Want to start a blog or create a website for your service-based business?
Then you have to choose the right your content management service as your website will be your most valuable, asset.
It’ll be your home-base and business headquarters.
Its where potential clients will find and get to know you.
It’s the first-place referrals will turn to learn more about you.
It’s where you’ll sell your products and services, invite contact requests, brand yourself in your niche, and show off what you know.
It’s where you’ll publish your main content such as your blog, vlog or podcast.
It might also be where you host your webinars, offer group coaching programs, and even set appointments with clients.
Whew! That’s a lot of jobs for a single website to do.
That’s why WordPress has always been my go-to content management service when setting up a blog or website for my service-based businesses.
Fast and Easy Website Setup
In the time it takes to finish your green tea, you can have a website created and live on the Internet using WordPress.
Most hosting companies such as the one I use, Siteground, offer “one-click installs” for WordPress, meaning it will take only about 5 minutes to create your website.
From there, it’s a matter of choosing a theme and adding content.
Even if you’re not technically savvy, WordPress is simple to use. And there is a ton of information out there that can help whenever you get stuck because it’s so popular.
WordPress Myths to Overcome
However, there are a lot of myths surrounding WordPress, its uses, and its viability in certain situations. And this can be confusing for newbies trying to figure this online thing out.
So, what I want you to bear in mind is that like anything out there, some people love it, and some hate it. Therefore, you’ll hear both pros and cons to using WordPress for your service-based business.
So, before we dive into hosting, WordPress setup, theme selection, plugins, and security, let’s dispel 3 of the most common myths.
WordPress Myth #1: WordPress is Difficult to Learn
Most often heard when discussing drag-and-drop website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, this myth is the one that keeps most people from even considering WordPress. Especially less tech-savvy newbies.
The Fact is every website builder will have a learning curve.
Yes, WordPress can be overwhelming at first glance. But with the new update, you can either use classic WordPress or use the Gutenberg update that is more like the drag and drop websites mentioned above.
Here’s the thing: any software that offers as much flexibility and versatility as WordPress will have a steeper learning curve.
And those other builders? They all have their own quirks and difficulties. But because of WordPress’s popularity if you need to know how to do anything on your WordPress site, simply spending 30 seconds on YouTube or Google will reveal the answer.
WordPress Myth #2: WordPress is a Security Risk
Every website out there is vulnerable to attack and this threat is not decreasing, so good security habits are important. We’ll cover this in-depth later in this post.
WordPress Myth #3: WordPress is Only for Blogging
Yes, it’s true that WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform, however, changes over the past several years have made it the ideal choice for a variety of business needs.
Whether you want to sell coaching or consultancy services, courses or digital downloads WordPress is designed to handle it.
With thousands of plugins and speciality themes that can extend its basic blogging functionality and make WordPress work for any service-based business.
WordPress is by far the most commonly used content management system online today.
That alone should reassure you that these myths are just that…myths.
So, now we have that out the way let’s dive into getting started with WordPress.
Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Started with WordPress
Step #1: Domain and Hosting
First up make sure you’ve bought your domain name on somewhere like GoDaddy or Namecheap.
Once you have your domain it’s time to buy your hosting. What is hosting? Well, it’s where your website lives. It’s like buying a piece of land that you’ll build your home on.
I recommend either Siteground (the hosting I use now) or HostGator (the hosting I use to use).
From there you’ll need to install WordPress. Just follow the steps given and you’ll be up and running in 5 minutes.
Step #2: Add the Essential Plugins
So, you’ve got your domain, bought your hosting and installed WordPress.
Now it’s time to log in to WordPress get familiar with it and start to add your initial Plugins.
- All-in-one WP Security
- Classic Editor
- Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by Seedpro
- Jetpack by WordPress
- Yoast SEO
- Social Warfare
Step #3: Setup Your “Coming Soon Page” Plugin
Before you can move on to designing your website, you need to set up your coming soon page so potential clients coming to your website don’t get a generic page like the one below.
Instead, they get something more like:
Head over to your coming soon plugin settings and add the details required.
Step #4: Setup your WordPress Security
Keeping your site secure is essential. Some of the things you should do to keep your site safe is:
- Use strong passwords and change them often: use a password manager like LastPass to create and store strong passwords.
- Never use “admin” as your username.
- Create user accounts for your staff and give them only the permissions they need. Don’t make them administrators if they don’t need to be.
- Choose a secure hosting environment.
- Keep your site and its plugins and themes up to date.
In addition, using a security plugin will keep you safer. The All-in-one WP Security walks you through all the steps you need to get your site as safe as possible.
It uses a points system and as you work through your setup you get more points and your site gets safer.
Step #5: Your Site, Your Style
Your next step is selecting and installing your theme.
This is about deciding what you want your site to look like and how you want it to function.
With thousands of free and premium themes available, it’s easy to find a look that’s just right for your brand and business.
Want something more customized?
Many themes offer easy, drag-and-drop editing of layouts, colours and more, but if you want something designed just for you, there are thousands of capable developers to build you a custom design.
Once you’ve bought your theme, download it and upload to WordPress.
Step #6: Add Theme and Business Specific Plugins
What gives WordPress versatility is the ability to make your site unique by adding plugins.
At this point, you should add any plugins you need for your theme. Your theme documents will tell you about any specific plugins you need to download.
Before starting this process, you should already know what services you want to add to your site.
With WordPress plugins you can add:
- Shopping carts
- Membership sites
- Sales pages
- Online directories
- Non-profit fundraising
- Video blogging
- News sites
- Recipe blogs
- Photography sites
- And dozens of other features
But remember the more plugins you add the heavier your site gets, so be strategic with which plugins you choose to use on your site.
Step #7: Customize Your Theme
Now it’s time to customize your site with your business brand including logo, taglines, colours and font choices.
Get your website looking just the way you want. The instructions that came with your theme should help you customise it.
Step #8: Add Your Content
When you’ve got all that done, next you want to add your content.
You want to have these essential pages on your site;
- Home Page
- Contact page
- Legal pages: Privacy, Cookies, Terms + Conditions, Affiliate disclosures
Step #9: Go Live!
The final step is to switch off your coming soon plugin and publish your site.
But don’t take my word for it. Try it out for yourself. Bookmark this page and follow the steps. Get your blog and service-based business online and ready to make money.