How to Build and GrowWordPress Websites

Table of Content
Introduction

Why get online and how to get started?

A. Why get online and how to get started

A website is a wonderful way to build your brand, find new customers, and gain credibility. However, as a beginner, it might be confusing where to start. Here are the 5 key things you need to take care of when taking your business online:

  • Register a domain name – Your domain name reflects your brand. Make sure that you choose a domain that is simple and conveys what your business is all about. With Bluehost, you can also purchase hosting directly with a free domain name.

  • Choose web hosting – There are several web hosting types available, choose a web hosting service based on what you are looking for and the amount of traffic you are expecting on your website. If you are a beginner, you can build your online store using a DIY Website Builder or choose E-commerce Hosting for customized online store plans. When looking to start your own business or get online, one of the first choices you must make is the choice of the platform you want to use. WordPress is a popular choice as it is easy to use, is adaptative and flexible, has a large community of users, offers many features and is a great first choice for those looking to get online. Moreover, you can easily host your WordPress website on WordPress Hosting to harness the true potential of the WordPress CMS.

  • Design your website – This includes designing the layout of your website, installing relevant themes and plugins, figuring out the website pages, the product placement and more.

  • Create valuable content – Content is king. Your website content is not just limited to the products and services you are offering but also your story. How did your business start, the reason for venturing into the online world, what is the business all about, and what do you aim to achieve? Apart from this, you can have interactive and interesting write-ups promoting your products. A good content marketing strategy will help you create a strong online presence. PS: Make sure your content is SEO optimized so that customers can find your website with ease, and your website is ranked on search engines

  • Publish your website and promote it on social media – Once you are satisfied with how your online store looks, publish your website, and promote it on your business’s social media channels. Make sure that your social media handles are the same as your website name as it is easier for customers to relate to your brand and has a high recall value. Posting on social media is a good marketing strategy and helps in engaging users and finding new customers.

What is WordPress?

B. What is WordPress?

A lot of us were introduced to WordPress as a blogging platform, and some of us recognize it as a website builder — WordPress is both of those and so much more!

WordPress is an open-source, free content management system (CMS). Simply put, WordPress is an easy and popular platform to create your website, online store or blog. Since it is open source, anyone can use, modify or customise the WordPress software to create websites or blogs for free. You don’t need technical expertise or programming skills to use WordPress.

Statistics on WordPress

C. Statistics On WordPress

(source: https://kinsta.com/blog/wordpress-statistics/)

  • WordPress has a 60.8% market share in the CMS market

  • WordPress powers 14.7% of the world’s top websites

  • 500+ sites are built each day using WordPress while only 60-80 per day are built on platforms like Shopify and Squarespace

  • The WordPress Plugin Directory features 55,000+ plugins

  • WooCommerce plugin powers 22% of the top 1 million ecommerce sites in the world

Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

D. Difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is an open-source software that allows you to build, manage and run your own website. It’s free to download and install. It comes with a wide array of premium Wordpress themes and plugins that make it highly customizable, flexible and dynamic. To be able to fully use WordPress.org you will need to buy a domain name from a domain provider and a WordPress Hosting plan to launch your website.

The biggest advantages of using WordPress.org include:

  • Many themes and plugins to choose from

  • Allows you to run ads and sell products, thus monetize your website

  • Complete customization and flexibility options

However, you will have to assume complete website maintenance and buy the right hosting plan to ensure your website stays up and running at all times.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a fully hosted platform, which means that a user can instantly build their website and launch it without explicitly buying a hosting plan as hosting comes pre-installed with the plan you choose. Based on the requirement and type of website a user can choose a plan of their choice.

The upside of WordPress.com is the ease-of-use, and minimal requirements to get started. Thus, preferred by bloggers or new websites that are just starting. Businesses may also opt for WordPress.com due to the flexibility that it offers in coding and modifications. Also, website maintenance, updates and upgrades are all handled by WordPress.com itself.

However, if you use the free version of WordPress.com, your website will display WordPress.com ads, has limited SEO capabilities, and doesn't allow you to monetize your website. Additionally, the availability of plugins and customization options are limited with WordPress.com. To know more about the differences between the two, we have a detailed article for your benefit.

WordPress Themes & Plugins

E. WordPress Themes & Plugins

What are Themes?

A theme is the overall 'look and feel’ of your website. It includes the colours, the background, the fonts on the site, the layout, navigation – everything. WordPress has a wide range of themes for a variety of websites like fashion, tech, bakery, news website etc. On WordPress, once you install a theme, all the theme features get applied. In case you don't like the theme, you can easily change it with a click of a button.

Default Themes: Once you install WordPress, your website will automatically have the default WordPress theme installed. This theme has the classic WordPress features and is a fallback in case your chosen WordPress theme is deleted.

Free Themes: WordPress has thousands of free themes that are a great fit for blogs, ecommerce websites, informational sites, etc. Free themes are especially perfect if you're on a tight budget. Though free, you can find themes that are beautiful and fit your need. You can add custom features to your theme as well.

Paid & Premium Themes: Premium themes can be bought from a third-party WordPress store, a developer or a marketplace. Premium themes offer customisation and additional features that you may not get with a free or default theme like multiple WordPress templates and layouts, unlimited code choices, short codes etc. Additionally, you could get ongoing support or upgrades for the premium theme you purchase.

What to look for in a theme

  • That it is mobile responsive

  • It is compatible with all browsers

  • Is SEO Friendly, specifically allowing for:

- Mobile viewing

- Responsiveness

- Easy navigation & menu

- Page speed

- Developed for SEO Learn how to install and customise your site's theme here.

Plugins

Plugins provide extended functionality to the website, without the need for coding. Everything from contact forms to SEO tools to marketing emails can be executed with plugins. WordPress has a marketplace for free and premium plugins on WordPress.org and the WordPress admin dashboard. The WordPress Plugin Directory has over 50,000 plugins for SEO, contact forms, emails etc. You can also purchase plugins from reputed developers and creators for added functionality to your website. Premium plugins can have on-going customer support, regular updates, etc.

We've listed a bunch of great plugins for your website so, you have it all in one place! Learn WordPress through a WordPress tutorial on how to install WordPress plugins here. For a complete guide on how to change themes or install a plugin, check out Blueprint, a comprehensive WordPress guide.

Building Blocks of a WordPress Website

Building Blocks of a WordPress Website

Naming your website & adding a logo

F. Naming your website & adding a logo

Your website name is significant when it comes to building an online presence. If you run a fashion store but your website name makes customers think it is a design space, then it could lead to disconnect and loss of customers.

When choosing a name for your website make sure of the following:

  • Relevant to your business

  • Short and memorable

  • Not like an existing business name

Once you are done deciding the name of your website, the next thing is to design and add a logo. The purpose of your website logo is to make your customers understand what your business is all about, as well as create a brand identity. Simply put, your website logo is a representation of your website with the customers having to read what you are all about. A well-designed logo can help your online business stand out in the competition.

Get a Domain

G. Get a Domain

Your domain name is the unique address that helps users access your website. A domain name is made up of a unique string of letters and/or numbers followed by a domain name extension. Domain name extensions include ".com", ".in", ".org", ".net" and more. 

Doing a domain name search or getting a domain name right might be a bit tasking as it must be unique. Make sure you check for domain name availability before you do your domain registration to avoid any problems. As domain names are unique to a website, you need to register it before you can access it and build a website. Here are some tips when before you buy a domain name for your website:

  • Short, easy to pronounce, and spell

  • Has no hyphen, jargons, or numerical values

  • Incorporate SEO keywords, if possible

  • Brandable and unique to your business

A good and relevant domain name can help in making your website appear professional and improve search engine rankings.

Buy Hosting

H. Buy Hosting

Every website that needs to be accessed over the internet needs to be available on the www (world wide web) server. Simply put, your website’s hosting is the place where your website resides on the internet. This server space of your website houses all the files, databases, images, codes and everything else that is needed for your website or application to run.

Depending on the type of your website and the traffic you expect you can choose a web hosting type. There are several web hosting types available, namely, Shared Hosting, VPS, Dedicated, WooCommerce, and WordPress Hosting. However, WordPress Hosting is one of the most popular and preferred options for WordPress powered websites. Also, companies offering web hosting are known as web hosting service providers or web hosts.

Using the WordPress dashboard

Using the WordPress dashboard 

How to build a website & create a page: With & Without a Website Builder

I. How to build a website & create a page: With & Without a WordPress website Builder

Building a website is the best way to establish your online presence. There are two ways of building your website viz. creating it from scratch and using a website builder. Both these methods are simple and do not require any prior coding or technical knowledge.

To build your website without a website builder, there are four steps you need to follow viz.

  1. Registering a domain name

  2. Buying web hosting

  3. Choosing a Content Management System (WordPress is a popular CMS)

  4. Designing your website (installing WordPress theme editor, plugins, logo, publishing posts)

You can follow the steps mentioned in this article to build your website with ease.

The second way of building a website is using a website builder. With Bluehost Website Builder, you can easily drag and drop elements and build your website without any coding and full flexibility.

If you’re wondering how to create a website using WordPress website builder, follow these steps to build your website using a website builder:

  1. Go to the Bluehost Website Builder page, register a domain name and purchase the plan of your choice

  2. Login to your Bluehost account

  3. Select the Website Builder option for building your website

  4. Give your website a name, tagline, image, and more i.e. start building it by clicking on ‘Next’ after each step

  5. Publish your website

For detailed explanation on how to build your website using a website builder, follow the steps mentioned in this guide.

How to brand Your WordPress website - naming your website, adding a logo

J. How to brand Your WordPress website - naming your website, adding a logo

You can customize your WordPress website basis what all features you want to include. However, some of the features that can set your website apart from others include naming your website, adding a tagline, website/business logo, header/cover image, adding menu, header and footer content, search bar, social media buttons and more.

Follow the below-listed steps to customize your WordPress website:

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard

  2. Click on the ‘Appearance’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

  3. Here you will see a drop-down of Themes, Customize, Menus, etc.

  4. Click on ‘Customize’ to customize your tailored website design on WordPress

  5. The ‘Customize’ page allows you to change your website’s name, add logo, layout, header, footer, sidebar, tagline, menus, homepage, social media, and more

  6. You can make changes to the above-mentioned features on the left-hand sidebar and the changes are reflected on the right-hand side of the page

  7. Once you’re satisfied with the changes click on ‘Publish’ for the changes to reflect in real time

Alternatively, since you’ve purchased web hosting from Bluehost to open the ‘Customizer’ window directly you can even follow these steps:

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard

  2. Click on the ‘Bluehost’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

  3. Scroll to the ‘Design & Build’ section

  4. Click on the ‘Customize Theme’ button to open the ‘Customizer’ window to make changes

  5. Steps 5 through 7 remain the same as mentioned above

How to pick themes & plugins

K. How to pick themes & plugins

Selecting plugins and themes for a website can be tricky as they are available in various styles, moreover, some are free and others premium.

Selecting Themes

The choice of theme is based on the type and niche of your website. The theme should reflect your website. To find a suitable theme for your website, follow these steps:

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard

  2. Click on the ‘Appearance’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

  3. Here, you will see a drop-down of Themes, Customize, Menus, etc.

  4. Click on the ‘Themes’ tab to install a theme of your choice

  5. Next, click on ‘Add New Theme’ to search new themes

  6. You can search themes from these categories ‘Popular’, ‘Latest’, ‘Favorites’, and ‘Premium’

  7. You can click on ‘Preview’ before installing a theme and ‘Install’ if you like the theme

  8. Next, to activate a theme after installing click on ‘Activate’

  9. You can now customize your theme as you wish

Alternatively, since you’ve purchased web hosting from Bluehost to find a suitable premium theme you can follow these steps:

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard

  2. Click on the ‘Bluehost’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

  3. Click on the ‘Themes’ tab to install a theme of your choice

  4. You can click on ‘Preview’ before purchasing a theme and installing it

Selecting Plugins

Depending on the functionalities you would like to add to your website, you can find suitable plugins. There are plugins available to create a contact form, SEO, website backup, and much more. Although there are several plugins available to select the right plugin you must make sure the features offered are what you’re looking for, reviews of the plugin, the number of users currently using the plugin, the update time (the recent the better), and more.

To find plugins for your website, follow these steps:

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard

  2. Click on the 'Plugins' tab on the left-hand sidebar

  3. Click on ‘Add New’ to search and install a plugin

For detailed explanation on how to install a plugin on your WordPress website, follow the steps mentioned in this guide.

Alternatively, since you’ve purchased web hosting from Bluehost to find a suitable premium plugin you can follow these steps:

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard

  2. Click on the ‘Bluehost’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

  3. Click on the 'Plugins’ tab to install a plugin of your choice

  4. You can click on 'View Details’ before purchasing a plugin and activating it

How to edit a website in WordPress

L. How to edit a website in WordPress

When we talk about editing a WordPress website, we are talking about editing pages and posts on a WordPress site. Let us first see what a page and post is.

Pages: Every website is divided into multiple sections, each of which gives different information to a website visitor. Some examples of a WordPress page include About page, Contact page, Blog page, Products/Service page, Homepage, and more.

The content on pages remains unchanged for a long time, until and unless absolutely required i.e., they aren’t time dependent. For example, the email address mentioned on your Contact Page is [email protected], if at all you decide to change the name of your business the email address would change, and the new email would need to be updated on your WordPress Contact Us page.

Posts: A WordPress Post can be an entry on your WordPress site. These entries can be in the form of articles or updates posted to keep your readers informed. A post is usually displayed in reverse

chronological order on your website. These posts can be displayed on the Blog page, Homepage, or any other pages of your website.

In a nutshell, WordPress Page can be said to be an outer shell whereas a WordPress Post is within that outer shell.

Now that we’ve understood the basic difference let us move on to understanding how you can edit a WordPress website.

Edit WordPress Pages

If you’ve built your website on WordPress, follow the below-mentioned steps to edit WordPress Pages:

Note: Prior to editing a page on WordPress, you need to create a page.

To create a new WordPress Page using the Gutenberg Editor (in-built WordPress editor)

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard

  2. Hover on the 'Pages’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

  3. Click on the 'Add New’ tab to create a new WordPress page

4. A new page editor window will open up, you can now add the Title and other information you want to display on your page

5. After adding all the information, you can make your page live by clicking on the ‘Publish’ button located on the top right-hand corner

Now that your WordPress page is created let us move on to understanding how you can edit this page

1. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard

2. Click on the 'Pages’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

3. A new window opens displaying all the WordPress pages you have created

4. Suppose you want to edit the About Us page, hover your mouse pointer on the page name. To make changes to the content click on ‘Edit’ or if you want to delete this page, click on ‘Trash’

5. If you click on ‘Edit’ the page will open in a new window, make changes to the page, and click on ‘Publish’

To create a new WordPress Page using the Bluehost Website Builder, follow these steps:

1. Login to your Bluehost dashboard

2. Go to ‘My Sites’ and click on the ‘Edit site in Builder’ button

3. Website Builder opens for editing the WordPress website

4. Click on ‘Menus & Pages’ on the left-hand sidebar

5. Click on the page you want to edit and make changes. Once done click on ‘Publish’

Edit WordPress Posts

Irrespective of whether you’ve built your WordPress website using the Gutenberg editor or the website builder, you can edit WordPress posts only from your WordPress dashboard.

Note: Prior to editing a post on WordPress, you need to create a post.

To create a new WordPress Post using the Gutenberg Editor (in-built WordPress editor)

1. Login to your WordPress dashboard

2. Hover on the 'Posts’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

3. Click on the 'Add New’ tab to create a new WordPress post

4. A new post editor window will open, you can now add the Post Title and other information you want to add in your article

Note: This window editor is the same when creating a WordPress page.

5. After adding all the information, you can make your post live by clicking on the ‘Publish’ button located on the top right-hand corner

Now that your WordPress post is created let us move on to understanding how you can edit this post.

1. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard

2. Click on the 'Posts’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

3. A new window opens displaying all the WordPress posts you have published

4. Suppose you want to edit the 'Hello World’ post, hover your mouse pointer on the post name. To make changes to the content click on ‘Edit’ or if you want to delete this post, click on ‘Trash’

5. If you click on ‘Edit’ the post will open in a new window, make changes to the post, and click on ‘Publish’

Apart from Posts and Pages, the other elements that you can edit on your WordPress website include the header, footer, header-image, the layout of your website and more. You can make these edits using the Customizer. To access the customizer, follow these steps:

1. Login to your WordPress dashboard

2. Click on the ‘Appearance’ tab on the left-hand sidebar

3. Here, you will see a drop-down of Themes, Customize, Menus, etc.

4. Click on the 'Customize’ tab to edit/customize elements on your WordPress website

How to design your website

M. How to design your website

Based on what your website is all about, your website design will vary. However, there are some elements of website design that remain consistent irrespective of the type of website you’re building.

Once you are done registering your website’s domain name and web hosting. Here are a couple of things you need to take care of when designing your website:

1. Deciding the layout

2. Selecting a theme and plugins

3. Defining your branding guidelines – font, colour, and logo

4. Adding website pages

5. Adding a blog (WordPress Posts)

6. Setting up and strengthening your SEO

7. Building an email list (if you’re a business website)

8. Highlight Feedback, Testimonials, and Reviews

9. Publishing your website

Although building your own website might seem simple, if you’re a beginner or a budding entrepreneur, seeking expert help goes a long way in enabling you to build and design a website with ease.

After all, you not only have to design your website but also devise a marketing strategy to promote your website on the web. While experts take care of designing your website, you can ensure that you take care of the business needs to grow your website, and subsequently the website traffic.

How to customise your WordPress site for a News website, Fashion blog or Forum

How to customise your WordPress site for a News website, Fashion blog or Forum

Choosing the right WordPress Hosting plan and building your WordPress website is just the start. To be able to truly establish a strong and professional digital presence you need to customize your WordPress website to establish your brand identity and ensure that it supports all your website requirements.

When you’re ready to customize your WordPress website, start by customizing your WordPress dashboard. You have the option to customize your Screen Options so you can add/delete the widgets that you want to appear on your screen when you log in to your dashboard. This helps you easily navigate around the most important widgets you want to see.

We then move on to WordPress customization settings. Start with General Settings to ensure your Site Title, Tagline, URLs, Logo and other important aspects are aligned with your website needs.

You can then move on to Reading Settings to customize your Homepage Displays.


If you have a blog, you’ll want to check your Discussion Settings where you can customize blog comments, notifications and other default post settings.

Then move on to Permalink Settings that lets people and search engines know the contents of a specific URL.

Finally, check Privacy Settings for your WordPress website.

Once you have customized your WordPress settings, you can now add/delete/edit user profiles and define their roles. This will define who has editing access, administrative access etc.


With the backend work out of the way, let’s start to create WordPress theme. Find a WordPress custom theme that best suits your brand identity and website needs. This will determine how your site visitors see your website, navigate through it and consume the information you put out on your website. Logo, Font Style and Colors, Site Title and Tagline – you can customize all, and more aspects to make your website look exactly how you want it to.

Finally, customize your WordPress website with the right plugins. WordPress plugins range from functionality to accessibility. You can choose Security Plugins, Caching Plugins, Backup Plugins, Optimization Plugins, and many more depending on how what you need for your website. Define the essentials and start installing the necessary plugins. PS: Don’t forget to install and customize your SEO Plugin to boost reach and visibility!

You can now create new pages and start creating new content for your fully customized WordPress website. You can customize the layout, the content, the images and the page settings too. Additionally, you can build contact forms and customize your website navigation menu. Further customizing your WordPress website, beyond the basics, depends entirely on your industry, customer base, website offerings and value proposition.

Building a News Website

N. Building a News Website

If you own and run a news website, your WordPress website must be customized in a way that your visitors can easily grab the most important news easily. Whether you offer local news, global news, or even news related to a specific topic/industry - the idea is making it easy for your visitors to get the value out of it.

Start by choosing a domain name that lets people know what your website is all about. Then create a logo that further establishes your brand identity.

The theme, layout and colors you choose also play an important role in how people consume the news you share. You can pick the classic black and white theme, to resemble print media, or choose neutral colors that do not overwhelm your readers. Additionally, being a news website using easy-on-the-eyes and legible fonts is critical.

As a news website, your homepage must be customized in a way that highlights the latest or the most important news. Breaking news flashes or tickers running along your homepage can grab instant attention. Or you can neatly divide it into sections like ‘Top News’ or ‘Latest’ to help people navigate to the right sections. You can then build a successful blog for more thought-based and opinion pieces. Take a cue:

You can search for ‘News’ themes on WordPress to get started and have a base to build on.

You can then look for plugins that are specially built for news websites, like WP News and Scrolling Widgets, that allow you to display news in interesting ways. Plugins that allow readers to share your website content directly on social media platforms is also recommended to make it easy for readers to share important news.

Create an easy navigation menu for readers. You can divide your news by location, industry, interests or other factors. This will make it easy for readers to jump to sections and get the news they’re looking for. A deep understanding of what your reader base is looking for will help you further customize your website. This includes knowing the most searched for categories and how far do they scroll before they lose interest.

Stick to catchy copy/titles that gives an insight about a news article and give a ‘Read More’ option. This will help you minimize the space each news article takes up and give you the option to display multiple featured contents.

Building a Fashion Blog

O. Building a Fashion Blog

Any blog, including a Fashion blog, will garner more viewers, subscribers and followers when you establish a niche. A generic fashion blog may work, but to truly brand a blog and be a voice in the fashion industry understand your niche, know what you want your blog to represent and analyze what your readers are expecting from you.

Style and Beauty are the two pillars of fashion blogging. Whether you choose one or both what will really make your content stand out is your tone and voice – that's what resonates with a reader.

In terms of customizing your fashion blog, keep your tone and voice in mind because that will help you pick the right theme, colors, layout, fonts and other aspects that make your blog pleasing and informational. For example, if your personal style is more Boho, your website must include pastel and neutral shades, a simple font that is both legible yet flows. You don’t want very structured fonts or bold hues that are contrary to the ‘Boho Vibe’ you want to create.

Similarly, the layout must highlight all the important sections on your website in a way that is easy to navigate, pleasing to the eye and helpful for readers. Focus on creating a consistent look and voice for your fashion blog.

To customize your fashion blog, you can easily pick a fashion theme and build on it.

Then get the necessary plugins to optimize your images, social sharing plugins, and SEO optimization plugins. Fashion blogs tend to be image-heavy so make sure you compress images, without compromising on quality, to ensure your blog page load time does not get affected.

You can then choose scrolling widgets to place your blogs in a way that makes it easy for readers to either navigate from the latest to the first blog or choose a category within your blog. For example,

you can categorize your blogs into Styling, Beauty, Products, DIY, Festive Wear, Lifestyle, Wellness, Travel, etc.

Add sign-in forms to your blog to let people subscribe for newsletters or updates from you. This will help you share personalized content and share offers, exclusive promos or tips as your blog grows and you start monetizing it. You can simply upload a plugin to help you build a contact form.

As a fashion blogger, it’s important to make the most of image-based social media platforms like Instagram – make sure your blog and Instagram showcase the same style and are synchronized through and through. Keep them synced; keep it stylish!

Building a Forum Website

P. Building a Forum Website

While social media platforms have given consumers a space to interact with one another, Forums and Discussion based websites continue to reign and encourage consumers/people from across the globe to interact, discuss, share ideas and opinions on a platform. Take cue from the world’s most popular forum website – Reddit:

If you own or are building a Forum WordPress website, make people the focus of your website, from layout to engagement. WordPress allows you to categorize and design your forum’s pages in a way that is most suitable for the purpose of your website. You can pick forum themes and layouts to firmly establish your website intention.

Start by creating a structure for your forum. The navigation on your forum will help people search for topics they are interested in, know what’s trending and be able to jump from one relevant forum topic to another. Structure and Navigation are key to building a successful Forum website.

You can further design the layout of your Homepage to break it up into relevant sections. This could be ‘Featured’, ‘Trending’, ‘Popular’, ‘New’ or industry-specific sections.

There are some key sections you must cater for, including:

Login/ Sign up button

- Search bar

- Widgets for upcoming events/new posts/important information

- Navigation menu

- Topics

Choose colors and fonts that make it easy for people to read and focus on important information. The number of pictures can be limited and used only where relevant.

As your website grows think of ways to encourage people to start and participate in discussions. For example, you could give badges to people who are constantly engaging with your website and fellow readers. Make it easy for people to share your content on social media platforms with Social Plugins to further increase engagement and visibility.

How to optimize your website for speed

How to optimize your website for speed

A fast website boosts SEO, improves user experience, and increases page views for your website. Your website speed plays a key role in how users interact with your website and determines whether they stay or leave.

Users today expect speed from a website. If a website takes more than 3-4 seconds to load, chances are they will leave. Additionally, search engines also give priority to fast websites and push them up in the search results, which means fast websites are likely to get higher traffic. Google says a good website speed stands at 3 seconds or less!

If you are a new website or revamping your website for better performance, make sure you’re optimizing your website for speed. To get on with that, let’s start by checking your current speed. You can head to isitwp, a free website speed test tool for WordPress. Just enter your website URL and let the tool analyze your website.

You must aim for a page load time of under 2 seconds!

There are many reasons for a website to be slow and sluggish. Ranging from your web hosting plan to page size, and from the plugins to your website configuration. If your website is slow, it’s time to check all possible reasons and make the right changes to speed up your WordPress website.

Here's a list of things you need to start checking for to optimize your website speed:

  • Choose the right WordPress Hosting plan

  • Keep your themes and plugins updated

  • Compress files to reduce load on your website and servers

  • Use caching

  • Optimize for SEO

  • Get expert help

If you want your website to be faster, you’ll need to check multiple aspects to ensure that you have the best resources for your website. Using the right, and updated, plugins and themes, making sure the images and videos you have on your website are of the right size, and implementing SEO best practices are some of the critical aspects we’ll need to look into.

Compress Website Files for WordPress Speed Optimization

Q. Compress Website Files for WordPress Speed Optimization

Large and heavy files, including the images and videos on your website, impact your website speed. This is simply because large files take a longer time to load. If you’re trying to load multiple files to your server, it’s best to first compress these files before uploading it to your File Manager.

Once you have compressed the files on your desktop, login to your Bluehost control panel and go to Advanced > File Manager

Go to the folder you want to upload and click on Upload

Moving on to compressing Images – a heavy asset, essential to every website!

If you’re building a new website, you might want to add lots of images to make your website look beautiful and also help users see and visualize your products/services.

Compressing images basically means minimizing the size of each image, in bytes, without compromising the quality of the image. You want to make sure your images load properly, no matter what device a user is accessing your website from. WordPress has a number of plugins that allow you to compress your images without impacting the quality.

When exporting images for your website, ensure:

  • Save web optimized JPEG or PNG images and keep them under a few kilobytes

  • The web standard for images is 72 dots per inch (dpi)

Choose the Right WordPress Hosting Plan

R. Choose the Right WordPress Hosting Plan

The right WordPress Hosting plan and provider will not only help you boost performance but also speed for your website. WordPress Hosting is specially built to power WordPress websites and ensure smooth running, optimum resources and powerful tools that allow you to grow and manage your website.

Remember, FREE hosting is rarely free!

While many providers may offer free hosting, what you might end up paying as a result is a slow and sluggish website, security threats, loss of data and reputation, unwanted ads and little to zero support from your provider.

Choose a hosting plan that fits in your budget and partner with a provider that understands your website needs and offers you expert advice, support and the ability to scale as your needs grow.

Here's a checklist of things you MUST get from a reliable Hosting provider:

  • 24/7 Support via phone, email and/or chat

  • Server locations closest to your customers

  • Automatic WordPress updates

  • Speed Boosting CDN

  • Automatic Site Optimization

  • 99.99% Uptime Guarantee

  • Unmetered Bandwidth

  • Unmetered SSD Storage

Every website has different needs and requirements. Whether it’s a blogging website, an ecommerce website, a personal or business website; depending on the traffic you expect, geographical location of your customer base, security and resources needed, you’ll need to pick a web hosting plan that caters for all your needs.

The web hosting provider you pick can make all the difference to your website speed and performance. Make sure you partner with someone who offers reliable services, guaranteed uptime, and complete support when and if you need it. This is one critical way you can ensure that your website users experience a fast, safe, and always-accessible website.

Keep your Website Themes & Plugins Updated

S. Keep your Website Themes & Plugins Updated

WordPress and its wide community of developers are constantly updating and upgrading the platform’s features, themes, plugins and overall functionality. Keeping your WordPress website, and all the plugins and themes you use updated is essential to not just boost your website speed but also a step to ensure better performance of your website.

When you login to your WordPress Dashboard, you will get a notification under Updates, if any of the plugins or themes you use have an available update. Make sure you check and update this whenever you are notified.

Why is it important to use the latest version? Every new update comes with bug fixes, performance improvement, enhancements to existing features and sometimes new features – you don’t want to miss that! Thus, using old versions may put you at security risks, slow and sluggish website performance and/or loss in performance.

Website Speed & SEO Optimization

T. Website Speed & SEO Optimization

There’s a direct relation between website speed and SEO optimization. The better the speed, the better the SEO rankings. Search engines, like Google, give priority to fast websites and rank them higher on the search engines.

Search engines strive to display the best and most relevant results for users. Many factors are considered by search engines when a user types in a search query – website speed and performance being one such aspect considered by search engines. The idea is that website speed impacts user experience and thus a slow website will not be pushed up by search engines to fulfill their aim of providing the best user experience.

Thus, following SEO best practices, while ensuring that your website is fast are a win-win formula to rank high on search engines. This way both you and search engines can guarantee the best user experience.

With SEO optimization and fast website, you guarantee search engines that users can easily find the information they are looking for and find it quickly!

Slow websites and lack of SEO optimization directly impact:

- SEO Rankings

- Website Traffic

- Conversions

- Credibility

These are all factors that SEO best practices work towards improving – SEO optimization and Website Speed thus go together to rank higher, get more traffic, boost conversions, and build credibility amongst your user base.

Here’s a list of popular SEO plugins that can help you get the best out of your WordPress website:

  • Yoast

  • All In One SEO

  • SEOPress

  • Ahrefs

  • Semrush Writing Assistant

  • WP Meta SEO

  • Rank Math

Use Caching to Boost Website Speed

U. Use Caching to Boost Website Speed

WordPress allows you to make Dynamic Pages.

You may have heard that, but what does dynamic really mean? It means that whenever a user is trying to access a page or post on your website, WordPress builds that page at that moment. To do

that, WordPress needs to run a process, collect all the information on that page, put it together and then display it to the user – all of this within a few seconds!

Now imagine this process running repeatedly, especially when your website is receiving high traffic – it's bound to slow down your website as ‘dynamic’ pages require multiple steps to display the information on web pages.

To combat this issue, and to ensure your website speed does not get affected, WordPress recommends Caching Plugins.

Caching helps boost your website load speed.

How?

Instead of going through the entire process of retrieving, finding and displaying a website page, every time a user is requesting the information, the plugin makes a copy of your web page when it first loads it. Then, every time a user requests the page it instantly displays the copy or the cached version, thus reducing the load time.

There are many Caching Plugins provided and regularly updated by WordPress.


Your WordPress Hosting provider may also offer caching features. For example, if you partner with Bluehost you can enable caching from your Bluehost Dashboard. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Log in to your Bluehost Control Panel

2. Go to My Sites

3. Go to Performance

4. Enable Caching

Managed WordPress Hosting usually comes in with built-in caching features with your plan, however, make sure you ask your hosting provider to help you understand the measures taken for caching.

Get Expert Help to Boost Website Speed

V. Get Expert Help to Boost Website Speed

Your website speed has a direct impact on:

  • User Experience

  • Traffic

  • Conversions

  • Search Rankings

  • Reputation

With so much at stake, getting expert help to build and run blazing fast websites seems like the obvious choice!

Whether you are technically adept, a newbie, an individual or a business, seeking expert help will go a long way in ensuring a high performing and fast website. This includes help from experts to:

With experts by your side, you can be rest assured that your website will perform just the way you want it to, and just how your users expect it to.

While it might seem easy to DIY, let experts handle critical aspects so you can focus on growing your business and pay attention to other factors that need your complete time. 24/7 support to ensure your website is always up and running is not a privilege – it’s a necessity in this highly digitalized world. Your website deserves expert attention, every step of the way.

Experts in the field of web designing and development, hosting and website management know the best ways and practices to optimize websites for speed and will guarantee that your website is always top of the game!

How to Secure Your WordPress website

How to Secure Your WordPress website

If you've painstakingly built your website, picked the theme, designed it beautifully, added your choice plugins, it is criminal not to secure it. Securing your site ensures your information is safeguarded, data is not lost, and your customers truly trust you with their transactions and privacy. We've shared a bunch of ways you can lockdown your WordPress website security and here are just a few:

Passwords & Permissions: This may seem basic but it's critical when it comes to your WordPress website. Creating strong passwords for database, admin access, FTP accounts, your hosting account and other points of access is important to secure your website against hackers. Ensure you also change your passwords often to tighten security. Along with creating strong passwords, beware of what permissions you share and with whom. For new users or guest users, limit access to the entire WordPress dashboard.

Backups: It is essential to take a regular backup of your files and data either manually or through a backup plugin to avoid any risk of data loss. Here's a tutorial on how to restore & delete backups from CodeGuard.

Regular Updates: With WordPress being an open-source platform, there are constant upgrades. Ensure you're using the latest version of WordPress to avoid any security loopholes in older versions. Also check and regularly update third party plugins to avoid any security breaches.

Secure Hosting: Choose a reliable WordPress hosting provider such as Dedicated WordPress Hosting, Shared Hosting and more. A secure provider monitors all of its servers and networks for possible threats and have the necessary tools to prevent large scale attacks. The provider will also have updated server software that keeps vulnerable security loopholes at bay and at the same time have the necessary recovery tools to minimize the loss and effects of attacks to protect your website.

SSL certificate: Encryption is key to secure data transmission between the user and your website. Installing an SSL certificate will change your website URL from HTTP to HTTPS, indicating that your website is secure. This builds trust among your customers and an additional layer of security for your website.

Two Factor Authentication: Two factor authentication adds an extra layer of security. It requires the user to log in via username and password and authenticate on an additional app or device. The one-time-password (OTP) that we're familiar with is an example of two factor authentication.

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