The Ultimate Guide for Beginners to Make a WordPress Website

Get started with WordPress
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At some point in time, you or someone might have asked or given a thought to creating a website, maybe for the blog or the upcoming online business.

You might have dropped the idea, considering the budget or the pain of hiring a developer who would do that for you.

What if I tell you that you need to have a few dollars in your pocket and can create a beautiful & professional website just like anybody else? Also no need to go through the pain of hiring someone. You can do everything right at your workstation.

The most important thing is that you will be learning the skill of creating such a blog/website, which will help in the future. Sounds great, right!

Now whatever I have mentioned above can be achieved with the help of a popular Content Management System, short for CMS, called WordPress.

It is free and highly recommended for beginners as it’s easy to learn, and it doesn’t require someone to be tech-savvy. Trust me, and you will surely love the path that I have taken you with me.

So, here’s a comprehensive guide that has everything you need to get started with WordPress.

I’ll take you on the beautiful journey of creating websites with WordPress and guiding you through a step-by-step action that you have to perform to have a website perfectly set up with WordPress.

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Let’s dive in!

Get Started with WordPress

Now, Its time to take you the actual process of setting up a blog.

Be ready to get your hands dirty.

What is WordPress & Why Choose it as a Website Platform?

As I have mentioned earlier, WordPress is one of the Content Management Systems (CMS) available on the Internet. It’s one of the most popular and widely used website platform and now powers around 40% of all websites.

If you are thinking about why we are focusing more on WordPress and why it is so popular compared to other platforms, I haven’t told you enough about the power of WordPress and what can be done with it.

Our love for WordPress is immense and pure. And I am sure you’ll love it too once you start experiencing it.

As you have got an idea about WordPress is, let’s see some of the magical power of WordPress:

  • It’s open-source: WordPress is developed by the Internet community and being open to the community, people are free to write plugins and enhancements to the WordPress core.
  • It’s free: Yeah! You heard it right. Since WordPress is open source and under GNU licensing, it is free for anyone to use.
  • It’s easy to use: You don’t need to know coding or HTML. Everything is built for you in the WordPress platform. It’s simple as drag-and-drop to create appealing websites/blogs.
  • It’s robust: With WordPress taking a large share of the Internet, attackers continue to target WordPress-based websites to hack and steal data. WordPress has a large community of developers who constantly work to keep the platform hackproof.
  • It’s SEO-ready: The WordPress platform was designed keeping SEO in mind. It has several in-built features that you can use to optimize your content and improve your site’s online visibility.

But the only disadvantage of using WordPress is that since it takes a large share of around 60-70% of the CMS market, hackers are constantly keeping their eye on new WordPress websites.

And hence it becomes an utmost priority to implement WordPress security the moment you set up your website.

How To Pick a Domain Name

Here comes the most exciting part of starting your journey. Picking up a good domain name for your blog/website will involve a little bit of brainstorming, and to be frank, it will take a couple of hours to a few days to come up with a good name.

I am telling this from my own experience. Or it may click to you in a snap. It all depends on how creative you are.

Ideally, the domain name you will pick should be centered around your niche. It should reflect the area of interest on which your blog is based.

Let’s say your niche is to have articles based on pet and their well-being so that the name can include pets or anything related to them.

So, your ideal domain name should be:

  • easy to remember – you don’t want your visitors to note your domain somewhere because it is easy to forget
  • unique – it should uniquely identify your site.
  • short – we recommend having a max of 15 characters.

If nothing is coming to your mind about the domain you want to choose, worry not, as you can go to our domain generator – Domain Spinner, and spin up a few domain names by throwing in some keywords you like.

How to Pick a Best Hosting Provider

Picking up a good hosting provider for your site is equally important as picking up a good domain name. Hosting is a web server that will store all your site’s data like images, documents, and other files. It is the backbone of your site.

Picking up good hosting will eventually save you a hell of a time in the future as you continue to grow your site.

There are tons of hosting providers selling their services online, and with this, it becomes an intimidating task to choose one that will suit your needs.

But since you are just starting things up, we have researched for you so that you don’t have to spend countless hours figuring out what hosting to choose and what to look for while choosing one.

We recommend you to go with the NameCheap, and we’ll tell you why:

  • NameCheap is a well-known brand that has been in the industry for more than 20 years.
  • It is one of the most affordable hosting & domain providers.
  • Offers reliable service with up to 100% uptime guarantee.
  • Offers free domain with hosting plans.
  • Free Supersonic CDN.
  • Free domain name and privacy protection.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can check out our detailed review of NameCheap

Once you click on the NameCheap link, it will present a page below.

Namecheap web hosting

Click on Get Started button, and you will see three different hosting plans. As you are just starting things out, it is better to go with the lower plan – Stellar, which will cost you around $21.88 per year, i.e., $1.88 per month. Quite a good deal. Right?

And yes, you can upgrade the plan later if you like.

NameCheap hosting plans

After selecting a plan, you will be asked to enter the domain name you have decided to register for earlier. Once you have added your domain, click on Connect to Hosting button.

NameCheap domain

Make sure you check everything before you continue to the cart. It’s always good to double-check the domain name and hosting package you have selected.

Typo in a domain name will be a nightmare once you have already paid for it, as you cannot change it later. You don’t want to spend a few bucks registering another domain because of this.

NameCheap plan summary

Once everything is verified, click on Add to Cart button, and on the next page, there are a couple of things that need to be taken care of.

First thing first, I would recommend keeping your domain in an auto-renewal state as we usually tend to forget things, and it is a high chance that we lose access to our domain if we forget to renew it on time.

Secondly, NameCheap gives free access to domain privacy with every domain name you purchase. Keeping it checked is a good idea as it will not reveal your personal information to the general public or scammers.

NameCheap final plan summary

The next step is to make a purchase, and we’ll then go ahead with WordPress installation.

How to install WordPress via cPanel

Now that you have signed up for the hosting plan from Namecheap, you will have received an email having details regarding your hosting plan. This would include username, password, link to a cPanel, and some information related to your nameserver.

With all these details in hand, your hosting is set up, and the only thing that needs to be done is to install WordPress software.

cPanel

Look for the “Softaculous App Installer” app in your cPanel and click on WordPress.

cPanel Softaculous
WordPress installation 1

Next, under the Site Settings

WordPress installation 2

Finally, under the Advanced Options section, we have a few more options to look at. Let’s see them one by one.

The first thing is to have an option enabled for Auto Upgrade WordPress Plugins & Themes. Another thing is to have an option enabled for Auto Upgrade of WordPress.

The WordPress community and other developers constantly fix the bugs and security holes. Hence, having these options enabled becomes very important. This will make sure to apply the update automatically to your plugins, themes, or even WordPress software the moment it is available.

(Optional Step) The other thing is to set Automatic backups: daily or weekly. If this service comes with your hosting plan, then it’s good to have a backup of your site once every week, as this will make sure you have a backup to restore in case you mess with your site or any unexpected circumstances.

WordPress installation 3

Once everything is set up, and WordPress is installed on your server, it will provide you with a login link to your site. By default, the login URL to WordPress installation is:
http://myultimatedomain.com/wp-login.php

This is how the login page looks like

WordPress login page

Configure WordPress & Explore UI

Once you have entered your credentials (the one you have provided while installing WordPress), it will present you with a WordPress dashboard like the below.

WP dashboard

So, let’s give you a brief tour of what a WordPress dashboard looks like and what you can do from there. I’ll try to explain every point that I have mentioned above in the image so that you can have a brief overview of how to start with WordPress.

  • (1) Welcome Screen – a welcome message that you’ll see when you log in to the WordPress panel.
  • (2) Posts – You can create your blog posts here.
  • (3) Media – this panel allows you to upload media like images and files to your server.
  • (4) Pages – this will help you in creating sub-pages for your blog/site like About Us, etc.
  • (5) Comments – this section allows you to have complete control of the comments that have been posted by your user the comments that the admin has not approved can be approved from here.
  • (6) WPForms, CMP & Wordfence – these are the few sections shown here once you start installing plugins. From there, you can set up the individual plugin settings. I have a few plugins like WPForms, CMP and Wordfence installed. The more you install the plugins, the more you see these particular sections.
  • (7) Appearance – this section allows you to change the appearance of your site by installing and setting up a theme, customizing navigation menus, and more.
  • (8) Plugins – this is the section where you will install plugins. You can also activate, deactivate, and delete the no longer required ones.
  • (9) Users – from here, details about all users for the site can be seen. If any new users have to be added, it can be done here.
  • (10) Tools – this section provides the functionality to view your site’s health, and if you want to import or export your existing configuration, posts, or comments from another system, it can be done from here.
  • (11) Settings – Now, this is the central panel from where you can control the core of your site, like changing the name, URL of your site, how your comments should function, etc.
  • (12) Updates – from here, you can upgrade the WordPress software, themes, and plugins.

These are a few sections that you should know and will get you started. The more you explore it, the more you will learn about it.

What is a theme & How to Set it up?

A theme is a collection of files (graphical images, fonts, stylesheets, and codes) that changes the overall look and feel of your blog or website. Several themes also come with different templates that can be installed on top of the theme.

These templates are basically designed according to any business or any blog. For example, if your business is related to digital marketing, you might have a template for it. Also, there would be several templates available for the blog only.

There are free as well as paid themes available in the WordPress market. But for now, we’ll be seeing free themes available in the WordPress repository that you can access within WordPress itself.

Let’s see how you can find a perfect theme for your blog/website.

Navigate to the WordPress dashboard and click on Themes under the Appearance tab. You would see two or three themes pre-installed when you have installed WordPress.

However, you can go ahead and keep them if you like, or you can delete them. But for now, we will keep everything as it is and move forward to look for a new theme.

Click on Add new button, and you will see a bunch of free themes available in the WordPress repository.

add new wordpress theme

The moment you hit on Add New button, you will see a bunch of themes from which you can select the one you seem will suit your site best.

free WordPress themes

Initially, you would try every other theme that you like, but if you want more information about any specific theme, hover your mouse over to the particular theme and click on Details & Preview tab.

This would take you to the new section of that theme containing some theme information on the left pane and a preview of how your site would look on the right if you decide to go with this theme.

But In my personal opinion, this is not a good way to select a theme for your blog/website based on just what you saw on the preview before. Instead, follow the golden tip below 🙂

Tip: Navigate to wordpress.org/themes, search and click on the theme of your choice and then click on the Theme Homepage link on the right. This will open up the theme’s homepage, and you can preview the actual theme demos.

You will find that the visual of your site is much more different than what you saw just now. When you do a preview from within your WordPress dashboard, it creates a visual appearance of your site, considering how many posts you already have.

And as you are just starting things out, your site won’t have any posts except a few. Also, you wouldn’t have customized your site since installing your theme.

With that being said, no matter what theme you select, it can be customized later on according to your needs.

Also, WordPress has a bunch of plugins that can aid in your customization task.

With that being said, let’s jump straight on to the section where you will get to know everything about a plugin and why it is necessary to have them for your website.

What Are WordPress Plugins & How It Helps?

We have seen how to install WordPress and how to preview and install a specific theme.

WordPress Plugins are an extension or add-on that extends the functionality of your website/blog. For example, if you want to implement a contact page where your users would drop their queries, you can use a plugin for it.

WordPress repository has a ton of free plugins. As you are building up a website, you would require the need of a plugin.

To install a plugin, go to your WordPress dashboard, and then Plugins -> Add New. Type the keyword for your plugin in the search field and hit enter.

Install WordPress Plugin
– Install WordPress Plugin

After installing a plugin, you can click on the Activate button to activate it.

Activate WordPress Plugin
Activate WordPress Plugin

Create Primary Pages

When you first set up a new WordPress site, you’ll need to create some important pages. These pages will form the backbone of your website and will be vital in helping visitors understand what your site is all about and what they can expect to find when they visit.

If you don’t know already how the page section looks. Then this is how it looks something like this:

Gutenberg WordPress editor
  • (1) A place where the title of your page or post goes.
  • (2) It is the body of your content. And all your content goes here
  • (3) Clicking on the plus icon will enable you to add more content blocks to your page. Some of the content blocks are Lists, Table, Image, Heading, Paragraph, etc.
  • (4) It allows to view the settings of a page/post and content block. It is an area that can be toggled between a Page/Post and Block. Clicking on Post/Page will allow you to view and change the settings like permalinks, featured image, up a category, tags, etc. And clicking on a Block will enable you to change the settings of a particular content block, like the color, size, and font of the text, and you can add specific CSS styles to that block.
  • (5) This area shows the status & visibility of your particular post or page. You can stick the post to the top of the blog and add it to the pending review.
  • (6) The top panel on the right allows you to save your post/page as a draft. You can preview the changes and finally can publish the content from here.
  • (7) The top panel on the left allows you to see what all content blocks are available and enables you to view your content’s overall layout or structure.
  • (8) It shows the various settings options for the page/post and content block.
  • (9) The main settings tab allows you to change the viewing mode of the editor from 3 modes; Top toolbar, Spotlight mode, and Full-Screen mode.
  • (10) Nothing fancy but clicking on the WordPress logo will take you back to where all your posts/pages reside.

The first thing you need to do is log into your WordPress dashboard. Once you’re logged in, take a look at the left-hand sidebar menu. You should see a section labeled “Pages.” Go ahead and click on that.

You should now be looking at an empty page with a list of subheadings on the right-hand side. The first thing you need to do is give your page a title. So go ahead and add a title in the “Add New Page” box at the top of the screen.

Once you’ve added a title, it’s time to start writing your content. You can do this in the large text box below the title field. Just start typing away!

If you want to get fancy, you can also use the toolbar above the text editor to format your content. This includes options for making text bold or italicized, adding lists, and more.

When you’re finished writing your content, go ahead and click on the “Publish” button on the right-hand side of the screen. Your page is now live!

With that being said, a few essential pages that you should consider creating are:

  • About – a section where you jot down everything about the purpose of your site’s existence. Your readers should get to know what you offer and how your site will help them solve their problems.
  • Contact – a dedicated page where all your contact-related information and contact form should go. It should be easier for your readers or users to reach out to you if they need any help or have any queries.
  • Privacy Policy – this should state the policy for your website that protects you and your users and does not violate the law. Privacy Policy should say what personal information you are collecting from your users and how you are processing them. Also, this should state how securely you are storing your user’s critical information (username & passwords) and whether you intend to or will share this information with any third party.

Adjusting Site Navigation

When it comes to creating good navigation for your website, you want to make sure that your visitors will be able to see all that you have on your website. This can be done by making sure that you have a good structure for your navigation.

To do this, you first want to head over to the Menu tab in your dashboard, and from there, you can add the navigation for your website:

For this example, everything is located in the top (primary) navigation. You can also set up your navigation for different locations if your theme allows.

The way you do this is by adding a few crucial pages and adding them to the menu. The most important ones I prefer adding to the menu are About, Contact, Shop/Portfolio, and a few posts that are Pillar posts can be added as well under a separate menu.

WordPress navigation

If you want to create a brand new menu for your WordPress site, click on the “Create New Menu” button in the Menus section of your WordPress Dashboard.

Once you’ve done that, you can start adding items to it by dragging and dropping them from the left-hand sidebar into the right-hand side, where your new menu is displayed.

As with other menus on your site, you can rearrange items within this one by dragging and dropping them into different positions.

To change the order of your WordPress menu items, go to the Menus section in your WordPress Dashboard and click on the menu you want to rearrange. Then, drag and drop the items into the new order you desire.

You can also add new items to your menu by dragging and dropping them from the left-hand sidebar into the right-hand side, where your menu is displayed.

Once you have set up a menu, click on the Save Menu button, and it will start appearing on the top of your website.

Conclusion

That’s it. You’ve just created a WordPress website for yourself. Pat on your back!

Getting started with WordPress is not a big deal, but starting up a website is the initial process. We have ensured that even a pure beginner can find this article easy to get started.

If you still have any questions or run into any difficulties, comment below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

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