How To Start A Website

The easy way, step by step guide for the beginners

Welcome..! Thanks for stopping by.

So, are you wondering how to start a website? I'm so glad you come here! It's my goal to explain the easy steps to get off to a good and successful website of your own, no technical experience required.

I have created my first website in 2003 with no computer experience. It took me a lot of time to figure it out. At that time I used HTML coding, then, later on, I have learned about WordPress. WordPress is now used by 58% websites worldwide, which is very easy to start a website. Since 2008, I built a lot of websites and help others to do it so.

Here I want to share my knowledge with you..!

Alberto Rendon
www.alrenpages.com
Comments area is disabled.

Reasons Why You Will Love This Guide:

Beginner-Friendly

This guide is in detailed, and yet very easy to follow - even though you're not very technical.

Fast Setup

You will have a nice, mobile-friendly website or blog running in less than an hour.

Platform-Specific

Your website or blog will be set up the right way you want on the right platform.

Free Support

I offer free help via email. I'm very happy to answer any questions you might ask.

Only 3 Quick Steps In This Guide

Please, read carefully because you will really learn how to...

Step 1

Choose the best website building platform...

Step 2

icon white web

Choose your website address (www.)...

Step 3

icon white wrench

Set up and customize your website...

Step One

icon black layer

Choose The Best Website Building Platform

Before you start worrying about colour schemes and domain names, you've got to decide what platform you're going to build your website with.

What Website Building 'PLATFORM' means?

Well,back then in early year 2000 most websites were built using HTML (code), CSS and even Flash. These took a lot of time to learn and were very risky to master.

That's why most people think creating a website is difficult or requires a lot of coding and design skills - but that's no longer true today!

In 2016, content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and others have made creating a website accessible to all.

To make it simply, the content management system (or website building platform)is a user-friendly platform in building websites and managing your very own online content, instead of using s lot of HTML pages one by one.

There Are Three Most Popular Website Building Platforms Today

Content Management System

As you have seen from the photo above, almost half of the websites and blogs online are operated by WordPress system. Just look at those recent statistics made by  W3 Techs and  BuiltWith.

Why WordPress system is better than the others?

Because at this point there are no better/easier way to build a website or blog! But more importantly;

  • It's really totally FREE, with plenty of layouts or themes to choose from...

That doesn't cost a dime to download or install, and there's a huge community who have designed beautiful themes and templates, that is really very easy to get going fast and you will never run out of uniqueness...

  • It is really VERY beginner-friendly...

If you know how to write on Microsoft Word, you already know how to add your own content. WordPress can be expanded with free plugins to handle just about any site you can imagine - from great business pages to social networking sites.

With "plugins" you will be able to add contact forms, subscription forms, image galleries and so on for your website - it's really pretty simple, isn't?

  • Small or BIG sites? Does not matter...!

From basic blogs to great business sites like online stores, forums, social media, WordPress can handle just about any kind of website.

WordPress is used by eBay, Mozilla, Reuters, CNN, Google, facebook, Ventures and even NASA.

  • Your website will also be MOBILE and TABLET friendly...

The website you build will instantly be responsive, looking great on every computer, mobile device, smartphone and tablet.

Here is what so exiting...! You don't need to hire a website developer for that!

  • There is a HUGE support community available to help...

With so many people using the platform (Webmasters, Bloggers, Theme developers and Plugin creators), it's easy to find QUICK help when you need them. In addition, WordPress has a lot of free resources available on Youtube and on their support forum.

Of course, there are other website building platforms/systems, too.

Drupal also is a very powerful system that is popular with website developers and experienced coders, of course with an expert one and it's not good for beginners.

Joomla is similar to WordPress and works great also for online stores, but you will need at least a little bit of technical coding to make it work the way you want.

In case you don't want to build your site with WordPress, try out Drupal and Joomla as well. They are all FREE also to use.

But for beginners, it is strongly suggested to stick on WordPress.

It's the easiest system I've ever worked with my blog, of course it's flexible enough to suit everyone from small business owners, from freelancers to creative artists and bloggers.

In Step 2, We will walk through the process of choosing a domain name and finding a host for your site.

In Step 3, Once you have a domain name and a host domain for you site, I will show you how to install and customize your WordPress website.

Don't worry I will teach you through the process, with lots of illustrations as our references.

Remember; I'm here to help you!


Step Two

icon black web

Choosing a Domain Name and Web Host for Your Website

To have a website online, you are going to need TWO THINGS:

  • A Domain Name (a web address like yoursitename.com - example my blog @ alrenpages.com ).
  • Hosting or Host Domain (a service that connects your site to the internet or online).

The WordPress platform / system itself is free, but a domain name and hosting will cost you around $3 to $5 a month, but here's how to get wordpress for free...!

If you will follow this guide, it only costs less than a coffee to have a site online, so it won't break your bank.

Having your own domain name it looks far more better and professional than having your site on someone else's domain (like yourbusiness.my-free-website.com), and it's super affordable, too.

Plus, having your own hosting will also make sure your website loads quickly and won't go down very slow (this is very important for everyone who visits your pages.)

Where To Get A Domain Name And Hosting?

  • BlueHost is mostly used as a web hosting and domain registrar by Millions of clients worldwide. They're really affordable, they have good customer services, and they are currently giving a domain name for free so it is worth checking them out. When you get a domain name, you will also get a personal email account(s) :you@YourSite.com - way more professional than a generic Gmail or Yahoo address. Check it now!

  • Namecheap - You can create your professional blog with One pager in minutes. You simply select the theme, layout and features you want, and One pager does the rest. Check it now!

  • HostGator - You can start your first blog with their professional staff ready to assist you every step of the way. They are there 24/7/365 to assist you with any aspect of your hosting experience. Check it now!

  • Inmotion - With a shared hosting for static websites or blog, database-driven content management systems, and custom applications Work faster with SSH & develop in PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Ruby, Perl, and Python Get WordPress, Joomla, or PrestaShop installed for you during checkout. Check it now!

If you already have a domain name and hosting... Go ahead and skip to step 3, where you will read how you can set up your website.

What Kind Of Domain Name Should I Choose?

Here is the easy starting point:

  • If you will create a website for your business, your domain name should match your company name. For example: YourCompanyName.com
  • If you plan to make a website for yourself, then it goes like this YourName.com that can be a great option.

Domain names usually ended with .com, .org, .ph, .us or .net, but in the past, most domain extensions (the end part of the web address, used .com) have come out, mostly from .blogs, .agency, .pizza .social and etc.

My best advice...!
If possible avoid the weird extensions and go with .com, .net or .org and unless they perfectly describe what you have to offer - and even then, see if you can find a more common name.

While dot com, dot org and dot net are commonly used and can easily be remembered, the domain extension craze hasn't really gone mainstream yet - so people may not find you if you use different domain extensions.

Additional Tips For Choosing Domain Name

There are few things that can help you choosing your domain name:

#1 Must be branded
For example, if you wanted to make a site about health then the best-health-website.net is not a good choice: healthacademy.com or healthtips.com is much better.

#2 Must be memorable
Short and clear domain names are much easier to remember. If your domain name is too long or spelled in a strange way, visitors may forget it and they do not want to memorize it either.

#3 Must be catchy
If you want a domain name that rolls off the tongue, describes what you (or your business) does and sticks to the head. Coming up with a cool name can be a bit tough since there are approximately 150 million active domain names in the world right now - but don't give up.

Because there is only one rule that always applies to domain names: If you like it, go for it.

TWO THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT STEP:

checklist

Do some brainstorming to come up with a unique domain name that reflects your business, site or blog.

checklist

Go ahead and secure yourself a domain name and web hosting through www.bluehost.com

It's so simple process, but in case you get stuck. Check the details about bluehost.com setup)


Step Three

icon black wrench

Setting Up Your WordPress Website

Once you already have bought your domain name and set up your hosting, you are now on the right way...!

It is now your time to get your website up and running. The first thing you need to do is install WordPress to your domain.

How To Install WordPress System?

Two possible ways to install WordPress system, one is MUCH easier than the other.

1. One - Click - installation for Websites like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla

Almost every reliable and well-established hosting company has integrated 1-click-installation for WordPress, which makes getting going very quickly.

If you signed up with Bluehost or in any other similar hosting company, you should find your "1-click-installation" in your account control panel.

Here are the steps you should follow (should be similar / same way on all the major web hosting companies):

  • 1. Log in to your hosting account.
  • 2. Go to your control panel.
  • 3. Look for the "WordPress" icon.
  • 4. Choose the domain where you want to install your website.
  • 5. Click the "Install Now" button and you should get access to your NEW WordPress website.

Need a little more help installing WordPress? See this in-depth guide.

2. Manual install (if needed)

If for some odd reason (some hosting companies don't provide one-click-install for WordPress) you don't have the possibility to install WordPress automatically, follow with the following manual guide below:

1) Download WordPress from here: http://wordpress.org/download

2) Create a new folder on your desktop and unzip WordPress in it

3) Look for a file named wp-config-sample.phpand rename it to: wp-config.php

4) Now open the wp-config.php (with notepad for example) and fill the following lines:

  • define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here'); 'Database name (if you don't know it, ask this from your hosting support)
    For example "define('DB_NAME', 'alrenpages_wp'); "
  • define('DB_USER', 'username_here'); ' Your hosting usernameFor example "define('DB_USER', 'alrenpages_wp'); "
  • define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here'); 'Your hosting password

After you have filled the gaps, save the file.

5) Now log into your hosting ftp (download FileZilla for that). The FTP address is usually ftp.yourdomain.com, username and password are the same that you used to register to your host.

6) If there is any file named 'index' ' delete it. After that upload all the files from your WordPress folder to your FTP server. I believe you can use - drag n drop - function in FileZilla.

7) Once you have completed the previous steps, go the URL: yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php

This is the page you should see:

wordpress website manual install

Just fill in the forms and you are ready!

Pssst - if they don't have 1-click-installation, maybe you are dealing with a bad host!

Choosing - A Theme / Template For Your Site

Once you have successfully installed WordPress to your domain, you'll see a very basic yet clean site:

default_wordpress_theme

But you don't want to look like everyone else, isn't it? That's the reason why you need a theme - a design template that tells WordPress how your website should look. See a sample version below:

WordPress website theme

Here's where it gets fun: There are thousands of awesome, professionally designed themes you can choose from and customize for a site that's all your own.

Here's how to find a theme you like:

1. Log into your WordPress dashboard

If you're not sure how, type in the address bar: http://yoursite.com/wp-admin (replace 'yoursite' with your domain).

wordpress login

Write your account name and password, when you did it correctly you'll be brought to your wordpress dashboard.

This is what the WordPress dashboard looks like:

wordpress_default_dashboard

Everything is easily labelled. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, don't sweat it - I'm going to show you where to go next.

2. Access FREE themes

Once you're in the dashboard, you've got access to over 1500 free themes! Just look along the side bar for "Appearance", then click "Themes".

If you want something more professional or elegant than what you find here, you can head over to ThemeForest.net where there's a HUGE library of themes to pick from at varying costs.

But before you do that, I really suggest you at least try spending some time browsing the free themes. Many of them are actually really professional and well made; so don't write them off.

free_wordpress_blog_themes

 

As you can see above, installing a new theme for your website is very easy.

You can search for specific keywords and/or use filters to find themes that suit your style. Finding the perfect theme can take a while, but it's worth it.

You should also look for themes that are "responsive", as this means they will look good on any mobile device.

Just punch it in as one of your keywords, and you will be all set!

3. Install your new theme

Once you have found a theme you like, installing it is as simple as clicking "Install" followed by "Activate".

 

install_theme

IMPORTANT: Changing themes won't delete your previous posts, pages and content. You can change themes as often as you want without having to worry about losing what you have created.

How do I add content and create new pages?

As your theme being installed, you are ready to start creating content. Let's quickly run through some of the basics:

Adding and editing pages

Want a "Services" page, or an "About Me" page (like many other websites seen on every page?)

1. Look along the sidebar in the WordPress Dashboard for "Pages" -> "Add New".

2. After you have clicked, you will see the screen that looks like what you've maybe seen in Microsoft Word. Add text, images and more to build the page you want, then save it when you're done.

Adding pages to the menu

If you want your new page to be linked to in your navigation bar.

1. Save any changes you've made to the page by clicking "Update" as you see at the right side.

2. Click "Appearance"" - "Menu" in the left sidebar of the WordPress Dashboard

3. Find the page you created and add it to the list by clicking the checkbox next to it and then "Add to Menu".

wordpress_navigation_bar_website

How to add and edit posts?

If you have a blog on your website, click "Posts" it is the one where you turn to next. You can use different categories to group similar posts.

If you want to add a blog to your website, you can use different categories and posts. Let's say you want to create a category named "Blog".

If you want to do so, simply add it to your menu and start adding posts.

Here's the guide you need to do:

Category A. Create a new category by going to "Posts - Categories"

OR

Category B. Create a blog post by going to "Posts - Add New".

Once you have finished writing your blog post blog post is ready, you need to add the right category for it.

After you've created your category, simply add it to the menu, and now you are in business!

How To Customize The Endless Tweaks"

In this section, we will cover some of the basics things that will help you to tweak your website.

Changing Your Title and Tagline

Page titles explain to searchers what your website is about, and they are also a big part of how search engines determine your rankings, so you want to be sure they have got the keywords you want to target in them (but in a natural way, written for real people).

You should use a unique title on every page of your site. For example, my site's title is "How to Start a Website".

(Can't find it? Just hold your mouse over the tab at the top of your web browser).

Taglines are added at the end of titles across every page. My site's tagline is "Step by Step Guide"

In order to change the title and tagline on your website, go to "Settings - General" and fill in the form below:

site-title-and-tagline

Disabling Comments for Posts and Pages

Some websites (mostly business/organisation sites) don't want their visitors to be able to comment on their pages.

Find out how to shut comments off on WordPress pages:

Step 1. While you are writing a new page, click "Screen Options" in the top right corner.

Step 2. Click the "Discussion" box. The "Allow Comments" box will appear at the bottom.

Step 3. Uptick "Allow Comments".

If you want to disable comments on every new page by default.

Step 1. Go to "Settings - Discussion" and unchecked "Allow people to post comments on new articles"

site_discussion-settings

How To Set Up A Static Front Page?

Some people contact me saying they're frustrated that their home page looks like a blog post. You can fix that by making your home page "static".

A static page is a page that doesn't change. Unlike a blog, where the first new article will show up at the top every time, a "STATIC" page will show the same content every time someone comes to your website / homepage - you have designed.

To set up a static front page:

Step 1. Go to "Settings" And "Reading"

Step 2. Choose a static page that you have created. "Front Page" denotes your home page, "Posts page" is the front page of your blog (if your entire site isn't a blog).

If you don't choose a static page on your own, WordPress will take your latest posts and start showing them on your homepage.

static_homepage

Editing Sidebar

Some WordPress themes have a sidebar on the right side (however, mostly it's on the left side).

If you want to get rid of the sidebar or edit out items you do not need like "Categories", "Meta" and "Archives", which are usually pointless, here's how to do it:

Step 1. Go to "Appearance" - "Widgets" in the WordPress Dashboard.

Step 2. From here, you can use drag and drop to add different "boxes" to your sidebar, or remove the items you don't want.

There is also a "HTML box" - a "text box" where you can use HTML code. For beginners, don't worry about this bit - just drag and drop the elements you had like in your sidebar.

How To Install Plugins to Get More out of WordPress

What is a plugin anyway?

"Plugins" are extensions that are built to expand WordPress' capabilities, when adding some features and functions to any theme that don't come built-in.

They are shortcuts to getting your site to do what you want to, without having to build the feature from scratch.

You can use plugins to do everything from adding photo galleries and submission forms to optimizing your website and creating an online store.

How Can I Install a new Plugin?

To start installing plugins, go to "Plugins" - "Add New" and simply start searching.

Keep in mind that there are over 25,000 different FREE plugins, so you've got a LOT to choose from!

Installation is easy - once you find a plugin you like, just click "Install".

BUT - before you go and install every single one, I suggest you to read this article: Things you need to know about using WP plugins.

To save you some time, We've put together a list of the most popular and useful plugins that webmasters find useful:

  • #1 Contact Form: My website has a contact form at; www.alrenpages.com

    It's an awesome feature to have, as people (like you!) can fill in the form and send me an email without logging into their own email provider. If you want to do something similar, definitely get this plugin.

  • #2 Yoast SEO for WordPress: If you want to make your WordPress site even more SEO-friendly, this plugin is a must-have. It's free, and it's awesome. You'll be able to edit your title tags, meta descriptions and more, all from within the page itself - no more fussing with WordPress settings.
  • #3 Google Analytics: Interested in tracking your visitors/traffic and their behavior? Just install the plugin, connect it with your Google account and now are ready to go.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Here's a list of the top 100 plugins for WordPress by Tom Ewer, someone who knows more about WordPress plugins than me and that is basically it.

Congratulations...! You are now ready to launch your beautiful website..!

DISCLOSURE: I may get compensated by some of the links provided here as an affiliate customer, but it has no additional cost to you. It’s only a commission if you make a purchase.

If you have followed the steps in this guide, you should now have a fully-functional WordPress website! It is not bad at all, isn't it?

I hope you found this guide really helpful "but if you have some questions or you need help with the steps highlighted in this guide, Please do not hesitate to email me for some guidance. For this please, contact me .

Finally...!

If you find this guide useful, please share this page below. This keeps me motivated to keep all the information on this site up-to-date and accurate.

Have a good time,

Alberto


Most Read: