How to build a simple WordPress website

How to build a simple WordPress website

How to build a simple WordPress website

How to build a simple WordPress website

by | Jun 15, 2023 | News & Events

by | Jun 15, 2023 | News & Events

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Before building your website, it is important to determine what the purpose of the website is. Is it simply to be an online billboard and place for people to contact you or do you want to showcase your work visually?

 “If you just want to announce the fact that you do writing, you probably only need one page. At the other end of the spectrum, if you want to set up an online shop, it is a totally different ballgame where your site would need e-commerce capabilities. You might discover that you don’t need a website, but simply an online presence through LinkedIn or Facebook. However, if you want to showcase your work visually, a website is probably better,” said Renee Moodie, a senior journalist and consultant who offers a range of writing, editing, training and consultancy services.

Renee unpacked the topic of building a simple WordPress website during a Safrea webinar. She started by clarifying certain concepts before doing an online demonstration.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a way to get yourself a website – it is a way to manage the content on your site, called a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS helps you to write and place photos and other graphics on the website, so that people can see them. WordPress gives you an easily accessible way to perform these tasks. If you don’t have a CMS, you essentially have to go into code, which is aimed at specialised web developers.

What is the difference between and

There is a kind of a myth around WordPress, where it’s thought of as a simple way to get a free website. The truth? You can get a free website but there are strings attached. WordPress started out as a simple way to get a website, but it evolved and developed into a money-generating business.  There are two types of WordPress sites:

Its website states: “At, our mission is to democratise publishing and e-commerce one website at a time.

We’re a hosted version of the opensource software, WordPress. Because when you have the freedom to create, express yourself, and earn money online, the impossible becomes business as usual.”

  • org is the actual software, available as a direct download or through a third-party hosting service. You get a domain that looks like this:

Its website states: “Get WordPress. Everything you need to set up your site just the way you want it.” It gives you two options, “Download and install it yourself – for anyone comfortable getting their own hosting and domain” or “Set up with a hosting provider – for anyone looking for the simplest way to start.”

If you want a website that represent your business in a professional way, you need it via a third-party organisation. If you just want to share information, you can go the simpler route.

 How to decide which one you want?
  •  It’s free
  • Set-up is relatively easy
  • The web address doesn’t look very professional
  • WordPress can serve their own ads on your site
  • They’ll push you to take their hosting option
  • It offers a limited version of WordPress
  • You’ll have to choose a hosting provider
  • You’ll have to register and pay for a domain
  • You’ll have to do some set-up inside that hosting company’s site, and pay them for a hosting package
  • You get a professional site
  • You get all the WordPress bells and whistles

Do your homework

Whatever you decide to do, first do your homework before you sit down to build your website. Think about what you want to say and what visuals you want to use.

  • Words – Ask yourself the following questions. Do you have a name for your business? What would your domain be? Do you have a tagline? A paragraph of text that describes what you do? Do you have a mission statement?
  • Visuals – Do you have a logo? Do you want one? Do you have brand colours? If not, what colours do you want to use? What fonts do you like? Do you have quality photos and other visuals that you want to use on your site? Get all your written and visual content ready to just insert when you build the site.

Play and ask for help

To get into the world of hosting, simply Google: “host companies in South Africa,” visit their websites, go to their Help Centres and type in “WordPress,” follow the prompts and start playing. There are lots of online help available. Find videos and tutorials on

Remember, if you do something wrong, no one is looking at your site and you cannot break it. It will be much less intimidating if you adopt the attitude of playing and experimenting. You can even select the option “discourage search engines to discover this site.” When you are ready to share it with the world, untick this option and start sharing it on social media and use it as the marketing tool you intend it to be.


  • Domain – The “address” of your website:, or
  • Hosting – The company where your website is kept. You can regard it as the house it lives in.

The code has to live somewhere for people to access it on the internet. Generally, you pay a company to host your site.

  • Internet Service Provider (ISP) – It is the company that provides you with the internet, bringing the internet to your devices.
  • Front-end – The website that you see e.g., the colours, text and visuals.
  • Back-end – The code, or the interface that you use to work on the site. People go into the back-end to administer the website, make changes or add content and visuals.