Believe it or not, but learning how to make a website from scratch is one of the most important skills that you can learn as a small business owner in this day and age.
Just bear with me! Here’s the reason:
If you know how to make and design your own website, you’ll save a lot of money on web designers and developers.
This will also encourage you to track the industry trends and put new stuff on your website without the support of the developer.
You will easily remain ahead of your rivals because, while their projects are slowed down by the need to consult with developers, you’ll be able to build most of the stuff yourself.
With that being said, the most critical piece of information here is that you can learn how to build a WordPress platform and then create something cool for your company or project all on your own.
The DIY approach where no coding skills are required that we are presenting here is extremely budget-friendly. In reality, you can create and run your website for as little as $35 a year.
Here’s how to create your first website, point by point:
Choose WordPress As Your Site Platform
Truth be told, there are a lot of website technologies that you can use when creating a new site – Content Management Systems or CMS is what they’re typically called.
The purpose of a CMS is to provide you with some easy-to-use software so that you can edit the content that’s on your site without any knowledge of coding. Most of them – from the user’s point of view – looks like familiar interfaces like Facebook or Google Docs. Basically, you create new websites or documents, and then you post them on the internet.
But enough of the technicalities! As I said, there are a lot of CMS out there – more than 100, in fact, as Wikipedia says.
Luckily, though, to pick the best one is easy. There’s just one king at the top of the hill, and it’s WordPress.
WordPress is being used on more than 34% of all websites (data says). Again, this is all websites!
Or, to put it differently, roughly every one of the three sites you visit is built on WordPress.
Here are the key WordPress details:
- It is open source
- It is free
- It is the ultimate DIY solution for building a website
- It is extra versatile – it can run any kind of website
- Quick, optimised, and secure
- SEO-ready – makes promotion easier
Now, one vital distinction; the “WordPress” we’re talking about here is “WordPress, the software.” You can find it by going to WordPress.org.
There’s also another WordPress flavour – “WordPress, a commercial site” that you can find if you’re going to WordPress.com. We’re currently explaining the variations between the two.
But For now, let’s just remember that what we want is a WordPress.org version, because it’s a more versatile and affordable version of the platform. In the next steps, this will all become apparent.
Action Statement. There is no workable task you need to do at this stage. Step 1 is just about getting acquainted with the tool you are going to use to build your site in the next steps.
Pick A Name For Your Site & Buy Your Domain & Hosting
When you learn how to create a website, choosing a name is probably the most fun part of the whole operation.
You have full freedom here. You can basically use whatever name you like on your site.
There are, however, still some things you need to learn to set yourself up for success later.
First of all, there are almost 2 billion websites online (at the time of writing). In other words, the remaining original can be very difficult.
It’s a very good idea to create the name of your website (and thus your domain name) around the name of your company which is the most obvious approach or the term associated with the niche you’re in, along with some additional terms to boost branding.
In short, a strong domain name should be as follows:
- Brandable – original sounding, like nothing else on the market.
- Simple to memorize
- Short – those are easier to remember, too.
- It should be easy to type and hard to mix up – you don’t want people to not be able to spell the name of your website.
- Including niche-related keywords – for example, if you do something about pizza, it would be nice to have “pizza” somewhere in the URL of the site; it works the same in non-pizza industries too though.
The next step, once you know the website address you want to register, is to purchase it and a hosting package in one go. Let’s take a look at that next:
a) Buying your domain name and hosting
Although items like buying a hosting package can sound overwhelming at first, there’s actually nothing to worry about. The method that we are addressing here is streamlined and does not require you to do any heavy-duty technical work.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different companies that can register a new domain name for you. Then there are also a lot of companies that can give you a hosting plan.
But let’s not complicate things for ourselves, but instead, let’s get everything from one company all at the same time.
We’re going to be using Bluehost. Here’s the reason:
Bluehost is a reliable web host that is designed for WordPress and guarantees that the website runs without any hiccups.
This is one of the few businesses endorsed on the official WordPress.org website.
Cheap prices (from $2.95 / month)
It’s easy to use and easy to use for beginners.
You get a domain name free of charge.
Here’s what we are going to do:
We’re going to go to Bluehost and choose a hosting plan for our website.
We will also register a domain name with Bluehost (the domain is free).
We will tell Bluehost to install and configure a clean version of WordPress on our new hosting framework.
We’re going to end up with a 100% working WordPress website!
Let’s get started. This is how to make a website:
Click here to go to Bluehost first. Once on the page, click the “Choose Plan” button.
In most instances, if you launch a new site, the cheapest plan – called Basic – is going to be more than enough. It’s only $2.95 a month.
For the next step, enter the domain name that you decided to use for your site.
Then fill out your personal details.
Before proceeding, it is important to check and verify the criteria of the hosting setup that you have chosen. It can be found in the package information section:
Notice that if you buy your hosting package for at least 12 months, you will get the lowest price.
You may click on “SUBMIT” at this point and finalize your order.
b) Telling Bluehost to install WordPress for you
Since you’ve signed up to Bluehost now and have your hosting setup ready to go, the only thing missing is WordPress.
While you can theoretically install WordPress manually, why would you do it if you could get other people to for free? Here’s how to:
As soon as you have finished the Bluehost sign-up process, you should have received an email from the Bluehost crew with some information on how to log in to your customer profile and start working on your website.
When logged in, Bluehost will show you a simple-to-use wizard that will guide you through the process of installing WordPress on your hosting system.
You could also install WordPress by going to the My Sites section and clicking the Build Site button:
All that Bluehost needs to install WordPress is the name of your new site and the username/password you’ll use when operating WordPress. When you’ve finished the wizard, your site will be built, and you’ll be ready to get going!
Get familiar with the WordPress UI.
You can sign in to your WordPress user platform when you go to www. YOURDOMAIN.com / wp-admin/
Use the access data you set in Bluehost in the previous stage.
After signing in successfully, you’ll see the WordPress main interface in all its glory.
a) Set permalinks
Permalinks determine how the individual web page addresses – or URLs – are organized inside your domain.
The most structured layout is to have the title of the page in the URL. For example, your “about us” page (more on that page later) should be available under something as easy as YOURSITE.com / about us. Setting up your permalinks correctly will allow you to do that.
To configure your permalinks, go to Settings Allow Permalinks from the main sidebar in your WP dashboard.
Once there select the “post name” setting.
b) Making your site public
I assume you would like Google to be able to easily find and index your website. To make sure this is the case, go to Settings then Reading, and make sure that the box that’s labelled “Discourage Search Engines from indexing this site.” is unchecked.
c) Set your website title and tagline
Go to Settings then General and set the Site Title and Tagline fields to whatever you want.
Your site title and tagline can appear in various locations throughout the website. Some WordPress themes are shown on the homepage and in the SEO overview – which Google uses when they list your website on the search engine results.
Taglines are optional – you can leave it empty if you don’t have a site tagline.
d) Allow or disable comments
It is up to you whether or not you want to accept comments on your website.
On the one hand, allowing readers to leave their opinions and questions on your blogs/pages can be a great way to build a community around the website. But, on the other hand, you’re also going to have your hands full dealing with spam and making sure there’s no trolling.
Whether you end up allowing or disabling comments, this can be done in Discussion Settings.
e) Disable pingbacks and trackbacks
I don’t know why this setting still exists on WordPress. It’s mostly a remnant back in the day when pingbacks and trackbacks were a thing.
However, if you want to learn how to make a website this day and age, you can simply deactivate it by deleting the following settings in Settings then Discussion.
f) Set your time zone
Setting the time zone correctly would make it more convenient to publish new pages and blogs.
Generally, you want to change the time zone to either where you’re at or where your target audience is, whichever one makes more sense.
You can configure the time zone in Settings then clicking General.
We can get to the fun stuff with the simple settings out of the way:
Pick A Theme/Design For Your Website
One of the absolute best things about using WordPress is that it deals with interchangeable styles, called themes.
In other words, you can adjust the way your WordPress website looks with just one click.
a) Pick a theme that you like
As I described, WordPress themes are out-of-the-box design packages that reflect the way your website looks. You can update them easily and, if necessary, alter them in the future.
The critical point here is that themes do not alter the content of your website, but rather alter the presentation.
There’s a vast array of WordPress themes out there. Only looking at the official WordPress.org site, there are hundreds of themes to choose from.
Even though there is a multitude of paid themes out there, free themes are a great way to start with for most users. The interesting thing about some of the best free themes is how many striking features they carry to the table without asking for anything in return.
So, how do you choose a theme that’s perfect for you? Here are some suggestions to give this a more in-depth look. Generally, however, you don’t have to waste too much time on this and go a quick route instead.
We can do that because the theme that you chose today doesn’t have to be your final one. You can still come back to it later and change it in a couple of minutes.
Therefore, we’re going to make a safe bet and use one of the most common free themes on the market today to show how WordPress themes work. This is the theme called Hestia.
Note. Although we’re using Hestia as an example in the following segment, it’s not the only free theme you could use. Here’s our series of theme roundups for a range of purposes, from business websites to blogs, travel, food, personal pages, and more. You may use any of these themes. The method is the same as before.
b) Install your theme
If the theme you’ve selected is available in the official WordPress.org archive, the only thing you need to install is the name of the theme.
Here’s how to install the theme:
Go to Appearance and click “Add New” from your WordPress dashboard.
From there, enter the name of the theme you want to use.
You can see it in the list below in the search section. Then click the Install button under the theme you want:
The theme will be installed after a second. To completely allow this on your website, click the “Activate” button that will appear instead of the “Install” button.
Hestia is one of those themes that provides some excellent onboarding for new users. To see what theme has in store for you, press the Welcome prompt button.
You can see your main Hestia panel from which you can learn about the theme and expand its out-of-box functionality with a few extras. Here, let’s do that.
Next, click the “Recommended Actions” link to see what’s available.
For now, let’s just go with “Orbit Fox Companion” out of the options suggested there. Just press the button “Install and activate”.
Note. Note. Orbit Fox Companion is a plugin for this. We’ll talk more about WordPress plugins later in this guide on how to create a website.
Your new theme is now active on your site at this point. You will see it in motion by simply going to YOURDOMAIN.com.
However, what you’re seeing is far from the potential of the theme. Right now, we’re going to take care of changing the interface, menus, and other elements to make the site look just the way you want it to be. Here’s how to:
c) Customize the theme
Although the out-of-box look of your theme may be pretty good, you can also do some simple customizations to make it suit your needs.
To start, first, go to Appearance then click Customise. There you will see the WordPress Customizer interface.
From there, you can fine-tune a lot of different things. We’re going to start with the homepage since it’s the most popular.
- Go to the sidebar then go to “Homepage Settings.”
- Select option, “A static page” which is under homepage display setting.
- Click “Add New,” to create a new page to be your homepage.
- Type in a name for the page – “HOME” seems like a good idea – and click on “Add.”
This will replace the current collection of the most recent posts on your website with a fully personalized homepage. By default, you’ll see some cool features on your new homepage.
Let’s start by changing the main headline on the website. It’s a smart idea to place there either the name of your company or something else that acts as the title for the web site.
Tap on the pencil icon next to the headline to implement the changes.
When you do this, a control panel will appear on the left.
You will use it to:
- Adjust the background picture – make something relevant to your business
- Adjust the title
- Adjust the text under the title – you can erase it entirely if you want to do so.
- Adjust the text of the button – usually leading to your items or most important pages (more on that in a minute)
Below that, you’ll be able to change some of the other available homepage lines. By default, you’ll get all of these:
- The Features section which is a great place to clarify what your company has to offer or what the purpose of this business is – the “intent” is probably the first thing to keep in mind when you learn how to create a website.
- The About section, which is a great place for you to chat about your story.
- You can use the Team section if you have more people involved in your company and you want to show them.
- The Ribbon is another area where you can discuss your primary call for action.
- The Testimonials section is great if you want to show what your previous customers had to say about your company.
- The Contact section is where you can show your contact details and let people know how best to contact you.
There are more sections that are also available. It’s best to browse through these and select those that make sense to use for your company and in your particular situation.
When you’re finished changing your homepage, don’t forget to click on the big “Publish” button at the top of the page.
Adjusting the typography.
The next thing to do will be to take care of the typography of your website – the fonts used throughout the website.
You can do this by going to Appearance Settings on the WordPress Customizer tab. In there, you’re going to be able to select a font and display it instantly on your screen.
Out of the box, your new theme will use a few primary colours to define its default colour scheme. You can change this setting in the WordPress Customizer. Just click the Colors button in the main sidebar.
Accent Color is usually the colour used for buttons, links, or anything else that is supposed to pop and stand-alone from the rest of the design on the site.
Once you have done the above, your website will start to feel like it’s really yours. You’ll have made all the necessary tune-ups and customizations to make it fit with your brand.
Note. There are far more settings to experiment within the WordPress Customizer. For example, you can:
- Choose the default layout of your website – whether you want the sidebar to be left, right or nowhere,
- However, you want the blog list to be displayed,
- Whether you want the main background image for the whole site,
- The shape of the buttons and a lot more.
Use Plugins To Extend Your Website’s Capabilities.
Plugins are like app that you get on your smartphone but for WordPress.
In other words, they enhance the standard functionality of your website by adding some of the much-needed features. Essentially, as you figure out how to make a website by yourself, plugins are how you can get some great features without knowing anything about coding.
Here are the plugins that you should consider getting – best of all, they’re all free:
- Yoast SEO – lets you boost search engine optimization and make your site more available to search engines in general.
- Google Analytics for WordPress – this one combines the website with the most common web-based traffic analysis tool.
- WordPress Protection – enhances the security of your WordPress account.
- UpdraftPlus – Automatically backups the website
- Optimole – optimizes your photos.
- WPForms – lets you add customizable contact forms to your website that your guests can use to reach you directly.
Also, check out this list of the most common WordPress plugins. You might find something important out there as well.
The installation of plugins is simple. If it’s a free app that we’re working with, then all you need is the name of the app.
Go to your WP dashboard and then go to install new plugins. From there, enter the name of the plugin you want in the search box, and then press “Install” and “Activate.”
Create Basic Pages
There are certain pages that all websites should have, irrespective of their intent or purpose.
But first, how to build a page in the first place:
To do that, just go to your WordPress dashboard, and then click Add New.
Here’s the pages you should consider creating:
- About us – I’ve already discussed this a number of times because it’s really a significant one. Your About us page is where you get to paint a picture of what your website is and why people should pay attention to it. This one page is essentially a must-have for anybody who wants to learn how to create a website.
- Contact us – this is where visitors can see the contact details of your company along with a nice contact form, from which people can reach you directly (you can get this form through the above mentioned WPForms plugin).
- Portfolio – a place to highlight your past work.
- Store – a really important thing if you want to sell something from your website. You will need a common WooCommerce plugin to make this work – the best e-commerce solution for WordPress.
Consider Starting A Blog
A blog (as well as content marketing in general) is one of the best ways to promote your website and any goods that you might want to sell via that website.
It’s not just us saying this; there’s raw data showing that blogs are the best online marketing tool, with 55% of marketers saying that blogging is their top inbound marketing priority.
Running a blog is a simple concept. What you do is publish articles on the subject of your website and do so on a regular basis.
From a technical perspective, WordPress has blogging tools built right from the get-go. In fact, did you know that WordPress started out as a blogging platform?
To make a new blog post, all you need to do is go to the Add New button (from your WordPress dashboard).
The process of creating a blog post is almost the same as creating a new page. The editing panel looks almost the same, and the options are mostly the same.
Among the few differences is that you can assign your posts to categories and tags as well.
When you’ve finished working on a blog post, click “Publish.”
To make your posts easily available, you can select one of your pages to serve as the main mailing list for the blog.
To do this, first, go to Add New Pages and create a blank page. Name it “BLOG”-just to make it transparent.
Then, go to Settings then Reading, and pick your newly created Blog page as “Posts page”.
At this point, you can navigate to the new page and see all of your recent blog posts.
Of course, the hard part about starting a blog is to write blog posts on a regular basis to make them interesting for people to read. Here’s more about how to create a blog!
Adjust Your Site Navigation
With all your main pages online (and maybe your blog started as well), it’s a good time to change your site’s navigation to make it easier for users to absorb.
We’re going to concentrate on two things here:
The menu is the primary vehicle by which tourists access your site, making it important to figure out how to make a website.
Depending on your style, you will have a few choices to choose from for menu settings. Here’s what you can normally do (for example, Hestia):
First, go to the Appearance menu in your WordPress dashboard.
To the left, you will see all of the pages that you may choose to add to the list. To the right, is the configuration of the menu itself and all its settings.
Let’s start by selecting a few main pages and adding them to the menu. It’s a good idea to choose From, Contact us or about us, plus any other one or two pages you consider essential and add them to the menu.
The best thing about this whole panel is that you can drag and drop menu items to rearrange them.
When you’re done, pick the location of the menu at the bottom. Typically, choosing the place labelled “Main Menu” would result in the menu being shown in the top section of the website. Maybe that’s what you want for your main menu. To save the settings, press “Save Menu.”
Note. You may also create additional menus. Simply click on the link “Create a new menu”. This will show you the same setup menu screen. Each menu must be shown in a different location. So, you can add it to this new one as the “Footer Menu.”
You’ll see the menu in order when you go to your site now.
Widgets are an old-school WordPress function. Simply put, a widget is a small block of content that can be shown in different locations around the website.
The normal location of these blocks is in the sidebar or the footer of the website.
To see what this would look like and to set up your widgets, go to Appearance Widgets in your WordPress dashboard.
The Hestia theme provides a variety of widget areas apart from the sidebar or footer, but let’s not concentrate on these additional placements for now.
To add any widget to the widget area, just drag it from the left-hand side and drop it to the right-hand side of your chosen widget area.
After you’ve finished your widgets and navigation, your site is practically ready for the world to see!
THE END! FOR NOW ANYWAYS!
This is it! You just learned how to create a website!
The great thing about the process presented here is that you can do it all by yourself, and you don’t have to recruit anyone. Building a WordPress website as your platform is the most budget-friendly method available.
If this is all abit beyond you or you simply want to focus on your business, why not ask for WordPress Help with a trusted professional.
If you want to discover more about what to do with your website once it is launched – for example, how to promote your website, or how to monetise your website – read any of our other blog guides. If you enjoyed this post, if you found it useful or if you think we have missed something or would like us to cover a specific section in more detail then leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!