WordPress is actually a “Weblog” (Blog), however it is also the BEST content management system (CMS) for small business websites. Most don’t use the “blog” part, but just create acutal website pages with it.
After years of building sites with other CMS systems, as well as, internally build CMS system, NOTHING can out perform this platform.
Here are my top reasons for using WordPress:
- FREE (Open Source)
The core of the WordPress CMS is Free and comes standard in most hosting accounts (Fantastico).
- Easy to Use
If you have used Microsoft Word or setup a Facebook / Myspace account then you can build a website with WordPress
- Huge online community
Many Many online resources to help you. Tutorials, Cheap coders, Plug-ins to add more functionality then you will ever need.
- Awesome SEO
Wordpress in inherently built to optimize your website for search engine results. That means you have a much better chance of getting your site to land on the first page in a Google search.
How to get the WordPress core up
The first thing you are gong to need to do is get a hosting account setup which not only supports WordPress, but actually has it build into the control panel of your host. This will enable you to simply login to your hosting account and click “Install WordPress”.
Couldn’t be easier.
Here are my preferred hosting providers that offer Worpress standard:
This is the hosting company I use for this website, as well as, most of my clients at SiteDesignZ. EXCELLENT customer support, up-time and affordable. WordPress located in the Fantasico tool set in C-Panel (Your control panel)
A leader in online hosting, 1&1 hosting has now matured into my Top 2 Web site Hosting companies to recommend. Great for WordPress websites…even better for Do-It-Yourself websites. Includes Free Fusion or Dreamweaver, as well as, software to convert your site for mobile delivery.
This was my host before HostGator. I only moved because HostGator had a better reseller option of hosting my companies websites. If not for that, I never would have moved. I loved this hosting company. WordPress in now part of their 1 Click Scripit installs. Lean More here
Now, once you have the site installed, you will need to put a look on it. These are called ‘Themes” in WordPress.
Pre-built WordPress Themes
Themes are like the skin that covers over the application. Kind of like a template, themes include everything you need to go from columns to fonts to navigation and button effects. You just easily install the theme through the admin and Viola, you have a look (or theme) for the website.
The following theme companies make complete themes for WordPress. This is a easy as it gets. Basically, you download a zip file and upload it into WordPress, then activate the theme.
Also, most allow for some color modifications, image replacement and simple logo swaps.
But, you are going to want to change things around a bit, as most Themes are generic need slight modifications. This is where it gets a little more tricky.
To help move you one quickly, the following are the two best options for you:
I have been using Artisteer for years. This little application is DUMB simple to use and can help you instantly create professional WordPress themes without having an artistic talent or struggling with Photoshop, Dreamweaver, HTML and CSS. Artisteer automatically creates distinctive theme designs that you can customize and finalize to your taste.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND for WordPress Newbies!
Click here to check out Artisteer
Relatively new on the WordPress scene, Thesis is a theme that will give you added control of the design WAY BEYOND what you get from standard out-of-the-box functionality in WordPress.
If you’re after search engine traffic, easy customization without coding, world-class usability, and real live people ready to help when you have questions, Thesis is the WordPress framework for you.
This is where you eventually would like to end up when using WordPress. There is a higher learning curve then Artisteer above, but still much less then learning CSS coding. Additionally, there are tons of tutorials to help you do practically everything you would want it to do.