Lesson 1: Install a WordPress Theme
You’ve installed WordPress. In this lesson, I’m going to talk about installing a WordPress theme.
For any WordPress websites, you need to install a theme.
Go to Appearance => Themes => Add New
There are thousands of themes to choose from.
Install GeneratePress Theme
I highly recommend using the GeneratePress theme, which is super lightweight and easy to customise. Right now, there are over 300,000 installations and it has a 5-star rating.
GeneratePress is free to download. Just type “GeneratePress” in the search bar. Then install and activate it.
The free version of GeneratePress has some limitations. To get all the features of GeneratePress, you are recommended to get the premium version, which is not expensive. And the best part is that you can install it on 500 websites with a single purchase.
Install a Child Theme
A child theme in WordPress would inherit all the functionality, features, and code of the parent theme without making any changes to the parent theme itself.
This allows you to make changes to your site using child themes without ever modifying the parent theme. When a new version of the parent theme arrives, you can safely update it as all your modifications are saved in the child theme.
You can download the GeneratePress Child Theme here. After that, upload it to your WordPress site and activate it.
Tools & Resources
Lesson 2: Change Permalink Structure
Before you start creating any posts on your website, you should set the permalink structure first.
Permalinks are the technical term for the URLs of your website. Although you can change your permalink structure at any time, it is best to do it at the beginning.
Go to Settings => Permalinks
While you can customise the permalinks structure, choosing “Post name” is the best practice for SEO purpose.
Remember, you should avoid changing the permalinks structure later on, otherwise your posts will need URL redirections which may affect the SEO and hence the traffic to your website.
Lesson 3: Create A Custom Menu
The website menu or the navigation is very critical for user experience and that’s where people can find your content. That is very important for SEO because if visitors cannot navigate your website, the bounce rate is going to be high. Websites with proper navigation will rank better on Google.
You can create as many menus as you want. To create a new menu, go to Appearance => Menus
You can add any pages or posts to the menu.
For the main menu, make sure to choose the display location as “Primary Menu”.
Lesson 4: Decide the Color Scheme for Your Website
It’s time to design your website, which is part of brand building. In this lesson, I’m going to talk about selecting a colour scheme for your website.
Select a Color Scheme
Brand building is important for the sustainable development of your business.
And colour is one of the most noticeable, tangible components of a brand.
It plays an important role in how a brand is perceived. It helps people recognise and remember your brand, and it has the potential to attract the right kind of customers.
No worries if you are not a designer. Here, you can get some inspiration from other well-designed websites and model the ones you like: http://www.cssdrive.com/
Different colour has a different psychological effect. Here’s a great article that talks about the brand colour palette that you can reference:
After you have decided on a colour palette for your website, simply go to Appearance => Customise
You can customise the layout, colour and typography easily without writing a piece of code.
Tools & Resources
Lesson 5: Design a Logo for Your Website
Every brand should have a logo. As part of the brand building for your website, you have to design a logo. In this lesson, I’m going to talk about how to design a logo for your website.
Create a Website Logo
Of course, if you know photoshop, you can create one, but if not, no worries that you can use Canva to make a logo yourself. You don’t need any technical knowledge.
But for serious business, I recommend hiring a logo designer. It’s not expensive that you can hire a designer at fiverr.com for as little as $5.
Make sure to download your logo in the PNG format with transparent background. JPEG is not ideal for the logo.
Tools & Resources
Lesson 6: Create Basic Content For Your Website
In this lesson, we’re going to set up some basic content and pages for your website. These are the essential pages that every website should have.
1. Install the Classic Editor Plugin
Before creating a page or post, I would like you to install the Classic Editor plugin first. This plugin allows you to use the classic editor of WordPress.
The Classic Editor is easier to use in creating blog posts when compared with the default Gutenberg Block Editor. The Gutenberg Block Editor is a new editor for WordPress platform, which was released in 2018. It allows you to use blocks for creating some fancy web pages.
To install the Classic Editor Plugin, go to plugins => Add New
WordPress has thousands of plugins created by developers worldwide. Plugins are the key to customizing your website’s functionality. They are apps that let you add new features and functions to your site. I will introduce some great plugins to you in the coming lessons, which can add some cool functions to your website.
After installing the Class Editor Plugin, you can now create posts or pages like using a Word document. You can change to the default Block Editor when needed by going to Settings => Writing.
2. Set Up Your Homepage
The homepage is the page people see when landing on your website. In WordPress, the default home page is a list of your latest blog posts.
Most websites have a custom static page as the homepage. If you want to design a static page and set as your homepage, you can go to Settings => Reading
You can assign any static page as your homepage there.
3. Create the “About” Page
The “About” page is important. Visitors would like to know who you are. So you should introduce your business to your visitors in order to build relationships and trust. Many businesses ignore this page, which is a big mistake.
5. Create a “Terms and Conditions” Page
The terms and Conditions page may not be required by law, but it’s better to have it. This page can limit your liability should someone take you to court, as well as protect your rights to the content contained in your website. Here is a free template for terms and conditions page:
6. Create an “Affiliate Disclaimer” Page
In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission decided to regulate the business model of affiliate marketing. They want to make sure that users know about the financial relationship of the site to the products that they link to. So, the FTC mandated that all affiliate links must be clearly disclosed.
Some affiliate programs like Amazon Associate Program have specific requirements for the wordings of the disclaimer.
Here are some sample statements that you can make reference to:
7. Create a Contact Page
Every website has a contact page. It allows visitors to contact you with any questions. Also, it builds trust and credibility with your audience.
To create a contact page, go to Pages => Add New
I recommend embedding a contact form on the contact page so that visitors can send messages to you without using your email address. You can create a contact form easily by using a contact form plugin.
I recommend using WPForms Lite. It is free for installing. With drag-and-drop functionality, it is easy to set up, configure and style.
If you want to get all the features like conditional logic, integration with other software, you can get their premium version.
Tools & Resources
- Terms and Conditions Generator
- Affiliate Disclaimers Template
Lesson 7: Get Your Website Ready for Search Engines
Now you have made basic design and content for your website. It’s time to set your website up for Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”). You aim to get search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to find and index your website.
Since Google dominates the search engine market with around 86% market share, our whole SEO strategies will focus on Google.
So you may wonder why you want Google to rank your website. The reason is simple. You want Google to rank your website so that you will get visitors or traffic to your website. With people visiting your website, it means the opportunity to promote your product and make money.
In this lesson, I’m going to walk you through the set-up process of an SEO plugin that is going to make your website search engine friendly.
Install SEOPress Plugin
There are a few SEO plugins on the market like SEOPress, Yoast, All in One SEO, RankMath etc.
I recommend using SEOPress for the robust features and performance.
SEOPress has a free and premium version. You’re recommended to upgrade to the premium version to get the most out of the SEOPress plugin
After installing SEOPress, you won’t see changes to the front-end of your website as the changes are done behind the scene, which makes your website code friendly for search engines.
SEOPress Settings For Your Reference
Here’s the setting for SEOPress for your reference, which you can make adjustment according to your own needs:
For SEO Purpose, it’s better to noindex the archives.
For SEO Purpose, it’s better to noindex the Taxonomies.
For SEO Purpose, it’s better not to include the Taxonomies in the SiteMap.
You can create a schema for your blog posts. Just go to SEOPress => Schemas => Add Schema
Now, your website has done the basic setup for SEO. That means from now on when you create new content on your website, it will be automatically optimised for search engines. You will find your website content being indexed and ranked by search engines faster.
Tools & Resources
Stay tuned for the next email to get access to the next module. I will continue to talk about how to find the most profitable affiliate programs to join.