In this installation of “Creating your Wellness Website”, we’re going over your next steps of picking a theme, choosing reliable plugins for added features, and what the heck widgets are!
Themes are what style your website.
Okay, so this is a simplified description, but in order to make your website “pretty” you can choose a theme, and install it.
Some of my preferred themes are the Beaver Builder themes, Divi, and Genesis. Of these, Divi is the easiest to use, however it makes for some clean-up if you choose to switch themes. With Divi though, your options are endless, so you won’t really need to switch themes, as you can design anything you can dream up in Divi.
Beaver Builder and Genesis are the cleanest, code wise. Beaver Builder has themes, pre-built for you, but with their premium builder plugin, you can design anything you dream up, just like Divi. Genesis is best for those of you who have coding knowledge, and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty. There are multitudes of child themes that you can install after installing Genesis, which will make your website building experience a lot faster, and easier.
- To install a theme in WordPress, navigate to the left hand navigation in your dashboard, and hover over “Appearance”.
- From there, select “Themes”.
- Click “Add New” at the top of the page.
- Choose your theme’s zipped file from it’s saved location on your computer.
- Depending on your install, you may need to select “Activate” to activate your new theme!
If you’ve chose to work with Beaver Builder, there are several resources you can take advantage of to help you with your building process. The Beaver Builders Community on Facebook is ultra helpful, and you may find me hanging out in there answering questions along with thousands of other developers.
Divi also has a plethora of online help. There are several Facebook groups dedicated to Divi, but the best, I’ve found is Divi Theme Users. Most group members are helpful, and usually respectful, and I will leave that off right there.
Genesis also has helpful Facebook groups! Check out the Genesis WordPress group for any answers to your questions.
Next up, Plugins!
Plugins add extra functionality to your website. This includes pretty much anything you can imagine, as there are millions of plugins to choose from. But a word to the wise: just because you can install it, doesn’t mean you should.
There are many plugins that are unnecessary, and add additional code to your website that you probably don’t really need, and it ends up slowing down your site. This is known as “bloat” and avoiding this is everything. Every millisecond counts when it comes to your websites load time. 40% of people abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load! WHAT?! That’s almost half. Don’t lose that many potential viewers to slow loading times, especially when there are so many ways to avoid that!
Some of the top plugins I rely on for my websites, are the All in One WP Security plugin, the UpdraftPlus Plugin, and the Yoast SEO plugin. There are a couple more plugins that I use as an administrator to build and maintain your website, but these 3 plugins are essential to the security and performance of your website.
All in One WP Security is exactly what it sounds like. It’s your security plugin to prevent hacks and malicious code from being thrown into your website. This is a preventative measure, however it’s not always perfect. I ALWAYS recommend Sucuri monitoring, as they can monitor, prevent, and repair any damage done to your website by hacking.
UpdraftPlus will be your trusty back up buddy, saving a copy of your website to DropBox (or another platform of your choosing). Having a copy of your website saved elsewhere is ESSENTIAL. You never know when something might happen to your website, so keeping an up-to-date backup of your website stored on a 3rd party platform is very important. I cannot over state this.
Yoast SEO is your saving grace when it comes to easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy- SEO. It creates a space in your dashboard to fill out your preferred SEO optimized title, meta description, define a keyword, and gives you pointers on how you can improve. You can find all of this inside of the “edit page” area when you’re building and designing your pages.
And finally – Widgets!
Widgets can be found when you hover over “Appearance” in the left hand bar of your dashboard.
Widgets are blocks of space on your website where you can select to insert additional content. For example, your sidebar on your blog pages, or your footer. These are theme specific, and it varies from theme to theme. If you see blocks of space in your Widget page in your admin dashboard, you’ll be able to add in extra info into those spaces! WordPress has some great built in widgets by default, including a “Search” option, and a “Recent Posts” area. If you drag the recent posts widget in a widget area, then it will contain a list of recent posts.
If you’re creating widgets in your footer on your website, you will probably want to use text widgets to insert your address, hours, and contact information on the bottom of every page on your website.
There is so much more to all of these specific areas, however, until you get into WordPress, and start clicking around, you may end up overwhelmed by all of the info I’m throwing at you here. If you have any specific questions about the plugins, themes, and widgets mentioned above, please drop a comment below! I’ll be happy to help where I am able!
Stay tuned for the next section on Building Your Wellness Website: Pages, Posts, and Media!