How to Create a Website: This free guide is for anyone who is looking to create a website or blog either for personal development or business development. I am sure this blog will help you develop your own website without you having to hire a web developer.
The website setup guide is completely free with a detailed explanation of each and every step. Even a non-technical person can follow this guide easily. This website guide is updated periodically with the changes in the environment.
Creating and running a website will cost you few dollars a month and not more than that. There are plenty of sites emerging every day with their website setup guides, but thehk.online remains same and best for the first website.
I’m sure that you will be able to create your website at the end of this blog. But if you get stuck somewhere in the middle, don’t hesitate to drop a mail as we are happy to help you anytime.
Things to know before Creating your own Website
These are the three things that you should be aware of before creating your website. As your website is comprised of all these things, it is necessary that you should have a basic knowledge of all these.
STEP 1: Choosing Your Website Platform
In the process of website creation, this is the first step anyone has to do. First, you have to decide the platform in which you are going to build your website.
The platform here refers to the user-friendly platform for creating and managing your content online. A decade ago almost every site was built using HTML (code), CSS and even Flash. It consumed a lot of time to learn and difficult at times. That is why people began to think website creation is difficult as it requires a lot of coding and design skills.
Later Content Management System (CMS) began to emerge which made website creation accessible to everyone. Like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal to name a few. According to an analysis half of the websites on the internet run on the WordPress platform.
Website Building Platforms Worldwide – 2017
From the above graph, you can see that more than half of the websites on the internet run on the WordPress platform.
Reasons why you should choose WordPress
According to me, there is no better or easy way to build a website but with WordPress. You could also consider these points before choosing WordPress.
Made especially for beginners
If you are familiar with Microsoft Word, then you have already mastered with WordPress for adding the content. Additionally, WordPress can be handled more easily with loads of plugins available with WordPress. With WordPress plugins, you can create any kind of pages from business pages to social networking sites. Also, you can add contact forms, subscription forms, image galleries and what not?
Suitable for both: Small or Large site
WordPress can nearly handle any type of a site, from the basic site to professional online stores with ease. Big companies like eBay, Mozilla, Reuters, CNN, Google Ventures and even NASA uses WordPress for their websites.
WordPress is Responsive: Will look great on phones and tablets too
The website you build with WordPress will be responsive to any device in which it loads. WordPress makes your site adapted to that particular device making your site elegant and attached to the user. You don;t have to use any tools or hire a developer for that.
Better support and community always ready to help
Anytime you have Webmasters, Bloggers, Theme developers and Plugin creators for help and so you can find solutions immediately. WordPress has plenty of free resources available on YouTube and its forum.
After all, it’s FREE
WordPress doesn’t charge even a penny for its download or setup, themes or plugins, making it easy and fast for its customers.Even if you choose from one of the free resources from WordPress, you will stand unique.
Other Website Builders and Content Management Systems (CMS)
You have a plenty of Content Management Systems (CMS) available, but nothing equal to WordPress and it would recommend WordPress to any other website builder. Some majorly used website builders other than WordPress are discussed below.
Joomla is a good content builder, but all you need is to know a little bit of coding to make it flexible. Other than that Joomla is still a great CMS for website building.
Drupal is again a powerful website builder which is most commonly used by coders and professional website developers. But you will have to undergo a deep learning before handling Drupal. This makes Drupal less popular among the amateurs.
Beginners can get the best out of WordPress
WordPress is a very versatile and thus it fits both for beginners and professionals. For beginners, you can manage to create your whole blog by your own. Professionals can further get into detailing and developing of websites. As mentioned earlier, beginners can never have any better option than WordPress web builder.
In Step 2, we will get to know the process of choosing a domain name and a hosting for your website.
In Step 3, we will see how to install and edit your website in detail.
Each and every step in this blog will be discussed in detail with relevant images.
STEP 2: Get a Domain Name and Hosting
The next major thing in Website development is getting a name for your domain i.e. your domain name and a hosting. A domain name is nothing but your web address where your website resides like www.yourwebsitename.com. On the other hand, hosting service connects your website to the internet.
So far we have discussed WordPress which is completely free, but now you have to spend some bucks to get a domain name and hosting service. Not to worry you can even buy these at the cost of a coffee. Having your own website will be far more professional than having your site on someone else’s domain like www.yourwebsitename.freewebsite.com and at a cheaper rate.
Similarly, having your own hosting ensures that your website is up all the time. And also your website loads quickly on your own hosting.
How and Where to Buy a domain name and hosting?
Web Hosting services are available plenty in number in the market. Also, everyone comes with a lot many free features along with the subscription like free email services and more. Some of the best hosting providers are listed below.
Best Hosting Services
- A2 Hosting
Each one is familiar with its own special features, and each of the hosting has its own huge user base.
One among the above list is Bluehost which is the best pick for beginners as it has hosting services from 2 dollars a month. You will get a free domain for this purchase as a compliment.
If you want to save this 2 dollars per month, you can have host your site by yourself, but it’s really a tough task to do as a beginner. And also you cannot serve your visitors in case if your server goes down. It is always better to have a hosting like Bluehost to get better assistance and immediate solution and recovery. Many web hosting services provide free email accounts, for example, email@example.com as it will be far more professional than your Gmail or Yahoo mail address.
How to choose a Domain Name?
Consider these points before buying a Domain name.
#1 In case you are buying a website for your business, your domain name should be present in your domain name for example www.yourcompanyname.com.
#2 In case if you are planning on creating a website for yourself then www.yourname.com would be perfect.
#3 If you are trying to establish your brand then have your product on your website to better reach your audience for example www.hoverboard.com.
#4 Short and crisp domain names always get better catch towards the audience and remember it better for example www.pizzahut.com.
Cool and catchy domain names always stick with the mind and also describes your business. So always think of good catchy names because you should remember there are already 350 million domains registered already!
Domain names generally end with .com, .org, .net but nowadays we can see a lot of crazy and business specific domains like .pizza, .agency, etc. It is advisable to take .com, .net or .org because it is easily rememberable and common. And also the domain name craze hasn’t gone so wide to create such weird domain name extensions.
Note: Do some research before choosing a domain name because it is going to be forever and users would start following the same domain name. Thus choosing the best domain name at the beginning is advisable as changing your domain name later and shifting the domain name is a bit tedious.
STEP 3: Here’s How to Setup your Website
You have bought your domain name and hosting, only a few things left to get your own website! Follow the last few simple steps of setting up your website and get to complete your own website setup.
First, we will need to install WordPress before setting up your website. There are some ways by which you can install WordPress, but the easiest among them are discussed below.
Install using your Hosting
Every website hosting service provides WordPress one-click installation, which makes it easy and simple for anyone. If you are using Bluehost or any other hosting server you should find one-click installation in your account control panel.
Follow the below steps ( almost similar in any hosting service) to perform the one-click installation of WordPress:
- Login to your hosting service
- Navigate to the control panel
- Find the option Website or WordPress icon
- Click the domain for which you want to install WordPress in case if you have multiple domains.
- Click Install Now, and you will soon be redirected to your WordPress site.
Installing WordPress Manually
If you cannot find the option for one-click installation, unfortunately, in case if your hosting provider doesn’t have one, you can manually install WordPress, just look at the steps below.
#1 Download WordPress from the official site or use this link https://wordpress.org/download
#2 Create a new folder on your desktop and unzip the downloaded WordPress file.
#3 Find the file named wp-config-sample.php and rename it to wp-config.php
#4 After renaming open the wp-config.php using any editor like notepad or notepad++ and paste the following code into it.
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘username_here’); //Your Hosting username
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_here’); //Your Hosting password
#5 Now save the file.
#6 Now log into your hosting ftp (download FileZilla for that). The FTP address is usually ftp.yourwebsitename.com, username and password are the same that you used to register to your host.
#7 Find and delete the file named “index” if you find one.
#8 Now upload all the files from your WordPress folder to your ftp server.
Once completed, just visit www.yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin/install.php and you should see your site with this form.
Just fill the fields, and your website is all set to go!
Note: If you don’t have a one-click installation for WordPress, I would suggest you reconsider your hosting service provider.
Theming your Website | How to set Theme / Template to your site
After installing WordPress on your domain, it will have a neat and clean professional look. It will hold some default appearance which is the very basic and will be used by many of the amateurs.
So let us now see how to customize your website. WordPress makes it so easy for you to design and alter your site with its plenty of free templates/themes for your site. Make the thousands of perfectly designed themes all your own to make your site a professional looking website.
#1 How to Choose a Perfect Theme?
Login to your WordPress Dashboard. It is nothing but http://yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin. After login, your WordPress Dashboard will look like,
As a first time user, the dashboard could be a bit tricky, but WordPress has everything labeled. So you can check everything by yourself within WordPress using Search and Help features. And above all that I am there to guide you throughout the entire process.
#2 WordPress Free Themes
Now you have access to around 2000 Free Themes! You can find this in the sidebar under “Appearance” > “Themes“ option.
Need more professional or elegant themes, and you can’t find it here, there are several other websites providing a large amount theme collections for you to choose from. But before all that just give a try to the free themes because you could find some good professional theme from here. Click Add New Theme in this page with a ‘+‘ symbol, and you will get the results as below.
Give in the relevant keywords you are looking for to get the perfect theme for your website. Because theme matters the most in your website as it the only thing that is going to highlight the content on your website and interacts with your readers.
The other important thing you should note while searching a theme is that its responsiveness. It means your website appearance with several other devices other than PCs. It is a very important aspect because it is not necessary that your readers use only PC’s to visit your website. So have in mind to choose a theme with good responsiveness,
#3 Install the Theme for your Website
When you hover the mouse pointer over any theme, you will see several options. You can get “Theme Details” in the middle, at the bottom you can see two options namely “Activate” and “Live Preview“. The theme name is given at the bottom left of the template. So see the live preview of the theme if you want to better know the appearance, features, and visibility of the theme. Click the Activate button in order to activate your theme.
Note: Changing your website’s theme will not alter or delete any of your content but only alters the theme of your website. So you don’t have to worry about losing your content on changing your website’s theme.
How to Add Content to your Website using Posts and Pages
After installing the theme, your website is ready to add contents. Adding contents to your site can be made through posts and pages. Scroll down to know the basics of adding content.
How to Add and Edit Pages
Pages refer to the constant content in your site that reveals your Bio, About, Products or Services page. Mostly these pages will be set as Menu at the top of the site.
- In the WordPress sidebar, you will see Pages hover or click on it followed by Add New. Also, you can add pages by clicking the ‘+ New‘ sign at the top the dashboard which contains Post, Media, Page, etc.
- Once clicked, you will find “Add New Page” opening up. The interface will be similar to any content creation software like Word, etc. Type in your content, add images, videos and more. Preview and save once you are done. Publish it whenever you want.
Adding Menu to your Site
If you want to add Menus to the navigation bar at the top of your site, here’s how.
- Go to “Appearance” > “Menus” from the WordPress sidebar.
- Select the pages you created and click Add to Menu. Finally, Save Menu to apply the changes.
How to Add and Edit Posts
The next big you need to do is creating posts. It may vary with each and every site depending on what kind of site you are having. In case if you run a business you will have create posts regularly to let people know about your products. See below to create posts.
- Create a post the same way you used to create a Page. Instead of a Page select Post, and you get Add New Post.
- You will have additional settings on the right panel on your posts page like categories for grouping your posts together. Tag your posts to better reach your audience. Set a featured image for your post to attract your readers.
- If you wish to create a Blog for your site simply create a category named ‘Blog’ and add it to the Menu. Henceforth create posts for your blog and add it under the category ‘Blog‘. Job done!
Customize your Website
In this section, we will see how to customize your website, posts and pages, and few other basic to make your website better.
Post Title and Page Title
The Post title and page title are the ones that explain what is your site about and its content. Not only to the audience but also search engines rank your site based on the title also. It will greatly help in the rankings of your site.
Target the keywords you wish to rank for in the titles also for better rankings. Have unique and relevant titles for your posts.
Taglines are added to every post and page titles. It gives an added explanation for your site. Usually, taglines will be the website name. You can also change them as per your need from Settings > General.
Comments for Posts & Pages
Comments on blog pages and posts help you engage with the readers. It helps to grow the post in the comments section. It also develops a relationship between the author and the readers which is a good sign in increasing the traffic to your website.
Disable Comments in a particular Page
- On the particular page, click “Screen Options” in the top right corner.
- A tab rolls down from which remove the check mark from the “Discussion” option.
- Now the Discussion box appears at the bottom.
- Untick “Allow Comments”, and hereafter no one can comment on your pages.
Disable Comments on the entire Site by default
Head to “Settings > Discussion” and uncheck “Allow people to post comments on new articles”.
Set up a Static Front Page
The common query that every beginner has is that their website has a homepage similar to a blog page. This is a simple issue, and you can change this by yourself with few simple steps.
How to set up a Static Front Page
- Go to “Settings > Reading”
- In the ‘Front page displays setting select ‘A static page’ radio button.
- Now select a page as the front page and click save changes at the bottom of the page.
- If you don’t choose a static page on your own, WordPress will take your latest posts and start showing them as your homepage.
Note: “Front Page” denotes your home page and “Posts page” is the front page of your blog
Almost every theme comprises of a sidebar in it. Mostly sidebar will be present on the left. If you want of remove the unwanted widgets like “Categories”, “Meta” and “Archives” follow the steps below:
- Go to “Appearance > Widgets” in the WordPress Dashboard.
- Under the “Available Widgets” section you can find a lot of widgets like Blog Stats, Calendar, Categories, Audio, Text, Video, Image, etc.
- You can drag these widgets to the sidebar or footer to include them on your site or drag it off to remove.
Note: With the latest WordPress 4.8 update, a lot of new widgets have been updated with Image, Video, Audio which before you should use an HTML link to achieve.
Install Plugins to expand WordPress
What is a WordPress plugin?
“Plugins” are tools that expand the functionalities and capabilities of your WordPress site that don’t come built in. They help you achieve what you want to do without having to develop any feature by yourself.
Nearly with the plugins can do anything on your site, add contact forms, redirect your site, or even shift your content to another site.
How to install a Plugin?
To point out there are over 50k plugins in WordPress, so you will have a plugin for almost any work to be done.
- Go to “Plugins > Add New” and start searching your plugin.
- Once you find a plugin you need, click Install.
- After installing click Activate to have the WordPress plugin in action.
Here are some of the must-have WordPress Plugins for beginners to better handle your WordPress site.
#1 Yoast SEO for WordPress: This plugin helps your site to be more SEO-friendly. It is available for free, and it takes cares of your title, URL, keywords and almost everything necessary for the SEO.
#2 Contact form 7: Contact forms are the best way to hold your audience and keep them updated with your blogs. Just fill in the form and send an email without logging in to their own email provider.
#3 Google Analytics: Track your visitors/readers and their behavior. Track the complete flow your readers on your website.
#4 Jetpack by WordPress.com: The one plugin you need for stats, related posts, search engine optimization, social sharing, protection, backups, speed, and email list management.
Good Work Keep Going!
Now you have your fully functional WordPress site with all the basic and necessary things installed. Start writing blogs and start growing your audience.
WordPress is really huge, and we have learned only the tip of the iceberg. Keep following our blog to learn tutorials on various WordPress functionality and Website setup. Comment below your reviews and queries on the Website Setup.