STEP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLATFORM
What do I mean by “content management system ?
Well, back in 2004 once I got started with web development, most sites were designed using markup language (code), CSS and even Flash. These took lots of your time to find out and were tricky to master.
That’s why most of the people still suppose making a web site from scratch is tough or requires lots of writing and design skills – however that’s now not true. In 2017, content management systems (CMS) like WordPress have created making a web site accessible to everybody.
To put merely, a content management system (or web site building platform) could be a easy platform for building websites and managing your own on-line content, rather than employing a bunch of loose markup language pages.
Most Popular Site Building Platforms in 2017
In recent statistics made by W3Techs, WordPress is the most popular content management system (55%) followed by Joomla (20%) and Drupal (11%).
Here’s why I recommend using WordPress to build your website
WordPress vs. markup language & CSS: Learning markup language from scratch will take 6+ months, however alone CSS and PHP. Having a basic information of markup language will assist you gauge things a lot of quickly, however if you wish to make a web site inside each day or 2, learning markup language isn’t a viable choice.
WordPress vs. web site Builders: web site builders ar costly and sometimes very limited. they’re good for one-page websites, however no more.
WordPress vs. Joomla/Drupal: Drupal is a very powerful platform that’s popular net developers and practiced coders, however it comes with a really steep learning curve that creates it a foul selection for beginners. Joomla is comparable to WordPress and works nice for on-line stores, however you’ll would like a minimum of a bit little bit of technical secret writing to create it work the means you wish.
If you wish a lot of details, I’ve place along a reasonably comprehensive comparison between WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
If for a few reason you don’t need to make your web site with WordPress, consider my Drupal, Joomla and HTML5 guides also. they’re all unengaged to use.
But for beginners, I strongly suggest sticking to WordPress.
It’s the easiest 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.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE NEXT STEP
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.
At this point you don’t need to install/download anything. I’ll show you this in the next steps.
STEP 2: GET A DOMAIN & WEB HOSTING
In order to get found out your WordPress (or the other kind of websites), you’re about to want two things:
a domainsite|a site} name (a web address like yoursitename.com)
Hosting (a service that connects your web site to the internet)
The WordPress platform itself is free, however a domain name and hosting can value you around $3 – $5 a month. but it prices but a occasional, therefore it won’t break the bank.
Owning your own domain name appearance much more skilled than having your web site on someone else’s domain (like yourbusiness.my-free-website.com), and it’s super reasonable, too.
Plus, having your own hosting will check that your web site masses quickly and won’t go down for hours at a time (pretty important for everybody WHO visits your pages.)
Where do I get a FREE domain name and hosting?
I’ve mostly used www.Bluehost.com as a web hosting and domain registrar.
They’re very reasonable, have smart client service, and they’re presently throwing in a very name for free – thus it’s price checking them out.
When you get a domain name, you’ll additionally get a private email account(s): [email protected] – far more skilled than a generic Gmail or Yahoo address.
Already have a domain name and hosting? act and skip ahead to step three, wherever I’ll justify however you’ll established your web site.
STEP 1: Go Bluehost.com
Remember: Since I’m using Bluehost myself, I’ve negotiated a special discount for WebsiteSetup.org visitors (67% OFF).
STEP 2: Choose Website Hosting Plan
Once you click “get started currently,” you’ll be taken to a page to pick out the hosting arrange of your selection.
I went ahead and chosen their “basic” possibility, that may be a nice alternative for brand new websites. Plus, at the instant they’re running a special discount of $2.75/mo (usually it’s $7.99/mo)
The “plus” and “prime” plans area unit nice, however you don’t really want all the additional bells and whistles they provide unless there area unit legion individuals flooding your web site day after day.
STEP 3: Pick a Domain Name
As an easy starting point:
- If you’re creating a web site for your business, your domain name ought to match your company name. For example: YourCompanyName.com
- If you’re planning to originated a web site for yourself, then YourName.com will be a good choice.
For this site (WebsiteSetup), I chose WebsiteSetup.org
Domain names sometimes finish with .com, .org or .net, however in recent months, a large quantity of domain extensions (the finish a part of the net address, like .com) have commence, starting from .agency to .pizza.
My best advice? Avoid the weird extensions and go with .com, .net or .org unless they absolutely describe what you have got to supply – and even then, see if you’ll notice a a lot of common name.
If you’ve already got a website name, simply enter it in and click on “Next” on the “I have a site name” type.
If you aren’t able to opt for a website right off the bat, you’ll do it at a later purpose in your web site setup.a
STEP 4: Fill In Your Details
To create your account, simply enter in your personal info on the “create your account” page.
You’ll have to be compelled to add in your given name, last name, country, address, city, zip code, number, and email address. Your receipt are sent to the e-mail address you enter here.
It’s optional to conjointly add in your business name among this type.
Then, enter in your payment information to continue.
STEP 5: Check Your “Package Information” and Finish Registration
The next step in registering for a Bluehost account is to pick out you propose and package.
These ar the last steps you’ll bear before your account creation is complete, thus pay shut attention to the additional choices accessible, like Domain Privacy Protection.
- Domain Privacy Protection is simply $0.99 cents more per month, and keeps your personal info covert like your name and address.
- If you wish to stay your web site and domain info anonymous, go ahead and pay the additional $0.99 per month. If you don’t, make sure to uncheck this box.
STEP 6: Create Your Password
Once paid and registered, you’ll be able to create your password:
THINGS TO DO BEFORE NEXT STEP:
Do some group action to return up with a novel name that reflects your future web site, business or web log.
Secure your name and net hosting. For this i like to recommend Bluehost.com, however you’ll choose the other net host as long it’s reliable and easy.
STEP 3: SET UP & CUSTOMIZE YOUR SITE
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 to your domain.
There are two possible ways to install WordPress, one MUCH easier than the other.
1. TO CREATE A WEBSITE WITH WORDPRESS (OR JOOMLA & DRUPAL), USE ONE CLICK INSTALLATION:
Almost every reliable and well-established hosting company has integrated 1-click-installation for WordPress, that produces getting going a snap.
If you signed up with Bluehost or the opposite similar hosting company, you ought to realize your “1-click-installation” in your account instrument panel.
Here ar the steps you need to follow (should be similar/same on all the most web hosting companies):
- Log in to your hosting account.
- head to your control board.
- hunt for the “WordPress” or “Website” icon.
- select the domain wherever you would like to put in your web site.
- Click the “Install Now” button and you may get access to your new WordPress web site.
If you’re unable to locate it, look here: How to Install WordPress on Bluehost.
2. … OR MANUAL INSTALL (if needed)
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 automatically, look this manual guide below:
Installing WordPress Manually (Click to expand)Pssst – if they don’t have 1-click-installation, maybe you’re dealing with a bad host!
Choosing a Theme/Template for your site
Once you have successfully installed WordPress to your domain, you’ll see a very basic yet clean site:
But you don’t want to look like everyone else, do you?
That’s why you need a theme – a design template that tells WordPress how your website should look. See a sample version below:
Here’s where it gets fun: There are thousands of awesome, professionally designed themes you can choose from and customize for a site that’s all your own.
Here’s how to find a theme you like:
1. Log into your WordPress dashboard
If you’re not sure how, type in: https://yoursite.com/wp-admin (replace “yoursite” with your domain).
This is what the WordPress dashboard looks like:
Everything is easily labelled. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t sweat it – I’m going to show you where to go next.
2. Access FREE themes
Once you’re within the dashboard, you’ve got access to over 1500 free themes! simply look on the facet bar for “Appearance”, then click “Themes”.
If you would like one thing a lot of skilled or elegant than what you discover here, you’ll head over to ThemeForest.net wherever there’s a large library of themes to choose from at varied prices.
But before you are doing that, i actually recommend you a minimum of strive disbursement it slow browsing the free themes. several of them are literally extremely skilled and well made; therefore don’t write them off.
As you’ll be able to see above, putting in a replacement theme for your web site is incredibly simple.
You can search for specific keywords and/or use filters to search out themes that suit your style. Finding the proper theme will take a minute, however it’s worthwhile.
You should additionally search for themes that are “responsive”, as this implies they’ll look smart on any mobile device.
Just punch it in together of your keywords, and you’ll be all set!
3. Install your new theme
Once you have found a theme you like, installing it is as simple as clicking “Install” followed by “Activate”.
How do I add content and create new pages?
With your theme installed, you’re ready to start creating content. Let’s quickly run through some of the basics:
Adding and editing pages
Want a “Services” page, or AN “About Me” page (like I even have on my menu at the top of the site)?
1. Look on the sidebar within the WordPress Dashboard for “Pages” -> “Add New”.
2. Once you’ve clicked, you’ll realize a screen that appears plenty like what you’ve perhaps seen in Microsoft Word. Add text, pictures and additional to make the page you wish, then reserve it once you’re done
Adding pages to the menu
If you wish your new page to be joined to in your navigation bar,
1. Save any changes you’ve created to the page by clicking “Update”
2. Click “Appearance” -> “Menus” within the sidebar of the WordPress Dashboard
3. realize the page you created and add it to the list by clicking the checkbox next to that then “Add to Menu”.
Adding and editing posts
If you have a blog on your web site, “Posts” are where you turn to next. you’ll use totally different classes to cluster similar posts.
If you wish to feature a journal to your web site, you’ll use totally different classes and posts. Let’s say you wish to form a class named “Blog”. To do so, merely add it to your menu and begin creating posts.
Here’s what you would like to do:
a. produce a replacement class by reaching to “Posts -> Categories”
b. produce a journal post by reaching to “Posts -> Add New”. Once you’ve finished writing your journal post, you would like to feature the correct class for it.
Once you’ve created your class, merely add it to the menu, and you’re in business!
Customization & Endless Tweaks…
In this section I’ll cover some of the basic things I’m asked about all the time that will help you to tweak your website.
Changing Your Title and Tagline
Page titles notify searchers what your web site is concerning, and they’re additionally an enormous a part of however search engines verify your rankings, therefore you wish to take care they’ve got the keywords you wish to focus on in them (but during a natural means, written for real people).
You should use a novel title on each page of your website. for instance, my site’s title is “How to create a Website”.
(Can’t realize it? simply hold your mouse over the tab at the highest of your internet browser).
Taglines ar additional at the top of titles across each page. My site’s tagline is “Step by Step Guide”
In order to alter the title and tagline on your web site, move to “Settings -> General” and fill within the kind below:
Disabling Comments for Posts & Pages
Some websites (business/organisation sites mostly) don’t want their guests to be ready to discuss their pages.
Here’s how to shut comments off on WordPress pages:
While you’re writing a replacement page, click “Screen Options” within the high right corner.
2. Click the “Discussion” box. The “Allow Comments” box can seem at all-time low.
3. Untick “Allow Comments”.
Want to disable comments on every new page by default?
1. Go to “Settings -> Discussion” and untick “Allow people to post comments on new articles”
Setting Up a Static Front Page
Some individuals contact ME saying they’re pissed off that their home page feels like a blog post. you’ll be able to fix that by creating your home page “static”.
A static page could be a page that doesn’t modification. not like a blog, wherever the first new article can show up at the top every time, a “static” page will show a similar content every time somebody involves the location – sort of a home page you’ve designed.
To set up a static front page:
1. Go to “Settings -> Reading”
2. Choose a static page that you have created. “Front Page” denotes your home page, “Posts page” is the front page of your blog (if your entire site isn’t a blog).
If you don’t choose a static page on your own, WordPress will take your latest posts and start showing them on your homepage.
Most WordPress themes have a aspectbar on the correct side (in some cases it’s on the left).
Most WordPress themes have a aspectbar on the correct side (in some cases it’s on the left).
If you would like to urge eliminate the sidebar or change things you are doing not would like like “Categories”, “Meta” and “Archives”, that ar sometimes pointless, here’s how:
1. visit “Appearance -> Widgets” within the WordPress Dashboard.
2. From here, you’ll use drag and drop to feature totally different “boxes” to your sidebar, or take away the things you don’t need.
There’s conjointly a “HTML box” – a text box wherever you’ll use HTML code. For beginners, don’t worry regarding this bit – simply drag and drop the weather you’d like in your sidebar
Installing Plugins to Get More out of WordPress
What is a plugin?
“Plugins” area unit extensions that area unit designed to expand WordPress’ capabilities, adding options and functions to your website that don’t return inbuilt.
They’re shortcuts to obtaining your website to try and do what you wish to, while not having to make the feature from scratch.
You can use plugins to try and do everything from adding picture galleries and submission forms to optimizing your web site and making a web store.
How do I install a new Plugin?
To start installing plugins, go to “Plugins -> Add New” and simply start searching.
Keep in mind that there are over 25,000 different FREE plugins, so you’ve got a LOT to choose from!
Installation is easy – once you find a plugin you like, just click “Install”.
BUT – before you go and install every single one, I suggest you read this article: Things you need to know about using WP plugins.
To save you some time, I’ve put together a list of the most popular plugins that webmasters find useful:
- #1 Contact form 7: My web site features a contact type on my concerning Maine page. It’s AN amazing feature to possess, as individuals (like you!) will fill in the type and send Maine an email while not work into their own email supplier. If you would like to try and do something similar, undoubtedly get this plugin.
- #2 Yoast SEO for WordPress: If you want to make your WordPress site even more SEO-friendly, this plugin is a must-have. It’s free, and it’s awesome. You’ll be able to edit your title tags, meta descriptions and more, all from within the page itself – no more fussing with WordPress settings.
- #3 Google Analytics: Interested in tracking your visitors/traffic and their behaviour? Just install the plugin, connect it with your Google account and you’re ready to go.
Congratulations – you’re ready to launch!
If you’ve followed the steps in this guide, you should now have a fully-functional WordPress website! That wasn’t so bad, was it?
Last but not least, keep improving your website.