Beginner's Guide

How to Make a Website from Scratch? (EASY Guide 2022)

  • Updated on
How to Make Your Website from Scratch? (In Just 10 Steps Easily)

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 build 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 or 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’re 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 2022. Let’s take a look at them.

i) Blog

A blog is a type of website commonly used to publish written articles on the web. An individual or a group of people team up to create content for the blog website. 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.

SiteSaga - A Blog About Website Making, Website Builders, and Online Marketing
SiteSaga (A Blog About Website Creation, Online Marketing, etc.)

Although it started as a means of keeping a daily journal, the blog is now used for a variety of purposes and different types of blogs are 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

Suppose you might like to write in general or want to spread thoughts and ideas to like-minded people. Anyway, the blog is the type of website that suits your purpose.

On top of everything, you can also earn money from blogging. 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.

Some other examples of popular blog sites are:

  • Copyblogger – A blog about content marketing
  • Mashable – Digital platform including articles about technology, entertainment, etc.

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 like technology, sports, movies, etc. If you’ve expertise in anything, then you can also write guides, 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 (feedbacks 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.

Charli Marie (Personal Portfolio Website of Charli Marie)
Charli Marie (Personal Portfolio Website of Charli Marie)

Additionally, you can take a look at these real portfolio site examples.

  • Tristan Harris – Co-founder of the Center of Humane Technology
  • Jessica Hische – Author of the New York Times best-selling book ‘Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave’

For more ideas and inspiration, check out 48 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, 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 these and sell your own products or others’ products.

Aamazon.com eCommerce Website Example
Aamazon.com (eCommerce Website Example)

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 the 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.

Microsoft Business Website Example
Microsoft.com (Business Website Example)

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 brochure 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 make a website. Basically, you can categorize them as two methods as shown below:

  • Conventional Method of Website Building by Coding. It’s the manual process by coding with complex programming languages. If you don’t know coding skills, then you need hire a developer and get your work done.
  • Easy & Quick Method Using Website Builders: Nowadayws, you can find powerful website builders which let you build websites easily, no matter how unfamiliar you’re with coding. Plus, you’ll get tons of other benefits like better SEO, security, support, etc.

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 a set of tools to easily set up and publish a site online.

Website Builders for Building Websites Easily
Website Builders for Building Websites Easily

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, site creating 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.

It’s, therefore, the trend of using site builders for site creation got popular. Additionally, you’ll get the following advantages with website builder platforms:

  • Tons of pre-designed themes and templates for your site’s design
  • Thousands of plugins, addons, and extentions available for adding extra features to the site
  • Beginner-friendly SEO tools to help your site get better ranking on search results
  • Latest software standards and security techniques

You’ll learn more about the benefits of each site builder in the following sections below.

To sum up, we clearly endorse creating websites with website builder platforms. You can make a website on your own, from scractch 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? (5 Top 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 5 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 content management system (CMS) software. It offers a user-friendly yet super flexible platform to build a variety of websites.

WordPress.Org Website Builder
WordPress Most Popular CMS

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 site 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.

Pros:

  • WordPress is a simple yet highly extendible platform. Lets you build any type of website, a professional blog, portfolio, to an eCommerce store.
  • You can get plenty of resources for free. On the official WordPress.org website, you’ll get over 9,000+ free themes for your site’s design, 59,000+free plugins for adding functionalities.
  • Plenty of WordPress guides and tutorials available for free on the internet. You can get an answer to your 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.

Cons:

  • 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 websites. If you’re a newbie, follow the steps below one by one 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.

Shopify Website Builder
Shopify eCommerce Platform

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.

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • Shopify is a little costly platform; setting up a website on this platform takes 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.


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 site with it.

Wix Website & Blogging Platform

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.

Pros:

  • 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 webpages 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.

Cons:

  • You’ve limited options, actually only option to rely on Wix for all the resources. Your site uses Wix’s servers, so resources like storage space, 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 like café, restaurants, trainers, tours, etc., it’s great for you to get started, like over 100 million websites already using it.


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.

WordPress.com Website
WordPress.com Website

You might confuse it with WordPress.org described above. In fact, WordPress.com is just another way to build a website 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. From domain, hosting to 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.

Pros:

  • Beginner-friendly platform. Simply sign up with your email address and some details about your website, your site will be ready in just some time.
  • 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 technical support along with sites’ backup and maintenance. With that, you can focus on your business and care least about the technical aspects.

Cons:

  • 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 various types of websites by expanding its features. You’ll have to upgrade to a higher plan to expand your website into a business or eCommerce website.


v. Jimdo – Small Business Site Builder

Jimdo is a visual website builder that uses an intuitive drag-and-drop editor to design web pages. It lets you effortlessly design your responsive website that looks great on mobile devices too.

Jimdo Open Source Website and Blogging Platform

It provides over 100 beautiful templates to quickly get started with. Also, it offers advanced SEO and fast indexing on Google with its paid plans.

Pros:

  • Like Wix, Jimdo is also a fully-hosted platform that provides you domain name and hosting to host your site. You just need to sign up in a few steps.
  • It includes an SSL certificate, maintenance, backup, and good support facilities.
  • Dedicated customer support by the team of experts.

Cons:

  • You’ve limited options in comparison to WordPress. You can use only the Jimdo provided resources including hosting features, templates, add-ons, and third-party integration, etc.
  • The Jimdo plans get costlier when you start getting more traffic.

In the nutshell, Jimdo is a good platform for personal websites and small businesses.

Want to try more alternative platforms? You can read our article on the best website-building platforms in detail.


vi. 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.

Still, have questions? Check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) quickly.

FAQ 1. How Much Time Does It Take to Make a Website?

The time to make a website depends on various things. Firstly, it depends on the method you use to build a website.

  1. By Coding: If you’re a web developer, then you can design your website fully using coding languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, .NET, and more. Buf if you’re not a programmer, then you’ll need to learn it. It takes several months or years. Anyways, creating a site by coding takes longer time.
  2. Hire a Web Developer or Agency to Make Your Site: Another way, you can also hire developers or 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.
  3. Build Your Site Yourself With a Website Builder: Or, you can do it yourself easily with the help of website builders. Just use the available website platforms, 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.

FAQ 2. How Much Money Do You Need to Create a Website?

As we’ve already mentioned, hiring web developers cost you a large sum of money. 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 at all a problem because top hosting companies like DreamHost offer web hosting as low as $2.59/month. Plus, provide a domain name for free. This means that you can start a site as low as $2.59/month with WordPress.  

Other website builders like Wix and Jimdo 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.


Step 3. Get a Domain Name & 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 in 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).

Custom Domain Name Example (www.sitesaga.com)
Domain Name Example (www.sitesaga.com)

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. 

Here are some of the most important things to consider while selecting a domain name.

  • Get a short and catchy domain name.
  • Get a domain name that describes your websites’ purpose.
  • Try to use .com extension.
  • Avoid numbers and hyphens.

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 the viewers.

Web Hosting
Web hosting

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 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.

Here are the major things to consider when choosing the best hosting for your website.

  • Estimate the expected number of site visitors per month and select the bandwidth as required.
  • Estimate the storage space you need to store all your website files.
  • Compare the hosting cost among different hosting platforms. And select the one that gives the best value for your money.
  • Make sure that the host provides adequate customer support.

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, DreamHost, Bluehost, Kinsta, 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. 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: Cloudways, Kinsta. Recommended domain registrar: Namecheap, Domain.com.

For this tutorial, we choose DreamHost. Because we’ve been using it for many years and we’re truly happy! It’s beginner-friendly. Also, their customer support is great. You can check users’ reviews on Trustpilot.

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.

Get Started wth DreamHost Web Hosting

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. for yearly plan, $1.99/mo. for monthly plan)
  • DreamPressmanaged WordPress hosting ($16.5/mo. for yearly plan, $12/mo. for monthly plan)
  • And VPS – more secure Virtual Private Servers ($13.75/mo. for yearly plan, $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.

DreamHost Web Hosting Pricing
DreamHost Web Hosting Pricing

Also, it has the option to check Monthly or Yearly pricing.

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. The monthly plan costs just $1.99/month but it doesn’t include 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.

Register New Domain on DreamHost
Register New Domain on DreamHost

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.

Register New Domain With DreamHost Hosting
Register New Domain With DreamHost Hosting

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.

Payment Methods to Buy DreamHost Hosting
Payment Methods to Buy DreamHost Hosting

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.

Setting Up Your DreamHost Account
Setting Up Your DreamHost 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.

Choose Additional Settings on Your DreamHost Plan
Choose Additional Settings on Your DreamHost Plan

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.

Submit Order for DreamHost Hosting Purchase
Submit Order for DreamHost Hosting Purchase

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.

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.

DreamHost Web Hosting Account Approval Email
DreamHost Web Hosting Account Approval Email

As shown in the screenshot above, you can now log into your DreamHost control panel by going to the URL: https://panel.dreamhost.com/.

DreamHost control panel login page looks like the screenshot below. Use the credentials sent to you via email to log in.

DreamHost Login Page
DreamHost Login Page

After you log into your DreamHost account, you’ll see a simple hosting control panel page that looks like the screenshot below.

DreamHost Hosting Control Panel
DreamHost Hosting Control Panel

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’d chosen to register a new domain free, DreamHost will automatically process domain registration for you. Once done, you’ll get an email.

Domain Registration Success Email by DreamHost
Domain Registration Success Email by DreamHost

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 to 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.

SSL Enabled Secure Site Example SiteSaga
SSL Enabled Secure Site Example SiteSaga

Whereas there will be a ‘not secure’ message if your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate.

Not Secure Website Example
Not Secure Website Example

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.

Adding SSL Certificate to Your Domain on DreamHost
Adding SSL Certificate to Your Domain on DreamHost

Step 2: On the next screen, it’ll show 2 options:

  • LET’S ENCRYPT SSL CERTIFICATE (free)
  • COMODO DV CERTIFICATE (costs $15 per year)
SSL Certificate Options on DreamHost
Adding SSL Certificate to Your Domain on DreamHost

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 super-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 – Installs some essential plugins also, saves 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 had 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 Installation Successful Email by DreamHost
WordPress Installation Successful Email by DreamHost

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‘.

One-Click Installation Apps on DreamHost
One-Click Installation Apps on DreamHost

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 domain name of your website that you want to host. In this case, select the domain name you registered earlier during the hosting account setup process.
  • Select Database: It is 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. The additional features include free themes, plugins, and security settings. Or, you can uncheck the deluxe install box. Those free sources will be available afterward too.
One-Click WordPress Installer on DreamHost
One-Click WordPress Installer on DreamHost

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

or www.example.com/wp-admin/

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.

WordPress Login Page
WordPress Login Page

Check our WordPress login guide for more information.

After login, you’ll get access to your WordPress site dashboard.

The dashboard is the back-end of your website where you upload files, create pages, write articles, etc. to appear on the frontend for users to see. It’s the admin area for managing your WordPress website’s content, design, and functionalities.

WordPress Dashboard
WordPress Dashboard

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.

iv. 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.

'Add New Plugin' Option in WordPress
‘Add New Plugin’ Option in WordPress

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‘.

Install CMP Coming Soon and Maintenance WordPress Plugin
Installing CMP Coming Soon and Maintenance WordPress Plugin

Next, you must activate the plugin. Once activated, you just need to turn on maintenance mode.

Enable Coming Soon Mode in WordPress
Enabling Coming Soon Mode in WordPress

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.

Pre-installed Default WordPress Themes
Pre-installed Default WordPress 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 9,000+ free themes.

Moreover, you can look onto marketplaces and themes 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 adding eCommerce options you want on 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.

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.

Astra Free Responsive WordPress Theme
Astra #1 Popular Free WordPress Theme

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, 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

WordPress Themes Option in Dashboard
WordPress Themes Option in Dashboard

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.

Add New Theme in WordPress
Add New Theme Option in WordPress

Step 3: Next, it’ll open the ‘Add Themes’ page with theme options from WordPress.org. As on the WordPress.org themes page, you’ll see featured themes and categories ‘Favorite’, ‘Popular’, ‘Latest’, etc. You can also add the feature filter and search the themes by typing a name or keyword.

Search WordPress Themes to Install
Search WordPress Themes to Install

Step 4: Browse through the categories, preview, and pick a theme. If you’ve already chosen a theme, then simply search it by its name. For example, we searched ‘Astra’. When you find the theme, simply click on the ‘Install‘ button.

Installing Astra WordPress Theme
Installing Astra WordPress Theme

Step 5: After the installation is complete, click on the ‘Activate‘ button.

Activating Astra WP theme
Activating Astra WP theme

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.

Astra WordPress Theme Activated
Astra WordPress Theme Activated

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, check out our detailed guide on installing WordPress themes (that explains 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.

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 modification and customization happen.

Customize in WordPress Dashboard
Customize in WordPress Dashboard

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.

Header Option in Astra WordPress Theme
Header Option in Astra WordPress Theme

Then click Site Identity. There, you’ll see a section to add a logo and favicon.

Adding Logo and Favicon in WordPress
Adding Logo and Favicon in WordPress

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.

Set Your Site Title and Tagline in WordPress
Set Your Site Title and Tagline in WordPress

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.

Global Option in Astra WordPress Theme
Global Option in Astra WordPress Theme

After that, click on the ‘Colors ‘ option.

Colors Option in Astra WP Theme
Colors Option in Astra WP Theme

Next, click ‘Base Colors‘. From there, you can change the color of texts, themes, links, headings, backgrounds, etc.

Customizing Base Colors in Astra Theme
Customizing Base Colors in Astra Theme

Changing Fonts

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.

Typography Option in Astra WordPress Theme
Typography Option in Astra WordPress Theme

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.

Customizing Base Typography in Astra Theme
Customizing Base Typography in Astra Theme

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.

WordPress Settings
WordPress Settings

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.

General Settings in WordPress
General Settings in WordPress

As you can see on 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.

Discourage Search Engine Visibility for WordPress Coming Soon Page
Discourage Search Engine Visibility for WordPress Coming Soon Page

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.

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’.

Setting SEO-friendly Permalink Structure in WordPress
Setting SEO-friendly Permalink Structure in WordPress

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 comments validity, get notification 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.

Discussion Settings in WordPress
Discussion Settings in WordPress

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 in WordPress: 

  1. Pages 
  2. Posts

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 ‘Paragraph’ block for a paragraph, ‘Image’ block for an image, ‘Heading’ tag for the headings or subheadings, ‘List’ for list items. 

WordPress Block Editor
WordPress Block Editor AKA Gutenberg Editor

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‘.

'Add New Page' Option in WordPress
‘Add New Page’ Option in WordPress

With that, you’ll come across ‘Add New Page‘ with the modern Gutenberg block editor. It has the 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 us’ page.

Adding Page Title in WordPress Block Editor
Adding Page Title in WordPress Block Editor

Below the ‘Title block’, you can see ‘Start writing or type / to choose a block’. 

Now you can start typing into that field if you want to add text content there. As you start typing, you’ll see the ‘Paragraph’ block settings in the ‘Settings’ panel on the right sidebar. 

Adding Paragraph in WordPress Block Editor
Adding Paragraph in WordPress Block Editor

But if you want to add some other type of content like image, audio, list items, etc. then you need to type ‘/’ and choose the right block. 

Gutenberg Editor Adding Block With Slash
Adding Block With Slash (/)

Or you can click on the small ‘Plus button’ at the right end of the block to add a new block.  On clicking, a number of block types will pop up.

Gutenberg Editor Adding Block With Button
Adding Block With Button

Let’s say you want to add an image to your page. Just click on Image from there. Choose an image by dragging, uploading manually, or from the WordPress media library (if you already have images in the library).

Adding Image in WordPress Block Editor
Adding Image in WordPress Block Editor

After uploading the image, be sure to insert the image title, caption, and alt text from the Setting panel.

Adding Alt Text and Caption to Image in WordPress
Adding Alt Text and Caption to Image in WordPress

Similarly, you can add various types of content elements like a gallery, buttons, lists, headings, etc. with the blocks and create a beautiful page. Combine them in your own unique way. Feel free to use the settings to make tiny adjustments.

In fact, a lot of settings and controls are available with the Gutenberg editor to design your page. It’s actually up to you how you decide to create one.

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 Homepage for Your WordPress Site

In WordPress, you can choose either a static page or show the latest posts to your site’s front page. For your information, both of these homepage types are equally popular.

If you want to make a static home page, then you can create a stunning static page using the steps mentioned above.

Try adding different available blocks, experiment with them. Use images, icons, forms, tables, widgets, sliders, media, etc., adjust each block with the setting panel, and create a homepage your own way.

Designing a homepage 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 the 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 the Plugins > Add New on your dashboard. Search ‘Starter Templates’ from the search bar, install, and activate it.

Astra Demo Template Importing Plugin
Astra Starter Templates Plugin

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.

Astra Starter Demo Templates for Importing
List of Importable Demos

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.

Astra Theme Demo and Site Import
Importing Demo Pages

Importing the web page may take some time. 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. On the next page, you’ll see an option to select your homepage. There you can tick on the static page and below, select the page you’ve created.

Choosing Static Home Page
Choosing Static Home Page

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.

'Add New Post' Option in WordPress
‘Add New Post’ Option in WordPress

On the next page, you’ll come across the Gutenberg editor. Now, you can start by adding your post title. The process of adding content in a post is the same as on a page that we explained above.

Creating Post with WordPress Gutenberg Editor
Creating a Post in WordPress

After that, you can add paragraphs, images, media, tables, widgets, and so on. For that, you can use the Gutenberg blocks the same way we’ve shown you above.

Once you’ve added all the content elements you want on your post, you need to configure some options from the Document Settings. Click on the ‘Document’ tab inside the Settings panel. 

Configuring Post Settings From Document Tab
Configuring Post Settings

From there, you can choose 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, product pages, pricing, or specific articles in the navigation 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.

List of Pages in a Site
List of Pages

We’ve already talked about creating pages, posts in the previous steps. So, you can follow the same procedure for creating pages.

Now, to add those pages to your navigational menu, go to ‘Appearance > Menus’ from your WordPress admin panel.

After that, follow the following steps on the next page.

  1. Under the Menu Structure heading, add a Menu Name.
  2. Select the pages that you want to add to the menu.
  3. Click on Add to Menu.
Selecting Pages to Add in Header Menu
Adding Pages in Menu

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.

Arranging Menu Structure by Drag-and-Drop
Arranging Menu Structure

After completing these steps, quickly visit your site from the dashboard to see the navigation you added just before.


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 on 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, Tripetto is a plugin for adding contact forms to your site.

You can select and use more than 59,000 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 or Jimdo 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.

Installed Plugins Page in WordPress Dashboard
Installed Plugins Page in WordPress Dashboard

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.

'Add New Plugin' Option in WordPress
‘Add New Plugin’ Option in WordPress

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 to your site.

For example, we searched the ‘contact form’ keyword, and plugins like Contact Form 7, WPForms appeared. Of them, we’ll install WPForms by clicking on the ‘Install Now‘ button.

Installed Plugins Page in WordPress Dashboard
Installed Plugins Page in WordPress Dashboard

After that, you can click on the ‘Activate‘ button and start using it right away.

But if you want to install a premium plugin or pre-downloaded plugin (you’ve plugin file on your local device), then you should click on the ‘Upload Plugin‘ button first, and then install it. For step by step process, check out 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.

1. WPForms

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.

WPForms Free WordPress Plugin

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: Free version available on WordPress.org, paid version on its official 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.

Akismet Spam Protection WordPress Plugin

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.

If you need a free alternative for your commercial site or blog, then you can use the Antispam Bee plugin.


3. UpdraftPlus

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.

UpDraftPlus Popular WordPress Backup Plugin

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.


4. Wordfence

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.

Wordfence WordPress Security Plugins

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.

WooCommerce Yoast SEO Plugin

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 the 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.

WP Super Cache Plugin For Website

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
Social Media Share Buttons and Sharing Icons

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. 

Site Kit by Google Plugin for Analytics and Search Console Integration
Site Kit by Google Plugin for Analytics and Search Console Integration

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: 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.

Mailchimp for WordPress Plugin
Mailchimp for WordPress Plugin

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)


10. WooCommerce

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.

WooCommerce Free WordPress eCommerce Plugin
WooCommerce Plugin for eCommerce

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 addons and extensions both free and premium.

Pricing: Free

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 the comment section. So, be sure of which plugins you need and then, install them accordingly.

For more suggestions, please check our ultimate collection of 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 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.

So, 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.

Grammarly
Grammarly

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.  

Enabling Indexing from Reading Settings
Enabling Search Engine Visibility

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.

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 change in 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.

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.

Image Optimizing WordPress Plugins
Image Optimizing Plugins

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 search.

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.

GTmetrix Speed Testing Online Tool
GTmetrix Speed Test

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.

Google Mobile Friendly Test
Google Mobile-Friendly Test

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.

Browsera Browser Compatibility Testing Tool
Browsera Compatibility Checker

After checking everything, your site is ready to go live. You just need to disable the ‘Coming Soon’ plugin if you’ve set it earlier (as suggested in Step 5). After disabling it, your site will be published and available for visitors.

Woo-hoo! You’re done with making a website from scratch, on you own!


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 is 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.

Podcast as a content type for content marketing
Podcasting

And also, update your previous posts timely with fresh information that your visitors can rely on.

2. Improve 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.

Two-Factor Authentication Website Security
Two-Factor Authentication

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.

WordPress Live Chat Plugins
Live Chat Plugins

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 to 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.

WPML WordPress Multilingual WordPress Plugin
WPML WordPress Multilingual WordPress Plugin

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.

6. SEO

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.

Search Engine Optiization SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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 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.

Using Social Media Platforms
Using Social Media Platforms

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.


Conclusion

Let’s wrap up.

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, if you want to gain more visitors to your site, then you can check our beginner’s SEO guide.

If you like this article, then please share it with your friends and colleagues.

Lastly, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on more useful articles.

Some of the links on this article/page are affiliate links. If you click on such an affiliate link and purchase the product, we’ll earn a specific percent commission from the seller. But it won’t at all affect the price you’ll pay.
Written By SiteSaga Editorial
SiteSaga Editorial is a team of highly experienced writers, marketers, and web developers. We're here to help beginners get online with their self-made websites or blogs and succeed.

SIGN UP TO GET FRESH CONTENT

Subscribe to our blog and get exclusive content every week! We don't like spam, so we won't spam you with junk email.