HOW TO MAKE A WEBSITE
The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide
This guide will teach you everything you need to know to make a website.
Easy to follow.
And it’s made for beginners.
It’s the perfect resource for entrepreneurs, businesses or really anyone looking to build an online presence.
Let’s dive in.
Today I am going to be walking you through step by step exactly how to make a website using WordPress completely from scratch.
Building a website seems daunting right? (Maybe even impossible)
I felt that way once too..
You probably think you’re aren’t “tech savvy” enough to create your website, not “creative” enough to be able to make a website.
Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to be either of these things to create a website, not these days.
Here is the simple 6 step process you will be following in this guide:
And yes, this guide is made for beginners (like you) who are wanting to learn how to make a website, and not spend thousands of dollars hiring someone else to do it for you.
You’re not going to need to learn a single line of code to create this website. It can all be done with a simple program called WordPress.
Instead of spending weeks if not months going back and forth with a web developer (and may not even be happy with the end result).
You’re going to take complete satisfaction in knowing that YOU have created your very own website.
And that is pretty satisfying thought! Not to mention a very valuable skill that will no doubt benefit you in the future!
I have been creating my own WordPress websites from scratch for over 7 years now (including the one you’re now on).
In fact, I actually have a popular (over 5000 students enrolled) and a completely free online course that walks people through step-by-step how to make a website using WordPress (More on that later).
So it is safe to say that I have a bit of knowledge of WordPress.
I am a big believer in teaching everything you learn.
And that is why I decided that I wanted to create this simple, yet comprehensive guide so that people can how to make a website easily and effortlessly.
The ‘Ultimate’ Guide?
What Makes This Guide Different?
Looking around at some of the other “how to make a website” guides out there I came to realise that most of them miss out on some very important areas that are crucial to building a website.
And most while claiming to be for beginners still seemed quite difficult to follow and assumed things of their readers that most people especially beginners would have trouble with.
They also seemed quite outdated in terms of the information and recommendations they were sharing.
I decided that I wanted to change that and offer something that is truly valuable and up to date. I wanted to make a guide that can be followed by anyone regardless of whether you have some experience or no experience at all.
And that is how this guide came about.
Here’s What This Guide Contains:
- How to choose the perfect domain name
- Setting up hosting
- How to install WordPress
- An overview of WordPress and how to use it
- How to install themes both free and premium (as well as some recommendations)
- How to create pages; including an about, blog, home and contact
- How to create posts and share them on a blog
- Recommended plugins
- Customizing your sidebar
- How to create your own personal email for your website e.g firstname.lastname@example.org
- The basics of SEO (easy enough for beginners to master)
And that’s not all..
You will also be getting:
- Free Video tutorials throughout the guide
- A Free PDF version of this post so you can view it any time, anywhere
- Access to my free online course on building a WordPress Website
- A full step-by-step tutorial on how to make a website with WordPress
This guide is perfect for entrepreneurs, business owners, creatives or really anyone looking to learn how to make a website and not have to spend thousands of dollars hiring someone to do it for you.
I have taken everything I know about WordPress and web design to create a guide that is not only comprehensive but also simple enough that anyone could follow it.
Excited? I am.
Let’s get started!
For Easy Navigation of This Guide
(Click To Navigate)
STEP 1: DOMAIN
Find Your Perfect Domain Name.
STEP 2: HOSTING
Set Up Your Hosting Service
STEP 3: INSTALL WORDPRESS
Set Up and Get Know WordPress
STEP 4: INSTALL A THEME
Find The Perfect Theme For Your Website
STEP 4: CUSTOMIZE
Customize Your Website
STEP 6: OPTIMIZE
Improve Your Site and Boost Traffic
What is WordPress?
Essentially WordPress is what is called a content management system or CMS for short. Now before you get turned off, basically it is a fancy name for a website builder, which allows you to customize and manage your own site without the need for coding.
10 years ago it was almost impossible to design a fully custom and decent looking website without knowing code or hiring someone who did, but now in 2018, it has never been easier to create your own website.
You will have your site up and running within 1-2 hours (Max) maybe even sooner depending on how productive you are 😉
There are many website builders out there and new ones continue to enter the market such as Squarespace and Wix but by far WordPress is still the most popular website builder, and will most likely remain that way forever.
Because it is simple to use (perfect for beginners), has incredible scaling and tweaking capabilities and it’s free!
What more could you ask for?
Alright, that’s enough background information.
Let’s build your website!
Finding a Domain Name
In this section I’ll be you will be learning what a domain name is. Why a domain name is so important. And how to find the perfect domain name.
Ok so in order to build your website we are going to need two crucial things. Without them.. Well you can’t have a website. It’s that simple.
- A domain Name (a web address like yoursitename.com)
- Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)
Selecting a Domain Name:
So a domain name is essentially your website address. So the address of this website is isaacblencowe.com. Yours will be yourdomainname.com.
Now it is important to know that a domain name is EVERYTHING.
For instance, it doesn’t matter how incredible your content is. If you have website called fluffyponies.com and your website is about personal development or business.. Well.. Good luck getting anyone to visit your site. (Other than people who love fluffy ponies)
How to Find The Perfect Domain Name:
So now it is obvious that Your domain name is very important and is why companies spend A LOT of money buying domains.
So if you have a domain name already in set in mind that is great!
I would recommend going to this website here where you can see whether your domain is available (Don’t buy it yet though! Just start looking)
But what I don’t have a domain name in mind?
Well start thinking..
Make sure it is something that is memorable and preferably short. No more than 3 words if possible.
This doesn’t look good right? thebestmostawesomewebsiteevermade.com
Now it is important to note that it is HIGHLY likely that your domain name you have in mind WILL be taken. (sorry to burst your bubble)
What can you do then?
Well if it does happen to you and the ingenious name that you came up with is already taken.
Then don’t be disheartened it could be for the best!
Because, it may just make you think outside the box and come up with something truly unique!
Remember it is OK to make up words or put words together..
Look at fiverr.com. One of the most popular freelancing sites on the planet.
Check the spelling of fiverr..
If you’re struggling a bit to create the perfect domain name or could just use some help, you can try Wordroid.com which will mash words together for you and create a unique domain name for you!
One other option is too add something relevant to the end business name that represents your business. For example, say your business was called Uplift and you were a media company you could try for the domain name upliftmedia.com and see whether it is available.
.COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, .ME, .WHAT??
Ok so question you may be asking yourself is what do I register my domain name as?
There are so many options available these days.
So I am going to break it down for you very quickly.. If you can the best thing you can do is get a .COM domain.
This is the most popular domain name and will remain so forever. Simply because it is what people trust most.
However, . NET or .ORG or fine substitutes. But again always try for .COM.
However there is one exception to this rule.
What is it?
If you’re a small business owner that operates solely in your own country (you don’t sell services or products online) and let’s say you operate in Australia.
Then you’re actually better off going with something like yourbusinessname.com.au.
It helps with google search and will actually let google know that you’re Australian and will help you turn up more in Australian results. (You can always purchase a .COM if you expand internationally)
Ok so once you have your brand new name. Now we need to purchase it.
Buying Your Domain and Hosting
In this section I’ll be showing you how to purchase your domain name and set up hosting for your website.
Yes this is the only part of this guide where you will be spending some (not too much) money.
WordPress itself is free, but a domain name and hosting costs money.
Luckily though it super affordable (much cheaper than hiring someone to build your site) and even better is the fact that I will help you guys get it even cheaper 🙂 (More on that later)
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website?
Ok so you may we be asking yourself how much does it cost to build a website?
Well not as much as you would think.
Depending on the plan you choose (and the help of one of my coupons) you could essentially have a fully functioning and professional website up and running for under $15!
Now it used to be that you had to buy your domain name separately from your web hosting.
However, you can now get them from the same place, right at the same time.
Buying them separately is still an option, but it’s so much easier to get them together. And that is what I am going to be showing you in this guide.
Which Domain and Hosting Company Should I Use?
Now there are a lot of domain and hosting companies out there.
And I have tried many of them (I have had some horror stories with some, including automatically drawing out a couple of hundred dollars in an account for a domain name I no longer used.. That wasn’t fun)
However, after a bit of research, I eventually found a hosting company that I like and have stuck with them ever since and frequently recommend them.
Who are they?
Here are the clear standouts for me:
- They offer really decent pricing (good for your wallet)
- There is almost never any downtime
- They allow for WordPress quick install (you will see this soon)
- Their support service is second to none (24/7 365 days of the year)
- Easy upgrading of your plan as your site expands
If nothing else I think that the incredible support service of Hostgator is its best selling point.
I recently purchased a domain name that I was using to create a tutorial/course only to find that my site suddenly disappeared and I could no longer access my site (that I’d spent over 15 hours putting together)
I promptly contacted live support.
And was met with an extremely helpful person who discovered that I had spelt my original sign up email wrong and therefore never confirmed my sign up email (I thought it was strange I didn’t receive one).
Eventually leading it to be taken down.
They stayed online until it was completely fixed for me and up and running again.
Talk about service!
And this is just one of the positive stories I have had with Hostgator. And why I continue to use them.
Because I felt so strongly about their service I decided to reach out to them to see if I could partner with them.
And help promote their services through tutorials and guides (like this one) and they said yes.
And as a result, I now get to promote their services and give people exclusive discounts. A win-win, I think 🙂
Full Disclosure: If you choose to use hostgator as I have recommended and click my links or use my coupon, I’ll earn a commission (though there is NO extra cost to you – and it will also be quite a bit cheaper since I’m able to offer a discount). It also allows me to give this information away for free and help you guys out.
I want to be very clear that I am not forcing you to choose hostgator (so don’t feel bullied).
There are many other companies you could use, which I am sure are also great. This is simply the one I’ve been using for years now, and I’m very satisfied. So if you do choose to use my link or coupon, then thank you very much! 🙂
So yeah. This guide assumes you are using HostGator; however, if you choose another host, these instructions should be pretty similar to what you need to do.
Buying the Domain Name and Hosting:
Ok so assuming you’re using HostGator then head on over to their website. And click “get started”.
I’d recommend just going with the hatchling plan for most of you (you can upgrade at any time) unless you’re already fairly well-established business then maybe consider the business plan.
Start your journey through the order page by picking out a domain name. Assuming you don’t already own one, stick with default tab Register a new domain, and type the one you’d like to see if it’s available. If it is, you’ll see a screen like the one below! Try not to have one as long as mine 😉
But What if I already Own a Domain??
This is no problem just simply select “I already own this domain” and it is the exact same process.
Beneath all the domain extension options, you’ll see an option for adding domain privacy protection.
This is a service that prevents your name, address, and phone number from coming up in WHOIS searches. This is an optional choice but it is usually worth it as it will prevent spammers from contacting you.
It will add an extra cost on so if you don’t want it simply uncheck it (you can turn it on at any time you like)
If you uncheck it this is what you will see.
Then fill out all the necessary billing information. Try to use your correct information 😉
Next, you’ll see a section for Hosting Add-ons. Honestly, I don’t think you need ANY of these.
In the section on Plugins, I’ll show you some ways you can keep your site secure, backed up regularly, and more likely to show up highly in Google search results (SEO) including getting your own private email 🙂
So make sure you untick all of these. And save your money!
Ok so now we get onto actually purchasing our domain and hosting! Remember how I told you I have a special discount for you guys?
Well, you’re are going to be pretty impressed by them. I have two options for you and you can choose whichever suits you best!
The first option is to get your first month of hosting for just 1 cent (yep no joke). Pretty decent saving!
So essentially all you will just have to pay for is the domain name (and if you already had one then this checkout will literally cost you 1 cent)
Just use the code ISAAC1CENT exactly as you see it. All upper case.
This option is best for people looking to spend the least amount up front and pay on a monthly basis.
Your second option is to pay for your hosting in one annual lump sum. Which I know many people prefer. And I have a coupon that gets you up to 60% off of your hosting plan (40% more than Hostgator gives out to regular customers)
Just use the code ISAAC60PERCENT exactly as you see it. All upper case.
This option will cost you more up front but saves more in the long run.
Ok, let me walk you through the two options..
Option 1: 1 Cent Hosting
Scroll back up and select 1 month from the drop-down menu. This is very important in order to make this code work!
Then scroll back down and type in ISAAC1CENT and you will see that it validates and will bring your price down significantly 🙂
Option 2: Lump Sum Discount
First type in the code ISAAC60PERCENT
Now scroll back up and select your desired time frame. I recommend 12 months but you can choose higher or lower. Just remember the more you choose the higher the discount 🙂
Once you have chosen your discount just simply tick the terms and conditions (read them if you really want too..) and click “check out now”. And there you have it you are now the official owner of your domain!!
Once you’ve paid, you’ll receive an email that contains “Your Account Info” in the subject link – that’ll have all the information you’ll need to continue..
In this section I’ll be showing you how to install WordPress, some important things to do when you first get started with WordPress and how to navigate the dashboard.
Need offline access?
No worries. Let me send you a copy so you can read it when it’s convenient for you. Just let me know where to send it (takes 5 seconds):
Time to start actually building your site!
And don’t worry if you have chosen Hostgator they make it incredibly easy!
So going to your email you will have received from Hostgator. Click the link that says “your control panel”
You will be brought to this screen
Go back to your email and copy and paste the username and password
Paste in your details and hit log in! (Get excited we are now logging into your site for the very first time)
You will be brought to this area. (Don’t worry we only use one part of it!) Just simply click on WordPress installer.
You will be brought this the below screen. Simply select your website from the dropdown menu. Making sure not to type anything into the directory section otherwise is will install into the wrong section of your website. Then simply hit next.
Then fill in the form on the next page like so:
- Choose a Blog Title. This can be your business name or if you’re are creating a personal website. Your full name.
- Choose an Admin Username. Don’t use “admin”, as it’s unsecure (since it’s commonly used). Anything else is fine.
- Enter your first and last name – these can also be changed later if needed.
- Enter an Admin Email. Make sure it’s one you use.
- Check both of the boxes beneath the text fields.
- Click Install Now.
Once you’ve done that, you should see a big green check mark and the words “Installation Complete”.
You should also see a section titled Installation Details. Here you’ll find your WordPress username and a generated password. (Don’t worry ill show you how we can easily change this password to whatever you like)
Ok thats WordPress installed! Well done! See I told you it was easy 🙂
If you visit your site right now, you’ll see a “Website Coming Soon” page – which will go away and be replaced by your new website once you log into the WordPress Dashboard and launch it.
Getting to Know WordPress:
Now it is time to get things moving! Let’s log in to WordPress for the very first time.
Ok so to get to the dashboard of your site, simply type yourcoolnewdomain.com/wp-admin into your browser – this is where you’ll do everything else related to building/customizing your site. It’d probably be a good idea to bookmark that link!
Then you will be brought to a log in screen (this is something you will visit frequently, especially if you’re a blogger)
Simply fill in the username you set up. And the password you were given. You will have received an email about it. (And don’t worry I’ll show you how you can create your own password so you don’t have to remember that crazy one every time)
Copy and paste it across and hit log in. Your very first login! (how exciting, this could be the humble beginnings of your million dollar website..)
Ok, so you will be brought to this screen here. This is WordPress essentially the backend of your website. And as you will soon realise it is extremely easy to use.
You will be met with a message asking you to take you through WordPress, you can take it but I am here to help you through the process 😉
Creating a Custom Password:
Let’s change that stupidly long password to something easier. It’s very simple.
Just click your admin profile in the top right-hand corner and click “edit my profile.”
Then scroll down to the very bottom of the page and you will see an area that you can create a new password. Simply fill in your new password and hit update.
Cleaning Up House:
Let get rid of all of the pointless plugins that WordPress gives you that slow down your site. (Don’t worry ill be giving you some good ones later on)
- On the left side of the Dashboard click Plugins.
- Check the box next to Jetpack by WordPress.com, MOJO Marketplace, and OptinMonster API.
- Click the drop-down menu labelled “Bulk Actions” and select Deactivate. Hit Apply.
- Now, check the box next to all the plugins – except Akismet.
- Click the Bulk Actions drop-down once again and select Delete. Hit Apply.
Why keep Akismet? Because you’re going to want akismet. It stops the spammers. That WILL come to your site if you don’t have it. So best to keep it 😉
Ok so let’s do a quick little overview of wordpress.
Dashboard – the “home base” of WordPress. This is what you seen when you log in, and it contains whatever widgets you’ve chosen to show on it.
Posts – This is where you’ll go when you want to write a blog post or edit an existing one.
Media – Here you can browse through and edit media you’ve uploaded to your posts and upload even more.
Pages – here you can create Pages, which is what you’ll be using for the main content on your site. Pages are different from Posts because they will show up in your site’s main navigation instead of going on your list of blog posts.
Comments – here you can see the comments on your blog (if you decide to have one).
Appearance – this is where you’ll customize the look and feel of your site. It where you can install a theme.
Plugins – this is where you can add and manage your plugins, which are like small apps that can give your site new functionality.
Users – here you can manage the user profiles on your site. Since this is a personal site, the only one that should be here is your own.
Tools – by default, the only things here are the Import/Export options, the Press This bookmarklet, and a Categories/Tags converter. Right now, you won’t need any of these.
Settings – this section houses all the general settings for your site. There’s a lot of stuff here.
Ok so now that you know what does what, you should have an easier time navigating WordPress and creating your website!
Change Your Permalink Structure (How Your Post Displays):
Something important to do especially if you want your site to be SEO friendly (friendly to google search) then you want to change your permalinks structure. (don’t worry about what that jargin means just follow the simple steps)
It’s very easy!
- Hover over Settings and click Permalinks.
- Choose the option for Post Name.
- Save your changes.
Installing a Theme
In this section I’ll be taking you through installing a theme for your website, my recommendations for ones to consider and places you can find more. As well as show you how to install both free and premium themes.
So if you take a look at your site now by clicking visit site in the top left-hand corner.
You will be taken to your site and how it looks at the moment..
That is the free theme that WordPress gives you. It isn’t much to look at I know.
So lets get your site looking a bit better by installing a better theme! (unless you somehow like the theme WordPress gives you)
Installing a Theme:
The beauty of WordPress is that you literally have thousands of themes to choose from some free and some premium (paid). But you can do a lot with a free theme (in fact this site was created using a free theme that I then built upon) and there are some incredible ones out there. (I’ll share my recommendations in a moment)
So to install a theme simply go to appearance – themes – add new.
This is the theme marketplace you can literally access thousands of themes here. Most are free. So feel free to have a look around! However with so much to choose from it can be difficult to know what to go with.
Like anything there are some clear standouts with themes, I have tried a lot of themes. But there are a few that I would highly recommend checking out:
This theme is one of the most versatile and customizable free themes available. It is actually amazing how much you can do with it, it’s also very clean, professional and modern looking. If you’re looking for the perfect theme for creating a website for your business then this may just be the perfect theme.
And what is even better is that I actually have an entire tutorial on both Udemy and Youtube taking you through exactly how to build it! And both are completely free! If you’re serious about creating your own website then I would highly recommend that you check out the course on Udemy or tutorial on Youtube. I go into a lot more detail than I can go into with this guide and you can actually follow along with me as you go!
Here is the tutorial on Youtube:
But you don’t have to decide now, in fact, I recommend that you finish going through this guide first. But I will remind you about it at the end 🙂
The Sydney theme is one of the most popular free themes available. And for good reason, it is probably the most customizable free theme available. Honestly, you can make an incredible website using it, once you know what you’re doing with it. Especially the fact that it is compatible with the elementor page builder.
It takes the theme to a whole new level. It’s versatile enough that it can be used for creating a website for your business, a blog or even a personal brand. In fact, this very website was created using the Sydney theme as a base. It really is an incredible theme for creating a professional website.
Another fantastic free theme. Again this is a great theme whether you’re looking at creating a website for your business or personal brand. This one again is extremely easy to use and customization.
Best Premium Theme (paid):
Now, of course, if you’re going to pay money for a theme there is no doubt that it is going to have a lot more functionality, customization and tweaks. You have paid for it after all! There are a lot of good premium themes out there but the most popular one of them all and for good reason is the DIVI theme.
It is the number 1 most purchased WordPress theme of all time. What sets premium themes out from free themes is the fact that most come with a premade layouts, which can make building a website that next bit easier.
And Divi comes with over 20 premade layout ready for you to use.
Not to mention its drag and drop features. So if you don’t mind spending some money on a theme, then this could be your answer.
Plus there are plenty of free tutorials showing you how to use it! So definitely worth considering.
You can check it out here.
That being said I still think you can do a lot with a free theme if you know what you’re doing. (This website was built with a free theme)
But if you’re ok with spending a little bit extra money. It is certainly worth it in the long run. And can sometimes make things easier.
Find Your Own Theme:
If you want to do your own looking I would highly recommend these sites. Have a look around you could look through these sites for hours! There is that much too choose from.
- Official WordPress theme repository – the biggest source of free themes
- Themify – my current favourite place to find WordPress themes
- Elegant Themes These are the people who made Divi. They have many other themes to choose from as well.
- ThemeForest – which has hundreds of themes, for all different prices. Some as cheap as $10. So check out this search. You will most likely find something you need! I’d highly recommend looking into a theme called salient it has over 200 premade theme layouts to choose from (no joke) so you certainly get your moneys worth with that one.
Ok so once you’ve found something that you like, let’s get it installed!
Installing a theme:
Now there are two ways to install a theme. Regardless of whether you have chosen to get your theme for free from the WordPress marketplace or have purchased a premium theme, I am going to take you through both 🙂
Just follow which ever is applicable to you.
Installing a Free Theme:
Let’s say you have decided to go for with the Hestia theme.
Good choice you can follow my tutorial at the end of this guide!
Simply go back to appearance – themes – add new. Use the search bar to find the theme your would like for example Hestia.
Now click install and then click activate. And you’re done! You will now have your new theme installed.
Installing a Premium Theme:
Download the theme to your computer. It will come as a zip file.
Once you have the .zip file, it’s time to install it.
- On the WordPress Dashboard, hover over Appearance and click Themes.
- Click the tab at the top that says Add new.
- Find and click the link that says Upload Theme.
- Choose your .zip file and click Install Now.
- Make sure the theme was installed successfully, and click Activate.
Here is a helpful video in case you get lost 🙂
And that’s it!
Now at this point there no way I can help you guys with EVERY theme you could install and how to set it up.
But I can give you the basics which are the same for all of them!
So if you need help with setting up your theme I would recommend checking the documentation you would have been given with the theme, it should have information on your theme.
Or better yet just type the name of your theme and “tutorial” on the end into Youtube and there is no doubt someone would have made a tutorial for it!
Ok so now with your theme installed let’s just go over some basic things that will be important to know for setting up your site.
Customizing Your Website
In this section I’ll be you taking you through the process of customizing your website.
Including creating important pages like your about, contact and blog.
Setting up and rearranging your menu. How to create blog posts and other helpful tips for customizing your website.
Setting Up the Pages:
What is a page?
A page is essentially permanent landing place on your site that you can also make appear in your menu at the top.
For example, if you look at the top of the screen right now you will see the menu of my website. Each of these is a page I have created and then simply added them to my menu.
So let’s have quick look at how to create a page and how to create a menu. Don’t worry it’s easy 🙂
Ok so let’s create the most common page that is on every website. An about page.
Creating an About Page:
Go to Pages – Create New
Give the page a name, here you can type about or about me.
Then let’s move down to the body section this is where you write up the content for your page and how you would like it to be displayed.
Here is a small overview of all the most important buttons and their functions 🙂
Ok so once you have added some text now let’s just see how we can add a picture to our page.
So going to add media, click on Upload files then select files. Then simply navigate your computer to find the image you want.
Once you have your image selected simply hit “insert into page.”
You can then reduce then easily scale the image to your desired size. And then I would recommend clicking “align left” (or right if you like) and this moves the image so that text displays beside it. As seen.
Then simply hit publish and then preview. And look at what a nice little about page!
Creating a Contact Page:
Ok so now let’s look at another very important page to have on your website.
A contact page. (probably the most important)
I noticed that most of the other website building guides rarely go into this.
I think it is something vital for a site. So I am going to show you guys how to easily do it 🙂
Ok so in order to create a contact page you’re going to want to install a contact form plugin. I’d recommend going with a plugin called pirate forms. (Don’t worry ill go into plugins soon, but for now, just install it and don’t ask any questions)
To install the pirate forms plugin, simply go to plugins – add new and search for “pirate forms” once you find it simply click install and then activate.
Ok and once that is done that then we have to implement it into your site.
To makes things easy for you I have provided you with a short video (it’s actually from my tutorial) showing you how to do it!
Creating a Home Page:
Ok so this one is really easy.. Just go pages – add new and create a page called home and save and publish it! (You will see why we created this in a moment)
How to Make a Blog Page:
If your theme doesn’t already come with a blog page set up (most do) just simply follow the same process we have gone over for creating pages and entitle it blog.
How to Make Menus:
Ok, so now that you have page making down pat lets get into how you can create the menu items for people to choose from at the top of the page. And how to rearrange them in any order.
To save time I have again created a short video on how to do it 🙂
How to Make a Post:
Ok so if you’re looking to create a website because you’re wanting to start a blog or maybe you just want to release some posts here and there. You’re going to need to know how to create a blog post.
Luckily it’s super simple to do!
Just go back to your Dashboard and “posts” and “add new”. Create your post and hit publish! It’s that easy!
Static Front Page:
Now not everyone wants to display posts on the front page of their website, which is the default of WordPress. But you can easily change this. Here’s how
- In the sidebar, hover over Settings and click Reading.
- In the Front Page Displays section, click the radio button that says A Static Page
- Select the page you would like to display as your front page. I’d recommend home but you can choose any page you like. Some people do about.
- Set your posts to be displayed on your blog page by selecting it in the posts page.
And you’re done!
Uploading a Logo:
If you have a logo that you’re looking to upload to website here is how to do it.
In the dashboard click on Appearance > Customize.
Uploading a Logo:
If you have a logo that you’re looking to upload to website here is how to do it.
In the dashboard click on Appearance > Customize.
Then go to “site title\tagline\logo”
NOTE: It may be called something different depending on the theme installed. But it will usually be the second option.
Then simply click upload logo.
Uploading a Site Icon:
A site icon is the that little image you see in the left hand corner of your tabs. You will see mine if you look at the top of this screen. It is nice touch to add to your website.
And it is very easy to do. Just go to the customizer and go to the same section we went to with uploading your logo.
Now scroll down and you will see an option to upload your site icon. Click Upload.
And you’re done!
Optimizing Your Website
In this section I’ll be teaching you how to optimize your website through plugins, widgets and SEO. I’ll also be showing you how you can easily create your own personal email for your website.
Wow. You’re so close! Need to come back later?
No worries. Let me send you a copy so you can read it when it’s convenient for you. Just let me know where to send it (takes 5 seconds)
Ok, so you already had a little bit of experience with plugins when we created our contact page. Hopefully, you now see how useful they are for improving your site. So below I am going to you the five plugins that I would HIGHLY recommend that you install, you don’t have to install of these (but you probably should..) I am just giving you some recommendations of some of the best ones that I use.
You can find all of these in the plugins search bar (except the last one).
- Akismet: We spoke about this one earlier but honestly you want to set up this plugin. Because spammers will come, and if you don’t have a spam filter in place, they are going to have a field day with your new site. So definitely install this one. It’s easy to set up. Just follow the prompts.
- Yoast SEO: Now SEO is a massive topic and a massive deal.And If you want to make your WordPress site SEO-friendly, this plugin is a must-have. It’s free, and it’s amazing. I’ve got a short overview of it at the end of this guide for those interested.
- WP Super Cache: Simply put, this plugin will make your site load a lot faster for your visitors. This plugin will “cache” a lot of that information, letting it be loaded really quickly without the need for a database call.
- Updraftplus: Lets you manually backup your database or your entire site. You can also set regular, scheduled backups (which I recommend), and send them off to remote destinations like Dropbox, Amazon S3, email, etc.
- Easy Social Share: This is a great free plugin that allows you to add social sharing to your posts. Which is very important
- Easy Social Share Buttons (Paid): Yes this plugin costs money ($20) For a plugin! I know it might sound like a lot but I actually use this plugin on my site. The sharing icons you see on this page are thanks to this plugin. And it is honestly the best $20 I have ever spent. It super easy to use, has so many features like social media counters, sharing icons, endless customizations, pop-ups and much more. If you’re someone who is looking to build a personal brand or wanting to get serious about blogging. Then I honestly think this plugin is a must-have.
Widgets (Sidebar things):
Most WordPress themes have a sidebar on the right side.
If you want to get rid of the sidebar or edit out items you do not need like “Categories”, “Meta” and “Archives”, which are usually pointless, here’s how:
- Go to “Appearance -> Widgets” in the WordPress Dashboard.
- From here, you can use drag and drop to add different “boxes” to your sidebar or remove the items you don’t want.
Drag and drop to your heart’s content!
How to Make a Personal Email For Your Website:
Now, this is something I highly recommend that everyone gets.
You may already have an email for your site that looks something like this email@example.com.
Now while this is definitely OK it is nowhere near as professional as having something like firstname.lastname@example.org.
But how do you do it?
Well, there are many ways you can do this including getting one through your hosting plan.
The problem is that the interface hosting services give you isn’t very easy to use and can be difficult to set up and maintain.
Which is the reason for a long time I haven’t used one.
And just stuck with my regular Gmail address. That was until I found out that I could still use the Gmail interface but have my own personal email for my domain name!
By using what is called G Suite.
What is G Suite?
Well, basically G Suite is an upgraded version of Gmail (that is far better and far cheaper than other email service providers *cough* outlook).
Here is what makes it so good:
- You get a personal email
- You get all the benefits of Gmail i.e. its clean, modern and lightning-fast interface
- Plus you get access to exclusive features and apps that are perfect for business such as collaborative file sharing, video conferencing, data security and much more
- You can create also create multiple emails for the one domain name (perfect for if you have employees or a team).
Now of course to get access to something like this it costs money, but luckily unlike many of the other providers out there, G Suite is incredibly cheap.
At just $5 a month, it is well and truly worth the money (I am sure you waste $5 on a lot of worse things)
How To Create Your Personal Email:
Ok so here is how to set it up. Simply visit the G Suite sign up page.And then follow the video below. It takes you through every step of the way.
Now it is all well and good creating a website.
And well done for creating one!
But what is the point of having a website if no one can find it? That is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in!
Now, to be honest, SEO is very complex and serious business.
But basically, you can just think of it as measures you can put in place to help your site show up in a google search.
Because essentially what google search is looking to do is to serve up the most relevant results for what a person searches, and it’s gotten pretty good at doing that.
There are many things to consider when with SEO. But a good start that will have a massive impact on your site are:
- Have the right content on your site
- Get links from other authoritative and highly-trafficked sites
- Make sure your site is mobile friendly
If you can do these things then that is a massive head start.
But there are also many important things you can do on your website to improve its SEO. And one of the best (and easiest) methods of this is through the Yoast plugin I recommended earlier.
This plugin can be used to dramatically improve the SEO of your website.
And luckily I have created a video that takes you through exactly how to do it. Enjoy 🙂
If you’re looking to dive deeper into SEO then you can’t go past Brian Dean of backlinko.com. He is the king of SEO and has stacks of free content on SEO. So be sure to check out his Youtube channel and blog (you will be glad you did).
1. WPBeginner Literally has everything you could ever want to know about WordPress.
2. Yoast SEO Basics: Yoast plugins official website of free guides to using their plugin.
3. SEO learning Centre:If you’re looking to get serious about SEO check out this site.
4. Neil Patel: Another great source for Marketing and SEO Tips
5. The Definitive Guide to SEO: Probably the best article you will ever read on SEO.
SSL Certificate (Advanced):
Now this is a completely optional step and a it more on the advanced side. So you can simply skip over this step if you like. But I thought I would include it because it becoming increasingly important. If you look at top of my site right now you will see that it is displaying with a green padlock that says “secure”.
This is because I have an SSL certificate installed.
What Is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL.
In basic terms it means that it keeps the privacy information of your sites visitors secure and prevents it from being able to be stolen.
Most web browsers now flag a website if it does not have an SSL certificate and will warn users that your site may not be safe. Which can turn people off and have an impact on your sites SEO.
So it is a pretty good idea to get one. Luckily they are very easy to get. Most hosting companies now provide them, including hostgator. Who at the time of writing this now give out free SSL certifcates with all of their hosting plans.
However if you’re an e-commerce site or selling any products or service on your site you a probably best off to get a an extended SSL certificate which protects credit card information and transactions.
How to Set Up Your SSL Certificate:
Once you have your SSL certificate you need to set your site up so that it points your visitors to the new https:// version of your site.
Which is the new secure version of your site. Luckily there is a plugin that makes this switch easy and simple to do!
The plugin is called Really Simple SSL. All you have to do is activate the plugin and it does the rest for you!
You can also check out this great video. Explaining how to use it.
This is where the guide moves close to the end.
If you were looking to dive deeper don’t forget I have a free course that takes people step-by-step through creating a WordPress website using the Hestia Theme.
So if you were looking to learn even more. Then I would highly recommend you check it out. I would recommend starting from the “installing a Theme” section. If you choose to do so.
It’s also available Youtube.
You’re Ready To Launch!
Be clear on what you’re offering. A site can only generate traffic if it is addressing a target audiences needs.
Be clear and transparent in what you are offering. Too often websites lack the emotional or credibility connections needed to earn trust.
There are over 1.8 billion websites on the internet. Finding a way to stand out is vital. Create a unique brand, tailor your sites imagery and style, tell your story, offer a unique service or viewpoint.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate, loads fast and is mobile friendly.
Ensure your sites content is opimized for search engines. Use keywords, build backlinks and ensure your site can be indexed.
Possibly the most important aspect of scaling your website and audience is to build an email list. Offer free content, create opt-ins, landing pages and newsletter sign up forms.
Use google analytics to find out your sites demographics, viewership, bounce rates, popular content and determine what is and isn’t working.
Use heat mapping tools to gain unique insights into how far users are scrolling, where their mouse tracks, and which parts your website they stay on the longest. And use it to further fine tune your site.
Make sure your website works all day, every day. Ensure your website handles your traffic, loads correctly, your buttons and links are working and keep on top of any bugs on your site.
Listen to your target audience and users. Figure out what is and isn’t working. Use social media, surveys and customer service lines.
Ok, guys well there you have it!
What an accomplishment!
Hopefully, you now have a completely functional website and something you’re happy with.
Thanks again for choosing to follow this guide and I really do hope it has helped you in some way. If it has it would mean so much to me if you were to share this post so that others can also find it.
And I would love to see the website you have come up with so feel free to leave a comment with your new website and I will check it out!
Also be sure to check out my Youtube channel. You may like some of the content I put out. (I do more than website building guides)
Best of luck with whatever your journey is and reason for creating a website. I wish you the very best.
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I’m a content creator, freelancer and online entrepreneur with a passion for learning and helping others. My aim is to educate, inspire and empower people to reach their full potential in all areas of their life.
Learn. Grow. Inspire