These days, it’s no longer a challenge to make a website even if you don’t know how to code. You don’t need to invest a lot of money either to have a nice looking website up in hours.
Have you found the right domain name yet? If not, you’re on the right place. The first step is to choose and register the right name for your website.
Next, you’ll need to pick the CMS platform (Content Management System) to help you create and manage digital content. We recommend WordPress which gives enough flexibility to set up a simple website and scale it if needed. It’s also budget-friendly and open source which means that some of the tools will be available for free.
Next, we’ll get you through the essential steps of setting up a WordPress site:
1. Choose web hosting
The domain name (like Puppies.com) is linked to a unique IP address that points to a computer/server/cluster of servers. This hardware is the place where your website’s pages and files are hosted. The web host is important as it allows access by visitors to your site, and also keeps it safe.
You can also have the website hosted on your own computer/server, though this setup requires some additional resources: a good connection, extra equipment, an always-on power supply (backups for outages), a static IP address. You’d also need to install and configure various software which may prove difficult for the less tech-savvy.
For a smooth experience, try looking for a WordPress-dedicated web host. Providers addressing this will offer 1-click WordPress installation, multiple sites on the same domain, and built-in caching compatible with the WordPress platform. Read on to get a better overview of what WordPress hosting is and how it can help.
Here’s our selection of the best web hosts available to get your new website up!
2. Install and set up WordPress
A majority of 30% of websites on the internet are running on WordPress. This popular, open-source software is available and can be downloaded freely. However, the manual install can be quite tricky if you’re not ready to go through some technicalities (via FTP or using cPanel).
Choosing a WordPress hosting plan (like SiteGround, or InMotion) will make this step easier. These hosting solutions allow you to auto install the WordPress software, without messing with your files manually.
This guide will show you through all methods available for installing WordPress.
- Method #1: Choose a host that comes with WordPress pre-installed
- Method #2: How to install WordPress via cPanel and autoinstallers
- Method #3: How to install WordPress manually via FTP
- Method #4: How to install WordPress on your own computer
3. Find a WordPress theme
By this step, your site has everything it needs to go live, but it’s not quite ready to face the world. The site’s design and functionalities are provided by WordPress themes/templates that can be configured after your needs.
WordPress themes are created by independent authors and can be general or multipurpose or designed for a specific niche (blog, photography, business, medical, shop, etc.). Configuring themes may get complicated if you want certain things that the theme doesn’t provide. Before choosing a theme, think of the purpose and the must-haves that you’ll require. The most simple sites can be created with one-page themes.
WordPress themes can be found on:
- WordPress.org is the official WordPress theme repository offering free themes. and plugins.
Pros – themes are reviewed for code and security
Cons – limited support, limited functionality, themes may be abandoned/not up-to-date with the newest version of WordPress
- Independent theme shops are companies that develop both premium and free themes, like ThemeIsle.
Pros – premium support, extra options for customization, new features with theme updates, maintained themes
Cons – theme shops are usually small companies whose plans change in time and may retire some of their themes
- Theme marketplaces or directories offer a large variety of themes, created by various authors. The largest marketplace available is ThemeForest.
Pros – a large library of diverse themes, a single-purchase
Cons – extra pay for support, theme updates rarely offered
For premium themes, here’s the difference between independent theme shops and ThemeForest.
WordPress page builders provide a simpler way to arrange the elements of a web page and preview how the site changes look like in real time. They do this with a drag-and-drop functionality that lets you customize elements with a few clicks. Here’s the best page builders compared: Elementor (free), Beaver Builder (free), Divi Builder, Upfront Builder, and Visual Composer.
- Once you’ve set your theme and customized it, it’s time to start adding content to your new site – text, images, videos, audio files.
- Create individual pages to better organize information on the site (About us, Portfolio, Contact us, Shop, Hire me, etc)
- For improved speed and functionality, start adding the essential plugins to your site.
- Bring visitors to your site with strategies to grow your site’s traffic.