If you’re looking to start up any sort of freelancing business, a website is an invaluable tool. It’s how you’ll establish an online presence and attract clients. However, if you’re not a developer you may be unsure how to put together a freelance WordPress website.
Fortunately, creating a website is easier now than ever. There are plenty of tools that make the task simple, and you can get a site up and running in hours. This means you can quickly get back to what’s most important – actually running your business.
Why you’ll want to use WordPress to build your freelance website
We’ve already mentioned WordPress a few times, and you may be wondering why. In fact, WordPress is by far the most popular choice for building websites in general and it’s also ideal for this specific application.
Here are just a few of the reasons a freelance WordPress website can serve you well:
- WordPress is very beginner-friendly. No matter what your particular skill set is, it’s possible to create an attractive and functional site.
- The platform has been designed to prioritize ease of use. Setting up your website is quick and easy. What’s more, adding new content and maintaining it over time won’t take much effort.
- The community offers lots of tools for customizing your site. Even if your website is simple, you don’t want it to be generic. Using themes and plugins (which we’ll talk about more later), you can design your site to match your specific taste and requirements.
Best of all, WordPress is completely free. This is essential for most freelancers who are just starting out since your budget is likely to be small (or nonexistent). While WordPress isn’t the only platform you can use for your freelance website, it’s highly recommended.
How to build a freelance WordPress website (in 3 steps)
At this point, you’re probably itching to get started with building your freelance WordPress website. We’re going to walk you through the three most important steps now, so you can get your site up and running quickly.
Step 1: Set up a basic WordPress website
Let’s start by running through a few tasks you’ll need to complete when building any type of website. First, you’ll have to:
- Choose a domain name
- Pick a hosting provider
- Install WordPress
Your site’s domain name is the core of its URL – e.g.
Changing this down the line is a pain, so you’ll want to spend some time coming up with the perfect domain. Many freelancers opt to use their own name, or the name of their business, which are both solid approaches. Regardless, make sure to keep your chosen domain simple and memorable. If you need help brainstorming, you can use a domain name generator.
You’ll also need to sign up for a hosting plan to get your site online. There are many types of hosting, but a low-cost shared plan should be more than sufficient for your freelance WordPress website. Carefully choosing the hosting company is also important – if possible, opt for a host that offers WordPress-specific packages.
Finally, you’ll need to actually install the WordPress software. If you choose a WordPress-focused host, they should give you an option to automatically install WordPress, which is the best approach. But there are also plenty of other ways that you can install WordPress.
Step 2: Customize your site’s appearance with a theme
At this point, your new site will be very basic. To shape it into a freelance WordPress website, you’ll want to give some attention to its appearance.
You can do this is by choosing the right WordPress theme, which changes the layout and look of your site. While WordPress includes a few default themes, you’ll almost certainly want to use a less generic option.
Fortunately, there are thousands of WordPress themes available. While you can simply use one that strikes your fancy, we recommend opting for one that matches the niche of your freelance website.
For example, if you’re a freelance photographer, you’ll want to look for photography-focused themes. This will provide you with an appearance and layout that’s perfectly suited to your business. What’s more, these kinds of niche themes often come with additional features that will come in handy – for instance, a photography theme may include advanced image gallery functionality.
As for where to find these themes, one option is the WordPress.org Theme Directory. Everything there is free and has been vetted for quality. If your budget permits, you can also branch out and check out some premium themes. Both free and premium themes are viable options, but there are some differences.
Finally, don’t forget that you can customize your chosen theme to better suit your unique needs. Every theme is different, so you’ll want to check out its documentation to see what all the options are. However, your first stop should almost always be the WordPress Customizer, where you can make a lot of simple changes that will personalize your website.
Step 3: Add content to your website
This final step is the most time-intensive, and arguably the most important. Once your website is set up and you have its look just right, you’re ready to start filling it up with content.
Exactly how you proceed here will (and should) be based on your unique goals, niche, and business. However, there are some key elements that any freelance WordPress website should take into account.
As you build out your site, make sure to consider the following:
- Include all the essential pages. It’s vital to start with the basics, and that means ensuring that your site has all the core pages a freelance website needs. Even if you’re keeping things simple (which is recommended), you should at least include a home page, a page with information about your business, a contact page, and a page listing the services you offer.
- Create a portfolio of your work. The best way to convince potential clients to give you a chance is by providing examples of your past work. However, don’t try to include too much, or you risk overwhelming visitors. Instead, pick out a handful of your best projects, and show them off on a dedicated page along with descriptions and images.
- Showcase testimonials, awards, certifications, etc. There are a lot of freelancers out there, and convincing people to work with you isn’t always easy. As such, you’ll want to highlight any other motivating elements that are relevant. In particular, strategically placing a few testimonials from some (happy) past clients is a must.
- Incorporate a strong Call To Action (CTA). A CTA is an element that tells your site’s visitors exactly what you want them to do. Otherwise, you risk them leaving without doing anything at all. In most cases, the action you want them to take is contacting you, so you’ll want to make sure to direct them to your contact page using a prominent message.
- Add more functionality with plugins (if needed). We’ve talked about themes already and we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention plugins. Like themes, these can also be installed on your site, but instead of altering its appearance they add new features. We highly recommend exploring the WordPress.org Plugin Directory for tools that can add niche-specific functionality to your site and there are also some must-have plugins that all sites should use.
You don’t have to stop here, of course – you can add anything you want to your freelance WordPress website. However, we do suggest keeping it as straightforward as possible, and not overcrowding your site with information and features.
For each element you want to include, ask yourself this question first: Will this addition help convince people to hire me, or simply distract them from my core message?
When it comes to building your freelance business, simple networking and emailing isn’t likely to be enough. You’ll also want to establish an online presence so potential clients can find you, learn about what you do, and get in touch easily.
Fortunately, creating a freelance WordPress website that does all those things is simple. You’ll just need to:
- Set up a basic WordPress website.
- Customize your site’s look.
- Add content to your website.
Do you have any questions about how to create an effective freelance website? Ask away in the comments section below!