How to Use WordPress to Create a Simple Small Business Website

by on January 8th, 2011
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Let me just start by saying that I’m not a fan of using WordPress blogs for business. I feel like they make it all too easy to just go all willy-nilly, posting your precious content directly into the blog, only to one day see it all disappear due to a database connection, problem with your host, or some other thing. If you’re really serious about having a business online, choose a Dreamweaver-built HTML website. Really.

Despite this, may coaches, consultants and small business owners show great interest in using WordPress for their websites. So I may as well tell you the steps for getting this accomplished.

Purchase website hosting. I’ve used numerous hosting plans in my work for copywriting clients. The ones that stand out in my mind as having the best features, options and service for the price, are BlueHost and Network Solutions. All you do is go to their website, call the 1800 number and have them walk you through the hosting purchase process. Purchase a domain name. Of course, you’ll have to run your desired domain name through a search to be sure it’s available. Once you obtain one, you must log into your account and “point” it at your hosting server. I do not purchase hosting and domain names from the same company, as I feel my selections are more safeguarded this way. It’s up to you who you want to buy these services from. Upload a WordPress blog to your hosting server. To do this, log into your customer account at whichever hosting company you chose. There should be an area where you’ll find web marketing tools. Find out where they hide the Open Source applications. You’ll first need to create a login for a MySQL database where your WordPress blog will live. This only takes a few minutes. Next, follow the prompts to upload a WordPress blog to your MySQL database and hosting server. It should take a few minutes before this step is complete. Once finalized, you can log into your blog’s dashboard and have a look around to see what’s what. Select a theme for your blog. This can be downright confusing and tedious. (It’s just another reason for me to not like blogs – ha ha!). Seriously though: coders all over the world are developing new and improved versions of WordPress, along with the themes and plugins to help improve usability. So go to, and find the Themes area where you’ll get your pick of layouts, colors and styles from funky to fun to fabulous and everything in between. Build your blog’s static pages. Every good online business should have a series of “static” or unchanging pages that live up in the top navigation of your blog. Typically, these will be: Welcome, About Us, Services (and/or Products), News, Testimonials, Contact. If you don’t have copy written yet for these, now would be a good time to create some. I strongly advise that you store your copy in Word documents on your computer or a remote storage spot, in case one fine day your WordPress blog just disappears, and you can’t get the tech help you need to rescue it in time. Search engine optimize your blog. This means that you want to use the Google Keyword tool to determine what types of web searches people are using to find the items or services you sell. You will then incorporate these into your blog’s title, as well as use them frequently in new posts that you add to your blog. My favorite SEO helper from WordPress is called All-in-One SEO, and you can upload it from their plugins area. Sign up for a newsletter management service. Good companies to use: Constant Contact,, 1 Shopping Cart, Email Chimp. Go through the steps of creating a new subscriber list, editing the emails they’ll receive when they sign up, and then creating a signup form that will go onto your blog. You will later paste their HTML or Javascript code into the sidebars and other areas of your blog in the hope of collection email addresses from people who may one day want to shop at your online store. Create your WordPress user profile. Write a bio about you and/or your business and paste it into the profile area of WordPress. Upload a professional photo of yourself for that spot as well. Share your email address in case people want to contact you for professional reasons. Build up the sidebar(s) of your blog. There’s an area called Widgets in your blog’s dashboard area. Go there and you’ll see various options for filling up your blog’s sidebars. Some good things to include: Another list of navigation links (remember those static pages you created?) Your newsletter sign-up box A search box to make it easy for readers to find what they want immediately An archive of older posts A list of recent posts As many text areas as you like, where you can put little mini promotional ads and other enticements Google Adsense code (to make a little passive income)

11. Sign up for PayPal and use the Merchants area to create buttons that you can then paste into your Services or Products page. Here, people can click the buttons to make an instant, secure online payment for whatever you sell!

Congratulations! You now have a basic, WordPress business blog and website in one. If you require assistance with technical issues or need professional copy written, please send me an email!

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