Here are the steps I take when setting up a self-hosted WordPress website. I’ve included links to some of the plugins I use, and to helpful articles with more comprehensive instructions.
[PLEASE NOTE THAT I INTEND TO UPDATE THIS POST TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE NEW GUTENBERG EDITOR – if you are already using Gutenberg, then you may find that you can add images in columns, or using a third party block or widget, without having to use the methods described below.]
It’s quite common to want a page layout like the example below, with a row of three images, each of which links to a different page of the website (nails, make up and hair, in my example).
My previous post, Alternatives to WordPress Page Builders, describes an exercise I carried out to build a simple web page without the use of a page builder plugin.
In this follow-up post, I attempt to build the same page with a few different page builders to see how much easier this makes the process.
Page Builders have become so popular that sometimes new WordPress users get the impression that they are expected to use one. My own view is that it’s best to keep things simple and use a page builder only if you have a need for it.
If self-hosted WordPress was both inexpensive and maintenance free, then I doubt I would even consider the alternatives.
What’s most likely to scare people away from using WordPress is the fear that they will lose their website if it is hacked, they make a mistake or something breaks. This is why it’s important to have a contingency plan.
You can minimise the danger of your site being hacked by keeping your plugins up to date. The WordFence plugin has a number of security features which include emails to tell you when an update is required. When you log into your WordPress dashboard you’ll be prompted to carry out the update, which is easy to do.
However, it’s impossible to 100% guarantee that your website will be safe.
Many hosts keep backups so, if something did go wrong, then your host may be able to simply replace your site with a copy taken before the problem occurred.
However, you should also be keeping your own backups in case this isn’t possible.
Plugins contain code that adds extra abilities to your WordPress website.
For example, the slideshow below was produced using the Meta Slider plugin.
Installing this plugin added an extra section to the WordPress dashboard for putting slides into the slideshow and controlling its appearance, speed etc.