My name is Benjamin Olawoye, and I will be teaching you web development.
Kindly NOTE that I may not be able to touch all aspects of this because web development has levels and it’s not a thing you can learn within few days.
When we say web development, I personally categories it into two aspects which are;
- Build your website using a Content management system(CMS): It is a software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content.
We have many kinds of CMS that I can’t name all because I don’t bother myself making research on them, yes, as a web developer I should know all but they are useless due to low features. So when choosing your CMS software, don’t even bother yourself saying you want to make research which one is better, WordPress (WP) is the number 1 CMS globally and I don’t think there is any other software that can beat WordPress when it comes to using free software to create your website.
Of course you can create your own software if you have PHP/MYQL skill.
- Build your website from scratch using programming language: A programming language is a vocabulary and set of grammatical rules for instructing a computer or computing device to perform specific tasks. The term programming language usually refers to high-level languages, such as BASIC, C, C++, COBOL, Java, FORTRAN, Ada, and Pascal.
When using a programming language to build a website, you will need to code the frontend and the backend.
Front end development manages everything that users visually see first in their browser or application. Front end developers are responsible for the look and feel of a site.
Back end development refers to the server side of an application and everything that communicates between the database and the browser.
Many back end developers know front end languages such as HTML and CSS but need to use languages such as Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python, and .Net to get the back end job done. Back end developers are most focused on a site’s responsiveness and speed. These languages are used to create dynamic sites which are different from static sites in that these types of websites store database information. Content on the site is constantly changing and updating. Examples of dynamic sites include Facebook, Twitter, and Google Maps.
I wouldn’t want to go much into Front end and backend so I don’t confuse anyone, so let’s focus on WordPress.
You might be asking yourself, “What is WordPress?” “What is WordPress used for?” WordPress powers nearly a third of the world’s websites. With tools for everyone from personal bloggers to large corporations, this powerful site builder and content management system (cms) aims to make it possible for anyone to create an online presence in minutes. The WordPress platform is flexible, scalable, and always free to use.
The features that made WordPress so appealing to bloggers and other kinds of Internet publishers also appealed to a far wider audience, including some of the most prominent companies in Nigeria and around the world. Now, WordPress is the platform of choice for many big platforms including PUNCH, ChannelsTv, The Nation Newspaper, along with millions of smaller business and personal sites. The most recent version of the platform has been downloaded over 22 million times so far, and new versions continue to be developed by the large WordPress user community.
WordPress is an open-source, free website creation tool written in the programming language PHP. It is licensed under the General Public License, which allows anyone to not only use the software but also to modify it to suit individual needs and share those modifications with others. “Open source” software is publicly available and always free so that WordPress can be downloaded at any time or installed as part of a web hosting package.
Enough of the introduction to WP, Now WordPress has 2 different types, WordPress.com and WordPress.org
If you’re new to WordPress, you might be wondering about the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
This is completely understandable since both run on WordPress, both use themes and plugins and both are readily available for free online. But there are major disparities between the two and those distinctions are what make WordPress.org my favorite flavor of WordPress.
WordPress.com is a free platform for building a blog and website with WordPress. It’s fully managed by Automattic (the creators behind WordPress) and best of all it’s one of the easiest blogging platforms on the web. All you need to do is register for a free account, choose your subdomain (example: yourwebsite.wordpress.com), pick a free theme, and start adding your content.
However nothing in life is ever totally perfect, so of course, there are a few pros & cons of WordPress.com.
WordPress.org may have the same namesake and use the same content management system as WordPress.com but it’s an entirely separate entity unto itself. Instead of everything being managed by Automattic you are fully in control of your website.
WordPress.org is the self-hosted version of WordPress that you can use to build your own website online. And while it still has it’s pros and cons, it’s our personal favorite form of WordPress.
I will advise you read my article on different between WordPress.com and WordPresss.org, click on the link below to read
Now let’s get started on creating a website with WordPress
What do you need to start a WordPress blog? (WE ARE USING WordPress.org)
There are three things you need to create a WordPress blog:
- A domain name idea (this will be the name of your blog i.e benjaminolaw.xyz)
- A web hosting account (this is where your website live on the internet)
- Your undivided attention for 30 minutes.
Now to get started in registering domain and hosting, you need to first consider which hosting company you want to use.
One of the greatest mistakes people make when creating a website is choosing the wrong web hosting company, yea there are big web hosting companies all over the world but one thing that will always frustrate you when using a big hosting company is ‘Poor support team’, and let me tell you the fact, the number one thing you should consider when buying hosting from a company is how responsive is their support system, those big companies won’t respond to you quickly whenever your website is down or you are facing any issue, you can confirm this on Facebook, just search for any big hosting company like hostgator and check the comment section of their posts. I don’t blame them because they have nothing to lose. I have been using big hosting companies thinking they are the best but I regretted it and I have to move away from them.
Let me give you some reasons you should choose HarmonWeb. HarmonWeb is a Nigeria based web hosting and web development company with a domain name provider.
When you buy hosting from HarmonWeb, you get a free domain name and free website security to protect your website including SSL certificates.
I recommend you use it because the support team is very quick in solving issues the clients are having with their websites, unlike other big hosting companies that don’t respond to support tickets on time.
HarmonWeb hosting price starts from N350 per month and the yearly plan is N4,200 with that you get free.COM.NG domain if you are paying for 12 months which is one year or more, you also get an SSL certificate for website protection.
If you are creating a website for your business, I advise you to buy the business plan which is N820 per month, it also gives you access to free domain and SSL certificate for website protection, but you can still start with the starter package and upgrade later.
And lastly, I’m the head of the technical team in HarmonWeb, so whe you buy web hosting and domain from harmonweb, you can also come to my DM when you have any question or need any help, you can imagine how sweet is that because you are communicating with me direct and not opening support ticket that take like 5 mins before you get response.
I don’t need to stress myself teaching how to buy hosting and domain because I have done that in a blog post, read it with the link below;
Tips on Finding a Domain Name for Your Business Website
Domain names are crucial to the success of your website. You need to spend some time on choosing the perfect domain name for your business but don’t overthink it.
- Stick to the .com version because users find it easier to remember (see .com vs .net – which is better)
- Your domain name should be related to your business (For example, stargardening.com )
- If your preferred domain name is not available, then try adding geographical location next to it. This increases your domain’s visibility in local search results (For example, stargardeninghouston.com)
- Keep it simple, short, and easy to pronounce.
Ok, now that you have buy your hosting and domain, let’s build our website using wordpress.
we need to install WordPress from our cPanel, follow the steps I’m giving to do that
Step 1: Log to your Cpanel Account
You can login into your cPanel account by typing www.example.com/cpanel on your browser assuming ‘example.com’ is the primary domain name associated with your hosting account. Then, enter your username and password that you received from HarmonWeb when you bought your hosting and domain.
Step 2: Locate Softaculous apps installer
On the next screen, you will see the Cpanel dashboard, locate the text box that reads, “Find functions quickly by typing here:” Just enter the name ‘Softaculous’. The script installer will be displayed below together with all apps that it supports. Click ‘WordPress’ and proceed.
Step 3: Choose a protocol and a domain name
On the next screen, you will see a brief description of the WordPress version that you are about to install on your website, click on the button labeled ‘Install’. You will be taken to the ‘Software Setup’ page.
Choose your desired protocol. The recommended one is ‘http://www.’ or ‘https://www.’ Use https only if you have an SSL certificate for your domain. (HarmonWeb provides free SSL certificate for all clients so you don’t need to buy it again)
Step 4: Fill WordPress site settings detail
Next, you will see your website settings.
Enter the name of your website and a brief description. Then, choose an admin username, password, and email. You will need these details to log in to your WordPress admin panel, so choose a strong password. Select your preferred language and scroll down to proceed.
Step 4: Choose plugins and a theme
The next screen displays an option where you can install some plugins (this is optional), then choose your desired theme. Remember to supply your email address one more on the text box that reads, “>Email installation details to”. Finally, click on the ‘Install’ button.
The Softaculous apps installer will check the submitted data and make WordPress Installation on your website
You will then be taken to the congratulations screen, and email with your WordPress installation details will be sent to the address that you entered when installing.
The message in the success page will look like this;
Congratulations, the wordpress was installed successfully
WordPress has been successfully installed at:
Administrative URL : http://www.example.com/wp-admin/
We hope the installation process was easy.
Step 5: Test the Installation
Log in to your WordPress site by typing the administrative URL e.g. http://www.example.com/wp-admin/
Your installation is now complete and you will be taken directly to your WordPress dashboard.
Now that the WP installation is complete, login to your dashboard
Once logged in, you will see the WordPress admin area. This is where you will manage your website, change settings, and add new content.
I won’t teach you how to create a blog in this tutorial, I will teach you how to create a business website, so if you have a business you want to create website for, just relax and borrow your business 1 hour of your time.
Step 1: Start Creating Pages
you need to create an outline of your website content. Good small business websites are simple and follow a standard website layout.
Simply go to Pages » Add New page to create a new page in WordPress.
Don’t worry about the content, text, and images at the moment. Just adding a simple title, some text, and a couple of images would be fine. You can always edit these pages and add more content if needed.
Here are some of the most common pages used in a small business website layout.
- Homepage – This is the welcome page of your website. Add your business name with a call to action to your services/products or contact page. Provide a brief description of why your customers should choose you.
- About Us – Your customers want to know more about people behind a business before they can make a decision. Create an about us page to tell users who you are, what are your business values, and what relevant experience you have in your industry.
- Services / Products – Create a page to list details about services or products you are offering. Add a heading for each service/product and provide a brief description. You can also add pricing or ask users to contact you for a quote.
- Contact Us – This is the page your users will need to contact you. You will need to add a contact form so that users can contact you directly. Additionally, you can add your businesses’ physical address or phone number.
Additionally, you can create more pages if needed. For example, you can create a separate blog page, individual pages for each service or product, and more.
Step 2: Choosing a Design for Your Website
By default, WordPress comes with a basic template that you can use. If you don’t like the default theme, then there are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes that you can choose from.
I recommend looking for a simple design that looks great and has all the right elements.
Normally, a business website has a navigation menu on top. The homepage usually has a welcome message with a call to action button, which is followed by other content.
Once you have chosen a theme, you can go ahead and install it. For detailed instructions, read my friend’s post on how to install a WordPress theme, click on the link below to read so we proceed.
Each WordPress theme comes with different settings to customize its appearance. Many of these options are located under Appearance » Customize page in WordPress admin area.
From here you can add navigation menus, change colors, add or remove different sections, and more. Once you are satisfied with the design, don’t forget to click on the Publish button on top to save your changes.
If you’re unable to find the theme that fits your need, then you can use one of the popular drag & drop page builders for WordPress to create a custom design for your needs.
I recommend using either Beaver Builder or Divi theme.
Step 3: Using WordPress Plugins to Add More Features
WordPress plugins are like apps for your WordPress site. You can install them to add new features to your website like contact forms, Google Analytics, sliders, and more.
There are more than 50,000 free plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory alone. This means, no matter what feature you want to add there is good chance you will be able to find a plugin for that.
Below are the plugins that I install on every website:
- WPForms Lite – Add contact forms to your WordPress site
- Yoast SEO – Improve your WordPress SEO and get more traffic from Google
- MonsterInsights (Free) – Helps you track visitor stats using Google Analytics
- WP Super Cache – Improves your website’s speed by adding cache
- UpdraftPlus – Free WordPress backup plugin
- Sucuri – Free website malware scanner
To install any free plugin, navigate to Plugin>Add new and search for the plugin you want to install, once you see it, click on it to install and then activate it.
Once you activate your plugins, then set it up, all plugins have a documentary on how to use them so all you need to do is just search on google how to use any plugin you want to use, I can’t be explaining that now because there are thousands of plugins, which one do you want me to explain? LOL.