How to Create a WordPress Website – The Ultimate Guide

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Ghita F
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How to Create a WordPress Website

WordPress is responsible for a third of all websites on the internet today. It’s a Content Management System (CMS) – and a very capable one. Plus, it’s completely free!

WordPress.org is a content management system, while WordPress.com is a website builder. For additional information, see our article on the main distinctions. In this tutorial, we’ll concentrate only on utilizing WordPress.org to create a website.

Setting up a website using WordPress.org takes some time, but this tutorial will assist you. We’ve combined our expertise and knowledge to create something comprehensive but simple to understand. Keep it on hand, and you’ll have a website up and operating in no time.

Let’s get right to it.

1. Get a Domain Name

To begin, you’ll need to purchase a domain name. This is the web address that visitors will use to locate you, for example, wpgaga.com is our domain name.

Purchasing a domain name is a breeze. Simply go to a domain name registrar, namecheap.com is a popular one, and look for the address you desire.

A decent domain name should be as near as feasible to the name of your website or company. It should be easy to recall or even predict, and it should be as brief as feasible.

The most frequent and popular domain name extension (i.e. the part at the end of your domain name) is.com. If it’s available, it’s a safe bet and the one we’d suggest.

If it doesn’t work, you have a few more options:

  • .net – open to everyone, often linked with technology businesses.
  • .org – open to everyone, but particularly popular among NGOs and charities.
  • .co – open to all, but often linked with startups or fashionable new businesses.

Of course, if you solely operate on a national level, you may always use the domain extension for your country, such as .us or .co.uk. Only US people and organizations are allowed to use .us, although other nations are usually more accommodating.

While most names will cost less than $20 per year, you may be surprised to learn that certain domains may cost several thousand dollars up front. What’s going on?

These are premium domain names, which means they’re in high demand since it’s anticipated that they’ll attract a large number of visitors to your website. They will, however, renew at the usual cost after the first expenditure. If you want to receive a lot of traffic from Google searches, a premium domain name may be worth the money if it fits your company. There’s no sense in investing a lot of money if visitors will only be visiting your site because of a link or because it has a particular, less desirable moniker.

You should be aware of the following:

  • What is web hosting and why do you need it?
  • Which hosting service do you want to use?
  • What will it cost to host your website?

2. Sign up with a Web Hosting Company

Now that you have your location, you must rent your piece of land: it’s time to locate a website host!

It’s an important stage in the process of creating a website. You won’t be able to get your WordPress site up unless you have a place to host it – a virtual piece of internet land.

Make sure your WordPress hosting service fulfills the following requirements:

  • PHP version 7.2 or above is required.
  • MySQL 5.6 or above, or MariaDB 10.0 or higher are required.
  • Support for HTTPS.

According to our study, Bluehost is the best hosting service. WordPress even recommends it! You can learn why in our post on the best WordPress hosting, as well as which others we suggest. Of course, they all meet the aforementioned requirements.

WordPress Web Hosting Recommendation

Regardless of the hosting company you select, you must choose between shared and managed WordPress hosting.

You share a server, and all of its resources, with other websites when you use shared WordPress hosting. You’ll share bandwidth (traffic capacity) and storage space (for your web content and media). Shared hosting is less expensive and is ideal for smaller websites. Shared hosting options with Bluehost start at $2.95 per month.

Managed WordPress hosting, which may come in the form of a VPS or dedicated server, is ideal for bigger sites that need more resources. It is, as you would imagine, more expensive. The managed WordPress services from Bluehost start at $19.95 per month.

Top tip: Start with a shared hosting package and upgrade as your traffic grows and you outgrow it.

Here’s a short rundown on how to sign up for a hosting service. We’ll use Bluehost as an example, but the procedure is very much the same everywhere:

Pick a plan

Select WordPress hosting from the “WordPress” dropdown option on the Bluehost site.

Let’s pretend you’ve chosen to begin with a shared hosting package (WordPress hosting). Here are some choices for you:

Bluehost WordPress hosting

To take advantage of the free backups, we suggest upgrading to the Choice Plus plan – it will be well worth the money if your site runs into problems!

Connect your domain name

After that, you’ll be asked to connect your domain name once you’ve selected your Bluehost plan. You’ll be directed to a page like this one, where you may input your domain name:

Bluehost set up your domain name

Set up your billing information

You’ll need to establish an account and put in your billing information once you’ve connected your domain name:

Bluehost - Set up billing details

You’ll also need to choose how long you want to join up for at this stage. Signing up for a year or more, as you would imagine, is less expensive than paying month to month. Bluehost also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you may try it out and switch if necessary.

Now that you have a domain name and a hosting package, it’s time to set up WordPress! It’s worth mentioning at this point that if all of this is seeming a bit too complicated or costly, website builders may be a better fit. For additional information, check out our list of the top website builders!

You should be aware of the following:

  • What is web hosting and why do you need it.
  • Which hosting service do you want to use.
  • What will it cost to host your website.

3. Install WordPress

Now that you’ve completed the administrative tasks, it’s time to get down to business, it’s time to install WordPress!

This is something you can accomplish right from your hosting control panel. Installation will be one-click or manual, depending on the provider:

One-click WordPress installation

In this case, the clue is in the name! Downloading WordPress has never been easier, thanks to hosting companies that provide one-click WordPress installation.

Bluehost allows you to install WordPress with a single click. For a complete explanation, see our post on how to install WordPress with Bluehost. Even if you aren’t with Bluehost, the procedure should be very comparable since most hosting companies utilize the industry standard cPanel interface.

bluehost - installing wordpress with marketplace

Manual WordPress installation

Manual installation, as you would imagine, is not a simple (or, dare we say, enjoyable) procedure. It essentially entails first downloading WordPress on your PC, then reuploading it to your hosting provider.

Needless to say, for a hassle-free installation, we suggest choosing a hosting company that provides one-click installations. If that fails, follow this step-by-step approach to manually installing WordPress.

You should be aware of the following:

  • How to use your hosting provider to install WordPress.
  • If your hosting company doesn’t provide ‘one-click’ installation, here’s how you do it manually.

4. Select a Theme

If you’re comfortable with coding or willing to learn, one of the benefits of WordPress is that you may customize your site almost to your heart’s content. Every website, though, begins with a theme.

And, we hear you wonder, what is a theme? It’s like a website ‘template’, a ready-made sample site that you can fill with your own material and customize to your taste.

WordPress comes with a selection of pre-installed themes. You may ‘demo’ each one to see which one best suits your site’s purpose and mood. Follow these easy steps to install a free WordPress theme:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard and log in.
  2. Click ‘Themes’ after hovering over ‘Appearance.’ This will take you to the theme’s control panel.
  3. Click the ‘Add New’ button above the themes, then explore themes under ‘Featured,’ ‘Popular,’ and so on, or use the search box to look for particular industries.
  4. Demo a few themes until you find one you like, then click ‘Install’ to download it.
  5. After a few moments, a button labeled ‘Activate’ will appear beneath the theme. When you click this, the theme is yours to keep!

Select a Theme - WordPress

You may purchase a theme from a reputable third-party source like Themeforest if you want something a bit more complex and distinctive. Just keep in mind that having too many fancy additional features on your site may cause it to slow down, so just get what you need, less is more!

The following steps will show you how to install a premium theme on your website:

  1. Download your new theme’s.zip file.
  2. Go to your WordPress Dashboard and log in.
  3. Click ‘Themes’ after hovering over ‘Appearance’. This will take you to the theme’s control panel.
  4. To add a new theme, click the ‘Add New’ button above the themes. This will take you to the dashboard for your WordPress theme.
  5. At the top of the page, click the blue ‘Upload Theme’ icon.
  6. After that, you’ll be asked to choose a.zip file from your computer. Select a new theme file.
  7. A success message will appear, along with a link to activate your theme. That’s all there is to it; you’re ready to go!

The pricing of premium themes varies, but they usually range from $10 to $200. The typical cost is about $50 – $70, and this is a one-time expense.

Remember how we mentioned that choosing a theme was only the beginning of your website’s story? That’s because you have almost limitless options for customizing your site, whether you change the code directly or utilize plugins, which we’ll go over in more depth later.

And don’t worry, whether you choose with a free theme or spend for a premium one, you can always switch it up later. Even better, you don’t have to do it alone: we’ve put together a list of 17 of the finest WordPress blog themes for you to go over for some aesthetic inspiration.

WordPress is always evolving, and themes must keep up with it. Any WordPress-made themes, or those created by a responsible developer, will generate a theme update prior to the release of a WordPress update. You’ll then have to manually apply the update to ensure that your site is compatible with the latest WordPress version.

You should be aware of the following:

  • When it comes to selecting a theme, you have a variety of choices.
  • Installing both free and paid themes is simple.
  • The significance of keeping up with theme changes.

5. Add Content

Now that you’ve installed your ideal WordPress theme, it’s time to fill it with content!

The major kinds of written material on the site may be divided into two categories:

Pages

Pages are static in the sense that they will not change until you update them. The “About Us” page is an example that almost every website will feature. Many themes will display the various pages in a top-level navigation bar, or you may use the ‘Pages’ widget to list them down the side.

Go to Pages > Add New to create a new page.

Posts

These are entries that are displayed in chronological order on the homepage or in a separate “blog” section. You may make postings “sticky” so they stay at the top.

Go to Posts > Add New to start a new post.

After you’ve ‘added’ a page or post, you’ll need to fill it with your own material before pressing the ‘publish’ button to make it visible on the site. Adding any written material parts in separate “Text Blocks” is the ideal method. You may include pictures, videos, and image galleries in between (videos can be be uploaded from YouTube or similar sites) (either as a carousel of images or a selection of thumbnails).

Before clicking publish, be sure to examine any draft articles or pages.

You should be aware of the following:

  • The difference between a page and a post, and how to publish both on your site.
  • How to add pictures and movies to your website.

6. Personalize Your Website

Your site will start to look like yours after you’ve added several pages and articles. Now it’s time to take things a step further and start tailoring your site to your content’s requirements.

Of course, you may personalize your site in a variety of ways, but we’ll concentrate on four important ones here:

Change the title and tagline of your website

WordPress sets your site’s title to “Just another WordPress site” when you first put it up.

But, since you aren’t “just another WordPress site,” make sure you get things straightened up right away!

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard and log in.
  2. Navigate to ‘Settings’ and then ‘General.’
  3. Next to ‘Site Title,’ enter the title of your website.
  4. Add a few lines next to ‘Tagline’ to describe what your site is about.
  5. Press the ‘Save Changes’ button.

Include a navigation menu

This is a critical stage in the creation of any website. It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest material in the world if no one can discover it!

Most themes have at least one menu choice, while more sophisticated themes may include several options. It’s quite easy to add one:

  1. You guessed correctly! Go to your WordPress dashboard and log in.
  2. Hover your mouse above ‘Appearance,’ then choose ‘Menus.’
  3. Next to ‘Menu Name,’ give your menu a name, and then choose which pages to include from the list on the left side.
  4. You may notice numerous tick box choices under ‘Menu Settings’ for themes with multiple menu options, such as ‘primary,’ ‘secondary,’ and so on, if the theme has several menu options. For the time being, check primary; you can always alter it later if you don’t like the live version.
  5. To make your new menu live on the site, click ‘Save Menu.’

Set a homepage

You have two primary choices for your homepage: a dynamic page that changes with all of your most recent articles, or a static page that stays the same.

In either case:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard and log in.
  2. Go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Reading.’
  3. The first of them is ‘Your homepage displays’.
  4. Choose between ‘Your latest posts’ and ‘A static page.’
  5. To make your homepage changes permanent, click ‘Save Changes.’

If you pick ‘Your latest posts’, you may also choose the number of recent blog entries to display on the page at once, as well as whether you want to display the entire text or just a summary.

If you choose ‘A static page,’ be sure to create a page named ‘Blog’ (or something similar) to house all of your most recent articles.

Modify the Comment Settings

WordPress comes with a built-in comment function that is turned on by default. Comments are an excellent method to demonstrate participation and create a sense of community on your website.

However, not every site’s tone is appropriate for comments. Even if you want to leave them on yours, we highly advise you to implement a filtering step to avoid being inundated with spam:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard and log in.
  2. Go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Discussion.’
  3. Selecting ‘Comment must be manually approved’ is a good option. You’ll be able to choose whether or not to post a remark this way (new ones will appear in your dashboard).
  4. Don’t forget to click the ‘Save Changes’ button!

If you want more information about comments and all the many options you may use, we suggest visiting the WordPress.org help page.

You should be aware of the following:

  • How to alter the title and tagline of your website.
  • How to add a navigational menu to your website.
  • What are your homepage choices, and how do you customize yours.
  • How to make your site’s comments work for you.

7. Install Plugins

We’ve previously discussed them a few times, but let’s define them once and for all: what is a plugin?

Plugins allow you to add functionality to WordPress that aren’t currently available. Consider them to be similar to applications. And, much like applications, some are paid and some are free. All plugins in the WordPress plugin directory are free, much like themes; you’ll have to pay for third-party plugins, which may cost anywhere from $20 to $200. (as a one-off, or recurring cost).

WordPress users have access to over 56,000 plugins, which should cover any function you may possibly need, plus some. However, not all plugins are made equal!

Furthermore, using too many plugins can slow down your site. This will irritate your viewers and negatively impact your Google rating.

The following are some of the most popular WordPress plugins:

  1. WP Forms Contact Form is a simple yet powerful ‘drag and drop’ form builder plugin for creating customized forms to your website.
  2. Yoast SEO is a plugin that helps you improve your content for search engines.
  3. Add ecommerce capability (the ability to sell goods online) to your site with WooCommerce.

Because anybody may add a plugin to the WordPress library, it’s a mixed bag. Choose a bad plugin, and you can guarantee it won’t get that crucial update before new WordPress versions are published.

All plugins, thankfully, come with a user-generated star rating and reviews. We suggest only installing plugins that have a few hundred downloads and good ratings. As they say, there’s safety in numbers!

install plugins - featured wordpress plugins

This is how you install a plugin on your website:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard and log in.
  2. Navigate to ‘Plugins’ and then ‘Add New.’
  3. To find particular plugins or the general functionality you’re searching for, use the search box on the top right hand side.
  4. Once you’ve discovered one you like, check out the reviews and ratings to determine whether it’s a reliable option.
  5. Once you’ve made your decision, click the ‘Install Now’ option.
  6. You’ll get a completion message and be asked to click “Activate Plugin” after WordPress has completed downloading the plugin.
  7. After that, go to settings to customize your plugin (each one will have a different process for this).

The procedure for installing third-party plugins is similar to that of installing third-party themes. For additional information, we suggest checking out WordPress.org’s plugin support guide.

Remember to keep a look out for updates and install them as soon as possible!

You should be aware of the following:

  • What a plugin is!
  • How to tell the difference between the excellent ones and the shady ones.
  • Some of the most well-known plugins.
  • Installing plugins on your website.

8. Update !

And with that, we’ve arrived to the end of our segment!

You might have the most beautiful WordPress site in the world, but if you don’t keep up with theme and plugin changes, it’ll be for nothing!

When a big WordPress update comes along, not only will your site most likely cease functioning correctly, but you’ll also expose yourself to hackers and malware. It’s a no-brainer to update.

To see whether anything has changed, go to:

  1. Access your WordPress dashboard by logging in.
  2. Select ‘Update Options’ from the drop-down menu.
  3. Updates may be found under the different tabs (plugins, themes, etc.) or in the ‘General’ section.

It’s simple to accept each update one at a time or schedule them to update automatically from here (either all, or individually).

Also, keep in mind that your domain and hosting contracts will need to be renewed at some point.

You should be aware of the following:

  • It’s critical to keep your plugins and theme up to date!
  • How to manually install updates or set up an automated updating system.

9. Conclusion on Using WordPress

That’s all there is to it! Thank you for staying with us this far.

Here’s a short rundown of our 8 WordPress success steps:

Step To put it simply
1. Get a Domain Name Purchase and register a domain name. Choose a name that is straightforward and distinctive, ideally ending in .com.
2. Sign up with a Web Hosting Company Sign up for a hosting account to claim your own piece of the internet. Consider Bluehost, a WordPress hosting specialist, and start with a shared or cheaper VPS hosting package while your site gets up and running.
3. Install WordPress If your hosting company supports it, you can install WordPress with a single click (if it's supported), or manually if it isn't.
4. Select a Theme The good times are about to begin! Choose a theme to serve as the foundation for your website's design. Choose from the many free options provided by WordPress, or invest on something more distinctive from a trusted third-party source.
5. Add Content Make your site your own by adding pages, articles, and pictures.
6. Personalize Your Website Make some quick housekeeping checks to ensure everything is in order and your site is ready to go.
7. Install Plugins Plugins may help you take your site to the next level by adding additional features and assisting with things like SEO and spam screening.
8. Update ! Keep an eye on your dashboard's updates area and accept updates as soon as they become available. Consider automating at least some (if not all) of them.

Remember, if all of this seems like too much effort, you have another option: website builders! They provide domains, hosting, themes, and applications – all for one low monthly cost – and are simple to use for anybody. Furthermore, the majority of them provide free trials! To determine whether they’re a suitable fit for you, look at our website builder comparison chart.

Have you ever created a WordPress site? Do you have any helpful hints to share? Let us know what you think in the comments!

* This article includes affiliate links, which means we will earn a small commission if you click on one of the product links and then buy the item. But don't worry; you'll still be charged the regular rate, so there's no extra expense to you.

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