We have dedicated pages for the best themes (both free and paid), the most useful plugins most websites will need and a standard “how-to” for WordPress newbies.
Think of this page as your missing manual for WordPress. Enjoy!
Don’t know how to code and have no idea how to design a website?
The good news is that right now you don’t need to be or hire a programmer to have success online. You just need to focus on branding, marketing and developing a bit of tech knowledge.
Now, that means you don’t need to be a tech wizard, you just need to know what tools to use, how to use them, and how to hire people to do the parts you don’t want to do.
There are are so many free open source platforms to build a site with that it doesn’t make much sense anymore for you to use templates or to build your own platform. Just use WordPress.
You can use WordPress to build any type of site, not just simply a blog or journal. WordPress allows you to blog, build a static site, add pictures, videos, a forum, email list management, put up a job boards, add links to accept payment, or most anything else you can think of via the plug in directory.
WordPress comes in two version: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is a direct competitor of the more popular Google owned blogger.com.
It’s a free platform that allows you to make a blog – a type of site that has regular entries with the most recent being shown first that is organized by date and category.
There are no hosting and domain costs – but with that said you don’t actually own your domain or site, and the domain you get has a WordPress extension to it. An example would be halfbrick.wordpress.com instead of halfbrick.com.
The problem with not owning your own domain should be obvious. You have no rights to it and it can be deleted or taken away from you at any time. You also can not sell it as easily as you could a .com because you don’t really own it and it’s harder to rank a blogger or wordPress.com site because they have a reputation for being run by amateurs – and that’s the last point, they give the wrong impression if your goal is to build a proper income generating web property.
I like building assets that can be sold – so I like owning my own domain and site. I’m a professional and I’m serious about this business. If that’s you as well, make your own site – and just use Blogger or WordPress.com if you just want to write your thoughts about things.
WordPress.org however (known as WordPress) is a content management system you install on a server.
You install it for a domain name that allows you to publish and manage content, documents, text, and media like videos and pictures. WordPress has a reputation of focusing on usability, aesthetics and web standards. It’s user friendly, and is tremendously compatible with other software that allows you to make websites without knowing code.
Templates suck – even mores so if you’re not a coder. You want to build your site, promote it, and make money – not spend time becoming a web designer and programmer. So this is why you should use WordPress:
WordPress is free, it’s built on PHP/MySQL which is also free and WordPress is licensed under a general public license (GPL), Meaning you don’t have to and will never ever have to pay a dime to use it.
WordPress is used on around 1% of all the websites in the entire world. That’s millions and millions of websites. This large community is filled with all types from experienced marketers and programmers to newbies just starting out.
If you experience any technical difficulties or just have a question on how to do something you can always find help from the support community.
WordPress allows you to install templates (called themes) or “premium themes” that today are advance pieces of front end software allowing you to design beautiful sites without being a programmer. The two best and most popular premium themes are Thesis and Headway. They are each used on thousands if not millions of sites and have their own active support community.
I recommend Headway as I use and love it, but it’s totally up to you. You don’t even need to buy a premium theme to get started, but it makes such difference when designing a website.
Plug-ins are 3rd party programs that add different functionality to your site depending on your needs. Instead of me explaining it to you, just check out the plug-in directory and you will instantly understand the potential of the 17,000+ plug-ins available.
If you can do it in MS Word, you can do it in WordPress. The interface for managing your content, links, plug-ins and media files couldn’t be easier. The content management system (CMS) was designed for ease of use and usability.
You can make pages, drop down menus, add media in a snap, create password protected content, set automatic publishing, scheduled publishing, and so much more.
Edit web pages with a visual editor to get things done fast, and make small changes in HTML if you know how to. It takes the hassle out of creating and managing a website because you don’t need to know how to code anything.
WordPress is again open source and has an active development community releasing new versions that add more functionality and security as the web evolves. You can use WordPress for years and never have to worry about running something that becomes out dated. In addition there are also plug-ins that enable you to make your site even more secure. All for free 8)
Search engines index content based on hundreds of different metrics – WordPress is designed with some of these metrics in mind as a way to be in compliance with modern web standards.
There are also plug-ins you can install and use to manage the search optimization of your site so you can focus on the important stuff like creating content, marketing, and conversions instead of compliance to web standards you don’t understand.
Using WordPress is a no-brainer if you want to get started making websites, blogs or even a store. Why WordPress? Because it works for people who don’t want to learn how to code and would rather focus on content and promotion.