About This Step-by-Step Guide
- Made for beginners
- Platform Specific (WordPress)
3 Simple Steps to Create Your Own Website
Step #1: Choose The Platform for your Website
In order to build a website, you first need to decide which platform to use for your website.
What does “platform” mean?
The majority of people still believe that creating a website requires extensive coding and design skills – but this is no longer true.
15-20 years ago, learning HTML (code), CSS, and PHP required a significant amount of time and was difficult to master. However, technology has advanced.
In 2021, creating a website using content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress has made it possible for anyone to create a website.
Simply put, a CMS (or website building platform) is a user-friendly platform for creating websites and managing your own online content without having any prior knowledge of HTML, PHP, or other coding languages.
Why choose WordPress and not website builders?
- 1. It’s FREE (and it’s open-source)
In contrast to other website builders or software designers, WordPress costs no download, install, or use. It’s built and maintained by Web developers, and a broad community of developers has designed amazing and beautiful free themes (templates) which make selecting and going so simple and convenient.
- 2. It’s highly customizable and user-friendly
You already know how to add your own content if you know how to use Microsoft Office or Google Docs. With free plugins (add-ons) you can easily extend WordPress to handle almost every site you want to create – from small business websites (or even blogs) to e-commerce websites. You can add (and customise) your own contact forms, subscription form, gallery image gallery, store and so on to your website by means of WordPress plugins. And it’s pretty simple and easy.
- 3. Your site is going to be ‘responsive.’ It will adjust automatically when you see it on smartphones and tablets.
The website you create will be responsive immediately, look good on each mobile device, smartphone and tablet. And yes, these themes are free, too. There’s no need to hire a web developer.
- 4. WordPress community support is available.
WordPress is the most widely used platform on the planet. When you needed help (or a solution), it was simple to find. Simply Google it or search the internet for it. You can also contact me by clicking here if you have any WordPress-related questions.
Are there good WordPress alternatives?
There are a few of them out there. But, if I had to do it all over again, I’d go with WordPress. Here are some of the alternatives, along with a brief summary of each.
- Wix -a website builder with a simple drag-and-drop interface that is unsuitable for larger websites and makes it impossible to migrate your website if the need arises It also has a higher price tag.
- Squarespace – The website builder, which makes it simple to create beautiful websites, does not have a function to migrate your website out. It also has a higher monthly cost.
- Drupal – a powerful platform that is popular among experienced coders and web developers, but it has a steep learning curve, making it unsuitable for beginners.
- Joomla – It’s similar to WordPress for website creation, but it does require some basic knowledge of how to write code to make things work the way you want them to.
WHAT SHOULD BE THE NEXT STEP?
You don’t need to go searching for WordPress right now. Just read it through first. You do not need to install or download it right now. To ensure that your website is properly configured, follow the steps outlined below:
In Step 2, I’ll walk you through the process of selecting a domain name and locating a hosting space for your website.
In Step 3, I’ll walk you through installing and customising your WordPress website. Don’t worry, I’ll guide you through the steps.
Step 2: Find a Domain Name and a Web Hosting Provider
You will need two things in order to launch a new website:
- 1. A domain name (a web address(URL) like yoursitename.com)
- 2. Website Hosting (a hosting that connects your site to the internet)
Although the WordPress platform is free, hosting and domain name registration are not. However, the total monthly cost is still less than a cup of coffee, at around $3 – $5.
It is necessary to have your own domain name in order to appear professional, rather than using a free domain that belongs to someone else (for example, yourbusiness.others-people-website.com)
Having a good (and fast) hosting service will also help you ensure that your website does not go down and loads quickly (very important for anyone who visits your websites.)
Where can I get a domain name and hosting?
For myself, I’ve mostly used GoDaddy.com as a domain registrar. GoDaddy.com has one of the most domain extension options available.
In terms of web hosting, I’ve primarily used A2Hosting.com for the majority of my web development projects. A2Hosting website hosting is less expensive than a movie ticket ($2.99/month).
Of course, you can try other web hosting providers or even host your business website yourself, but this can be a time-consuming process that often results in your website visitors being unable to access it. So, save yourself some time and money by getting a good web host.
You can also get a professional email account(s) with your own domain name, such as yourname@YourBusinessWebsite.com – this is far more professional than a regular Yahoo or Gmail address, especially if you need multiple email accounts. It will give the recipients of your emails the impression that you and your company are genuine and real.
If you already own a domain name and web hosting? Skip ahead to step 3, where I’ll explain how to set up your website.
What kind of domain name should I choose?
There are a few rules you should follow when selecting your domain name:
- If you’re creating a business website, your domain name should be the same as your company name. For instance, YourCompanyName.com (If this is already taken, you can go to GoDaddy for more extensions.)
- If you want to create a personal website or a blog for yourself, YourName.com is a great choice.
Domain names typically end with.com,.org, or.net, but in recent years, a plethora of domain extensions (the final part of the web address, such as.com or.org) have emerged, ranging from .blog to .party.
My best piece of advice?
Avoid unusual extensions in favour of .com, .net, or .org unless they precisely describe your website – and even then, it is usually preferable to use a more common extension.
Any further tips for my domain name selection?
There are a few factors that can assist you in deciding on a domain name:
#1 Can it be branded? For example, if you are creating a car-related website, best-car-website.net is not a good choice: caracademy.com or carshow.com are far superior.
#2 Does it stick with you? Domain names that are clear, short, and concise are far easier to remember. Visitors may forget your domain name if it is overly complicated, hazy, too long, or spelled incorrectly.
#3 Does it have a catchy ring to it? It can be difficult, but not impossible, to come up with a memorable name that describes what you (or your company) does and sticks in the minds of your website visitors. Because there are over 200 million active domain names in the world right now, coming up with a unique name can be difficult – but don’t give up.
When it comes to domain names, there is one rule that always applies: if you like it, buy it. (Just do it )
WHAT COMES NEXT?
- Create a unique domain name that reflects your future website, business, or blog by brainstorming.
- Safeguard your web hosting. I recommend A2Hosting.com for this, but you can use any reputable web host. (The key here is to focus on IT customer support, also known as Live Chat, rather than any other kind of perk.)
Step #3: Setting up and designing a Website
1. Install WordPress Site
WordPress installation is a lot easier than you might imagine.
1. TO CREATE A WEBSITE WITH WORDPRESS, USE ONE-CLICK-INSTALLATION:
Nowadays, almost all well-known and reputable web hosting companies offer one-click WordPress installation.
If you choose to sign up with A2Hosting or another similar hosting company, you should be able to find your “one-click installation” option either during the account creation process or in your account control panel.
For example, here are the steps to install WordPress on A2Hosting (the process is very similar, if not identical, on all of the most popular web hosting companies):
- Go to A2Hosting.com
- Choose your hosting plan (cheapest plan is fine in the beginning)
- If you already have a domain, type it there.
- Fill in your information and choose your hosting length.
- Go through the payment process and create your account
- Log in to A2Hosting account and use “one-click WordPress install” to Install WordPress
2. Choose a Theme for Your Site (Free or Premium)
In the next step, we’ll look at WordPress themes and how to get started with and customise them. WordPress themes are design templates that make changing the appearance of your site much faster and easier.
WordPress has a wide variety of themes to choose from. The official WordPress directory has over 8,000 plugins and counting to choose from, the majority of which are completely free to use.
You can access these themes directly from WordPress, without having to navigate to an external site.
Here’s how it works: Simply navigate to Appearance > Themes and click the large + sign labelled Add New Theme. Then, using the search bar, look for a theme that is appropriate for your site.
You can view a demo of any theme in the listing by clicking on its Details & Preview screen. When you’ve found a theme you like, install it by clicking the Install button in the Details & Preview screen.
Once the install process is complete, just click the Activate button.
If your needs do not match what is available on the official theme directory, check premium theme markets such as:
3. Add Content (Pages and Posts)
Before you can begin site customization, you must first have some content on your site.
After all, it’s difficult to customise your site when there’s nothing to show for it. What you require in terms of content will vary depending on the topic of your site and your objectives.
There are, however, a few key pages that almost every website should have:
- About page
- Contact page
Consider what information would be most useful to your visitors when deciding which pages to add. You must also consider visual content such as photos, graphics, sound, and even videos.
Some WordPress themes include page templates for specific page types to make things easier. Others may also include multiple layout options for each page.
You can check it out – just go to Appearance > Customize in your WordPress dashboard
In this example, we’re building a site with the most recent WordPress default theme, Twenty Twenty-One. The homepage is set to a static page by default, which you can change in the Homepage Settings section. Select which page you want to serve as your website’s homepage from the dropdown menu.
Alternatively, if you want your blog posts displayed on your homepage, please select your latest post option. Once you have chosen, just click Publish in the top left-hand corner.
After that, you can move on to creating new pages for your site. For that, in the main dashboard, go to Pages > Add New.
The Gutenberg editor is used by the Twenty Twenty-One theme, so I can add page titles and content here. You can add elements like images and formatting to this page. To add more pages to your site, repeat the process.
4. Make sure that your site is well organised
Consider your website as a library for the time being. The more content you add to your website, the more important your website structure will become.
When learning how to make a website, you should practise organising your site in a way that makes sense to your visitors and is easy for them to navigate. (Try browsing other websites to learn firsthand why your website needs to be properly organised.)
The navigation menu is an important component here. After you’ve created a few pages, it’s time to make them available to your site’s visitors. This can be done by going to Appearance > Menus.
Give your new menu a name, then click Create Menu.
Then, on the left, you can select which content to include. Tick the boxes next to the pages you want to include in the menu, then click Add to Menu.
Menu items can be dragged and dropped into the desired order and preferences, and they can even be converted into sub-menus by moving them beneath others, as shown below. When you’re done, select the menu position where you want this menu to appear (in this case Primary menu).
To see the new menu in action, click Save Menu again and return to your site’s front end.
Now the website has a structure that makes sense for your site and assists visitors in getting to where they need to go.
5. Additional Customization Options
Go back to Appearance > Customize for further options for customization. You will see that when you look around you have a lot more options for changing your site. Other parts of your website can be modified such as:
- Title and tagline
- Background image
Adjustments to the homepage, blog page and personalised code may also be made. These options will vary according to the theme you have installed.
In addition to customising theme, there are plugins for both free and premium WordPress. You can find approximately 60,000 plugins in the official WordPress plugin directory to improve functions and features on your website.
To install new plugins, navigate to Plugins > Add New.
You’ll discover a list of some of the most popular plugins accessible. Use the search area to search for anything else. You may be bothered by an ocean of plugins that accomplish the same function, i.e. using plug-ins.
(**Tips, try to properly and carefully read the description, look at the statistics (how many people installed it, look at the screenshots (that’s what you want) and the comments (what other users are talking about) on this specific plugin)
Click the Install Now button once you have decided. Wait for the download and click Activate. All plugins can be found in the WordPress main menu, plus the option to enable, uncheck and remove them. (The dashboard’s left side)
Some choices worth considering include what plugins you should install:
- Yoast SEO – One of the leading search-engine optimization plugins for each page and post.
- Jetpack – Includes a wide range of features that enhance web speed, optimization, integration of social media, digital marketing, contact forms and web search.
- Smush – This plugin compresses images uploaded to WordPress, saving space and speeding up loading times on page.
- WooCommerce – this is the most popular plugin for WordPress E-Commerce if you want to have an e-commerce website.
- Site Kit by Google– This plugin adds Google Analytics, Search Console, Adsense, Speed to your WordPress dashboard.
You can also install a page builder plugin if you want more control over how your website looks. These plugins add additional Drag & Drop functions to your site, so you can build complete web designs visually – not just pages and posts individually. There are some popular options:
- Divi – Developed by Elegant Themes, Divi provides another straightforward way to customize websites.
Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a new website.
Learning how to build a website is not a walk around the park, even with a detailed guide. Before you get to the Aha-moment, just hang on and you will get there, there could be many small challenges (why this does not work as explained)… WordPress is the best platform on which you can count today. As you progress on your learning curve it is truly dynamic.
I build WordPress websites for all of my customers before handing them over – prior to this, most of them will think and simply tell me that it will require a lot of technical knowledge to maintain – I will normally ask them back- do you know how to use Microsoft Word? And the answer is usually yes, and after a few days of hands-on WordPress, they’ll tell me they’re glad I chose WordPress to build their website.
Why? Because it’s so simple to maintain, even if you don’t have any IT experience.
Use your newfound knowledge to expand your knowledge and implement more complex functionalities and features. This way, you will not only learn how to make a website, but also exactly how you want your website to look.
Good luck with your new website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]