In our world of rising global connectivity, websites are everywhere. In 2020, the ability to create a website is accessible to all ages and skill levels. Anyone with a computer, internet connection, and a decent understanding of the internet can fully build and design a website. WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) which allows you to become a developer without having any prior or in-depth knowledge about web development, design or networking.
In this step-by-step guide, we will discuss the various steps involved in this process, namely:
- Buy a Domain Name
- Signup for Excellent Web Hosting
- Add Your Site and Install WordPress
- Add a Theme
- Add Essential Plugins
- Add Pages and Content
In what follows, we will let you know everything you need to know about creating a WordPress website in no time. What’s more, you won’t even have to spend money on web designers, agencies, and website building software! Once you’ve read this guide, you will be able to put together everything you need all by yourself. So, let’s get to it!
Step 1: Buy a Domain Name
The first thing you need to put in place before you go about creating your website is your domain name. This is the identity of your online presence, so you need to ensure that you pick the right domain name for yourself. However, a huge amount of domain names are already booked. So, how do you come up with an original name that isn’t already taken?
Simple. Domain name generators and domain name spinners are both freely available on the internet. The former will generate fresh, available names for you while the latter will spin up modified versions of existing domain names to fit your needs. Services like BigRock can help you generate alternative domain names as well as get great deals on your domain registrations.
Once you have shortlisted a domain, run it by this quick quality assurance list to ensure it’s worth the investment:
- Is your domain name short? (strictly 2-4 words or 6-14 characters)
- Does it have a popular domain extension? (.com, .org, .net, target .countryspecific)
- Does it have your niche keywords? (example – digitaltrends.com, bloggingbasics101.com, moneycontrol.com)
- Is it easy to remember?
- Is it easy to pronounce and spell?
- Does it seem unique and brandable?
- Does it avoid hyphens and numbers?
It’s okay if your domain name strays from a few of these points, as long as it follows most of the rest.
Step 2: Signup for Excellent Web Hosting
Signing up for a hosting package can seem like a daunting task because it comes with the responsibility of processing an overwhelming number of options and information. There are tens, if not hundreds, of different companies that can sell you hosting packages for your website.
After going through all the options, processing the information and doing all the technical heavy-lifting for you, we recommend Kinsta. Here’s why.
What makes Kinsta the Best Partner for Your WordPress Site?
- Platform Optimized For Speed
Kinsta offers a range of some of the latest web hosting software, including Nginx, PHP 7, LXD containers, and MariaDB. Advanced ZFS file system is used for file storage.
- Prepared to Handle Unlimited Traffic
Google Cloud Platform enables highly scalable hardware which allows you to access resources needed to deliver a smooth user experience for your readers. Also, in the fortunate event that your website goes viral or experiences a sharp surge in traffic, automatic scaling ensures your site continues to perform steadily.
- Always Online
Kinsta puts their claims of reliability to action by offering an SLA-backed, 99.9% uptime guarantee. This vote of confidence is built upon the cloud-hosting infrastructure. If we compare with traditional hosting, cloud hosting seems to have a competitive edge in reliability for keeping websites online.
Kinsta pushes their belief in their claims even further with monitoring and uptime checks for your websites done every minute. In the scenario that they fail to correct error response codes within 30 minutes, you will get your money back. This guarantee holds, 24*7, every day of the year.
- Fortified Security
Protection is the basis of faith in a hosting company. Kinsta understands this and mounts security on a pedestal. They have a proactive and vigilant approach which uses both active and passive measures to monitor attacks and malicious intent. They block interrupted uptime and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. Additionally, they facilitate SSL (secure socket layer) support and hardware firewalls along with other items on the list of safety features 24*7 to surround you with a fortress of defence.
Combined with this are automatic daily WordPress website backups which are kept for a minimum of 14 days on the entry-level plans, and for longer on the higher-level plans. If required, you can also pay an extra fee to get upgraded to six-hour or hourly backups. You can also opt to create complete website backups manually with the touch of a button, as and when needed. If you do this, you will have the option of downloading these backups for safekeeping. In case backup restoration is required, you can easily do so by deploying your backups directly to your live site or to the test environment.
- Experts on Your Side
Having a team of experts is one of the luxuries of investing in a premium service. Kinsta is renowned for their support team and this claim is backed by thousands of glowing testimonials from customers.
Kinsta’s support team is composed entirely of veteran WordPress developers and Linux hosting engineers. With an acceptance rate of less than 1% of applicants for this job description, Kinsta ensures you have only the best experts on every call.
You can avail of 24*7 support via the Intercom widget, live chat, or ticket solution.
- Free and Extensive Knowledge Base
Kinsta has created a comprehensive knowledge base over the years. It is full of tips, articles and a glossary of tech terms. Their knowledge base gives you the chance to solve your problems on your own.
Step 3: Add Your Site and Install WordPress via Kinsta Admin Dashboard
Add Your Site
To add your site, log in to your Admin Dashboard. In the left navigation pane, select Sites and click either of the Add Site buttons. You will encounter a form for adding a new site. This includes a few options used to customize your site. These options are:
Location – select a physical location for your site. This is the location where your data is actually stored and served from. We recommend choosing a location closest to your user base as this will decrease latency and load times.
Name of This Site – Write the name of your site. This name will be shown in the MyKinsta dashboard, it won’t be visible to your visitors.
Custom Domain – If you already have a domain you can select “custom domain” and it will use that when creating your WordPress site. However, if you use the custom domain option, a temporary domain will not be created.
Install WordPress on Your Added Site
To install WordPress, select Add a Brand New Install. Next, you will need to fill the following information:
Site Title – set the title of your website. This will be visible to your visitors in a number of places including the browser tab and a number of other places depending on your theme.
Admin Username – write your username. We recommend using something which is easy to remember and is different from admin. You will use this to log in to your WordPress installation. New users can be added later.
Admin Password – set your password which you will use this password to log in to your installation. Kinsta automatically enforces strong passwords to protect users. There is an option to generate new password if you want a strong auto-generated one.
Admin Email – this email is used by WordPress to send the admin important notifications.
Select a Language – sets the language you would like to use WordPress in. You can choose your native tongue even if you are writing content in English. Your preferred language will be used for all the dashboard controls.
Multisite Installation – tick this box if you would like to create a WordPress Multisite installation. If you tick it, you may then choose between Subdomain and Subdirectory installs.
Finish – click on the “Add” button to complete the process and install WordPress. This will take a few moments. After the installation is done, you will receive a notification via the admin dashboard.
Step 4: Add a Free or Paid Theme
A theme is a framework for the visual appearance of your website. Using WordPress to choose pre-made themes is like hiring a web designer on your behalf. There are plenty of free pre-made WordPress themes available online which can be chosen as per your requirements and preferences.
Installing a theme is straightforward. First, log in to your WordPress admin page, then go to Appearance and select Themes. To add a theme, click Add New. From this page, you have two ways to add a new theme. There is a search bar that you can use if you want to know the name of the theme you want. You can use the feature filter if you don’t know your preferred theme’s name and choose all filters applicable to you and click Apply Filter. This will give you a results page filled with themes meeting your search criteria. To see additional options for the theme, hover over it; you can either choose Preview to see a demo of the theme or install it by clicking the Install button once you’re ready. Once installed, click the Activate link. You’re all done, now you can preview your site to see how it looks.
Free themes can be great and they can really help you out if you are looking to keep the cost of the entire website low, but the tradeoff for free themes is quality. Paid themes, on the other hand, charge for the assurance of quality. With premium themes, you can be assured that the theme is well coded, optimised, and compatible. If you are looking for premium themes then you can check out ProteusThemes. It’s a famous WordPress and eCommerce theme store. If you are unsure about their effectiveness for your website, they provide you with a 7-day free trial, without the need to fill in your credit card details, to assure satisfaction.
Step 5: Add Essential WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are small pieces of code that provide you with additional or extended functionalities. They are like the apps on your mobile phone. If themes allow you to “hire” web designers for your website, plugins allow you to “hire” web developers and handle all the coding side of your site.
Finding and installing a plugin is super simple. Go to your WordPress dashboard and then to Plugins, click Add New. Enter the name of the plugin that you want into the search field, and then click on “Install” and “Activate.” You’re done.
What should you search for? Search for features you would like to have on your website. Along with specific features for your website, you should also install a list of essential plugins aimed to increase the productivity and effectiveness of your site. Below are some plugins which are essential for any site and you should consider getting – most of them can be installed for free.
- Security – activates different features to boost your security.
- Backup – does automatic backups of your website or manual backups when needed.
- SEO – makes search engine optimization tweaks and make your site more accessible to the search engines.
- Analytics – delivers traffic and website usage analysis taking various parameters into consideration.
- Image optimisation – optimizes your images.
- Forms – lets you add interactive contact forms to your website, which your visitors can use to reach you directly – much better than displaying your email in plain text on your site.
When it comes to free vs premium plugins, the tradeoff still remains the same. However, along with better build quality, premium plugins provide you with more advanced features, seamless integration and a better UI.
Step 6: Add Pages and Content
The final step is to give flesh to the bones of your website by adding pages and content. Every website has a set of must-have pages, regardless of their purpose.
Let’s see how to create a page. To create a page, simply go to your WordPress dashboard, then Pages and click Add New. When you are on a new page you will see various sections to be filled. You will see two main sections: Headline and Body. The Headline section is the title of the page and the name of your page goes here. The Body section is the main content of the page and all related content to the headline will go here. The interface of the Body section is very similar to any word processing software, like MS Word or TextEdit. You get all the basic text formatting features like bold, italics, text alignment, font size, etc. Along with text formatting, you also get features to add images, lists, and other elements usually seen on webpages. Enter the headline and enter the page content in the body section. Once done, click the Publish button.
What are the must-have pages you should consider creating?
- Home – this is the default page or landing page for your visitors and it should have a short summary or meaningful excerpt from the rest of the pages on your site.
- About – this is where you tell your visitors about the story of your website and its purpose.
- Contact – this is where you display your contact information, usually with a contact form to collect visitor information so that you can reach them directly.
- Services/Products – this page is used to highlight what you do and how you do it or to highlight your product catalogue to showcase all that you have to offer your customers.
Believe it or not – you’re done! That’s all the major information you’ll need to create a solid WordPress website of your own in under 60 minutes!