24 Must Have WordPress Plugins for Business Websites in 2019

Looking for the best WordPress plugins to take your business to the next level in 2019?

There are over 54,226 WordPress plugins that you can choose from. This makes it extremely overwhelming for new users to find the right plugin for their website.

We are often asked by readers for the best WordPress plugin suggestions for SEO, social media, backups, speed, etc.

Being the largest WordPress resource site, our experts test over thousand free and premium WordPress plugins every year, so we can make it easy for our users (you) to find the best solutions.

Having the right set of WordPress plugins and tools can help you grow your online business. In this article, we have shared our expert pick of the must-have WordPress plugins for business websites in 2019.

Must have WordPress plugin for business websites

Note: these are the plugins that our team installs when we start a new blog or make a new website for our own businesses.

1. WPForms

WPForms

Every website needs a contact form because it makes it easy for your visitors to get in touch with you. WPForms is the most user-friendly contact form plugin for WordPress.

This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, online order forms, payment forms,
surveys, polls, and basically all other types of online forms with just a few clicks.

WPForms integrates with all popular marketing and payment platforms, so you can build powerful forms in less than 5 minutes.

It even comes with options to help you create custom WordPress user registration form and login page.

We use WPForms on the WPBeginner website and all of our other websites. But we’re not alone. Over 1 million websites use WPForms, and they have consistently maintained a 4.9 out of 5 star rating average for over 2 years now.

There’s a free WPForms Lite version available for those who are looking for a simple solution.

If you are a seriously looking to grow your business, then we recommend getting the Pro version because it comes with all the powerful features you need to boost your lead generation efforts. Use this WPForms coupon to get 50% off your purchase.

2. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to “properly” connect your website with Google Analytics, so you can see exactly how people find and use your website.

The best part is that it shows you all the important stats that matter right inside your WordPress dashboard.

You can then optimize your website accordingly to increase your traffic, subscribers, and revenue. We have detailed guides on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress, how to use Google Analytics to enable eCommerce tracking, and how to track user engagement.

MonsterInsights has a free version, but the true power of it only unlocks when you upgrade to the Pro version.

You can use our MonsterInsights coupon to get 50% off your purchase.

MonsterInsights is used by over 2 million websites.

3. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

SEO helps you get more visitors from search engines to your website. While WordPress is SEO friendly out of the box, there is so much more you can do to increase your website traffic using SEO best practices.

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugin of all time. Out of all the WordPress SEO plugins, Yoast offers the most comprehensive solution with all the features and tools that you need to improve your on-page SEO.

It helps you add meta tags, generate sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console, optimize it for social media, and more.

Yoast comes with a powerful Redirect feature that lets you easily create 301 redirects which is extremely helpful. It also detects change of URLs and create auto-redirects, so you don’t have any broken links on your website.

For complete SEO setup on your website, follow our ultimate WordPress SEO tutorial for beginners with step by step instructions.

4. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Email is the most effective and most reliable marketing tool at your disposal as a business owner. It allows you to stay in touch with your users even after they leave your website. This is why we recommend every business owner to start building an email list right away.

Constant Contact is one of the most popular email marketing service providersin the world.

Their platform allows you to build an email lists and send beautiful email newsletters to your subscribers.

It is quick and easy setup for non techy users. It also works well with popular lead generation plugins for WordPress like OptinMonster and WPForms.

Alternatives: Drip and ConvertKit are good alternatives if you want something more advanced, but they are more pricey.

5. OptinMonster

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most popular conversion rate optimization software in the market. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers.

This WordPress plugin and application helps you get more email subscribers, fast.

OptinMonster comes with pre-made high-converting opt-in forms that you can easily customize with their drag & drop builder. Their powerful display targeting features allow you to personalize the campaigns for each user, so you can show the right message at the right time.

It’s a great solution for bloggers, business websites, and eCommerce websites. Basically if you want to make more money from your website traffic, then you need OptinMonster.

It helps you recover abandoned cart sales, convert website visitors, and grow your email list. Read these case studies to see how much success other businesses are having by using OptinMonster.

We use OptinMonster on WPBeginner and our other websites.

6. Sucuri

Sucuri

Security should be a top priority for all online business owners. Sucuri offers a WordPress security plugin and web application firewall that is probably one of the best protection you can get for your site.

They monitor and protect your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack. If you don’t have a firewall on your website, then you need to add one today.

To learn more on how to strengthen the security of your website and protect your business, see our ultimate WordPress security guide with step by step instructions for beginners.

Sucuri help us block hundreds of thousands of attacks every month on WPBeginner.

7. UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is the most popular WordPress backup plugin on the market. It allows you to set up automatic backups and safely store them on a remote location like Google Drive, Dropbox, S3, Rackspace, FTP, email, and more.

It also makes it super easy to restore your website from a backup. Their base plugin is free, but they also have a paid plan with extra features and priority support.

Alternative: BackupBuddy and VaultPress (Jetpack Backups) are also excellent solutions, but they are paid only.

8. WP Rocket

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is the best WordPress caching plugin on the market. It allows you to instantly improve your WordPress website speed and performance with no technical skills required.

It automatically turns on recommended WordPress caching settings like gzip compression, page cache, and cache pre-loading. You can also turn on optional features like lazy loading images, CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, minification, and more to further improve page load times.

WP-Rocket also offer Imagify which is a free image optimization service to help you speed up your website even further.

This is by far the easiest and most beginner friendly caching plugin. The only downside is that it’s paid only.

Alternative: WP Super Cache is free, but it’s not as powerful or easy.

9. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is the best drag and drop page builder for WordPress. It allows you to easily customize your website design and create custom page layouts without writing any code.

Business owners love it because it lets them create completely custom landing pages within minutes without having to hire a developer.

Alternative: Divi plugin is a great alternative.

10. MemberPress

MemberPress

MemberPress allows you to build online communities and membership sites using WordPress. It is the best WordPress membership plugin in the market.

You can create subscriptions and restrict content to users based on their subscription plans. It works with all popular payment solutions and plays nicely with online stores using WooCommerce. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to make a membership website in WordPress.

11. CSS Hero

CSS Hero

WordPress themes rely on CSS for the visual appearance of your website. If you want to make customization to your theme, then you will have to learn CSS. This can be time-consuming for a business owner.

CSS Hero is a WordPress plugin that allows you to customize any WordPress theme without writing a single line of code. Check out our review of how CSS Hero makes WordPress customization easy for more information.

It’s not a drag & drop page builder like BeaverBuilder that helps you build custom layouts. Rather it helps you customize any WordPress theme available in the market within minutes to match your needs.

12. SeedProd

SeedProd

SeedProd is the best WordPress maintenance mode and coming soon page plugin that helps you collect leads and grow your followers even when your website is not available.

If your site is under construction, then you can use it to create beautiful coming soon landing pages. It includes features like integration with your email marketing services, countdown timer, social media integration, and dozens of templates to choose from.

13. LearnDash

LearnDash

LearnDash is the best WordPress LMS plugin to create and sell online courses from your WordPress website. It has a drag and drop course builder that allows you to quickly add lessons, quizzes, and assignments to build your course.

For detailed step by step instructions, see our guide on how to create online courses in WordPress using LearnDash.

14. G Suite

G Suite

G Suite is a suite of web applications like email, docs, spreadsheets, etc. Created by Google, this powerful set of office applications is cheaper, easy to deploy, and hassle free.

It allows you to save costs on software licenses, hardware, hiring IT staff, managing backups, and more. Most importantly it allows you to use professional email addresses with your own business domain name right inside Gmail.

15. SEMRush

SEMRush

SEMRush is an all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketing professionals and business owners. It comes with powerful tools to help you improve your SEO, paid traffic strategy, social media, and content & PR strategy.

It also helps you gather competitive intelligence on your competitors, so you can outrank them and dominate your industry.

It helps you do keyword research, backlink audit, track brand mentions, spy on competitors, discover best-performing posts on social media, ad strategy analysis, and more.

These short paragraphs are not enough to describe the true power of SEMRush. It’s a must have tool in our list for serious business owners.

Alternative: Ahrefs is an excellent alternative.

16. LiveChat

LiveChat

LiveChat Inc is the best live chat support software for businesses and e-commerce websites. It is super easy to use and allows you to quickly add live chat on your WordPress website.

It has tons of customization options, and it comes with a mobile app, so you can stay connected while on the go.

It integrates with your existing support software, CRM, email marketing, and other tools. Most importantly, it loads fast and offers a great user experience.

17. Pretty Links Pro

Pretty Links Pro

Pretty Links Pro is one of the best link management plugins for WordPress. It allows you to easily manage affiliate links while making it easy make your affiliate links short and memorable for sharing.

It is the perfect tool for affiliate marketers, podcasters, business owners, and others who want to easily create short URLs in WordPress.

18. Shared Counts

Shared Counts

Shared Counts is the best WordPress social media plugin that allows you to easily add beautiful social sharing buttons on your website.

It also shows share counts, which helps you add social proof to your website.

While there are many paid solutions available, this free plugin beats them all in code quality and performance.

We use SharedCount on a lot of our website because it offers an easy out of the box solution for both beginners and developers.

19. WP Mail SMTP

WP Mail SMTP

By default, WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send emails. The problem is that either WordPress hosting companies don’t have this feature setup properly, or they block it to prevent abuse.

This basically means that you and your users may not receive important email notifications from your WordPress site.

WP Mail SMTP solves this problem by sending WordPress emails using a proper SMTP mail server. To learn more, see our article on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

20. Insert Headers and Footers

Insert Headers and Footers

While managing your WordPress site, you may sometimes need to add code snippets to your WordPress header or footer for verification, inserting ad retargeting scripts, etc.

Insert Headers and Footer allows you to easily add code snippets to your WordPress site without editing your theme files. Take a look at our tutorial on how to add header and footer code in WordPress.

This free plugin is extremely handy for business owners.

21. TablePress

TablePress

For a long time WordPress editor didn’t have an option to create tables in your posts or pages. The new WordPress block editor comes with a table block, but it lacks many features.

TablePress solves this problem by allowing you to add beautiful tables to your website. It keeps your table data separate from your posts and pages which means you can embed the table anywhere and update it from one single location.

Most importantly, you don’t have to write any HTML or CSS. See our guide on how to easily create tables in WordPress.

22. WPML

WPML

By default, WordPress does not allow you to easily create a multilingual website. This is a challenge for businesses who cater to a multi-lingual customer base in different geographic locations.

This is where you’ll need WPML. It is a WordPress multi-lingual plugin that allows you to easily create multi-lingual websites with WordPress.

It is very easy to use, SEO friendly, and helps you easily create content in different languages.

23. WooCommerce

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress used by over 4 million websites.

It comes with all the powerful features that you need to create an online store.

Over the last few years, WooCommerce has established itself as the most dominant eCommerce plugin for WordPress. There’s even a WooCommerce ecosystem now with dedicated WooCommerce hostingWooCommerce themes, and WooCommerce plugins available.

24. Grammarly

Grammarly

Grammarly is a popular online grammar checker tool available as a browser addon for Google Chrome, Firefox, and even Microsoft Edge. It checks for spelling, grammar, and contextual errors as you write your posts.

The free version is sufficient for most people. However you can always update to the premium version to unlock plagiarism detector, vocabulary enhancement suggestions, and more advanced features.

This concludes our list of the best WordPress plugins for business websites.

Depending on your business, you may not need to use all plugins mentioned in our list, but it’s pretty common for our readers to end up using at least 18 out of 24 solutions that we have mentioned.

Now that you have the best WordPress plugins, you may also want to see our article on how to increase your website traffic (27 proven tips).

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

 


Full Credit: WPBeginner

Source URL: https://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/24-must-have-wordpress-plugins-for-business-websites/

10 ‘Must Have’ Tools for African Startups & Small/Medium Business to remain competitive (PART 2)

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to break the bank on great systems for your small business to get started.
You simply need to find relevant technology to creatively and efficiently help you get your hustle on! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s that easy for a startup or small/medium business to thrive in Africa. I’ll do my best to keep this short and informative.

This is PART 2. You can read part 1 here

So, here we go:

6. File Storage & Synchronisation (Google Drive)

Storing documents to allow for easy collaboration has always been a bit tricky for teams working together on a project, but no longer with Google Drive, Google’s cloud based office suite. Drive includes a word processor (Google Docs), spreadsheets (Google Sheets), a presentation program (Google Slides), and a form builder (Google Forms). We’ve compiled a list of a few of the reasons we love Google Drive and some tools that can make it even more powerful.

The nicest thing so far as I’m concerned, about Google Drive, is that it is FREE and comes with:

  • Document processing capabilities for (‘Word’, ‘Excel’ and ‘Powerpoint’)
  • A familiar and easy to use interface
  • 15GB disk space
  • Collaboration capabilities
  • Forms and surveys

This means you can get started writing proposals, presenting presentations, recording numbers of a spreadsheet, and much much more without having to spend a single cent on Licenses. Learn more about Google Drive

7. MailChimp

MailChimp is a marketing automation platform and an email marketing service. It provides marketing automation for e-commerce businesses. Send beautiful emails, connect your e-commerce store, advertise, and build your brand.

It is an incredible and free tool that can help you reach many clients through periodic e-newsletters. We always recommend MailChimp for this purpose, and here are some compelling reasons for doing so.
  •  It’s easy to see who has opened your e-mail and how many times. This means you can quickly see who’s engaging with you the most and prioritise them for follow up through your sales pipeline.
  • It’ll help you write more interesting content. By checking the “click rate” on articles you can see what’s appealing to your readers – and what’s not.
  • It can help you to track the performance of your newsletter i.e. How many customers opened it, etc. If you link your Woo Commerce to MailChimp you can use advanced e-commerce responders to monitor your customers’ progress. If they abandon their shopping cart, you can send them an autoresponder to help close the deal.

8. VoIP (Make Calls using Data & cheaper airtime)

Competitiveness

VoIP services are generally more price competitive than the incumbent fixed line providers. Savings can be achieved through more cost effective line rentals, as well as discounted call rates. VoIP providers also offer a substantial discount when calling between branches or other users on their network (known as On-Network). It is becoming clear that traditional telco providers cannot compete with Voice over IP (VoIP ).

Complete Portability

The beauty of Voice over IP is that you can take the service with you, make and receive calls from anywhere provided you have internet connection.

Flexibility and Scalability

You are able to have more than one phone number on a single internet broadband line, and adding additional lines only requires increasing the size of the internet line – allowing superior scalability on the fly.

You have the option of incorporating extra features into your service – quickly and easily! These extras include features such as Hunting Facility, Direct line numbers, Caller ID, etc which are often standard features with a VoIP service.

Location independence

For Incoming Calls, your VoIP number could be Non-Geographic (i.e. 087) it is not tied to a specific area or line – you could appear to be a national company and can keep the same number wherever you go. You do however also have the option for other numbers such as 010, 020, etc – just enquire with your provider.

 

 

9. Sage One Accounting (The simplest and most cost effective way to get a handle on your finances)

Sage One empowers South Africa’s small businesses. Free yourself from admin with clever, easy features, built around you.

 

Everything you need to take care of business.
From sales and purchases to cashflow, VAT and reporting, Sage One’s features support every step in your business process.
Your business, at your fingertips.
Take care of invoicing on the road, banking at the office and leave from home. Works with PCs, Macs, iOS, Android, and Windows.

From sales and purchases to cash flow, VAT and reporting, Sage One’s features support every step in your business process. Create quotes, and invoices in seconds, send them to your customers and track what they owe. Use budgets to keep track of your company’s performance against targets you have set.

 

 

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10. Others

Since there are so many tools out there that can help you handle your business better, I thought it best to just list other things to consider. So here goes:

  • Online Backup – because laptops get stolen, ‘smash and grab’ is a thing, disaster occur. We can offer you a solution that backs up your laptops, desktops, servers, etc. Consult online for free 
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – for example; do you have something in place to remind you of your best paying client’s birthday? I’ve oversimplified the use of a CRM here but it’s small things like following up on emails, knowing the stage you are on your sales process, setting reminders to make calls, etc.
  • Virtual Meetings – You need a combination of Visuals and Audio to host or participate in meetings that take place without you physically being there. The internet allows us to now collaborate from anywhere in the world, so long as we’re connected. Yes! If you are thinking Skype, it’s one such a tool. But there are others with more features and better suited for team collaboration.

Hey,

Thanks for reading, let’s continue this another time

 

10 ‘Must Have’ Tools for African Startups & Small/Medium Business to remain competitive (PART 1)

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to break the bank on great systems for your small business to get started.
You simply need to find relevant technology to creatively and efficiently help you get your hustle on! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s that easy for a startup or small/medium business to thrive in Africa. I’ll do my best to keep this short and informative.

I will share 2 lists: the 10 tools and another list from SARS (just as a reminder)…

So, here we go:

1. Have Online Presence (Website)

If you don’t have a website, your chance of ending up in customer online searches is significantly reduced. Most of us Google a company when we’re preparing for an interview or looking for products to buy or even checking if a company is ‘legitimate’. Today, there are more reasons for you to invest in online presence than ever before. A website is a TOOL  you can use to market and promote your business, products, yourself, and even use to trade. Here are some facts:

  • A website increases your credibility & it’s your online “first impression”
  • 46% of the world’s population (3,42 bn) has internet access
  • Your competitors probably already have a website
  • Your website will promote you 24 hours 7 days a week

Learn how your website is found on Google and how you can get an amazing website, packed with features, from as little as R1500 a year

2. Tawk.To

tawk.to is jam packed with all the features you need to provide winning customer support – it is lightning fast, reliable and scalable.

If you already use live chat on your site, there really is no reason to keep paying per agent! This sweet tool allows you to message your customers in Real Time.

Tawk to is a free messaging app that lets you monitor and chat with visitors on your website, mobile app or from a free customizable page. We use it on a daily basis.

 

3. eCommerce Plugin (Use your website to sell your products)

If you’re a small business owner looking for an e-commerce solution, look no further than WooCommerce by WooThemes, one of the most versatile WordPress plugins, and one of the most popular.  Since its launch in 2011, more than 1.6 million businesses in the U.S., the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and India have downloaded Woocommerce, a testament to the many Woocommerce benefits for small business.  From its user-friendly experience to its flexibility and customisation options, Woocommerce continues to be the smart choice for smart designers—and smart businesses. Understand WooCoomerce in 2,5 minutes (Check the Video)

 

Some of the benefits include:

  • Well, for one, it’s free & easy to use
  • It Includes an Intuitive, Built-in Analytics System
  • It Offers A lot of Flexibility
  • Integrating with Multiple Payment Gateways

Which brings me to the next point

4. Accepting Online Payments (Payment Gateways)

A payment gateway is a merchant service provided by an e-commerce application service provider that authorizes credit card or direct payments processing for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar.

A payment gateway facilitates the transfer of information between a payment portal (such as a website, mobile phone) and the Front End Processor or acquiring bank

Choosing your payment gateway is an important part of the process of setting up your ecommerce store. As the payment gateways have different pricing models, it is important to pick one that suits your business, and provides the features and security that will ensure that users can easily and securely transact with your store.

We have successfully intergrate multiple gateways onto our own and clients’ websites, these include:

 

5. Messaging for Teams (Slack)

 

Since the advent of the World Wide Web, the opportunity for collaboration has been one of its most touted features. Enter Slack! The innovative “team communication” solution offers groundbreaking functionality that is just too useful to pass up.

So, if you’re asking yourself, “What is Slack and how do I use it for my team?” 

As a simple instant messaging system, Slack has all the collaboration features you need in place. It’s when you throw in integration that things really get exciting. It’s the foundation for teamwork.

  • It simplifies communication
  • It helps everyone find the answers they need
  • It streamlines your workflows

 


Alright, the end… But one last thing….

Remember that there are basics that you also need to take care of. For example SARS put this on their website

  • Register with CIPC
  • Register for Income Tax
  • Register and do eFiling
  • Do your income tax as an individual
  • Do your payroll taxes as a business
  • Do Record Keeping
  • Categorise your business
  • Managing your Tax Compliance Status with SARS
  • Be a Representative for your tax matters
  • Do Turn-over Tax & Do Value-added Tax (VAT)
  • Check if your Tax Practitioner is registered and more.

 

We’ll add part 2 next week

How to Make a Website in 2017 – Step by Step Guide (Free)

Are you looking to make a website? Starting a website can be a terrifying thought specially when you’re not techy. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Having helped over 130,000+ people make a website with WordPress, we have decided to create the most comprehensive step by step guide on how to a make a website without learning how to code.

Source & Credit: http://www.wpbeginner.com/guides/

How to make a website step by step

This guide is useful for users of all ages and skill levels. However, if you need help, then you can contact our expert team to help you setup your website for free.

→ Click Here to Get Your Free WordPress Website Setup! ←

If you want to do it by yourself, then please continue to follow our step by step guide on how to make a website.

Here is an overview from start to finish of all the steps we’ll walk you through in this guide.

  • How to find and register a domain name for free
  • Choosing the best web hosting
  • How to install WordPress
  • Installing a template to change your site’s design
  • Creating pages in WordPress
  • Customizing WordPress with addons and extensions
  • Resources to learn WordPress and get support
  • Taking it further, building websites with more features

Before we start, let’s cover some of the most commonly asked questions that we get.

What do I need to build a website?

You’ll need the following three things to start your WordPress site.

  • A domain name – this is the name of your website such as google.com
  • WordPress hosting – this is where your website files are stored.
  • 45 minutes of your undivided attention.

How much does a WordPress website cost?

The answer to this question really depends on what kind of website you are trying to build. We have written a 2000 word guide explaining how much does it really cost to build a website.

A typical business website can cost as low as R1500 per year and can go as high as R300,000 per year.

We recommend all our users to start small and then add more features to your website as your business grows. This way you will save money and minimize potential losses and avoiding overspending.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to build a website for less than R2000.

We will also show you how to take it further by adding more features to it in the future.

Which is the best website platform?

There are many website builders available that will help you setup a website. We recommend using self-hosted WordPress as your website platform.

WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world. It powers nearly 28% of all websites on the internet.

WordPress is free and comes with thousands of website designs and extensions. It is extremely flexible and works with almost every third-party tool and service available to website owners.

We use WordPress to build all our websites including this one, WPBeginner.

How to make the most out of this tutorial?

This is a step by step tutorial on how to make a website. We have divided it into different steps, and we’ll walk you through everything from start to finish. Just follow along the instructions, and you’ll have a very professional looking website in the end.

We will also point you in the right direction to take your website to the next level based on your needs.

Have fun creating your website.

Remember, if you need help, you can contact us and we will setup your website for free.

Let’s get started.

Step 1. Setup

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is choosing the wrong website platform. Thankfully, you are here so you will not be making that mistake.

For most users, a self-hosted WordPress.org site is the perfect solution. It comes with thousands of designs and addons which allow you to create any kind of website you can think of. For more on this topic, please see our guide on why you should use WordPress.

WordPress is free for anyone to download and use to build any kind of website without any restrictions.

If WordPress is free, then where is the cost coming from?

WordPress is free because you’ll have to arrange your own domain name and hosting, which costs money. For more on this topic, see our article why is WordPress free?.

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet. This is what your users will type in their browsers to reach your site (For example, wpbeginner.com or google.com).

Next, you’ll need website hosting. All websites on the internet need hosting. This will be your website’s home on the internet.

A domain name typically costs R300/year and hosting costs start from R100/month.

This is A LOT for most people who are just starting out.

Thankfully you can start here for Mahala!

You can login to your WordPress site using the admin username and password you entered earlier.

WordPress login page

Wasn’t that easy?

Now let’s move on to the next step and choose a design for your website.

Step 3. Select Your Theme

The visual appearance of your WordPress site is controlled by a WordPress theme.

WordPress themes are professionally designed templates that you can install on your website to change its appearance.

By default, each WordPress site comes with a basic theme. If you visit your website, then it will look something like this:

Default WordPress theme

This is not very appealing for most users.

But don’t worry, there are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes that you can install on your site.

You can change your theme from the WordPress admin dashboard. Visit Appearance » Themes page and then click on the ‘Add New’ button.

Change your WordPress theme

On the next screen, you will able to search from 4,492 free WordPress themes that are available in the official WordPress.org themes directory. You can sort them by popular, latest, featured, as well as other feature filters (i.e industry, layout, etc).

Searching for free WordPress themes

Need help choosing a theme? Check out our list of these awesome free WordPress business themes.

You may also want to take a look at our guide on how to select the perfect WordPress theme for your website.

For the sake of this guide, we’ll be using Bento. It is a popular multi-purpose free WordPress theme with flexible design options for all kind of websites.

If you know the name of the free theme you want to install, then you can look for it by entering its name in the search field.

WordPress will show you the theme in search results. You will need to take your mouse over to the theme and then click on the Install button.

Install WordPress theme

Once you have installed your theme, you can customize it by clicking on the Customize link under the Appearance menu.

This will launch the theme customizer where you will be able to change your theme settings with live preview of your website.

Customizing your WordPress theme

You don’t need to finalize all theme settings right away. You will be able to customize it much better once you have some content on your website.

Let’s see how to add content to your WordPress site.

Step 4. Add Content to Your Site

WordPress comes with two default content types called posts and pages. Posts are part of a blog and appear in reverse-chronological order (newer items displayed first).

On the other hand, pages are meant to be static “one-off” type content such as your about page, contact page, privacy policy, etc.

By default, WordPress shows your blog posts on the front page of your website. You can change that, and make WordPress show any page as the front-page of your website (we’ll show you how to do that later in this guide).

You can create a separate page for your blog or news section. In fact, you can create a website without any blog section at all.

Having said that, let’s add some content to your website.

You’ll start by adding a few pages to your WordPress site. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough content for these pages at the moment. You can always edit and update them.

Head over to Pages » Add New page in WordPress admin area. This will bring you to the page editor screen, which looks like this:

Adding a new page

First you need to provide a title for your page, let’s call this page ‘Home’.

After that you can add content in the text editor below. You can add text, links, images, embed videos, audio, etc.

After adding content to your page, you can click on the publish button to make it live on your website.

You can repeat the process by adding more pages for different sections of your website. For example, an about page, contact us, and a blog page to display blog posts.

Now let’s add a few blog posts as well.

Head over to Posts » Add New in your WordPress admin area.

Adding a new post in WordPress

You will see a screen much like you saw earlier when adding pages.

You can add a post title and then add content in the visual post editor. You’ll also notice some extra options like post formats, categories and tags.

You can click on the save button to store your post as a draft or click on the publish button to make it visible on your site.

For more detailed instructions on how to utilize all these options on post and page edit screens, please see our guide on how to add a new post in WordPress.

Step 5. Customizing and Tweaking Your Website

Now that you have created some content on your website, you will be able to customize and put it all in a nice presentable shape on your website.

Let’s start by setting up a static front Page.

Setting up a Static Front Page

You need to visit the Settings » Reading page in your WordPress admin area. Under the ‘Front page displays’ option click on the static front page and then select ‘Pages’ you created earlier for your home and blog pages.

Static front page

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button at the bottom of the page to store your changes.

WordPress will now use the page titled ‘Home’ as your site’s front page and ‘Blog’ page to display your blog posts.

Change Site Title and Tagline

During the installation you get to choose your site’s title. WordPress automatically adds a tag line to your site title that says ‘Just another WordPress site’.

You can change both your site’s title and tagline at any time by visiting Settings » General page.

Site title and tagline

Your site title will be the name of your website like WPBeginner. The tag line is usually a single line that describes your website. You can also leave the tag line field blank if you want.

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Set up Comments Settings

WordPress comes with a built-in comment system allowing your users to leave comments on your posts. This is great for user engagement, but it is targeted by spammers as well.

To deal with this, you’ll need to enable comment moderation on your website.

Visit Settings » Discussions page and scroll down to ‘Before a comment appears’ section. Check the box next to ‘Comment must be manually approved’ option.

Enable comment moderation

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Create Navigation Menus

Navigation menus allow your users to browse different pages or sections on your website. WordPress comes with a powerful navigation menu system, and your WordPress theme utilizes this system to display menus.

Navigation menus on a website

Let’s add a navigation menu to your website.

First, you need to visit Appearance » Menus page. Enter a name for your navigation menu and click on the create menu button.

Creating a new menu

WordPress will now create your navigation menu. But it will be empty at the moment.

Next, you need to select the pages you want to display in your menu and then click on add to menu button.

Add pages to WordPress menu

You will notice your selected pages filling the empty area of your navigation menu. You can move them up and down to rearrange their position in the menu.

Select menu location

Now you need to select a display location. These locations are defined by your WordPress theme. Usually, most WordPress themes have a primary menu that appears on top.

Finally, click on the save menu button to store your navigation menu.

You can now visit your website to see the menu in action.

For more detailed instructions see our beginner’s guide on how to add navigation menu in WordPress.

Step 6. Installing Plugins

WordPress Plugins are like apps for your WordPress site. They allow you to add features to your WordPress site. Think contact form, photo galleries, etc.

There are currently more than 49,000 free plugins available for WordPress. There are also paid plugins sold by third-party websites and developers.

With this many plugins, how do you find which plugins to install? We got you covered there as well, see our guide on how to choose the best WordPress plugin.

Here is our list of essential plugins that you should install on your site right away. All of them are free.

Features

Website Optimization

Security

  • Updraft Plus – Create automatic scheduled backups of your website
  • Sucuri – Website security audit and malware scanner

Need help installing plugins? See our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

For more plugin recommendations check out our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

Step 7. Mastering WordPress

WordPress is easy to use yet extremely powerful. From time to time, you may find yourself looking for some quick answers.

The good news is that there is plenty of free WordPress help available. See our guide on how to properly ask for WordPress support and get it.

WPBeginner itself is the largest WordPress resource site on the internet. You will find the following resources on WPBeginner (all of them are completely free).

  • WPBeginner Blog – This is where we publish our WordPress tutorials, how tos, and step by step guides.
  • WPBeginner Videos – These step by step videos will help you learn WordPress FAST.
  • WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 52,000 subscribers and 7 Million+ views.
  • WPBeginner Dictionary – The best place for beginners to start and familiarize themselves with the WordPress lingo.
  • WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on WPBeginner.
  • WPBeginner Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for WPBeginner users.

Here are few of our guides that you should bookmark right away. It will save you lots of time and money in the future.

Many of our users use Google to find answers on WPBeginner. Simply type keywords for what you are looking for and add wpbeginner.com at the end.

Can’t find an answer? Send your question directly using our contact form and we will try our best to answer.

Step 7. Taking it Further

So far we have shown you how to make a website, add a theme, and install essential plugins.

Want to take it even further?

Using WordPress you can create powerful niche websites capable of doing a lot more.

For more examples, check out our list of 19 types of websites you can create with WordPress

That’s all for now.

We hope this guide helped you learn how to make a website without hiring a developer or overspending money. You may also want to see our list of 19 actionable tips to drive traffic to your new WordPress site.

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