HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE
An accessible, step-by-step guide from a web developer
Are you looking to create a website? Starting a site can be a terrifying thought especially when you’re not techy. Don’t worry; you’re not alone.
Having helped over 5,000+ people make a website with WordPress, we have decided to create the most comprehensive step by step guide on how to a make a site without learning how to code.
3 QUICK STEPS IN THIS GUIDE
Choose the right hosting for your website
Choose the right platform for your website
Configure WordPress Website
Here’s why you’ll love this FREE website setup guide
You're going to need two things:
A domain name (a web address like yoursitename.com)
Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)
Before you choose a domain name, you’ll need be sure of the niche you’d like to concentrate. Selecting a niche area to focus on, is an essential task in and of itself. It is critical that you research the target keyword pool and the niche it is derived. For the time being, just make sure it is something you like and are genuinely passionate about it. And ensure that you have reasonable expertise in the subject matter involved.
Choosing the perfect domain name
A few things you need to keep in mind while considering domain name choices.
- Short – Shorter names work better when it comes to remembrance and are easy to type as well.
- Brandable – Remember your domain also runs to your brand, make sure it isn’t memorable for all the wrong reasons.
- Memorable – People forget quickly, come up with a name that first time visitors to your site are likely to remember.
- Catchy – You want a domain name that rolls off the tongue and describes what you do.
- Easy to type.
- Includes keyword (optional) – Identify the right keywords or combination of keywords. The closer your domain name is to your site’s niche, the better for search engine optimization (SEO)
- Niche-specific (optional) – If you are writing a website about a specific niche check if there are widespread abbreviations that you can use. For example, in WordPress, there are many highly ranked websites with “wp” as part of their name. ManageWP.com, a managed hosting ManageWP for WordPress.
I’ve mostly used www.Bluehost.com as a web hosting and domain registrar.
They’re affordable, have excellent customer service, and they’re currently throwing in a domain name for free – so it’s worth checking them out.
When you get a domain name, you’ll also get a personal email account(s): [email protected] – way more professional than a generic Gmail or Yahoo address.
Already have a domain name and hosting? Go ahead and skip ahead to step 2, where I’ll explain how you can set up your website.
You have two options when it comes to hosting provider types recommended for WordPress newbies.
- Shared Hosting
- Managed WordPress Hosting
In recent statistics made by W3Techs, WordPress is the most popular content management system (60%) followed by Joomla (20%) and Drupal (11%).
WordPress - 60%
Joomla - 20%
Drupal - 11%
If you want to build an excellent, mobile friendly and functional website quickly, you’ll need to choose a platform (also known as content management system).
Well, back in 2007 when I got started with web development, most sites were built using HTML (code), CSS and even Flash. These took a lot of time to learn and were tricky to master.
That’s why most people still think creating a website from scratch is difficult or requires a lot of coding and design skills – but that’s no longer true. In 2018, content management systems (CMS) like WordPress have made creating a website accessible to everyone.
To put just, a content management system (or website building platform) is a user-friendly platform for building websites and managing your online content, instead of using a bunch of loose HTML pages.
Here’s why I recommend using WordPress to build your website
WordPress vs. HTML & CSS: Learning HTML from scratch can take 6+ months, let alone CSS and PHP. Having a basic knowledge of HTML can help you gauge things more quickly, but if you want to create a website within a day or two, learning HTML isn’t a viable option.
WordPress vs. Website Builders: Website builders are expensive and often very limited. They are useful for one-page websites, but not more.
WordPress vs. Joomla/Drupal: Drupal is a compelling platform that is popular with web developers and experienced coders, but it comes with a very steep learning curve that makes it a wrong choice for beginners. Joomla is similar to WordPress and works great for online stores, but you’ll need at least a little bit of special coding to make it work the way you want.
But for beginners, I strongly suggest sticking to WordPress.
It’s the most natural platform I’ve ever worked with, but it’s flexible enough to suit everyone from small business owners and freelancers to creative artists and bloggers.
Choose a platform to build your website. I’m recommending WordPress which is free to use and easy to understand. In this guide, I’ll be showing you how to create a site using WordPress, too.
Once you’ve bought your domain name and set up your hosting, you’re well on your way!
Now it’s time to get your website up and running. The first thing you’ll need to do is install WordPress on your domain.
There are two possible ways to install WordPress, one MUCH easier than the other.
Almost all hosting services are offering one-click installer service. You can use it and install WordPress within 5 mins.
MOJO Marketplace provides a simple WordPress installer tool. Several hosting companies use this to provide a 1-click WordPress install experience. This installer is integrated into their cPanel dashboard.
Softaculous is a popular auto-installer script. It allows you to easily install popular web applications like WordPress with just a few clicks. Hosting companies like SiteGround and InMotion Hosting use Softaculous in their control panel.
QuickInstall is another popular auto-installer used by many hosting companies like HostGator and others. We will be using HostGator’s cPanel dashboard in the screenshots here, but it wouldn’t be much different if you are using some other host that has QuickInstall.
Fantastico is a common auto-installer script used by some WordPress hosting providers. It is similar to the other installer scripts in the list and offers an easy way to quickly install WordPress.
Manual WordPress Installation
If for some odd reason (some hosting companies don’t provide one-click-install for WordPress) you don’t have the option to install WordPress
Manually installing WordPress is also known as the famous 5-minute install. However, the manual installation has a few added steps, and you will need an FTP client for that.
The first thing you need to do is download the latest version of WordPress. Unzip the file, and use the FTP software to upload the files into your web host directory of your choice.
Create a database and assign user will full permission from your cpanel.
Simply go to to the URL where you uploaded WordPress. If it is in the main domain, then enter your domain name in the browser window, like yoursite.com or www.yoursite.com.
You will see the language selection page. You can choose a language here so that rest of the installation is displayed in your own language. You can also use English for now and then later change the language.
Choosing a Theme/Template for your site
Once you have successfully installed WordPress on your domain, you’ll see a very basic yet clean site. You can install any theme of your choice.