Advice to a WordPress Beginner on Creating a Restaurant Website

The Geneva WordPress meetup group that I started in May 2012 is doing great (if you are in Geneva, you should totally join us). I always mean to blog more about things we’ve been doing and people I’ve been meeting, but between working for Automattic (by the way, did you know that we are hiring?), chasing a toddler, and traveling a lot, this type of blogging perpetually gets pushed down my priority list. At the same time, I email people a fair bit, so I figured I’d look through my emails for writing material.

I met a very enterprising woman at our Tuesday meetup (which, by the way had some interesting discussion — notes are hand-written because I did not want to be distracted by the laptop, and the drinks afterwards were my favorite part — but I digress). She wants to start a small takeout delivery/kitchen business in Geneva because, as she put it, “It is cold, and they you go out and spend 60 francs per person for dinner, and you are still hungry! I want to make some good, hearty food that would be great for the winter and not break your budget!” I think this is an awesome business idea.

Since the business is still in the conception stage, I recommended that she open a free WordPress.com account and put up a very basic site with menu information, owner information, and a contact page. I said that she was welcome to email me and that I would send her some tips and links.

She did get in touch, and I started putting together a list of support links about making a static front page, adding a contact form, working with images, etcetera. Then I remembered that a couple of months ago, the Restaurants vertical was launched on WordPress.com to meet exactly this kind of need: creating restaurant websites quickly and easily.

Aha! Suddenly, my email advice to her got much shorter. This is what I ended up sending:

Nice meeting you in person on Tuesday. As we chatted about, here are some ideas to set up a simple website for your business:

  1. Create an account on WordPress.com, getting started on the Restaurants page. It will walk you through creating a simple website for your restaurant/kitchen, including a menu page and a contact form. You can always make any changes you like afterwards.
  2. Get a hang of the fundamentals of WordPress by reading through 10 easy lessons, with screenshots and videos. You’ll thank me later.
  3. Start tweaking your site to make it look what you want it to look like, and if you have any questions, consult support documents or ask other users in our very active community forums.

Let me know once you have a basic site up and running – I’ll be very curious to have a look! And of course I’d be interested in trying out your dumplings once you’ve started your kitchen business.

I am very curious to see what my new friend comes up with — the site and the dumplings!

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