Ok, you’ve decided to create a website using WordPress. That’s a good idea since WordPress powers more websites than any other platforms of its kind, in fact it’s more than all of them combined. It has been localized into more than 70 languages to date so you can be sure to use it in your native tongue. That’s all in good but there’s very important gap that you quickly realize once you’ve jumped into this exciting journey.
On WordPress.org site, the first feature they have emphasized there is Simplicity. That’s partly true since it is more simpler than any other CMS (aka. Content Management System) that I know and have used before. But to a casual computer user without a deep technical knowledge, there are daunting list of things that you need to learn before you can get started.
Here’s the basic procedure you would need to follow in order to create your first WordPress website from scratch:
- Search and evaluate a server hosting account. This is where you will host your website so it should be very fast and always reliable. But there are so many hosting companies out there with wildly varying reputations. How do you know which one is suited for you without breaking your bank? It would take another long post to explain how you would do this but let’s cut to the chase. For experts, check out https://www.linode.com/ and for novices, check out http://wpengine.com/.
- After you’ve selected your hosting account, you would need to buy a domain name for your personal blog or company website. You would need to find a domain registrar that sells domain name with the TLD that you want. A top-level domain (TLD) is the highest level Domain Name System of the Internet which refers to .com, .kr, .jp, .cn, .tw, etc. Start with these domain registrars here: http://www.domain.com/ for international and http://hosting.kr/ for domestic depending on your location.
- Now that you have your domain name and a hosting account, you would need to put them all together. In order to do this, you would need to find a good DNS hosting company. The Domain Name System (DNS) is like an address book of the internet where it redirects human readable domain name such as HomePang.com to machine readable IP address as 126.96.36.199 so that you don’t need to memorize the website’s actual IP addresses. There are some good free DNS hosting here: https://www.namecheap.com/domains/freedns.aspx in English and https://en.dnsever.com/ in Korean.
- With all of these 3 things under your belt and properly configured, you can finally visit WordPress.org and download the latest copy of WordPress in your native language. Before installing a copy of WordPress however, you would need to create a database in MySQL for your WordPress install, first. It’s very important to know what character encoding scheme that you want to use for your website if you use more than just native language. More information about it here: https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/charset-applications.html
- Now that you’ve created your first database to store all of your website’s information in proper character encoding format, you can finally install your copy of WordPress that you’ve downloaded from WordPress repository here. In order to do this, you would need to follow the famous 5 minute install guideline here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress
- You now have a WordPress website with your own domain name, Hooray! But, wait a minute. The site looks really ugly and it’s very empty. You can either change the looks first by visiting and buying a theme at a theme store such as here: http://themeforest.net/category/wordpress or worry about the looks later and start entering your precious data into the system.
- In order to enter data correctly into your website, you would need to learn the basics in getting around in WordPress. For this purpose, we recommend you take a look at these free video libraries here: http://videos.wpbeginner.com/ in English and http://video.homepang.com/ in Korean.
- At this point, you’ve entered all of the text and uploaded all of images that you’ve gathered for this purpose. The site still looks bad so you visit some of the demo sites on the theme store and found the most beautiful theme that you fell in love with. You buy that theme and download it to install on your website. That was easy thanks to WordPress’s amazing templating feature.
- After your website is up, you want some small customizations done to it. In order to do this, you can either learn HTML, CSS, PHP, and possibly JS coding yourself or find and hire a programmer to do this for you. A great place to find a programmer for this purpose here: https://codeable.io/ in English and http://www.wishket.com/ in Korean.
- If you want to change your logo or design a new banner ad for your website, you can either learn Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and possibly Fireworks yourself or find and hire a designer to do this for you. A great way for this type of tasks is to open a design contest here with a reasonable prize money: http://99designs.com/ in English and http://www.loud.kr/ in Korean. You can easily open design contests on these sites and meet great designers.
- For the best performance possible, you would need to check your website against good benchmarking/testing sites such as these here: http://tools.pingdom.com/ and http://www.webpagetest.org/ after possibly configuring cache plugin and/or compressing images.
- WordPress has vast array of plugins to extend the core WordPress functionality without any programming. That’s the good part but, how do you find and test these plugins on your website? You would need to invest your time and efforts in researching and test them yourself or hire a consultant to do this for you.
- WordPress updates itself in every 4 months to keep up to date with the newest web standards and technologies similar to Windows and other software. That’s a good thing. However, updating WordPress core and plugins sometimes breaks your website. In order to avoid this, you would need to setup a test server and constantly test themes and plugins before deploying to your live site.
- Your live site constantly gets updated with your precious content so properly configuring a backup system is very important. Especially one with easy restoring feature will save your heart and soul when the inevitable strikes. A good backup system can save your ass from any disasters or mishaps.
- Thousands of websites get hacked everyday. A strong login password is a starting point but it alone cannot stop these hacks and spams. Properly configuring good spam filters and security systems are a must in any modern website setup. In addition these, regular security scan and removal of misbehaving malware is needed.
- If you are going to gather sensitive information on your site such as credit card numbers, you would need to configure dedicated IP address and properly install a SSL certificate to encrypt your data. Some popular SSL certificates are here: http://www.comodo.com/ in English and https://www.comodossl.co.kr/ in Korean.
That’s quiet a list! Although it still isn’t complete by any means, those are the essentials of setting up and maintaining a WordPress website. It really takes hard work to run a website! Unlike other Managed WordPress Hosting, HomePang goes above and beyond and takes care of most of this work for you at or below the cost model of these service companies. HomePang advantage would be that you can get all these services in one stop convenience.
HomePang is not a full service web agency per se but we can even help you create and enter content at very reasonable prices by working with certified professionals curated by HomePang. And with our 24/7 support system, we will handhold you in every step of the way to running your WordPress and WooCommerce website. You really don’t need any technical knowledge to run a WordPress at HomePang.
We are here to democratize WordPress.