website’s structure
allowing you to set SEO metaMetaMeta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress.-info for pages and archives
and through a number of other functions.
The screenshot above shows examples of the plugins you can use on WordPress to boost your SEO.
Once you have set up your website, you can build and submit your sitemap to Google, Bing, Yahoo (via Bing) and other search engines to make it easier for them to find your site’s pages.
All that hard work of attracting customers to your website can be diminished if it performs poorly. Users are often only willing to give you seconds of their time before leaving a web page.
Here are just some of the checks you can make to help your website run smoothly.
check your images are web-friendly in size and number to avoid users having to wait a long time for the page to load
put in security protection to mitigate against hacks and malware which could slow down your site
ask if your host can add an SSLSSLSecure Socket Layer - Encryption from the server to the browser and back. Prevents prying eyes from seeing what you are sending between your browser and the server. licence to your site to help protect your users if you are using forms and collecting personal data
identify WordPress plugins tested for monitoring or improving website performance
avoid lots of plugins that you don’t need which will have an adverse effect on loading times
find out how visitors with accessibilityAccessibilityAccessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) needs use your website and make it easier for them.
If you are not experienced in web development, you can talk with a professional web developer to help optimize your website’s performance.
Following these introductory 10 steps will help you highlight your business to new audiences and customers. By using WordPress, once you have your basic site you can add more features and content to expand your online presence.
Get started today by downloading WordPress.org and enjoy building your new site.