If you’ve decided to create a WordPress website and you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused, you’re not alone! Doing something brand new for the first time can feel extremely uncomfortable and cause you to doubt yourself and your abilities. But before you give up and throw in the towel, today I’m sharing six things WordPress beginners should know to boost their confidence immediately!
What got you here, and why did you decide to create a WordPress website? Whether you’re finally starting the blog you always dreamed of, opening an online shop for your handmade creations, or you need an online portfolio to advertise your photography skills, write down your vision! You’re going to need it to get you through the obstacles you will eventually face when building your website.
Remember, your new WordPress website will always be a work in progress, no matter how “perfect” you might think it is. When you remember that your website is a journey and not a destination, you can let go of the pressure to create the “perfect” website.
Once you’ve identified your vision and you have a clear goal in mind for your new website, you can narrow down your path to get to your goal. This is the best way to avoid the “shiny object syndrome” that will inevitably happen in your WordPress journey. New plugins, new themes, new graphics, new content… while all of those things are wonderful additions to your website, you don’t need all of them. You might not even need any of them. No matter what type of website you’re building, remember the more you put onto your website, the slower the loading time will be for your audience. Narrow down what the most important plugins, graphics, and media will be, and don’t overwhelm your audience. Simple is better - just have a look at Apple!
Do you remember the last blog or online shop you visited? Do you remember the colors, the theme, the design of the website? Is that what kept bringing you back to the website, or was it the content and/or the creator of the website?
The truth is, all the obsessing we do over our brand colors, fonts, graphics, and website layout isn’t what creates success. Quality content, value, and even personality are what retains your audience - not the perfect WordPress theme.
While of course, we want our website to look professional and beautiful, remember that you can still achieve beauty and professionalism with a free theme, and it isn’t likely that anyone will be able to tell whether you have a free theme or a paid theme. Focus on what will make your audience feel “at home” on your website - not whether or not your website is magazine perfect.
So don’t worry about all the details in the beginning stages of your website -- “analysis paralysis” will stop all the progress you are eager to make! Instead, let your website grow alongside your business, and give yourself and your website a healthy dose of grace.
The number one threat to your WordPress website is not updating your themes, versions, and plugins! WordPress is one of the most hacked platforms on the internet, but this could be significantly reduced if website owners would schedule and perform routine maintenance for their website. Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste - create and maintain a routine maintenance schedule before you do anything else with your website, and make sure everything is always up to date.
Once you’ve committed yourself to secure your website regularly, remember to always backup your work! There is no worse feeling in the world than losing every part of your hard work, especially when it has taken you weeks, or even months, worth of commitment on your part. Along with a regular maintenance routine, add in regular backups of your website. If anything happens to your website, you will always be covered with your blog posts, graphics, themes, and other valuable resources you can’t afford to lose.
Here’s the truth - any ounce of fear or anxiety you have when you start your WordPress website is going to be magnified times a thousand by the amount of information you will encounter on Google and YouTube. More does not always equal better, and the internet is a worldwide place where you can get lost in under a minute. Don’t torture yourself or lose hope - find a supportive community where your feelings are validated and your pursuit is encouraged. A supportive community is the number one thing you can do for yourself and your website, to help you stay committed for the long haul.
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