FREE guide for website setup
Three steps in this guide
You will learn the methods of…..
Let me explain how you can create a website in an easy way:
It’s Easy and ‘Up-to-Date’
Platform Specific (WordPress)
You have no need to spend money on costly web builders. Your website can be set up in the correct way and on a correct platform.
In this guide your will learn three quick steps about how to….
1. Select a platform for building your website
2. Select an address for your website (www.) and host
3. Setup you website, design it well and tweak your website
STEP #1: Select a platform for building your website
First of all, you have to select that with what platform you want to build your website. There is no need to worry about presentation, color schemes or domain names at the beginning.
What is meant by a “platform”?
Well, previously, most of the websites were created by using HTML code, CSS and Flash. There were difficult to master and required much time to be learnt.
That’s the reason because most people still think that creating a website is difficult or requires a much of coding and design skills – but that’s not the case anymore!
In 2016, content management systems (CMS) like WordPress have made creating a website accessible to everyone.
In simple words, a content management system (CMS or web building platform) is a user-friendly platform for building websites and managing your own online content, instead of using a bunch of loose HTML pages.
3 of the most Popular Web Building Platforms for the year 2016
Image and data credit: OpenSourceCMS.com
On the internet about half of the websites are running on the WordPress website platform.
Why WordPress is better than other platforms?
It is because; at this point there is no better way to build a website. But more significantly:
- 1. it’s FREE, and offers several themes/layouts to select from.
WordPress doesn’t cost you money for downloading or installation, and there’s a great community having themes and templates, which makes it easier to get you going fast. This way you’ll never run out of distinctiveness…
- 2. Its beginner-friendly.
If you really know the methods to use Microsoft Word, you already know the method to add your content. WordPress can be extended with its free Plug-ins in order to manage just about any site, whether it be from business page to social networking websites. With “Plug-ins” you can add picture galleries, contact forms, subscription forms and much more things to your website.
- 3. Small or large site? Great for both.
From blogs to beautiful business websites and online stores, WordPress can manage about any type of website. WordPress is used by eBay, Mozilla, Reuters, CNN, Google Ventures and even NASA.
- 4. Your becomes responsive, which means it will also work on mobiles & tablets.
The site you build will immediately be open and responsive; it will look great on every device like mobiles, Smartphone and tablets. There will be no need to hire a special web developer for that.
- 5. HUGE developer community and support available for help.
With many of the people using this platform (Bloggers, Theme developers, Webmasters, and Plug-in creators), it’s easier to find rapid help in case if you need. Additionally, WordPress offers many free resources that are available on their support forum.
Here is are example of blog page and homepage:
Definitely, there are many other website building/content management platforms, too.
Drupal is a strong platform that is well known among web developers and experienced coders, but it comes with a very complex learning system, which ultimately does not make it a good choice for new learners.
Joomla is parallel to WordPress, it works like WordPress and it is great for online stores, but it also requires a little bit of technical coding for making it work the way you want.
WordPress is the best for Beginners to work on
It’s the simplest platform you have ever worked with, and it’s also much flexible to suit everyone ranging from owners of small business, and creative artists to freelancers and bloggers.
There is no need to look further than WordPress.
In Step 2, you will learn the process of selecting a domain name and find a space to host your site.
In Step 3, you will learn the process of installation and customizing your WordPress site. No need to worry, you will learn through a bunch of images as a reference so it will be easy to understand.
STEP 2: Selection of a Domain Name and Host
To get a new site online, you will need two things:
- A domain name (an address of web like nameofyoursite.com)
- Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)
The WordPress platform is free, but a hosting service and domain name will cost you about $3 to $5 per month. Nevertheless, it costs is not so high so you can easily get your service of host and domain name.
Having your own domain name appear to be more professional than having your website on someone else’s domain (like yourbusinessname.my-free-websitename.com), and it’s much within your means, too.
In addition, owning your personal hosting will also ensure that your site loads quickly and will not go down for long hours simultaneously (it is much important for visitors of your pages because no one likes slow service on the internet.)
Where can you get a domain name and hosting from?
www.Bluehost.com provides web hosting service and costs as less as $3.49 per month and they also provide a FREE domain name.
For sure you can try any other web hosting service providers and you can also hosting your site by yourself, but the problem here is that it’s a very complex process and usually would not be enough for serving the visitors of your website. So, it’s a better idea to save some money and get a proper web host.
Once, you have got a domain name, you will also receive a personal email account/s: yourname@YourSitename.com –it will look more professional than a generic mail address like Gmail or Yahoo address.
If you are already having a domain name and hosting, then skip step 2 and go to step 3, where you will learn to set up your website.
What type of domain name shall be chosen?
For a simple start:
- If you want to create a website for your own business, your domain name must match with the name of your company. E.g. NameofYourCompany.com
- If your intention is to set up a site for yourself, then YourOwnName.com can be a good idea.
For this site, I chose MyName.com
Domain names generally end up with .com, .net or .org, but nowadays, a great number of different domain extensions have appeared, ranging from .agency, .edu, to .pizza.
But my advice for new beginners would be to avoid such extensions and go ahead with .com, .org or .net except they perfectly portray what you offer. While .com, .org and .net are generally used and remembered without trouble.
Additional tips for selection of a domain name
Following are few suggestions that would help you in selecting a domain name:
1. It shall be brandable: For example, in case if you want to create a website based on poetry then lovely-poetry-website.net can be a bad choice, whereas, poetryguide.com or poetrylab.com is much better idea to go with.
2. It shall be memorable: Short, and clear domain names are often easier to keep in mind. If your selected domain name is too long, vague, or spelled in an informal way, visitors would often forget it.
3. It shall be appealing: You should select an attractive and easy domain name that simply explains what you or your business does. Getting a cool name can be a little tough because there are around 150 million domain names currently active in the world at present– but no need to give up.
There’s a rule that is always valid for domain names: If you like, go for it.
Before going to next step it’s time to:
Do some brainstorming so that you can come up with an exclusive domain name that reflects your business, future website, or blog
Protect your domain name and web host. For this purpose, I would recommend you Bluehost.com, you can also pick any web host as far as it’s trustworthy and trouble-free.
STEP 3: Set Up then Tweak Your Website
Once you’ve got your domain name and set up your host, you are just going well toward your way!
It is time to get your site up and running. Now what you’ll need to do is installation of WordPress to your domain.
Installation of WordPress
There are two possible methods for installation of WordPress, First is simpler than the second.
1. One-Click-install for Websites like WordPress (and Drupal & Joomla)
Almost every trustworthy and established hosting company has incorporated 1-click-installation for installing WordPress, which makes it easier to get going.
If you have signed up with Bluehost or some sort of other similar hosting company, you need to find “1-click-installation” in your account’s control panel.
Here are some steps that you would need to follow (mostly similar for all major companies of web hosting):
- 1. Log in for you hosting account.
- 2. Go to control panel.
- 3. Find the “WordPress” icon.
- 4. Select the domain address where you wish to install your site.
- 5. Click on “Install Now” then you will get access in to your NEW WordPress site.
Selection of a Theme/Template for your site
Once you have installed WordPress on your domain, you will see a very basic site:
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:
There are plentiful awesome themes designed in a professional way that you can select from and customize according to your preferences for a site of your own.
How to search a theme you like:
1. Log into WordPress dashboard
If you don’t know how to log in for dashboard then simply type in: http://yoursitename.com/wp-admin (replace “yoursitename” with your own domain).
The WordPress dashboard that you will see exactly looks like:
2. Access to FREE themes
Once you have entered into dashboard, you now have got access to around 1500 FREE themes! Just look at “Appearance” in the side bar, and then click on “Themes”.
If you wish to have something really professional or distinguished than available themes, you can go to ThemeForest.net where you will find a great library of themes where you can select your desired theme at varying costs.
But before doing that, it is suggested that you should at least try and spend some time in browsing free themes. Several of these are really professional and made in an exquisite way; so do not write them off.
As you can check above, installation of a new theme for your site is very simple.
You can also look for particular keywords and use filters to search themes that best fit to your choice and style. Though it can take some time, but it’s really worth it.
Also, look for “responsive” themes; they will look good on any Smartphone, tablets and mobile devices.
Just enter it as one of your keywords and you will be all set!
3. Install your new selected theme
Once you find a theme of your choice, installation of that theme is really easy as clicking “Install” followed by a command to “Activate”.
IMPORTANT: Changing in themes will not delete your former posts, content and pages. You can simply change themes as frequent as you wish and without any tension of losing what you have created.
How do I add content and create new pages?
Once your new theme is installed, it’s ready to start and add content. Let’s have a look on some basics:
Addition and editing of pages
Want a page for “Services”, or a page for “About Me”?
- Look at the sidebar in WordPress Dashboard and select “Pages” – then > “Add New”.
- When you will click on it, you will find a screen that looks somehow similar to Microsoft Word. Now, add text, pictures and more stuff to build your required page, now, save it once you’re done.
Adding more pages to menu
If you want to link your new page with your navigation bar,
- Save the changes you have made to the page just by clicking “Update”
- Click on “Appearance” – then > “Menus” at the sidebar in WordPress Dashboard
- Now select the page that you created then include it to list by clicking on the checkbox and then click on “Add to Menu”.
Adding and editing posts
If you have any blog on your site,. You can categorize your posts according to groups.
If you wish to include a blog on your website, you can simply use various posts and categories. Let’s suppose if you want to create a category named “NEWS”. For doing so, you will add it in to your menu and start to create posts.
What you need to do now is:
- Make a new category, for this, go to “Posts -> Categories”
- Go to “Posts – then click on “Add New”, now create a new post. When you have completed writing your post, then select and add right category for post according to its suitability, you can create as many categories as you want, but try to be accurate in relevancy of posts and their respective category.
When you are done with creating your category, add it to menu, and now you are in business!
Customization & never-ending Tweaks…
In this section few basic things will be covered that will assist you to tweak your site.
Change Your Title and Tagline
Page titles describe to people who use internet search that what your website is all about, and they are a great part of the way search engines establish your site rankings, so you must be sure about that they’ve got keywords that you want to target in them (but naturally, written for real people).
Add Taglines at the end of title on all pages. If you want to change the tagline and title on your website, go to “Settings – and then > General” then fill in the form as shown below:
How to Disable Comments for Pages & Posts
Some of the websites (mosty business/organizational websites) don’t wish their visitors to comment on their pages.
Here’s the way how you can shut comments off on the pages of WordPress:
- When you write a new page, click on “Screen Options” on right corner at the top.
- Click on the box of “Discussion”. Next, a box will appear as “Allow Comments” at the bottom.
- Unmark on “Allow Comments”.
Disabling comments by default on every new page:
- Go to “Settings – and then > Discussion” and unmark “Allow people to post comments on your new articles”
How to set up a Static Front Page
Some people get frustrated if their home page looks similar to a blog post. You can easily fix it through making your home page “static”.
A static page doesn’t change. Dissimilar to a blog, where the first new article is shown up on the top every time, a “static” page will show you the similar content on every visit someone comes to the website – similar to a home page that you have designed.
Set up static front page:
- Go to “Settings – and then > Reading”
- Select a static page that you created. “Front Page” indicates your home page; “Posts page” indicates your blog’s front page (if your complete site is not a blog).
If you will not select a static page, WordPress will simply show your latest posts 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 items that you do not need further like “Categories”, or “Meta” and “Archives”, these are often pointless, here’s how:
- Go to “Appearance – and then > Widgets” in the WordPress Dashboard.
- Since here, you can simply drag and drop for adding various “boxes” to your sidebar, or remove the items you further don’t want.
There’s also an option of “HTML box” – it is a text box where you can enter HTML code. For new learners, no need to worry about this, you can just drag and drop elements that you like in your sidebar.
Installation of Plug-ins to Get Maximum out of WordPress
What is a Plug-in?
“Plug-ins” simple kind of extensions built for expansion of WordPress’ potential and capability, It adds features and various functions to your site that are not available in built-in.
They are a kind of shortcuts for getting your site to be ready to do what you want it to do, without having any need for building the features from a scratch.
You can also use Plug-ins for doing everything from adding picture galleries and forms submission to optimization of your website and creation of an online store.
How to install a new Plugin?
For starting installation of Plug-ins, go to “Plugins – and then > Add New” and just start searching.
Remember that there are about 25,000 different FREE Plug-ins, so you’ve got a huge variety to choose from!
Installation is quite easy – once you have found a Plug-in of your choice, just click “Install”.
List of some popular Plug-ins that webmasters find useful:
- #1 Contact form 7: It’s a wonderful feature to have, as people can fill the form and send you an email without login to their own email provider. If you wish to dome something like that, simply get this plugin.
- #2 Yoast SEO for WordPress: If you desire your WordPress site to be more SEO-friendly, you must install this Plug-in. It’s free, and it’s wonderful. You can edit your title tags, meta descriptions and more, everything from within the page itself – no need of fussing with WordPress settings.
- #3 Google Analytics: If you are interested in tracking visitors/traffic to your site and their behaviour? Just install this Plug-in, connect it to your Google account and then you are just ready to go.
Definitely, this is just a tip of the iceberg! There are several Plug-ins in WordPress that you can explore and use according to your interests and requirements.
Congrats – you are now ready to launch!
If you have carefully followed steps given in this guide, you must now have a functional WordPress website!