I’ve always been interested in any graphics and media type software. I found it very rewarding to be able to look at something I created and have other people comment on the great job I did. One day my sister asked me if I could design a website for her. Here was a chance for me to be creative and I couldn’t wait to get started. As I had used graphics and video software in the past I thought how hard could this be.
I started off by using Wix and found that there wasn’t much flexibility for what I wanted to produce so by doing more research I decided to go with WordPress. Wow, was there a lot to learn but I was up for the challenge. By no means am I an expert and I continually learn new things so I wanted to put down my experiences so far in this blog to help other people if they decide to take on the challenge of building their own website. Before I get started you should know that I am somewhat of a perfectionist and I don’t give up very easy at all. One of the biggest challenges I thought was trying to figure out what certain parts of the page were called, I guess from a technical side. Once I learned that, it gave me the ability to start changing things on my page. Anything that I didn’t understand I went straight to Google and YouTube. If I didn’t find it I reworded my search until I got the answer.
So here we go. How do you get started? The first two things you need is a domain name and you have to know what you want your site to be. Are you going to be a blogger, do you want to sell something, do you want to post news items, games, forums, picture or video galleries and so on. The reason for this is you have to start by picking a theme for your site. The theme is a template of what you can do and how you can arrange everything on your pages. Once you’ve decide on your domain name you need to register it and find a provider to host the site. Mine is hosted with GoDaddy. You pay them a fee it gets registered and you get the WordPress software to start designing your own site. It will have a generic theme which you will want to change.
The first thing to do is to pick your theme. When picking your theme, you should have an idea how you want your pages to look. Do you want your menu at the top of the page, along one side or a quarter of the way down? Do you want a picture along the top or a picture gallery linked to other pages of your site or a video playing? How many columns do you want in the body of the page? A lot of the themes will give you a description of what you can do and how you can set it up. Once you’ve decided on the theme install it and you are ready to go. A word of advice is if you decide to change your theme after you have done a bunch of work some items may not show up on the new one.
One factor in building a page is understanding what a plugin is. A 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. An example of a plugin on my site is the video background at the top of the homepage.
Another factor is a widget. A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. An example of a widget is the advertising, the recent posts, archives and the videos that you see on the home page.
MORE TO COME…