As a startup founder, you are a powerhouse of business ideas but aren’t finding a starting point to give wings to your startup dreams. Whether you are building an MVP or collecting user sentiment, you need a tool that can be flexible enough so you can try different ways until you reach a point where you are comfortable with what you provide to your clients. One of those important tools is WordPress.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS). It was built originally as a platform for creators to easily publish blog posts. It was a revolutionary tool in the pre social media era. The flexibility of WordPress comes from the use of various themes and plugins which can be used as building blocks for almost anything you can imagine, from magazines and simple stores to a SaaS product with complex features.
The only downfall of WordPress is that it performs poorly on when a complex product starts to scale, and that makes it the perfect tool for prototyping your next dream idea.
- Theme: A group of files and pages that determines how the website and admin dashboard will look & function.
- Plugin: a piece of software that “plugs into” your WordPress site. Plugins can add new functionality or extend existing functionality on your site, allowing you to create virtually any kind of website, from ecommerce stores to portfolios to directory sites.
- Dashboard: An authenticated administrative area where you can control various aspects of your platform, from installing themes and plugins to controlling the settings and configuration of these plugins and themes.
- Post Type: a powerful way of extending WordPress functionality by defining different domains and then adding properties to those domains. It’s a good way to define your product data layer. For instance, if you have an ecommerce website, we can expect to create post types for products, orders and customers, it’s a basic form database.
- Post: a post is the default post type in WordPress. Whenever you create a new WordPress, you will get “post” post type. You can use it to publish company news and inform customers about your updates.
- Page: another post type that is created automatically by WordPress. It represents your website pages like your home, about, contact us, etc.
- Taxonomies: a way of classifying post types. “post” taxonomies are automatically created, they are categories and tags.
- Permalink: this term is used to refer to a certain link in the website that can refer to a certain post type in the platform.
Why WordPress Is Optimal For Customer Discovery?
Both the pros and cons of WordPress made it optimal for prototyping and customer discovery. You can start building your product at any time in almost any industry they want, ecommerce, real estate, healthcare, you name it. Define your minimum viable product and then find the right set of themes and plugins and you are good to go.
How To Get Started With WordPress?
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
Before you start doing anything, you need to know the difference between 2 confusing WordPress websites:
WordPress.com: this is the WordPress company website and SaaS product. You can create an account on WordPress and then have basic WordPress functionality for free in WordPress sub-domain (<custom_name>.wordpress.com). There is also other feature that you can get with paid subscription.
WordPress.org: This is the platform that contains the WordPress open source software that you can use anywhere. And this one is the platform that we are focusing on.
Exploring for free
We always recommend that you access WordPress.com for free (or at least low cost) exploration and then creating WordPress.org website and hosting it in any hosting provider.
Get started with Hostinger
To get started with WordPress, you need to first find a place in the internet to host your website so that anyone later can access it. One of the best hosting providers these days is Hostinger. To start a WordPress platform, follow the steps in the following video:
Once you are live. You need do some setup and install the suitable theme for your needs and also install some essential plugins that will help you scale the platform to match your vision.
When researching to find your theme, you will have 2 ways:
- Get a free theme with some decent amount of options that you can extend later by plugins. Themes like Astra, OceanWP, and Storefront are well-known, free and widely tested general purpose themes that you can start with.
- Find a premium paid theme from a WordPress marketplace. And of course, Theme Forest is the best place to start with. You can find “healthcare themes”, “Real estate”, and whatever your industry and you will find a theme for it. The only downside for starting with a premium theme is the overwhelming amount of settings and options that you probably won’t need most of them.
Now once you found a theme suitable for your business, you need to start expanding WordPress and unleash its true power. To do so, you need 3 essential free plugins:
- Elementor: This plugin extends your design capabilities by providing various building blocks for your website. They provide a good start guide for new users as well.
- Custom Post Type UI: by default, you can’t create new post type through dashboard. This plugin make this a happen with a very simple to use way. It provides a dashboard section where users can create custom post types and taxonomies. Now you can create any post type: jobs, listings, orders, products, etc.
- Advanced Custom Fields: by default, any post type has a title field, body (or content) field, category field, tags field, and featured image. Using this plugin will enable you to add more meta data and properties to your custom post types. For products you can add product price, sku, images, in-stock, quantity, etc.
This was a quick introduction to the world of WordPress. You will learn even more by searching about any issue you find. The WordPress community is one of the largest tech communities in the world, and any issue you have mostly already have a solution some where in the internet.