Wordpress DIY

wordpress DIY

If you want to try your hand at creating your own website here are my WordPress DIY Recommendations for 2020.

I offer 1 on 1 website development and digital marketing coaching if you get stuck and need some help.

Whilst some of the products I mention in this blog I use myself, some are my student’s preferred options.

Why WordPress?

WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com) is an open source content management software (CMS) that currently powers over 35% of all websites on the Internet.

The WordPress.org Community is contributed to by thousands of developers all over the world and is growing from strength to strength. WordPress allows you to develop flexible and customisable websites with Google best practises so it’s the best choice for SEO if that’s something that interests you.

Whilst WordPress has the steepest learning curve of all the Website systems, I promise it’s worth it. My WordPress DIY list gives you a good start on themes and plugins to use so you won’t end up with a slow, clunky site.

The Benefits of Using WordPress

  • Search Engines love WordPress
  • You have control of your site and content
  • The design and functionality of your website is 100% customisable and scalable
  • You can manage your site anywhere from a computer, tablet or mobile phone

If you want to create something, you can, there are no limitations to what you can have on your website and as you own the site and the content.

Owning your own website is the only way to be assured of having a virtual home and brand long term.

The WordPress community is thousands of web developers sharing their themes, plugins and widgets and using WordPress allows you to tap into this collective intelligence and create your ideas and dreams.

So many choices can be a blessing and a curse, if you don’t research and make choices on the fly it can impact your website’s performance & UX greatly.

Slow WordPress Websites are often due to poor quality hosting, badly coded themes and excessive use of plugins or use of poor performing plugins.

I wrote a blog on website builders last year if you want to see my comparison of Wix vs Squarespace vs WordPress.

WordPress DIY Hosting

Super cheap for & high quality for single websites.  One of the bigger & better known hosting companies in the world.  24/7 customer care with an easy to use customer panel.
I suggest buying a year or longer at this great price, add the malware scan to keep your site safe too.
A year of hosting for 1 site + security protection is going to cost you around $100. Bargain!
They have starter sites that you can use to get yourself online quickly.
Add a starter site, put in your own content and you can be online in a day 🙂

Needs more technical know-how than shared hosting services but it’s blazing fast & worth the learning curve involved.  If you aren’t very tech-savvy, this one isn’t for you sorry. We use Cloudways for our owns sites and with our clients’ maintenance plans.

High Quality Hosting with an Australian Data Centre. Great for multiple websites.  Blazing fast site speed and excellent customer care.  Super friendly and very helpful.

WordPress DIY Themes

Once you have installed WordPress, in the Dashboard Themes area there are 100s of Free Theme Options.

It can be hard to know which theme to choose. I have been developing in WordPress for years and regularly tutor students in WordPress. One of the themes that everyone seems to find the easiest to use is OceanWP.

There are 1000s of free themes but not all themes are good. Stay clear of places like ThemeForest Marketplace as there are many untested and terribly coded themes and that is the last thing you want.

WordPress Themes are primarily freemium. OceanWP is a lightweight theme with a huge amount of functionality and quality coding (important for SEO) – There is a free version that includes most of what you need, social links, form etc. The paid version has some excellent additions such as the Instagram feed plugin & sticky header.

Great lightweight theme with fantastic options such an instagram feed, sticky header and much more.

I am using Astra Pro on this website as it’s my personal preferred Theme, however, it’s not as easy to use as OceanWP for beginners. If you are not experienced with web design or development, the starter sites are really great and there is plenty of choices.

Add Some Pretty Things

A Web Designers Secret – This fantastic marketplace has all the pretty things you can buy like fonts and ready-made logos.

The Best Market Place for Stock Images + they have some great blogs and tools. I regularly use the Color Schemes Tool to help me with the colour palette inspiration.

The free version of Elementor is great but when you buy pro you can do so much more. Elementor has its own theme called Hello which is a very bare theme that is great if you don’t really want a theme.

In my opinion the best WordPress caching plugin on the market.  If you care about site speed you want to add WPRocket, nothing beats it

Helps you to take control of your calendar with online bookings for meetings and events. Also takes care of payments

Ultimate Adds on Gutenberg

These days everyone raves about Elementor, as it is the best page builder on the market. However, I am a web developer of 30 years and a technical SEO so I care about some nerdy things that newer designers may not have knowledge in. I use Gutenberg (the WordPress editor) and UAG in the place of Elementor wherever I can. My blogs are all done with Gutenberg & UAG.


A Security Plugin is a good idea and the free version of Wordfence is all you really need to keep your site safe and secure.

Duplicate Page 

Does exactly it says, duplicates the page or post so you can keep your layouts consistent.


The best Image Optimiser on the market.

Lara’s Google Analytics 

Not only does it have a great name, it’s very good GA plugin + lightweight & easy to use.  I prefer to use code for GA but this is a great tool for newbies.

Yoast SEO Plugin

The most popular SEO plugin. Yoast has excellent tutorials and courses too. Will Yoast shoot your site to page 1 for all the keywords you want? No, but it handles a lot of things for you need for SEO such as XML sitemap, Meta data etc.


Manage all your website files with this easy to use WordPress file manager Plugin. No need to use FTP, see all your site files in your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress DIY SEO

One of my favourite tools for SEO has a 7-day FREE trial. Run your website through the Audit tool and see what things you can do to help your SEO.

I hope you found this WordPress DIY blog helpful.

Until Next Time.

Lara Blog Signature

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