Lesson 1: What is WordPress?
I’m going to use WordPress to build an affiliate site in this course. If you don’t know what’s WordPress, this lesson is going to give you a clear idea.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular content management system (“CMS”) to build a website, which was released in 2003. Around 39% of all websites on the internet are using WordPress as the website builder. It’s the favourite of both web-savvy users or web-novices because of its simplicity and power.
WordPress is easy to use and flexible. It’s great for building any type of website, from a blog to an eCommerce store.
Why Should You Use WordPress?
There are many platforms to build a website such as Joomla, Shopify, Magento, Wix, Weebly etc.
However, when comparing with WordPress, these platforms lack flexibility and are mostly used for websites with a specific purpose only. For example, Shopify or Magento are only good for creating an online store.
Here the reasons why you should use WordPress to create your affiliate site:
1. WordPress is Free and Open-Source
WordPress is free to use and open source. It means you can download WordPress and install it without paying a penny.
What you have to pay is your domain and web hosting as the WordPress site is self-hosted. I will talk about this in the next lesson.
Also, you can alter or improve its source code to customise your website’s functionality and appearance.
There is a large community of developers worldwide to contribute to the development.
2. WordPress is Search Engine Friendly
This is one of the most critical reasons why you should use WordPress for your affiliate site. Search Engine Optimisation (“SEO”) is going to be our most important traffic strategy in this course.
WordPress is known for having SEO built into the platform. That means popular search engines like Google and Bing are more likely to rank your website if you use WordPress. This is because WordPress makes it easy for search engines’ spiders to crawl your site content.
WordPress automatically generates title tags and meta descriptions for all of your pages and posts. This allows search engines to know about your content. It will then get you indexed and potentially rank your content higher in search results.
With WordPress, you can also enjoy the benefits offered by WordPress SEO plugins to further improve your website’s SEO.
3. WordPress Dominates the Internet
WordPress is the most popular content management system. Its performance, expandability and ease-of-use have appealed to a majority of internet users. Over 74 million websites of all types and sizes are using WordPress.
4. WordPress is Flexible For Building Any Type of Website
While WordPress was developed as a blogging platform at the beginning, it’s not just for building blogs after many new releases over the years.
Here are the types of websites you can make with WordPress:
- Business websites
- Ecommerce sites
- Rating websites
- Membership sites
- Personal websites for self-promotion
- Job boards
- Business directories
- Non-profit websites for collecting donations
- knowledge bases
- Media-centric sites like YouTube
- Auction and coupon sites
5. Easy to Learn and Has a Community Support
WordPress is user-friendly and very easy for newbies to learn. You can learn how to navigate the interface in minutes. In case you have any development questions or technical issues, you can get the answers easily from the huge online community.
6. Easy to Customize Your Website with Themes and Plugins
You don’t have to be a web designer or programmer to use WordPress. WordPress is perfect for non-tech savvy people.
You can simply install a WordPress theme you like and use the customizer to adjust the colours, logo, background, layout etc without writing a piece of code. There are also many plugins for you to add any custom functionality you want. For example, you can add features like contact forms, analytics, membership area etc.
The best part is that many themes and plugins are available for free.
7. WordPress Gives You Full Control of Your Website
If you use other website builders like WIX, Squarespace, Joomla, Magento, Shopify, Weebly, and Jimdo, you will not have full control of your website. Because these are not open-source platforms, which means you cannot freely expand the built-in functionality with plugins.
Also, you don’t technically have full ownership of your website when using these platforms. When you stop paying for these platforms, you will lose your website and cannot be transferred elsewhere. Some platforms may also remove your website entirely if you breach some of the terms unintentionally.
On the other hand, with WordPress, you own everything on your website. You can move your website files to other web hosts without limitation. You don’t have to worry about losing your website.
Lesson 2: 3 Steps to Build A WordPress Website
While WordPress itself is free, you need a domain name and web hosting to install it.
A domain name is the address of your website on the internet. This is what your users type in their browser’s address bar to access your website. For example, our domain name is highincomesource.com.
Web hosting is your website’s house where all your website files, information and content are stored. These files need to be stored somewhere in order to be accessible on the internet. A hosting provider basically hosts these files for you on their servers. Think of it as the foundation of your website. It’s very important to choose a reliable and high-performing web host.
Here are the 3 basic steps to build a WordPress website:
Step 1: Choose and Buy a Domain
Every website needs a domain. Don’t use a free domain provided by your web host if any. Having your own domain will lead to better rankings. You can purchase a domain on NameSilo which I highly recommend because it’s very cheap but reliable.
If you don’t know about Wealthy Affiliate, it’s the best platform for beginners to build an affiliate marketing business from scratch. It provides everything you need such as domain registration, web hosting, online training, and community support. It’s free to register an account with it.
A domain is an asset like real estate. When you purchase a domain, you own it and nobody else in the world can use it.
Your domain name should be the same as your business name. It’s your brand. If you cannot think of a name, there is a free tool to help you out. Namelix is a fantastic free tool that can help you brainstorm a lot of creative business names.
Here are some tips for you in choosing a domain name:
- Your domain name should be catchy and easy to remember
- Use .com as the domain name extension: .com is the most popular domain name extension. You should always aim to choose this extension if possible.
- Check trademark infringement: to avoid legal issues, you should avoid choosing a name that is similar to some popular or well-established brands. You can look up trademark information here
- Avoid using numbers and hyphens: if possible, your domain name should not include numbers and hyphens. Always keep it simple for SEO purposes.
Step 2: Choose a Web Host
After you have bought a domain, you need to choose a web host for your website.
There are so many factors to consider in choosing a web host, which could overwhelm most people. To help you get started easier, I have picked the best web host that you cannot go wrong with.
We highly recommend using WPX Hosting. WPX Hosting is a renowned Managed WordPress Hosting provider that you can trust. It is one of the fastest WordPress hosting providers that is optimised for performance and ready for any traffic spikes you might throw at it.
In my opinion, WPX Hosting is a better option than other cheap web hosts like Bluehost because of its better performance (uptime and speed), customer support, security and many more.
It is also one of the more affordable options around when compared to other managed WordPress hosts like WP Engine and Kinsta.
However, if you are a member of Wealthy Affiliate, you don’t need to spend the extra money on WPX Hosting because Wealthy Affiliate provides first-class Managed Web Hosting service. I personally host a number of my websites on Wealthy Affiliate and it performs very well so far.
Step 3: Choose a WordPress Theme
After you have installed WordPress, you have to choose a WordPress theme. A WordPress theme is a folder of files that work together to create the design of your site.
With a theme installed, you can customize how your site looks on the front-end easily, including the layout, typography, colour, and other design elements.
Choosing a good WordPress theme is very important. It will affect your website attractiveness, functionality and site speed.
There are thousands of WordPress themes to choose from. Most have both free and paid versions. It can be overwhelming to analyse which one is the best for your affiliate site.
I highly recommend using the GeneratePress theme, which is one of the most lightweight and fastest themes on the market. Site speed is very important when it comes to SEO and monetisation because slow site speed will seriously affect your ranking and user experience.
GeneratePress has a free version, but you are highly recommended to get their premium version in order to enjoy more features and flexibility. The price is pretty reasonable and you can use it on unlimited websites for a single purchase.
Tools & Resources
- Wealthy Affiliate (Most Recommended For WordPress Web Hosting)
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
- WPX Hosting
- GeneratePress Premium
Lesson 3: Register Your Domain
In this lesson, I’m going to show you how to buy a domain.
Step 1 – Sign Up an Account at NameSilo
Step 2 – Check the Availability of a Domain Name
To buy a domain, let’s start with an availability search here.
Enter your desired name in the search field. You will be presented with a list of available options for registration. If possible, choose the .com domain extension.
Step 3 – Pick Your Domain
If the domain is available, proceed with the registration by pressing “Add”
Step 4 – Review Your Order at Cart Page
At the cart page, make sure you choose WHOIS Privacy, which is free at NameSilo. This avoids disclosing your personal information to spammers.
Step 5 – Complete Your Domain Registration
Enter your billing information and pay for the domain.
After that, the domain name will be yours and no one can take it away from you.
Tools & Resources
Lesson 4: Register a Web Hosting Account
In this lesson, I’m going to walk you through how to register a Web Hosting account. You can register an account at WPX and Wealthy Affiliate. You cannot go wrong with either one, which is of very high quality.
Anyway, in this lesson, I’m going to use WPX Hosting as an example.
1. Go To WPX Hosting
We are going to build our website using WordPress and WPX Hosting is specialised in WordPress hosting.
2. Choose Your WPX Hosting Hosting Plan
WPX Hosting has three web hosting pricing plans you can sign up for: Business, Professional and Elite.
I recommend choosing the Business plan to begin with, which has the best value for the price. The Business plan includes hosting 5 websites, 10GB of storage, free high-speed CDN, free emails, free malware removal etc.
Then you can choose the hosting location. Just choose a location nearest to where your audience is located.
3. Enter Your Domain
If you have bought a domain on NameSilo, you can sign up using the domain without registering a new one at WPX Hosting.
4. Review and Complete Your Order
Just fill out your personal details, your payment information.
Now you have signed up with WPX Hosting and you will receive an email confirming your order. The next thing you need to do is to install WordPress.
If you are not a member of Wealthy Affiliate yet, you may join and host your website on Wealthy Affiliate.
They are not just a web hosting company, but also an education platform where you can get access to comprehensive training and community support.
There are three plans: free, premium and premium plus.
Don’t go with the free plan if you are serious about building an affiliate marketing business, as it only allows you to host a free domain website (.siterubix.com), which is just for testing purpose.
So you should either choose the premium or the premium plus. For people who are just starting out, the premium plan is sufficient, which allows you to host up to 10 websites.
You can go to register a free account first. After that, you can upgrade to premium for just $19 for the first month.
Tools & Resources
Lesson 5: Install WordPress
If you choose to host your websites on WPX Hosting, it’s very easy to install WordPress.
First, log in to your WPX Hosting account.
Then Select My Services > Service Management.
In the Hosting Panel, select the Websites/SSL tab on the left menu. This is where you can manage and add new websites to your WPX account.
Click Install WP button to the right of the website.
Click Install WordPress on website on the popup.
Fill in the website and account details. After that click on Deploy WordPress to complete the installation.
Note: If you host your website on Wealthy Affiliate, installing WordPress is easier. Just go to Site Manager and follow the 4-step process with few clicks.
Tools & Resources
Lesson 6: Point Your Domain To the Web Host
If you bought the domain on NameSilo, you have to change the nameservers of the domain in NameSilo to your web host’s nameservers. Otherwise, you can skip this lesson.
It’s very easy to do if you host your websites on WPX Hosting.
To change the nameservers, you need to locate them in the WPX account.
Locate WPX Hosting Nameservers
In your WPX hosting account, click on WPX Hosting Dashboard > Service Details at the bottom of the menu, under Server Details. Copy the nameservers.
Locate Name Servers Settings in NameSilo
In your NameSilo account, go to the Domain Manager. Then choose the domain you bought, which will then direct you to the Domain Console.
You will see the default nameservers, which looks like something like this:
Click “Change” and replace the default nameservers with the ones you copied from WPX Hosting.
Usually, it just takes several minutes to take effect and your domain will start serving from WPX Hosting.
After that, since your domain’s nameservers are changed to WPX Hosting, all of your DNS records will be managed in your WPX Hosting account.
Wealthy Affiliate Hosting
Then, you can do the same by copying and pasting Wealthy Affiliate’s nameservers on NameSilo.
Wealthy Affiliate’s nameservers are:
Tools & Resources
Lesson 7: Install Let’s Encrypt Free SSL Certificate
If you see that your website cannot be connected with a non-secure warning, it means you don’t have a valid SSL certificate for the domain.
SSL standards for Secure Sockets layer. It’s a protocol to encrypt and authenticate the data sent between a browser and the webserver. It ensures secure browsing for a user by securing the user data transmission.
In this lesson, I’m going to tell you how to install the SSL Certificate.
WPX Hosting offers a free SSL certificate by Let’s Encrypt and you can install it in a few clicks.
1. Log in to your WPX Hosting Account
2. Go to “Service Management”
By default, an SSL certificate is enabled and ready for installation.
You should see the green padlock next to your website.
3. Generate the Free SSL certificate
Then you will see this popup screen, where you need to click on Install.
The installation will take a few minutes to complete.
After that, you can visit your site with HTTPS and the unsecured warning should be gone.
Wealthy Affiliate Hosting
It’s much easier to host your website on Wealthy Affiliate, especially if you are not a technical person. Everything is further simplified on Wealthy Affiliate.
If you host your website on Wealthy Affiliate, the SSL certificate should have been installed automatically by the time you install the WordPress website.
In SiteManager, under SitePlus+, you should see the SiteSSL is turned on.
Tools & Resources
In Part 2 of Module 3, I will continue to talk about how to build your affiliate site.