Step 1: Pick a Name for Your Website
We put this step first because although it seems easy enough, it can actually get quite complicated.
After all, there are millions of websites on the internet, which means millions of website names are already taken. Furthermore, you want a name that’s easy to remember and spell.
This name will be your domain name, and it will identify your site to all your visitors. So don’t rush through this step. Take your time and come up with a number of options, then check their availability.
You may also want to run some of your name ideas by friends and family to see what they think of it. Also, this name is permanent so make sure it’s something you like.
Here is a quick guide for creating a name for your website:
- Make it brandable and unique sounding
- Make it easy to remember
- Keep it short
- Make it easy to spell
- Use keywords related to your niche
Step 2: Download WordPress
WordPress is an excellent platform for building your website because it’s open-source, free, easy to use, versatile, fast, and SEO-ready.
To begin, you’re going to need to go to www.WordPress.org and download the WordPress software.
In the next step, you’ll install WordPress with your hosting provider.
Step 3: Buy a Domain and Web Hosting
Although you can buy your domain and web hosting separately, most web hosts offer the purchase of a domain with their packages. So to simplify things, let’s assume that you’re going to buy your domain from your host.
When searching for a WordPress hosting provider, it’s best to choose a company that offers WordPress-optimized hosting plans.
These plans are designed specifically to host WordPress sites and come with features like 1-Click WordPress Install and automatic core software updates.
Additionally, most WordPress hosts offer technical support specifically for WordPress, so you can get help with almost anything to do with operating your site.
Once you’ve purchased web hosting, you will be able to upload WordPress and get started on building your site.
As we mentioned, many WordPress web hosts offer 1-Click install, which is a simple way of uploading the software.
However, if you happen to choose a host that doesn’t offer this, you will need to get instructions from the host on installing WordPress.
Step 4: Familiarize Yourself with the WordPress UI
To log in to your WordPress user panel, you’ll need to go to www.MyDomain.com/wp-admin/
You’ll be prompted to enter your login credentials, and then it will bring you to the admin dashboard.
Here is a list of what you should see on your dashboard:
- A welcome message and the most important areas of the admin panel listed as a series of quick shortcut links.
- The latest status of your site and what’s happening with it.
- A tab labeled “Posts.” This is where you’ll go to create blog posts.
- Under “Posts,” you’ll find a tab labeled “Media.” This is where you can add and manage images and other media files.
- A tab labeled “Pages.” This is where you’ll go to create sub-pages.
- A tab called “Comments.” This is where you can go to moderate comments left on your posts and pages.
- An “Appearance” tab. Here is where you’ll change the site’s design and/or customize how specific things are displayed.
- A “Plugins” tab. This tab is where you’ll find new plugins to install as well as manage existing plugins.
- A “Users” tab. You’ll go here to manage user accounts.
- A “Settings” tab. You’ll find the main settings here.
Permalinks delineate how each web page address is structured within your site.
The optimal structure is to have the page’s title in the URL. For example, your contact page should be available under a URL that looks like this: MyDomain.com/contact.
To set your permalinks, navigate to the Settings tab and select Permalinks.
Step 6: Allow Google to Discover Your Site
Most everyone will want their site to be discoverable and indexed by the Google search engine bot. First, however, you need to make sure this preference is enabled.
To ensure that Google can find your site go to Settings and select Readings. Then make sure the box labeled “Discourage search engines…” is unchecked.
Step 7: Set The Title and Tagline for your Website
Your title and tagline will appear in a variety of places on your site. It really depends on the theme you choose.
For example, some WordPress themes display your title and tagline on the homepage and in the SEO description.
To set your title and tagline, go to Settings and select General. Then in the fields Site Title and Tagline, enter the appropriate information.
Step 8: Select a Theme
WordPress works with interchangeable designs called themes. This allows you to change the way your site looks with one click.
There’s an abundance of themes available, some of which are free and some you have to pay for. Take your time and go through all the options to find the right theme.
However, keep in mind that you can easily change themes later if you change your mind.
Once you’ve selected a theme, you’ll need to install it. Then you can customize it for the needs of your website.
Step 9: Increase Functionality with Plugins
Plugins extend the basic functionality of your site by adding features. For example, there are plugins for contact forms that make it easy for users to contact you with questions or comments.
Installing plugins is easy. All you need to do is go to Plugins and then Add New. You can then search for a plugin based on keywords or the name of the plugin.
Once you’ve chosen a plugin, you need to click “Install” and then “Activate.”
Step 10: Create Content
The last step is to add content. To begin with, you’re going to want to add a few basic pages like an About page and a Contact page.
Then depending on the nature of your site, you might want to add a product or service description page. Finally, you may even want to include a blog.
You can add as much or as little content as you desire, as long as the content helps you achieve your site’s goals.