OK, so you’ve got your domain name and hosting (if you haven’t you can check it out here How to Buy a Domain Name and Web Hosting). Let me teach you how to take that WordPress blog and turn it into your new website. Let’s choose a theme and get your first post published. Ready?
Get yourself logged into your WordPress Dashboard. Then click Appearance, and then Theme.
If you want to go with a free one, that’s fine. Choose one that you like the look of, click install. Then, go back to Appearance>Themes. If you have bought a theme, click Upload, add the file to the window that pops up and then install. Again go back to Appearance>Themes as we now have to activate it. That means your theme is live.
Now it’s time to look at plugins. I will go into detail on widgets and other plugins at a later date, but to start with, let’s talk about the basics.
Click Plugins. Plugins give your site functionality. The most common plugins are social plugins that enable you to share your content on the social media, security plugins that safeguard your content from cybercriminals, SEO plugins that give your blog a good ranking in the major search engines such as Google, and formatting plugins that enable you to format your blog’s text.
You will see in the plugins area:
Akismet – this is your anti-spam plugin. You must have one because bots will find your website and bombard you with unsolicited comments. Tip: don’t allow them to post on your site as you will get penalised by Moz who will think your site is just there for spam and this will lower your DA (Domain Authority) and PA (Page Authority). I’ll explain that another time). You need to activate this plugin and then set it up with a code. You get this code through the plugin as you need to sign up for free to enable it properly.
Hello Dolly: You can delete this as it serves no purpose.
Next download a WordPress security plugin. The most common security plugin in the repository is Wordfence, and after testing numerous free ones over the time, all my sites now use it. Some of them have the Pro version; others use the free version. They both do pretty similar jobs. Click on plugins>add> then in the search bar type Wordfence. Install it, and then activate it.
We then have to optimise the firewall which comes with Wordfence. On the left of your screen, you will see a bar going down the side with Appearance, Plugins, Users, Tools etc. Scroll down until you see Wordfence. Click it, choose the Firewall tab, then Optimize. It will then start configuring your firewall. A new screen will appear with the option to download your htaccess file. Click download. Once that completes, click Continue. You will then see the Firewall Status button. Tick the box below that button and click Save. That’s it; you have installed and configured your security plugin.
Once the plugins are activated, it’s on to making that first post. See that button at the top that says +New click that and choose post. It will take you to your editor. Pop in a title, then the body of the text. Hit submit, and you have posted your first article.
Next time, I’ll take you through some of the better plugins to install, how to automate social media shares and start getting some exposure in your chosen genre.
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