Do you want to make a website from scratch? Or wondering how to create a website on your own?
So, you want a great online presence but are not sure how to get started! For a beginner, it may sound like an impossible high-tech task.
Even so, you don’t need to panic! With a proper guide, anyone without any coding skills can make a website. Yes, anyone including you can design a fully functional site on your own.
Lucky! You’re on the most beginner-friendly guide now. Below, we’ve discussed the whole website-building process in 10 easy steps. You don’t need any coding skills nor do you have to hire a developer. You can make a website on your own, from scratch.
Let’s get started!
Step 1. Choosing a Website Type (Niche)
Having a website helps you build a professional identity online for yourself as an individual or for your organization. But that’s just a basic function of a website.
In actuality, there are a wide variety of websites and they serve a multitude of functions. In fact, each type of website has its own features, purposes, and benefits.
So, you have to carefully look at them and find out which kind is the best for you. And, it’s the first important step in the website-building process.
To help you out, we did the research and picked some of the most popular website types you can build in 2023. Now, let’s take a look at them.
A blog is a type of site commonly used to publish written articles on the web. An individual or a group of people can create content for the blog site. The content on a blog is called a blog post.
For example, you can see our blog (https://www.sitesaga.com/) itself. The article you’re currently reading is an example of a blog post.
Although it started as a means of keeping a daily journal, the blog is now used for a variety of purposes. Accordingly, there are different types of blogs in use. To name a few:
- personal blog to share personal opinions, experiences
- a business blog for promoting products by a business
- fashion blog to provide information about fashion products
- If you want to learn the examples of various blog sites, then here’s our complete list. It includes the top blog site examples.
On top of everything, you also have many benefits from blogging including earning money. If your blog gets a good number of visitors, you can add advertisements to your site. Also, you can earn by affiliate marketing i.e. earning commissions by selling others’ products.
To start blogging, you can think of any type of content. You can simply write about your daily life activities, personal thoughts, ideas, or other topics that you’re interested in. If you’ve expertise in anything, then you can also write guides and suggestions in your blog.
You should choose to start a blog website if you’re passionate about writing and want to help others by sharing ideas. You can make an impact through articles and even earn your living through a blog.
ii) Portfolio Website
A portfolio website is where you can showcase your skills, abilities, and expertise online. It’s the best option for professionals wanting to create a great online presence.
In other words, a portfolio website acts as your resume on the internet. It’s where you can showcase,
- your contact address and current projects
- your past works
- achievements and awards
- testimonials (feedback from past customers)
With that, you’ll have opportunities to meet tons of enthusiasts who love your work. Also, you’ll have a better chance to get in touch with potential clients and work with them. After completing the projects with your client, you can further add that detail to your portfolio.
For example, https://charlimarie.com/ is a personal portfolio website of Charli Marie. She’s the creative director at ConvertKit, a popular email marketing service.
- For more ideas and inspiration, check out the personal website examples of renowned personalities.
In conclusion, a portfolio site is the best kind of site for professionals. If you also want to promote your professional skills and get hired, then you should make a portfolio website.
iii) eCommerce Website
An eCommerce website is a medium where you can sell or buy goods online. For example, amazon.com, alibaba.com, or walmart.com. You can also set up a website like this from scratch and sell your own products or others’ products.
If you have a physical business or shop, then also having an eCommerce website is crucial nowadays. As the online shopping trend is getting popular, many physical stores are badly hit. The only way out is to get online with your own eCommerce store.
If you’re planning to start a new business, then also making an online business is a better idea.
- First, it’ll cost you less in comparison to renting and decorating a physical store.
- Second, your online store becomes accessible from all around the web.
- Third, it remains open all time of the day. Your customers will also enjoy searching, and purchasing products easily anytime and anywhere.
The bottom line, if you’ve got a business plan, then building an eCommerce website is a cool idea.
iv) Business Website
A business website lets you present your business beautifully on the internet. Be it a physical business or an online business, a website is essential for every business nowadays.
That’s mainly because people rely heavily on online suggestions (specifically Google results) when making any purchasing decision. If your business isn’t online, people would barely care if you exist.
A business site helps you mainly with the communication and marketing of your company. It provides an easier way to communicate with your customer. And, you get discovered online.
For example, microsoft.com is a business website. It showcases various products and services by Microsoft company.
A business website mainly aims to:
- showcase your products and services
- contact details, and other important information about your business
- your past projects, clients, and testimonials
- shop page to sell your products online.
In a nutshell, if you’re running any business, a business site is a must. So, a business website is for anyone who has a business.
Similarly, there are other various niches of websites like law firm websites, news/magazine websites, membership websites, and so on.
To know in detail, you can check our article on the most popular types of websites.
Step 2. Choose a Right Website Building Platform
There are various ways to build a website from scratch. Basically, you can categorize them as two methods as shown below:
- Conventional Method of Website Building by Coding. It’s a manual process of coding with complex programming languages. If you don’t know to code, then hire a developer and get your work done.
- Easy & Quick Method Using Website Builders: Nowadays, you can find powerful website builders which let you build websites easily, no matter how unfamiliar you’re with coding.
Among the two options, the usage of site builders is the preferred method nowadays. Also called Content Management System (CMS) platforms, they provide powerful software and tools to easily set up and publish a site online.
According to W3Techs, about two-thirds of all websites on the internet are based on content management systems.
The major reason behind the growing popularity of site builders is the simplicity they offer. In contrast, creating sites by coding is complex as well as time-consuming. On top of that, if you have to hire a developer, then it’ll get costly too.
Learn more about what website builder is and its benefits from this article.
To sum up, we clearly endorse creating websites with website builder platforms. You can make a website from scratch but no coding is required! And, you’ll always stay ahead in the game with latest site technology and tools.
Which Website Builder Should You Use? (Top 4 Platforms)
Now, you might be wondering which website builder to use. And, that’s a legit concern because every website platform has its own features and specialties. Even more, some are specialized in building a particular type of website.
So, to help you choose the right platform, we’ve reviewed the top 4 website platforms briefly here.
i. WordPress – Most Flexible & Powerful Platform
Used by more than 43% of all websites on the web, WordPress is the most popular and most powerful CMS software. It offers a user-friendly yet super flexible platform to make a variety of any website.
WordPress is open-source software available for free download on WordPress.org. It means that it’s absolutely free to download, use, even modify and redistribute limitlessly. Along with the core software, you’ll get tons of free themes and plugins for developing a fully functional website.
To build a website from scratch with WordPress, you’ll need a web hosting account and a domain name that cost you some money. But still, it’s nothing compared to what developers and other platforms charge.
- WordPress is a simple yet highly extendible platform. Lets you make any type of website, professional blogs, portfolios, to an eCommerce store.
- You can get plenty of resources for free. On the official WordPress.org website, you’ll get over 10,000+ free themes for your site’s design and 60,000+ free plugins for adding functionalities.
- Plenty of WordPress guides and tutorials for free on the internet. You can get an answer to most queries, without paying any penny.
- Free support via the forum on the WordPress.org site.
- You’ve full control of your site. You can choose a web host as per your needs and build the site your way. No restrictions.
- Setting up a WordPress site may take some time for absolute beginners. Because you have to choose a domain, hosting, and install WordPress.
In a nutshell, WordPress is the best platform for building professional sites. If you’re a newbie, then follow the steps below patiently. You can make your first website from scratch, on your own.
ii. Shopify – Simple eCommerce Site Builder
Specifically designed for eCommerce websites, Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms. It specializes in building powerful eCommerce sites without coding.
The platform is suitable for all kinds of eCommerce solutions ranging from small to large-scale stores. Also, it’s scalable i.e. you can tune up and down the storage, hosting, and other requirements as per your need.
- It’s an all-in-one eCommerce solution that includes everything you to start an online store. Provides domain, hosting, backup, updates, maintenance, and security.
- Shopify provides huge options for transactions and payment methods. So, it can be used for your online shop targeting customers anywhere in the world.
- Shopify is a little costly platform; setting up a website on this platform takes up a huge portion of your budget.
In the nutshell, Shopify is a user-friendly eCommerce platform. If you’re looking for an easy and quick way to start an online shop, then this site is for you. Learn more from the Shopify review blog.
iii. Wix – Simple Site Builder for Beginners
If you’re an absolute beginner and want to start quickly, Wix is the right platform for you. It is a beginner-friendly platform i.e. anyone without any technical skills can also make a website with it from scratch.
Unlike WordPress.org, it’s a fully hosted platform that cares for everything you need to make a site. Including software, hosting, and domain. You just need to sign up to get started.
- Wix is a fully hosted website builder that provides everything you need to get started, including domain and hosting. Easy to start a site.
- Offers a fully drag-and-drop interface. You can easily design beautiful pages by dragging and dropping content elements.
- There are 100s of predesigned templates to choose from. You can make an attractive and visually impressive site.
- It has a free plan with its.com subdomain.
- You’ve limited options. Your site uses Wix’s servers, so resources like storage space and bandwidth will be as per their plans.
- There are limited themes and addons for your site’s design and features.
In the nutshell, Wix is suitable for small-scale websites like blogs, portfolios, brochures, etc. If you’re running small businesses, it’s great for you to get started, like over 100 million websites already using it. If you’re confused, then here’s our comparison blog on Wix vs WordPress.
iv. WordPress.com – Fully Hosted Version of WordPress
Like Wix, WordPress.com is also a fully-hosted platform that facilitates website building and includes domain names and hosting plans.
You might confuse it with WordPress.org described above. In fact, WordPress.com is just another way to make a website from scratch with the WordPress software we discussed in number one. In brief, it’s another flavor of WordPress.
With WordPress.com, you don’t need to buy and set up hosting. Domain, hosting, or site security, everything is taken care of. You just need to purchase one of its plans.
For more details, read our article on WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.
- Beginner-friendly platform. Simply sign up with your email address and some details about your website to start building your site.
- For your site’s web design, it provides about 250 themes, a handful of plugins, and various useful features.
- The WordPress.com platform provides you with technical support plus site backup and maintenance. With that, you can focus on your business and care least about the technical aspects.
- Unlike WordPress.org, it has a definite number of themes. You cannot use custom themes and plugins from outside the platform.
- WordPress.com plans cost more than normal hosting plans.
In the nutshell, this platform is perfect for starting a blog for beginners and professional bloggers. However, you can make other websites by expanding its features. You’ll have to upgrade to a higher plan to expand your website into a business or eCommerce website.
Want to try more alternative platforms? You can read our article on the best website-building platforms in detail.
v. Our Recommendation – WordPress.org
We’ve tested and analyzed all these website-building platforms based on ease of use, features availability, cost efficiency, web design, and users’ review.
Then we came up with the conclusion that the free open-source WordPress aka WordPress.org is the best choice.
Here are the top reasons:
- No matter what type of website you’re going to make, you’ll be capable of doing it with WordPress. From a simple blog site to a complex eCommerce store, it has the solution for you.
- On the other hand, WordPress gives you a huge collection of both free and premium themes for every type of website. You can select and use the appropriate one for your particular niche.
- Similarly, WordPress plugins add or extend the functionalities on your site. There is an abundance of powerful plugins on the WordPress.org plugin directory and other third-party stores.
- In fact, there’s a plugin for every function you want to add to your site. This means the WordPress plugins allow you to do pretty much everything.
- Not to mention, the WordPress plugin WooCommerce is the most widely used eCommerce software. Using WordPress, creating eCommerce sites is also easy.
So, we recommend you use the WordPress platform for building your website. Hence, the steps below (steps 3 to 10) are for making a WordPress website from scratch.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still, have questions? Check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) quickly.
The time to make a website depends on various things. Firstly, it depends on the method you use to build a website from scratch.
- Hire a Web Developer or Agency to Make Your Site: Another way, you can also hire developers or an agency who can do it for you, but that’s a costly approach. Plus, they’ll charge more if you want your website delivered fast.
- Build Your Site Yourself With a Website Builder: Or, you can do it yourself easily with the help of website builders. Just use a website platform, and you’ll be ready to launch your site within hours. They’re easy to use and also far more cost-effective.
Also, the type of website you’re making matters a lot. For example, with a website builder like WordPress, building a simple blog site can take just some hours to a few days.
While it takes up to a week to a few months to completely set up a complex working eCommerce store.
Learn in brief from our guide on how long does it takes to build a website.
As we’ve already mentioned, hiring web developers costs you a lot. So, we advise you against it.
And if you’re using a website builder, then it’ll cost you much less. So, you should use website builders if you want to save some money.
If you choose a website builder platform, then you’ll need mainly these 3 things. They are;
- Website software
- A domain name
- And a hosting account
Among the popular website software options, WordPress is a fully free-of-cost software.
Next, you need to buy a domain and hosting. But that’s not a problem because top hosting companies like DreamHost offer web hosting as low as $2.95/month billed yearly. Plus, provide a domain name for free.
Further, there are managed WordPress hosting services by platforms like Kinsta. They may charge you more but offers dedicated features to help you manage the entire hosting infrastructure.
Other website builders like Wix also let you create a website for free. But, those websites usually have lesser functionalities and hosting features. Along with that, you can’t use a custom domain name with those free websites.
To learn more about hosting your site from our web hosting FAQs article.
Yes, you can definitely switch your website to WordPress. You may have made a mistake as a beginner when setting up a site on the wrong platform. Or you aren’t satisfied with your current site builder.
Hence, you can migrate your website from any website builder to WordPress.org. The crucial thing to remember is to make sure your permalinks move seamlessly without affecting the SEO.
Step 3. Get a Domain Name and Web Hosting
As we’ve mentioned above, WordPress is a self-hosted platform. The advantage of choosing a self-hosted platform is that you can choose a domain name and hosting plan by yourself. Hence, it’s making a website from scratch in the true sense!
First, let’s understand in brief what domain names and web hosting are.
A. What is a Domain Name? (Explained)
A domain name or simply, a domain is a unique name of your website. It’s the name by which users can locate your site.
When people want to visit your website, they can just type your domain name on their web browsers. As a result, your website will be displayed on their screens.
For example, www.SiteSaga.com is the domain name of our website (the website that you’re currently viewing).
A domain name provides you with an identity on the internet. It’s the name by which people will know you or your company. So you must be very careful while picking a domain.
For help, read our guide on how to choose a domain name. Or, you can use domain name generators to come up with unique and clever domain name ideas.
Once you’ve decided on your domain name, the next step is to register it. We’ll show you the entire process in the following sections below. So, keep reading.
B. What is Web Hosting? (Explained)
In simple terms, web hosting is the service that allows you to upload your website on the internet. Without hosting your website, your site can’t go live and be available to viewers.
You can get web hosting services from many hosting companies. Some of the best web hosting service providers are DreamHost, Cloudways, Kinsta, etc.
These companies provide the technologies required to get websites online. The major technologies include storage space, processor, bandwidth, and database. Using them, they store your site’s codes, content, images, etc., and display them when requested by the user’s browser.
Web hosting is a crucial aspect of any website. Along with making your site online, it determines the overall speed and security of your site. So, you must carefully pick a web hosting service.
To help you out, go through our full guide on what to look for when selecting a web hosting company.
When you’re just starting out, you won’t most likely get much traffic. Also, your site won’t have much volume. So, you can get started with the cheapest plan by a reliable company. We’ll explain more and show you the process of setting up step-by-step in the following sections.
C. Where to Buy Domain Name and Hosting From?
There are plenty of options for purchasing the domain and hosting services. For domains, the best domain registration companies are Namecheap, GoDaddy, Domain.com.
For web hosting, Kinsta, DreamHost, Bluehost, and Cloudways are popular names.
But it’s important to note that companies like DreamHost, Bluehost, Namecheap, and GoDaddy provide both hosting and domains. In fact, you can get a domain name for free on the purchase of an annual web hosting plan on all these platforms.
Also, the starting price on these platforms is cheap. For example, with DreamHost, you can get started as low as $2.95/month billed yearly. And, since both services are in one place, it’s easy to set up for beginners.
But, website resources and features included in these basic plans are limited. Hence, you’ll get just fine site speed and security. Yet, it’ll be fine for a new small website.
But if you need more speed, security, and other features, then it’s better to buy hosting from managed hosting platforms like Cloudways and Kinsta. And, register a domain on another platform like Namecheap or Domain.com.
So, here’s our conclusion:
- Buy a basic hosting plan with a free domain – if you’re just starting out a small website. Recommended: DreamHost, Bluehost.
- Buy managed hosting – if you need a more powerful, secure, and fast website. Recommended hosting: Kinsta, Cloudways. Recommended domain registrar: Namecheap, Domain.com.
For this tutorial, we choose Kinsta and DreamHost.
Kinsta because it’s one of the best managed WordPress hosting services with great speed and security features. It’s ideal if you have a budget. With that, your host will look after the technical stuff and you can focus on growing your site.
DreamHost because we’ve been using it for many years and we’re truly happy! It’s beginner-friendly and affordable. Also, their customer support is great. You can check users’ reviews on Trustpilot.
Purchasing Managed WordPress Hosting from Kinsta
Kinsta plans are available in 3 different categories based on the type of web hosting solution. They are:
- Managed WordPress Hosting: Managed hosting solution for WordPress sites starting at $35/mo.
- Application Hosting: Hosting service for your web projects with resource-based prices.
- Database Hosting: Ideal for the database according to your resource usage, starts at $18/mo.
Now, these are the steps for purchasing a managed WordPress hosting plan from Kinsta.
Step 1: Visit www.Kinsta.com and click on the Pricing menu to open the pricing page.
Step 2: There, you can find various price options for various business sizes. So, you can go with a monthly or yearly option. And then click on the ‘Choose‘ button for purchase.
Step 3: Now, you’ll redirect to the signup page. Here, fill in your account information like name, email, etc. Then, click on the ‘Continue‘ button to move forward.
Step 4: After that, you can fill up the payment information. Next, you can make the transaction and complete your order. That’s all!
Purchasing Hosting and Domain from DreamHost
Here are the steps for purchasing a hosting plan along with a free domain with DreamHost.
Step 1: Go to www.DreamHost.com. It’ll take you to the homepage of the official DreamHost. Click on the ‘Get Started‘ button in the banner section or at the top right corner.
Step 2. Next, you’ll see the pricing page. There are mainly 3 types of web hosting services offered by DreamHost:
- Shared – cheap and basic hosting ($2.95/mo. billed yearly, $4.95/mo. billed monthly)
- DreamPress – managed WordPress hosting ($16.5/mo. billed yearly, $19.95/mo. for monthly plan)
- VPS – more secure Virtual Private Servers ($13.75/mo. billed yearly, $15/mo. for monthly plan)
See the plan details carefully and pick a suitable plan. Features like how many sites the plan allows, free domain, storage space, bandwidth, backup, etc. are important.
For starters, we suggest you choose the yearly ‘Shared Starter’ plan. It’s economical and consists of the best deal for a single website including a free domain.
To get started, click on the ‘Sign Up Now‘ button at the end.
Step 3: Next, you can see domain name options. For new domain registration, click on the ‘Register a new domain‘ option.
Step 4: After that, enter your domain name in the search box. If the domain name is available, then you can add it to your plan by clicking the ‘Add for $0.00‘ button. Try another name if it’s not available.
Step 5: On the next screen, you’ll see the checkout page. First, you have to select a payment method and enter your account details. You can use a credit card or pay via your PayPal account.
Step 6: Next, you should set up your DreamHost account. Simply, enter your email address or click on the ‘Sign up with Google‘ button if you want to use a Google account for your hosting account.
Step 7: Below the account setup box, you can see additional options you may want with your hosting plan. Select the options that you need. Don’t forget to check the ‘Pre-Install WordPress‘ option.
On the left, you can see your plan details with the total cost. From this page, you can switch your plan to 3 Year term as well which is slightly cheaper, just $2.59/month.
Confirm your domain name and other details that you selected. Once done, click the ‘Submit Order‘ button at the bottom of the page.
Once you submit your order, DreamHost will process it and send you an email to the address you had set up your account with. Later, you’ll get setup instructions in the email. See the next section below for step by step guide.
Step 4. Set Up Your Hosting Account and Install WordPress
After purchasing the domain and hosting, your next job is to set up your hosting account and install WordPress to get your site running.
But to start the website setup process, your hosting account order must be approved by the hosting company first. And, you should get an email notifying that with login credentials. So your job is to keep an eye on your email inbox because you may get an email anytime.
However, the process also depends on your hosting platform.
Using Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting
Getting started with Kinsta, your MyKinsta dashboard opens soon after you sign up. Else you can sign in using the credentials you added before. Also, you may find emails in your inbox about starting your site.
MyKinsta is a simple yet powerful dashboard from where you can perform a lot of actions. You can add and manage sites, applications, and databases.
For each WordPress site, you can handle backups, domains, users, themes, plugins, and more. Learn in detail from our complete review on Kinsta.
To learn quickly, the first thing to do on your MyKinsta dashboard is to add a website. So, let’s see how!
i. Adding a WordPress Site to Kinsta
First, go to the WordPress Sites menu on MyKinsta. There, click on the ‘Create a new site‘ button.
This opens 3 options: Install WordPress, Don’t Install WordPress (empty environment), and Clone an existing environment.
So, go with the first option and click on the ‘Continue‘ button.
After that, enter the site options information, like site name and data center. Here, ‘Site name’ is the name you’ll see of your site on the dashboard. And for the data center, you can choose from 35 data centers. Once you’re done, click the ‘Continue’ button.
Next, fill up the WordPress options information, like the WordPress site title, username, and more. Here, the WordPress site title is the actual title of your site. Also, you can choose to directly install some recommended WordPress plugins. Lastly, click on the ‘Continue’ button.
After some time, your setup is done and you can configure the settings.
ii. Logging in to Your WordPress Dashboard
Now, you can log in to your WordPress dashboard. For that, click on your site name in the WordPress sites menu.
Next, navigate the Domains menu on your site dashboard. There, click the Open WordPress admin option on the Primary Domain section. You’ll also find dashboard login credentials here. That’s it!
Using DreamHost Hosting
Similarly, let’s continue with the DreamHost hosting plan.
i. Logging Into Your Hosting Control Panel
In the case of DreamHost, you’ll get the email within 5 minutes of the order. The email will contain the message your hosting account is approved, instructions, and credentials to log into your hosting control panel.
As shown in the screenshot above, you can now log into your DreamHost control panel by going to the URL: https://panel.dreamhost.com/.
The DreamHost control panel login page looks like the screenshot below. Use the credentials sent to you via email to log in.
After you log into your DreamHost account, you’ll see a simple hosting control panel page that looks like the screenshot below.
While most web hosting providers use cPanel to manage the hosting, DreamHost offers a custom-built control panel for ease of use. The control panel includes most of the tasks offered in cPanel like managing websites, domains, databases, emails, etc.
Following the account approval email, you may get some more emails in the row notifying domain registration. As we’ve chosen to register a new domain free, DreamHost will automatically process domain registration for you. Once done, you’ll get an email.
As we’re using both the domain name and hosting from the same place, you don’t need to do anything to link the two. DreamHost takes care of it all.
ii. Adding an SSL Certificate to Your Domain
The next important thing you must do is add an SSL certificate to your domain.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology to establish a secure connection between the web hosting server and the browser. It ensures that the information passed between your site visitors and the site is encrypted and safe.
An SSL-enabled website’s URL will have a secure padlock icon and ‘https:’ when viewed on the browser. See the example below.
Whereas there will be a ‘not secure’ message if your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate.
Generally, an SSL certificate comes with some cost. But, with DreamHost, you get it for free with the hosting service. Follow the steps below to add SSL to your site.
Step 1: Go to your DreamHost control panel (panel.dreamhost.com). In the left sidebar, under ‘Domains‘, click on ‘SSL/TLS Certificates‘. Then, a page with your domain name will show up. Click on the ‘Add‘ button next to your domain name.
Step 2: On the next screen, it’ll show 2 options:
- LET’S ENCRYPT SSL CERTIFICATE (free)
- COMODO DV CERTIFICATE (costs $15 per year)
You can choose the free Let’s Encrypt SSL for your site. You can just click on ‘Select this Certificate‘ below it.
A success message will display afterward. You’ll also get an email. Your site URL will now have the secure padlock icon and ‘https’, like our site (https://www.sitesaga.com).
iii. Install WordPress on Your Hosting Account
Installing WordPress is quick and easy with modern WordPress-specific hosting plans. They usually offer these features so you can get started quickly and easily.
- Free WordPress pre-install – You don’t need to install WordPress at all because your web host does that for you.
- One-click install – You can install WordPress with just a single click.
- Some essential plugins – Install some essential plugins to save your time.
The DreamHost ‘Shared Starter’ plan also is one of the WordPress-optimized hosting plans. So, you’ll get all of the features but you should check these options when buying the hosting.
In the case of this example, we checked the ‘Pre-Install WordPress – free‘ option while purchasing the hosting (above in Step 3). So, DreamHost will automatically install WordPress for you. Once done, you’ll be notified via email.
WordPress is installed on your site, so you can now simply log into the WordPress dashboard.
As shown in the screenshot above, you should set your password first by clicking on the link in the email.
Always choose a strong password. For generating strong passwords and securely storing passwords, you can use a free tool like LastPass.
Installing WordPress Using One-Click Install Option (Alternative Method)
Did you forget to choose the ‘pre-install WordPress’ option while buying the hosting? No worries, you can still install WordPress easily with just a click.
So, here are the steps for the one-click installation of WordPress with DreamHost.
Step 1: Log in to your DreamHost control panel. Then, go to ‘One-Click Installs‘ from the left sidebar. A list of several programs comes up. From there, click on ‘WordPress‘.
Step 2: After that, a box pops up where you can fill in your information. Fill in the fields:
- Install to: Here, you should enter the site’s domain name. In this case, select the domain name you registered earlier during the hosting account setup process.
- Select Database: It’s for adding a database if you have one. At default, it displays “Automatically Create Database”. So, you should leave it as it is and let DreamHost create a new database for you.
- Deluxe Install: If you want some additional features, then you can check this box. It includes free themes, plugins, and security settings. Or, you can uncheck the deluxe install box and get them later.
Once done, click on the ‘Install it for me now‘ button.
Within a few minutes, you’ll receive an email with your WordPress username and a link for creating your password.
Step 3: Follow the link to create a password. Remember! Always create a strong password. Or, use an auto-generated password.
The username and password are useful for logging in to your WordPress dashboard. Once the password is set up, you can log into your WordPress dashboard and start designing.
Logging In to Your WordPress Dashboard
To log into your WordPress dashboard generally, go to your browser and type:
‘Your domain name’ followed by ‘/wp-login.php’ or ‘/wp-admin/’
For example, www.example.com/wp-login.php
Note: Don’t forget to replace ‘example.com’ with your domain name.
Then, you’ll come across the login page. There, you have to enter the username and password that you set earlier. Then, click on the Login button.
Check our WordPress login guide for more information.
After login, your WordPress site dashboard opens up which is the back end of your site. It’s where you upload files, create pages, write articles, etc. to appear on the front end for users to see. Hence, it’s the admin area for managing your WordPress website’s content, design, and functionalities.
Next, you can start designing and developing your site. You can add desired themes, necessary plugins, available tools, settings, and so on. We’ll explain that in the steps below.
Check Your Site Status
Once you’ve successfully set up your domain on hosting, and installed WordPress, your website should be live on the web. You can check that by quickly typing your domain name into your browser.
If your site is online, then the browser displays your site. If it doesn’t appear, then there must be something not set up properly.
In such a case, you must go back and check your hosting control panel. If you still can’t find any issue, then contact your hosting provider company to check it.
Adding a Coming Soon Plugin
Remember! You wouldn’t want your visitors to see your site before it’s ready.
So, it’s better to enable coming soon mode when you’re working on your site. A coming soon page notifies your visitors that your site is under development. Behind the scenes, you can carry on the designing task without any trouble.
For that, you can simply install a coming soon plugin on your site.
To install a coming soon plugin, go to ‘Plugins >> Add New‘ from your WordPress Dashboard first.
On the next screen, you’ll see the ‘Add Plugins‘ page with plugin options from WordPress.org. Search ‘coming soon’ in the search box and then plugins matching the keyword will appear.
Click the ‘Install Now‘ button to install a plugin. For this tutorial, we’ll install ‘CMP – Coming Soon & Maintenance Plugin by NiteoThemes‘.
Next, you must activate the plugin. Once activated, you just need to turn on maintenance mode.
Step 5. Choose a Theme and Customize Your Site Design
Now that your WordPress site is completely installed on your web host, it’s time to pick a suitable theme.
A theme is a design component of your WordPress site. A WordPress theme provides an overall outlook for your site. It works like the skeleton of a WordPress website.
When WordPress is installed, it also installs some default themes with the latest one activated. For example in the screenshot below, the Twenty Twenty theme is active, with 2 other default themes.
You can easily change the theme by installing a theme of your choice. We’ll show the step-by-step process of changing a theme below.
In WordPress, there are thousands of themes available for you. The official WordPress theme directory alone provides more than 10,000+ free themes.
Moreover, you can look at marketplaces and theme stores like ThemeForest, Themify, etc. for professional paid themes.
A. Choosing the Best WordPress Theme for Your Site
The first step to selecting the best theme is considering your website niche. That means you should choose a theme that has enough features to build the type of website you want to build. Easily without having to customize a lot.
For example, if you want to create an eCommerce website, then you should choose a WooCommerce-ready theme. If you picked a simple blog theme by chance, then it’d be really difficult to add the eCommerce you want to your site.
Luckily, there are plenty of WordPress themes available for any type of site. Here are some popular theme categories and the best themes in those categories.
- Best themes for blogging: GeneratePress, Kadence, Ashe. For more, check out the best WordPress blog themes.
- Business website themes: Astra, OceanWP, Blocksy. For more options, check out our list of the best WordPress business themes.
- For eCommerce websites: Storefront, Flatsome. If you need more choices, then see our full article on the best WordPress WooCommerce themes.
- Also, check our ultimate list of the best WordPress themes (for various niches).
For more ideas, you can take help from our article on how to choose a perfect theme for your site.
For this tutorial, we’ve chosen the Astra theme which is the #1 most popular theme ever on the WordPress theme repository.
It’s a freemium (both free and premium) multipurpose theme you can use for business sites, blogs, as well as eCommerce sites. Built with powerful page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder, it’s a highly extensible and user-friendly theme.
For more information, please read our full review of the Astra theme.
Need a WordPress theme for Full Site Editing?
Are you using the WordPress 5.9 or more recent version? Or want to use the new full site editing based site editor? If yes, then you need to use a block theme.
As it’s a new feature just introduced, there are a limited number of themes. Even among the available themes, many are experimental and basic. So, we’re using a classic theme for this tutorial.
If you want to still try full site editing, then click the button below and pick the best theme!
B. Installing a WordPress Theme
Step 1: Log into your WordPress admin area and go to the ‘Themes‘ option under the ‘Appearance‘ menu.
Dashboard >> Appearance >> Themes
Step 2: On the next page, you’ll see the already installed themes and buttons to add a new theme. You can simply click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top, or the ‘Add New Theme‘ box after the installed themes.
Step 3: Next, it’ll open the ‘Add Themes’ page with theme options from WordPress.org. There, you can search for your preferable theme by typing a name or keyword.
For example, we searched ‘Astra’. When you find the theme, simply click on the ‘Install‘ button.
Step 4: After the installation is complete, click on the ‘Activate‘ button.
After that, the theme will be activated on your site. You’ll see the ‘New theme activated‘ message and your new theme as the ‘Active‘ theme.
You can see the changes on your site by visiting your site.
Don’t worry if you see your website a little bland after just activating the theme. That generally means that you’ll now have to customize your site and give it a fantastic look.
Need to install a premium theme you downloaded? Then, you should use the ‘Upload method‘. If you don’t know, then read our detailed guide on installing WordPress themes with 3 different methods.
C. Customizing Your WordPress Site Design
Customizing your site feels really interesting. It’s because of the control you get over designing your site. Actually, it’s the freedom you get when making a website from scratch! And when you’re using a powerful platform like WordPress!
As mentioned above, a theme controls the overall design of your site in WordPress. So when you’ve installed a theme like Astra, you’ll have tons of things to do with your site. Like, you can customize the header, footer, sidebar, colors, typography, and so much more.
Adding Your Site Logo and Title
Now, to start the customization, go to Appearance, and click on Customize on your Dashboard. The Customize section is the area where all the modifications and customization happen.
The first thing you can do with your site is to add a suitable logo and Title. For that, go to Header on the Customize Menu.
Then click Site Identity. There, you’ll see a section to add a logo and favicon.
If you’ve got a logo predesigned, then you can simply upload the logo and crop it to the required dimension. Similarly, you can add the site icon, the icon displayed in the browser tab.
If you don’t have a logo, then you can easily design one using logo maker tools like Canva.
Below that, you can see 2 fields: site title and site tagline. You can keep your business or site name as the site title. For the tagline, you can add your business motto or a catchy phrase.
You can see the changes on your site simultaneously during the time of editing. It is an important feature of WordPress and called ‘live customization’.
To permanently save the changes, click on the Publish button at the top left.
Changing Color Schemes
Having a combination of appropriate colors on your website is really important. The colors should match and speak for your brand or business.
To change the primary colors of your theme, go to ‘Appearance >> Customize‘ and click on the ‘Global‘ option.
After that, click on the ‘Colors ‘ option.
Next, click ‘Base Colors‘. From there, you can change the color of texts, themes, links, headings, backgrounds, etc.
Same way, you can change the font style, size, weight, etc. of different texts on your website. In a more technical term, it is also called typography.
For typography customization options, go to ‘Appearance >> Customize‘ and click on the Global option. Next, click on Typography.
Now, there are further 2 options available: Base Typography for normal text and Headings Typography for 6 heading types (H1 to H6).
Under these options, you can select appropriate fonts for text and headings. Also, you can set font size, weight, case options, etc. for those fonts.
Like these, there are tons of other customization options. In fact, there is a lot of customization possible with WordPress themes. So frankly, it’s quite impossible to list out and guide you through all the available options.
But good news! It’s easy to customize your site. So, why don’t you experiment with it yourself? Be playful and give it a try. Maybe you can come up with some cool designs and use them on your site.
Note: Remember that the number of customization options on your site depends upon the theme you’re using. Also, different themes may have customization settings under a different name or heading.
Step 6. Configure Your WordPress Site Settings
Configuring your site means adjusting your website entities to function better. WordPress allows tuning your website’s internal settings to specify how it functions. Also, you can set how your website elements and pages appear to the visitors.
You can find WordPress settings under the ‘Settings‘ menu in your dashboard admin panel.
Here, we’ll talk about some of the important settings. Then, you can try others on your own according to your likes. To start off, you can work with the general settings in the beginning.
i. Configuring General Settings
When you click on the General button under Settings, you can see tons of fields and options.
As you can see in the figure, the things you can do from here are:
- Edit your site title and tagline
- View your website URL, email address, etc. (You can also edit your website URL and WordPress URL but it’s not recommended because it can crash your site.)
- Enable or disable user registration
- View site language (You can also change your site language but it can cause errors on your site.)
- Change your site’s timezone, date and time format, etc.
If you changed anything, then you should click on the ‘Save Changes‘ button at the end to save your settings.
ii. Disable Search Engine Visibility Until Your Site is Ready
Another important setting is Search Engine Visibility. By default, your WordPress site is visible to search engines after it’s published live. But you may not want that when your site is in development (maintenance) mode and no useful content is displayed.
In WordPress, you can easily disable search engine visibility and stop search engines from crawling your site until your site is ready.
Go to ‘Settings >> Readings’ from your WordPress dashboard and locate the ‘Search Engine Visibility’ option. You can see a small check box for disabling your site to be visible on search engines.
Check the box and click on the ‘Save Changes‘ button at the bottom.
Note: Please don’t forget to remove the check as soon as your site is fully ready with actual features and content. You can save a note for yourself to do this later.
iii. Configuring SEO-Friendly Permalinks
Permalink is a unique link that appears on your browser’s address bar when you open a particular web page. It’s the full URL of any page on the web, also called the ‘permanent link’.
A permalink is normally composed of 2 parts: domain name and slug. Slug is the part of a permalink that comes after the domain name.
For example, the permalink of this article is: https://www.sitesaga.com/how-to-make-a-website/. In this link, the first part (https://www.sitesaga.com) is the domain and the other part (/how-to-make-a-website/) is the slug.
In WordPress, there are different options for your permalink structure. You can choose a plain link with post ID, show date or month and name, post name, post number, etc.
However, it’s best to choose the ‘post name’ for better SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The permalink is what search engines and your site visitors use to view your site, so it’s best to create a simple and easy-to-understand slug.
To set a simple and SEO-friendly permalink, go to ‘Settings >> Permalinks’ from your WordPress dashboard and choose ‘Post Name’.
Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes‘ button at last.
With this setting, WordPress will automatically create short and descriptive URLs with your post name. You can edit the slug further from your post settings before publishing.
iv. Configuring Discussion Settings
Basically, discussion settings in WordPress are for managing comments on your blog posts. They are to help you approve comments, set comment validity, get notifications of comments, control comment spam, and more.
To adjust these settings, you can go to ‘Settings >> Discussion’. There, you’ll see lots of checkbox options. You can tick and untick the boxes according to how you want the comment settings.
Some important settings you should look for are:
- Other Comment Settings: Check ‘Comment author must fill out name and email’
- Before a comment appears: Check ‘Comment must be manually approved’
- Comment Moderation: Hold a comment in the queue if it contains (1) or more links.
With these settings configured, you’ll protect your site against comment spamming, however, that’s not enough. You must use comment anti-spam plugins like Akismet or Antispam Bee. We’ll explain must-have plugins in Step 8 below.
Likewise, there are many more settings under the Settings section of the dashboard. For instance, you can go to the Media section to control the dimensions of images.
You can take a look yourself from your own WordPress Dashboard.
Step 7. Start Adding Content on Your WordPress Site
In the beginning, your WordPress site would look blank no matter which theme you install. It’s your job to add content to your site. You should add the type of content that you want your users to see.
There are mainly 2 types of content you can add on WordPress:
The main difference between the two is what they’re used for. Pages are mainly designed for static content like about us, contact page, home, etc. Whereas posts are used for dynamic content like blog articles, news, and reviews which tend to change with time.
Besides pages and posts, other content elements commonly used in WordPress sites are menus and widgets. We’ll show the step-by-step process for creating all of these below.
Getting Started with WordPress Block Editor ‘Gutenberg’
When you start to add a page or post, you’ll get a similar type of editor interface. The editor is commonly called ‘Block Editor’, ‘WordPress Editor’, ‘WordPress Block Editor’, or also ‘Gutenberg Editor’. Gutenberg is the code name of the new WordPress block editor.
As the name speaks, the block editor is an entirely block-based editing area. Every piece of content is a block, like a ‘Paragraph’ block for a paragraph, an ‘Image’ block for an image, a ‘Heading’ tag for the headings or subheadings, etc.
Adding content and editing with the WordPress block editor is easy and user-friendly. Anyone without technical skills can also easily make beautiful pages and post articles with this.
Now, let’s see how you can add content to your WordPress site.
A. Creating Pages in WordPress
Pages are usually more static types of content that you don’t often change. They consist mainly of Homepage, About Page, Contact Page, Blog, Service Page, etc.
In your WordPress Dashboard, go to ‘Pages‘ and then, ‘Add New‘.
With that, you’ll come across ‘Add New Page‘ with the modern Gutenberg block editor. It has 2 main sections: ‘Main content area’ in the middle and ‘Settings panel’ in the right sidebar.
All the content like text and images should be added to the main content area. And you can configure and customize the content from the Settings panel on the right.
To start, you can add the title in the ‘Add Title’ section. For example, we’ll create an ‘About Me’ page.
Below the ‘Title block’, you can see ‘Start writing or type / to choose a block’.
For example, if you add the ‘Paragraph’ block, you can start typing to add text content there. As you start typing, you’ll see the ‘Paragraph’ block settings in the ‘Settings’ panel on the right sidebar.
Similarly, you can add various types of content elements like images, a gallery, buttons, lists, headings, etc. with the blocks. Feel free to use the settings to make tiny adjustments.
After everything is done, click on the ‘Publish‘ button at the top right corner of the page.
Want a more visually attractive ‘about’ page? Check our complete guide on creating an ‘about’ page.
Choosing a Homepage for Your WordPress Site
In WordPress, you can choose either a static page or show the latest posts on your site’s front page. For your information, both of these homepage types are equally popular.
Designing a homepage like any other page may take some time. But if you like your theme’s demo site, then you can import it on your site with just a few clicks and customize it. Most themes nowadays provide a one-click demo import feature.
Demos are premade templates that you can import and set on your website. In Astra, you can see hundreds of beautiful starter templates.
Importing Astra Starter Site
To add a demo to your site, you’ll first have to install their Starter Templates plugin.
For that, you need to go to Plugins > Add New on your dashboard. Search ‘Starter Templates’ from the search bar, install, and activate it.
Then, go to Appearance > Starter Templates. After that, you’re asked to choose a page builder (choose Gutenberg for now). And then, choose an appropriate template from the list.
On the next page, you can see all the web pages of the template separately. And at the bottom right of the page, there are buttons to import the web pages. You can import the whole site if you want. But for now, let’s only import the home page.
After it’s done, you are free to make modifications, use your own images/texts, add or remove blocks, etc.
Now to add it to the homepage, go to Settings > Reading Settings from your WordPress admin. There, you’ll see an option to select your homepage. So, you can tick on the static page and below, select the page you’ve created.
B. Creating Posts in WordPress
Posts are the informative content of your website. Posts are dynamic types of content like articles on your website. Unlike pages, posts are for timely articles which you can update often. They usually appear in the Blog section of your website.
To create posts, just go to Posts >> Add New from your Dashboard.
On the next page, you’ll come across the Gutenberg editor. Now, you can start by adding your post title. The process of adding and customizing the content in a post is the same as on a page that we explained above.
Moreover, the Post settings include the visibility option – make it public or private, publish option – publish immediately, or schedule. Besides, you can edit your post permalink, set a featured image, add or choose an article category, enable or disable comments, etc.
When everything is set up, you can publish the post by clicking the ‘Publish’ button on the top right corner.
C. Adding a Navigational Menu
The navigational menu is the area on the top of your website that guides visitors to other pages. You can add links to your important pages like blog, contact, about, pricing, or specific articles in the menu.
To have a menu, you should first have web pages for each individual menu item. So, the first step is to create web pages that you want to add to the menu.
Then, you must add a menu by these steps:
- Go to ‘Appearance > Menus’ from your WordPress admin panel.
- Under the Menu Structure heading, add a Menu Name
- Click on the Create Menu button.
Next, you’ve to add those pages to the menu. The steps are:
- Select the pages that you want to add to the menu.
- Click on Add to Menu.
Now, arrange the menu items in order by dragging and dropping. You also need to choose a display location for the menu. Normally, the options are shown in the ‘Menu Settings’ at the bottom. Choose where you want to display the menu.
Finally, save the menu by clicking the Save Menu button.
After completing these steps, quickly visit your site from the dashboard to see the navigation you added just before.
For more, check this guide on creating a drop-down menu in WordPress.
Step 8. Add Essential Plugins and Tools
Your site may not have all the functions that you want in the beginning. But, you can always add the extra features you like. Adding features to your WordPress site is facilitated by WordPress plugins.
A WordPress plugin is software that you can add to your WordPress site to add a feature. Each plugin serves a unique purpose on your site. For example, WPForms is a plugin for adding contact forms to your site.
You can select and use more than 60,000 free plugins from the WordPress.org plugin directory only. Plus, you can download and install the best plugins manually on your site from third-party sources.
And, yes you can install any plugin you want on your site! It’s another freedom you get when making a WordPress website from scratch. In contrast, site builders like Wix have a limited set of plugins and most are available for expensive plan customers only.
i. How to Install & Manage Plugins in WordPress?
To manage the plugins on your site, go to ‘Plugins > Installed Plugins‘ from your WordPress Dashboard. On the next page, you’ll see a list of installed plugins that you can update, activate, deactivate, and remove.
To install a new plugin, click on the ‘Add New‘ button at the top of the Installed Plugins page or visit ‘Plugins > Add New‘ from your WordPress admin area.
On the next screen, you’ll see plugins from the official WordPress plugin repository. From here, you can search for a plugin by its name or a keyword and directly install it on your site.
For example, we searched the ‘contact form’ keyword, and plugins like Contact Form 7, and WPForms appeared. Of them, we’ll install WPForms by clicking on the ‘Install Now‘ button.
After that, you can click on the ‘Activate‘ button and start using it right away.
But if you want to install a paid plugin or pre-downloaded plugin (a plugin file on your local device), then the steps are different. For step by step process, read our full guide on installing plugins (3 methods).
ii. Best Must-Have WordPress Plugins and Tools
Now, we’re going to discuss some important and best WordPress plugins that you should install for a start.
WPForms is a simple and user-friendly WordPress contact form plugin with an easy drag-and-drop form builder. With WPforms, you can create various types of forms like contact forms, sign-up forms, surveys, etc.
With a variety of options provided, you can add tons of fields and edit them as you like. You can use fields like text, email, dropdowns, checkboxes, and so on. Also, you can drag and drop the fields to set them in the order you like.
- Pricing: It’s free on the WordPress.org plugin directory. The paid version is present on its website.
- Alternatives to WPForms: Tripetto (the free version on WordPress.org, paid on its official site).
2. Akismet Anti-Spam
Every blog on the web is prone to spam comment issues like comment flooding, link advertising, etc. And, your website is no exception to that. So, you should use a plugin for blocking spam comments on your site.
For that, the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin is the most recommended. It’s the most popular spam-preventing plugin with over 5 million downloads. It is developed by Automattic, the company behind WordPress. And, it’s one of the 2 plugins that comes installed with WordPress.
- Pricing: Free for personal sites only.
- Alternative: If you need a free alternative for your commercial site or blog, then you can use the Antispam Bee plugin.
Backing up is the first and most important step for securing your website from data loss. It is the process of creating copies and saving your website files in remote locations.
In WordPress, UpdraftPlus is a popular plugin for creating backups in WordPress. Also, you can easily restore the backup files and migrate your website files if required.
Pricing: Free version available on WordPress.org. The paid version is also available, on its official website.
Your website is vulnerable to various kinds of threats if you haven’t taken any security measures. For example, a forcible attempt to sign in to your admin panel, flooding your comment with spam, unusual visits, etc.
So, you need to have a security plugin to keep safe from these kinds of threats. Among tons of plugins available, we recommend using the Wordfence Security plugin. It is the most used and high-rated security plugin in WordPress.
For more information, please check our detailed guide on website security.
- Pricing: Free (paid version also available)
- Alternatives to Wordfence: iThemes Security, Sucuri Security (Free version of both plugins available on WordPress.org, paid version on their official site).
5. Yoast SEO
A website is useful only if it reaches the targeted visitors. Here’s a fact, websites get most of their visitors from search engines. So, you should make your website discoverable from search engines, mainly Google.
Technically, the process of using measures for making your site visible in search engines is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
For your WordPress site, Yoast is a very useful SEO plugin. It provides you SEO guidelines, checks SEO scores, checks readability, etc. Read our full Yoast SEO review.
- Pricing: Free (paid version also available)
- Alternatives: Rank Math, SEOPress (Free version of both plugins available on WordPress.org, paid version on their official site). Check more Yoast alternatives.
6. WP Super Cache
Caching is the process of saving web pages as static pages so that they would load faster whenever people visit your site. Caching results in increasing your website speed and enhancing users’ experience on your site.
So, using caching software is crucial for your site. Also, you may already know that site speed is an important factor for ranking your site on Google.
For that purpose, we recommend using the WP Super Cache plugin. It’s a popular caching plugin that offers lots of caching functions for free. It is easily available from the WordPress Plugins section in the Dashboard.
Pricing: Free (paid version also available)
7. Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. are the most popular websites people are engaged with nowadays. To grab people’s attention on social media, it’s essential your website has social media integration.
Social Media Share Buttons and Sharing Icons is the most popular social media plugin on WordPress. It lets you add social share buttons on your pages, posts, and other areas of your webpage.
Just install it from the plugins section of the dashboard and see all the options it has to offer.
Pricing: Free (paid version also available)
8. Site Kit by Google
Now, your site needs a traffic analyzing plugin, no matter what kind of website it is. The most popular website analytics tool is Google Analytics. It’s a free tool from Google.
To use the service, you must create a Google Analytics account and connect your WordPress site with it.
In WordPress, it’s easy to add Google Analytics with a plugin. Site Kit by Google is a free plugin by Google company itself that helps you through the entire process of creating an Analytics account and connecting with your site.
Once the setup process is complete, you can view the analytics result easily from your WordPress admin panel.
Pricing: 100% Free
9. Mailchimp for WordPress
Every website should adopt an email marketing strategy to grow its site. It involves collecting email addresses and sending out emails about new products, posts, updates, notifications, etc.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing services.
In WordPress, you can use the plugin ‘MC4WP: Mailchimp for WordPress’ to integrate Mailchimp into your site. The plugin lets you easily connect your WordPress site with Mailchimp and increase your email subscribers.
Pricing: Free (Paid add-on also available)
If you want to sell things via your site, then WooCommerce is the best option. Developed by Automattic, WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin to set up an online store.
It provides a complete set of eCommerce solutions like adding products, adding carts, choosing payment and shipping methods, searching and filtering products, etc. If you need more features, then you can find tons of add-ons and extensions both free and premium.
So, these are the most useful plugins that websites generally use to keep their site running. However, you may not need all of these plugins on your site. Because every site requires a different set of features and functionalities.
For example, you don’t need to install the Akismet plugin for a static portfolio that doesn’t have a comment section. So, be sure of which plugins you need and then, install them accordingly.
For more suggestions, please read our ultimate collection of the must-have and best WordPress plugins!
Step 9. Check Everything and Publish Your Website
After effectively completing the above steps, you’re almost done with building your website and ready to publish. However, we suggest that you check your site once from top to bottom.
It’s just to make sure that your site has no defects, and that you’ll have everything in order. Also, that’s to ensure an excellent experience for your visitors.
After all, a website is the foundation of your business growth and credibility. So, you should spend some time checking and fixing the issues on your website.
Hence, here are the things to cover before finally publishing your site.
i. Proofread all the Content
Sometimes, little blunders go unnoticed during the writing and editing of content. There may have left some faults in grammar, spelling, or formatting. So, you should proofread your posts and pages to get rid of those things.
You can take help from online tools like Grammarly. You can simply add its browser extension and it automatically tracks grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, unwanted phrases, etc. on your web pages.
Plus, it provides the appropriate suggestions that you can use and make your content better.
ii. Check WordPress Settings Again
Re-check your WordPress settings and ensure that everything is in place. As already discussed above, you can regulate your sites’ adjustments from the Settings menu in your dashboard. And some alterations may be required in the plugin’s settings too.
Mainly, you have to make your site visible to search engines. You can manage it by going to ‘Settings > Reading‘ from your dashboard. On the page, make sure that the ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ option is not checked.
But most importantly, you have to configure the Yoast SEO plugin at its best for better search rankings in search engines.
Similarly, you can check the configuration of discussion (comments), media, and permalinks from the Settings under respective sub-menu names. And, fix if there are any issues left.
iii. Test All the Links
Sometimes, your website may have problems with broken links (dead links). They are the links that don’t work and show an error when clicked.
Your website may have broken links due to many reasons like changes in the URL, deleted webpage, etc. Also sometimes, links don’t work when you accidentally alter the URL characters.
To solve the problem, you can use free online tools like the Broken Link Checker. Just insert your website URL and find out if there are any broken links. Then, you can edit your content pages and fix the issues by redirections.
Learn how to check and fix broken permalinks in WordPress websites from here.
iv. Check Images on Your Site
Images are the important assets of your website. So, you should use images on your site after optimizing. Image optimization means reducing the image size without reducing its quality. This way, your image looks great, loads faster, and minimizes server storage.
To minimize the image sizes, you can use various online tools like TinyPNG, Compressor.io, etc. There are a lot more like these on the web.
However, there are lots of plugins for minifying the images in WordPress itself. Most of the popular ones are Smush, Imagify, etc.
And, don’t forget to check the titles and alt tags of each image. These tags help Google and other search engines understand what the image is about. So, it would rank better in search engines’ image searches.
v. Test Your Site Speed
Website speed is associated with your site’s growth in lots of ways. Faster websites rank higher in Google and provide a better user experience. Also, studies show that people tend to quit websites that take a longer time to load.
So, you should optimize your site speed. You should try various methods to speed up your website.
Also, you can check your website speed with tools like PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, Pingdom, etc.
They not only give speed insights but also provide feedback on things to improve to speed up the site.
vi. Test Your Site for Mobile
Make sure that your website runs fine on small-screen devices too. You may be amazed to know that more than 50% of users surf the internet through smartphones and tablets. So, you should have a responsive website that runs seamlessly on all devices.
To test the responsiveness of your site, the easiest way is by restoring your browser. First, open your site on a browser, and then click on the restore button. Then, narrow down the screen to see how it looks with small screens.
Besides, you can check the mobile-friendliness of your website using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just input your URL and get your result instantly.
vii. Check Your Site on Different Web Browsers
You might know that Google Chrome is the most popular browser with over 60% of the market share. However, if your website is only accessible with Chrome, then you’ll be missing out on the rest of the 40% of users.
So, you should make sure that your website runs well in other major web browsers like Opera, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.
To check the browser compatibility of your site, you can use online tools like Browsershots, Turbo Browser Sandbox, Browsera, etc.
Step 10. Continue Improving and Marketing Your Website
After publishing the site, you’ll have reached a milestone. It’ll be ready to host web traffic and provide your services to visitors.
However, your duty as a website owner won’t end here. You should realize that launching the site is just the beginning.
Here’s an obvious fact, users won’t visit your website until they discover it. Also, they won’t stay long if it has dull design and boring content. So, you should work on constantly improving and promoting your site.
To improve your site, here’s the list of things you should take care of.
1. Improve Content
You should keep on uploading more content to keep your site running. This will keep a steady flow of visitors to your site.
Moreover, consider providing more interactive and interesting content like videos and podcasts.
And also, update your previous posts timely with fresh information that your visitors can rely on.
2. Improve the Site Design
Design is what attracts the users’ attention to your site. If your website has an appealing look and easy interface, then your visitors are likely to come again. So, you need to keep improving your website design.
You can work on making navigation easier so that the visitors can easily move through different pages. Also, choose your website color combination that is easy on the eyes.
3. Enhance Security
Your website may be a vital part of your business and earnings. Thus, you must keep it safe from cyber-attacks and data breaches.
To increase your WordPress site security, it’s compulsory to use security plugins. They allow you to set the 2-step verification login, lock multiple failed logins, block unusual visiting patterns, and so on.
For a WordPress site, the maximum threats come from plugins as it’s provided by external parties. So, you should check the background of plugin authors, reviews, ratings, etc. And, install only the trusted ones.
Besides, back up your website files and data from time to time in case it gets hacked. Check out our complete website security guide to keep your site secure.
4. Add features like chat, forum
If you offer products and services with your site, then it’s important to provide your customers with good support.
For that, you can integrate a live chat facility into your site later on. This enables your customers to contact you easily for any help or suggestion. To add a live chat facility, you can use various WordPress chat plugins available at WordPress.org.
Also, you can add a forum or community on your site. Having that, you can allow users to conduct discussions on various related topics. It can help you to gain reviews and feedback from users.
Check out the most popular WordPress community plugins!
5. Make Your Site Multilingual
Upgrading to a multilingual site lets your website translate into different languages. Having that, you can gain visitors, clients, or customers from all around the world. Thus, having a multilingual website helps your business grow.
In WordPress, it’s more than easy to enable the multiple languages of your site. There are multilingual plugins like WMPL, Polylang, etc. that enable translation so that your site can go multilingual.
You need to keep improving the SEO of your site in order to reach more users. More visitors mean more potential customers and eventually, more revenue.
You should work on various on-page and off-page measures of SEO. Mainly, you should work on using keywords, optimizing URLs, internal and external linking, speed, security, etc. to improve the SEO score on your site.
Check our definitive SEO guide for the best SEO tips.
7. Social Media Marketing
According to stats, about 3 billion people are active on various social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. That’s why; social media marketing can be an effective strategy to derive more traffic to your site.
To begin, you should necessarily have a social media presence. And then, you’ll have to get in touch with the targeted audience, and then publish your content and provide links to your website.
There, you’ll have to engage and interact with your audience to gain trust and build the credibility of your business.
8. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most popular ways to lead traffic to your site. Also, it’s been seen as effective in the past.
Many big companies adopt this method for updating people about their products, services, updates, etc. You can make similar efforts to gain visitors by promoting your content over emails.
It involves gathering a list of email addresses and then sending them mail in a group. Start with one of the best email marketing services.
With that, we’re at the end of our comprehensive guide on creating a website from scratch. So, let’s conclude with some last words!
Let’s wrap up! We’re at the end of this article on how to make a website from scratch.
We hope that you understand how to make a website from scratch, specifically using WordPress. Also, we’re sure that you’ll be able to build a professional website on your own. Following this guide step-by-step, you’ll have your website ready in no time.
Still, having some confusion? Or need any kind of help with website building? Then, please comment below. We’ll be happy to help you.
Also, read some recent helpful blogs on how to build a WordPress site without hosting and domain. Plus, our list of the best website builders for SEO.
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