About 8 years ago, as I sat in front of my computer, determined to showcase my writing portfolio to potential employers, I knew I needed a platform that would not only display my work but also reflect my unique style. After hours of research and contemplation, I stumbled upon WordPress – a name that seemed to resonate with bloggers and website creators alike. Starting to use WordPress as a Content Management Platform, was an incredible learning experience.
I dove headfirst into the process of building my personal website. The initial steps were thrilling yet challenging. The task of selecting the perfect theme from a vast array of options proved to be quite a challenge for me. I wanted to find one that resonated with my personality and provided a seamless user experience for my visitors.
Slowly, I pieced together the puzzle of customizing layouts, experimenting with colors and fonts, and creating captivating pages to house my literary creations. I tried everything from expensive paid themes and the simplest minimalistic ones for my portfolio and yet nothing ever seemed right. I have changed my personal website’s theme almost every year.
I want to share what I learned by writing a blog about building a WordPress website. It will help people who want to make their own website, just like it helped me. Are you ready to make a website with WordPress?
Building a website can seem daunting, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. But don’t worry because in this guide, we’ll show you how to make a WordPress website without any coding knowledge.
And if you ever need assistance, our expert team at BBQ Marketing is available to help you set up your website.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a powerful content management system (CMS) that allows you to create and manage websites easily. It offers a wide range of features, flexibility, and customization options, making it the most popular website platform in the world. With WordPress, you don’t need to be a web developer or have coding skills to create a professional-looking website. It provides a user-friendly interface and a variety of pre-built website designs called themes, which you can customize to fit your needs.
What do I need to build a website?
Before diving into the website creation process, let’s discuss the essential elements you’ll need:
- Domain Name: This is the address of your website, such as www.osheenjain.com. Choose a domain name that is relevant to your business and easy to remember.
- Web Hosting: It’s where your website files are kept and can be found on the internet. Choose a good hosting company that does a good job, is safe, and has good customer service.
- Time and Attention: Building a website requires time and attention. It’s a learning curve to try different layouts and learn how to use plugins.
How much does a WordPress website cost?
The cost of a WordPress website can vary depending on several factors. Here are the main elements that contribute to the overall cost:
- Hosting: Prices can range from $3 to $25 per month depending on the hosting provider and the hosting plan you choose.
- Domain Name: This typically costs around $10 to $15 per year. You can always buy domains during sales or find coupons that give you discounts for buying multi-year plans.
- Theme: There are many free themes available, but premium themes with more features can cost between $30 to $100.
- Plugins: WordPress offers many free plugins, but premium plugins with advanced functionality can range from $10 to $100 or more. For example, SEO plugins come at a monthly cost of $25 per month.
- Customization: If you want to hire a web designer or developer to customize your website, the cost can vary greatly depending on their rates and the complexity of the customization.
Overall, the cost of a WordPress website can range from a few dollars per month to several hundred or even thousands of dollars, depending on your specific needs and requirements.
How to Build a WordPress Website
- Choosing the Right Domain Name
- Select a hosting plan.
- Install WordPress.
- Choose your theme.
- Enhancing Your Website with Plugins.
- Add posts and pages to your website.
1. Choosing the Right Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name is a crucial step in building a successful website. Here are some practical and useful tips to consider:
- Keep it simple and memorable: Choose a domain name that is easy to spell, pronounce, and remember. Avoid using complex words, hyphens, or numbers that can confuse users. If you’re building a personal website, find a .com domain with your firstname and surname. For exmaple, my personal website is www.osheenjain.com.
- Reflect your brand: Your domain name should align with your brand identity and convey the purpose of your website. If you are an artist and your domain is already taken, you can try combinations like OsheenDesigns.com or OsheenStudios.com. These domains reflect my background and personal brand identity – an artist or designer.
- Consider the extension: The domain extension, such as .com, .org, or .net, plays a role in user perception and search engine rankings. .com is the most popular and widely recognized, so it’s generally recommended. However, if your website targets a specific country, consider using a country-specific extension like .co.uk for the United Kingdom or co.in for India.
- Check availability on social media: Before finalizing your domain name, check if the corresponding usernames are available on popular social media platforms. Consistent branding across different channels is essential. This is a crucial steps for brands and businesses.
- Keep it timeless: Choose a domain name that will remain relevant and effective in the long run. Avoid using trendy words or phrases that may lose their appeal over time. If you only offer content writing services, don’t restrict your website by using the word writer or content in it. You can use terms like marketing, which give you the flexibility of adding services like social media marketing or copywriting in the future.
Remember, your domain name is a significant part of your online identity. It’s worth investing time and effort into finding the perfect domain name that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience.
I have previously used GoDaddy and Hostinger to buy a domain. Both of these platforms offer a hassle-free service for buying domains. One of the reasons I always prefer GoDaddy for buying domain names is because they offer free whois domain protection.
If you’re not familiar with whois protection or what anonymous domain registration is, take a look at my blog post on ‘What Is Anonymous Domain Registration’ to gain a deeper understanding.
To buy a domain from GoDaddy, first check if your preferred domain is available:
Let’s take a look at what options are available:
GoDaddy has suggested alternative options because my domain has already been taken. However, you can always try variations of phrases to see what is available.
You can choose the domain that you like and add extra add-ons such as domain protection. As I mentioned earlier, GoDaddy offers a free privacy protection, but brands have the option to opt for a Full or Ultimate Protection.
Continue to cart and make the payment. However, you should remember that the discounted prices are only available for the first year and with various terms and conditions.
You can scroll back to see the results of osheenjain.com. You’ll notice that osheenjain.co.uk is available at £0.01 but right below it, in smaller font, it says that ‘1st yr only with 3 yr term.’ This means that I will have to pay the amount of three years upfront and only first year will be at £0.01.
Note: Don’t forget to check the Terms and Conditions whenever a domain name provider offers a heavily discounted domain name.
2. Selecting a Web Hosting Provider
A reliable web hosting provider is essential for the performance and security of your website. Look for a hosting provider that meets the following criteria:
- Offers good uptime and fast loading times.
- Provides excellent customer support.
- Offers easy WordPress installation.
- Includes features like automatic backups and SSL certificates.
Some popular web hosting providers for WordPress include Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround. I have used SiteGround and Bluehost before. Currently, I am using Hostinger as my web hosting provider.
Here is a quick overview of their premium hosting plans for startups and small to medium buisnesses:
3. Installing WordPress
Once you have obtained your domain name and web hosting, it is time to proceed with the installation of WordPress. Many hosting providers offer one-click installations, making the process quick and easy. Follow these general steps:
- Log in to your hosting account and navigate to the control panel (cPanel).
- Look for the “WordPress” or “Website” section and click on it.
- Select the domain where you want to install WordPress.
- Follow the prompts to complete the installation.
For more detailed instructions, consult your hosting provider’s documentation or our guide on installing WordPress.
4. Customizing Your Website Design with Themes
Now that WordPress is installed, it’s time to choose a theme for your website. Themes shape the overall layout and appearance of your web presence. WordPress provides a multitude of free and premium themes for users to select from. When selecting a theme, consider the following:
- Choose a theme that aligns with your website’s purpose and industry.
- Look for a responsive theme that works well across different devices.
- Consider the customization options available within the theme.
- Check user reviews and ratings to ensure the theme is reliable and well-supported.
To install a theme, follow these steps:
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Appearance” and click on “Themes.”
- Click on “Add New” to browse and search for themes.
- Once you find a theme you like, click on “Install” and then “Activate” to make it your active theme.
Remember, you can always change your theme later if you decide to give your website a fresh look.
5. Enhancing Your Website with Plugins
Plugins are additional software that add extra functionality to your WordPress website. They let you add more features and capabilities to your site without having to code anything. The platform has a huge collection of plug-ins, both free and paid. Some essential plugins to consider include:
- SEO Plugin: Helps optimize your website for search engines.
- Security Plugin: Enhances the security of your website by protecting against threats.
- Contact Form Plugin: Allows you to create custom contact forms for your visitors.
- Backup Plugin: Automates website backups to protect your data.
To install a plugin, follow these steps:
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Plugins” and click on “Add New.”
- Search for the desired plugin using keywords or browse popular plugins.
- Click on “Install” and then “Activate” to enable the plugin on your site.
Be cautious when installing plugins and only choose reputable ones with good reviews and regular updates.
6. Creating Pages and Blog Posts
With the foundation of your website set up, it’s time to start creating content. WordPress allows you to create both pages and blog posts. Pages: Pages are used for static content like your homepage, about page, contact page, and other informational pages. Create pages that provide essential information about your business or organization.
Blog Posts: Blog posts are for regularly updated content, such as news, articles, or blog entries. Write engaging and informative blog posts to attract and engage your audience.
- To create a page or blog post, follow these steps:
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Pages” or “Posts” and click on “Add New.”
- Enter a title for your page or post.
- Add your content using the WordPress editor.
- Format the text, add images, and include any relevant media.
- Once you’re satisfied, click “Publish” to make your page or post live on your website.
Remember to optimize your content for search engines by using relevant keywords and providing valuable information to your readers.
Learning Resources and Support for WordPress
WordPress has a vast community of users and developers who are eager to help you learn and succeed with your website. Here are some resources you can explore:
- WordPress.org: The official website for WordPress provides documentation, forums, and tutorials to help you learn and troubleshoot.
- WordPress Support Forums: Connect with other WordPress users to ask questions and get assistance.
- WordPress Blogs and Websites: Many websites and blogs provide tutorials, tips, and tricks for using WordPress effectively.
Check out sites like WPBeginner, WPExplorer, and WP Mayor. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you encounter any challenges during your website building journey.
Taking Your Website Further
Once your website is up and running, you can continue to enhance its functionality and features. Consider the following options: eCommerce: If you want to sell products or services online, explore WordPress plugins like WooCommerce to turn your website into an eCommerce store.
Membership Sites: Offer exclusive content or services to your audience by creating a membership site using plugins like MemberPress or Paid Memberships Pro.
Online Courses: If you’re an expert in a particular field, consider creating and selling online courses using plugins like LearnDash or LifterLMS.
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com
The difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com comes down to who is actually hosting your website.
You use WordPress.org to host your website or blog where you have to download the WordPress software, buy a domain from a third-party site, and manage your server.
On the other hand, WordPress.com provides hosting services for your website. It’s free and doesn’t require any software or server. Your website’s URL will look like this if you choose WordPress.com: www.mywebsite.wordpress.com. You can also upgrade your WordPress.com account and buy a custom domain from a third-party provider and your URL will look like this: www.mywebsite.com
If you haven’t read everything yet, here’s a quick overview of what you need to do: choose a website hosting plan that your friend suggested, get a.com domain, choose a free website theme, and start making your own website! You can keep introducing changes to content and themes as you learn. There are tons of things you need to decide, but take the leap and keep learning and keep improvising.
You can always switch to a paid or more professional-looking theme by following the steps in this guide. You don’t need to know how to code to start building your portfolio WordPress website. Remember that WordPress has a learning curve, and you can keep updating your site as you experiment with new designs.