You have been seeking a solution to getting a website and in your research you must have come across many publishing and content management systems key among them being the wordpress tool.

Hailed by many to the most inclusive, understandable and effective content management system wordpress has attracted over 60 million users across different countries and regions.

This article will explain to you what wordpress is, how it works and most importantly how you can get the best out of your wordpress experience. Ready? Ok, let’s get started!

Definition of wordpress:

First released in May 27th 2003, wordpress is a free and open source publishing tool and content management system that allows you to create websites and blogs by customizing existing templates within the system.

WordPress works by being installed on a web server either as part of a an internet hosting service like wordpress.com or a computer running the software package wordpress.org in order to serve as a hosting network.

How do you make a website with wordpress for free?

But how exactly do you go about creating a website with wordpress without paying a shilling? Well, honestly it is as easy as boiling water. Let see the steps.

Create your wordpress account:

First, you need to log on to wordpress.com and create your account by following the simple sign up process. Once you have created your wordpress account you are ready to start your free website development process.

Choosing your website details:

Now that you have signed up to wordpress the website will take you to the next page where you will be required to provide the details you need for your site. The process is fairly straightforward in a question and answer format.

WordPress will guide you through the process of picking your website name, a brief description of your website and the primary goal of your website. Worpress will also inquire on your web development experience to determine the kind of help you will need along the way. Try being honest with this.

Determining the domain name:

With these basic details recorded the next step in creating a wordpress website involves you choosing a domain name. your domain name is the primary identification for your website on the internet. It is the name your prospects will type to find your site for example ‘kahindi.com’.

However because your free wordpress website will be hosted under the wordpress banner, your website will then include the sub domain of wordpress.com at the end i.e kahindi.wordpress.com. if this domain name does not seem interesting or professional to you then you can explore the other options on the paid plans available. But we are here to make a free website right? *wink *wink.

Selecting your hosting plan:

With the selection of your domain name the next step is determining your hosting plan with wordpress. There are four main plans available:

1.   Student plan: this is free for life and you wil not pay at any point. However it means your domain name will have the wordprees.com subdomain and with some features limited to your access.

2.   Personal: this option attracts a monthly cost of 4 dollars (about 400-500 shillings depending on exchange rates in Kenya). It comes with the features of a custom domain (without the wordpress sub domain), email and live chat support plus all the free features.

3.   Premium: as the name suggest this plan gives you access to a host of features which make your web development and maintenance experience much more effective. Billed at 8 dollars per month, this plan gives you access to advanced customization options, unlimited premium themes and all features of the personal plans.

4.   Business: the most expensive of the plans at 25 dollars per month, the business plan gives you access to upload themes and plugins to improve your website performance, google analytics to monitor activities and metrics within the site and all the premium plan features.

Well, depending on the features you seek for your website and your budget of course you can pick any of the plans above. But we want a free website right? So just go ahead and click on the student option. And don’t worry, once you have known how to effectively run your website and have seen the limitations of whatever plan you have chosen you can easily upgrade it to the other option.

Moving on swiftly.

Designing your website:

Now we are at the fun part or most daunting part depending on how you look at it, this part is designing your website.

So why is it fun? Well, mostly because of the part where you get to make the decisions on how your website will look at. At this stage you can explore the various themes available on wordpress and pick the one most appealing and functional to your needs.

Here you can also choose the text and messages you want availed to your visitors to guide them as they navigate around your website and this at times is the daunting part of the process.  Why you ask? Well not all of us are good in creating written content. You might find that writing descriptions on the website and engaging content is not a walk in the park.

WordPress also gives you options to upload your website icon, create a tagline to interest visitors and to personalise your contact page.

It is important to realise that content is one of the biggest driver of traffic to your website. It is therefore vital to ensure that it is done correctly. It might not be too farfetched to consider professional content creators to ensure your site has a professional look and interesting enough to attract visitors. At deepAfrica we can assist with this.

And you are done:

With the content in place your site is up running and ready for visitors. But so are the other 60 million site operating on wordpress. So the next question becomes how do I make my site stand out from the crowd?

This can be done by promoting the website on your social media platforms and other traditional media. This promotion is done mainly to attract traffic towards your site which is the primary objective of any website.

Routine maintenance of your website to improve content and security features is also ideal in ensuring your site is receptive to its users.

At this point we return to our topic of the article, how do you get the most out of your wordpress website?

Tips on getting the most from wordpress:

Secure your domain name:

As evident while setting up the website the domain name still bares the wordpress.com sub domain. This is one of the things you might want to reconsider when thinking about getting the most from your website. Securing your domain name comes with a cost implication but the advantages far outweigh the costs involved.

A unique domain name gives you professionalism and an air of seriousness when dealing with clients. I doubt you want to send an email to an important client with yourbusiness.wordpress.com as your domain name.

Host on a secure server:

A secure host is also another tip when you seek to get the best out of your wordpress website. Despite the fact that your website will be online once you have created it on wordpress, its abilities will be highly limited due to the large number of other users also depending on the wordpress resources for their websites. This might result to a slow loading website, increased downtimes and low security levels.

To counter this you might want to consider a separate hosting platform like the ones offered by deepAfrica.com. Make sure you pick a hosting plan which compliments the objectives of your website and will give you the ability to accommodate high traffic levels and storage capacity that will ensure your website works efficiently.

Customize your theme:

You might ask why you need to customize your site and you did it when setting up. Well, high chances are you set up your site using the free themes which means there is a high likelihood your site might resemble another.

Another reason to customize your site is the fact that wordpress templates are image intensive, though pleasing to the eye this can have the effect of slow load times for first time visitors.

You might want to involve professional web developer to help you build a functional site. You can give deepAfrica a call, we have the experts.

Make your site mobile friendly:

In today’s world more and more people are accessing the internet through their mobile devices and there is a high likelihood that your users will fall within this bracket. It is hence important to ensure that your website is responsive to use from mobile devices. Mobile optimization also boosts your rankings in search engine results.

Use plugins:

WordPress comes with it some default plugins which cover obvious factors like security. However, if you are interested in getting more than just the basics you might want to consider using additional plugins.

Some of the plugins available for business websites on wordpress include:

WordPress SEO by Yoast: which allows you to optimize your website for higher ranking in search engine results organically.

Contact form 7 can be used to list your email to prevent spamming. For a bit extra protection you can utilise plugins like Really Simple CAPTCHA which prevents bot spamming.

Gravity forms are advanced plugin forms which allows you to create workflows required to connect to other subsidiary sites like PayPal.

LeadPages allow a way to create custom landing pages for special events. You are running a Black Friday sale for the customers? Why not tell them with LeadPages?

The deepAfrica promise:

Well we have come to the end of the road and hope that we have cast some ight on improving your wordpress efficiency. At deepAfrica we have had extensive experience working with wordpress and can confidently say we are Kenya’s best wordpress experts.

Talk to us today on 0712-500500 and let us help you optimize your wordpress website for improved results.