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What You Need to Know Before Starting A WordPress Website

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Launching your own website with WordPress is a positive step to asserting yourself in the competitive online ecosystem, and one which every business should take.

There are of course a few things to consider before making the leap, so here are the main points to bear in mind as you start your journey.

The basics

First and foremost, it is important to appreciate exactly what WordPress is and what it brings to the table.

In short it is a platform that lets you create a website without needing to be a coding wiz, as it provides the underlying infrastructure onto which you can add your own content and control the look and feel of the finished product.

Because WordPress is open source, it is also heavily customisable, with a whole host of third party plugins developed to expand upon the standard set of features. That means you can effectively bolt on anything you need to make the site of your dreams, rather than being limited to a set of solutions that is non-expandable.

Design & usability matter

While WordPress has plenty of pre-made templates that let you knock up a serviceable site in a short timeframe, it is better to develop your own stunning designs in-house or commission an agency to handle this.

Usability testing should also be on the agenda, so you can check if your site is intuitive as well as good-looking. You can speed up recruitment for usability testing in a number of ways, and once again outsourcing this to specialists can be a great way to catalyse the development process.

Form and function need to be balanced against one another, or else visitors will be put off by what they find when they arrive on your site and your bounce rates could skyrocket, which is bad for SEO.

A good domain name goes a long way

While WordPress may be the underpinning of your website, you can use any domain name of your choosing, so long as it is available.

Of course not any old domain name will do; you need to carefully consider your options and make sure that your choice will ultimately make it easier for visitors to find your site.

Plenty of site owners just use the name of their business as the domain name, followed by a top level domain (TLD) such as .com or a region-specific equivalent like .co.uk.

If you are starting a business from scratch, you should try to choose a title that will work well as a domain name as well.

One final thought on domain names is that they cost money, and you need to pay to register them with either the operator that will be responsible for hosting your site, or a separate provider of registration services.

Content quality is key

Having a WordPress website which is easy on the eye but light on the content front is an issue which many newcomers face.

Rather than trying to build up a back catalogue of posts and pages over time, it is better to generate and curate content proactively before the launch, so that your site does not seem barren in those early days.

You can write the content yourself or pay a freelancer to conjure up copy if this is not your forte. Most importantly, do not pursue pure quantity over quality, because this is another factor that will determine how well your site performs on search engines.

Most of all, remember that as you gain experience with WordPress, you will be better equipped to take advantage of all it has to offer, so sometimes getting started as soon as possible is the best thing to do.

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