I want to make a website using WordPress but I don’t really know where to begin. The thing is, I don’t want a typical blog. I want a static front page, so it looks like this:
I want to advertise my book on the static front page, and then have tabs going horizontally across the top. One tab would link to my other books, one tab would link to my author bio, one tab would link to my contact page, and one to my blog, preferably my Tumblr blog.
If anyone could tell me how to get started on this, it would be much appreciated. If there is a way to do this with the current themes, that would be great, but all the themes I saw look like regular blogs, which isn’t what I want.
Can someone please tell me the steps to take to get started on this? It would be so much appreciated. Thank you very much!
If yes, post back and I’ll go into details, but the general strategy is:
- Create your ‘Home’ page
- Create a custom menu
- Make your custom menu your primary navigation menu
- Set up WP to use your ‘Home’ page as the home page
- Create your other static pages (Bio, Contact etc)
- Add the new pages to the custom menu
- Create the categories you need for your list pages (books, blog, etc)
- Create some posts in each category
- Add the category lists to your custom menu
Since you haven’t done any of this before, we can take it step-by-step.
Yes, something like those! Except on the home page I want to have my book cover, the various links to where you can buy my book, and maybe a video of me talking about the book.
If you don’t mind, please take me through the steps. That would be so kind of you and I would love it.
I also had one other question (though I still hope you can take me through the steps): I’ve been looking into buying dreamweaver and trying to learn that. Do you think I should do that, or is it not necessary.
thank you so much!
Let’s deal with Dreamweaver first. This is an entirely personal point-of-view, but I have yet to hear a decent argument for shelling out for Dreamweaver. If you want an HTML editor, there are plenty of free ones around. If you want an FTP client, there are plenty of free ones around. If you want a PHP editor, there are plenty of free ones around many of which are much more fully featured than Dreamwearver. And so on for all the rest of the stuff that Dreamweaver is supposed to do. In my experience it encourages people to take shortcuts and not learn HTML/CSS properly. Instead, they rely on Dreamweaver and make a right royal mess of things half the time.
In the hands of a serious developer, I’m sure Dreamweaver can be very useful, but in the hands of a beginner it just leads to trouble in my experience of teaching night classes in HTML/CSS/PHP.
I would encourage you strongly to learn HTML/CSS if you’re interested, and perhaps PHP if you’re of a programming bent like me. But do it properly. All you actually need is a text editor and an XAMPP setup to give you everything you need to get started learning on your own computer. Well, that and a good book…
Next post will start to answer your real question. Sorry.
No need to be sorry. I appreciate your help. It doesn’t take much convincing to persuade me to save my $300.
I have a little experience in html and CSS, using Kompozer to make my Facebook tabs for my author page.
I suppose I will get started on those steps you listed two posts above. But if you could please tell me what to do, that would be great.
I’m going to start by trying to make my home page.
Now I’ve got that off my chest, here’s the start of your step-by-step guide to creating your site. The first thing we need to do is to create the page that’s going to be your home page.
I’m assuming you have WordPress installed somewhere and that you can log in to the Dashboard. I’m also assuming you are using one of the default themes — if that doesn’t mean anything to you, then you are.
First we’ll do some configuring of your WP installation.
Go to Dashboard –> Settings –> Permalinks
Under ‘Custom Settings’ choose just about anything other than the default. I usually choose ‘Month and Name’.
Under ‘Optional’ enter a category base and a tag base. I usually use ‘category’ and ‘tag’ respectively, but you can use anything.
Save your changes.
Go to Dashboard –> Pages –> Add New
On the New Page page, give your page a title (it can be anything you like and doesn’t have to be ‘Home’) and enter some text for the page. It can be anything you like for now. And we’ll not worry about images yet. We can sort those out later.
Now click, ‘Screen Options’ at top right. In the panel that opens up, check ‘Discussion’. Now scroll down to just below the editor pane. You will see two checkboxes labelled ‘Allow comments’ and ‘Allow trackbacks…’. If you don’t want your users to be able to comment on your home page, make sure the ‘Allow comments’ checkbox is unchecked.
Click on the ‘Publish’ button and wait for the page to save.
You’ve now created your first page. Since you’re using the default theme and the default menu, still, if you go back to your site you will see the title of your page on the navigation menu bar. You can click on it and you will be taken to the page you wrote. If you called your page, ‘Home’ you will see the word ‘Home’ twice on the menu bar. The first one will take you to a list of posts, the second will take you to your page. Don’t worry about this. We’re going to change it all later. The important thing is that you have a page up and running and accessible.
When you’ve finished all that, post back here and we’ll move on to the next step. If you’re worried about conducting what promises to be a long conversation via this forum (not sure of the rules on this…), feel free to contact me on peredur (at) peredur (dot) net.
This is going to take a little longer than expected because I actually don’t have wordpress installed. I have my domain name with Godaddy, so I have to call them and figure out how to install it. Sorry! Hopefully this doesn’t take too long! I really do appreciate your help.
No problem. It might be best to use my private email as this is going to be a long conversation! Up to you.
Godaddy probably have a way of installing WP from their control panel. If they don’t, it doesn’t matter, you can still install WP. Just let me know and I’ll talk you through it.
To install it yourself, you will need to know how to log into your godaddy control panel, though, and how to create a new database from there. It’s usually just a matter of following the instructions.
As I said, I already had my domain name through Godaddy, and I set it up so they host my WordPress too. They said I will still design my site through WordPress, but I will be using them for the hosting.
The bummer is, I guess it takes 30 min to 48 hours to set up, so now I’m stuck waiting for this email to come through, which will allow me to log into the WordPress dashboard.
Is there any workaround to this, that you know of? Like installing WP myself?
Also, what is your email address? I searched your wordpress profile and your web site, but couldn’t find it.
Email: peredur (at) peredur (dot) net.
I’m sure you can work it out from there 😉
Yes, you can install WP yourself. It takes 10 minutes. In the following, I’m assuming you have nothing else on your site you want to keep. I.e. that you’re starting from scratch.
First you need to set up a MySQL database. Normally you do this through your host’s control panel. Just log in and look for ‘Manage Databases’ or ‘MySQL’ or whatever. They’re all different.
When you’ve found it, follow the instructions to create a new database. You will need to keep a note of the following:
- The database name
- The server (host) name
- Your database user name
- Your database password
I think that’s it. You will either supply or be supplied with this info as you follow the instructions to create a database.
Once you’ve done that, download the latest version of WordPress to your local computer. Unzip it to somewhere convenient.
Now using an FTP client like FileZilla or FireFTP (Firefox plugin) connect to your Web host via FTP using the FTP login details given to you by your host when you bought your hosting agreement. You will need to know the FTP host name, username and password. If you haven’t got them handy godaddy support should be able to help you out.
Once connected, upload the contents of the unzipped wordpress folder from your local machine to your host’s document root. Note its the contents, not the folder that you’re transferring into your document root. So let’s say your document root is called public_html (other common ones are ‘www’ or ‘htdocs’). Inside public_html you should have the wp folders like wp-content and wp-include as well as some php files like index.php, wp-config-sample.php and so on.
Now just connect to your site using your site’s url (something like http://www.mydomain.whatever). Once connected, the WP installation program will start. Just follow the instructions. As long as you have your database details correct, it takes less than a couple of minutes. When it’s done, you will have a fully functioning WP site using the default theme and containing some sample pages and posts.
I managed to get into my dashboard, and did everything you said, so I have my first site. It looks terrible though. The horizontal menu is too far down on the screen, it says “just another WordPress site” and there is a picture of a river.
Ha but I am not worried about that, because I know you said you would tell me what to do next. Can you please let me know how I can go about designing it? Specifically, I want to raise the horizontal menu bar, take out “just another wordpress site,” put my book cover on the home page with links to buy my book, and adjust the tabs so they go to pages like “Books,” “Author Bio,” “Links,” “Blog,” etc.
I emailed you too, so we can talk on there if you prefer. I suppose I would rather just converse via email, but I posted here just in case you didn’t get the email.
Thank you so much for your help! It is much appreciated!
Thanks so much for the instructions! I did everything you said and then responded to your email! Sorry it took me so long, but I had to go to work yesterday.
Write back when you can please. Thanks!
Hi Perdedur I am in the same boat now that Taylor was before your step by step directions. I am also a beginner at WordPress & am also wanting to create my own website.
The problem I have is that I paid a developer to make my site & come to find out he did 6 or 7 files in ColdFusion, the rest are JPEG & PHOTOSHOP. Also developer was not honest & basically strung me along. O Well…next. I will consider it a lesson & do my site myself. Hopefully with the assistance from WordPress blog. I pray WordPress is the the answer to getting my site up & functional. I have 60 days before host disconnects ColdFusion so those files, which the main one is naviclude I think it is what displays my site to the public, also the contact page which I want to change.
Will I word press allow e-commerce for my custom designed apparel company? Since I already have apparel categories, products, UPS & USPS for shipping choices + PayPal for quick check out. API for those companies are available. I just need 2 databases, 1 link (button) at bottom of The Positive Movement page *that I would like button to blink & say “join the movement” & the other for people who purchase my apparel. I really do not see a reason to waste a tab for future apparel & contact us. I could go on but, I need to know if
what I have learned from researching & blogging is that there is no code to replace ColdFusion files. This means I have to start from scratch. I also need horizontal tabs across home page home page, links that create a databases & in my case I will need help with linking & uploading my custom designs apparel to my shopping cart.
Can Anyone Guide me? I appreciate any assistance.
Well, you seem to have quite a shopping list.
On the eCommerce front, there are plenty of WP plugins that you can look at. They aren’t my speciality so I won’t try to give you any advice there, except to just give them a try and if you have any problems, to open a new topic here so that people can help you.
On the other things you mention, I would advise you to start simple and work up to what you need. Creating complicated web sites is not trivial—even in WP! So try to list your requirements and then put them in order so that you can attack them one-by-one.
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