Creating a WordPress website from scratch can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re new to website development. However, with the right guidance, anyone can build a beautiful and functional website without having to write a single line of code.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a WordPress website from scratch. We’ll cover everything from registering a domain and setting up hosting to installing WordPress and choosing the perfect theme for your website.
Whether you’re creating a website for personal blogging, business, or any other purpose, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information and tools to get started. So, let’s dive into the world of WordPress websites from scratch and get your website up and running in no time!
This guide is absolutely for non-techies including business owners, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in learning how to build websites as a career or a side hustle.
Here you will learn how to create a WordPress website from scratch using the most popular Content Management System in the world called WordPress which powers 42% of the internet today, and it’s still growing fast. This is simply because of its user-friendly interface, easy customization, and lots of features like themes, and plugins. Etc.
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Table of Contents
What do I need to create a WordPress website from scratch?
There are three basic things you need in order to get your website up and running. They include:
- A domain name
- Web hosting
- WordPress CMS
Step-by-step Guide to Creating a WordPress Website
Here is an overview of what we will cover on this topic;
- Step 1: Domain Name and Hosting
- Step 2: Website Setup
- Step 3: Theme installation
- Step 4: Plugins installation
- Step 5: Create pages and posts
- Step 8: Basic Configurations
Step 1: Domain Name and Hosting
A domain name is simply the name of your website. Your domain name serves as your address on the internet for your users/visitors. So people searching for you online can go directly to your website using the domain name.
A domain name can be a combination of letters and numbers which must have an extension attached at the end. These extensions are known as Top-level Domain (TLD). For example, google.com and facebook.com are domain names for google and Facebook respectively with extensions of .com attached at the end. Other TLDs include .net, .edu, .org, .uk, .ng .e.t.c.
All domain names on the internet are registered. Therefore, only one domain name can be assigned to a particular website.
Getting a domain for your business can sometimes be difficult and frustrating because those wonderful and beautiful names in your mind have been taken by other individuals. You can use a tool called Name Boy to help suggest a domain name based on your business. This is achieved by just entering one or two keywords relating to your business.
Good luck with getting that beautiful and engaging domain name. Now let’s talk about Web hosting.
With Web hosting, you can store your website files on the internet 24/7. This will enable your visitors to access your website anytime and anywhere.
Web Hosting has a very significant effect on your website, therefore choosing a fast and reliable hosting service provider for your business can not be overemphasized.
While there are various web hosting companies to choose from, I will recommend you start your WordPress website journey with Hostinger. It’s extremely trustworthy, has quick loading times, and is cost-effective.
Click here to purchase a WordPress Starter Package from Hostinger and claim your free domain (you don’t have to pay for the first year)
Click on add to cart to proceed to the checkout page. I will advise you to choose the payment plan of 48 months to help you save money.
After creating your account and making the payment, You will be guided by the hostinger setup wizard. You can decide to click on skip to bypass those basic survey questions.
You will now be asked to choose a platform fro your website. select WordPress.
Next, you will have to secure your free domain which comes along with your hosting plan. click on select and type in the preferred name for your website and continue.
The setup wizard will take you through some easy steps to connect your domain to the hosting plan you just purchased and you will be directed to your dashboard.
On the dashboard, make sure to activate SSL Certificate and Force HTTPS as seen in the image below after that click on edit website to take you to the next section of this guide.
Step 2: WordPress Website Setup from the Cpanel dashboard
If you are using a different hosting provider, you will have to install WordPress from the Cpanel dashboard. Scroll down and Click on WordPress to begin the installation. This will take you to a page that looks like the image below. All you need to do is to click on “Install Now”.
This will now take you to a page where you will have to do some configuration before proceeding;
- Select your protocol. Make sure you select any of the secured ones either “https://” or “https://www”.
- Also, leave the directory blank so the installation can be done in the root directory.
- Change your site name and description.
- Change the Administrator Username, Password, and Email to your preferred choice. This is what you will use in accessing the dashboard (backend) of your website.
- Finally, click on the install button.
Once the installation is done, you will be redirected to a page that displays the URL to log in to your dashboard and the URL to your website.
Click on the login URL (has “/wp-admin” attached to your website URL) and you will be redirected to where you will have to enter your login details to access the backend of your website.
If you had run the setup from Hostinger, you will still be faced with the login screen of your WordPress Dashboard.
After logging in you will be faced with the WordPress Dashboard that looks like the image below. I know you are kind of overwhelmed but trust me, you will be fine.
If you reached this stage in this guide, I want you to give yourself a round of applause. You deserve it!
Step 3: Theme Installation
Theme simply refers to the visual appearance of your website.
WordPress themes are professionally designed templates in such a way you can install them on your website to change its appearance.
WordPress comes with a built-in theme but the truth is that this theme does not look appealing to the eyes.
To use a professionally built and appealing theme, you need to change the current theme to any of your preferred choices. You can change your theme from the WordPress Admin Dashboard by clicking on Appearance >> Themes >> “Add New” Button.
For the sake of this guide, we will be using the Astra Theme. Other good WordPress themes are OceanWp and Phlox. They are all free themes but they do have premium features that can help you create beautiful websites.
To install the Astra Theme, we can simply type the name “astra” in the search box.
You can then click on “install” and “activate” to proceed.
Step 4: Plugins Installation
In this section, we will be installing some useful plugins to help us create a better website.
What is a plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software that adds new functionality or improves the functionality of a website. With plugins installed on your website, you can create any kind of website from ecommerce to a membership website.
We will be installing the following plugins on our website:
- Elementor: Elementor is a page builder that helps us to build our website without any line of code, using just drag and drop. Elementor has both free and premium packages. You can start with the free version and if you want to up your game, you can go for the premium package. Get Elementor Pro Here.
An alternative to Elementor is DIVI. Divi is a WordPress Theme and WordPress Page Builder just like Elementor.
- Contact Form 7: This will help us create multiple forms like contact forms and newsletter opt-in to get emails from visitors. A great way of marketing.
- Rank Math: This is used for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). the main function of this plugin is to help us rank better on search engines by following best practices.
They are many more plugins you can make use of as time goes on.
Note: Don’t add plugins that you are not making use of, it can slow down your site.
To install any of these plugins, on your WordPress dashboard, hover over plugins and click on “Add New”
To get the elementor plugin, type “elementor “ in the search box and click on install and activate as seen in the image below.
Now you just have to apply the same step to install and activate the rest plugins.
Step 5: Create Pages and Posts
WordPress has two default content types i.e pages and posts. Pages are meant to be static like the home page, about, and contact page while the posts operate dynamically with blog functionality.
If you check your website now, you will see that your front page is displaying the dummy post. This is a default setting of WordPress and we are going to change it later so the front page will display a static page.
To create the home page, on your dashboard hover pages and click on “Add New” and you will be redirected to a page where you can name the page and add content to it. To create the home page, follow the pictorial steps below.
After creating your page, click on “publish” and then “view page”.
This is how your home page will look like.
To add a post, simply hover post >> add new and follow the same steps as seen above. You can name it whatever you like, and use the “+” icon to add different blocks of content for the post.
Step 6: Basic Configurations
In this section, we will be setting our front page to be the homepage and other basic settings.
To configure the front page of our website, simply go to settings on your dashboard and click on “reading”. Select the Static page then select Home and click save changes.
Next, we will configure the Title and tagline of our website.
Still, on the settings tab, click on general and input your site title and tagline then click on save changes.
We will also change the permalinks for our website in line with SEO Best practices. To do that click on permalinks from the settings tab and make sure the post name is selected.
Having done that click on save changes and you are good to go with the basic configurations of your website.
By now you must have seen that you can create a basic website for yourself or your business within some minutes by simply following the steps above.
However, if I am to write about the advanced aspect of creating a website with WordPress, it is going to be lengthy and you will get tired of reading through.
To solve this, I have come up with a WordPress Series on how to implement all I have mentioned here in a more practical and advanced way so you can build websites like a pro.
All you need to do is simply Join the Free WordPress Series and you will get a notification once I release content on WordPress.
In conclusion, creating a WordPress website can be an exciting and rewarding experience. With its user-friendly interface, powerful features, and vast community support, WordPress has become the go-to platform for individuals and businesses looking to establish an online presence.
By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily create a professional-looking website that meets your needs and engages your audience.
Remember to prioritize user experience, optimize for search engines, and regularly update your content to ensure that your site remains relevant and successful. With some time and effort, your WordPress website can become a valuable asset to your personal or professional brand.