If you’re thinking about building a WordPress website, you’re probably wondering how to make it really, really terrible. Why else would you be building your own website when you’re not a developer?
Here’s a few starter points for ya.
First, buy hosting.
The best hosting you can possibly buy to make a terrible WordPress website is GoDaddy. Go ahead and purchase their cheapest plan, it’s about $2.49 a month, and it comes with a nicely bogged down shared server and lots of great tips and suggestions on how to build yourself a mediocre online business. Plus, they have cool Super Bowl commercials!
Make sure that you use the GoDaddy WordPress installation functionality, it will set you up a nice WordPress website that is any future developer’s nightmare to work on.
Next, shop around for a theme.
The best themes to look for if you really want a terrible WordPress website are the ones that are really laden with LOTS of animations, like to the point that you feel like you just got back from a road trip with Hunter S. Thompson when you visit the site. Because a dazed and confused site visitor = the best kind of visitor. (More likely to make confused purchases).
My personal favorite terrible WordPress theme is Kallyas. It has everything you could ever want in an awful theme — a loading screen (for extra browser bogging), elements that all load in via jQuery (because jQuery is the best framework for wannabe JS devs), a PAGE BUILDER (page builders reeeaallllyy make a site nice and slow), and best of all, it’s a paid theme! Plus, you don’t need to hire any of those fancy pants “real” developers, you know, the ones who write code and stuff. This is the age of Wix guys, no need to pay a real developer any more.
After installing your shiny new theme, you should probably figure out what you want to do with your website. That’s where plugins come in. If you don’t know already, plugins are to websites what most survival gear is to survivalists — they’re fancy and can wow you in the moment, but you most likely don’t really need them. Which is great for a terrible website!
Want to add a feed to every social media account you have? You probably should. Make sure you get a separate plugin for each one. Want your visitors to know how many other visitors are online 😮 ? Head over to the plugin repository! There are far too many goodies to list here, so the best advice I can give yours to head over to the “Most Popular” plugins page to check out what the kids are using these days. I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t download the first three pages of plugins at a minimum.
Moving on to some of the less important aspects of maintaining your website — security. I almost didn’t even include this section because when it comes to making a 1 star terrible WordPress site, it shouldn’t even be taken into account. But there are a few things that you should avoid doing to minimize security on your site, and what you can do as well.
- Never change the location of your login page. If there’s one plugin you shouldn’t download, it’s one that changes your login page from “/wp-admin” to something less obvious. The only downfall to this is that it might make it more user-friendly when it comes to logging in to the site, but hey, you can’t have it all in life.
- Always use the username “Admin”.
- Never use the long, random character password that WP will try to give you when initially setting up your site. Dumb that thing down enough for your 2 year old to remember. Don’t have kids? Dumb it down enough that you could use it as a command for your dog.
- Never install a security plugin. I know it’s tempting, because they can really use a lot of bandwidth, but trust me, the fewer security measures, the worse your site will be.
Use images. BIG images.
I recommend finding lots of large images that you can add in just about every page. Browsers really hate big images and so do users, so it’s a lose-lose. Alternatively, you can upload really small images, but in a place where they’ll be REALLY stretched out to fill the whole space. If you can find a hero section that’s approximately 400px X 1040px, and add in a hero image that’s around 300px X 500px, you’re golden. Either way, make sure you don’t add any titles, descriptions, or alt text to them, otherwise you could end up being ranked favorably in search engines.
Use Yoast SEO completely incorrectly.
If you do things just wrong, you can really leverage Yoast SEO to your site’s disadvantage, slowing your site down and providing no SEO value whatsoever. Here’s how.
- Target everyone. If you write a post about how to start a Justin Bieber fan club, make sure you target everyone, including 45 year old males from Texas. It’s only common sense.
- Don’t use any of the other settings. You might actually increase rankings, which is just terrible. Or — not terrible.
You’ve got a pretty good rundown on how to make a terrible WordPress website now. If you want to get some extra credit, learn a teeny bit of HTML/CSS/maybe some jQuery, and play around with the theme files, make some edits, you could even try to edit some of the plugins. That way when you update (not recommended but sometimes it’s necessary), all of your changes will be overwritten and your site will most likely become even worse.
OH, YOU DON’T WANT A TERRIBLE WEBSITE?
Then hire build/create. Just kidding. No, seriously. It’s almost holiday season.