Getting a website means a big investment, both in time and budget. That’s why some people and companies decide to use WordPress and a theme. This solution works when you just need some online presence. You will be using a prefabricated website so, that may not satisfy all your needs, but it will be cheap and fast. At Breu, my digital agency, we don’t do this kind of websites because we believe on understanding our client needs and offer them a creative solution. But, I completely understand that sometimes you just need something low cost, and thats why I want to teach you how to do it yourself. Just follow step by step this process and you will get your website done!
1. Prepare the content
The first thing before creating your website is planing. You should prepare all the information you want to display. Write the content and get the images and videos.
2. Get the hosting and the domain
The domain will be your url, and the hosting is the online space you’ll get to upload your website, linked with your domain.
There are many different companies selling hosting services. I have chosen Godaddy as an example, so, I’ll show you how to get the hosting and the domain on their platform.
If you click here, you’ll go directly to the page where you will find the perfect hosting plan for a small website running with WordPress. There are many different plans. I recommend you to start with the basic one, and buy more features on the future, when you need it.
After selecting the hosting plan, you just need to checkout. And then, they will offer you to get the domain, already linked to your new hosting. Is as simple as typing the domain you want on the form “Add a domain to your order”. My advice is to take a short domain, relevant to your activity and easy to remember and type.
Maybe you need some time to think about the domain you want, and check the availability. Then it’s easy if you just go to the main page and take your time. It’s an important decision.
3. Choose a WordPress Theme
The WordPress Theme is the web template you’re gonna use for your site. There are free themes and premium ones. I strongly recommend you to get a premium one, because is not that expensive and your website will look more professional. Anyway, if you’re not sure, you can do this step later, after step 5.
The biggest marketplace for WP Themes is Themeforest. There are many Themes, for any different purpose.
To make it easier, I’ve selected some good ones:
Oshine: this one is super complete. You can use it for a Portfolio, Corporate Page or even for an e-Commerce. It has a very powerful page builder that will allow you to create many different layouts and customize it without touching any code. But, on the other hand, it’s a bit difficult to use because you can get lost on all the functionalities that it offers. Just check it out and look at all the demos and possibilities. I’ve used it several times and I can say that is my favorite one.
Ink: this one is very easy to use. You can use it for writing stories. The design is very minimal and displays images and videos in a very powerful way. I’m using it on my traveling blog, and I love it just because is simple and beautiful. Check it if you’re looking for a blog theme.
Avoc: this one is focused on portfolios. Is simpler than Oshine. I love the layout, it looks a bit hipster, clean and minimal. It has a page builder as well, that will allow you to create different page layouts and customize it in a easy way. Check it out if you are a freelancer or an agency and you need a website to explain what you do and show your work.
4. Configure the hosting using Godaddy
Once you have your domain, hosting and theme, you can use GoDaddy to configure your website. It’s very easy to do. If you have any problem, you can just contact their Help and Support team. Just login at Godaddy and go to your panel. There, you have Managed WordPress Websites. Click to the green button that says “Manage”.
On the new window, click on “Add Site” and after that you just need to follow the 4 steps process.
To start: Select “I’m building a brand new site” and click to “Get started”
Step 1: Pick a Domain, select your domain on the dropdown menu. If your domain is not on the list, it means that you have to buy it or validate it. Check your email, maybe they have sent you a validation email.
Step 2: Choose a data center, as I’m from Barcelona and most of my clients from Europe, I’ll select Europe.
Step 3: Set an user name and password and click “Install”
And that’s it!
5. Configure your WordPress
Your website is already online. You can visit it using your domain. To configure your WordPress, type your domain and after it add /wp-admin It would be like that: www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin
You’ll get a 4 steps process. Click to Start Wizard and fill all the forms.
On the last step, you’ll choose a theme. There are some free themes, you can pick one and after we’ll change it. They will install you the theme and after that you can go again to www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin and you’ll be on your WordPress Admin Panel.
6. Upload and customize your theme
On the WordPress Admin Panel, look to the menu on the left, click at “Appearance” and then to “Themes”.
After that, you’ll be managing the themes. Click on “Add New” and on the next page click on “Upload Theme”. You just have to upload the zip file you’ve got after purchasing your theme. Be careful, because it may not be the file you directly have downloaded. It should have the same name as the theme, and it could be inside an other zip file. Take a look on the screenshot below.
After selecting the file, click at “Install” and remember to activate the Theme after installing it.
And now, you just have to Customize it. Go again to Appearence / Themes and do all the actions that your theme requieres. For example, in my case using Ink, I have to install some plugins. Just click on the blue links and follow the steps.
After that, take a look on your themes list. You’ll have your Active Theme, and a blue button that says “Customize”. Click it.
You’ll get some customization options on the left side, and you can play around with it and see how your website changes on real time. Remember to save once you’re happy with it.
Every theme works on it’s own way. Some will be easy to customize just on this panel, and some others have specific options inside the WordPress Admin Panel. If you have problems with that, you can read the documentation that comes together with the theme, and ask for help on Themeforest, because when you buy a theme, the support is also included.
7. Place your Content on the Website
This last step is a bit hard to explain, because every theme works different. But I’ll explain you some general stuff.
Define the URL system
Click at Settings / Permalinks and ensure you have selected “Post Name”
Click to Pages / Add new to create a new page and fill it with content. If your theme has a page builder, use it to get a richer layout.
Manage the menu
Click to Appearance / Menu to define the pages you want to display on the menu. Remember that you can create more than one menu, define it’s location, and add different pages, blog posts, categories and external links.
If you don’t know how the WordPress Panel works at all, take a look on their website, they have a lot of tutorials.
8. Explore all the WordPress features
Keep playing around with your WordPress Panel. Maybe install some plugins if you need extra functionalities.
Use your brand identity to choose the right colors and typography. Upload your logo at least on the header. And make it look cool with beautiful content.
If you have found this useful, share it with your friends, to help them to create their own website as well. And please, let me know about your experiences creating your website on the comments below. I would love to know about your results.
WordPress Hosting Plan
Oshine: Multi-purpose Portfolio Theme
Ink: Blog Theme
Avoc: Creative Portfolio Theme
Yoast: SEO Plugin
Polylang: languages plugin
Google Analytics Plugin
I hope this post has been useful for you. If you need extra help, at my design studio we offer you some consultancy services. You can contact us and ask for help and we’ll teach you how to create your first website on your own.