Creating your website may seem like a very daunting task for beginners, but it isn’t as scary as it seems. It’s actually quite simple and if you follow the necessary steps to the best of your ability, you can make your website in no time.
Plus, it is crucial for you to keep an open mind and a clear head when following the steps needed to make a website. Don’t stress about the process and make sure that any mistakes that you do make do not cause you to have a nervous breakdown (those mistakes can be repaired, trust me).
For those of you who are beginners at making their websites, I have provided a very simple step-by-step guide for you to follow. The steps that have been listed below should be followed correctly to make the most effective use of what has been written.
This guide follows the latest advancements made in the world of web developing while also guiding you through the steps of making a website from specific and reliable platforms. Thus, make use of the contents of this guide, and your website will reflect what you originally envisioned.
When making your websites, make sure to choose everything appropriately and in accordance with the website’s content. For example, if you are making a website for your bakery, you might want to choose themes and a domain name that is a bit more attractive for customers and shows off the bakery’s beauty.
However, if you are making a website for your real estate business, it might be a good idea to give your website a more professional touch so that your clients can take you seriously and they understand that you are dedicated to providing them with the best services in the market.
Step 1: Choose an appropriate website platform
The easiest way to make your website is a website building platform (more technically known as a content management system). Such platforms allow for a more efficient and simple way to create a website and manage its contents, instead of stringing together some HTML pages or going through the long and tiresome process of coding.
I would recommend that you make use of WordPress as it is the best platform for beginners to make use of and it is also the most popular platform. WordPress is the best option for you for various reasons, including:
- It is free and contains a variety of themes for users to choose from. You can easily pick your favorite designs, and you will never run into themes that are common or similar to one another.
- It is very easy to use, so it is extremely suitable for amateurs. You can easily add your content and make use of plugins to make your website even more convenient to handle.
- WordPress is brilliant at handling both large and small websites so that you can manage your content with this platform effortlessly.
- WordPress makes your website compatible with phones and tablets as well, and this means that you don’t have to hire a web developer to get this part of your website working.
- The WordPress platform has an enormous community of people from various backgrounds, and they are all ready to provide you with any help that you might need.
Drupal and Joomla
Drupal and Joomla are other website building platforms that you can make use of. They are both free to use, but a little harder for those of you at an amateur level. Drupal is usually more suitable for web developers and expert coders, which means that it is more functional for people who already have experience in the web developing domain. Joomla is another technical website building platform which is very suitable for online stores.
Step 2: Start your search for a domain name and host
The domain name that you pick for your website will be the web address that users will type in whenever they want to visit your website. So, choose it wisely and make it something related to what you want your website to be about (for example, if you are creating a travel blog, then it would be useful to put the word ‘travel’ in the domain name). The host is the service that will be connecting your website to the internet.
Where Do I Find a Host and Domain Name?
At WordPress, a domain name and host would cost you around $3-$5 a month, so you don’t have to worry about it being too costly. Also, remember that a domain name that is your very own will make your website look more professional while having your host will ensure that your website loads quickly.
Another option that you can use to obtain your hosting is Bluehost, which also provides you with a free domain name, so there is no stress on having to get your domain name from someone else at a costly rate. Other hosting sites include SiteGround, iPage, eHost, inMotionHosting, etc. Hence, get a move on and find yourself the best host for your website and make sure that your host is compatible with the website building platform that you are making use of.
How do I Choose a Domain Name?
Choosing your domain name may be one of the hardest tasks at hand as it requires a pinch of creativity along with a lot of practicality. An easy way to pick your domain name may be to simply make use of the purpose for which you are creating the website (for example, if the website if for your business, you might choose to make your business’s name the domain name simply).
If this is not the case and you feel like your domain name should be a bit more attractive, there are three characteristics that you should keep in mind when choosing your domain name:
- Brandability (it should be a good representation of your brand),
- Memorability (people should be able to remember it after they have visited your website once, so avoid extremely long and nonsensical domain names),
- Appeal (it should be something that would attract users and make them want to visit your website).
Another thing that you should know is that these days it has become a strange trend to have extensions that are not like the traditional ones. So, instead of .com or .org, you might find websites with .agency or even .salami as their extensions. It would be best if you avoid such extensions and opt for the most traditional options instead.
Step 3: Setup and start tweaking your website
Now that you have completed the preliminary stages of creating your website, it is time for the most integral part, i.e. actually setting up your website. This step may take some time and patience, so bear with the entire process as it will pay off in the end. Also, it is crucial that the previous step is completed before you move on to this step.
The first part of this step is to install WordPress (or the content management system that you are using) on your computer. You can use the one-click installation method, which involves the following steps:
- Log on to your hosting account;
- Go to control panel;
- Find the WordPress icon;
- Choose the domain that you want to install your website on;
- Click on “Install Now”.
If it is completely necessary, then you can make use of the manual method. This method of installation becomes necessary when your hosting website does not provide you with the option to use the one-click installation method for WordPress (which is why I specified that you should use a host that is compatible with WordPress).
Choose your Theme and Template
Next, it is time to decide which theme and template you will want your website set on. Once WordPress has been installed, you will find a basic and clean website, but the one bad thing about this basic design is that it is quite common and you wouldn’t want your website to blend in with the crowd.
There are thousands of different themes and templates available for WordPress, so take your time in finding one that you like and would suit the purpose for which you created the website in the first place (I mean, it wouldn’t look nice if your template had pink unicorns while the content of your website is for a big corporation). You should also note that making changes to the theme of your website will not cause you to lose all of your website’s previous content.
Here is how you can install the theme/template that you have chosen:
- Log into your WordPress dashboard;
- Click on “Themes” (which is an option that is displayed under “Appearance” on the left side of your screen) or you can go to a different online theme provider on the off chance that you don’t find anything in the WordPress library;
- Then, click on “Install” and then “Activate”.
Adding New Content and Pages
Adding content and pages to your website once your theme has been established is pretty simple to do, and it is nothing to be worried about. Also, it would be quite helpful if you already have an idea of the content you want to put on your website and if not, you can come up with the content once you reach this step.
If you want to add pages, follow these simple steps:
- On your WordPress dashboard, click on “Add New” which appears under the “Pages” option;
- This will take you to a page that is similar to Microsoft Word, and all you have to do is add your text and the images, videos, etc. that you want to include on the new page and then save it once you are done.
If you want to add pages to your menu bar, then you should follow these steps:
- Save the changes you have made to the page by clicking “Update”;
- On your WordPress Dashboard, click on “Appearance” and then the “Menu” option on the left-hand side of the screen;
- Find the page that you just saved and clicked on the tiny box that is next to it and then click on “Add to Menu.”
For those of you who have a blog on your website (or a blogging website for that matter), it would be wise to follow either one of these steps if you want to add or edit your posts:
- Group your posts under similar categories and you can make a new category by clicking on “Posts” and then “Categories”; OR
- You can create a new blog post by clicking on “Posts” and then “Add New” and then you should add it to its respective category and add the post to your menu.
Tweaking and Altering
The thing about running a website is that you are always out on the mission to change it and tweak it so that you can reach your very own version of perfection. So, you should know that this is completely normal and it is nothing too difficult to achieve.
If you want to change your page titles or taglines, it would be a good idea to go to “Settings” and click on “General.” This would take you to a form that you need to fill. Page titles are the primary medium through which you can explain to searchers what your website is all about and they also play a vital role with search engines, while taglines are added to the end of titles on every page.
If you want to disable comments on the posts and pages on your website, then you should click on “Screen Options” >> “Discussion” >> “Allow Comments” (which should not be ticked). This should be done when you are creating a new page for your website. Otherwise, if you want to disable the comments on every page by defaults, you should click “Settings” >> “Discussion” >> “Allow people to post comments on new articles” (which should be unticked).
There are also some people who prefer having a static front page, which is a page which looks the same and would contain the same content each time it is opened. To make sure that you have a static front page, you should go to “Settings” >> “Reading” >> “A static page” (and then select which page you want to be static). If you do not choose a static front page, WordPress will automatically display your latest posts on the front page.
If you want to edit or delete the sidebar (which commonly appears on many website themes provided by WordPress); you should go to “Appearances” >> “”Widgets” and then drag and drop to add boxes to your sidebar or remove the boxes that you don’t need.
Tweaking and changing your website can be done at any point, whether you do it one month after your website is up and running or one year, what counts is that the changes you make are appropriate and for the betterment of your website. They should show the people visiting your website that the content of your website and the way it has been setup is of a very high quality.
Plugins are extensions that allow for WordPress to add different functions and features to your website which weren’t there before. You can get your site to do the things that you want it to do in an effortless manner with plugins, and all you have to do is install them.
To install a plugin, you should click on “Plugins” >> “Add New.” Choose a plugin that you like (there is a plethora of plugins to choose from) and then click “Install.” You should not install too many plugins as some plugins may conflict with one another and this means that you will have some useless plugins installed for no reason.
Some Tips to Keep in Mind When Using Plugins
Because there are so many plugins, you should probably keep the following things in mind when going through the collection of plugins available at your disposal:
- Keep your plugins updated so that your website can remain secure and functional at all times;
- Either get rid of your deactivated plugins or keep them updated as it can be used as a security weakness as it is still applicable to your website;
- When backend plugins are not in use, you should deactivate them as they can put strains on your website and its sources;
- The quality of your plugins is more important than the quantity, so look for plugins that would provide you with high-quality work instead of looking for multiple plugins that do the same thing;
- Premium plugins are not exactly better than free plugins, so be very careful with how you approach an installation.
Once you have made all the necessary changes and tweaks, your website will be complete, and you can be proud of the masterpiece that you have created. However, it is vital that you change and improve your website as much as you can. Otherwise, it will become boring for people visiting your website. So, make sure you update it on a regular basis.
The entire process is pretty simple, and it does not require for you to be an experienced and highly trained web developer or coder. If you face any problems while creating your website, it would be a sage idea to contact one of the many expert web developers available on WordPress. They are quite helpful in solving problems, and they can also provide you with some useful inside tips on the best products on WordPress.
Thus, there is nothing to worry about, and if you have managed to follow my simple guide, your website will be up and running before you can say the words “Domain Name.” This task may seem like a mountainous obstacle at first, but you will come to see how simple it is and that you can make your vision a reality.
So, don’t just sit around and plan your website, start executing it so that people can visit your website and appreciate the efforts you have made!