Building a website is vital for anyone looking to establish an online presence.
However, choosing the right website builder can be challenging, especially with many options. WordPress, the most popular website builder globally, stands out due to its ease of use, flexibility, scalability, and customization.
WordPress powers over 40% of websites on the internet, making it the best choice for creating a website.
It is perfect for bloggers, small businesses, and large enterprises that require a robust online presence.
Other website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly offer website-building solutions, but they pale in comparison to WordPress.
This article aims to provide an in-depth guide on how to make a WordPress website from scratch.
I will cover everything from choosing a domain name, setting up web hosting, installing WordPress, installing essential plugins, customizing your website, creating content, and maintaining your website regularly.
I will also compare WordPress to other website builders and explain why it is the best choice for creating a website.
Whether you’re a blogger, small business owner, or large enterprise, this guide will equip you with the necessary skills to create a stunning WordPress website.
So, let’s get started!
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
WordPress is available in two versions: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Understanding the differences between the two versions is crucial in deciding which is best for your website.
WordPress.com is a hosting platform that allows you to create a website without worrying about web hosting, software updates, and backups.
It is a free platform that offers paid plans to unlock premium features such as custom domain names, premium themes, and plugins.
WordPress.com is best suited for bloggers, personal websites, and small businesses that require a simple website.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform that requires you to find your web hosting and domain name.
It is an open-source platform that allows you to customize your website with themes and plugins.
WordPress.org is best suited for businesses that require complete control over their website’s design and functionality.
The main differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org are hosting, customization, and pricing.
WordPress.com is a hosting platform, while WordPress.org requires you to find your hosting.
WordPress.com has limited customization options compared to WordPress.org, which allows you to customize your website.
WordPress.com offers a free plan, while WordPress.org requires you to pay for web hosting and other features.
In summary, if you’re looking for a simple website without worrying about web hosting, WordPress.com is the right choice.
But if you want complete control over your website’s design and functionality, WordPress.org is the better option.
Step One – Choosing a Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name is crucial when creating a successful WordPress website.
Your domain name is the identity of your website and the first thing visitors will see.
It represents your brand, your niche, and your purpose.
Therefore, selecting the right domain name is not only vital for branding purposes, but it also affects your website’s SEO.
One popular domain name registrar that I recommended is Namecheap.
Namecheap offers affordable domain name registration with excellent customer support.
The platform also provides features like free WHOIS privacy protection and free SSL certificates.
When choosing a domain name, consider your niche and target audience.
Your domain name should reflect your website content and be memorable enough for visitors to remember and return to.
For instance, if your website is about food recipes, your domain name could be “TastyKitchen.com” or “FoodieRecipes.net.”
These domain names give visitors an idea of what your website is about and are more likely to remember them.
In addition to reflecting your niche, your domain name also affects your website’s SEO.
Search engines like Google use domain names as a ranking factor. Domain names that include relevant keywords can improve your website’s visibility in search results.
For example, if you are a local business owner and want to create a WordPress website to promote your services, you can choose a domain name that includes your city or region name and your business name.
This can be something like “AtlantaPlumbingPros.com” or “SeattleRoofingExperts.net.”
These domain names include relevant keywords that help your website rank higher in local search results.
Choosing the right domain name is crucial in creating a successful WordPress website.
It should reflect your niche, be memorable, and include relevant keywords for SEO purposes.
When you’re ready to buy a domain name, consider using Namecheap for an affordable and reliable domain name registration.
How To Buy Domain Names With Namecheap
I recommend ‘Namecheap.com‘ (*paid link) for domain names.
You can buy a .com domain name for about $10 a year.
Enter the name you want, followed by .com, and click Search.
Once you find an available domain name, you get a green tick with an option to Add To Cart.
On the next page, ensure that Domain privacy is enabled.
With Namecheap, this option is free forever.
To complete your purchase, create a free account.
How To Buy A Domain Name Video Tutorial
Step Two – Setting Up Web Hosting
Creating a WordPress website can be an exciting and rewarding experience.
However, you must choose the right website builder and set up web hosting before building your website.
Among the many website builders available, WordPress is the most popular and powerful one, but choosing the right web hosting provider is equally important.
The right web hosting provider can make a significant difference in the performance, security, and reliability of your website.
When selecting a web host, you should consider the uptime guarantee, server location, customer support, and pricing.
Choosing a reliable web hosting provider will ensure your website runs smoothly, loads quickly, and is always available to visitors.
Many web hosting providers are available, each with unique features and pricing.
Some popular web hosting providers for WordPress include Bluehost, SiteGround, and WP Engine.
Bluehost is an excellent option for beginners, while SiteGround is ideal for those needing more advanced features, and WP Engine is great for large-scale websites.
To set up web hosting for your WordPress website, sign up for a web hosting account, choose a domain name, and install WordPress.
The web hosting provider will guide you through the process and provide the necessary tools and resources to get started.
Essential Hosting Factors
Choosing the right web host is crucial to ensure your website’s success.
There are many factors to consider, but the following are the most important:
Uptime is the time your website is available and accessible to your visitors.
Choose a hosting provider that guarantees an uptime of at least 99%.
HostGator is an excellent example of a hosting provider that offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee on their sales page.
As a new blogger, you’ll likely experience issues with your website.
Therefore, choose a hosting company that provides excellent customer support.
SiteGround is an example of a hosting company with a reputation for excellent customer support, as mentioned in a blog post by WPBeginner.
Your website’s loading speed is crucial to both user experience and SEO.
Choose a hosting provider that offers fast server response, which is measured by the metric called time-to-first-byte (TTFB).
WebHostFace is an excellent example of a hosting provider that offers servers with a TTFB under 400ms.
Before purchasing a hosting package, review the hosting provider’s refund policy.
Most hosting providers offer a 30-day refund policy. If you experience issues with your website or are unsatisfied with customer support, you can request a refund.
Here are some recommended hosting providers based on personal experience:
- HostGator: They offer competitive introductory prices, but renewal prices can be high.
- WebHostFace: They offer excellent new customer discounts and fast customer service.
- Bluehost: They are popular among new bloggers due to their affordable prices, but renewal prices can be high. They also offer an easy-to-use control panel and are easy to install WordPress.
By considering these essential hosting factors and choosing a reputable hosting provider, you can ensure that your website is fast, reliable, and easy to manage.
Step Three – Connect Your Domain And Hosting
After you’ve signed up for hosting, the web host sends you an email with the login details for your web hosting account and the nameservers you need to connect your domain to the hosting.
Log in to your domain registrar account, such as Namecheap or GoDaddy, and go to the DNS management section.
Update your domain’s DNS by adding the nameservers provided by your web host.
Once you have updated your domain’s DNS, wait a few hours for the changes to take effect.
How To Update Nameservers On Namecheap Video Tutorial
You have your domain and hosting set up. Next, let’s install WordPress.org software so you can build your blog.
Step Four – Installing WordPress
Once you have set up web hosting, the next step is to install WordPress.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that powers 39.6% of websites.
It’s free, open-source, and easy to use, making it the perfect choice for beginners and experts.
There are two ways to install WordPress: manually or using a one-click installation process.
Installing WordPress Manually
To install WordPress manually, you need to follow these steps:
Visit the WordPress.org website and click the “Download WordPress” button. Save the zip file to your computer.
Create a Database
Log in to your web host’s control panel.
Click on the “MySQL Databases” icon.
Create a new database by entering a name and clicking “Create Database.”
Create a new user by entering a username and password, and clicking “Create User.”
Add the user to the database by selecting the user and database, and clicking “Add.”
Extract the zip file you downloaded earlier.
Upload the contents of the extracted folder to your web host using an FTP client.
Run the Installation Script
Open your web browser and go to your website’s URL.
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
Using a One-Click Installation Process
Many hosting providers offer a one-click installation process, which is an easy and quick way to install WordPress.
When choosing a hosting provider, it’s essential to consider whether the provider installs WordPress automatically or not.
Hosting providers that offer one-click installation save you time and effort, making it easier to get started with your WordPress website.
In conclusion, installing WordPress is an easy process.
You can install WordPress manually or use a one-click installation process from your hosting provider.
Remember, choose a hosting provider that offers one-click installation to save you time and effort.
How To Install WordPress On Bluehost Video Tutorial
Step Five – WordPress Set-up Checklist
Before publishing content, there are settings on WordPress you need to complete.
Permalinks are the URLs of your blog posts. There are many options. I don’t recommend leaving them as default.
Hover your mouse over Settings and click Permalinks.
I recommend the Post Name or Custom Structure options.
Both these settings ensure your blog post title is in your post’s URL.
Make your selection, and select Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
WordPress plugins allow you to add extra functionality to your website.
Hover over Plugins and select Add New.
In the WordPress plugin library, use the search box to find plugins.
My Recommended Plugins
Akismet Anti-Spam – Akismet monitors spam in your blog post comments. The plugin separates suspected spam comments for you to review.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer – Large images on websites cause slow loading speeds. The Shortpixel plugin compresses images, so your site loads faster. The free version is limited to 100 hundred images per month. For more, you must purchase a paid plan.
UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore – Backing up your site content is essential. When you have issues with your site, you can restore everything from a backup. Updraftplus is an excellent free plugin.
Litespeed Cache plugin – Cache plugins help your site load faster by copying your blog posts and serving a saved copy to visitors. This plugin works better with Litespeed servers.
Wordfence Security – Keep your website secure from hackers with a security plugin.
Websites with SSL certificates have a safe padlock icon in browsers.
This padlock tells your visitors that data transfers are encrypted.
Websites that do not have SSL certificates generate a not secure warning.
Contact your hosting company regarding an SSL certificate for your website.
A safe website is essential. Many hosting companies offer free SSL certificates.
There are two options for your website homepage.
The first option displays your latest blog posts. The second option is a static homepage.
My website is a blog. My homepage displays my latest blog posts.
If you are a business, I recommend having a static homepage to encourage your customers to contact you.
To set your homepage, hover your mouse over Settings, and select Reading.
To display your latest blog posts, select Your Latest Posts.
Choose how many posts you want to show, and save your changes.
To set up a static page, design your page and publish it.
Create a blog page, too. When you publish content, it displays on your blog page.
Return to Reading Settings and select A Static Page.
Choose your Homepage and Posts Page from the menu, and save changes.
Site Title And Meta Description
Google and Bing scan your website for content to display in search results.
To ensure the search engines know what your website is about, add a site title and short description to your website.
Here is an example of a site title and meta description in a Google search.
Search engines limit the characters in search results, so don’t add anything too long.
Hover your mouse over Settings, and click General.
On the next page, add your site title and a short tagline.
Finally, Save Changes.
How To Set Your Title Tag And Meta Description On WordPress Video Tutorial
Step Six – Installing Essential WordPress Plugins
WordPress is a powerful and flexible platform that allows you to extend its functionality with plugins.
Plugins are small software programs you install on your website to add new features and improve website speed, security, and SEO.
Here are some essential plugins that every WordPress website must have:
Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. It helps you optimize your website for search engines by analyzing your content, suggesting improvements, and providing a readability score.
With Yoast SEO, you can easily add meta titles, descriptions, and keywords to your pages and posts.
WPForms is the most user-friendly contact form plugin for WordPress.
It allows you to create custom forms and surveys to collect user data, feedback, and inquiries.
WPForms also integrates with popular email marketing services like MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact.
WordFence Security is a comprehensive security plugin that protects your website from malware, spam, and hacking attempts.
It includes firewall protection, a malware scanner, login security, and two-factor authentication.
WordFence Security also provides real-time alerts and reports on your website’s security status.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a caching plugin that can improve your website’s speed and page load time.
It creates static HTML files of your website’s pages and serves them to visitors instead of generating new pages every time.
This can significantly reduce server load and improve website performance.
How to Install and Activate Plugins
To install and activate plugins in WordPress, follow these steps:
- Go to your WordPress dashboard and click the “Plugins” menu.
- Click on the “Add New” button.
- Search for the plugin you want to install using the search box.
- Click the “Install Now” button next to the plugin you want to install.
- Once the installation is complete, click the “Activate” button to activate the plugin.
In conclusion, choosing and installing the right plugins is essential for enhancing your website’s functionality, security, and performance.
The plugins mentioned above can help you improve your website’s SEO, protect it from security threats, and speed up your website.
Step Seven – Customizing Your Website
Customizing your WordPress website is essential to create a unique look that aligns with your brand.
Here’s how to customize your website:
Choosing a WordPress Theme
Choosing the best theme is critical to creating a visually appealing website.
A WordPress theme determines the look and feel of your website, and it’s essential to choose a theme that’s well-designed, responsive, and compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
When choosing a theme, consider the following factors:
Choose a theme that aligns with your brand’s style and aesthetic.
Ensure the theme is responsive, meaning it adapts to different screen sizes, such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Choose a theme compatible with the latest version of WordPress and essential plugins.
You can choose a theme from the official WordPress theme directory or purchase a premium theme from a third-party provider.
Customizing Your Theme
Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can customize it to match your brand’s colors, fonts, and layout.
To customize your WordPress theme, you can use the WordPress Customizer, a built-in tool to modify various theme options visually.
Here are some theme customization options:
Upload a logo, site icon, or text-based site title and tagline.
Colors and Background
Choose a color scheme and background image for your website.
Header and Footer
Modify your header and footer layout, including menus and widgets.
Control what appears on your website’s homepage, such as a static page or your latest blog posts.
Add custom CSS code to customize your theme’s appearance.
Most WordPress themes also allow you to customize individual pages and posts using the WordPress editor.
Using Page Builders to Create Custom Pages
You can use a page builder if you want more customization options than what your theme provides.
A page builder is a plugin that allows you to create custom pages and posts visually without needing to know how to code.
Here are some popular page builders:
A drag-and-drop page builder with a free and paid version.
A versatile page builder with many pre-built templates and modules.
A beginner-friendly page builder with a simple interface.
Page builders allow you to create custom layouts, add multimedia elements, and design custom forms using pre-built templates and modules.
In conclusion, customizing your WordPress website is crucial to make it stand out from the competition.
By choosing the best theme, customizing it to match your brand’s style, and using page builders, you can create a unique and visually appealing website that meets your business needs.
Step Eight – Creating Content
Creating content is one of the most important aspects of running a successful WordPress website.
Whether you are creating blog posts or pages, you want to ensure that your content is engaging, informative, and optimized for search engines.
How to create a blog post or a page
To create a blog post or a page in WordPress, go to the WordPress dashboard and click “Posts” or “Pages” from the left-hand menu.
Then click on the “Add New” button to start creating your content.
Once you are on the editor screen, you can add your content by typing it in the text area provided.
You can add headings and subheadings and use bullet points to make your content more readable.
You can also use the formatting options to style your text, add links, and add images or other multimedia.
Adding images, videos, and other multimedia
Adding images, videos, and other multimedia can make your content more engaging and visually appealing.
To add an image or video to your blog post or page, click the “Add Media” button in the editor screen.
Then select the file you want to upload, and WordPress will automatically insert it into your content.
You can add other multimedia content, such as audio files or embedded videos from YouTube or Vimeo.
To add audio files, you can use the Audio Block and add the file by clicking on the “Upload” button.
To add an embedded video, copy and paste the URL into the editor screen, and WordPress will automatically embed it.
Optimizing content for SEO
Optimizing your content for SEO is critical to ensure that your website ranks well in search engine results pages.
Here are some tips that can help you optimize your content for SEO:
- Use relevant keywords in your content, including the title, headings, and body text.
- Write for your audience, not just for search engines. Make sure your content is engaging and informative.
- Use internal and external links to other pages on your website and other authoritative websites.
- Add alt tags to images to ensure they are accessible to visually impaired users and help search engines understand the image content.
- Use meta descriptions to summarize your content and entice users to click through to your website.
For example, if you are creating a blog post about “How to Start a Blog,” some relevant keywords may include “blogging tips,” “how to start a blog,” and “WordPress.”
However, it is critical to use these keywords naturally and organically that provides value to your audience.
In conclusion, creating engaging and optimized content is essential to the success of your WordPress website.
By following these tips and incorporating multimedia content into your blog posts and pages, you can create a website that attracts and retains visitors, improves your search engine rankings, and ultimately helps you achieve your goals.
Step Nine – Maintaining Your Website
Maintaining your WordPress website is crucial to ensure it runs smoothly, stays secure, and performs well.
In this section, I will cover some essential tasks you must do to maintain your website.
Importance of maintaining your WordPress website regularly
Maintaining your website is essential. It ensures your website runs smoothly without technical glitches or errors.
Maintaining your website keeps your website secure from potential cyber threats, such as hacking, malware, and viruses.
And it helps to improve the website’s performance, including loading speed, user experience, and search engine rankings.
Here is a checklist of tasks that you must do to maintain your WordPress website:
Updating WordPress, themes, and plugins
Updating WordPress, themes, and plugins is a crucial task you should regularly perform to ensure that your website runs smoothly, stays secure, and performs well.
Here are some tips for updating them:
- Before updating, backup your website to ensure that you can restore it if anything goes wrong.
- Update WordPress, themes, and plugins one by one to ensure there are no issues.
- Check the compatibility of the updated version with your website’s existing setup.
- Test your website thoroughly after updating to ensure everything is working fine.
Backing up your website
Backing up your website is a critical task you should regularly perform to ensure that you can restore it in case of data loss or hacking.
Here are some tips for backing up your website:
- Use a reliable backup plugin or a web host that provides automatic backups.
- Backup your website daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on your website’s frequency of updates.
- Store your backups in a secure location, such as a cloud storage service or an external hard drive.
- Test your backups regularly to ensure that you can restore your website if needed.
Monitoring website performance
Monitoring your website’s performance is crucial to ensure it runs smoothly, loads fast, and provides a good user experience.
Here are some tips for monitoring your website’s performance:
- Use tools such as Google Analytics, GTmetrix, Pingdom, and others to monitor your website’s performance.
- Regularly check your website’s loading speed, page size, and other performance metrics.
By performing these essential tasks regularly, you can ensure that your WordPress website runs smoothly, stays secure, and performs well.
Step Ten – Make A Logo
I recommend you create a logo for your website that represents your brand.
If you don’t want to pay a design company, here are two excellent free tools.
Canva (*Paid link) is an essential graphic design tool.
It is easy to use, and the free options allow you to design almost anything.
Create a free account and start designing a logo. You can use one of the templates or start from scratch.
Designevo is a free online logo maker with 10,000+ templates that anyone can use to design a compelling, unique logo.
Choose a template category to fit your website topic and have a logo for your site in minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you build a website from scratch with WordPress?
Yes, you can build a website from scratch with WordPress by using a custom theme or building your own theme.
How much does a WordPress website cost?
The cost of a WordPress website varies depending on the hosting provider, theme, and plugins you choose.
You can build a basic WordPress website for free, but it is recommended to invest in a domain name, web hosting, and premium themes and plugins to have a professional website.
Can I build a WordPress site for free?
Yes, you can build a WordPress site for free by using a free domain name and free hosting.
However, this is not recommended for professional websites as it can limit your website’s functionality and branding.
How much does it cost to create a website in WordPress?
The cost to create a website in WordPress depends on your needs and the features you want to include.
A basic WordPress website can cost anywhere from $100 to $500, while a more complex website with custom features can cost thousands of dollars.
How long does it take to design and build a WordPress website?
The time it takes to design and build a WordPress website depends on the complexity of the website and the experience of the developer.
A basic WordPress website can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, while a custom website can take weeks or even months to complete.
Why should I use WordPress for my website?
WordPress is a popular website builder that is easy to use, flexible, and customizable.
It offers a wide range of features and plugins that can help you create a professional website with ease.
It is also SEO-friendly, which can help your website rank higher in search engine results.
In conclusion, starting a WordPress website is an exciting and rewarding experience.
With the right guidance and patience, you can have a beautiful and functional website up and running in no time.
In this guide, I covered the importance of WordPress as a platform for beginners, how to choose the right domain name and web hosting provider, installing WordPress, configuring settings, customizing your theme, installing essential plugins, creating and optimizing content.
I hope this guide has provided you with the knowledge and tools necessary to build a successful WordPress website that stands out from your competitors.
Remember that building a website takes time and effort, but with perseverance and attention to detail, you can achieve your goals and create a website that you are proud of.
Visit my How to Find A WordPress Sitemap article to learn how to find the sitemap on your website.
Are you trying to think of a domain name for your website? Check out my How to Choose a Domain Name for Your WordPress Blog article to learn more.
I hope you found my article informative. If you have any questions, please leave them below.