So, you want to know how to build a WordPress website but don’t know where to start? We got you covered. We walk you through, step-by-step, so you can easily build a website with WordPress, even if you’re a beginner.
We help you avoid common mistakes that we made when we first started building websites so you don’t waste time, money or lose your sanity like we did (seriously).
Out all of the website building platforms, we found that WordPress is one of the most flexible, easiest to use and best of all it’s free!
What’s also great is that most web hosting providers offer one-click installation for WordPress so you can easily install your new WordPress website with a single click and it can’t get any easier than that.
As you can see from the chart below, WordPress is the most popular website builder and CMS (Content Management System) compared to other website builders because it’s free, flexible and easy to use.
WordPress is great for most websites, however for those who need to build an eCommerce or Dropshipping store then there’s a better platform called Shopify, which is already used by more than 800,000 merchants. Shopify is an all-in-one solution for eCommerce businesses that’s affordable, easy to use, and ready to go right out of the box.
Shopify provides you with a suite of services including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools to simplify the process of running a successful eCommerce store. It’s specifically designed for the sale of physical and digital products so you can sell practically anything.
If you’re a beginner or even intermediate, you can save time, headaches and frustration by launching a store with Shopify. You won’t have to worry about setting up a payment gateway, credit card processing or calculating shipping costs yourself.
You can easily add a payment gateway and shipping rates calculator to your cart page that lets your customers estimate their shipping costs before they proceed to the checkout page.
These are just a few amazing benefits you get from using this platform. If you’re thinking about starting an eCommerce store, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial.
However, if you have any other type of website then keep reading because we’re going to help you build a WordPress website that could change your life and we truly mean that. After we first discovered WordPress and understood what it was capable of, it literally changed our business and the way we create websites. We truly hope it does the same for you so let’s get started!
1. Register Domain Name & Web Hosting
The first thing you need to do is to register your domain name and get web hosting. Many web hosting providers also register and sell domains, which makes it super easy for you to purchase a domain name and set up hosting at the same time.
Registering a domain name and choosing a good web hosting provider is one of the most important steps in building a WordPress website, but it’s an important step that many people overlook.
Choosing a good domain name and reliable hosting is the foundation of your website’s success. A great domain name can improve your (SEO) search engine rankings and help drive more traffic to your website.
Similarly, if you don’t get the best web hosting, your site can have lots of downtime, slow loading pages, poor security and who is that good for? I’ll answer that, nobody.
Every time a visitor comes to your website, they should have a great user experience. If you’re using a slow and unreliable host, then you’re putting your company’s brand and reputation at risk.
Of course, you’re free to use any hosting you like but for the purposes of this guide, we’ll be using SiteGround for this example.
Before choosing your domain name, it’s a great idea to do keyword research. This is extremely important as you can rank higher in the search engines, especially when someone is searching for keywords relevant to your website domain name and content.
Try using the free Google Keyword Planner as it’s one of the most accurate sources of keyword information because the data comes directly from Google.
When selecting a domain name, keep the following in mind:
- Keep it short, simple and easy to remember.
- Use keywords in the domain name, if possible (Tip: long-tail keywords are easier to rank in search engines)
- Don’t use numbers or hyphens in the domain name.
- Don’t use trademarked names in your domain (Unless you want your website banned or shutdown)
- Use the appropriate domain extension for your website niche or market. For example, .com, .net or .org.
When registering a domain, you should always purchase the domain privacy add-on (private domain) so your personal information is protected online.
It prevents strangers and weirdos from seeing your mailing address, email address and phone number. You don’t want random people having access to your information or contacting you out of the blue about your website, do you? Of course not.
After you’ve done your keyword research, purchased a domain name and web hosting, you’re ready to move on to the fun stuff and install WordPress!
2. Install WordPress
How to install WordPress? Installing WordPress on your domain is easy, especially with the Cpanel and one-click-installation for WordPress.
If you’re unfamiliar with Cpanel, it’s the industry-standard control panel that allows you to easily manage and make changes to your website, databases, email, and billing.
The interface is simple and easy to use (See image below). Now, follow the installation steps according to your preferred web hosting provider.
How to Install WordPress with SiteGround?
Follow these steps to install WordPress on your domain with SiteGround:
Step 1: Log in to Siteground
Step 2: Go to your “Accounts”
Step 3: Click “Manage Account” on your domain and hosting account
Step 4: Go to your cPanel Account
Step 5: Select the WordPress
Step 6: Click the Install button.
Step 7: Customize your settings.
Once you’ve completed the WordPress installation, now you’re ready to install a WordPress theme.
3. Install WordPress Theme
Before installing a new theme for your site, it’s important to choose a theme that matches your niche or market. For example, if you’re a photography website then it’s best to install a photography theme, which will allow you to easily showcase all the photos in your portfolio.
Make sure you also choose a theme that’s responsive, which means your theme’s layout and the content will automatically adjust according to your visitor’s computer or phone device screen size. Nowadays, this is a must, especially with all the different devices we use to browse the internet.
WordPress lets you easily install thousands of free or premium themes that you can customize to your website, but should you use a free or premium theme?
This is a good question, but it really depends on you and your website’s needs. If you’re on a tight budget then it’s perfectly fine to go with a free theme. Heck, even if you’re not on a tight budget there’s plenty of free themes that will get the job done.
We use the Elementor Page Builder for most of our sites because it allows you to create beautiful and professional-looking pages fast. It’s no surprise why Elementor holds an average 4.9-star rating from WordPress users with over 4 million professionals using Elementor to build their sites.
What we really like most about Elementor is its intuitiveness and ease of use. Elementor uses a drag-and-drop tool that literally allows you to drag and drop elements right into your website layout in real-time so it makes creating web pages a cinch. You don’t need any coding skills or web design knowledge. Elementor offers a free version you can download that’s definitely worth checking out.
However, if you have money to invest, purchasing a premium WordPress theme can give your site more features, functionality, and support but it’s entirely up to you.
Be sure to check out the best WordPress themes to see a list of the best free and premium themes so you can decide which is best for you. After you’ve found the WordPress theme you want, you can easily install it from the WordPress Admin Dashboard.
These are the basic steps to install and activate a free or premium WordPress theme:
How to install a free WordPress theme?
- From your WordPress Admin Dashboard, Go to Appearance> Themes> Add New.
- On this page, you have two different ways to add a free theme. The first option is to add a free theme from the Theme Directory in the WordPress Admin Dashboard.WordPress comes with many free themes located in the Theme Directory that you can use for your website. You can scroll or search the name of the theme you want to add in the Theme Directory and you can either choose Preview to see a demo of the theme or install it by clicking the Install button when you’re ready.
- The second way is if you downloaded a free theme from an outside source, which requires you to upload it before installing it. After you download the free theme’s Zip file onto your local computer. You don’t need to unzip or extract the Zip file, just know where it’s saved on your computer. After you’ve located your Zip file then press Choose File then upload the Zip file of the theme you want to install. Once installed, click Activate and you’re done. You can now preview your site to see how it looks.
How to install a premium WordPress theme?
- From your WordPress Admin Dashboard, Go to Appearance > Themes > Add New
- On this page, if you purchased a premium theme from a developer or an outside source, you need to upload it before installing it. First, you need to download the theme’s Zip file from the developer or outside source onto your local computer. You don’t need to unzip or extract the Zip file, just know where it’s saved on your computer. After you’ve located your Zip file then press Choose File then upload the Zip file of the theme you want to install. Once installed, click Activate and you’re all done. You can now preview your site to see how it looks.
- If you purchased a premium theme you may have to enter a license code, which should be provided by the developer or company you purchased the theme from in order to complete the installation. It’s recommended that you read all the installation instructions that come with your Premium theme as some themes require more steps than covered here. If you encounter any problems, please be sure to contact the theme’s author for help.
Awesome, you’ve just learned how to build a WordPress website! Now that you’ve launched your first WordPress website, you start customizing your site, adding great content and working on SEO. Creating content and SEO is an ongoing process. You should NEVER stop creating valuable content and keeping your site up with the latest optimization strategies.
If you need help with SEO check out the “best SEO plugins for WordPress to dominate your competition.” These plugins can help you optimize your WordPress site so you’ll rank higher in the search results and plus it gives you valuable insight to get on the first page of Google.
As with learning any new subject or skill, it requires a lot of hard work and effort. When we first started using WordPress, there was a small learning curve to become familiar with the WordPress dashboard and to understand how the plugins work.
There are many helpful tutorials on how to use WordPress, but if you really want to make creating web pages and websites easier, there are plugins and themes you can use and most of them are free. These are the plugins we use for our sites and they have made a HUGE difference in creating web pages and SEO (Search Engine Marketing).
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