So far I haven’t posted a lot of what I’m about, Wordpress websites and helping small business build their own sites. Today, that changes
There are a lot of steps involved in building your own website and I know how daunting this can be if you’re not familiar with the process.
The thing is, if you have a great framework to start with, then it becomes a much simpler process.
You don’t have to spend hours upon hours figuring out how to do all the thinking and the learning about what you need to do, and instead you follow the process.
Step by step, you create a website your customers will love — one that leads them to book you, over and over.
Here’s my essential list of plugins to building your own Wordpress website…
This is the TLDR list …
- A theme — Astra Themes is great (free and paid versions)
- A page builder for easy to use blocks and page structure — Elementor (free and paid versions)
- Backup your site — Akeeba Backup (free and paid versions)
- Manage your SEO — Yoast SEO (free and paid versions)
- Keep your site safe — iThemes Security
- Reduce workload by duplicating posts & pages — Duplicate Posts
- Let your clients email you — Ninja Forms (free and paid versions)
If you’re interested in the what and the why, read on …
First off you need a theme, and for this I love Astra by Brainstorm Force. The free version has some great starter sites, and the Pro version is cost effective for ultimate customisability and starter sites.
Second, to build a great site without knowing how to code, a page builder comes in very handy.
They offer a way to structure pages and have a range of pre-built blocks to add any type of content to your site. I favour Elementor for this. Again, there is a free and paid version.
The free version offers a a small range of blocks, and is great for most purposes. The paid version offers a larger range of blocks, and is great value.
Pre-made blocks offer so much customisability, and save you much time in searching out individual plugins to do specific tasks.
Elementor works well with the Astra theme, and Astra has a range of themes that use the Elementor page builder.
Backups … one of the things that many forget, but that is most important to continued operation. There are so many reasons you need to keep regular backups of your site, and I won’t go into them all here.
My favourite backup plugin that works well for most sites, is Akeeba Backup. You won’t find it on the Wordpress plugin repository. Yet it’s one we’ve been using for over 10 years on both Joomla and Wordpress builds. It’s reliable, and simple.
SEO is important, and if you’re not in the know, there’ll be a future blog post about why it’s important, but for now, I love using the Yoast SEO plugin to help me get the most out of my posts. There’s free and paid versions.
I mostly use the free version with my clients and it provides enough value. When you get in to the higher levels of SEO, you might want to look at the features in the paid version.
Next we’ve got security. There’s plenty of maliciousness out in internet land, keep your website safe with iThemes Security.
As a big believer in reusing instead of starting from scratch, the Duplicate Post plugin can save so much time by duplicating posts and pages you already have. Edit the duplicated post, and save yourself some time and brainpower.
Collecting info. For simple email enquiries, right now I like Ninja Forms. It’s easy to build forms to collect your client enquiries and have them delivered to you via email. Also with a database of submissions in case your email goes missing.
What features do you need in your website?