Today I am welcoming Jared Rand of Knowledge Roundtable to share more with us about building a website on WordPress. Jared has a really unique looking website that is streamlined and clear as to what he wants users to do. Read this and be sure to check him out. -Adrianne
If you’re ready to build a tutoring website and grow your tutoring business, you’ve come to the right place. This tutorial will guide you from start to finish as you build a site on WordPress. No technical expertise is needed.
Check out Adrianne’s DIY tutor website tool for more help with building your tutoring website.
Why Build a Tutoring Website
You need a website for your tutoring business if you’re ready to move up from working for agencies and directories to working for yourself. Most agencies and directories charge fees and commissions in exchange for bringing you new clients (though my tutoring marketplace is an exception to this rule). With your own tutoring website, you can attract new students without paying a middleman.
Adrianne has lamented that she didn’t use WordPress to build her first website. I was fortunate to have WordPress recommended to me by my brother, who is a professional web designer, when I built The Knowledge Roundtable. Here’s why WordPress is the absolute best platform for building websites.
- Easy to use even for the least technically savvy.
- There are themes and plugins to suit every aesthetic and every functional need.
- It’s open source (free) with a vibrant support and development community.
- Easy to customize and build web apps on top of for advanced programmers.
- Follow the steps below to get your WordPress site up and running.
Step 1: Shared Hosting
If you’re really serious about growing your tutoring business, you will want to purchase a domain name and a shared hosting plan. This will allow you to be master of your own domain, literally, rather than being limited by Blogger, Wix, or one of those other platforms.
Purchasing a domain name usually costs about $10, and most shared hosting plans will cost under $10 per month. I personally recommend DreamHost for the following reasons.
- They have a 1-click WordPress install.
- You can purchase your domain name through them.
- You can start with a small and cheap shared hosting plan, then scale up later if needed.
- I’ve been a happy customer for 4 years.
- There are many other hosting providers, too. Adrianne recommends A Small Orange
Step 2: Install WordPress
Note that you don’t want a WordPress.com website, which is similar to those other platforms in that you don’t actually own your domain. You would get a subdomain like joestutoring.wordpress.com. WordPress.org is where you get the open source platform that you need.
If your hosting service doesn’t have a 1-click install option, installing WordPress is a bit technical. This is why I strongly recommend DreamHost. There is a 5-minute install guide available, but you need to create a MySQL database and use FTP to upload and modify files. You can do these things from your hosting account, but you will need some patience.
Step 3: Install a Theme
A Theme in WordPress is what styles the pages on your site. There are thousands of free themes that will allow you to customize the look and feel of your site and help you present a professional appearance to prospective clients.
To change your site’s theme, go to your Dashboard and click the left menu item that says Appearance. You will see several pre-installed themes that you can switch between. You can also search for other themes published by the WordPress community. If you don’t find one that suits your tastes or functional needs, you might consider purchasing one from ThemeForest. I purchased the theme for The Knowledge Roundtable there for $50. You’ll get more professional looking themes with more functionality on ThemeForest than you’ll get from the free WordPress themes.
Note that most themes will heavily control your homepage. The next section discusses creating other pages, but your choice of theme will largely determine how your homepage looks. Make sure you pick a theme that allows you to create a homepage that quickly conveys your primary message to students that you are a highly-qualified tutor available to help.
Step 4: Create Pages
The last step is to populate your site with content. Go back to your Dashboard and hover over the top menu item that says +New, and then click Page. I recommend creating a page for each of the following.
About – A page to discuss your background and availability for tutoring. Include your education and teaching experience.
Services – A page to discuss what particular tutoring services you offer. Include subjects, grade level, and location.
Contact – A page to invite prospective clients to contact you about arranging a session. Your theme should have a contact form tool. If not, you can install a contact form plugin.
To make full use of your WordPress site, I also highly recommend writing blog articles to demonstrate your knowledge and interests. To write your first post, go to your Dashboard and hover over the top menu item that says +New, and then click Post.
Step 5: Market Your New Website
Congratulations, you now have your own tutoring website! A website is a powerful marketing tool when used properly. I’ve written about how to market your tutoring website before. Here are some key takeaways.
Create profiles that allow backlinks to your site
- Reach out to other website owners and build partnerships
- Write good content on your site and hope that others link to it
- Advertise intelligently
- Measure website visitor behavior and be ready to adapt
Jared Rand is founder of The Knowledge Roundtable, a free tutoring marketplace and helps tutors find more clients. The site is 100% commission and subscription free for students and tutors.
Jared has a B.S. in Astronomy and Physics from UMass Amherst and an MBA in Advanced Financial Analytics, also from UMass. He has experience writing interactive math problems and solutions and has worked as a full-time tutor. He now has a day job in Boston, MA as a Big Data Analyst while continuing to manage The Knowledge Roundtable.