Site Structure – Create a WordPress Website

Content Management Systems

For most people, building your site from scratch is a really bad idea. Even if you have the technical know-how it would be a waste of time since there are already so many great Content Management Systems (CMS) out there. A CMS is a tool that helps you manage the creation and updating of your website. Such a tool uses databases and web programming languages, such as PHP, to give you a dynamic site. With a dynamic site your pages are generated dynamically, and so there is no need to have any static HTML files on your server. A CMS site basically consists of:

  • Template – A handful of template files describing the site’s structure and design.
  • Style – A CSS style sheet describing the site’s style information.
  • Database – A database containing the web pages’ text content, among many other things.
  • Components – Images and other static components used by your site.

WordPress

The one CMS I would recommend above all others is WordPress (WP). Although initially created specifically for building blogs, WordPress has since evolved into a powerful CMS capable of running just about any type of site. It is built with PHP and is both free and open source. Some more reasons for choosing WP include:

  • Easy to use – Updating your site is simple. You do not even need to know HTML.
  • Customizable – A huge community of developers creating free themes and plug-ins that you can use to customize your site.
  • Support – Because of its popularity, finding support and getting help is very easy.
  • SEO – It makes it easy to apply the many search engine optimization techniques that will be talked about later.

The WordPress Codex contains the official documentation for WordPress. It is well organized and lets you easily find anything you need to know about WP. Some important pages you may want to look through in the WP Codex include:

Site Pages

In terms of an online business website, you can categorize your web pages into four categories:

  • Content pages – Their purpose is to attract visitors to your site and to keep them there.
  • Navigation pages – Pages containing mainly links to other internal pages.
  • Sales pages – Product or service selling pages aimed at converting visitors into customers.
  • Credibility pages – Pages whose main purpose is to boost the site’s credibility and thereby achieve higher conversion rates.

Each of these will be covered in detail in later chapters. Generally, you want your site to include all of these page types irrespective of whether you have a Content site or an Ecommerce site.

An Ecommerce site is focused on Sales pages. However, it can be supplemented with Content pages, because these are easier to market and help drive traffic to the site. Additionally, Content pages lend your site more credibility and authority as well as help build your brand.

Similarly, a Content site can add Sales pages to increase its revenue. This helps the site capitalize on its traffic, which is often much greater than that of an Ecommerce site.