In today’s tech-driven world where millions of people go online everyday, one of the most effective ways to create awareness and attract customers to your business is by creating a website to represent your brand and your offerings. This article will show you, step by step, how to create a WordPress website.
A website is a great opportunity to…
- Showcase your products and services
- Get feedback to improve your business
- Reach potential customers from all over the world
So if you want to know the basics of building your website and survive in this digital dog-eat-dog world, I am here to help you.
Creating a website doesn’t need to be hard or complicated.
In fact, you can do it in just one day. And, if you can keep it super basic (I recommend this!), you could even do it in 1 hour.
Here are 6 easy steps to create a WordPress website for your new digital business:
Step #1: Choose a platform (15 seconds)
I’m going to save you a ton of time on this step, and just give you the answer. I’ve used many website platforms over the years and WordPress has been my top choice for a while now. You can easily build a basic but stunning website with WordPress.
Therefore we’ll be using WordPress in the examples as we explore the rest of the steps to building your amazing new website.
Step #2: Select domain name (0-2 hours)
The domain name is the address people type in the browser search bar in order to go directly to your website. You’ll want a domain name that reflects your brand. To choose the perfect domain name, it should be:
- RELEVANT – The domain name will represent what your business stands for, so make sure it is reflective of what you actually offer rather than just coming up with a name that sounds interesting or fun to you.
- SHORT – People will forget or mess up typing websites with long domain names. Keep it simple and as short as possible, so people will remember it.
- NUMBER-FREE – It’s best to stay away from using numbers in your domain name. It can make your website look unprofessional (even tacky). There are exceptions of course, but this is a good general guideline.
- ORIGINAL – Be unique without being too clever. The name should make sense more than anything. One of my favorite domain names is “doordash.com” — it’s cute, original, and is meaningful.
For more details, check out my previous article on how to pick a good domain name for your website.
[P.S. Don’t get too wrapped around the axle on this one. It can easily be an activity that is paralyzing by trying to find the perfect name. There’s no perfect name, and you’ll probably second guess yourself a hundred times regardless of which name you choose. Just decide and go!]
Step #3: Get a website hosting account (15-30 minutes)
The web host is where your website will be stored along with your files, images, copy, and all the other elements that are needed to run your website.
However, if you want to shortcut this step, just go with Bluehost. If you want more options to choose from, use the info in this step to compare the two biggest hosting providers – Bluehost and Godaddy.
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I use both GoDaddy and BlueHost (for different websites). They each have pros and cons, but for those of you who are new to website creation, I recommend Bluehost, mainly because of its one-step WordPress installation and friendly admin features.
[Note: It’s easier to use the same platform for both your domain name purchase and your hosting platform. But it’s not a big deal if you don’t, so don’t sweat it if you buy them separately.]
Once you’ve selected your hosting service, go ahead and set up a hosting account with them. If you haven’t purchased your domain name yet, you can do that at the same time. Also, you’ll want to install WordPress on your site while you’re setting up your hosting account. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Bluehost will do this for you automatically during signup.
[GoDaddy has a WordPress installation feature as well but it’s not as easy to use. So if you choose GoDaddy then give yourself another 30+ minutes to do this step.]
Step #4: Choose and install a theme (0-30 minutes)
This is where the fun and creativity of building your digital personality kicks in. The theme will set the look and feel of your overall website — color scheme, header and footer, menu bar, font, and page layout to name a few.
Big caveat here – you can totally go with the default theme that comes with WordPress. It’s not horrible. So if you just need to get your website up ASAP, then just go with the default theme and vow to up-level your site later. Trust me, most of your customers won’t know you used the default theme. Seriously, they won’t. And changing themes later is relatively easy with the basic site you are building.
But if you have more time on your hands and want something more unique, spend your time wisely and choose a theme that rings true to your business. There’s a wide variety of WordPress themes to choose from, many of which will cater to your type of business and the personality of your website.
After you’ve got your hosting service set up and WordPress installed, log into your WordPress admin area.
The default theme was already installed automatically when the site was created. If you’re going to stick with the default theme, you can skip the rest of this step. Bookmark this article and plan to come back later when you’re ready to try a different theme.
Here’s a quick tutorial…
How to change the theme in WordPress
- From your dashboard, in the left-hand menu select “Appearance > Themes.”
- Then, click on the [Add New] button at the top of the page, and you’ll see a list of themes. You can use the “Search themes…” box to search for a theme, or use the Add Themes menu bar to browse different collections of themes. Use the “Feature Filter” to do a more advanced type of search.
This is pretty intuitive – just poke around and you’ll get the hang of it.
- Once you’ve selected the theme you want, click on the “Install” button. After the installation completes, click on [Activate] to make it the current theme.
You just installed a WordPress theme! High five!
Step #5: Install plugins (0-20 minutes)
Before we get to the deets on plugins… feel free to completely skip this step for now. In my ongoing effort to help you do the minimum necessary to move forward, I encourage you to skip this step!
But, you will eventually need to install some plugins if you want to really leverage the power of WordPress to run your business. So… skip or continue, totally up to you.
Plugins are very useful when you know how to use them. WordPress has thousands of useful plug-ins that can increase the functionality of your website to make your work much easier and faster.
To learn more about which plugins you can use, read this post: https://tameyourtech.co/the-only-wordpress-plugins-you-need/
Here’s the thing about plugins though… The more you have, the more complicated your site gets. You’ll want to be careful about what plugins you use. In the very beginning, you really don’t need to install ANY plugins. You can create a WordPress website for your business without them.
[Note: If you’re planning on using your site for blogging, you’ll definitely want to install at least these: Akismet, Duplicate Post, and Redirection. The rest can wait until you need them.]
Step #6: Add content (1 hour)
Content is the driving force that will connect you to your visitors, so it is essential to include content that really speaks about who you are as a business and the value you provide to your audience.
When you’re just starting out, it’s best to go with the minimum amount of website content possible. Read last week’s blog post on how to create your minimum website content.
The basic content structure we’ll be working with now to get your site up and running fast is this:
The home page includes:
- Description and images about you and how you help people
- Customer testimonials
- Overview of your business and/or products
Contact Us page
- Contact form, address, phone number, and email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
- Photos and descriptions of your team members (optional)
- Social links such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
How We Help You page
- More details about your products and/or services and how it will help your reader
- Customer testimonials for each product or service
How to Create a page in WordPress
This is not intended to be an in-depth tutorial on how to create WordPress pages, but the following steps should get you well on your way there.
To create a page in WordPress…
- Go to your WordPress dashboard
- Click Pages in the left hand navigation panel
- Select Add New
- Type or paste in your title and content
- Insert your images and adjust them to fit where you want them
- Select [Publish] in the upper right-hand section
After creating your three pages, you’ll need to tell WordPress which is your home page. Here’s how…
- Go to your WordPress dashboard
- Click Settings in the left hand navigation panel
- Select Reading in the fly-out menu
- Where it says “Your homepage displays…”, select A Static Page and then use the drop down to select which page you want to have as your homepage.
- Click the [Save Changes] button at the bottom of the page.
Test your new website
The final step is to test your pages on your site. Go to your main url (e.g. www.mybusiness.com) and read all your pages, click all the links and buttons, and make sure everything is working.
If you aren’t seeing one or more of your new pages on your live site, check the “Appearance > Menus” section. Make sure your pages are all included in your primary menu. If they aren’t there you can select them from the Pages section on the left and click the [Add to menu] button to move them into your menu. Remember to click [Save Menu]!
As soon as you’re done with your new website, post a link in the comments below so I can take a look at it. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be DONE!
If you’re stuck, come to the Tame Your Tech facebook group and get some support from the community.