Believe it or not, one of the best things you can do for your business is giving it an online presence.
Every day, millions of people use the internet all over the world to send an email, find information using the search engine, research a product or service before buying, buying a product or making a service reservation, etc.
According to statistics by HostingFacts, there are over 4.1 billion Internet users worldwide. This is an obvious increase when compared to 3.9 and 3.7 billion Internet users in 2018 and 2017 respectively.
As you can see, internet usage is on the rise daily. My point is that, if you don’t have a website for your business or what you do, you are missing out on a lot of potential customers or clients.
Learning how to create a WordPress website is something that will be highly beneficial to you. For instance, if you know how to make a WordPress website, you can make one for yourself or business.
What this means is that you will save money from hiring the services of web designers and developers.
Also, if you know how to create a WordPress website, you can start making it for other small business owners, and be earning some extra cash from each site you create.
Most people get overwhelmed at the thought of creating a website. They think creating a website is a very difficult thing to do.
While others think that they require some coding skills or knowledge before they can set up a beautiful website.
If you in any of these categories of persons, I have good news for you. You do not need any coding skills or knowledge to create your own website or blog. As a matter of fact, you can create one in less than 30 mins.
This article is a beginner’s guide to create a WordPress website for those who want to create their own blog and start earning some extra cash, and those who want to create a website for their small businesses.
Step 1: Choose WordPress as your Website Platform
Before we begin, you must know that when it comes to building a website, there are many platforms that you can use to create one.
These platforms are properly called Content Management Systems (CMS). What CMS does in general, is that it gives you the necessary tools and platform to manage your website contents without doing any coding.
It is because of these already made available platforms that you can now build your own stunning website without the knowledge of coding.
There are many CMS out there that you can use and build your own website quickly. Examples of some of them are WordPress, Wix, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
While these platforms are great for creating a beautiful website, the best of them all, however, is WordPress.
A statistics recently conducted by Builtwith shows that of all the websites using Content Management Systems (CMS), 49% is built with WordPress.
You might be wondering why the platform has more usage than others. Well, I have outlined a few benefits of using a self-hosted WordPress.org site below.
Benefits of Using WordPress
Below are some of the things that make WordPress stand out from other CMS.
1. WordPress is Free
WordPress is free to download and Install. You don’t need to pay for the software before you can use it.
However, since you cannot install WordPress in a vacuum, you will need to buy your own domain and hosting before you can use the software.
2. WordPress is Easy to design
WordPress has thousands of both free and paid themes that you can easily choose from and design your website without actually doing any coding.
3. WordPress has More Functionality
Another beautiful reason why most people prefer WordPress is that you can basically do anything and everything with it.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins that you can use and extend your website functionality to how you desire it.
WordPress plugins also let you transform your site to any kind of website you desire. Be it a blog, a news website, a business website, an eCommerce website, a forum, etc. See examples of some of the types of websites you can build with WordPress.
4. SEO – Search Engine Optimization
One thing you must consider when creating a website is SEO. How your website is built will determine if it will rank well in Google, Bing and other search engines.
You must ensure that any CMS you are choosing is well built with SEO in mind unless you don’t intend people to be able to find your website on Google Search.
WordPress is SEO friendly. Hence, any site you build with WordPress has the potential of ranking higher than sites build with other platforms.
5. WordPress is Safe and Secure.
All the benefits mentioned above would mean nothing if intruders can just come and steal your website or site information from you easily.
This is why WordPress is built with security in mind. More so, there are great WordPress plugins, both paid and free that you can use and add more security to your website.
These are just some of the benefits of using WordPress.
Things You Need to Create a WordPress Website
A lot of persons have been asking, “what do I need to create a WordPress website?” Before we dive into creating a website, I will need to answer this question.
For you to create your own website, basically, you will need two things.
- A domain name (the name of your website. E.g, yourwebsitename.com).
- A Web Hosting (Where your website files and content will be stored).
These will be discussed in detail as we proceed further. If you want to create a blog and make money, and don’t want to make any initial financial investment, see our article on how to create a free blog and make money.
Step 2: Get a Hosting and a Domain Name
In this step, I will guide you through choosing a good domain name and the best web hosting for your website.
Choose a Good Domain Name
A domain name is the first thing you will need to create a WordPress website. A domain name is your website address.
Every website must have a domain name without which, your website cannot be located on the web. Your domain name is the name people will type in their browsers to get to your website.
For example, if you want to locate this website, all you need do is to type in https://lavensnwm.com on your browser, and it will take you to this website.
Now that you have an idea of what a domain name is, there are few tips you must observe when choosing your own domain name.
- Ensure that your domain name is as short as possible.
- Choose a domain name that will be very easy to remember.
- Pick a domain name that matches or directly relates to your brand name.
To get your own domain name, you have to buy a domain name of your choice from domain name registrars. These usually cost less than $15 a year.
A domain name registrar is a company that registers and manages domain names for websites in the world. There are some great domain name registrars that you can buy a domain name from.
However, unless you already have a domain name, I recommend getting it when buying a hosting plan for your website. Usually, some hosting companies give a free domain name when paying for a hosting plan.
The hosting I’ll recommend later in this post for your website will give you a free domain name for one year. This will save you about $15 if buying from a different domain name registrar.
Choose the best Web Hosting for Your Website
A web hosting is where all your website files, contents, images, etc, will be stored. You cannot create a website without hosting, even if you have a domain name.
There are companies that offer hosting services for websites. What this means is that you pay a yearly fee to these companies, and they provide you with the bandwidth and server where you can host your WordPress website.
Please don’t get confused in any of these terms. What I mean in a lay term is that these hosting companies will offer you the space to build your website, and in turn, you will pay them a yearly rent for the space they offered you.
Choosing a good hosting company is very important. Your choice of a hosting company and pricing plan is determined by the kind of website you want to build.
However, you don’t have to get too much worked up over it, as you can still move your website to another hosting company of your choice even after it is up and running.
Though, this is a little techy; that is why you need to choose the right hosting company for your site. There are so many hosting companies out there, however, I will recommend you use Bluehost.
Why did I Recommend Bluehost?
Bluehost happens to be one of the largest hosting companies in the world today. Running a successful blog or website among other things, as you will discover later requires your site to be very fast and always online.
Bluehost offers both site speed and 99.99% percent uptime at the same time. Also, Bluehost offers free SSL certificate (HTTPS://) – this is needed if you want your site to rank well on search engines (Google.com), and for security reasons.
More so, it will interest to know that you can easily install WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, through their one-click installation; all for a good and affordable yearly payment plan.
Lastly, Bluehost is the official WordPress recommended hosting partner. This is good since you are creating a WordPress website. As a matter of fact, this website (MyBloggingHelp.com) is hosted on Bluehost.
Getting Started with Bluehost
To begin, go to Bluehost. You might want to open the link in a new browser tab so that you can have this page still opened. On the Bluehost website, click on the Get Started button.
Choose Your Plan
Next, you will be taken to a page where you will have to choose your package plan. You will find 4 pricing plans on the Bluehost page.
- Choice Plus
Next, click on the Select button on any of the plans. I recommend the Choice Plus plan as it will give you a great start. This is also a popular choice among Bluehost users.
However, if you are on a budget, and intend to build a small site with low traffic, then you can go for the Basic plan.
Clicking on the Select button on the plan of your choice will take you to the next page where you will be required to register a domain name of your choice.
Register a Domain
Next, on the domain creation page, you will see two boxes.
The first is where you will register a new domain name for your website, while the second allows you to use a domain name you already owned or registered with another domain name registrar.
Type in the domain name of your choice and choose .com, then click the Next button. However, if you are using your existing domain name, type it in the second box and click Next.
Domain names usually end with .com, .org, .net, .web, .tech, .ng, etc. It is advisable to pick a .com domain name. Though, you can pick a .org or .net domain or any other type if you believe it’s best for your business.
Please note that there are instances where the domain name you want to register is already registered by someone else. In that case, you will be giving a few suggestions.
Pick any of the suggestions if you like it, or try and re-enter another domain name. Keep trying until you get the one not already registered.
However, if you already have a registered domain name and would like to use it, then type it exactly the way it is into the second box and click the Next button
Fill in Your Account Information
Next, fill in your personal information and ensure your email is correctly entered, as that is where your receipt will be sent to.
Choose Your Package Information and Extras
After filling your personal information, scroll down to see your package information and package extras.
In the package information, choose the length of your hosting plan. You are at liberty to choose 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months hosting plan.
When you scroll down a little further, you will find the extra packages you can purchase with your hosting plan. However, I do not recommend you purchase any for now. You can always get them later if you need them.
Next, fill in your payment information correctly, then scroll down and accept Bluehost’s terms of service. After this, click on the Submit button to complete your purchase.
After your purchase has been completed, you will receive an email from Bluehost containing your login details and how to access your hosting account.
Step 3: Install WordPress from Your cPanel
Having gotten a hosting and a domain name, let’s proceed to Installing WordPress.
I am assuming you bought a hosting plan from Bluehost. Hence, I will be using Bluehost to walk you through the process. However, the process is still the same even if you are using a different hosting.
Before you proceed to Installing WordPress, if you are using a domain you bought from Namecheap or Godaddy, you will first need to point the domain to your Bluehost account.
Without this, you will not be able to install WordPress with that domain. See a step by step guide on how to point a domain from Godaddy or Namecheap to your Bluehost account.
Install WordPress from Bluehost
First, log in to your hosting cPanel with the information you received in your email from Bluehost. While in your cPanel, there are 3 simple ways you can install WordPress.
- My Sites
- Install WordPress
- One-Click Installs.
Depending on the hosting company you are using, you will find one of these in your cPanel. However, I prefer using My Sites to install WordPress.
Now, go to the left section of your cPanel, click on the My Sites button.
Note, you may not have My Sites in your cPanel if you are using a different hosting from Bluehost. Notwithstanding, it should have the Install WordPress button or One-Click Installs button on your hosting.
You will find them in the Website section in your cPanel. The Installation process is usually not too different. You just have to follow the WordPress installation wizard, till you have WordPress installed.
Clicking on My Sites will take you to My Sites page. This page contains the list of all your Installed WordPress site. However, since it is a new hosting, it will be empty.
Next, click on Create Site
Enter your Site Name and Tagline
On the next screen, enter your site name and your site tagline and click Next to begin Installing your WordPress website.
You site name is the name you want your site to be known for. While you can choose any site name of your choice, you should restrict your choice to your business name or domain name. By so doing, you can easily build a brand in what you do.
Your site tagline, on the other hand, is like the slogan for your site. If the website you are creating is a business website, then be sure to enter your business slogan on the site tagline.
If you are not too sure what to use, click the Next button to continue. You can always add or edit your site title and tagline later.
Choose a Domain to Install your WordPress
Use the drop-down list and choose your domain name from the lists. Leave every other thing the way they are and click on Next.
This will begin the WordPress installation. It won’t take more than 2 minutes for WordPress to be completely installed.
Once the installation is completed, it will take you to a screen where you will see the WordPress installed successfully message.
You will also see your installation details. Copy the username and password generated after the installation. Those are the credential you will need to login to your WordPress website administrators dashboard.
If you followed the process up to this point, congratulations, you have successfully created your WordPress website.
Step 4: Customize Your WordPress Website
Now that you have successfully created your WordPress website, the next thing is to customize it and make the necessary settings.
To begin, go to http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin and enter the username and password you were given and click the Next button. Below is how your login page will look like.
Install WordPress Theme on Your Website
One great thing about WordPress is that you can easily change your site design. By default, a freshly installed WordPress website comes with a basic theme that looks like the screenshot below.
The first step to begin to customize your website is to change your theme. There are thousands of free WordPress theme that you can select and change how your site looks easily.
To change your website theme, go to Appearance on the left panel on your admin dashboard, then select Themes
On your themes page, click Add New at the top of the page. This will take you to the WordPress.org theme directory, where you will have the option of selecting any theme of your choice for free.
On this page, you will see all the free themes available for you to use and change your site look. You can seek them out using the Featured theme, Popular themes, and Latest themes buttons.
You can also install a premium theme on your site if you have one, or intend to purchase one. Simply click the Upload Theme button, select the theme you already downloaded and saved on your computer and click Install
The theme must be in Zip format. Click Activate theme, to activate the theme on your site once the installation is completed.
However, since you are new to WordPress, I’ll suggest you try out some of the free themes there. Most of them have premium features that can give your site the premium look you desire.
Alternatively, you can search for a specific theme, if you have any in mind. To do that, use the search field and type in the theme name of your choice and click Search.
For the sake of this guide, I will use Schema Lite theme. If you are confused about which theme to choose, see a list of 75 best free WordPress theme by ThemeGrill.
After you click on search, the theme that you seek will appear. Click the Install button to install your theme.
After the installation is completed, the Install button will change to Activate. You can then click on the Activate button to make your theme live on your site.
After you have selected and activated your preferred theme, the next thing to do is to customize it to suit your taste.
To do this, go to Appearance menu on the left panel and click on Customize. This will take you to the theme customizer where you can change the settings of your theme.
Install Plugins on Your WordPress Website
Changing your site theme alone will not give your site the professionality it should have without plugins. Plugins extend the functionality of your website.
There are thousands of WordPress plugin available that you can choose from. However, I recommend you install just some basic plugins for now.
You can always Install more plugins as the need arises for them.
Here are 5 basic plugins that I recommend you should install right away. The good thing is that they are free.
Yoast SEO: This helps you make all the necessary SEO settings so that your site can be discovered and rank on search engines.
Jetpack: This is an All-In-One plugin that extends your site functionality and gives you access to the basic features you need on your site.
Wordfence Security: This helps to improve your WordPress website security
UpdraftPlus: This automatically backup your WordPress website.
Classic Editor: This gives you the old WordPress classic and simple editor interface. By default, your website will come with the Gutenberg editor interface which might be a little confusing for you.
The above-listed plugins are all free WordPress plugins and can be installed and activated from the Plugin page of your admin dashboard.
Also, you can download them from WordPress.org and install them on your WordPress website. See our detailed guide on how to Install Plugins in WordPress website.
Step 5: Add Contents to Your Website
Having installed and activated your theme and plugin, the next thing to do is add content to your website.
Add Pages to your WordPress website
Pages are static content types that you can use to add your website basic information. Every website needs a Privacy-Police page, an About page, a Contact page, etc.
To add or edit existing pages on your website, go to Pages in the left menu panel and click on All Pages. This will take you to the list of all your pages if you have any.
Click on Add New on top of the pages to create a new page for your website. To edit an existing page, click on the title of the page you want to edit.
Next, you will be taken to the page editor screen where you can begin to edit or add information about your page.
- Add your Page title. e.g About Us
- You change the URL of your page. Make it very short. e.g, yourdomain.com/about
- Write the content of your page
- Use the Save Draft button to save the page if you don’t want to publish it yet.
- With the Preview button, you can see how your page will look like after you publish it.
- When you are done, hit the Publish button to publish the page.
Follow the above process, add or edit any page of your choice. For a start, add the necessary pages.
- About: This should be able to tell your visitors what the website is about.
- Contact: This should provide the available means for your site visitors to contact you if the need be.
Navigation menus allow your site visitors to easily access different pages, sections, and categories on your website. See screenshot below of how a Navigation menu looks like.
To add a navigation menu to your website, go to Appearance, then Menus. This will take you to the Menu page
On the menu page, type your navigation menu, preferably Main Menu, and click on the Create Menu button. This will create your navigation menu. However, the menu will be empty.
Next, select the pages you want to add to the menu you created and click on the Add to Menu button. These pages are the pages you created initially.
Next, select the location where you want your menu to be displayed. These locations are different based on your WordPress theme
The primary location usually shows menu on top of your website homepage. So select Primary or any other location of your choice and click the Save Menu button.
Configure Your WordPress Website Settings
Now, you need to make a few settings for your site to be ready.
Change Site Title and Tagline
During your WordPress website installation, you may have chosen a title and a tagline for your website.
If you didn’t, you can change the default ‘Just another WordPress site’ tagline to your preferred one.
To change your site’s title and tagline, go to Settings » General
Next, add your preferred site title and tagline. In the place of email address, input your email address. This will be used for admin purposes.
When you publish a post or page, WordPress gives each individual post or page a unique URL. These URLs are what people can use and find your published posts and pages.
These URLs are called permalinks. By default, WordPress creates your posts and pages using a unique ID number. e.g, http://yourdomain.com/?p=123
However, WordPress default permalinks are not good for your users and SEO. A good permalink should be readable. You can change the default WordPress permalinks to post name or any other of your choice.
To change your website permalinks, go to Settings » Permalinks
Next, select Post name as your permalinks and save
Publish Your First Blog Post
Now you’ve done basic settings on your website, you can now publish your first blog post.
To publish your post, go to Posts » Add New. This will take you to the post editor interface.
You can add categories and tags to your posts. Categories and tags help you organize your site contents for easy navigation.
After writing your post, hit Publish.
Congratulations, you just launched your WordPress website.
What you’ve just done are the basic settings to get your website up and running. WordPress website is highly customizable. As you navigate through your dashboard, gradually you will get used to it.
Now you have created your website, learn the basic tips every beginner blogger must know and do.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or confused anywhere while trying to create your website. I’d be glad to assist.