Make A WordPress Website in 5 Steps – A Guide for Beginners
- Web & App
This is 2021 and setting up DIY websites and even ecommerce stores has become convenient in terms of time and effort. All thanks to WordPress for being a complete website building package. Website development on WordPress is free.
Besides this, it has an easy user-interface, thousands of free and paid themes, drag and drop website customization options, useful plugins, ecommerce extensions and a large community of WordPress designers and developers.
If you’ve been placing your business website, personal blog, or an online ecommerce store on a back-burner because of the technical complications, this 5-step guide is for you.
How to Make a WordPress Website
Web designers and developers have a holistic website development approach. Because they usually serve a diverse clientele from different industrial and geographic backgrounds, they have a certain set of considerations before they can start developing these websites.
Be it a simple landing page, or a feature-packed visually appealing ecommerce store, they take time to understand their clients’ requirements and expectations, business and technical specifications, budget, and their target audience. Then they research the market and come up with the most suitable, custom design and development approach to fulfil the core objectives behind the development initiatives.
But if you are a non-techie, I suggest you go through this quick rundown on the 5 steps for WordPress website development first, then grip the process in detail.
- Pick A Domain Name
- Choose A Hosting Provider
- Install WordPress and Choose A Theme
- Study WordPress Dashboard and Choose Plug-ins
- Customize Website
After the brief, here is detailed guide on each step of the website development process:
1. Pick a domain name.
Picking a domain name during website development is one of the most exciting yet frustrating tasks of all.
But what is a domain name and why is it used?
A domain name is the name for your website. It is a URL that people use to access a particular website. So, when you choose a domain name, your business website will be recognized from here on out. In simple words, a domain name is how users find you on the internet.
Of course, you have a unique business and a vision behind it – and you want your domain to reflect the same. But domain names can make or break your potential website business. An ideal domain name is short, same as your business name and/or relevant to the nature of your business or cause.
So, here are some practical tips to note when choosing a domain name. Your domain name should be:
- relevant to your product/service
- original and authentic
- short and straightforward so that it doesn’t confuse people
- have an appropriate extension like .com for commercial or .biz for business.
You can register a domain name with companies like GoDaddy and Namecheap, in which case it will cost you somewhere between $13-100 per year depending on your specifications. Though domain names ending with country extensions like .ca for Canada and .au for Australia are more expensive.
If you choose to buy a domain name in a package with hosting (a service I’ll talk about in step 2), the domain may come free for the first year and you’ll have to pay a recurring bill from second year onwards.
2. Pick a hosting service.
Once you have decided on a domain name, the next step in website development is to host it online. Think of the domain as your address, so the hosting service is where your website is located.
Choosing a suitable hosting service for your WordPress website depends on several aspects, such as the type of hosting, the storage, the email ids, the no. of domain allowed to host etc. Consider all of these factors and then get one that fits in without a hitch to your needs.
Different hosting services provide different benefits. Some services will allow you a monthly plan to a 4-year plan. Meanwhile other service provider will allow you to host 100 different domains on a single hosting plan, so you have balance between the hosting server’s price and the advantages you get.
Though I suggest beginners to buy a hosting service from Bluehost because:
- It provides the right value for money – you get a free domain for the first year with your plan.
- Some plans from Bluehost have unlimited storage space so you won’t have to worry when your website’s traffic volume grows.
- Bluehost has a 24*7 customer support option. A minor glitch in your website’s loading and you can contact via live chat or email.
- WordPress itself has recommended Bluehost for hosting websites.
Though there are other popular hosting providers like Hostinger, HostGator and SiteGround. All of these providers are reputable though Bluehost wins the game because of its load time and the social proof.
3. Install WordPress and choose a theme.
After things settle with a domain name and a hosting service, you can get on with your website development by installing the WordPress software. This is a significant step in creating a WordPress website, but it shouldn’t be too challenging with the hosting service to back you.
Bluehost (and other popular hosting providers) offer a ‘WordPress Auto-Install’ option. After the installation of WordPress, add your chosen domain so that visitors can see your website when they search for you.
There’s a theme for everyone in WordPress. If you want to find one that pleases you most, then head to your admin dashboard. Click Appearance, then Themes. Another screen will open where you can search for a specific theme you have thought of.
Remember that choosing a theme can be confusing and exciting both. You’ll find ones that would look great, but won’t match your target audience. So, choosing a theme is more like balancing between the look, the templates, available web page options and your target visitors. Read the description, check the colors (often customizable) and see which niche they are designed for.
After finding the perfect one all you are left to do is install it.
However, if you don’t want to install one from the available list, you can always choose a third-party theme. There are many free and premium themes in WordPress, each of which includes a plethora of templates, formatting styles, layouts, fonts, colors, and other visual aesthetics.
Here are 5 best free themes for WordPress websites:
4. Study WordPress dashboard and choose plug-ins.
WordPress is user-friendly and does not involve a steep learning curve, so it won’t take you long to become acquainted with its interface.
You can complete other tasks for website development, like adding important pages, customizing the color palettes, icons and buttons etc. by logging into your WordPress dashboard.
When you click on the ‘Log into WordPress’ button, you will land straight on the dashboard.
You also manage your website overall appearance and performance from the WordPress dashboard. All tasks, including managing users, posting articles, moderating comments, uploading media are done here.
Next up are the plug-ins. Plug-ins are like app features for your website. They enhance the functionality and performance, and boost the overall health of your website. On WordPress, you have free reign to pick plug-ins that appeal to you the most.
While it is possible to go overboard with plug-ins, you’ll still have to make informed choices because they can largely impact the performance of your website in terms of speed, which may affect the traffic, organic reach and no. of visitors.
Here is a list of 6 must-have plug-ins for every WordPress website.
|Website Performance Function||Best Plug-in|
|1) Security||Sucuri – provides full protection against spam and hacking attacks|
|2) Typically used for front-end development.||WP Rocket – improves website’s loading time|
|3) Search Engine Optimization||Yoast SEO – helps optimize content for higher search engine ranking|
|4) Lead generation and conversion rate||OptinMonster – helps with popups, data collection and email marketing campaigns|
|5) Google Analytics||Monster Insights – shows how your website’s growth metrics are performing .|
|6) Forms||WP Forms – helps generate contact us and other forms for different landing pages.|
Make sure you stick to those plug-ins that add to your website, rather than making it feature-heavy and distracting. While you can pink some according to your priorities, I would suggest installing all of the afore-mentioned right from the beginning.
1. Customize your website
Customizing a website goes beyond choosing a theme and is the most alluring part of website development. It’s like playing dress-up, but for your website.
While you may have to customize the whole website depending on your target audience, the product or service your are selling, or your ultimate objective behind starting this website, full customization can be overwhelming. Therefore, I would suggest going about this step slowly. Here are your first three options.
- You can start with your site title. You can add a tagline or toggle other website information such as email, time zone, URL, and more.
- You can change your home page to a static page. Or, if you’re a blogger, then change it to a dynamic page that keeps your latest posts appear at the top.
- There are also ways to customize the navigation bars, which enable visitors to find the information they want on your website.
Remember that you will have limitless options for customization. The key here is to keep your website visually interesting, user-friendly, user-centric and fully functional.
By this stage, your WordPress website must be ready to access and check!
5 Qualities of Best WordPress Websites – Checklist
Once you are done setting up your WordPress website, it’s time to assess its performance in terms of speed, design, functionality and overall user experience. After 5th step of customization, open the private mode, or incognito mode in your browser (preferably from a smartphone), type your URL and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my WordPress website well-designed and functional?
- Does it appeal to my target audience? Does it fulfil the objective behind its development?
- Is it fast-loading and mobile-friendly?
- Does it have relevant and valuable content?
- Does it have clear call to action buttons?
If your website passes the initial check, it’s time to add more, fresh content and optimize it for search engine.
Over To You…
While you can do tens of other things to make your website look aesthetically pleasing and professional, we only recommend taking these 5 steps as a beginner because these are the most essential ones for your website’s core performance.
After following these steps, what you have on hand is an MVP and you can add on advanced functions and features as and when you want. Because online businesses are all to set to boom in 2021 and beyond, you can further scale your website by turning it into a web or mobile application to improve user experience, engagement and brand loyalty!
- Let’s Build Something Revolutionary!
- See how we can develop a stunning website for your business that’ll not just be a digital asset but also a revenue generating machine.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. If I can make my WordPress website, what does a web developer do?
While making a WordPress website is easy even for non-techies, there are certain factors like testing, maintenance and bug fixing that only professional website developers can do. That’s because they have the sound programming knowledge and right technical skills to identify causes of errors and fix them.
2. Why should you choose WordPress for your website?
There are 7 logical reasons to use WordPress for your website development:
- WordPress is free: Although you need a domain name and a hosting service to install WordPress, it is free in itself.
- Customizable: Many people using WordPress are not programmers or designers. In fact, most people don’t have any prior knowledge of website designing, which makes WordPress so perfect. You can customize your website without coding and choose from free themes and templates.
- SEO friendly: WordPress is compatible with top-notch code and is SEO friendly by default. In layman terms, Google and other search engines favor WordPress to every end.
- Easy to manage: WordPress dashboard allows you to manage your website without installing added software. It notifies you in case of new versions of WordPress so that updating your website becomes super convenient.
- Safe and secure: You can install WordPress plug-ins to protect your website, but it also comes with built-in security features making it a safe platform to run a website.
- Media: WordPress is versatile when it comes to media management. It has a default media upload tool that handles audio, video, and images.
- Community: besides development ease and convenience, WordPress has a large, ever-growing community of designers, developers and contributors. Learning, seeking help and getting advanced development is quick with the help of community.
3. How much does it cost to build a WordPress website?
WordPress itself is a free content management platform. You’ll have to pay for domain and hosting services, which you’ll have to pay anyways without or without WordPress. These charges can be as low as $25 per year to as high as $1000 per year.
4. Which is better HTML or WordPress?
HTML vs. WordPress is a simple debate. If you are a technical person who needs fast-performing websites that do not need frequent updates, HTML is the way to go. For a non-techie with limited knowledge of website development, WordPress is a good option because you can customize it yourself.
Author : Saba Sohail
Saba Sohail is a tech enthusiast with academic majors in Economics and Information Sciences. A content writer by day, her favorite niches are cybersecurity, graphics, and digital marketing. She dedicates her free time to The Big Bang Theory, hoping to achieve an IQ like Sheldon Cooper some day!
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