Enterprises usually need to publish website content to increase brand awareness and sales. You can create an online presence for a professional portfolio or business through a content management system such as WordPress.
The CMS has templates that help you create a webpage that aligns with your niche. Nowadays, some user-friendly CMS allows even beginners to build websites without coding.
WordPress is the best drag-and-drop website builder with tools to help you create a webpage without any coding skills.
Below is an outline of the steps to follow when building a WordPress website:
- Register for web hosting
- Choose your site’s domain name
- WordPress software installation (free)
- Pick a theme
- Make the first page
- Essential plugins installation
How to Build a WordPress Website (Step-by-Step Guide)
1. Select WordPress As Your Website Platform
WordPress is an example of a Content Management System that allows you to edit content code-free. The CMS has a simple user interface, like Google Docs or Facebook interfaces. You only need to create new documents or pages.
There are over 100 CMS’s cataloged in Wikipedia, WordPress being the most popular one — over 43.3% of websites are built on WordPress.
Below are the main features of WordPress:
- Simplifies marketing on digital platforms
- Secure, optimized, and fast
- Versatile: runs all types of websites
- Do-it-yourself solution for online stores and website building.
This first step is familiarizing yourself with the tool you’ll use to build your website in the subsequent steps.
2. Choose And Purchase Your Domain Name And Hosting
The fun part about building a website is picking the site’s name since you have the liberty to select any name.
Nevertheless, there are some things you have to acknowledge before settling on a name. First, being original can be a bit tricky since there are over a billion websites on the net.
You should ensure that the domain name you pick has your company’s title or a term that aligns with your niche but with some additional words to boost your brand.
Ensure that your domain name is:
- Simple to type – don’t use complicated names that are difficult to spell
- Keyword-rich – use niche-related terms: for example, if your site is for fast food, ensure you place ‘fast food’ somewhere in the domain name.
- Brandable – the title should be unique and not identical to any other name on the market.
The next step is to register the domain name and purchase a hosting package.
Purchasing Your Domain Name And Hosting
There are several web hosts and organizations that register domain names. You can either purchase them from different companies or pick an organization that offers both. The latter choice is the best to help you manage your site efficiently.
Bluehost is one of the companies that provide these two services. It’s the best option because:
- The official WordPress.org site recommends it
- It’s a creditable web host with exemplary services to keep your website functional 24/7 and optimized for WordPress
- It has affordable pricing starting at $2.75 per month
- It’s beginner-friendly and simple to use
- Customers get a free domain name
To purchase your domain name and hosting package, you should:
- Visit Bluehost and choose a hosting package for your website
- Register a custom domain name at no cost
- Request Bluehost to install and set up a clean version of WordPress on the new hosting account
Follow the steps below:
- Head to Bluehost, then press the “Select Plan” button — the cheapest plan when starting a new website is the Basic plan that costs $2.75 every month
- Key in the domain name of your choice
- Key in your personal information like account details
Before proceeding, check the parameters of the hosting package you’ve picked. You can get this on the segment indicated ‘package information.’
You’ll receive the lowest fee if you buy your hosting plan for a minimum of one year.
After entering all your details, click “SUBMIT” to complete your purchase.
Requesting Bluehost To Install WordPress
After acquiring the hosting package, Bluehost installs WordPress for you. Although you can install WordPress on your own, Bluehost offers this service for free, so there’s no need to spend a lot of time installing it manually.
Bluehost will send you an email after you finish signing up. The email contains instructions on signing in to your client profile and starting website operations.
After logging in, the web host will display a user-friendly wizard to help you install WordPress on the hosting setup.
Alternatively, you can go to “My Sites” and select “create site” to install WordPress.
This web host only requires your website’s name and the passwords or username to install your WordPress. Once you fill in these details, Bluehost installs a fully functional WordPress website immediately.
3. Familiarize Yourself With The WordPress User Interface
Go to www.YOURDOMAIN.com/wp-admin/ to log into your WordPress user panel. Key in the username and password you set up on Bluehost in step 2.
After signing in, you’ll access the WordPress interface that contains:
- Welcome note – It includes the critical areas of the admin panel recorded as quick links, which are shortcuts to how to create a website
- Appearance – go here to switch your website’s design and customize the items displayed on the design
- Live status of your website and the activities going on currently
- Media – manage or upload media files and images here
- Comments – helps you moderate comments
- Posts – head here to publish blog posts
- Pages – create sub-pages here
- Plugins – for plugins installations
- Users – control the users’ accounts that can use your website’s admin panel.
After familiarizing yourself with the user interface, you can now perform some elementary WordPress customizations to enhance your experience as you manage your site.
1. Set Permanent Links (Permalink)
A permalink is a URL designed to remain unchanged for several years, yielding a hyperlink resistant to link rot. These links define how the web page addresses are structured within your website, and they should be easy to type and memorize.
You can include the web page’s title in the URL — this is the most optimized structure. For instance, the “about” page should be accessible under something as easy as YOURSITE.com/about. You can attain this by setting the permanent links correctly.
To set a permanent link, go to settings, access the permanent link section from the primary sidebar in the WP dashboard, and click on the post name http:/sample-post/ setting.
2. Make The Website Public
To ensure that Google finds and indexes your site, go to settings, click on the “Reading” section, and uncheck the box indicated “Discourage search engines.”
3. Set The Website Tagline And Title
Go to general settings and set the website tagline and title fields to anything you want. Your website’s tagline and title may appear in several places all over the website.
A few WordPress themes lay out the tagline and title in the SEO description and on the homepage — Google uses this when cataloging your site on the result pages.
You can leave the tagline section blank if your website lacks one; it’s optional. However, it’s advisable to have a tagline since it’s part of the web design process.
4. Disable Or Allow Comments
You can decide to disable or allow comments on your site. Nevertheless, allowing visitors to leave their thoughts and queries on your pages under the articles is an excellent way to establish a community around the site.
The downside is that you’ll have to tackle spam and ensure there is no trolling. Sometimes it’s advisable to leave the contact page as the main communication channel.
You can disable or allow comments via the “Discussion” settings.
4. Deactivate Trackbacks And Pingbacks
Nowadays, trackbacks and pingbacks are rare, but you can still disable them. Go to settings, then deselect “Discussion” settings.
5. Set Time Zone
This will make publishing posts and pages more predictable. You can set the time zone to the target audience location or your location — to do this, go to General settings.
4. Choose A Design/Theme For Your Site
WordPress works with replaceable designs known as themes. You can switch your WordPress site appearance with a single click.
1. Select A Suitable Theme
WordPress has several themes to pick from. Choose a theme that you like and install it in seconds. You can also change it in the future if you want a new look.
You should pick your website design based on the site’s purpose. You may use the website to transition your business online, sell high-quality products, do email marketing, mark your online presence as a blogger, or set up an eCommerce store.
Keep in mind that themes don’t alter your website’s content — they only modify the appearance. You can choose from multiple WordPress themes found in the directory at WordPress.org.
Additionally, there are several free third-party site themes and other paid themes offered by Independent theme stores like aThemes and Themelsle or even marketplaces such as ThemeForest.
Free themes are the perfect options to get you started. Some free themes have incredible features that help you improve your website’s look. WordPress has themes covering all niches, from food to travel to real estate.
2. Theme Installation
If you’ve picked a theme from the official directory at WordPress.org, you only need the theme’s name to install it.
Below is how to install the theme:
- Head to Appearance (themes from the WordPress dashboard), press the “Add New” button.
- Enter the theme’s name — you’ll see it on the list under the search field, then press the “install” button under the theme — WordPress will install them in a second.
- To enable the theme on your website, press the “Activate” button that will appear where the “Install” button was.
Hestia is an example of a free WordPress theme that provides excellent onboarding for new users. Press the button from the welcome prompt to view the theme’s features.
You can get more information about the theme and its features from the main Hestia panel. You can also extend Hestia’s out-of-the-box features with some integrations and plugins. Follow the steps below to extend Hestia’s features:
- First off, click on the “Recommended Actions” link to see what’s available
- Select the “Orbit Fox Companion” out of the listed options, then click on the “install and activate” icon
Keep in mind that Orbit Fox Companion is a plugin.
The plugin is an excellent addition to Hestia since it offers multiple features to enhance your website’s appearance. For example, you get some handy new modules for your site’s homepage, custom menu icons, and a template directory to guide you when creating sub-pages like “contact” or “about.”
At this step, your site’s new theme is active. To see it in action, simply go to YOURDOMAIN.com.
Nevertheless, what you see isn’t close to the theme’s actual potential. The theme allows you to customize the menus, design, and other components to make the website appear precisely how you want it. Here’s how to accomplish this:
3. Personalize The Theme
Even though your innovative theme may already be quite nice, it still requires some simple personalization to make it suit your needs perfectly. At the start, it may seem like a steep learning curve, but it’s more or less intuitive, especially when you grow accustomed to it.
To start, go to the Appearance section, then click on the customize button. You’ll see the main WordPress customizer interface.
From there, you can modify a ton of things, starting with the homepage as it’s the face of your website.
a) Setting Up The Homepage
To set up your homepage, do the following:
- On the sidebar, select “Homepage Settings.”
- Choose the “A static page” option under the homepage display setting
- Click on “Add New” to add a new page to function as your homepage
- Key in the page’s name – “HOME” looks like a great idea — and click on “Add.”
- Set your homepage
Doing this will replace the default listing of your website’s most recent articles with an entirely personalized page. By default, some fantastic elements will appear on your new user-friendly webpage. These look nice on smartphones, laptops, and other devices.
To start, let’s change the page’s primary headline. Put your business’ full name as the title for your entire website.
To make the modifications, click on the pencil button (next to the headline) — a customization panel will emerge on the left.
Use the panel to:
- Modify the background image – change it to something related to your business
- Modify the title
- Modify the text below the title – you can delete it if you wish
- Modify the text button – typically leading to your most vital pages or products
Below that, you get to change any of the other homepage blocks. It functions the same way as the mechanisms that popular builders like Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace offer. By default, you get all these elements.
- Use the Features section to highlight what your business offers or the website’s purpose – the site’s “purpose” is probably the number one thing to remember as you learn how to build a website.
- You can use the About section to tell your story.
- For the Team section, you can use it to add and highlight other people you’d like to work with.
- The Ribbon is another place to mention your main call to action.
- The Testimonial section is the best place to showcase what your previous clients had to say about your services.
- The Contact section displays your contact details and lets people know how best to reach you.
There are some other sections available. It’s best to go through all of them and select the right ones for your business.
Once you finish modifying the homepage, remember to click on the “Publish” icon, which you’ll find at the top of the page.
b) Altering The Typography
The next step involves modifying your website’s topography, i.e., the fonts used on the entire website.
You can do this by clicking on the appearance settings button then selecting Topography from WordPress’ customizer sidebar. From there, you can choose a font of your liking, and your site’s font will be adjusted immediately.
Your website’s new theme will use a few primary colors that describe its automatic color scheme. Website owners can use the settings in WP customizer to modify this. All you have to do is click on colors found on the main sidebar.
Use the accent color for links, buttons, and anything else you’d want to be noticeable.
After following the steps above, you’ll feel the website slowly conforming to your preference. You’ll have made all the necessary alterations and personalization to make it align with your brand.
Keep in mind that there are other settings in the WP customizer to play around with. Many of them can enhance your website’s user experience significantly.
For example, you can:
- Choose the default design based on your website needs – regardless of the position you want the sidebar to be
- Choose how you will display blogs and articles
- Choose whether you want a primary background picture for the whole website
- Choose the button shapes
5. Get Plugins To Expand Your Site’s Abilities
Plugins refer to a software element that adds a specific feature to your website.
In simpler terms, plugins, also called add-ons, expand your website’s regular functionality by adding some much-needed aspects. In essence, as you’re establishing how to personalize your website, plug-ins can aid you in adding some key features without having any coding knowledge.
Here are some free plugins your website should have:
- Google Analytics plugins for WordPress – This add-on merges your site with the leading traffic analysis solutions on the internet
- WPForms – This allows the addition of interactive contact forms to websites, which visitors can use to contact you directly – this is better than displaying your email plainly on the site
- UpdraftPlus – Performs automatic site backups
- Yoast SEO – Aids in making SEO alterations and makes websites more accessible to search engines
- Optimole – Enhances your photos
- Wordfence Security – Enhances the WordPress website’s security.
Installing add-ons is easy. If the plugin is free, all you require is its name.
Log in to WordPress, go to the dashboard, click Plugins, and add new. Key the plugin’s name in the search field and click “install” then “activate.”
6. Design Simple Pages
There are pages every website must-have, regardless of their goal or purpose.
But first, let’s look at how to create a page:
Simply log into the WP dashboard, click on pages, and select add new to design a page. You’ll see the following:
- A place for the page’s headline
- The body – the primary page content — the interface is almost identical to MS Word; you can access all text formatting features
- To add images, click on the icon. Alternate between the visual and text editor. Only use the text editor if you have some knowledge of HTML coding
- Publish area — the publish icon is located in this section
- Discussion section — choose whether you’d like to allow comments or not. You can leave the pingbacks and trackbacks section unchecked
- Featured images —Most WP themes display the featured photo in a noticeable spot on the website
Once you’re done with the editing, click on the “Publish button.”
Now that we’re done with the how-tos, let’s look at the must-haves for your website:
- Contact – This page informs visitors how to get in touch with you — put up an excellent contact form and your contact information
- About – This is an essential page as it tells your website’s story — use this page to highlight your website’s purpose
- Store – This is a must-have for any eCommerce platform — to make it work, you can use WooCommerce add-ons
- Portfolio – Use this page to highlight any previous work you’ve done
- FAQs – This is a critical page, especially if your new site’s scope needs additional information for prospective users
Once you’ve successfully set up these pages, you can research some other valuable pages to include on your website.
7. Consider Blogging
Blogging is one of the most efficient ways to promote your site and other services or items that you may want to sell via your site.
Recent statistics suggest that blogs are a superior online marketing tool, with 55% of advertisers saying it’s their leading inbound advertising priority.
Having a blog is simple; you have to publish content that aligns with your website’s topic regularly.
From a technical perspective, WP has in-built blogging tools. WordPress actually began as a blogging site.
To make a new post, go to your WP dashboard, select Posts, and click on “Add New.”
The process of blog post creation is almost similar to creating a page. The editing board is practically identical, and the functionality is almost similar.
The main difference is that when creating a new blog post, you can assign them tags and categories.
After creating the post, click on the “Publish” button.
You should select a page that will function as the primary blog listing for your posts to enhance their accessibility. To do this:
- First, access pages on the dashboard, select Add New, then click on create a blank page. Name “BLOG” – to avoid confusion.
- Next, click on settings, go to Reading, and choose the newly created page as the “Posts page.”
You’ll see all your recent blogs as you navigate the new page. If you intend to create loads of content for the blog, get an SSL certificate so that your site visitors can feel safe as they read through your blog posts.
The hardest part about setting up a blog is consistency. Creating interesting blog posts is quite a challenge. However, there are numerous online resources, including articles and video tutorials, that can assist you in building a WP blog that will attract readers.
8. Adjust Your Site Navigation
Now that you’ve already put up all your main pages, you should modify your website’s navigation to make it generally simple to use.
You should pay attention to two main elements:
These are the main components that users use to move through your website; therefore, they’re vital when learning how to build a website.
There are a few options to select from the site’s theme. You can go to the Appearance section on the WP dashboard and click on Menus. The pages you can select to add to the menu will be displayed on the left. On the right, you’ll see the menu layout and settings.
You can start by choosing a few essential pages and putting them on the menu. Select contact, about, and any other pages you deem crucial.
The best part about the entire panel is that it has a drag-and-drop feature if you want to reorder the items.
Once you’re done, scroll to the bottom to choose the menu location. Typically, if you click on Primary Menu, your menu is displayed on the top part of your site. This is the ideal location for a menu. To save the changes, click on the “Save Menu” icon.
You can also create additional menus by clicking on the “create a new menu” option. This will display the same menu building panel. Display each menu in a different position. For this new menu, you can place it on the footer section.
When you go to your site’s homepage, you’ll see the menus.
A widget refers to a tiny content block that can be shown in different places on the website. Widgets are conventional WordPress features.
Widgets are usually placed either on the footer or sidebar section.
To see how a widget would appear on your website, go to your dashboard and click on Appearance then Widgets.
If you’re using the Hestia theme, your widget placement isn’t limited to the footer or sidebar section; there are several other options.
To move a widget to your website, select it and drag-and-drop it to the intended area.
Once you’ve put in some widgets, your website is good to go!
The Advantages Of Using WordPress
Here are some of the advantages of using WP:
- Simple to navigate: If you have basic computer skills, using WordPress won’t be a challenge. Additionally, messing up will be hard as adding and deleting posts is easy and won’t affect your website’s overall design.
- The WordPress software is free: The best thing about using WP is that it’s fully functional and free to use. However, you’ll have to pay up if you wish to upgrade your website with premium add-ons and themes. Nevertheless, these premium options are cheaper than paying for a custom-designed website.
- WP comes with (SEO) benefits: Most search engines prefer websites that are easy to catalog and have regularly updated content. Luckily, WordPress is SEO friendly. You can design your site with simpler codes, optimizing your website for search engine indexing.
- Word Press gives users more creative control: since it’s your website, you have the freedom to alter it any way you deem fit. You don’t have to seek professional help whenever you make an error.
- Speed: while it’s not the fastest builder in the market, it’s still less bulky than its rivals and would provide the best functionality. Additionally, you can add plug-ins to your website to help boost the speed.
- Upgrading your website is easy: with conventional websites, adding new functions and features is a challenge. Installing add-ons typically takes less than five minutes! However, with WordPress, you can easily add new features and functions to your website using plugins.
That’s all there is to create a website. The best thing about the process highlighted in this article is that you don’t need professional services; you can do it independently. Designing a website using WordPress is the most cost-effective solution available.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does WordPress require coding?
You don’t need coding skills or HTML knowledge to create a WordPress site. As a beginner, you can build a site on WordPress code-free. However, you’ll be better off if you learn some programming languages later.
2. How much does WordPress charge to host a website?
WordPress hosting costs start at approximately $3.95 per month. Other charges include plugins, themes, and domains. Generally, the total price range is between $11 to $40 every month, after a $200 one-off cost.
3. Is WordPress better than HTML?
HTML is a better option if your website doesn’t require regular changes, extra content, or updates since it will make the site perform faster. On the other hand, WordPress is perfect if you want to expand your business site and update it regularly.
4. Is paying for WordPress worth it?
Yes, WordPress represents exceptional value for money. Paying extra cash to get a high-performing professional website won’t hurt. The WordPress software is free, and you’ll decide how much you’ll pay for other services and how much you’ll get for free.
5. Is WordPress SEO-friendly?
Yes, it has SEO-friendly themes. Metadata and keywords aren’t the only elements web crawlers inspect for relevance. Search engine spiders also look for an excellent web page design. WordPress optimizes your website design for SEO, so you won’t have to do it yourself.
6. How long will it take to build my website in WordPress?
The duration you’ll take to create your website depends on its complexity and your coding skills. It may take weeks to months to build a completely custom website on WordPress. However, it takes a shorter period to create a basic website. On average, building a custom website can take 14 weeks.