General tips for building a website

1) How to start building a website with WordPress (Requirements)
2) How to install WordPress
3) Setting up WordPress
4) Themes
5) Plugins
6) Widgets
7) How to use WordPress
8) Some general tips

Some general tips you should really take into account when building your website

Chapter 1: Before you start
Chapter 2: Notes about the navigation menu
Chapter 3: How to make your website be successful. Get visitors.
Chapter 4: Making money with a website. Advertising. And: Do not overload!
Chapter 5: Things to keep in mind

Chapter 1: Before you start

If you think about the website before you start building it this will save you a lot of time and trouble later on.
What should the website be about? How should you organize it? What other services would you like to integrate (Guestbook, Facebook, AddToAny, Comments, ...)? Make some sketches on a piece of paper for what concerns the look you want to give your website, the navigation, where you want to place comments or Facebook on the page, ... to build your own theme (kind of). Always leave some empty space, you never know what else you'd like to integrate later on.

If you really want to build a website, a serious website, do pay for a real hosting. You will find some suggestions here. Free hosting services are limited, unreliable, have poor support and you may not be able to install all blogs or forums or whatever you may want to install. A good hosting really doesn't have to be expansive nowadays. The hosting I'm using perhaps offers plans starting from 3.95$/month (and the domain yourdomain.com is already included) which I think is quite affordable. It will really save you a lot of time and trouble.

Always keep in mind that a website takes a lot of work and a lot of time. I think people often underestimate the amount of work behind it.

Chapter 2: Notes about the navigation menu

The navigation is the heart of every website and should be made as easy and clean as possible. If the content of your website is great but the navigation is a mess then the whole website gets to be a mess.

Group the content of your website into main categories/topics and only have the main categories showing up in the menu. That looks much cleaner and clearer. Much better organized. Well structured. Hence much more intuitive to navigate and people will certainly like it.

Chapter 3: How to make your website be successful. Get visitors.

Always keep in mind: Nothing comes from nothing. It’s always a lot of work. If you don’t do anything for its success it will most likely not be successful.

First thing to do is, of course, have it appearing on the major search engines. First of all Google. Google has more than 70% market share. In addition to that if your website appears on Google it is more than likely that it will appear on the other major search engines as well.

Communities are another important source of visitors. No matter what you build your website about you will find a lot of Forums where people discuss about the topic of your website. Be part of these communities and build your website to become a reference for all the people in the community. Hopefully they will later promote it themselves. The best advertising is still the mouth to mouth propaganda. When this happens you know you’re doing a great job. Beware: do not blindly post the link everywhere, that’s spamming which is the wrong way, not appreciated and has the opposite effect of the desired one. It always has to have something to do with the topic that is being discussed.

Social-networking. In the past few years social-networking got to be more and more important. Whether it is Twitter, MySpace or Facebook they are all places where a lot of people get together and interact with each other. Source of an incredible amount of possible-visitors. Make it easy for your visitors to share your website on these networks and be part of them yourself.

The most important part of a website is its content and especially its text-content. If your website doesn't get the visitors you would like it to get it probably is because your website doesn't contain what people are looking for or it doesn't contain the keywords people are searching for in its text-content. Hence try to find out what people are searching for, keep working on the text and keep improving the text on your website and use synonyms. Another possibility would be that there are already a lot of websites like yours, try to be different.

Chapter 4: Making money with a website. Advertising. And: Do not overload!

Read it in my WPFAQ.org E-Book.

Chapter 5: Things to keep in mind

Nothing comes from nothing. Building a website is a lot of work.

Always ask yourself: “If I were a visitor... What would I want to find on the website? What would I do and what not? Would I like the navigation? Would I like the design? Would I... ?”. If you ever find yourself answering a question with “No” or with “I wouldn’t” then you know something’s going wrong. It's not what you want or what you would like to tell the people but it's what people want and what people would like to know. Which doesn't always equal each other.

If you like your website your visitors will most-probably like it too. If you don’t, your visitors most likely won’t either.

If you want to be found on the web the chapter about Google and other search engines is a must read for you. Otherwise no one is probably ever going to find you.


You're now ready to build your website in WordPress! Enjoy!
Don't forget to have a look at the tutorials you find
on WPFAQ.org and in the WPFAQ.org E-Book.
Thank you!



This FAQ is also discussed in my WPFAQ.org E-Book (sample)


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