Three quick steps in guide
Choose a website building Platform
Setup & customize your website
Go Live & reach your audience
Step #0: Prerequisite
Before you start worrying about creating your website, you need to have a domain name & web hosting
A domain name is a unique name that identifies a website. For example, the domain name of our website “myfirstsite.net.” Each website has a domain name that serves as an address, which is used to access the website.
How to Register a Domain Name?
- Select a Registrar!
- Pick the right top level domain (TLD)!
- Brainstorm Your Name!
What kind of Domain name should I pick?
Things to Remeber?
- If you are making website for your business, your name should match company name. For example YourComanyName.com
- If you are planning to setup website for yourself, then YourName.com can be a great option.
Some of the most popular Top-level domain (TLD) are .com, .net or .org, but in recent times, a huge number Generic Top-level domains (gTLDs) have came out ranging from .agency to .pizza
Besides TLDs and gTLDs, we have country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). For example .de (Germany), .in (India), etc.
My best advice? Avoid the weird extensions and go with .com, .net or .org unless they perfectly describe what you have to offer – and even then, see if you can find a more common name.
While .com, .org and .net are commonly used and easily remembered, the domain extension craze hasn’t really gone mainstream yet – so people may not find you if you use a really different domain extension.
Any additional tips for choosing my Domain name?
There are few things that can help you choosing your domain name:
#1. Is it brandable? For example, if you are making a site about yoga then yoga-basics.com is not a good choice: yogabasics.com or learningyoga.com is much better.
#2. Is it memorable? Short, punchy and clear domain names are much easier to remember. If your domain name is too fuzzy, too long or spelled in a strange way, visitors may forget it.
#3. Is it catchy? 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.
There’s one rule that always applies to domain names: If you like it, go for it.
A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation.
What are the Different types of Web Hosting?
- Shared Hosting – Usually recommended for new websites, as it’s the most economical way to start a website. Your site is placed on a server with other websites to share the resources.
- VPS Hosting – Recommended for more advanced users, and those needing to install specific packages or software not provided by shared hosting. Your website is placed on a server with other websites, like shared hosting, but usually there’s less websites per server. Also includes root or admin access to its own operating system installation in a virtualized environment.
- Dedicated Hosting – When you get a dedicated server, your website(s) get access to the full server, since it’s not shared with any other users. Also includes full root or admin access like a VPS. This is the recommended route for websites with lots of visitors (traffic) or custom requirements not available in a shared hosting environment.
- Reseller Hosting – This service is geared for webmasters, or others, who want to resell their own web hosting service. It’s also a good option for those with multiple websites, as it makes it easier to manage many websites under one control panel.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE NEXT STEP:
Do some brainstorming to come up with a unique domain name that reflects your future website, business or blog.
Secure your domain name and web hosting.
Step #1: Choose your website Platform
Before you start adding content to your website, you need to choose the right platform
What do I mean by “platform”?
Next thing you need to decide when starting a website is what site building platform you’re going to use, if any.
Most beginners have two main choices when it comes to creating a website. If you want to build your website from scratch, you’ll need to understand HTML code, which has a big learning curve and isn’t suitable for beginners.
The other option is to use website building platform, also known as a Content Management System (CMS).
Three Most Popular CMS for 2016:
Why WordPress is better than rest of the platforms?
Because at this point there are no better/easier way to build a website… But more importantly;
#1. It’s Free – WordPress is open source, and is completely free to download and use. Also there’s a huge community who have designed beautiful themes and templates, making it easy to get going fast – In love with WordPress?
#2. Easy to use – If you know how to use Microsoft Word, you already know how to add your own content. – pretty simple, huh?
#3. Can be Customized – WordPress can be expanded with free plugins to handle just about any site you can imagine – from gorgeous business pages to social networking sites. With “plugins” you’ll be able to add contact forms, subscription forms, image galleries and so on for your website.
#4. Small or Big – From basic blogs to beautiful business sites and online stores, WordPress can handle just about any kind of website. WordPress is used by eBay, Mozilla, Reuters, CNN, Google Ventures and even NASA.
#5. Mobile Friendly – There are hundreds of stylish WordPress themes that look good on mobile too. No need to hire a web developer for that.
#6. Huge Community Support – With so many people using the platform (Webmaster, Bloggers, Theme developers and Plugin creators), it’s easy to find QUICK help when you need it. In addition,there is a large WordPress community and lots of tutorials to help you if you get stuck.
If you want an example of a site built on WordPress, look no further than this site! My First Site is built entirely using WordPress. 🙂
Want to know about Drupal and Joomla?
Unlike WordPress, Drupal is not too well suited for the technically inept or a first time website developer. Drupal is an open source CMS and is largely utilized by big corporations with vast websites and high traffic loads. It has its own customization possibilities with themes and plugins created to add value to Drupal sites. Drupal websites are a bit faster and little less taxing on the host’s server resources.
But if you’re new to web development, it isn’t for you. Why? It is more complicated than it needs to be to meet your requirements. It is designed for complex, vast websites with high traffic loads, which your new website will not be to begin with. Given that, there is no need to add to the difficulty of the website creation process unnecessarily. And besides, you can always switch to Drupal at a later date.
Open source and free like the previous two platforms. It is a tad better than the other two when it comes to creating a community of users (like a small social network or tight knit community for your readers) and is far more amenable to creating social websites with a lot of interaction and engagement from users. It is easier to handle than Drupal and offers more than WordPress in terms of performance and tweakability.
And again my reasons are the same for not recommending it for you, unnecessary complication that you do not need.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE NEXT STEP:
Make up your mind on what CMS you ‘ll be using.
Step #2: Setup & Customize
In this step ’ll show you how to install and customize your WordPress website
There are two possible ways to install WordPress, one MUCH easier than the other.
1. One-Click-installation for WordPress.. (Drupal, Joomla & 300+ scripts )
Almost every reliable and well-established hosting company has integrated 1-click-installation for WordPress, which makes getting going a snap. If you signed up with SiteGround or 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 on all the major web hosting companies):
- Log in to your hosting account.
- Go to your control panel.
- Look for “WordPress” icon & Click on it.
- Click on Install tab
- Choose the domain where you want to install your website.
- Click the “Install Now” button and you should get access to your NEW WordPress website.
That’s it – Well Done!
2. Manual Installation (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, look this manual guide below:
Installing WordPress Manually
#1. Download Latest version of WordPress.
#2. Create a new folder on your desktop and unzip WordPress in it
#3. Look for a file named wp-config-sample.php and 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
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘username_here’); – Database username
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_here’); – Database 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:
Just fill in the forms and you are ready!
Pssst – if they don’t have 1-click-installation, maybe you’re 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 theme “Twenty Sixteen” installed & activated by default:
But you don’t want to look like everyone else, do you? That’s why you need a theme – a design template that tells WordPress how your website should look. See a sample version below:
How to install a WordPress theme you like?
WordPress themes can be installed from Dashboard or FTP software. I will give you the guide to both the methods
Before we move ahead with this guide, here are some of the resources from where you can download WordPress themes. Though there are many Free WordPress themes available, I always vouch for premium one if you are looking to establish a professional blog on WordPress:
- WordPress official Theme directory (Free Themes)
- Themeforest Themes (Premium Themes)
- Elegant Themes (Premium Themes)
Of course there are many other resources to download themes besides the above three.
Installing a Free WordPress theme from Dashboard
Follow the steps below to install a free WordPress theme from your dashboard:
#1. Login to your WordPress Dashboard
If you’re not sure how, type http://yoursite.com/wp-admin (replace “yoursite” with your domain) in your browser.
This is what the WordPress dashboard looks like:
Everything is neatly labeled. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t sweat it – I’m going to show you where to go next.
#2. Access Free Themes
Navigate to Appearance> Themes. As I said earlier, WordPress comes with basic themes pre-installed. Those are “Twenty Sixteen”, “Twenty Fifteen” and “Twenty Fourteen”. To add a new theme click on “Add new” as shown on screenshot.
Once you click on “Add now” button, you will be redirected to a page (see below screenshot for reference) where you get access to 4000+ Free Themes.
Above screenshot is self-explanatory. Once a new theme installed, Activate it.
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 lose what you’ve created.
Manual Installation of a Theme:
if you have downloaded a free or premium theme from Themeforest, Elegant Themes or any other sources, manual installation of theme is required. Don’t worry this method is pretty similar and easy as above method.
#1. Download your Theme
Get a zip file of your theme from your theme provider and unzip it in your desktop. If you don’t have any such software installed, download the free version of WinRAR from the official site and install it. Once installed, right-click on .zip file of the theme and select Extract file, see screenshot:
#2. Upload your Theme to server
Now login to your FTP manager with FTP hostname as ftp.yourdomain.com, username and password are the same that you used to register to your host. Once connected, locate to wp-content/Themes folder or your WordPress installation and upload the unzipped folder directly. So in case, I will directly upload Unzipped folder to my server
#3. Activate your new Theme from Dashboard
To activate your theme you recently uploaded via FTP, follow the steps below:
- Login to your WordPress dashboard
- Navigate to Appearance > Theme
- Select the new you recently uploaded and select “Activate”.
Head over to yourdomain.com to see it in action!
How to add content and create a new page?
With your theme installed, you’re ready to start creating content. Let’s quickly run through some of the basics:
Adding and editing pages
Want a “Contact” page, or an “About Me” page?
- Look along the sidebar in the WordPress Dashboard for Pages > Add New.
- Once you’ve clicked, you’ll find a screen that looks a lot 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.
Need a visual guide? Watch a video.
Adding and editing pages
If you want your new page to be linked to in your navigation bar,
- Save any changes you’ve made to the page by clicking “Update”
- Click Appearance > Menus in the sidebar of the WordPress Dashboard
- Find the page you created and add it to the list by clicking the checkbox next to it and then “Add to Menu”
Adding and editing posts
If you have a blog on your website, “Posts” will be 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”. To do so, simply add it to your menu and start making posts.
Here’s what you need to do:
a. Create a new category by going to “Posts > Categories”
b. Create a blog post by going to “Posts -> Add New”. Once you’ve finished writing your blog post blog post is ready, you need to add the right category for it.
Once you’ve created your category, simply add it to the menu, and you’re in business!
Customization & Endless Tweaks…
In this section I’ll cover some of the basics things I’m asked about all the time 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’re also a big part of how search engines determine your rankings, so you want to be sure they’ve 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 “My First Site”.
(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 “Guide to create website for beginners”
In order to change the title and tagline on your website, go to Settings > General and fill in the form below:
Setting 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 the site – like a home page you’ve designed.
To set up a static front page:
- Go to Settings > Reading
- 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.
Most WordPress themes have a sidebar on the right side (in some cases it’s on the left).
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:
- Go to Appearance > Widgets in the WordPress Dashboard.
- From here, you can use drag n’ drop to add different “boxes” to your sidebar, or remove the items you don’t want.
There’s also an “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’d like in your sidebar.
Installing Plugins to Get More out of WordPress
What is a plugin?
“Plugins” are extensions that are built to expand WordPress’ capabilities, adding features and functions to your site that don’t come built-in.
They’re 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 do 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”.
To save you some time, I’ve put together a list of the most popular and useful plugins that webmasters find useful:
- Contact form 7: You can use this to setup a contact form on your website
- 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.
- Google Analytics: Interested in tracking your visitors/traffic and their behavior? Just install the plugin, connect it with your Google account and you’re ready to go.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE NEXT STEP:
Completely setup your WordPress site
Step #3: Go Live & Reach your audience
In this step ’ll show you how to reach your desired audience
Congratulations – you’re ready to launch!
If you’ve followed the steps in this guide, you should now have a fully-functional WordPress website! That wasn’t so bad, was it?
I have created a website, what next?
So you followed all the advice and created a website, now you are wondering what next?. Like any great business resource your website won’t work magic on its own, it requires care and feeding. Creating a small business website is only the beginning.
Five quick tips to increase visitors
- Speed up your website by using a caching plugin and CDN – No one likes to wait right?
- Keep your audience engaged – Send push notifications & newsletters to keep them engaged.
- Advertise – Try Google Adwords for that.
- Get active on social media platforms – Spread your word to billions.
- Create an SEO plan – Submit your site to search engines & make it SEO friendly.
That’s all for now!
… if you still have any questions, post them at MFS Community.
P.S. If you find my guides useful, please share it with your friends. This keeps me motivated to keep all the information on this site up-to-date and accurate.