How to build a WordPress website from scratch.
It’s really not that difficult, and once you do it the first time, you’ll be impressed by how simple the process really is. In this post, I’m going to show you how to build a WordPress website from scratch. It’s really not that difficult, and once you do it the first time, you’ll be impressed by how simple the process really is.
Step#1: Choose WordPress
It’s the best. Here are some reasons why I think you are setting yourself up in the best way possible by choosing to go with WordPress.
So, Why Is WordPress The Best?
- First off, it’s completely free. If that’s not a benefit – I don’t know what is!
It’s 100% to get set up. You don’t have to give them a credit card number – nothing sneaky like that. That’s one factor that really puts it head-and-shoulders above the “competition”.
- WordPress is very beginner-friendly
Writing blog posts on wordpress is really as easy as using MicroSoft Word. Once you know how to set up your website and make it look pretty, the writing part is about as easy as it gets.
- Build it BIG! Or Build it Small.
The size of your website is irrelevant when you use wordpress. There are massive corporations and tiny little website (like mine), that all run on the same identical platform.
- It’s “Responsive”
In today’s world, building a website that will view on a tablet or phone equally as well as on a desktop is of significant importance. Lot’s of people use mobile devices, so you have to set yourself up with something that will serve that group. WordPress is perfect for that.
- Crazy-good support
WordPress comes bundled with a huge and supportive network community that is standing by to assist you with any issues or challenges you encounter along the way.
It’s all started with WordPress. It’ll rock your socks off.
Alright, let’s get started building a wordpress website from scratch!
Step #2: Get Your Domain & Hosting
At this point, you need to decide on a name for your website. For instance, the actual URL for this website is EasyOnlineIncomeStreams.com.
I order to get your website up and running, you will need 2 different things –
- 1) Your domain name.
- 2) Website hosting.
Now, although WordPress itself is completely free, the domain name and the hosting that you’ll need are going to cost you a few bucks. Depending on what length of time you buy for your hosting, you’re probably looking at $2-$4 per month to have everything squared away. Not bad at all really.
One of the big benefits to having your WordPress website running with it’s own hosting and URL is that it looks far more professional to have a stand-alone website, instead of one that is hosted by blogger or wix. That’s just another upside to setting yourself up the right way from the beginning.
Where To Buy Your Domain Name And Hosting –
I’d recommend that you purchase your Domain and Hosting at NameCheap.com. It’s nice because you can get both your hosting and your URL from them all in 1 place. Since discovering those guys, I’ve moved all of my websites over to their services.
I’ve found them to be very reliable, affordable, and in the few instances when I’ve needed a hand, they’ve been really great to deal with. Highly recommended.
Another plus of having your own hosting for your WordPress website is that you can also have en email address that is personalized for your website. That way you can have an email address that looks like email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org. It just looks much more classy and professional.
Different Types Of Domains
Basically there are a lot of different extensions that you can choose from. For instance, there is .com, .gov, .org, and .edu. For all intents and purposes, I suggest that you set up your website with the standard .com URL format.
Also, as you are choosing your website URL, it’s a good practive to choose a domain name that is reflective of the website’s purpose and audience.
- If you are creating a website that will be given the perspective of a professional business, then you might consider setting it up with something like MyBusinessName.com.
- If you are creating a website that will have a more personal, more intimate feeling, then you will probably do better by naming your website something like MyName.com.
Still, probably the most important thing is to not get distracted with all the strange and exotic domain extensions out there and go with the tried-and-true .com extension.
Ultimately, it’s the content on your website that will make the biggest impact on how your audience reacts to the website, so don’t get too bogged down with the details as you are selecting your URL.
Choosing An Effective Domain Name
When you’re learning how to build a WordPress website from scratch, choosing a domain name can be one of those things that are really easy to over think. It really doesn’t have to be that difficult though. Here are some things to keep in mind as you are thinking up some great ideas for your website’s domain name.
- Catchy: It’s great if you can come up with something that is kinda cute, snappy, and witty. With millions of other websites out there – many of them in your same niche – you have an advantage by having a website URL that stands out a bit above the rest.
- Brandable: You want a website name that you can build a brand upon. For instance, if you are building a website about Dog Training, then SmartPup.com, would be a better choice than something benign like Learn-How-To-Train-Your-Dog-Here.com.
- Memorable: Have a website URL that sticks in people’s mind like glue can be a real benefit. Come up with something that is short, catchy, and unique. The longer the URL, the harder it is to have people latch onto it mentally. Make it memorable.
Make It You: Above all else, choose a name that resonates with your passion. Going with something that you are happy about is probably the most important thing.
Step #3: Put It All Together
Getting WordPress Installed
Right now, there are 2 ways that you can install WordPress. There is a “1-click” way, and there is also a manual way. Most hosting platforms have a “1-click” option available. I always suggest just doing the simple automatic way if it is available.
1. The “1-Click” WordPress Install
Most reputable hosting services have a “1-Click” installation option. Since I recommend that you go with NameCheap.com, I’ll show you how to find the 1-Click option. It’s very similar for most hosting services, so there’s a good chance that these same steps will apply for other hosting services as well.
What you want to do is sign into your hosting service with your User Name and Password. Go to your Control Panel, and look around for the 1-Click WordPress option.
Here are the steps:
- Sign into your website’s hosting account. (NameCheap.com for instance)
- Head to your Control Panel
- Look around for the WordPress Icon. (It’s a white “W” inside a blue circle)
- Then click on the domain at which you want to install WordPress.
- Finally, all you have to do is click on the Install button.
- WordPress will install onto your chosen domain. Awesome stuff.
2. The Manual WordPress Installation Method
Picking A WordPress Theme For Your New Website
So, when you do officially have WordPress installed on your website, what you are going to see is a pretty plain and basic looking webpage.
Not really much to look at. Fear not! We’re about to give your plain-jane WordPress website a facelift by installing a customized theme.
A theme is basically a graphics package that give your website a unique look and feel. The idea here is to choose a theme that is unique and also reflects the overall look that you want for your website.
You want to choose something that is reflective of the content and the audience that you see yourself working with.
There are THOUSANDS of themes available for you to choose from. Some aare free, and some cost money. Some are basic and some are complex. Don’t get too bogged down with the details though because you can change your theme at any point if you decide that you want to try something else.
Find Your WordPress Theme
Alright. Here I’m going to walk you through the steps of navigating WordPress and choosing a beautiful theme for you to install on your website.
Remember – you can change the theme at any point, so don’t worry too much about feeling like you have to pick the perfect one right off the bat.
1) Get signed in to your WordPress dashboard
Now, I just want to be sure that you know how to get logged in. I’m trying to be sure that I’m giving enough detail so that anybody can follow these instructions.
What you want to do is go to your website URL and add in “wp-admin” at the end of the URL string.
Basically, the URL will look like this: http://yoursite.com/wp-admin
All you have to do is substitute the “yoursite.com” part with your actual website URL. That will take you to your WordPress login page. Then you just put in your User Name and your Password.
Once you are in, you should be looking at a screen that looks something like this –
Alright. So far so good?
Let’s press on…
2) Browse All Of The Free WordPress Themes
So now that you are inside your WordPress dashboard, you automatically have unencumbered access to over 2000 completely free WordPress themes.
To view all of the different themes, all you have to do is navigate down to the “Appearance” option inside the left sidebar. Hover over that options and a sub-menu will appear. Inside the sub-menu you’ll see an option that says “themes”. Click that.
Once you are in the Themes area, you should be looking at a screen that looks something like this –
Once you arrive there, you will be able to browse through all of the free themes. There are so many different ones to choose from.
Another cool feature that you can use at this point is a keyword filter that will search for particular themes for you. All you have to do is enter a particular search term into the search box and the system will pull out any themes that seems to be a match to your search term.
On another note, one thing that is handy to look for is a theme that is RESPONSIVE. What this means is that the theme has built in functionality that will make it adapt itself to whatever device is being used to view your website. For instance, the website will have to look a bit difference for someone who is looking at it on a mobile phone versus someone who is viewing the full-size page from their desktop. So having a theme that is responsive will ensure that the website always displays itself correctly regardless of what device is being used to view your website.
3. Get Your Theme Installed On Your Website
There’s really not that much to this particular step. All you have to do once you’ve chosen the theme that you wish to have installed on your website is to click the link that says “Install Theme“.
From there, once the theme has installed itself to your website you click the link that says “Activate“.
Here’s what you should be looking at as you choose your theme and get it activated on your website –
NOTE: I want to remind you that you can always change your theme at any point. Right now all you have to do is pick a theme that you feel happy with. If you end up changing your mind for any reason you can always search for a different theme and install a new one instead!
Making Pages and Adding Content
Once you have your new theme set up, you are ready to start creating pages for your website and filling them with great content for your readers.
Real quick, I want to guide you through some of the steps you’ll need to take –
Creating New Pages
First you have to decide what the function of the page is going to be. You can create a page for anything really, so knowing what it will be used for is the first step. First, determine the pages use, then come up with a name for the page.
- First what you’ll do is actually create the new page for your website. Take a look on the left side of your WordPress dashboard and look for the area that says “Pages”. When you hover over that, you’ll get the option to “Add New”. Click that and a new page will be created.
- From there, you’ll be taken to the page you just created. Alright. Your first page is made. Now what you’ll see now is an editor that looks a lot like a Word Document. It actually functions quite the same as well.
Putting your new page in the menu
Once you created your new page, you may want to have this one included in the navigation bar at the top of your WordPress page. Here is how to make that page show up in the Nav Bar.
- Go ahead and save the page you just made by clicking the butting that says “Update”. This button is found in the upper right hand side of the page.
- Head over to the “Appearance” section on the left side of your wordpress dashboard.
- Click “Appearance”, then go to “Menus”.
Once you are in the menus area, you will be able to move the page you just created into the navigation bar. This way the users on your website will be able to conveniently find your new page by simply looking at the navigation bar.
All you have to do is find the page you created in the box in the left, click the box next to the page, and then click the button that says “Add To Menu”.
From this point forward, the page you created will show up as a clickable link in the navigation bar which will be at the top top of each page on your website.
You see, there’s really not that much to this stuff once you learn how to navigate the program a bit.
Creating and Editing Posts on Your Blog
Alright, so we’ve got your first page set up. Now it’s time to learn how to create and edit blog posts on your website.
This page that you are reading right now is a blog post. It actually works a lot like the “page” you already created. The process is very similar, the main difference is that all of the posts you create will show up under a particular page of your website that you designate. Typically, this is your “blog page” – but you can tell the posts to show up wherever you like.
Alright, so let’s first get your blog set up on your website so that we can add a post.
- Start by creating a new category on your website. On the left side of your page, go to “categories” and create a new one. You will name this category something based around the subject of your blog.
- Once you have created a new category, all you have to do next is add it to your blog. Simply follow the same instructions we just did in the above steps and add the new category to the menu.
- Now, you should have a menu item that reads “Blog” – or something similar that you designate.
Once you have that completed, you will be ready to create posts for your blog. The process is exactly the same as creating new pages for your website, with the difference of the posts will be stored withing the “blog” page of your website.
Pretty cool stuff.
Making Your Website Your Own
Once you have the skeleton of your website built, then you can start thinking of how you can really begin to customize your website and make it your own – to me, this is one of the coolest steps when you are learning how to build a WordPress website from scratch.
There are a plethora of ways that you can modify your websites look and functionality. Here, we are going to go through some of the options you have available –
Switching Up Your Website’s Title and Tagline
Website Taglines: These are added to the titles that you see on every page of your website. For instance your website’s Title may be “How To Be Awesome“… and your website’s tagline could be “I’ll Show You How“. It’s kind of like a subtitle, and it’s purpose is to give your visitor a better idea of what the page is about.
You can change your website’s subtitles by going to “Settings” >>> “General”, then just modify the tagline by changing the text within the form.
As you can see in the image below, my tagline is “Helping You Create A Lifetime Of Residual Income“.
Easy stuff, but it makes a big difference in how your website is portrayed to your visitors.
Modifying Your Page Titles: The page titles on your website tells your visitors what they can expect if they choose to visit your website’s page. This is why the title is important.
Every page of your website should have a fresh and unique title. You can also use the title to target keywords that are relevant to your page. For instance, if your page is talking about the benefits of cranberry juice, then you might consider titling your page “Cranberry Juice Benefits“.
You can modify your page titles by going inside each unique page of your website and simply modifying the text that you see within the title field.
Turning Off Page and Post Comments
Depending on what the use of your website is, you might prefer for there not to be comments on each page of your website.
If you prefer to turn of comments, it can be done quickly and easily. (You can always turn them bac on if you like).
- Anytime you are in the page editor for a particular page on your website, you can click the link at the top of the editor called “screen options.
- Click the box called “Discussion”. Then click the “Allow Comments” box.
- Deselect the box that says “Allow Comments”.
Simple as that. From there, that page of your website will not show comments.
That’s how you disable comments on a single page of your website.
Disable All Future Comments
Now, if you want to disable comments on all your pages, then there are a few different steps that you have to follow. It’s easy though.
- Go to the “Settings” area on the left side of your WordPress dashboard.
- Then scroll down to the “Discussion” area.
- Once you are there, deselect the box that says “All People To Post Comments On New Articles”.
That way, anytime you create a new article or post on your website, the comments section will be automatically disabled.
Using A Static Home Page
What is a static home page? The simplest way to describe it is that it’s when your home page looks more like a blog post than an inviting home page of a website.
If you want your home page to look more like a typical homepage website, and less like a standard blog post, then you might consider setting up your home page to be “Static”.
On a typical blog page, it changes a lot. Anytime you make a new post, it changes. A static page on the other hand, will always remain constant and unchanged. You can design the static page once, and it will remain that way until you make direct changes to it manually.
Getting A Static Page Set Up
It’s simple to set up a static page on your website. Here are the steps required to do so –
1. Head to your “Settings”, then go to the section called “Reading”.
2. Under the “Front Page Displays” setting, choose the option “A Static Page”.
3. Choose which page you want to show up as your front page on your website.
4. Also designate which page you want all of your website posts to show up under.
Note: You do have to specifically choose an option for both the Static Page and also the post page. WordPress needs to know both of these in order for this tweak to work effectively. If you don;t choose a page for your posts, then WordPress will assume that you want them to show up under your Home page.
Changing Up Your Sidebar
The side bar on a WordPress page is a place where you can put links, photos, navigation, search bar, ads, or loads of other helpful tools that can enhance the experience of your website.
The side bar will remain the same on each page of your website.
It’s also very easy to modify. Here’s how you can change it up and make it your own –
- Head to the “Appearance” section on the right side of your WordPress dashboard.
- Then go to the area that says “Widgets”.
- Once you are in the Widgets area, it’s a simple matter of dragging and dropping boxes into the sidebar area.
- If you want a Search Bar, just grab that item and drop it into the sidebar area.
- Once you have your side bar configured how you want it, just click save.
- Refresh your website and the new sidebar will show up with all the modifications you made.
Using WordPress Plugins
One of the coolest things about WordPress is that you can download Plugins to modify the overall functionality of your website.
There are 1000s of different plugins out there to choose from. Essentially they could be called an “extension” of your website.
If you find yourself needing some sort of special functionality for your website, all you have to do is search through all of the available plugins and find one that will provide what you are looking for.
They’re really easy ways to change your website in big ways, but you don’t have to know any sort of special programming in order to do really cool stuff with plugins.
Finding a New Plugin for Your Website
To get yourself set up with a shiny new plug in, follow these steps –
- Head over to “Plugins” on the left side of your wordpress dashboard.
- Choose “Add New” from the available menu.
- Search for the plugin you want!
- Choose “Install Plugin” when you find one that you want.
- When you find one that you want, choose to install the plugin.
Now, remember there are 1000s of Plugins out there. There are loads and loads of them out there for you to sort through and choose from.
NOTE: Most are free, but some do cost money.
You’ve Got A Live WordPress Website!
Now, you’ve officially walked through all the steps of how to build a WordPress website from scratch.
How do you feel? Good, I hope! You now have a skill that not all that many other people know, and now you have an advantage that will come in handy as you continue to build more websites.
That’s all there is to building a WordPress website from scratch. I knoew when you go through all of these steps the first time it can seem a bit confusing and daunting. I assure you that the more you use the WordPress platform, the more comfortable it becomes.
WordPress is definitely the platform you want to use if you are serious about your website, so hopefully this guide has been a valuable resource that you can refer back to if you need help.