A Beginners Guide to Using a WordPress Website

using a wordpress website

WordPress is the most prominent CMS in the world. According to W3techs, WordPress commands 60.4% of the CMS market share. That means over 75 million active websites use WordPress considering that the total number of active websites is 172 million. Half of the 75 million active WordPress sites are hosted on WordPress.com which translates to 37,500,000 websites.

 

As the fastest growing web publication software, WordPress.com blogs have over 409 million monthly visits. That translates to 22.4 billion pages a month. So, if you are an affiliate marketer and want to start a blog, WordPress.com is a great choice for you.

 

Keep reading to learn what WordPress.com is, WordPress.com features, pricing plans, pros, and cons of using the service.

 

What is WordPress.com?

A lot of WordPress beginners often confuse WordPress, the open source self-hosted software and WordPress.com. Well, WordPress is an open source self-hosted software that can be downloaded from WordPress.org.

 

WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a hosting service that enables bloggers and website owners to create, manage and host their websites at a fee. Unlike the open source blogging software, WordPress, which can be downloaded many times, WordPress.com cannot be downloaded.

 

Basically, WordPress.com already hosts the WordPress open source blogging software on its servers. They offer tools which you can use to create, control and host your website. With WordPress.com, users have the opportunity of doing the following:

  • Add pages
  • Install and uninstall themes
  • Create a homepage
  • Change the order of pages
  • Nest pages to create submenus
  • Add custom links
  • Display posts on different pages
  • Disable comments
  • Add widgets
  • Register a custom domain
  • Access to premium themes and much more

 

WordPress.com Features

Mobile friendly

According to Statista the number of mobile phone users in 2019 is estimated to reach 4.68 billion. That means at the start of 2020, the number of mobile phone users will pass the five billion mark.

 

Mobile phones are versatile gadgets that enable us to communicate, shop, send and receive money from anywhere in the world thanks to mobile payments systems. Since more than 4 billion mobile phone users are searching the internet using their devices, it is important to ensure they have a pleasant experience.

 

WordPress.com is a mobile friendly blogging platform which means it can adapt to the resolution of any mobile phone. While it matters to offer online visitors a positive experience, Google and other search engines all care a great deal about a mobile-friendly site. So, if you want to rank higher on search engine results, WordPress.com is a great choice.

 

Dozens of themes

WordPress.com users can choose from over hundreds of customizable themes. Each theme is retina ready and mobile friendly and so, your page ranking will not be affected negatively. WordPress.com offers both free and premium themes. Free themes are available in great designs. The problem is, many people are already using them.

 

To ensure your blog or website stands out, we highly suggest that you buy one of the premium themes. Every week, the WordPress.com team adds new themes. If you want information on how to install WordPress themes, chat with the support team.

 

Custom domains

When you create an account on WordPress.com to host your website, the platform offers two choices. You can either use the WordPress.com domain or buy a custom domain. For instance, if your business name is XY, then your domain will be “xy.wordpress.com.” As an affiliate marketer, a custom domain is highly beneficial. Here is how:

  • Helps you build your brand
  • Increases your trust with your visitors
  • Boosts your page rank
  • Makes you a professional blogger
  • Makes it easy for you to get approval into various affiliate programs
  • Increases your traffic
  • Helps you establish authority

 

Mobile and desktop apps

WordPress.com has mobile and desktop apps for its users. As such, users can manage their sites even on the go. Want to upload posts, audio, video or pictures? You can now do so from the comfort of your office or home. Apart from uploading content, you can send posts to social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for your readers to be informed. You can also learn what your visitors are reading, which pages they have visited and optimized your website for SEO.             The mobile and desktop apps are compatible with:

  • iOS devices and Mac computers
  • Windows PC
  • Linux systems

 

Plugins

WordPress is home to thousands of third-party plug-ins. These plugins allow you to extend the functionality of your website. For instance, as an affiliate marketer, publishing awesome content is key to higher traffic. One useful plugin that can help you create great content is Yoast SEO. Another plugin useful plugin is Google Analytics for WordPress. The plugin syncs with your Google Search Console to provide Google Analytics data. This data is very useful as it allows you to know the number of visitors to your site, what devices they used and much more.

Other useful plugins include:

  • Jetpack
  • Contact Form 7
  • Akismet Antispam
  • WordPress Importer
  • WooCommerce
  • TinyMCE Advanced and much more.

 

Getting Started with WordPress.com

To build and manage your website on WordPress.com, there are a few steps you need to follow.

Step One – Sign up for a WordPress.com account

Signing up with WordPress.com is very easy. Visit WordPress.com, click “Get Started” and fill in the following details:

  • Email Address
  • Username
  • Password

Before submitting your details, it is important to read the Terms of Service. Alternatively, sign up with your Google account. Remember, use a strong password. This will help to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your website.

 

Step Two – Choose your web address

To ensure your visitors can find your blog, you need a unique web address. WordPress.com allows you to create a web address for your website. For instance, if your business name is XY, you can add the name in the space provided. Your web address will look as follows “xy.wordpress.com.”

 

As said before, if you want your brand to look professional, you need a custom domain name. You can purchase one from a hosting provider of your choice. Once you have added your web address, input your tagline. You can always change your site identity details by going to My Sites>Customize>Site Identity.

 

Step Three – Set up your public profile

As an affiliate marketer, this is an important step. Having a public profile makes it easy for users to find you online. As search engine bots crawl your website, they will include your profile in all your posts.

 

You can always edit your public profile later on. All you have to do is click your Gravatar located on the top right-hand side of your dashboard. Here, you can change your public display name and the details in the about me section.

 

Don’t forget to upload your Gravatar. This is the image that your readers will associate with you.

 

If you have covered everything as described above, you are ready to make your first post. Remember, you can always customize your WordPress.com website by installing new premium themes and third-party plugins.

 

WordPress.com Pricing plans

There are two pricing categories:

  1. Blogs and personal sites
  2. Business sites and online stores

 

Under Blogs and Personal sites, you have three pricing plans:

  • Blogger at $3 per month
  • Personal at $5 per month
  • Premium at $8 per month

 

For Business Sites and Online Stores, you also have three pricing plans

  • Premium at $8 per month
  • Business at $25 per month
  • eCommerce at $45 per month

 

All the plans are billed yearly.

 

Here are some of the features that affiliate marketers stand to enjoy with each pricing plan under Blogs and Personal Sites.

 

Blogger 

  • Free .blog domain for a year
  • Email support
  • Jetpack essential features
  • Free themes
  • Basic design customization
  • 6GB storage space
  • No WordPress.com ads

 

Personal

  • Free domain for one year
  • Free themes
  • Basic design customization
  • 6GB storage space
  • No WordPress.com Ads
  • Email and live chat support
  • Jetpack Essential features

 

Premium

  • Free domain for one year
  • Unlimited Premium themes
  • Advanced design customization
  • 13GB storage space
  • Jetpack Essential features
  • Advanced social media
  • Simple payments
  • Site monetization
  • Videopress support
  • Email and live chat support

Free Plan

Users also have the opportunity to use the free plan but they are limited to 3 GB of storage, WordPress.com subdomain, and basic customization among others.

 

Pros 

  • Access to a beginner-friendly guide that is easy to follow
  • The guide is updated weekly to keep up with new web design trends
  • Fast set up
  • Responsive and mobile friendly free and premium themes
  • Free live chat and email support
  • Don’t have to worry about backups and updates

 

Cons

  • WordPress.com will place ads on all free websites
  • Free websites have a limited storage plan of 3 GB
  • All plans are billed yearly and not monthly
  • You can only monetize your site if you purchase the Premium or Business plan

 

Is WordPress.com worth it?

Yes, it’s worth it for bloggers and affiliate marketers who want to get their website up and running quickly. If you are a beginner and want to try out the basic features of WordPress.com, use the free plan. For people serious about making money, and want complete control of their website, it’s best to choose the Premium or Business plans.

All the best,

Ed

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out these articles as well;
NordVPN Review – Secure Browsing for You
Bluehost Review – The Inexpensive Web Hosting Provider for You
10 Tips On How To Write A Good Post That Ranks And Converts

 

 

 

 

 

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