It’s estimated that nearly 400 new websites are created every minute, with approximately 1.9 billion websites currently active worldwide. That doesn’t even include abandoned or defunct webpages! Having an innovative, eye-catching, traffic-attracting website is therefore vital to the success of your goals, regardless of whether you’re a small business owner, e-commerce giant, personal blogger or Instagram sensation.
But if you’re new to the website game, how do you even know what questions to ask yourself when building a website? Don’t worry; we’ve got you. We’ve compiled a list of the top 11 questions to ask when building a website using WordPress. Check out all our answers or navigate to the ones you need using our table of contents.
Table of Contents
Questions to Ask Before Getting Started
1. What are your website goals?
The first question you must ask yourself before building a website is this: what do you want the site to do? Having a stunning website is all well and good, but it’s doing you no favors if it doesn’t accomplish what you intend it to.
For example, do you want your website to:
- Encourage sales?
- Educate or inform about a topic?
- Increase brand awareness?
- Attract more leads, quote requests, phone inquiries, etc.?
- Promote social media interaction?
- Boost account or emailing list enrollment?
- Connect visitors to partner sites?
Knowing what your website’s short- and long-term goals will not only help you make design choices upfront, but will also save you from spending valuable time and money on the backend when changes have to be made.
2. What does your company do?
Having a thorough understanding of what defines your company will impact your ultimate website design. Why? It’s all about messaging.
If you aren’t able to clearly convey what you and your company offer (and, more importantly, what sets you apart from the competition) then visitors to your site won’t be able to either. Defining your business’ core values, history, and vision shows visitors why they should choose your website and business over the competition
3. What features do you want your website to have?
This ties in with your website’s goals. For example, a tourism agency will not only want to have a shopping cart page or quick contact form for its users but will also ideally have photo galleries and videos of locations and highlights from the field. Even something as simple as the capability for your users to leave comments or reviews needs to be considered even if implementing the feature doesn’t happen right away. Again, knowing what you want (and what you don’t) on your site at the beginning will save you time, effort, and headaches down the road.
4. Who is your audience?
While the end goal of your website can be almost anything, the primary goal is to attract visitors. And no, your prospective audience shouldn’t be simply anyone and everyone. Just as every business has a specific type of consumer they’re trying to attract, each consumer has specific tastes in businesses, and in today’s day and age, your website is often the first indication if the two of you are a good fit. More to the point, your website can be a deciding factor if a one-time visitor becomes a perennial one.
Understanding your audience’s likes and dislikes, the type of imagery or language within your messaging, and how they interact with your site are all things to consider. Like any great stage performer, this consideration toward understanding who you’re “speaking” to with your website is crucial to keep them coming back time and again.
5. Who is your competition?
Few ideas these days are entirely new, and the few that are can often easily be lost in the shuffle. Highlighting what makes your business stand out from the rest of the field—such as you offer 1-day free shipping or that your 24-hour customer service is rated #1—can be the difference between your website looking like Black Friday shopping or a ghost town.
Even poke around on your competitors’ sites to see what you do and don’t like about theirs to help you form a better picture of what you want your own website to look and feel like.
Setting Up Your Website
Once you’ve determined the finer details of what your website should be, it’s time to start building. In this section, we’ll cover several questions pertaining to how to make a WordPress website.
6. What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) software which allows users to create and manage the important aspects of their website. In layman’s terms: it’s a great tool for building any website you can dream of, be that a business site, online store, personal portfolio, blog, social network, and more.
Today, WordPress powers 35% of all websites created. Its user-friendly creation process and extensive customization and editing capabilities mean your design options are nearly endless. Plus, the best part about WordPress is that it allows you to create a website from the convenience of your own browser, meaning even if you have zero experience with programming or web design you can create a stunning website in no time.
7. How does WordPress work?
WordPress runs on PHP programming and a MySQL database. This separates content (divided into “pages” and “posts”) from design elements (contained as “themes”) and allows for extended functionality via plugins, which are app-like pieces of software for your website.
8. How do you use WordPress?
Once you have a WP domain at www.whatever.com, you can log into your user dashboard at www.whatever.com/wp-admin. From here you can access a dashboard that lets you edit site users, moderate comments, create pages and posts, install plugins, and handle any other aspects of your site.
9. How do you choose a WordPress theme?
WordPress has literally thousands of themes to choose from, and more are being added every day. How you choose a theme is entirely up to the vision of your website. If you’re a small business owner, choose something that highlights your business’s character and charm. Conversely, if you own a large business, choose one that’ll help your customers view and navigate your large product catalog. Blogger or writer? Then you probably want a theme that optimizes readability.
Of course, if you find the theme you initially choose isn’t cutting it for you, you can easily change it to a different one without having to make drastic changes or outright replace your content.
10. How long does it take WordPress to update changes?
Changes in your content and theme are generally immediate upon saving and refreshing the page. However, sometimes updates can take a few minutes depending on the type and number of changes you make.
11. What is WordPress hosting?
As the name suggests, WordPress hosting is web hosting that has been optimized to better meet WordPress’s performance and security needs.
There are two types of WordPress hosting—shared WordPress hosting and managed WordPress hosting. Both offer a similar features and support services, but they are different in terms of the level of support you receive and the price you pay.
Shared WordPress hosting is when your website shares a server with several other websites, hence the “shared” designation. You still receive WordPress performance-optimized hosting, automatic updates, and security support, you just don’t have it all to yourself.
Managed website hosting, on the other hand, is when your web host takes care of the operation and maintenance of the server on your behalf. While more expensive, managed website hosting is ideal for high traffic sites such as online stores or small businesses without the IT personnel or know-how to spend maintaining their own server.
What’s the Best Host for a WordPress website?
Choosing the right web host can be a tough decision. Let us make it easy for you and suggest our very own WP Super Host. WP Super Host makes setup and website migration super easy for first-time users, perfect if you’re just starting out with building your website. Plus, not only do we offer more features than our competition, but we offer them at a cheaper price.
Don’t believe us? Check out our comparison table and see for yourself.
And if you find we don’t currently offer a feature you’re looking for, send us a request and our dedicated team of developers will jump to developing it for you. After all, we’re here to save you from bad WordPress hosting!
Developing a website shouldn’t be difficult, so let us help you build your perfect website today so that you can share it with the world.
Technical Web Setup Questions
Bonus round! Here are 8 other terminology questions you may run into while creating and managing your new website:
12. What is domain registration?
The process of registering a domain name used to identify one or several IP addresses with a name that is easy to remember and use within the URL associated with a particular webpage. It is one of the first steps in creating a website.
13. What is my DNS?
Think of your DNS as a translator between two people who speak different languages, where both speakers know exactly what they’re saying, but neither comprehends what the other is. Computers are the same way. They recognize an IP address’ numbered sequence great, but don’t do so well with words and phrases like those found in a website’s domain name. The translator’s role then is to convert each side’s words into the other’s, speaking the language in which each is most fluent so that the message—or in this case, the webpage you’re trying to get to—is accurately understood.
You can easily find your DNS server ID by opening your computer’s Command prompt, typing “ipconfig/all” and hitting Enter.
14. How long does it take for DNS to update?
Known as the propagation period, any changes to your domain name or DNS server configuration will typically take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to go into effect. This is because the changes need time to update across all locations across the internet.
15. What is my root folder?
A root folder, also known as root directory or sometimes just simply root, is the main or “highest” folder in the file storing hierarchy, under which all other files are located. In webpage design, the root folder contains all the website files, folders, and image locations for a specific domain name.
16. What is PHP?
Hypertext Preprocessor or PHP (no, it doesn’t follow the acronym) is a free, widely used scripting language designed for helping people make web pages more interactive and dynamic. For instance, a website designed with PHP can have certain webpages protected by passwords, such as a login prompt on a banking website.
Unlike other software languages, PHP is extremely flexible and easily integrated into other web languages, allowing you to quickly update or change the functionality of your website at any time without spending valuable time and resources re-coding.
17. How do you optimize images for the web?
Optimizing your images—or the process of saving photos in the smallest file size possible without losing quality—can drastically impact your website’s performance speed, SEO ranking, and backup time for the better.
The key is optimizing your photos before you add them to your website.
We suggest editing your photos using an image editing software on your computer before uploading to the web in order to save you valuable storage space once uploaded. You can also optimize images after uploading them using a WordPress plugin for hassle-free conversions.
18. How do you change a website host?
If you decide to migrate web hosts, the first thing you should do is to create a backup of your website files. Naturally, this saves you from having to start from scratch should something go wrong during the migration process. Next, export your WordPress database from your old host. After that, create a new database in which to upload your old database onto the new web host server. If migrating between WordPress hosts, you can use one of their many migration plugins to make the process even easier.
Once you’ve restored your WordPress backup, double check to see that all pieces of your website are functioning properly and reinstall links and plugins if necessary.
19. How do you restore a WordPress backup?
The easiest and often quickest way how to restore your WordPress backup is through your managed website host. To start, log in to your webhost dashboard and locate the website you wish to restore. Next, select all desired backup files and then click “Restore.” Your backup will then take several minutes to complete before you can log in to your WordPress admin dashboard and check that your website is working correctly.
We hope this article has helped answer many of the questions to ask when building a website. Creating a website can be an intimidating affair, especially if you’ve never made one before. Thankfully, software platforms like WordPress make the process incredibly easy, and when done right, a well-crafted website will add incredible value to your business.