How to

My DIY WordPress website Pt 1

WordPress website

When I started LaserFlair, I build my website using Yola’s platform. It was very user friendly for beginners like me with no coding experience.

After a few years, it became clear that the platform was quite limiting in power and flexibility. I’d started a blog, but couldn’t host it on my Yola website. Having decided that my website needed refreshing and that LaserFlair needed a new logo, it seemed like the right time to move to WordPress. But this would mean getting to grips with a new platform, hosting and plenty more that I hadn’t had to worry about before. The creative possibilities looked fun, but the techy side was far from my comfort zone.

This series of blogs describes the ups and downs along the way to creating my new DIY WordPress website.

Step 1: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

The sheer choice available in WordPress’ website templates was bewildering. There were too many lovely ones to choose from! Some were free, others had a charge.

My techy husband gently suggested that WordPress.com might be the best way forward for a non programmer like me. Website security and hosting would be taken care of and I wouldn’t have to download any software. Everything would be included in a nice, convenient package that might constrict slightly, but would be easy for me to set up and manage.

Choosing WordPress.org would mean I’d have to find my own host, and download and install WordPress to my host myself. On the plus side, I could also use my own domain name, add plug ins and edit the code behind the site to customise it as I wanted. This would require support from a host and from my husband.

Step 2: Finding the right template

What made my mind up was finding a video on YouTube describing how easy it was to create a gorgeous website using the Sydney template.

My favourite features were the huge photo slider in the header that can rotate up to 5 pictures, and a scrolling home page with a beautiful grid gallery for case studies that can be categorised. There were also strips to display services, testimonials and customers. Everything I wanted to highlight  to customers quickly and easily without having more pages than necessary.

It was love at first sight with Sydney. The video would guide me step by step on how to build a website just like that in 1 hour 42 minutes. I could stop and start the video and build my lovely new website along with the instructor. He would show me what was where and how to make everything look just as I wanted it to. How hard could it be?

The Sydney template had the look and functionality that I wanted. My only hesitation was that it was only available through WordPress.org. It might be harder work to set up, but I hoped that once everything was in place, it would be easy to look after and the effect would be well worth the effort.

Next time…

Once I had chosen WordPress.org, the next thing to do would be to set up WordPress.com on my computer. Then I could build my new website and find a host for it.

 

Earlier blogs in the series:

My DIY WordPress website Part 2: How not to set up a host for an easy life!

My DIY WordPress website Part 3: Building a website using video guidance