A new PACS year has kicked off. Well, to be honest, it actually kicked off last month, but I had a scheduling conflict and wasn’t able to participate IN OUR FIRST IN-PERSON EVENT IN ALMOST 3 YEARS. My apologies for the senior moment. We’re back on track now.
This PACS season we are going to spend a bit of time learning how to get a new site up and running. We will start with nothing except a browser and an internet connection. The goal is to help you build something from which you can learn a bit about WordPress, hosting, migration, backups, maintenance and a few other things thrown in.
Today’s Topic: A ‘How-To’ on building a site from scratch for free.
Build a starter website using free tools.
There are a lot of options you have when building a new WordPress website. We are going to look at a few and then settle on one to dive deeper into.
To build a new website, you could:
- Create a new site on your current website host.
- Build the site on your local computer using any one of the available development environments:
- Use an online service, such as:
We are going to look at InstaWP today.
There are pluses and minuses to any of the services. For the purpose of today’s How-to, we are going to use the Free tier of InstaWP.
- no cost
- no software to install on your computer
- runs in your browser
- site available for 7 days on free plan
- share it with someone to help
What will our little website do? What are we going to build?
We are going to build a WordPress website to introduce my service business to the interwebs. Let ‘s say that it is a cleaning service that works in my local geographical area, pretty much limited to my zip code.
- Build the website using Kadence WP. It is a free theme with premium options. Also available on wordpress.org at https://wordpress.org/plugins/kadence-blocks/.
- Add a few plugins to expand the Kadence WP capabilities and jump start our website.
We start by visiting the InstaWP site and create a new account. The Free plan offers everything we need to get started.
InstaWP setup steps
- Create new website on InstaWP using their dashboard. There are a number of templates available for us to use. We are going to start with a clean WordPress site.
- Log into site on InstaWP and view user portal
- Install Kadence theme and activate it.
- Install Kadence WP Starter templates plugin
- Install Kadence Blocks plugin
Access WordPress Dashboard
Now that we have created a new WordPress website on InstaWP we want to start customizing the design using Kadence Starter templates and the Kadence Blocks plugin.
- Review settings | Getting Started.
- Browse starter templates | Select Free to get started
- Browse / change palette
- Change typography
- Import Single Page
- Import Full Site
- Change Color Palette | #2 | ![[Pasted image 20230915161558.png]]
Set Up Starter Template
- Demo Cleaning Service
- Open Contact page in block editor
- Modify Phone, email, address -> set URLs,
- Review settings on Info Box – turn items on/off
- Click into form block
- Review settings and email notifications.
- Open Contact page in block editor
- Change color pallet
Visit Our New Website
Our new website lives at this domain: https://wild-whale-eujnh.instawp.xyz/. Kind of rolls right off your tongue, doesn’t it? Remember, it’s a very temporary domain. The free plan holds these sites for you for 7 days. In fact, it may already be gone depending on when you read this post.
Saving Your Work
We ran out of time for this portion of the session. We quickly installed the UpdraftPlus plugin from wordpress.org and ran a quick backup of the site on InstaWP. The backup files are saved on our 1GB of space that InstaWP provides with each new account. We then downloaded the backup files from the cloud to our local computer. We can then use these backup files to migrate the cloud website to a local development environment, or to another web hosting service where we want to install our new WordPress website.
- Wrapping up
- Install UpdraftPlus backup
- Skip wizard
- Download backup files
In November we will recreate the website on our local environment and try customizing it a little.
Featured Image Notes
The featured image on this post was generated by Adobe AI. I submitted this prompt to ChatGPT, and it provided a cool alternative to use for my drawing AI.
Prompt: Draw a graphic of a robot sitting at a laptop creating a wordpress website. The robot should be happy. A WordPress logo should display on the screen of the laptop. The robot is sitting in a coffee shop while doing this. ChatGPT
Response: I’m a text-based AI model and cannot create visual graphics or images. However, I can help you with a textual description of the scene, and you can use that description to guide an artist or use graphic design software to create the image you’re looking for.
Description: In a cozy coffee shop, we see a happy robot sitting at a wooden table. The robot has a friendly, smiling expression on its metallic face. It’s comfortably seated in a chair with its metallic fingers deftly typing on a sleek laptop placed in front of it. On the laptop screen, the WordPress logo is prominently displayed, and you can see the robot working on building a WordPress website. The coffee shop has a warm and inviting atmosphere, with a barista behind the counter and other patrons enjoying their coffee at nearby tables. The robot seems completely engrossed in its web development work and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air.
You can provide this description to an artist or use graphic design software to create the visual representation you have in mind.
I then used the provided ‘Description’ in Adobe FireFly to create the image. Pretty cool.