How to build your Website – Part 1: Basic website framework for WordPress

Build a free wesite

Hopefully you’ve been reading all my other posts and signed up to get your free website here. If not, you better get moving and check out this quick video on how easy it is to set up a website.

What I want to run through in this article is how to set up your basic frame work for building your website so after that you can concentrate on making content. As much as I love to mess around with aesthetics of my sites and other cool widgets or plugins, content is what is going to drive traffic to your pages.

Difference between Posts and Pages

HOW TO BUILD A WEBSITEBefore I continue, I thought I better explain the difference between posts and pages. Once you’ve built your site, in the menu dashboard of your site, you’ll notice ‘Posts’ and ‘Pages’. These are both webpages in which you can add content but with some differences.

Posts are typically made for a blogging format. This mean post can be ‘categorised’ for easier searching and display.

The second thing about posts is that they are designed for you audience to add comments at the bottom of your article. This is very important if we want to grow traffic to your website.

Pages don’t typically have a comments sections and can’t be categorised. This is good for some main pages where you wouldn’t want anyone to comment like Privacy policies or disclaimer pages.

Pages can be set in hierarchy under parent pages which makes it easier to set them under menus in your website.

You will learn to use both posts and pages for your site but you will mainly use posts for your content. Let’s get started to build your frame work.

Some Basic Setting first

Once you’re in the Dashboard of your website, go to the Settings tab of the menu and select the General tab in settings.

Add a site Title and Tagline if this has not been done. Tagline is optional and can be added at a later date if you can’t think of one straight away.

Next go to the Discussion Tab of the Setting menu and ensure ‘Comment must be manually approved’ is ticked. This is important for the reducing spam or unwanted comments in your first few months of blogging.

Lastly, go to the Permalinks tab in the Setting menu and ensure ‘Custom Structure’ setting is selected with available tag of /%postname% selected. This will ensure that the web address of each web page is the same as the page or post heading. Very important for SEO.

best WordPress Setting for blogging


About You Page

Should I have a picture of me on my website?When people come to read your great articles, they are going to want to know more about you. I prefer to do this is as a page, not a post as I’d like this to always appear in my menu and I don’t want many to comment.

Depending on the angle of your website, it should be a bit personal as you want to show some authenticity to your audience.

I would start the page with a greeting and introduction to your website. The people want to know why you have built this great site. The purpose of your site adds to your authenticity.

A background story always helps and the more personal it is the more connection you’re likely going to have with your reader. Don’t get to personal but make it relatable to your audience and your niche.

Lastly add a good picture of yourself so readers feel more connected to you and can put a face to lovely content you’re going to create.

Now I get these questions a lot, “Do I need to put my name or picture?” Or “Can I use an Avatar?”. This is completely up to you but, authenticity is extremely important to have a trusting audience.  If your building a brand, the brand is going to show true colours on your sites and social media.

Privacy Policy and Disclaimers

These important documents should be added as pages. These pages are for legal reasons but also to make your site more trusted.privacy policy template

A Privacy Policy is a statement that discloses all the ways a party gathers, uses, and manages a customer or client’s data. It fulfils a legal requirement to protect a customer or client’s privacy.

You can see my Privacy policy for an example and there a heaps of Privacy Policy templates available on the web.

A website Disclaimer is used to state the limitations of your liabilities to other that use your website. These are normally general purpose but can be more directive especially in place of affiliate marketing.  There are also heaps of free disclaimer templates available on the web to utilize.

Both these pages shouldn’t be displayed on the main menu. If you do, have under a parent page in the menu so the only display when the reader mouse hovers over the parent menu item.

If you put this in a parent menu, make the About you page the parent. If you’re like me and don’t like to put these in the main menus, move it to a side bar menu or a footer menu.

One last thing with these pages, if you have All in One SEO plugin, set these pages to not get indexed by search engines.

If you got stuck on these tasks, see this video to help.

Brilliant! Your framework is complete. Now what?

If you still have a Sample Page and the default Hello World post, delete them straight away. Next you can add more pages if you have anything that should appear in your main menu. This could be an intro page on how to best use the website or a get started here page.

After this, starting writing posts. You need to write like crazy and get all those thoughts captured on to posts to share with the world. Share and get feedback from your community.

Don’t worry about menu structures, side bars, footers and other aesthetics like logos. We’ll cover this in Stage 2 – Customizing your site for visual appearance.


Backing up your WordPress Content

Just about all good web hosting platforms will provide backup features in case there is a horrific fault with the hosting server or one of the latest updates on your site has broken something.

What happens if the back up from your hosting service doesn’t work. Are you going to lose months or years of content that you’ve poured in your valuable time to?!

backup your wordpressWhy should we backup and what are common causes of WordPress Failures?

In the world of software, it just takes a line of code to have a kink and the program doesn’t work. Thankfully WordPress has come a long way of the past years and I have found it super robust.

There are a tonne of third part themes, plugins and programmers which can all effect lines of code not working the way it should. But here are some of the main causes.

  • Update of latest Theme not compatible with latest version of WordPress
  • Update of plugin not compatible with latest version of WordPress
  • Internal Server Errors which can cause Corrupted core files
  • Fatal Errors from Auto Upgrades
  • Tampering of Editor files by a non-experienced user

What’s the Plan B (B is for Backup of the Back Up)

There is a really simple way to make a quick back up of your content. Now this back up doesn’t save the following:

  • Themes
  • WordPress Settings
  • Plugins

These all need to be re-installed once you have restored the content. But this is small price to pay if your main back up doesn’t work. At least you don’t need to retype every post.

This back up technique is a very simple export function and I hope you never have to use it. There are more premium ways to backup your site like using BackupBuddy or UpdraftPlus but they come at cost.  This is a quick and free way to get back on track in an emergency. I’ll run through the premium versions a bit later.

How to quickly backup your WordPress Site

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard
  2. Write down your theme name and plugins for later
  3. On the left-hand side menus select Tools > Export
  4. In the Export menus page, make sure ‘All Content’ option is selected
  5. Click on the ‘Download Export File’
  6. A file will then download to your PC. Save it somewhere safe.

How to restore your website

  1. Install a fresh version of WordPress
  2. Log into your WordPress dashboard
  3. Install the theme your preferred theme
  4. On the left-hand side menus select Tools > Import
  5. Select WordPress Install in the option and run the importer plugin
  6. Run the importer plugin
  7. Choose the back file
  8. Select Upload and import button
  9. Then Install plugins
  10. Redo any other setting that you had previously

Here’s a video run thorough which shows you these steps.

How to Backup in Style and without any hard work

If you want a more automated backup, there are some great WordPress plugins which make it simple and to backup website

BackupBuddy brought to you by iThemes is a comprehensive backup plugin. BackupBuddy’s backup includes everything needed to run your WordPress website. Backup all WordPress files, all files in the WordPress Media library, your WordPress themes and WordPress plugins, and more. Once BackupBuddy completes your backup, you get a downloadable zip file of your entire WordPress website.

If you want a great all-in-one deal, then UpdraftPlus is another great backup plugin. UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over a million currently-active installs. Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click.

Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, Updraft Vault and email. The paid version also backs up to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.

Hope you are inspired to back up your WordPress site more often.