Hello and welcome to this ultimate guide explaining how to make a website in as little as 5 minutes!
Whether you decided to start a blog, create a website for your business, want to open an online shop and sell goods, digitals or offer some services, congratulations on getting started with this exciting adventure!
I remember when years ago, I also wanted to set up a blog and I totally had no idea what I was doing and where I was supposed to start – everything was so confusing!
I decided to create this ultimate guide explaining how to make a website to make it easy for everyone to begin their online journey. This post will guide you through this one step at the time and will also explain the meaning of many words you will come across when setting up your website.
DECIDE ON A NAME
You will probably not believe it but coming up with a name for your website, blog or online shop is the most difficult part of this process. I would suggest to go for something that is relevant to you or your business, describes your business/blog and is easy to remember.
To look professional, in my opinion, you should avoid repeating the last letters of the name just because your original idea is taken. For example, let’s say I want my website to be called ‘wordpressthemes’ but because this is already taken, many people would go for ‘wordpressthemessss‘. Sometimes, even this is taken so they either add a random number after it or insert their year of birth and they end up with website names looking something like this: ‘wordpressthemesss1989’. Not only it doesn’t look really professional, yet it can be hard to memorize by your readers/clients.
You should also google your desired website name and see what comes up. If there are any other businesses with the same name, remember you will be competing for google ranking with them, therefore try to go for something that is unique and, again, easy to remember.
DOMAIN NAME & SOCIAL MEDIA
Once you decide on the website name, it is time to check the availability of domain names and social media usernames.
Domain name is simply the address of a web page. It is just like your home address so let’s say you want to invite someone for a coffee, you would tell them ‘Hey, come over to my place for a coffee. I live on 22 WordPress Road’, when you want to invite someone to read your blog or check out your online store you would say ‘Hey, check out my online store, I sell some amazing stuff. It is at missblogger.co‘.
You can check various types of domain names here and see what is available. While GoDaddy offers the domain names at great prices, don’t rush to buy it yet because many hosting packages come with free domains – I explain this in the next step.
Apart from checking the availability of your desired domain name, you also want to check if the same name is available across the most popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest… Again, if the name is taken on one or some of them, try to come up with a different username so that you can stick to the same one on social media platforms. You don’t want to be called one thing on Facebook, another on Instagram and have even different username on your Twitter.
Hosting is a service provided by companies. It is not only about storing your stuff (pages you create, images you add etc.) but also ‘serving’ the website to your visitors when they type your website address (the domain name) into the browser window.
WordPress, however, is Content Management System. It works in a very similar way to our computers. Hosting is very similar to the hard drive you have in your computer as it stores everything (just like the servers provided by a hosting company do) but to be able to do anything on your computer, you need Windows or other operating system (WordPress).
When purchasing WordPress hosting from a company, you will usually get the domain name for free.
Bluehost and SiteGround are the two companies that I always recommend to bloggers. In this guide, I will work with SiteGround WordPress Hosting. Their set-up is very easy and they have affordable plans so even if you are a beginner, you can have your website up and running in no time!
STEP ONE: SELECT THE PLAN.
Go here and select the package you want.
If you are a beginner and you don’t expect to have more than 10,000 visits on your website monthly, select the StartUp plan. You can upgrade your plan later on if, after some time, you will hit more than this amount of visits.
Once you click on ‘Get Started’, you will be asked to enter your domain name. Enter your desired web address and click ‘Proceed’.
STEP TWO: ENTER YOUR DETAILS.
First, you will be asked to enter your email and password. This is what you will use to log in into your SiteGround account, not the website itself.
You will then have to fill out the Client and Payment Information sections.
The last section on this page will show what hosting plan you have chosen and will give you an option to add some extras. Domain Privacy is a very useful service you can eventually go for for an additional cost. Thanks to Domain Privacy, your personal details such as name, e-mail, home address or phone number will not be publicly visible (less spam emails, less phone calls).
STEP THREE: ASSIGN THE DOMAIN AND SET-UP WORDPRESS.
You have to select ‘Register a new domain’ and ‘Start a new website’. You want to choose WordPress as your software. You will then have to enter your email and create username and password that will be used to log in to your website. For security reasons, set up a username that is different to your domain name.
You will then be asked if you want to add some extras to your website. I usually don’t go for them at the beginning and if there is anything I really need, I go back to add that extra later on.
STEP FOUR: LOGGING IN & WORDPRESS SETTINGS.
At this point, your website is already created! Congratulations! Now, you can log in and set-up the basic WordPress settings.
To log in and access your WordPress dashboard, you want to go to http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin and enter the credentials from Step Three above.
Once logged in, you will see the menu with options. You will see things like Posts, Pages, Comments, Appearance, Plugins etc. You want to click on Settings – General where you are asked to enter the site title, tagline, the day the week starts etc. Quite straight-forward.
The site title and tagline that you will enter will be displayed in the browser tab whenever someone visits your website. Also, when you purchase a WordPress design, you can either display your site title and tagline as a text or replace it with your logo (some image).
Next, you want to go to Settings – Permalinks where you are able to select the structure of your links. We recommend you go for ‘Post Name’ option as it includes the post or page title in the URL, which is good for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
After all of these are done, you are ready to start adding the content and customizing the look your website. In this guide, we don’t explain how you can customize the look of your blog as this is different depending on the WordPress theme you are using, however, all designs have one thing in common – widget areas.
Imagine you have the property floor-plan where you can see rooms such as living room, kitchen, bedroom etc. These rooms are our widget areas and widgets (something like website gadgets) are our furnitures so, for example, if you had a list of furnitures and the floor-plan, you would want to drag and drop a sofa into a living room.
We do exactly the same thing with widgets. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance – Widgets. On the left, you will see a list of all available widgets and on the right, you will see widget areas – places where they can be placed. The themes I offer feature widget areas like home page, after content, sidebar etc. so simply, if you wanted to place a subscription widget into your sidebar, you would drag subscription widget and drop it into the sidebar widget area. Alternatively, you can click on the subscription (or any other) widget and select your desired widget area from a drop-down list.
We hope our guide helped you to set-up your WordPress website.