If you want to try your hand at designing your own website here are my WordPress DIY Recommendations for 2022.
If you don’t want to spend days or weeks learning how to build your own website I can build your website for you in just 1 day.
The products I mention in this blog and on my tools and resources page I have used myself to build LaraP.Digital or to build client sites.
Self-Hosted WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com) is an open-source content management software (CMS) that currently powers over 35% of all websites on the Internet. When you think about it, that’s over a third of all the websites in the world…huge market share!
The WordPress.org Community is contributed to by thousands of developers all over the world and is growing from strength to strength.
WordPress allows you to develop flexible and customisable websites to the point of having full control over every element of the website. This flexibility allows you to build to Google best practices so it’s a great choice for SEO if that’s something that interests you.
Whilst WordPress has the steepest learning curve of all the Website systems, I promise it’s worth it.
My WordPress DIY list gives you a good start on themes and plugins to use so you won’t end up with a slow, clunky site.
The Benefits of Using WordPress
- Search engines love WordPress
- You have full control of your website design and full ownership of your content.
- The design and functionality of your website are 100% customisable and scalable
- You can manage your site anywhere from a computer, tablet, or mobile phone
If you want to create something, you can. There are no limitations to what you can have on your website and no terms and conditions that can change.
I have heard of someone being kicked off Shopify because they sold Tobacco Products.
Owning your own website is the only way to be assured of having a virtual home and brand long term.
The WordPress community is thousands of web developers sharing their themes, plugins and widgets, and using WordPress allow you to tap into this collective intelligence and create your ideas and dreams.
So many choices can be a blessing and a curse, if you don’t research and make choices on the fly it can impact your website’s performance & UX greatly.
WordPress is not a ‘pick n mix’; the more you add to your WordPress the more problems that can occur with plugin conflicts and other pesky issues.
Slow WordPress Websites are often due to poor quality hosting, badly coded themes, and excessive use of plugins or use of poor-performing plugins.
I wrote a blog on website builders last year if you want to see my comparison of Wix vs Squarespace vs WordPress.
How to choose a WordPress theme
Once you have installed WordPress, in the Dashboard Themes area there are 100s of Free Theme Options.
It can be hard to know which theme to choose. I have been developing WordPress Websites for many years and offer 1-1 training in WordPress.
There are 1000s of free themes but not all themes are good.
Stay clear of places like ThemeForest Marketplace as there are many untested and terribly coded themes and that is the last thing you want.
WordPress Themes are primarily freemium. Kadence is my favourite as I like Kadence Pro Blocks. Kadence is a lightweight theme with a huge amount of functionality and quality coding (important for SEO)
There is a free version that includes a lot of what you may need but the Pro (paid) version has some excellent additions and is worth the cost.
I list my favourite tried and tested hosting Companies, Themes and Premium Plugins on my Tools and Resources Page
Recommended WordPress Plugins (FREE)
Ultimate Adds on Gutenberg
These days everyone raves about Elementor, as it is the best page builder on the market. However, I am a web developer of 30 years and a technical SEO so I care about some nerdy things that newer designers may not have knowledge in. I use Gutenberg (the WordPress editor) and UAG in the place of Elementor wherever I can. My blogs are all done with Gutenberg & UAG.
A Security Plugin is a good idea and the free version of Wordfence is all you really need to keep your site safe and secure.
Does exactly as it says, it duplicates the page or post so you can keep your layouts consistent.
Google Site Kit
The best Image Optimiser on the market.
Lara’s Google Analytics
Not only does it have a great name, but it’s also a very good GA plugin + lightweight & easy to use. I prefer to use code for GA but this is a great tool for newbies.
Yoast SEO Plugin
The most popular SEO plugin. Yoast has excellent tutorials and courses too. Will Yoast shoot your site to page 1 for all the keywords you want? No, but it handles a lot of things you need for SEO such as XML sitemap, Meta data etc.
Manage all your website files with this easy-to-use WordPress file manager Plugin. No need to use FTP, see all your site files in your WordPress dashboard.
I hope you found this WordPress DIY blog helpful
Until Next Time.
Let’s get your website sorted!