A video on YouTube showed me how to build my own website and gave me the confidence to give it a go.
With a large header with a photo/video slider and a scrolling home page, the Sydney template looked perfect. I wanted to summarise LaserFlair’s services, portfolio, testimonials, customers and recent blogs. This template created a clear structure for this, and it looked smart.
The WordPress.org files were downloaded and I was ready to begin. WordPress looked fairly intuitive, but I was glad to have guidance until I felt comfortable finding my way around.
Setting up the header slider
In two simple clicks, I reached a user friendly form where I could add up to 5 photos scaled to 1024 x 683 pixels, or a video. I’m used to rescaling photos with good results, so this was easy for me using the basic MS Paint package for PCs. Once I’d uploaded five good photos, I could see how my new slider looked instantly. The YouTube video suggested speeds for the slider which were easy to adjust. It was possible to have text appearing on the slider, but I didn’t want this feature so I didn’t populate the fields. So far so good.
Logos and menus
Next, I needed to upload a transparent logo which would appear in the black strip that appears at the tip of the header with the menu during scrolling. I also found a way to increase the size of the menu text which was too small to read easily.
Designing the scrolling home page
I’d never had a scrolling home page before and had no idea how to set one up, but the WordPress menu made it easy.
Under ‘Pages’ in the menu, I was instructed to add a row for the scrolling home page.
Under the ‘Edit’ in the ‘Pages’ menu, rows could be populated with the Sydney template widgets for the Services, Projects, Clients, Testimonials. Once the widgets were set up, I was instructed to chose the relevant menu item directly. Then the pattern was the same – I could set up a new service, project, client etc and edit with text, photos and logos that showed up in their own pages and featured in the scrolling front page after a single set up.
It was easier than I thought, and the visual impact was impressive.
Adding new pages
Next, I wanted to add pages about artwork tips and materials, and the usual About Us and Contact Us pages. Under the ‘Pages’ menu, I created a new page, adding rows and standard widgets with text and photo editors and contact forms. The video gave lots of helpful tips about spacing and adding background colours and images.
To create a blog page, I created a new page and set the category of page to ‘posts’. I could then go to ‘Posts’ on the menu and add new posts, as I could with the Sydney template widgets like Projects and Services. Nice and easy. And it was simple to select how I wanted to display the posts. A grid layout saved space and show more posts per page.
Filling the Media Library
Photos for the website had to be uploaded in two formats. The header slider and background images required images sized to 1024 x 683 pixels. Other photos used on the website were set up to be 700 x 467 pixels. So I spent some time resizing photos so that they would all look uniform across the website. This was especially important for the ‘Projects’ images as they had to tile seamlessly into a neat grid on the scrolling home page.
This is just a short summary that covers discrete website features that I wanted as the backbone of my website. I hope it helps you to decide whether or not you should give it a go for yourself! But I’d recommend setting up with a host and building the website on their platform. Using your own computer as the local host make going live much trickier unless you know what you’re doing. You can read about my mistakes here.
Here’s a link to the video that I found so helpful. How to make a WordPress website 2017
Other blogs in the series:
My DIY WordPress website Part 1: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
My DIY WordPress website Part 2: How not to set up a host for an easy life!