How To Make Your Own Great Looking Website… Even If You Have NO Web Experience.
Last updated: April 19, 2019
We’ve come up with this tutorial to help beginners get a fast and easy startup on creating a website. The following tutorial will help beginners learn how to create a website without having to learn HTML/CSS coding. Another way in which this tutorial will help you, it will help you prevent the mistakes that are common while starting up a website.
How does this tutorial differ from the other ones present on the web? Well, this will be a concise and useful tutorial that will be of great help! Are you ready to start your very own website today? Let’s get right into it…
Before We Begin, Some Information You Should Read
There are so many website building platforms and website builders in the market. These include many famous ones like Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and Wix.
It is very much possible that you code your website from scratch. However, I would not suggest that for two major reasons:
It will take a lot of time (Not joking)
The result that you’ll get will be as mediocre as it can be…
But which one should you go for? Let us now go through the latest statistics created by Built With. In 2019, the most famous builders for websites or the most famous content management system are:
WordPress (no cost)- 52%
Wix (not free)- 7%
Joomla (no cost)- 4%
Progress Sitefinity (no cost)- 4%
Squarespace (not free)- 4%
Weebly (not free)- 2%
Want To Know Why Most People Use WordPress To Build A Website?
Here’s why… WordPress is completely free in contrast to the other website builders. WordPress is known to be the easiest platform that one could work with. It has that flexibility that can help everyone get comfortable- including online shops, small business websites, organizations, etc.
But what matters the most is:
WordPress vs. CSS and HTML: Learning about HTML from the beginning can take a person for more than six months, which is a lot of time. Even the basic knowledge of HTML can help one gets things quickly. However, in cases of urgency, this option is not viable especially if a person needs to create a website in one to two days.
WordPress compared to Website Builders: Website builders are very expensive are usually very limited. They might be a good idea for the one-page website, but that’s all.
WordPressvs Drupal/Joomla: The thing with WordPress is that it is user-friendlier than any of these other platforms.
For beginners, I strongly suggest using WordPress and sticking to it.
Note: You do not need to choose yourself a platform right away. Many web-hosting services provide a one-click install for Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal. You can take time to decide, and till then you don’t have to install anything.
STEP #1: Obtain Web Hosting and Sign up for a Domain Name
For you to set up your WordPress (or any other kind of website), you will have to get access to two things:
Domain Name- This is a web address, e.g. YourSiteName.com
Web Hosting- This is a service that will link your site to the Internet
For the purpose of sharing your content, website files and images, you will need access to web hosting. Without the presence of a web hosting, your website will and cannot be visible on the Web.
Having your domain name is far more professional than having the name of your site on someone else’s domain. (For example yourbusiness.my-free-website.com) Getting your domain name is extremely affordable and most host providers give domains that are free for one year (mostly ~$15/year).
Conclusively, without a domain name and a web hosting, your website WILL NOT and CANNOT EXIST.
From Where Can You Register A Domain Name and Get Access to a Web Hosting?
Friendly Announcement: I can get a chance to earn a commission if you get ready to buy HostGator through my guide. Thank you for your support!
I have mostly been using HostGator as my web hosting and domain registrar.
The introductory prices of HostGator start from 2.75/mp, and presently the platform are offering a domain name for free (first year) so do not forget to check them out, guys.
HostGator are also one of the most popular web hosting providers on the web and in the market. This means that they are well-established for sure and are secured enough to host your website.
Despite the fact that most of their servers are from the US and are based there; the platform tends to handle a lot of traffic from the whole world. Also, it might be cheaper than your local host. I do not live in the USA, and I still prefer to use HostGator as my web host.
If you are ahead from the rest of us and you already have a domain name and hosting, you can go ahead to step 3. In there we will talk about how you can set up your website.
Let’s come a little bit towards the real game now. This is how you can sign up for a web hosting provider if you do not already have a domain name, register for it.
Visit https://www.hostgator.com/. (You could go to any other web host as well)
Select the plan for your Website Hosting
Once you press and click on “Get Started,” you will be taken to a new page where you will select a hosting plan depending on your choice.
If you have a budget to follow, you can opt for their hatchling plan. It is an excellent choice for sites that are smaller with little or no traffic.
However, if you wish to expect or scale more traffic on your website, then I would suggest you choose the “baby plan.” It is unlimited really.
Whichever option you go for, you can always change your settings depending upon your requirements.
Select the name of your Domain.
If you are creating a website for your business, your domain name needs to match with the name of your company. For instance: YourCompanyName.com
Also, if you are thinking to set up a website for your personal use, then you can use YourName.com. This can be a great option.
Enter the desired domain name, and HostGator will check for you for its availability.
Once you get a domain name, the platform will ask you to buy one more with a .org or .net.
It is not recommended to go with these, and it is advised to stick with .com wherever possible.
Now, you will be asked about the privacy of your domain name.
According to Wikipedia, domain name privacy is: “When a user buys privacy from the company, who in turn replaces the user’s information in the WHOIS with the information of a forwarding service (for email and sometimes postal mail, it is done by a proxy server).”
The extra cost for this will be $14.95 per year.
You will be asked to select your hosting plan again. Select on the basis of your requirements.
The next section will ask you to provide your account details.
Provide information that is required such as your email address, payment type, your credit card number, etc. Add in your first name, your last name, zip code, phone number. Your receipt will be sent to the email address that you give here.
Review your order and look out for a discount coupon guys!
Do notice that the coupon code for 20% discount will already be added. Review your provided information carefully and check for any errors.
Now, HostGator will provide and offer some additional services. You can go through these and choose what you want. I don’t usually use these except the HTTPs that are free.
Place a tick in the Terms of Service and click on the Checkout Now Button.
You will now be taken to an account setup page that will look like this:
What are next guys? You’re on the roll. You will now start getting emails from HostGator. The first email will contain your hosting logins. From these logins, you will manage your hosting and the billing of HostGator, etc.
You will then get the notification for another email. This email will contain logins for your control panel; this is from where you control your website.
Click on the Control Panel Link and login with your user and password.
To build the website we need to click on the Hosting tab, and then click on cPanel (Control Panel). This is where you can manage a lot of different stuff, emails, files, etc.
However, for now, we are just focused on building our site. So we scroll down to Software, look for the Quick Install icon and click it.
STEP# 2: Setting Up the Website You Call Your Own
Once you find the Icon of WordPress, click on it.
Choose your domain and then leave the directory box empty.
HostGator will try to up sell you into these website setup services; you can take them if you want. However, this tutorial promises to show you how it’s all done for FREE.
Now, give in the name of your domain, site and email address. Set a username as well and remember this. (It is always safer to write things down.)
You will then see this:
Now we want to set up your website, so we go to the site and log in. We enter our username and password.
This is your WordPress dashboard, to remove that welcome screen; you need to click the link at the top that says click here.
You can see a very basic yet clean site. This is where the theme comes in. WordPress will help you make your site look better.
STEP# 3- How To Find A Theme On WordPress:
Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
Then, access FREE themes.
Before you apply anything, I would suggest that you spend some time browsing the free themes.
Choose a theme you like. You can search for specific themes by typing specific keywords in the search box given.
Install the theme you like by clicking on “install” which will then be followed by “activate.”
Here is a sample look for some of the themes applied:
STEP# 4- Addition of Content to Your Website
Now that your theme is installed, you are all set to start creating content. Let us quickly go through some of the fundamentals:
The Addition and Editing of pages
Do you want a page for services or an “About Me” page? If yes then there are a set of instructions that will have to be followed.
Look at the left side of the screen and spot the sidebar.
You will see the sidebar in the WordPress Dashboard.
Here look for “Pages” and then click on “Add New.”
You will then see a screen that will look a lot like the screen of MS word.
Add in pages, text, images to build the page you want and then save it once you are done.
In order to link your page to the navigation bar:
Save any changes that you have done to the page by clicking on “Update.”
Then, click on “Appearance” and then on “Menus” present in the sidebar of the dashboard.
Look for the page that you created and add it to the list by clicking on the checkbox and then Add to Menu.
How to Add and Edit Posts?
If there is a blog present on your website, “Posts” will ask for your attention next. You can make use of various categories to group alike posts.
Here is what you ought to do:
Make a new category by going to “Posts” and then to “Categories.”
OR you can make a blog post by going to “Posts” and then going to “New.” Once you are done writing your blog post, you must add the correct category for it.
Once you are done with making your category, add it to the menu, and you are set to roll.
How to Change Your Title and Taglines?
What are Page Titles?
Page Titles tell searchers what your website is all about. They also play a major role in how search engines determine your ranking. You need to make sure that they have the keywords required. Use a different title on each page of your website.
What are Taglines?
Taglines are present and added at the end of titles across each page.
To change the tagline and the title on your site, go to “Settings” and then go to “General” and fill in the form that appears like this:
Comment Disabling for Pages and Posts
Many websites (organizational or business websites) do not want their visitors to comment on their pages. Hence they shut comments off. Here’s how it is done:
When you are writing a new page, click on “Screen Options.” You will see this in the upper right corner.
Then click on the “Discussion” box. You will see a box saying “Allow Comments” at the bottom.
Go ahead and untick the “Allow Comments.”
How to disable comments on each new page by default?
Go to the “Settings” option and then click on “Discussion.”
Untick, “Allow people to post comments on new articles.”
Setting up of Static front page:
Many people have a complaint that their home page looks like a blog post. You can rectify this issue by making your homepage “static.”
A static page is the one that does not change anything. A static page, unlike a blog, will show the same content every single time someone will visit the site.
How to set up a static front page?
Visit “Settings” and then click on “Reading.”
Then select a static page that you have made. “Front Page”= Home page.
“Posts page”= front page of the blog.
If you do not select a static page on your own, WordPress will let you into the latest posts and will start showing them on your homepage.
If you have noticed, most WordPress themes have a sidebar present on the right side of the screen. For some cases, it can be on the left as well.
If you wish to get rid of that sidebar or if you want to edit out items; here’s how it’s done:
You go to “Appearance,” and then you go to “Widgets.” These are present in the dashboard of WordPress.
Next, use the technique of drag and drop to put in different boxes to the sidebar or to take out items you do not need.
There is an HTML box; this is a text box in which an HTML code can be used. For starters, do not worry about this and only drag and drop the items you appreciate in your sidebar.
Plugins Installation to Make the most Use of WordPress
What are Plugins?
Plugins are extensions, which are made to expand the capabilities of WordPress. They add to the features and functions of WordPress; these features do not come built-in.
Plugins are a shortcut to having your site do what you wish to, without the need to build the features all from the beginning.
You can make use of plugins to carry out all activities ranging from adding a photo to submitting a form to optimize your website and to create an online store.
How to Install a New Plugin?
For the installation of plugins, go to “Plugins” and then to “Add New” and then start searching.
Remember that there are more than 25,000 various FREE plugins, so you have a great deal of variety to make a decision from.
Installation is very easy. Once you choose your plugin, click on “Install” and you’re all good to go.
To help you a little more along the journey, I have compiled a list of the most famous plugins that webmasters make use of:
1st- Contact from 7: This is an awesome feature to have guys and if you want to do something great, get this plugin for sure.
2nd- Yoast SEO for WordPress: If you wish to make your WordPress site more SEO-friendly then you should have this plugin. It is not just free, but it is awesome! The plugin will help you edit your title tags and meta descriptions etc. So no more getting annoyed with the WordPress settings.
3rd- Google Analytics: If you are interested in tracking the performance of your website; Google Analytics is all you need. All you have to do is to install the plugin and connect it with your Google account.
The Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful WordPress Website
Before we end this tutorial and bring the journey to an end, I would like to share with you some useful Do’s and Don’t for a good WordPress website.
Create benefits for the client/ customer.WordPress has loads to offer that you can package to give benefits to your customers. Always reach out to your customers and emphasize all the good features of your site that can encourage them to choose your business over the competitor.
Do ask for Feedback. Find the plugins that allow users to give feedback on your sites through social media, email, Twitter, support forums, etc. This will become an inevitable source for the growth of your business.
Do offer User Support. A good support system is very important. You should always be available to answer questions. Try to anticipate those issues before they arise.
Do get involved. Get involved in the WordPress community. Take time to acclimatize and familiarize yourself with the themes and plugins available. Seek out information from others.
Have Faith. Even if your adventures on WordPress were a hobby, it is important that you have good faith. You should make sure that you are good at what you do and that you show persistence and confidence.
Do not steal or copy other’s work. Do not try to copy someone else’s hard work by pasting it on your site and then calling it your own. You can take good content, ideas from others but do not present that like your work.
Congratulations!!! You are now ready to jump into the field; you are ready.
If you have made sure to follow the directions and steps in this guide, you will by this time have a completely functional WordPress website. Isn’t that just great? Wasn’t so bad, was it?