Believe it or not, but learning how to make a wordpress website from scratch is one of the more important skills you should master as a small businessman nowadays.
These is the reasons here:
- If you know how to develop your own website, you will save a lot of money on web developers and web designers.
- This will also allow you to update your website as the market trends and put new things on your website without needing any other programmer’s help.
- You will effectively stay ahead of your competitors because, while they have their own projects slowed down by the need to reach the developers, you will be able to build most things by yourself (within reason, of course).
With that being said, the most essential piece of the thing here is that you can easily learn how to make a WordPress website and then create something special for your business or project all on your own work.
Last but not least, the DIY approach (no coding skills is required) that we’re presenting here is incredibly low budget. In fact, you can build and run your website for as little as ~$12 annually.
Here’s our team make a full step by step guide how to make a website on your own:
In a hurry? Here are your action shortcuts to get a site built in less than an hour:
- First task is to Find a domain name for your site.
- You have to sign up for web hosting (we recommend Hostinger).
- Get WordPress installed via the Hostinger interface(hpanel).
- Pick a free suitable WordPress theme from the Hostinger onboarding.
- Get some important WordPress plugins that will help with your site handle easily.
- Start creating your most usable pages(home,privacy, about) and blog posts.
When you’re all things ready to sign up for a web hosting account, make sure you use one of the Hostinger links on this page. Be clear with you that Going through them will result in two things: (1) First of all they are affiliate links, which means that we will receive a small commission if you buy through them, (2) second think is that it will unlock a $1.39/mo plan and $2.59/mo discounted price with a free domain for you.
How to make a Wordpress website – in bird’s eye view
Okay, here’s the complete plan for what we’re going to do in the next few steps. The main essential thing to note is that it’s all DIY-able (if that’s a word) and that we’re minimizing the costs as much as possible wherever possible.
In short, what you’ll end up with at the end of this tutorial is a functional, beautiful website that won’t put you into debt. Here’s what we’ll go through:
Table of contents:
Why we should choose WordPress as your website platform
How to pick a good name for your website, buy a suitable domain & hosting
Get familiar with the wonderful WordPress UI
Pick a nice responsive theme / design for your business website
Get the most important plugins to extend your website’s abilities
Create basic pages and posts
Consider starting a blog
Adjust your site main navigation and footer
Watch the complete video version of this tutorial
Okay, here the last step is mostly up to you, and we won’t be focusing much on the real profit element in this guide. But we have other resources for that. Check them out:
Step 1: Choosing The WordPress as your website development platform
Truth be told, there are many website platforms out there which you can use when building a new site – all these kinds of tools we call Content Management Systems (CMS) are what they’re usually called.
The essence of a CMS is to give you some easy-to-use tools so that you’re able to edit your site’s content without any knowledge of web developing and coding . For the most part – from the user’s point of view – those CMS look much like most similar interfaces like Facebook or Google Docs. You easily create new pages or documents, and then have them published to the web.
But with enough technicalities! As I said, there are many CMS platform out there – more than 100, in fact, as listed by Wikipedia website.
Luckily, though, picking the best one is the simplest form . There’s only one king on top of the mountain – and it’s Mr.WordPress.
WordPress is used on more than 36% of all websites (data says). Again, that’s all websites!
|Popular website platforms||Usage|
Or, you can say in another language, roughly every one in three websites that you visit is built on WordPress. ⅓ cms websites are actually wordpress websites
Here are the main key features about WordPress:
- It’s a open source platform
- it’s completely free
- it’s the killer DIY solution for any kind of website building
- it’s extra features – can run any kind of website
- It's laser smooth, fast, well optimized, and ultra secure for its regular updates.
- it’s SEO-ready feature – makes promotion very easier
Now, one essential distinction is that ; the “WordPress” that cms that we’re talking about here is “WordPress, the software.” You can find it if you go to WordPress.org.
There’s also the other flavor of WordPress platform – “WordPress, the commercial service,” which you can find if you go to WordPress.com.
For now, though, let’s just clearly remember that what we want is at WordPress.org, since it’s a more secure, cheaper and versatile and cheaper-to-use version of the platform. This will all become completely clear in the next steps.
Action note. There’s no other actionable task that you need to do at this point. Step 1 is just about getting yourself familiar with this tool that you’re going to use to build your site in the next steps.
Step 2: Pick a Suitable name for your website, buy a domain & hosting
When you are learning how to make a website, picking a good name is probably the most fun aspect of the whole process.
After all, you have complete freedom here. You can pick literally any name you wish for your website.
However! There are still some things you need to understand to set up yourself for your success later down the road.
First off, there are nearly 2 billion (!) websites online (at the time of writing this article ). Meaning, staying in the top original can be quite challenging.
It’s a really good idea to construct your website’s name (and thus your domain name) around either the name of your own registered organization (the most obvious approach) or a phrase that’s associated with the niche you’re in, another way you can name your website with your own name also. My website is under my own name, Shubhamoy Majumder. but with some added words for better brandability.
In short, a good domain name should be:
- Always brandable – unique to sound, like nothing else that’s out there in the market elsewhere
- Its very easy to memorize
- In short – those are also easier to memorize
- easy to type the website name and hard to mix it up – you don’t want people to be wondering how to spell your site’s name
- including your niche-related keywords – for instance, if you do anything with travel, it would be cool to have “trave;” somewhere in the name of the site; it works the same in travel industries as well.
Here’s a quick tool you can use to find out if the suitable domain name you’re interested in is available:
If you have no idea , to choose your domain name then it's best to go straight to our no.1 generator – Domain Wheel and see how it can help you.
There you can start by inputting a seed keyword that defines your website well.
Domain Wheel will come back with a list of suggestions. You can narrow it down from there to find your suitable domain name.
The next step once you know which domain name you want is to register it and also buy a hosting package in one go. Let’s take care of that next:
a) Buying your domain name and hosting
Note. Things like buying a web hosting package might sound intimidating at first time , but I can assure you that there’s really nothing to worry about. The process we’re presenting here is very much simplified and doesn’t require you to do any technical heavy-lifting.
Beginner's note: What is hosting anyway?
There are tens if not hundreds of different companies' names out there that you can register a new domain name for you. Then, there are also tons of companies that can sell you a hosting package…
But let’s not complicate things for ourselves and instead get everything from a single company – and in one go.
We’re going to use Hostinger. Here’s why:
- Hostinger is a reputable web host that’s optimized for WordPress and will make sure that your website operates with no hiccups
- it’s one of the few companies recommended on the official WordPress.org website and hostinger is one of them
- it’s cheap (from $1.39/month)
- it’s easy to use and beginner-friendly user interference
- you get a domain name for free
Here’s what’s going to happen now:
- We’re going to go to Hostinger and pick a hosting plan for our website.
- We’re going to register a domain name with Hostinger as well (the domain is free).
- We’re going to tell Hostinger to install and configure a clean version of WordPress on our new hosting setup.
- We’ll walk out with a 100% operational WordPress website!
Let’s get started – this is how to make a website:
First, click here to go to Hostinger. Once on the page, click on the “Select ” button.
In most cases if you’re launching a new site, the cheapest plan – called Basic – is going to be enough. It’s only $1.39/month:
In the next step, enter the domain name that you’ve decided to get for your site:
Next, provide your personal data:
Before continuing, it’s good to check and confirm the parameters of the hosting setup that you’ve chosen. This can be found in the section labeled package information:
Note; you’ll get the lowest price if you purchase your hosting package for at least 1months.
At this stage, you can click on “SUBMIT” and finalize your purchase.
b) Telling Hostinger to install WordPress for you
Since you now have signed up to Hostinger and have your hosting setup ready to go, the only element that’s missing is WordPress.
Installation While you technically can install WordPress manually, why would you if you can get other people to do it for you, and for free! Here’s how:
As soon as you completed the sign-up process with Hostinger, you should have received an email from the Hostinger crew with some details on how to log into your own hosting profile and begin working on your site.
Once you’re logged in, Hositnger will show you an easy to use wizard that takes you through the process of installing WordPress on your hosting setup.
Alternatively, you can also install WordPress by going to the dashboard then import website
All that Hostinger needs in order to install WordPress for you is the name of your new site and then you have to choose your username and set up a good strong password that you want to use when managing WordPress. Once you’ve completed the process, your site is installed and ready to go!
Step 3: Get familiar with the WordPress UI
You can log in to your WordPress admin user panel if you go to www.YOURDOMAIN.com/wp-admin/
This is what you’ll see:
Use the current username and password credentials that you’ve set in Hostinger in the previous step (the “WordPress install screenshot” above).
After logging in successfully, you’ll see the main WordPress interface in all its glory:
- (1) Welcome message – Some of the most essential important areas of the admin panel listed as quick shortcuts links – these are usually your shortcuts to how to make a website.
- (2) The current status of your site and what’s going on with it.
- (3) Posts – go here to create your blog posts.
- (4) Media – here you can upload/manage images and other media files here.
- (5) Pages – you can create a new page and subpage here.
- (6) Comments – this is where you can moderate your user comments.
- (7) Appearance – here you can change your site’s design here and/or customize how certain things are displayed on the current design.
- (8) Plugins – here you can install new plugins and activate and deactivate them and customize them as you need.
- (9) Users – here you can manage user accounts that can access the admin panel of the website.
- (10) Settings – the main settings of the website.
At this stage, it’s good to take care of some basic getting-started WordPress settings that will improve your experience further down the road.
a) Set permalinks
Permalinks define how the individual web page addresses will perform– aka URLs – are structured within your site.
The most optimized web structure is to have the page’s title in the URL section. For example, your “about” page (more we tell about the page later on) should be available under something as simple as YOURSITE.com/about. Setting the permalinks correctly will allow you to achieve that.
To set your permalinks, go to your Settings → Permalinks from the main sidebar in your WP dashboard.
Once there, select this setting:
b) Making your site public
I guess you want Google to be able to find and index your website. To make sure that’s the case, go to Settings → Reading section, and go to that the box labeled “Discourage search engines …” is unchecked.
c) Set your website title and tagline
Go to Settings → General and set the Site Title and Tagline fields to what you want.
Your site title and tagline might appear in various places throughout the site. Some WordPress themes display those on the homepage and in the SEO description – which Google uses when listing your website on the results pages.
The tagline is optional – you can leave it blank if you don’t have a tagline for your site .
d) Allow or disable user comments
Whether or not you want to accept user post comments on your website is always up to you.
On the one hand, letting readers leave their opinions and questions under your articles/pages can be great for building a community standard around the website. But, on the other, you’ll also have your hands busy dealing with spam and making sure that there’s no trolling.
Whether you’ll end up allowing or disabling comments, it can be done in the Settings → Discussion section.
e) Disable pingbacks and trackbacks
I don’t find any reason why this setting is even still in WordPress. It’s mostly a leftover from back in the day when we saw pingbacks and trackbacks were a thing.
Though, if you want to learn how to make a beautiful website in this day and age, you can simply deactivate them by deselecting the following setting in Settings → Discussion.
f) Set up your time zone
Setting up your time zone perfectly will make publishing new pages and posts more predictable and good seo friendly.
Generally, you want to set the time zone to either where your location or where your target audience is situated. Whichever makes more sense to you.
You can set the time zone in by going to Settings → General.
With the basic settings out of the way, we can get to the fun stuff:
Step 4: Pick a theme / design for your website
The great thing about WordPress is that it works with interchangeable designs – basically it's called themes.
Meaning, you can easily switch your way your WordPress website looks with just one click.
For example, this is what a look of WordPress website looks by default, right after the installation:
With just a couple of clicks, you can easily setup with a popular free theme called Ocean Wp, for example, we can get it to look like this:
a) Pick a responsive theme that you like
As I mentioned, earlier WordPress themes are out-the-box design packages that define the way how your website looks. You can install them quickly and then change them in the future if you need to.
The critical detail here is that themes don’t change the contents of your site but only alter the presentation of the site.
There’s a huge abundance of WordPress themes out there. Just looking into the official library at WordPress.org, there are hundreds of themes out there.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of free themes out on the web on third-party sites, and there’s also a whole other world of paid themes that are distributed by independent theme stores and even theme marketplaces (like in ThemeForest).
Even though there are thousands of myriads of paid themes out there, for most users, free themes are a good option to startout. The surprising thing about some of these best free themes is how many popular features they bring to the table without asking for anything in return.
So, how to pick a theme that is right for you? Here are some tips if you want to give this a more in-depth look. Generally, though, you don’t need to spend too much time on this and go a simple route instead.
We can do that because the theme you choose today may not be your final decision. You can always come back to it and if you wish then definitely you can change it within a matter of minutes.
Therefore, it's best to go for a safe bet and use one of the most popular free themes out in the market today to demonstrate how WordPress themes work. That theme is the aforementioned Ocean Wp.
Note. In the following example we use use Ocean Wp as the example, but it's also true that it’s not the only free theme that you can use. Here’s a list of collection of theme roundups for multiple purposes, starting from business websites to blogs, travel, food, personal sites, and more. You can use any one of those themes as you wish. The procedure is the same.
b) Install your main theme
If the theme you’ve chosen for your website is available in the official directory of WordPress.org then the only thing you need in order to install it is the theme’s name. Yep. That’s it.
Here’s how theme installation is done:
Go to Appearance → Themes from your WordPress dashboard and then click on “Add New.”
From there, in search bar , input the name of the theme that you want to install, like so:
You’ll see it displayed on the list below the search field. Just click on the Install plugin button under your desired theme:
After a couple of seconds, the theme will be installed on your website. To fully make it functional on your site, you have to click on the “Activate” button that will appear in place of the “Install” button.
Ocean Wp is one of those themes that offer some excellent onboarding for new users. To see what the theme has in store for you, click on the button from the welcome prompt.
You’ll see your main Ocean Wp panel from which you can learn about the theme and extend its out-the-box features with some extras. Let’s do that now.
First, click on the “Recommended Actions” link to see what’s available.
Out of the options proposed there, let’s go with only “Orbit Fox Companion” for now. Just click the “Install and activate” button.
Note. Orbit Fox Companion is an excellent plugin. We’ll talk about WordPress plugins more in depth later in this guide on how to make a website.
Orbit Fox is a nice addition to Ocean Wp as it gives some cool features to upgrade your site’s looks. For instance, you get some useful new modules for the homepage, a template directory that will be helpful when building your sub-pages (such as “about” or “contact”), and custom menu icons.
At this stage, your new theme is active on your site. You can see it in action simply by going to YOURDOMAIN.com.
Though, what you’re seeing right there now, is far from the theme’s complete potential. Right now, we’ll take care of adapting the design, menus, and other elements to make the site look exactly like what you want . Here’s how:
c) Customize the wordpress theme
While the out-the-box look of your theme might be already quite nice, you should still do some basic changes to make it fit your needs hand-in-glove.
To begin with, go to Appearance → Customize. You’ll see the main WordPress Customizer interface.
From there, you can fine-tune a load of things. We’ll start with the homepage, since it’s the most representative.
Setting up your homepage.
Do the following:
- In the sidebar, you have to go to “Homepage Settings.”
- Select the option, there “A static page” under your homepage display setting section.
- Click on the “Add New,” to create a new page to act as your homepage or your main page.
- You must Input the name for the page – “HOME” seems like a good idea – and click on “Add.” button.
This will replace the default listing of your site’s most recent articles with a new completely custom homepage. By default, you’ll see some cool elements will arrive on your new homepage.
For starters, let’s change the main headline there on the home page. It’s a good idea to put either the name of your business brand there or anything else that serves as the title for your entire site.
To make the changes happen, click on the pencil icon that’s next to the headline section.
When you do so, a good customization panel will appear on the left window.
Through it, you can:
- Easily change the background image – make it something related to your business brand
- change the title section
- change the text under the title section– you can remove this completely if you want to
- change the button text there – usually leading to your products or most crucial pages (more on that in a minute)
Underneath that, you easily get to adjust any of the other available homepage blocks there. By default, you get all of these things (see this list by going to “Frontpage Sections” from the Customizer sidebar there):
- The Features section of that is a great place to explain what your company has to offer your customer or what the purpose of the brand is – that “purpose” is probably the no.1 thing to keep in mind as you learn how to make a website.
- The About page where you generally talk about about your story.
- The Team section there you can use if more people work in your business and you’d like to highlight them as in the image section.
- The Ribbon section is another place where you can mention your primary call to action.
- The Testimonials in there are awesome when you want to showcase what your previous customers had to say about your business.
- Another famous section is the Contact section where you can display your contact information and let people know how to best reach you.
There are also a handful of more essential sections available. It’s best to browse through those and pick the ones that make sense to use for your business brand and in your specific aim to target your audience.
When you’re done adjusting the your homepage, don’t forget to click on the main “Publish” button that’s at the top the page.
Adjusting the typography.
Another important thing to make your website beautiful is to set up the fonts as we call here the typography .You can do that by going to The Appearance Settings → Typography section from the WordPress Customizer sidebar. There, you will be able to pick a font and see it on your site immediately.
Out of the box, your new theme is going to use a couple of primary colors there that define its default color scheme. You can change that setting in the WordPress Customizer settings. Just click on Colors in the main sidebar.
The Accent Color is usually the color used for buttons there, links, and everything else that’s meant to stand out from the rest of the site’s design.
After doing the above customization , your website will start looking like it’s truly your fantasy. You will have made all the necessary steps, tune-ups and customizations,settings to make it fit with your brand look.
Note. There are many more settings in the WordPress Customizer to experiment with. For instance, you can:
- pick the default layout of your website – whether you want to place the sidebar to be on the left, right, or nowhere in your website.
- how you want the blog listing to be displayed. Are they displayed like a grid menu or like a list menu? It's all your own choice.
- whether you want a main background image for the entire site, or not
- the shape of the buttons, its size, its color and much more.
Step 5: Get plugins to extend your wordpress website’s abilities
Plugins are to your WordPress site what apps are to your iPhone.
In other words, you can say that they extend the standard functionality of your site by adding some cool, much-needed features. Essentially, as you’re figuring out how to make a beautiful website that catches the attention of the customer then plugins are the best choice to how you can get some great features without knowing any coding.
Here are the some excellent plugins you should consider getting – best of all, they are all free:
- Yoast SEO – one of my best plugins that helps me make search engine optimization tweaks and make your site more accessible to the search engines in general.
- Google Analytics for WordPress – you can analyze your traffic with this cool plugin. It is one of the popular traffic analysis solutions on the web.
- Wordfence Security – the best security of your website to improve the defunct of your WordPress site.
- UpdraftPlus – does automatic backups of your website. Best for getting the backups.
- Smush– optimizes your images. easily
- WPForms – The best form feature in the wordpress . You can easily create interactive contact forms to your website, which your visitors can use to reach you directly to contact – much better than displaying your email in plain text on your site.
- Also look through this list of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time in the market. You might find something interesting there as well.
Installing plugins is a simple way to use. If it’s a free plugin that we’re dealing with, then all you need is remember the plugin’s name.
Go to your console dashboard and then to Plugins → Add New. From there, input the name of the plugin that you want into the search field, and then click on “Install” and “Activate.”
Step 6: Create the basic pages for your wordpress website
There are some pages that websites should have in common, regardless of their purpose or goal.
But first, the question arrives in mind how to even create a page in the first place:
To do that, simply go to your WordPress dashboard console, and then Pages → Add New. You’ll see this screen:
- (1) A place where you place a headline of the page.
- (2) The body section out there– the main content of the page. The interface is very similar to Google docs . You get all the basic text formatting tools there(like bold, italics, aligning text to left/right/center, creating lists, etc.).
- (3) You can easily add the images by clicking this button.
- (4) Switch between the Text for html format there and Visual editors there. Use the former only if you’re at least vaguely familiar with the HTML code section.
- (5) The Publish section. This is where the main Publish button is.you can publish your post by clicking this button in there.
- (6) Discussion. Where you can Decide whether or not you want to allow comments from your user or not . The “trackbacks and pingbacks” setting there you can leave unchecked.
- (7) Featured image. Most WordPress themes have this cool thing take that featured image and display it somewhere in a prominent spot alongside your page.
When you’re done editing the page’s content there , click on “Publish.” button
Now, with the how-to out of the way, here are the pages you should consider creating:
- About – I’ve mentioned this page a couple of times earlier in this post now since it’s really an important one. Your About page is where you get to tell all the story of what your website is and why people should pay attention to it. This one page is basically a must-have for everyone who wants to learn how to make a website.
- Contact – this is where you can easily display some contact info along with a nice contact form, through which people can reach you directly (you can get such a form via the aforementioned WPForms plugin).
- Portfolio – a structured place where you can showcase your past work.
- Store – if you have an ecommerce website a crucial thing if you want to sell anything from your site. To make this work, you also need a popular WooCommerce plugin which is also free – the best ecommerce solution for WordPress.
Once you’re done with those, you can also check out this list of 12 valuable pages worth having on your site.
Step 7: Consider starting a blog post
A blog (as well as marketing through the content – aka “content marketing” in general) is among the most effective ways in the market right now to promote not only your website but also any products that you might want to sell through that website.
And it’s not just me saying this; there’s raw data out on the internet proving that blogs are a superior tool for marketing online, with 55% of marketers saying that blogging is their top inbound marketing priority now.
Running a blog website is a straightforward concept. What you do is publish articles related to the niche of your website and do it regularly.
From my point of view, WordPress has blogging tools built right into it from the get-go. In fact, WordPress is actually a blogging platform.
To create a new blog post, all you need to do is go to Posts → Add New (from your WordPress dashboard).
The process itself of creating a blog post works nearly the same as creating a new page. The editing panel looks nearly the same as(the screenshot below), and the options are mostly the same as well there.
One of the few differences is that you can also assign your posts to categories and tags.
This is what adding a new blog post looks like:
Once you’re done working on a blog post, click on “Publish.” button.
To make your posts easily accessible and readable, you should designate one of your pages to serve as the main blog listing for the posts.
- To do it, first, go to Pages → Add New and create a blank page. Call it “BLOG” – just to make things clear.
- Next, go to Settings → Reading, and select your newly created Blog page as the “Posts page” like so:
At this stage, you can navigate to that new page and see all your recent blog posts there.
Of course, the tough part about starting a blog is to write blog posts there regularly and to make them attractive for people to read. Here’s more on how to build a WordPress blog that rocks!
Step 8: Adjust your site main navigation section
With all your key pages online out there all you have to do is to create a navigation of your website. (and perhaps your blog started as well), make it overall easier to consume for the visitors.
We’ll focus on two elements here:
Menus are the primary widget there vehicle through which visitors navigate your site, thus they’re crucial when figuring out how to make a website.
Depending on your theme there , you will have a couple of options to choose from regarding menu settings. Here’s what you can usually do (on Ocean Wp’s example):
First, go to Appearance → Menus in your WordPress dashboard.
You’ll see this default panel:
To the left, there are all the pages you can choose to add to a menu in your website. To the right, you can see the menu structure present itself and all its settings.
The great thing about this whole panel is that you can easily drag and drop the menu items to reorder them.
When you’re done, you have to select the menu location at the bottom of this section . Usually, selecting the location labeled “Primary Menu” will result in showing the menu in the top section of the website. This is probably what you want for your main menu to be present. Click on “Save Menu” to save the settings.
Note. Not only that You can create additional menus as well. Just click on the “create a new menu” button that's in the screenshot above. This will show you the same menu creation panel. Each menu needs to be displayed in a new different location. So, for this new one, you can assign it as the “Footer Menu.” option.
When you go to your site now, you’ll see the menu in place right there.
Another cool feature is Wordpress Widgets . In simple terms, you can describe it as a widget is a small block of content out there which can be displayed in various places around the website.
The usual placement of those blocks is in the sidebar section or the footer section of the site.
To see what this might look like and to set your widgets, go to Appearance → Widgets in your WordPress dashboard console. You’ll get this screen:
The beautiful Ocean Wp theme offers a list of widget areas apart from the sidebar or the footer, but let’s not focus on those extra additional placements for now.
All you have to do to add any widget to a widget area, just grab it from the left-widow side and drag-and-drop it onto your chosen widget area on the right window side.
For instance, as you can see, on my site clearly , I have Search, Recent Posts, Archives, and Categories in my sidebar (clearly shown screenshot above). Here’s what those widgets look like when I go to my About page, for example:
After you're done with your widgets and navigation, your site is basically ready for the world to see! .