How to make a website the easy way

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HOW TO MAKE A WEBSITE LIKE OURS

Many people have asked us how they can easily make a website for their business, so we thought we'd share a few basic steps here. We used to do this for clients for a number of years before starting Nowlicious, so perhaps what we found to be working best might help you out.

STEP 1: YOUR BRANDING

It is hugely important that all your visual communications convey the right message about you and your business, so get a professional to design a nice logo and an overall visual identity for you. A good way to find a designer is to look for websites that you like and send a quick message to the site owner asking whether they would put you in contact with their designer. Expect to pay anywhere between 500-2000€ depending on what items are included. All this is very much worth it though!

STEP 2: GET A DOMAIN NAME AND HOSTING

Our best advice: go with Siteground. We have found them absolutely awesome. They cost a couple of dollars more than some other hosting companies, but they are the only ones with whom we have never had a problem. Their services and customer care are stunning. So head to the Siteground website and sign up for the basic hosting package - in includes one domain name so this is a great all-in-one solution. If you already have a domain name but no hosting, you can open a support ticket with them and they will help you map your domain to their hosting.

STEP 3: INSTALL WORDPRESS

You can ask Siteground to do this for you, but if you would like to go ahead on your own it is pretty straightforward. Just log onto your Siteground account, go to the "My Account" tab and click the red button "Go to cPanel". Scroll to the section "Wordpress Tools" and click on "Wordpress Installer", then the blue button "Install". These are the only things you need to pay attention to: select your domain in the drop-down, give your site a name and a description, choose an admin username and password, put in your email, and then click "Install". That's it! You will soon see a confirmation for successful installation.

STEP 4: GET A THEME

An all-in-one solution that we love is a theme called Tripod Theme that you can purchase via ThemeForest. This is the theme we are often using thanks to its capacity to mold into almost anything. So we would recommend this one - unless of course if your designer has selected another theme for you and will help you with setting it up (make sure to ask it is responsive for mobile use!).

STEP 5: INSTALL YOUR THEME

Once you have downloaded your theme onto your computer (if you go with Tripod, get the installable version and leave it in a zip format), log into your WordPress admin panel (www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin) and go to "Appearance" and "Themes". Click on "Add New" and "Upload Theme", then "Browse" to upload your theme from your computer, then "Install Now" and "Activate".

STEP 6: CUSTOMISE YOUR THEME

These instructions apply to the Tripod theme discussed earlier. Firstly, navigate to the "Tripod" section of your WordPress admin. In "Settings", go through the options and choose the ones that make sense to you.

The "Templates" section is where you will do the magic. Select the Mainpage template and start playing! You can customise the header section anyhow you like - you can add rows and columns and fill them with the elements that you wish to include here (for instance your logo (upload it first by going to "Tripod", then "Settings" and "Styling"), your menu (set it up at "Appearance" and "Menus" after having created a few pages), a space delimiter, social media icons (install the Simple Share Buttons Adder or other plugin from "Plugins" and "Add New" and add the shortcode [ ssba ] (without spaces) into a Text/Shortcodes element in the template builder).

Then customise the content section with anything that you want to include on the home page. Remember that you can add rows and columns, taking advantage of all the different content elements that the theme builder lets you add in. If you don't find an element that you are looking for, try using a Text/Shortcodes element that lets you add HTML (for example, if you wish to add a photo, first upload it by navigating to "Media" and "Add New" and then get the URL link of the photo and insert it in the Text/Shortcodes element inside a < img src="YourPhotoURLHere" > tag without spaces). Or go the easy way and create a simple page with your content (as below) and add it in your Mainpage template content section as a page element.

After this, customise the footer section in the same manner. Once done, click "Update Settings" at the bottom of the page, and "Copy Template at the top of the page. Then navigate to the Default template, and click "Paste Template. You can leave the header and footer sections untouched, and delete all content elements from the content section here.

Then navigate to "Pages" and create the pages you want by clicking "Add New". On the page builder, scroll down so you see the "Page Builder" section, choose a layout with or without a sidebar, and choose the Default template from the drop-down. This assigns the right header and footer sections from the default template you just created to every page. If you wish to use sidebars, you can customise them by navigating to "Appearance" and "Widgets". Then navigate to "Appearance" and "Customize" to set up your fonts (a great plugin to install if you wish to use the variety that Google Fonts offers is "Easy Google Fonts" which adds many options here.

That's it in a nutshell! If you wish to customise your site further and know a bit of coding, you can add custom CSS by navigating to "Tripod" then "Extra" and "Custom CSS".

STEP 7: ADD THE EXTRAS AND ENJOY

If you wish to add a newsletter subscription to your website, we recommend MailChimp. They have an extensive amount of tutorials available about WordPress integration that you can find by typing in your question in their help section or on Google. For building a site with protected, free or paid members-only access to some of your content, we recommend the s2Member plugin. To enhance your Search Engine Optimisation, a good plugin is All-In-One-SEO (if you need more robust SEO features for your site, you can check out the Pro version). Google Analytics is great for keeping an eye on statistics and how people use your site. If you need a great, multi-function slider plugin for photos or other dynamic content, use the Revolution Slider which is included in your Tripod theme (you will need to find it in the zip file that you have downloaded from ThemeForest and install it separately). If you wish to edit photos easily without Photoshop, try PicMonkey. Then just take the time to enjoy and appreciate your new website.

We hope these tips are useful and wish you the best of success!

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