This is a detailed step by step guide on how to make WordPress website for someone creating a WordPress site for the first time. I covered everything. And I mean everything to make a functional WordPress website (about 8000 words long with lots of pictures to work you through each step!). This is the most comprehensive guide you’ll find online on how to make a WordPress website.
Creating a Website with WordPress
Before I get into how to create WordPress website, let me quickly clear up something just in case you didn’t know.
A WordPress website is also a blog. A blog is a type of a website. So if you’re asking how to make WordPress website you’re also saying how do I create WordPress blog. There are different ways to create a website; using WordPress is one way and the most popular way.
If you want to read about other options for creating a blog or why WordPress is the best for making a blog or a website, you should first read the article on how to make blog.
Often people offline who don’t know better, when you talk about creating a website, they think about hiring a developer to code a website. But the time of hiring a developer to set up a website for an individual or small business owner even a fortune 500 company has faded out (except for special website requirements). Now, with the help of WordPress anyone with or without knowledge of HTML and CSS can have a website up in minutes. Even though to create a functional website, with everything ready for launch will take more than a few minutes, it’s not hard to do. This guide has especially made the process easy for you to do.
To make a functional WordPress website there are four major steps involved:
Step 1: Buy a domain name.
Step 2: Buy web hosting.
Step 4: Customize Your New WordPress Website.
- Change your Auto generated Admin Area Password
- Make Necessary Settings for a New WordPress Website
- Find and Install a Befitting WordPress Theme
- Design and Upload a Custom logo
- Upload a Favicon
- Install Necessary WordPress Plugins
- How to create a Page in WordPress
- Setting up a Static Front page for WordPress website
- How to create a post in WordPress
- Editing and adding content to your website sidebar
- Making Money with your WordPress website
If this seem like a lot to do, you should consider hiring my service. I’ll complete all the steps for you and more. Read about my WordPress website service.
If you’re ready to DIY your WordPress website, then let’s get started.
I buy all my domain names from Godaddy. And I host all my WordPress sites with Hostgator. I have worked with both companies for a few years now and they are very good at what they do. So the three steps to setup a WordPress website that I demonstrated below was done using their services. You don’t have to use their services if for some reason you don’t want to. For example there are reviews of other quality web site hosting services on the site. You can read some of them and see if you’d rather use another hosting service instead. But if you do, you’d have to figure out for yourself how to create a website using those services. It likely wouldn’t be very different from how I’ve demonstrated it here. However my recommendation is you don’t get yourself unnecessarily confused. Trust this guide and follow the exact process to make a WordPress website.
What is domain name?
A domain name, that is yoursitename.com is a web address that allows anyone to access your website content (text, images, videos etc) on a web browser. Domain names are registered and sold by domain registrars. And they come with different extensions. The popular extensions are .com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info. When you buy a domain name, it is only uniquely yours in the extension you have it. If you don’t want someone else to use the same name in another popular extensions you will have to buy the name in those extensions too. For example yoursitewebhosting.com, the domain of this site that you’re on is only unique to this site in the .com extension. Someone else could go buy yoursitewebhosting.net and start a website on it. And yet another buy yoursitewebhosting.info and start a website on it. Although it’s not necessary to buy all extensions of a website domain name, but if you’re starting a website for your company and using your company name as the domain name and you don’t want someone else buying the name in other domain extensions, you should buy all extensions of the name when starting out. You can even use the .com extension as the default domain for the site and forward all other extensions of the name to that default domain.
To buy a domain name is not expensive. It cost about $15 a year to register and buy a domain name from one of the top domain name registrars, Godaddy. However Godaddy has coupon codes that can reduce that cost to as low as 99 cent ($0.99) for your first year. When the first year you paid for expires, to continue to use your domain name you will have to renew it otherwise it will become available in the domain market for someone else to buy it.
So what name should you use as your website domain? You need to give this some serious thought as a domain name can not be changed later except you buy a new one. A domain name is the identity of your website. The name you choose can be the beginning of the success of your site. There are a few things to consider and why, when choosing a domain name. And I have discussed these in the article on how to choose a domain name. Read that article, pick some options for a domain name and go to the article on how to buy web domain from Godaddy to follow a step by step process of buying your domain name from Godaddy.
What is web hosting?
Your website content has to be hosted on a server for it to be accessible on the web. Hosting companies allow individuals, small business owners and professional brand builders the opportunity to pay for server space with them according to their content needs to store their website content. When you buy web hosting, you upload your web content to their server. And the host’s job is to deliver your website files to whomever requests it as fast as possible every time they ask for it.
For better understanding of how domain name and hosting work, think about how a SIM card and your cell phone work together to serve you.
There are a lot of hosting companies and many of them have what’s required for hosting a WordPress website. However I use Hostgator to host all my WordPress sites. I’ve written a lot on the site on why I use Hostgator and why you should. If you’ll like to read some of the reasons I use Hostgator and what they offer, you should read the article where I discussed Hostgator as the top web site hosting company.
If you’ll like to learn about web hosting and get answers to your questions, if any, you should first go read a detailed guide I provided on web hosting that I titled hosting web website. If you’d rather watch a video, see the video I did on web hosting buyers guide.
When you’re ready to complete this second step, follow my step by step guide below on how to buy hosting from Hostgator and Install WordPress on Hostgator.
How to Buy Hosting From Hostgator
Hostgator made its name long ago as a top web hosting company because it offers quality hosting at a cheap price. Hostgator has three web hosting packages.
The Hatchling Plan cost $8.95/month. The Baby Plan cost $9.95/month. A little less if you’re on a 6 months and above billing plan.
Hostgator automatically applied 20% discount on its web hosting packages to offer quality hosting to you as low as $3.96. However you can save even more on Hostgator hosting. As an affiliate of Hostgator, I have the privilege of offering you 25% discount coupon on your web hosting order price instead of the 20% Hostgator offers. With the 25% coupon you can pay for hosting for 6 months or above in advance and save really big on hosting cost.
But if you’re starting with a monthly billing, then I have a coupon that bills your first month of hosting for only one cent ($0.01) and afterwards you either pay $8.95 or $9.95 a month for your hosting.
RedeemHostgator994Coupon (use to get first month for $0.01)
KayHostgator25PercentOFF (25% OFF coupon code)
Now let’s buy a web hosting from Hostgator really cheap.
Go to Hostgator.com (link opens in a new window browser) and click on the big yellow button “Get Started Now!”
You will see three hosting packages to choose from just like the image above. The cheapest package ‘Hatchling Plan’ is all you need to get started. However you may want to consider buying the Baby Plan instead if you intend to create another website soon and you’re not on a budget, because on the Hatchling Plan you can only host one site whereas you can host unlimited sites on the Baby Plan. But if you’re not hoping to start another site anytime soon, go for the Hatchling Plan, it allows you to save a bit more on Hostgator hosting than what you can already save. You can always upgrade to Baby Plan later when you need the unlimited websites feature it offers.
As at writing this tutorial Hostgator was running a 55% OFF discount which would have expired when you’re reading this. However you may see the hosting coupon Hostgator page to see if any of such offers is currently available. If not, use any of the coupons above to save more on Hostgator hosting. Since there’s a 55% OFF I won’t be needing the 25% discount. So I’ll just run the tutorial using the one cent coupon. Remember if you’re paying for 6 months and above hosting in advance, which I recommend you do if you can afford to, the 25% coupon is a much better deal for you.
Click on Sign Up under Hatchling Plan. And you’re taken to the order form.
You can also buy domain name from Hostgator however I don’t recommend it. And for good reasons you’d find in the article on hosting web website. I’d expect that you would already have your domain name before completing this step.
If you already have your domain name click “I Already Own This Domain”. And enter your domain name. Or you can also decide to buy your domain name from Hostgator if you haven’t, it’s your choice.
Fill the rest of the form. Most of it is self explanatory.
For “Additional Services” Hostgator by default checked SiteLock and CodeGuard for you. They are both great services however you don’t need SiteLock, WordPress has built in security for your website. And for CodeGuard, although you do need a website data backup plan, you can ignore that for now. So uncheck the services. Enter the coupon code you wish to use. Click “Validate” to activate the coupon code you pasted. Check terms and click “Check Out Now”.
When you’re done, Hostgator will send you an email that will contain some important information for using your hosting account and setting up your site on your hosting account that you have to write down somewhere. So you never lose it.
Open that email. It’s going to look like this:
Confirmed! Now you have a hosting account.
With a domain name and a web hosting already purchased, we have all we need to make WordPress website.
How to Make WordPress Website
WordPress is a free open-source application that comes pre-installed in most hosting accounts. Popular hosting companies have a one click installer that enables you to install WordPress on your hosting account with just one click. Although there’s another way to install WordPress, this is the easiest way and the recommended way for beginners to WordPress setup to do it to afford running into any problem.
Before you install WordPress on your hosting account, if you bought your domain name from Godaddy like I suggested, then you need to first go to Godaddy to change your Godaddy domain Name Servers to Hostgators’.
These information are included in the account info Hostgator sent you. It won’t take more than a minute to have your Godaddy domain name connected to your Hostgator account.
Go to Godaddy.com and login to your account.
Click on “MANAGE” on the right of DOMAINS.
Click on the domain name you wish to use for your website.
Where it says NameServers click “Manage”
Check “Custom”. And click on “Enter Custom nameservers”.
Copy and paste the first NameServer and second NameServer from the account info Hostgator sent you. And click “Ok”. Then click “Save” and you’re done!
If you don’t see the Nameservers for the domain name change to that of Hostgator immediately, refresh the Domain Details page and you will notice the change.
How to Install WordPress on Hostgator
Login to your Hostgator control panel. The link is among the details you received for your Hostgator account info. Immediately you login, you’ll see a popup come up trying to see if you need help getting started. Click the “No. I’m fine. Thanks!” and scroll down the page to where it says, “Softwares/Services”.
Click on “QuickInstall”.
By your left under “Blog Software” click “WordPress”.
Fill out the form.
For Application URL leave the drop down at the domain name where you want to install WordPress and leave the space below it blank. So that your blog is installed and displayed at yoursitename.com. The only time you’d fill this out is if you want to install WordPress on a subdomain e.g yourdomainname.com/blog. Then you should enter ‘blog’ in the space below it. In most cases it should be left blank since you’re installing WordPress on your main domain.
Fill out the rest of the form. You can always change the information you enter at this stage later in your WordPress website dashboard; well except for the Username. For username most webmasters leave it at Admin, although it helps the security of your website if you don’t use something as simple as Admin that can easily be guessed. If you don’t want to use ‘Admin’ as your username, make sure to use something else here because it can’t be changed once you click Install Now. Make sure to Check “Enable Auto Upgrades”. What that does is it will automatically upgrade your WordPress to a latest version when it becomes available.
Click “Install Now”. And you’re done!
Hurry! You’ve just set up your first WordPress website aka WordPress blog.
Hostgator will send you an email that contains your login information above and some article links to guide you in customizing your new WordPress website.
Go to your website http://yoursitename.com (change “yoursitename” to your actual site domain name) to see your website live!
It will look something like this:
First thing you should do before you forget is to change the auto generated password of your WordPress website admin area. To do this click on the Admin Area link (http://yoursitename.com/wp-admin).
Use your username and auto generated password to login to your WordPress website dashboard.
Point your mouse to the top right corner where it says “Howdy Admin” click on “Edit My Profile”.
Scroll down to “New Password”. Enter your password in the “New Password” and “Repeat Password” rows.
Make sure to use a combination of alphabets, numbers and symbols to make your password very strong.
And click “Update Profile”.
Make sure to write your password down somewhere if it’s not something you can remember off hand.
Click on “Settings” below the left hand side navigation of your dashboard. And click on each section one after the other to check the settings and adjust them to how you want it.
Settings – General
Enter a site title and tagline. A tagline is simply a short and sharp description of your site.
WordPress Address (URL) is the address you want people to type in their browser to reach your WordPress website.
Site Address (URL) is the address where your WordPress core files reside.
Both URL are very important to your site working properly. Changing one or both in any way can prevent your site from working properly. So the recommendation is to leave both the way they are.
For “Membership” check “Anyone can register” if you want people to be able to register to your website. And if you check it, then assign a role to them, perhaps as a contributor or a subscriber. If you’re not yet sure whether or not you want people to be able to register to the site, simply leave it unchecked.
Settings – Writing
Leave everything as they are.
Settings – Reading
How would you like the front page, the home page, of your website to display? Would you prefer to have it display like a typical blog with only your latest posts on the home page or would you like to have it display like a traditional website where you have a home page display different from the Blog display just like this website is set up. If you click to the home page of this site, and then click to the Blog, you’ll quickly notice that their display is different. With the home page I showcase some of the very important content on the website including recent posts, since after all it’s still a blog and an essential feature of a blog is to display latest posts on the home page.
So you decide. And make the necessary setting. If you want your website to have a Home page and a Blog, then tick “A Static page” for front page display. However before you do that, you should already have created a page to use as the static page (Home) and a page to use as the Blog. If you’re going for a static home page, it’s better you wait to choose a theme first before adjusting the setting here. They’re likely to give instruction on how you can activate this feature using their theme.
Except you’re creating a private blog do not check “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”.
Settings – Discussion
This is straight forward. You decide whether you want to welcome reader comment on your website. And if you do, how you want to handle the comments submitted. If you do decide to welcome comments, make sure to set that the comment be held for moderation to monitor spam on your site.
Settings – Media
Leave as it is.
Settings – Permalinks
Permalinks is how you want the URL for your posts and pages to read. This is very important for search engine optimization so that your site can get free traffic from search engines like Google. Tick “Post name” and save changes.
Settings – WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache plugin is a free plugin that comes pre-installed on your blog. You can deactivate this but I recommend you don’t. To explain what the plugin does in simple terms, it makes your site page load faster.
There are thousands of beautiful professionally designed WordPress themes that you can choose from to give your site the look and feel you want.
What to look out for when choosing a WordPress theme
It should be Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly. Meaning it should especially make use of headline tags (<h1> for your posts headlines and <h2> or lower for your content sub headlines).
It should be responsive. Your whole website should automatically resize to fit any mobile device, smartphone and tablet. Google recently started using website responsiveness to different devices as a signal for website ranking on their mobile search.
Preferably two columns.
And should meet every other needs you have. For example if you want to have a static home page, your theme must support it so that you get the display exactly how you want it. And if you want to make money directly from your website and you intend to rely heavily on ads to earn, then you also need your theme to have ads space built in. Especially ad space on the header of the theme.
Where to find WordPress themes
Finding a WordPress theme that meet the looks and needs of your site is time consuming. But however long it takes you to get the right one for your site is time well spent because the look and feel and functionality of your site which starts with the theme you use is important to your website success.
Thankfully there are libraries to find free and paid professionally designed WordPress themes. You can use a free theme; some of them look really great one can hardly tell it’s free. However paid themes look more professional and elegant with premium features.
The real difference between a free and paid theme is that not as many people will have access to the same theme as you. If you can afford to, buy a premium theme and have access to premium features. Professional premium WordPress themes sell for an average of $57 one time or yearly payment.
The first place you should visit to find a befitting premium theme for your website is ElegantThemes.com. They offer you access to 87 beautiful themes for the price of one. You can choose to either pay for a yearly access or lifetime access to the 87 premium themes.
If for some reason you want to look somewhere else for a premium theme, ThemeForest.net has a huge library of professional elegant themes for any budget. Click the link to visit the site. Once on the site you might want to click WordPress to fasten your search.
How to Install WordPress themes
When you have purchased a premium theme, download it. It will be in a zip file. Don’t unzip it. Go to your dashboard. Place your mouse on “Appearance” in your navigation and a drop down will appear. Click on “Themes” from the drop down.
Click on “Add New”
Click “Browse” to select your zip file from your computer. Then click “Install Now”.
Once the theme is installed. Click “Activate”. And your site will automatically take on the new theme.
Now go to the front page of your site to see how it looks.
Working with Free themes
If you can’t afford a paid theme right now, it’s okay to use a free theme.
If you’re using a free theme, the only place I recommend to get a free theme is from WordPress.org/themes otherwise you run the risk of installing a theme with malicious code that can affect your server and website badly. But keep in mind that you will have to pay for a Pro version of a free theme you like if you want to access all the features it has. But of course there are many free WordPress themes with great features that will serve your website needs without you needing to pay for the Pro version of the theme.
You can access WordPress themes library right from your dashboard.
Place your mouse on “Appearance”. And click on “Themes” from the drop down. Then click on “WordPress.org Themes”.
Go through the Featured themes, if you can’t find something you like. Click on “Popular”. Then “Latest”. Or use Feature Filter.
To use the Feature Filter, tick the colors of theme you’re looking for. Choose the layout and other features you want. And click “Apply Filter”.
In other to get more theme options when you use the filter, do not check more than 3 features for the filter.
When you find a theme you like, place your mouse over it and you will see an option to either preview it or install it. Click “Preview”. It will preview on your blog. If you like it click “Install” on the left hand side of the preview.
For a more effective search, go to the address WordPress.org/themes to do your search instead of doing it through your dashboard. If you do the search from WordPress.org website , then you can see a “Demo” of the themes you like; at least for some themes.
A demo shows you the complete display on a website. From the demo you can see the front page content display style, and use the navigation to see how the theme looks in different layouts.
When you find a theme on the website hover your mouse on the theme. You’ll see “More Info”.
Note: You can change your WordPress theme as often as you like. It won’t delete any settings and or content you already have on the site.
Having a unique logo for your website is important in setting your website or business apart from others. Online, after a domain name, a logo is the next identity for your website. Create a logo that matches the essence of your business, brand, organization or website.
If this is a website for a local business and you already have a logo offline, simply use it for your website. If you don’t yet have a logo, create one.
If you have a bit of design skills, you can use one of the free online image tools to create a logo for your website. Or even use MS Paint. But if you’re not a design person, don’t know what color goes with what like myself, no problem. You can get a really good logo design for under $50 from Fiverr. Fiverr.com is a place where you can get any service for $5. However $5 is just the basic price. And the service you get for that price is usually very basic. But spend a little bit more by buying extra gigs and you are likely to get something really good.
When you have your logo, to upload it to your website, go to “Appearance” in your dashboard left navigation and click on “Customize”
Favicon a short term for Favorites Icon and it’s a small icon or image that appears next to a website URL.
A favicon is necessary for a few reasons:
For identification; especially for your readers who bookmark your site. Often people have a lot saved in their bookmarks; and for sites that use favicon these little images appear before the title of the page saved in the bookmark. This helps the bookmarker to easily remember what the page and site is about when sorting through saved bookmarks.
For quick recognition in bookmarks.
It adds that extra professional touch to your site. In fact in the make money online niche, some visitors to a site can even look down on the expert level of the site’s author if the site has no favicon attached.
Best Image to use for your site’s Favicon
If the website is a personal website e.g yourname.com or website where you’re the product or if the website will mostly be selling your services e.g consultation, coaching and freelancing it’s best to use a photo of you. However for a website serving other purpose you should use your logo, the initials of your site’s name if it’s between 2-3 words long, an image that relates with your site’s content.
How to upload a favicon will depend on your theme. If your theme has “Theme Options” then when you click on it under Appearance you’ll likely find the option to upload a Favicon. If not, then you’ll find the option when you click on “Customize” under Appearance.
Plugins are extensions that are built to expand WordPress capabilities. With plugins you can add any feature or function you want to your WordPress site that didn’t come built in. Instead of building a feature from scratch, plugins serve as the shortcut to adding varying features to your website. From something as simple as using a plugin to create big action buttons, tables etc on your site to something as serious as adding a forum and an online store to your WordPress website.
The ability to use Plugins, as many of them as you need for your site is what makes WordPress irresistible for making a website. There are hundreds of WordPress plugins, mostly free, that you can choose from.
One caveat though. Too many plugins installed can slow down your site and cause visitors frustrations when trying to load your website page. So ONLY install plugins that you really need.
How to Install WordPress Plugins
Just like installing a WordPress theme, there are two ways to install a WordPress plugin.
1. If you know the exact name of the plugin, place your mouse on “Plugins” in your navigation. And click on “Add New”.
Type the name of the plugin in the search box. And click the Enter key in your computer. It will come up with some search results. Usually if the plugin name you entered is an existing WordPress plugin it will be the first on the search result.
From there you just click the “Install Now” button in the plugin description.
And then after it has installed, click “Activate Plugin”.
If it’s a plugin that needs to be configured, you will see a link to do so below the plugin in your list of installed plugins or under “Settings” in the left side navigation.
2. Instead of searching for the plugin, you download it from the plugin details page at WordPress.org/plugins and then click “Add New”. And click “Upload plugin”. Upload your plugin in .zip format. Activate it and you’re done.
Must have WordPress plugins
WP Super Cache: Basically, this plugin makes your site load faster. If you wish to know how it does that, read the details here. It’s pre-installed for you. Leave it at the default settings.
Akismet: Most popularly used to protect WordPress website from spam. Pre-installed in WordPress. You’ll have to take a few actions to get it to start doing its job.
Place your mouse over “Plugins” in your navigation. And click on “Installed Plugins”. Akismet will be first on the list.
Click “Activate” below it.
Click ” Sign up for an Akismet API key”.
Click the big button “GET AN AKISMET API KEY”.
You need a WordPress.com account to be able to get the key. So create an account if you don’t already have one.
When you’ve created your account, sign in. It will ask you to choose a package.
Click “Sign Up” under the basic package.
Below “What is Akismet worth to you?” drag the scroll to the left until it shows $0.00/yr. Well except you have some money to pay.
Click “Continue”. And your key will be displayed.
Follow the instructions provided to activate the key and get your Akismet plugin into action.
All In One SEO Pack: This plugin optimizes your blog and content for the search engines. With it you can use tags for your posts, meta description and more.
There are some configuration you have to make after installing the plugin. Go to your list of installed plugins. Within the description for All In One SEO Pack click “Options configuration panel” use the settings in the image below to make some adjustment. You will only have to adjust a few things since most of the default settings is appropriate.
For Home Title and Home Description. What you enter here is important to your search ranking. You want to make sure you include in your Home Title and Description your major website content keywords. Keywords are simply the exact search terms searchers type into a search engine when looking for information about a topic. There are free and premium keyword research tools that you can use to research for these keywords beforehand. A popular free keyword tool is Google Keyword Planner. When you have these keywords make sure to include the ones with low competition that best describe your site’s primary content in your Home Title and Description. But when you do, make sure it reads in a natural way. Although sometimes you have to find the fine line between writing good grammar and using exact keywords.
The Home page title for this site is:
“Your Site Web Hosting – WordPress And Website Hosting Guide”
The Home page description is:
“Your site web hosting. Beginners guide on hosting WordPress web, hosting web website. Company hosting web. Review web host. Make a website tutorials and articles.”
There are a few good keywords in that title. Especially the description.
When you’re typing your title and description watch the character limit. Yellow means you’re almost reaching the limit. Red means you’ve gone beyond the limit. Do not go beyond the limits.
When and if you do Webmaster verification, create a Google plus profile and Google Analytics account do fill out the appropriate columns.
Now that the plugin is activated, when you write a post or page, you’ll have a section for All In One SEO pack to fill out to optimize every of your post for search ranking.
Google XML Sitemaps: A sitemap is a page that contain a list of pages of a web site that can be accessed by search engine crawlers and site users. The benefit of a sitemap is that it helps search engines to easily discover new and updated URLs on your website which allow for faster crawling of your new pages. Manually maintaining a sitemap is a boring task. Especially because you can easily forget to update it. The Google XML Sitemaps plugin helps you handle this boring task. It generates a special XML sitemap and automatically updates it whenever you add new content or update an old one.
When you activate the plugin it automatically generates a sitemap for your website. Click on “Settings” in the navigation just below the description of the plugin.
You’ll notice the sitemap link it has created for your site. And you’ll also notice that it says “Search engines haven’t been notified yet”.
You’ll need to write a post to let them know about your sitemap.
JetPack by WordPress.com: This is a single plugin that has a lot of features built in. You can add several features to your site just from this one plugin. Such as adding social sharing buttons on your posts, automatically publish website update on your social media profiles, get web traffic stats right in your website dashboard, etc.
One caveat: This plugin is big in size. Its 7MB. Meaning it can slow down your site.
However it’s a plugin with some cool features you need and it’s pre-installed in WordPress. So what you do is to go through the features and activate only the features you really need. And then install a plugin called “Manual control for Jetpack”. By default the Jetpack plugin activates all new features for you. This manual control for Jetpack prevents that.
To see the features and activate the ones you need, you need to connect Jetpack to your WordPress.com account because the service is offered by WordPress.com
Enter your WordPress.com login info. And click “Authorize Jetpack”.
When you click Authorize Jetpack it takes you back to your dashboard, to the plugin features page.
The really important features to activate will be:
- Related Posts
Some of the features after activating them you will see a “configure” link. Click to make configuration where necessary.
Contact Form 7: The easiest way to add a contact form to your website. Over one million websites use contact form 7 for their website forms.
To add a contact form to your site using Contact form 7 is very easy. In fact it’s a simple matter of copying a shortcode already created for you and add it to a new page.
After you activate the plugin. Go to your list of plugins and click “Settings” below the plugin.
You can easily edit the form. And save. Then copy the shortcode to a new page you will name “Contact” or whatever you want.
To avoid or reduce email spam I recommend you enable Captcha on your forms. Captcha is a system that is put in place to distinguish human from machine input.
To do this with Contact Form 7, you have to install another plugin called “Really Simple CAPTCHA”.
After you install the plugin as you’re editing your form click on Captcha.
Click to my contact page to see a demo of the captcha in action.
Plugins you may need as your site grows
WP e-commerce: To add a store to your WordPress website.
bbPress: To add a forum to your WordPress website.
BuddyPress: To add a social network to WordPress website.
Your website is installed. Necessary settings made. Plugins installed to add certain functionalities. Now it’s time to add your content.
To add content to a WordPress site, you either use Posts or Pages.
Posts are best used for your regular content since posts can be better optimized for search engines; even better presented for your readers because it allows for the use of tags, categories, and keyword titles in your All In One SEO pack settings for individual posts.
You see, the settings for post title and page title is different.
For post it displays just the title of the page. So you have 60 characters to write your post title. For page it displays the title of the page along with the blog title. Usually the blog title takes all 60 characters that you can’t write a title for your page without exceeding the 60 character limit. You can of course adjust these settings if you wish to use pages to write your regular website content.
Pages are best used for admin pages such as About, Contact, Privacy, Disclaimer, Home and Blog for when you’re using a static home page. And any other kind of admin pages you wish to add.
To add a page place your mouse over “Pages” in the dashboard left navigation. And click on “Add New”.
A page editor comes up. Something similar to Microsoft Word.
There are a few icons you can use to enhance your content. Just mouse over the different icons and there will be a popup that tells you their function.
You can add images to your page by clicking on “Add Media”.
When you’re done with your page, you can scroll down to the All In One SEO pack settings section. And add a title and description for your page. If it’s an admin page, I don’t bother filling this out.
For page attributes under “Template” change to the one you would prefer if you don’t want to use the default template.
For “Order”, type 1 if this is your home page. What this simply means is where you want this page to be in your navigation line up.
Below page attributes you will see an option to “set a featured image”. Click on the link to upload an image if you want. If not, ignore it.
When you done with the page simply click “Publish” in the top right corner. And your page will be live on your site.
Now that you know how to create a page. Let’s re-visit the topic of setting up a static front page for your site.
A static page is a page that never changes its content. If you use a static page for your home page, then your home page’s content remains the same even when you make updates to your site. By default a WordPress blog automatically shows your latest posts on your home page. However more and more WordPress websites are going against the default setup and using static front page instead.
There are a few reasons to use a static page:
- To quickly draw a visitor’s attention to important pages on your site instead of just the latest pages that may not interest the visitor at that particular time.
- To make a clear call to action for your most wanted response from your website visitors.
So here’s how to set up a static front page.
Create two simple pages. Title one “Home”. Title the other “Blog.
These pages should have no content in them.
For “Order” give Home 1 and Blog 2.
Fill out the All In One SEO section.
For Home, the title should simply be Home.
For Blog the title should be Blog.
Home description should describe your website focus including keywords.
Blog description should describe your blog content focus including keywords.
For example here’s the description for this website blog page.
The only time you should fill out something else in the form is when you write admin pages such as privacy, disclaimer and contact that you don’t need to show up in search results. To tell search engines not to index those pages you will check the “Robots Meta NOINDEX”.
Publish both pages.
Now go back to “Settings” – “Reading” and adjust your settings.
To add your content to your static page or home page, the way you saw it on the theme you choose, you will have to follow the instructions provided for your theme.
Add your Pages to Menu
To add your pages to your website navigation, header and or footer, you need to create a menu for them.
Go to “Appearance” click “Menus”
If you’re using a theme other than the default WordPress theme, your theme is likely to use more options for “theme locations” so that you can add navigation to your footer and even social links.
The process to create a page and a post is similar. Except for post we add other things like tags and create categories to organize our posts into sub-topics for your niche.
There are two ways to create Categories. Either create some categories for your posts beforehand. Or create categories as you write your content and they become relevant.
To create some categories before you even start writing your content, go to “Posts” in your navigation – click “Categories”.
WordPress comes with a default category called “Uncategorized”. There is no option to delete that category. And if not deleted it shows up among your categories as “Uncategorized” if you have them displayed on your website. So what you can do is edit that uncategorized category to create your first category.
For “Slug” repeat your category name. If the name is more than one words, use hyphens in between the words.
To create a post go to “Posts” and click “Add New”.
Same as writing a page. Type your content. Something I didn’t mention before. When writing your page or post you write in the “Visual” editor NOT “Text”. The visual editor shows your content the way it will be displayed when published. The “Text” editor shows the HTML version of the content. You can switch between editors when editing your content if for some reason you need to manually add something in there. But do switch back to “Visual” when you’re done to continue editing your content.
You will notice that your sidebar, the right or left column of your site is crowded right now. By default WordPress add somethings to your sidebar such as Recent posts, Recent comments, Meta, Archives and Categories.
You can delete all or some of those things from your sidebar. And use the place for more important information.
To delete items from your sidebar, go to “Appearance” on your left navigation and click on “Widgets”. Every item currently on your sidebar is a widget you can leave there, edit or delete.
You’re likely to have more widgets on the right to edit when you change your theme from the default WordPress theme. In that case you should follow the documentation for your theme to edit them.
You’re All Set! Launch your new WordPress Website
Congratulations! You have successfully created your first WordPress website. If you followed the process step by step by now you should have a functional WordPress website or at least know the steps to take to make a functional WordPress website.
I made sure not to leave anything out. And I did everything I could to make things as simple to follow as possible. However if there’s something you can’t figure out, or you have questions please leave a comment below. Don’t contact me privately for that. Ask your questions in the comment below and I’ll respond to it.
If you have followed this tutorial to create your WordPress website, please leave me a comment to say that. And do add to your comment the address of the website you created using this guide. It will be great to know how many people are using this guide. Plus I’m likely to check out your site if you leave the address.
It took me about a week of active writing, taking screenshots and editing content and images to put together this complete guide on how to make WordPress website. My aim was to make it the most complete guide for a beginner on making a WordPress website. If you found this tutorial helpful please use the share buttons below to share this post with your friends on popular social media platforms and or email it to someone you know has been wanting to create a Website. I’ll really appreciate that.
Can I Hire you to Make my WordPress website?
The whole essence of putting the time to create this WordPress guide for beginners is so that you can do it yourself and not have to pay for it. However I do understand that not everyone can put in the time or want to. So yes, if you can’t just put the time or just want it done for you, you can hire me to make your website for you.
Here’s what you get when you hire me:
I’ll complete every step I took you through in this guide.
Have someone at Fiverr design a professional logo for you within 48 hours.
I’ll buy and install a premium theme on the site.
I’ll do keyword research for your niche using my premium keyword research tool and get you at least 50 keywords with low competition that you can optimize your blog for and write posts on for quick search ranking. If necessary, I’ll add a short keyword research report (my observation and advice).
Cost: $299 or $399
I debated within myself whether I really want to offer this service because it will take lots of my time. I finally decided to offer this service so that there’s nothing stopping you from creating your own Website.
Read more about my WordPress website service.
Are you starting a WordPress website to make money through blogging? If so, you can avoid all the guess work by signing up now to my 30 day making money through blogging e-course let me take you step by step through starting and quickly growing your blog to make money blogging. The course is free if you sign up now.
Don’t forget, you, your friends and colleagues can make a WordPress website yourselves following this comprehensive step by step guide on how to make WordPress website. Use the social buttons below to share this guide. You can even email some colleagues and friends.