In the current digital age, a website is an essential part of growing your brand. Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, and philanthropist once said that if your business is not on the internet, then you are not in business. Having a website is also one of the ways of future proofing your brand. However, building a site has been made up to be a complex and tedious process. In this article, you will learn how to setup a website easily in Singapore as well as tips on how customize it
Statistics from Ad Week show that 8 out of every ten consumers rely on the internet to search for information about the products and services that they wish to purchase. At least 5 of the 8 people consider making an online purchase, but they are discouraged by the negative connotation about online shopping. With that said, there is growing confidence in online platforms all across Singapore, and you need to have a website to increase your online presence, grow your brand, and increase your sales margins.
Steps on How to Set Up A Website Easily in Singapore
Setting up a website is not as hard as most people make it be, and you will find hundreds of online courses on how to set up a website. However, due to website building version changes, many of them have become obsolete. Other than this, the content can be confusing and difficult to grasp. We have simplified the website building process into easy steps that you can consult for website designing advice and carry out at your own pace.
Choose the Right Platform and Domain
There are many website building platforms available to you today, but WordPress takes the pole position. According to statistics from digital.com, WordPress is responsible for 26% of the internet, and it enjoys as much as 59.4% market share, making it the most popular content marketing system, CMS.
BuiltWith has also released a compilation of the most popular website builders, and WordPress is the top CMS, with 51%. It is a free platform, and Wix, a paid for CMS, comes close to second with 7%.
WordPress is not only popular because it is free to use, but it is also flexible, and it accommodates everyone right from established enterprises, to small business and start-ups. You could, however, try to code your website from scratch, but it is a tedious process and takes up a lot of your time, and you are not guaranteed that you will meet the professional standards that modern websites are known for today.
If you are not interested in using WordPress to build your website, you could try Wix, Joomla, BlueHost, Weebly, or Squarespace. Most of these platforms offer a one-click-install for WordPress.
Get A Web Host and A Domain Name
Once you have made the selection of which CMS is the best for your needs, you will need a website address otherwise known as the domain name as well as a web host.
Unlike in the days of old when domain names were overly expensive, it is now much easier to get your domain name today. A domain name that is attached to someone else’s domain looks unprofessional, for example yourbusiness.my-free-website.com or yourbusiness.wordpress.com.
Several web hosts will provide a free personalized domain name for one year after which you have to pay for the web address. The prices however vary from one web host to another. WordPress offers different hosting plans, but for beginners, it is best if you choose the basic plan for the first year and learn all there is about the platform.
This is a service that allows you to make your website available on the internet, which is provided by a web host. The web host provides all the technologies that you need for your website to be viewed on the internet. Your website will be hosted or stored on special computers known as servers, and from here all a user needs to do is type your domain or web address otherwise referred to as a URL into their browser to access it.
Their computer will connect to the web host servers, and your website will be delivered to their computer via the browser. However, it is mandatory that you have a domain for web hosting companies to host your website in their servers. If you do not have a domain, the company or individual acting as your web host can help you get one easily. There is more to this topic of web hosting, and there is valuable information on website.com.
There are several web hosting platforms in Singapore with Vodien and Exabytes being some of the most popular web hosting companies in Singapore. They offer 24/7 support, and this makes them perfect for webmasters with different levels of website setup experience. You can also find more Singapore web hosting companies ranked on WH Top.
Connect Your WordPress to Your Domain
This process would easily give many people sleepless nights since the thought of configuring and messing with things such as changing the names of servers, the DNS, and so much more is stressful. However, it is far much easier than you would think.
Since you have a web host and bought your domain name, you are closer to having an up and running website. The first thing you need to do is install WordPress to your hosting. There are two ways to install WordPress.
Companies such as Vodien and Exabytes, are equipped with a 1-click-installation feature for WordPress. This makes the installation process quick and easy. Almost all web host companies have the 1-click-installation on the control panel. The installation process is similar in virtually all web host companies.
- Login to your web host account
- Access the control panel
- Identify the ‘Website’ or ‘WordPress’ icon
- Choose the domain where you will install your website
- Click on the ‘Install Now’ icon
After you complete this process, you will get instant access to your brand-new WordPress website.
This is for the people who do not have the 1-click-installation option on their web host accounts. This manual installation will guide you on how to go about installing WordPress.
- Download WordPress
- Create a folder on your desktop and unzip the WordPress into it
- Search for the fine named wp-config-sample.php then rename it to wp-config.php
- Open the file you have just renamed using notepad or other similar applications and fill in the following lines and save the file
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘database_name_here’); – Database name (ask your web host if you do not know it)
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘username_here’); – Your hosting username
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_here’); – Your hosting password
- Login into your web hosting FTP and you will need to download FileZilla. The FTP address is ‘ftp.yourdomainname.com.’ Use the username and password you used to register with your web host
- Delete the file named ‘index’ if any, and then upload all the files from the WordPress folder you created on your desktop to the FTP server. FileZilla allows you to ‘drag n drop.’
- With the files uploaded to your FTP server, on your browser go to this URL; yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php, you will find a series of forms, fill them and you are ready to go
When you compare the two process, the manual one is tedious and complex, and should you make a mistake; it would require that you go through the process again. However, a web host that requires the manual installation of WordPress is old school and you ought to change it ASAP.
Choosing the Aesthetics of Your WordPress
After successfully installing WordPress to your domain, the website will open to a simple yet clean looking site. Most people are comfortable with the site as it looks, but that problem is that they all look the same, and it will not do much for your branding and advertising purposes. WordPress has over 1500 professionally designed themes with some that you have to pay for, while others are free.
A majority of the themes on WordPress are free, and you can customize them to your preference. So how do you change the themes on WordPress?
- Log into your WordPress dashboard
- On the sidebar, click on ‘Appearance’ then ‘Themes’
- Once you find a theme that that resonates with your needs, click on ‘Install Now’ then ‘Activate’
Always choose the themes with a responsive design; this means that your site will still look as good on mobile devices just as on computers. If the themes are not to your level of satisfaction, you can always buy WordPress themes from Theme Forest, but be sure that you have exhausted the free themes on WordPress. You can change the themes as often as you like, and it will not interfere with the content on your site.
After installing your preferred theme, you are all set to start creating content and uploading it to your site. However, it can be confusing at first, so we will go over the basics of how to add content to your site
- To add and edit pages, look for the ‘Pages’ from the sidebar on the WordPress Dashboard, then click ‘Add New’
- You will see a blank page that resembles most document editors such as MS Word. You will need to add text, images, texts, videos, gifs, and more then save the page when you are done
To give your site visitors a proper user experience, you need to add links to the navigation bar to help visitors access the pages on your website. Here is how to do it
- Save all the changes you have made to a page by clicking on the ‘Update’ icon
- On the dashboard’s sidebar, click on ‘Appearance’ then ‘Menus.’
- Identify the page that you have created and add it to the list by checking the box next to it
- Finally, click on ‘Add to Menu’
Adding and Editing Blog Posts
Blogs are the perfect way to share content with your site visitors. You can use different categories and posts. To create a new category, click on ‘Categories’ in the Posts section of the dashboard sidebar. You could also go to ‘Posts’ then click on ‘Add New.’
After you are done with writing the content and attaching the appropriate images and videos, you can then add the post’s category.
Customizing Your Website
To get the best out of your website, you will need to keep tweaking and customizing several aspects of the site regularly. There is no specific time for making these changes to your website, but necessity demands it.
Changing Your Title and Tagline
Page titles play a massive role in page ranking on search engine results pages. You can optimize the titles by adding targeted keywords that naturally fit into the text. Ensure that you have a catchy and unique title. You can use Cos Headlines to optimize your page titles. Taglines, on the other hand, are words added to the end of titles across every page.
Changing the page titles and taglines is not complicated at all. Simply go to the WordPress dashboard, click on ‘Settings’ then ‘General.’ All you need to do is change the text in the form that appears.
Most organizations do not engage the visitors after they have browsed through a page or post. They have their reasons, and if you want to disable the comments on your page and posts, here is how to do it
- When you are creating a new page, click on the ‘Screen Options’ icon on the top right corner
- Click on the ‘Discussion’ box, and the ‘Allow Comments’ section will appear towards the bottom
- Uncheck the ‘Allow Comments,’ and you are all set
If you want to disable the comments on every new page by default, go to ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Discussion’ and uncheck the ‘Allow people to post comments on new articles.’
Do You Want A Static Front Page?
One of the most frustrating aspects of your new website is that is that the homepage can feel like a blog post. The solution to this is to have a static front page. Unlike a blog where the latest article will appear first, having a static front page means that the homepage remains the same.
Go to ‘Settings’ then click on ‘Reading.’ If your entire site is not a blog, create a static page. The ‘Front Page ‘refers to the home page of your website, while the ‘Posts Page’ refers to the front page of your blog.
WordPress will display your latest posts them where the home page ought to be, if you fail to choose a static page. This degrades your site from coming across as a website, and it will appear as a blog.
Editing the Theme’s Sidebar
A majority of the WordPress themes have a sidebar usually on the right side of the screen, but you will find some that place it on the left. Some people prefer not to have many items on their sidebar and prefer to edit out ‘Meta,’ ‘Categories,’ and ‘Archives’ since they do not have much significance to the visitor. Here is how to do it
- On the WordPress dashboard, click on ‘Appearance’ then ‘Widgets’
- In the page that loads, you can ‘drag n drop’ boxes to add or remove items on to the sidebar
For experienced webmasters and people with programming skills, they can use the ‘HTML box’ where you can use an HTML code to edit the sidebar.
The websites of today rely heavily on plugins. This is an extension built and integrated websites to expand its capabilities. They also add features that improve the functionality of your WordPress site. The alternative to using plugins is to build the features from scratch. Plugins allow you to do almost everything right from optimizing your website to creating an ecommerce store, uploading images to your photo galleries, submission of forms, and so much more.
How to Install A New Plugin
Before you think about installing a plugin, you need to identify the one that suits you best. This is given the fact that there are more than 25,000 free plugins available for WordPress sites. Here is how to go about your search for plugins and installation
- Go to ‘Plugins’ then click on ‘Add New’ to start searching for your plugins
- Once you find a suitable plugin, click ‘Install.’
With that said, one can get caught up with the installation and go about installing every plugin available. This makes it necessary to get as much knowledge as possible by learning about WordPress Plugins. Here are some plugins you can use to help you improve and grow your WordPress site
This is one of the best tools that will track the metrics of your site and provide an analysis report. This is a plugin that requires you to connect your Google account. It will track the source of your site visitors, and their behaviour while on your site. Download it here.
Search engine optimization is a crucial factor in increasing page and website ranking since search engines algorithms rank SEO friendly sites higher. Yoast SEO is one of the best tools that you will find for free. It allows you to edit meta descriptions, title tags, and more on the page itself without having to revert to the WordPress settings on the dashboard. Download it here.
Contact Form 7
If you have disabled the comments on your page and posts, then that leaves very few options for a user to contact you. This is where a contact form comes in handy. You can create a dedicated ‘Contact Us’ page and place the form there, or you can save on server storage space and add the contact form in the ‘About Me/Us’ page. The form allows your users to contact you and send you a message without having to log into their email addresses. Download Contact Form 7 here.
Floating Social Bar
Content marketing is one of the things that gives many webmasters sleepless nights. However, you need to review the site and incorporate the necessary CTAs to make it easy work. The Floating Social Bar is a plugin that contains social media icons that are meant to increase the number of shares to social media with the aim of increasing exposure, as well as attracting more traffic, and revenue.
Most of the social share plugins are heavy, and they will slow down your site. However, the Floating Social Bar is light since it only supports the major social sites including, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, and Google+. It will also show you how many times your content has been shared on the various social media platforms. Download it here.
A single cyberattack on your website can set you back to square one, and it is therefore important that you keep your website security updated. Sucuri is one of the best WordPress security plugins that will safeguard your site from cyberattacks. It does this by monitoring all the security-related events in your WordPress site, and it will go as far as suggesting options after a site security breach.
Sucuri also provides remote malware scanning, and it will give periodical notifications on the state of security of your website. Download it here.
W3 Total Cache
Slow websites are penalised by being omitted from the first page of search engine results, irrespective of the value of the content. Statistics show that if a site takes over 3 seconds to load, a visitor will leave your site, probably, never to come back again. Using heavy images and videos is one of the leading causes of a slow website. W3 Total Cache is one of the plugins you can use to reduce the page loading speed.
It acts as a static HTML version of your site, and so it is not necessary to load and generate new pages every time a visitor lands on your homepage. In so doing, it will reduce the number of requests made to the host database and server. With fast loading pages, you will be able to convert the leads that make their way to your site. Download it here.
Ready to Launch
After installing these plugins, you are as good as ready to start your digital marketing to get the visitors to your site. If you have followed these steps to the letter, then you will have a fully functioning site. The joy of using WordPress over other CMSs is that it is highly customizable and the plugins make sure of it. However, be sure to keep improving and customizing your site to increase conversions.
Do not be fooled into thinking that creating a website is hard work and for professionals only. The information in this article on how to set up a website easily in Singapore will help you build a simple website at first and with constant upgrading and customization, you will have a professional looking site. However, be sure to invest in digital marketing campaigns and strategies to increase traffic your website and include as many CTAs as possible to improve lead conversions.