This guide is very detailed yet very easy to follow — even if you’re not very technical. Learn How to Create a Website from Scratch. We’ll use WordPress (free) for Your website & you will be able to set up the right way on the right platform for what you need.
Step #1: Choose Your Website Platform
Deciding what platform to construct your website on is an important first step.
When I say “platform,” what do I mean?
Over a decade ago, when I started doing web development, most sites were built using code such as HTML, CSS, and PHP. Unfortunately, these are all difficult to master.
Many people believe that creating a website from scratch needs significant design and technical abilities, but that’s not true.
WordPress makes establishing a website accessible to everyone in 2021.
An easier way to describe a CMS (also known as a website construction platform) is a user-friendly platform that enables you to create websites easily and manage your own online content instead of utilizing HTML, PHP, and other computer languages to develop a website from scratch.
Rather than using website builders, why use WordPress to Create a Website?
1. You can use it for free (no recurring subscriptions, open-source)
WordPress doesn’t cost anything to download, install, or use. The web development community produced several free stunning themes and templates, making it simple to launch quickly.
2. It is quite easy to use and allows for numerous modifications.
The secret to Google Docs is learning how to use it. Once you’ve learned how to use it, you can easily add your own content. You can quickly increase the functionality of WordPress by downloading free plugins that handle just about any website — from a small business website to an e-commerce website. You’ll be able to add contact forms, subscription forms, image galleries, storefronts, and several other forms to your website with the plugins in WordPress. It’s actually all rather straightforward.
3. When it is developed, your site will be “responsive.” Even smartphones and tablets will be able to use it.
Your website will be responsive, working with any mobile device, from smartphones and tablets to smartwatches—no need to outsource the work to a web developer.
4. In addition, other resources are available from the community.
It is rather easy to acquire assistance when you need it with so many people utilizing the site (webmasters, small-business owners, bloggers). You can seek assistance there for free or outsource development to the WordPress community for thousands of dollars.
What are alternatives available for WordPress?
While I believe other options exist, I plan to utilize WordPress nonetheless.
Wix is a simple website builder with a simple drag-and-drop interface, but it is more expensive, cannot handle larger websites, and cannot be moved if you need to do so.
When it comes to aesthetics, Squarespace is quite aesthetically pleasing, making it easier to design websites with high aesthetic standards. Still, it comes at a premium price and doesn’t offer a function to transfer your website.
Drupal is a sophisticated platform, but it has a steep learning curve that makes it not ideal for new programmers.
Joomla is similar to WordPress in that it is a tool to make a website, but you will need to be knowledgeable about coding to customize your site as you need.
Step #2: Find a Domain Name and Host
To get a new website online, you’ll need two things:
- An internet domain name (a web address like yoursitename.com)
- Internet website hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)
But hosting and domain names are not included with the WordPress platform itself, as an external provider provides them. But for around $3 — $5 a month, it’s still less expensive than a cup of coffee.
You can only obtain a professional look by using your own web address; not someone else’s free domain (for example, yourbusiness.my-free-website.com.)
You can avoid website downtime and slow load times by ensuring your hosting service are reliable (very important for everyone who visits your pages.)
“Read about: Top 10 Domain Registrars in 2021”
Where can I get a domain name and hosting?
Website hosting costs less than a movie ticket (subscription fees are only $2.75 per month, and they provide a free domain name as well) (a nice perk to have).
While you're welcome to attempt to use alternative web hosting services like Hostgator or even attempt to host your site on your own, this approach would be exceptionally challenging and probably wouldn't be capable of meeting your site's visitors' needs. So rather than saving money by getting a cheap web host, use the savings to obtain a quality host.
You can also get a professional email account (i.e., one that uses your name like YourName@YourWebsite.com) by purchasing your own domain name too.
Are you already in possession of a domain name and hosting? Then, you can skip to the third stage, where I will guide you through your website setup.
What kind of domain name should I pick?
Here are a few guidelines to bear in mind when selecting your domain name:
- Domain should reflect your business’s website name in the domain name. As an example: YourCompanyName.com
- YourName.com can be a good alternative if you’re going to create a personal website for yourself.
The majority of web addresses, like .com, .org, or .net, will end with .com, .org, or .net, but more recently, a variety of additional domain extensions have emerged, ranging from .blog to .party.
There isn’t much to say. For the most part, stick with generic top-level domains like .com, .net, or .org. Unless they specifically describe your website, .com, .net, and .org are usually better.
Is there anything else you can tell me about finding a domain name?
Choosing your domain name can be made easier by utilizing these two elements.
#1 Is it possible to brand it? For example, if you build a website on poetry, you should choose poetryacademy.com or poetryfall.com rather than best-poetry-website.net, as these are far better options.
#2 Do you remember it? Memorable domain names are considerably easier to remember if they are short, punchy, and concise. Conversely, visitors could forget the domain name if it is excessively long, unreadable, or spelled in an unusual way.
#3 Does it have a catchy ring to it? If you seek a domain name that glides off the tongue, describes what you (or your organization) do, and sticks in mind, you should choose one with an identifiable pattern. Unfortunately, searching for a suitable domain name can be challenging because more than 200 million active domain names are currently listed globally. Don’t give up, though.
Step #3: Create a Website and Start Designing
1. Install WordPress for your website.
You may install WordPress in two ways: one that is much easier and quite difficult.
You can use WordPress's one-click installation to install a WordPress website.
A significant portion of popular and trusted web hosting services have included one-click WordPress installation for quite some time now.
You will either locate the “one-click installation” in the account creation process or your account control panel if you decided to use Bluehost or another similar hosting company.
“Want free hosting? Check out Hostinger.”
For example, the process for installing WordPress on Bluehost includes these steps:
- Sign up with Bluehost.
- Select your hosting service (cheapest plan is fine)
- If you already have a domain, include it in the domain list.
- Determine your hosting length (you can remove “Extras”) and fill in your details.
- Begin by going through the payment process and signing up for an account.
- To install WordPress, click the “One-Click WordPress Install” link and log in to Bluehost.
2. MANUAL INSTALL (if your web hosting provider doesn’t have an easy way to do it)
- Visit the website below to get WordPress: http://wordpress.org/download
- To set up WordPress, you should first create a new folder on your desktop and then unzip the software.
This is step 3, and the file you’ll need to look for is named wp-config-sample.php. Rename this file to: wp-config.php.
4. Fill in the following lines in wp-config.php:
- Here you define your database name as “database name here.”
- Define your hosting username as “DB USER” and your hosting password as “DB PASSWORD”.
If there are any gaps, save the file and finish later.
5. Now log into your hosting FTP using your FTP username and password (download FileZilla for that). FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is normally accessed through your domain name (i.e., “ftp.yourdomain.com”), and your login and password should also be the same ones you used to register your host.
6. There should be no file entitled “index” in the directory; if one exists, delete it. Once you’ve completed uploading the files from your WordPress folder to your FTP server, you’re finished uploading to WordPress. Using the “drag-and-drop” feature in FileZilla seems appropriate to me.
7. Finally, visit yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php
You should see this page.
You only need to complete the necessary fields, and you are good to go!
If it takes you longer than one click to set up your hosting, you’re probably working with a poor host.
2. Choose a Theme for Your Site (Free or Premium)
Now that we have completed the preceding stage, we will learn how to work with WordPress themes.
WordPress themes are design templates that enable you to make quick and easy alterations to your site’s appearance.
Fortunately, WordPress offers a multitude of themes for users to pick from. The WordPress theme directory, which is absolutely free to use, holds more than 8,000 files.
Instead of visiting a different site, you may access WordPress themes from within the platform.
There is only one step after which you’ll be able to add a new theme: Go to Appearance > Themes, and click the large Plus sign that says “Add New Theme.”
Once you’ve located a design theme that fits your site, use the search bar to find it.
You can view a theme demo, learn more about it, and see its features by clicking on the theme in the listing and going to the Details & Preview screen.
In the Details & Preview screen, choose a theme you like and click the Install button to install it.
3. Add Content (Pages and Posts)
First, you must have some material on your site before you can start working on on-site personalization.
After all, it’s difficult to personalize a site that has no visible content. In terms of material, you’ll need a lot to get started, and the content you will require will depend on the topic of your site and your ambitions.
However, practically every site features crucial pages such as these:
- About page
- Contact page
Consider what information would be most helpful to your visitors while you decide which pages to add. Your graphics work will also require you to consider visual material, such as images.
Some WordPress themes come with page templates for certain page kinds for easy customization. Additional layouts for each page are available to those who opt for that feature.
Use these features to personalize your appearance by going to Appearance > Customize.
The latest WordPress default theme, Twenty Twenty-One, is used to establish a website in this example. Unless otherwise specified, it sets the Homepage to a static page that you can customize under Homepage Settings. The dropdown menu at the top of the page is for you to pick the page that will be your website’s homepage.
Alternatively, you can select Choose the option to feature your latest blog posts if you want your homepage to showcase recent entries.
You should click Publish in the upper left corner to confirm your selections.
After you finish the task described above, you may continue to develop new pages for your site. To do this, head to Pages > Add New in the main dashboard.
Using the Gutenberg editor in conjunction with the Twenty Twenty-One theme allows me to title and compose my pages.
You can add new features, including photos and formatting, to this page.
Perform this procedure for every extra page you’ve added to your site.
4. Make Sure Your Website is Well-Organized
A website is like a library.
With each new blog post, your website structure will become increasingly vital.
Getting skilled at structuring your site so that your visitors can find their way through it is crucial for successful website creation.
It is essential to have a navigation menu with this design. The next step is to make your content visible to the site’s users. You can do that through the Appearance > Menus options.
The first step to implementing a new menu is to give it a name and then click “Create Menu.”
The feature on the left is now available for you to use after that. To give you an example, in the example shown above, you can check and uncheck boxes to choose which pages to appear in the menu, then click “Add to Menu”.
You can move menu items around like this, and they’ll convert into sub-items too. Once you’re happy, you will have the option to select where on the screen you’d want to have this menu appear (in this case Primary menu).
To view the new menu in action, go to your site’s front end and click Save Menu.
When you’re thinking about your site's overall structure, you should aim to design it in a way that makes sense and helps your users locate the places they need to go.
5. Additional Customization Options
You can further personalize your look by going to Appearance > Customize. Looking around will reveal that it provides extra possibilities for customizing your website. You have the ability to customize various sections of your site, for example:
- Header and slogan
- Image for backgrounds
You can also modify your homepage, blog page, and custom code. Depending on the theme you’ve installed, the options that show will change.
Besides theme customization, there is a wide range of WordPress plugins accessible for free and paid use. More than 60,000 plugins are in the official WordPress plugin directory alone, providing everything from new features and functionality to enhancing your site. Even more so, third-party marketplaces are flooded with more selections.
To install new plugins, head to the Plugins section and click the “Add New” button.
When you first go live, you will see a list of the most popular plugins in use. If you need something different, use the search field to find it.
When you are ready to install a plugin, click the “Install Now” button. Download it first, then click the “Activate” button. As long as you have installed and activated all the plugins on your site, you may access all plugins and the ability to activate, deactivate, and delete them via the Plugins section in the WordPress main menu.
Some great plugins to consider include:
- Yoast SEO is a powerful plugin for adding on-page SEO optimization tips and Open Graph social media tagging to every page and post and the capability to configure these settings.
- Jetpack is everything you need to make your website faster, more responsive, and SEO-friendly, including social media integration, contact forms, a website search, and other functionality.
- Smush — With this plugin, photos are compressed, so they use less disk space and load pages faster.
- WooCommerce — W3TC’s best-selling e-commerce WordPress plugin makes it simple to set up an online business. More on this concept further down.
- MonsterInsights — This plugin adds Google Analytics to your WordPress dashboard.
Page-builder plugins give you even more control over how your website looks. With these plugins, you may drag and drop to build complete web designs, not just individual pages and articles. The following are among the most popular choices:
- Elementor is an all-in-one website builder with fast page loads, numerous templates, and visual web page editing features.
- Elegant Themes’ Divi (short for “Divi: A new straightforward method to customize websites”) is a straightforward way.
- Beaver Builder — A straightforward page builder that substantially reduces site creation time.
6. Add a Blog (Optional)
Some websites don’t need blogs. However, publishing one now and then might be a good strategy for showcasing your skills, providing additional value for your readers, and distributing fresh content.
You first have to choose a blog page to add a blog to WordPress. Additionally, you may set up your homepage to display your latest content automatically. However, to get a separate blog page, you’ll need to build it first.
All you have to do is make an empty page called Blog (or whatever you like, but Blog is appropriate since it will create your blog page’s address of yoursite.com/blog). Then, you only need to publish it. Next, use the setting under Appearance > Customize > Homepage Settings to assign it as your Posts Page. Alternatively, you can set the setting under Settings > Reading and choose the Pages Tab.
All blog articles are stored immediately and appear on your chosen page when saved. Add it to your navigation menu, please.
If you want to add blog posts to your WordPress website, go to the Add New Posts menu.
To get you to the same place as you were previously, this will take you to the content editor you previously used for your pages. Your blog post now has a title and some content. The site will also need graphics, formatting, headers, and any other features it may need. Additional features in the sidebar on the right include applying categories and tags, setting an excerpt, and configuring a featured image.
When you have finished making all of your changes, click Publish. Congratulations on posting your first entry!
7. Adding an Online Store (Optional)
A website does not need an eCommerce store every time. Even if you are interested in learning how to make a WordPress website with an online store, you should continue reading since I have more information to provide.
WooCommerce is the most popular add-on for this reason.
It takes little time to set up, has a wide variety of payment alternatives, and comes with optimized themes to help you build an online store. Additionally, the e-commerce platform comes with a choice of extensions that you can purchase to modify your site for various uses.
8. Configure SSL
Your website’s visitors’ data is kept secure if an SSL (secure sockets layer) is used. Therefore, it’s critical to provide a great user experience by prioritizing user privacy and security, and using SSL is a significant search ranking element.
You can see if SSL is active on your new website by looking at the Bluehost settings page.
- You should log into Bluehost.
- Navigate to My Sites.
- Go to Manage Your Site.
- In the following screen, locate the tab labeled Security.
- You will want to ensure that your free SSL certificate or SSL certificate, found under the Security Certificate section, is correct. Let’s Encrypt’s current status. It should be in the On position.
- Check to see if SSL is properly configured by revisiting your site. Next to the domain name in your browser’s address bar, you should see a lock.
9. Launch Your WordPress Website
It’s time to launch your site after your site is ready. Additionally, verify and recheck your formatting and proofread each post and page again. Finally, check the “Coming Soon Active” link on the dashboard when everything appears in order.
Once you’ve done that, click the “Launch your site” option.
With this feature, you can now look at your live WordPress website.
Please make sure that all links are functional, your content appears decent, and your images are structured correctly.
Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a new WordPress website.
Even with a step-by-step tutorial, learning how to create a website is no minor task.
If you acquire a new skill and begin to see your hard work pay off, it may be really gratifying.
However, do not rest here. By implementing increasingly sophisticated functionalities and features, utilize your new understanding. Learn how to design a website, but create the one you really want.