There are two types of websites: Static and Dynamic. Static sites are usually perfect to showcase a company, an individual or a product. Their contents are fixed and should be maintained though a website builder. Dynamic sites share the same base used to make static pages but with 2 major extras, a coding language that allows content calculations and a database from where informations will be stored and pulled.
In this article we will only focus on dynamic websites.
In the past, HTML was the traditional way for creating websites, but now there are several useful platforms that can be used to build dynamic websites such as Joomla, Yola, Squarespace, Jigsy, Weebly, SnapPages, among several others. It is actually just a matter of preference. The aforementioned platforms are easy-to-use and very affordable, some are even free and you don’t have to be a web guru or learn complex codes to create a great-looking site.
Another excellent platform which I deliberately left out is WordPress. We will discuss this along with some useful plug ins that you can use to make a presentable website, whether for your personal use or for your business. Aside from being simple and free, WordPress has several other distinct advantages:
- It is FREE
- It is well-supported so it’s easy to find help and tutorials online
- There are hundreds of free themes available
- It is easy to customize
- Readers can subscribe easily because it has an RSS Feed
Note that we are talking about WordPress.org or the self-hosted variant of WordPress on a personal web hosting account. Don’t confuse it with WordPress.com though this one is an excellent free-hosted blogging platform mainly used by hobby or personal bloggers. It’s cool but it has certain limitations if you intend to have a dental website or launch an online business.
First you need to register a domain name. register.com . $8.15/yr
Second you need to rent some webspace on a remote server. We recommend mddhosting.$7.50/mo
Third you have your own domain name and some space on a server, you need to connect both in order for your hosting provider to get the traffic sent from your site’s address. You will have to copy/past your DNS provided by your hosting company to your domain registrar.
This tutorial will tell you how to set this up: help.register.com
After those 3 first steps are made, you have now a website with your own domain.
Now what ?
You have your address and space to host your site but you don’t have pages to display yet, so if you rented space from MDDHosting, go to your cpanel (the link will be given in the email sent from your new hosting provider) and go to Softaculous Apps Installer, click wordpress and follow the steps to install wordpress. If your hosting companies do not have cpanel or Softaculous installed and you will have to use a FTP connection though a software like cyberduck and follow this tutorial ghiis.com/blog/wordpress/how-to-install-wordpress-using-ftp/.
Great, your site is online for only $15.65, you can now start to customize it !
Templates and Plug Ins
Any dynamic site has 2 parts: the site that each and everyone with an internet connection can see and an admin area also called CMS for «content management system» or administration panel. To log to your CMS, enter your new website address like «www._your_website_address_.com/wp-admin» there you’ll find the dashboard, media, links and other handy features.
Now you have to choose between having a site displaying informations about your company, products and services only or if you want to create an ecommerce online store to sell your products online. In both case you will have to choose a theme that fits your company style but in case you want to have your own online store, you will need to buy a theme compatible with the «ecommerce» wordpress plugin.
For free themes go here: wordpress.org/extend/themes
For ecommerce themes select one here: themeforest.net
All themes have a tutorial to install and customize it but varies from one them to an other so we can’t describe this process here.
If you chose not to sell your products online, this section will give you an overview of what you can do to personalize your site. On the left-hand column of your screen, go to ‘Pages’ and then click on ‘Add New.’ Choose a catchy title for your webpage and place your content in the text box. Next, in the ‘Page Attributes’ box, pick a template. You have the option to allow or prohibit comments, just scroll down and tick or untick the allow comments box. Lastly, on the right-hand side of the screen, click on the box which says ‘Publish’.
Since we are talking about a dental website, you’ll perhaps require additional pages such as ‘Products’, ‘Services’, ‘About Us’, ‘Contact Us,’ etc. If you wish to view the list of pages that you’ve created, simply click on ‘Front Page’ and then choose which ones you wish to make static. This means that page won’t differ in terms of client responses, which is applicable to dynamic pages. To do this, go to ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Reading’ then choose ‘Static Page.’ Finally, select ‘Full Text’ and hit the ‘Save’ button. Once you have all the features set, click on ‘View Site’ so you can preview the webpages exactly as you want them.
Sell your own products
You have products nor services to sell!
You need all your product images, descriptions and prices before you start adding them to your site. After your ecommerce plugin has been installed and activated, you will have a link in your administration panel, on the left site called «products». Hit add new and fill the form.
Moreover, you will need to setup your store shipment and payment details to complete your store functionalities.
Other plug ins
WordPress also features a superb plug in architecture which enables both developers and users to customize its functionality. This will allow you to do specific tasks required by certain webpages. The moment WordPress is installed in your site, you’ll have three pre-installed plugins: Aksimet, Hello Dolly and Jetpack. These are pretty basic so it’s advisable to install some essential plugins to boost the functionality of your website.
Plugins for Enhanced Performance:
- WP Smush.It
- W3 Total Cahe
- Feedburner Feedsmith
- WP-DB Manager
- WP Touch
- Bulletproof Security
- Buddy Press
Plugins for Images and Video:
- Simple Video Embedder
- Lightbox Gallery
- Tube Press
- Lightview Plus
- DD Slider
- NextGen Gallery
- Simple Image Link
Plugins for SEO Purposes
Plugins to Generate Profit
- Awesome Google Adsense
- WP 125
- OIO Publisher
- WP e-Commerce
- WP Auctions
- WP Shopping Cart
- Direct Ads Market
Plugins for Social Media Networks
- Tweet, Like, Google +1 and Share
- Tweet Meme Button
- GD LinkedIn Badge
- Facebook Like Button
- Facebook Activity Feed
- Twitter Widget Pro
- Twitter Goodies
- Digg Digg Social Sharing
Of course it would be too easy if the above informations would be enough to start selling… after you finished the above steps, you will need to pay attention to SEO and online marketing strategies. Our blog http://hub.missintooth.com holds useful articles covering those subjects which should allow you to build traffic on your site and turn new visitors into leads.
Overall, WordPress is a great tool for creating professional-looking dental websites in a fast and cost-effective manner. It offers brief and easy-to-follow guides and instructions, so if you are considering creating a website but are not quite certain on how to get it done, WordPress can handle most of the hard work for you.