WordPress Website Creation for Architects
WordPress is one of the best website building tools on the planet.
According to WordPress.org, 35% of all websites currently are built on the system. An important differentiation between WordPress and other website builders is the software is open-source. In other words, the base program is free and can be modified by plugins. This is beneficial to users because you are not tied to a single proprietary provider. For example, if you create a Wix website they charge a monthly fee on top of your website hosting fees. This article explains the benefits and disadvantages of WordPress and how to build a WordPress website now.
Advantages of WordPress
WordPress has several advantages over other website platforms. Most of the benefits make life easier.
- Free, base installation
- Easy to use interface with preset layouts
- Clean writing interface
- SEO friendly
- Longevity, its been around for many years and will be around for many more to come.
- Trusted by a huge amount of websites on the internet
- Tons of helpful free plugins can be installed to customize your website
Disadvantages of WordPress
Even though WordPress has many more benefits than downsides, here are a couple disadvantages.
- Most templates are preset and don’t allow unlimited customization. This may be an issue for some architecture websites that want ultimate control. Being “ok” with some details may be needed.
- There is a learning curve for using writing “blocks” and interface settings. The learning curve is pretty quick for most users though.
Getting started with WordPress
Before you jump right into starting a website there are a couple of critical items you must consider. First, picking your website name is important. Keep in mind it is difficult to change your website name after you have everything setup. Second, having some content already developed for your website will be helpful to create a starting framework.
Get a domain name
The domain name is the website address for your page. There are several different types of domain names available for example, .com and .net. Having a .com domain name is the best because it is the most recognizable address. The tricky part is actually being able to get a name you want. Domain names are competitive since people have been buying them since the start of the internet.
Keeping your website domain name simple is important so people can find you. It is also better for search engine optimization. Once you have an idea for the name and check that it is available you should quickly buy and reserve the name. Do this before someone else does.
You will also need to purchase website hosting services for your website. Hosting services is where your website actually lives. You are renting space on a company’s web server as a place for your website to live or be stored. Web hosting services usually have a yearly fee.
gURROO uses ICDSOFT for website hosting and domain name registration. They have excellent customer support and low fees. They have hosted this website for 8+ years.
Install WordPress on your hosting account
After you have established your domain name and have your hosting account setup it is time to install WordPress. Keep in mind it may take some time for your hosting account to be established. Some web hosting companies offer a quick install feature for WordPress. ICDSOFT offers this helpful feature. When WordPress is installed on your hosting account you will be given a login and password for the user interface.
Consider theme options
The first step when you log into the WordPress platform is to choose a theme for your website. The theme controls the overall look and framework of you site. There are free versions and paid versions. Usually paid versions offer enhanced features and more graphic layouts.
Important features to have in your WordPress theme are responsive layouts. Responsive layouts allow the website to resize itself when viewed from different devices. Usually a website needs to perform much differently on a smartphone vs. a desktop computer.
Consider the essential features for your website. Are you selling anything? Is the website a digital portfolio? Do you need to host videos? Do the research and see which themes support your requirements.
Create your homepage
The first page you should create for your website is the homepage. This is where most of your visitors will initially land. Depending on what theme you have installed there is usually several options you can pick from. Do you want the page to have a list of posts on your page. Maybe it would be good to have a large image of one of your projects on the homepage. Another popular strategy right now is to have a video background on your homepage. gURROO has seen the most user retention when a video background or cool project image has been used on the homepage.
Create your first post
Depending on the focus of your website post can be a useful way to share information about your company or recent events. Typically, posts are written in blog format. They are useful for your readers to learn more about you. Also, these pages can be a key part of your search engine optimization strategy.
Tips for better WordPress productivity
One of the key things to improve your own personal productivity with WordPress is to not over complicate things. As architects we sometimes like to scrutinize things to death. Getting to fussy with the details on WordPress can end of in a big wasting of time. The reason why is because WordPress is strongly template based. If you try to change the template it can cause much more work for you than needed for optimum results.
Helpful plugins to boost your WordPress website functionality
Install these free plugins to boost your WordPress functionality
- Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the best search engine optimization plugin for WordPress. The free version comes with easy to use keyphrase and site metadata fields below each or your posts, pages and categories. gURROO uses this plugin and will share results later this year.
Sumo is a helpful tool for building an e-mail list. The plugin creates a splash screen for users to input their e-mail address to sign up for a newsletter etc.
- WP Super Cache
This plugin helps your site load faster for users by using cache features and compression. After installing this plugin we tracked notable performance increased on website speed tests.
Smush is an auto image compressor for your website. It is difficult to format images down to a small enough size for the web and mobile viewing. This plugin takes the stress out of the process by doing it automatically. The free version allows you to compress 50 images per batch.
Grammarly isn’t a WordPress plugin, but is a chrome extension. It is incredibly helpful to improve your writing grammar and spelling.