How To Build A Website
MAKE YOUR OWN WEBSITE QUICKLY & EASILY.
Hi, I’m Tim! Let’s build your website!
This is a free tutorial on how to build a website for beginners.
Go from a blank browser window. To a fully built website in no time at all!
What do you need to create a website?
FIND THE BEST WEBSITE PLATFORM
What do you need to build a website?
Build your website step-by-step!
What do you need to build a website?
Let’s look at what you need to build a website.
Here is a list of things you need to create a website.
- Decide on a website builder platform.
- Choose and register a domain name.
- Sign up for Website hosting.
- Start building your website.
In this website tutorial I’ll help you with each of these steps. Getting started building your website will take about 20 – 30 min.
Once you’re done with the basics I have more free tutorials that will show you how to create and design all kinds of different types of web pages.
If you are worried about cost, building your own website is very inexpensive. If you choose to use everything that I recommend the cost of your website will be a little bit over $0.50 per day, but you could cut a few corners and start building your website for a cost of less then $0.37 per day.
This is far cheaper then spending anywhere from $1,200.00 – $15,000.00 hiring a professional website designer.
What kind of website will you be able to create with this tutorial?
In this tutorial you will learn the basis for creating just about any kind of website. Here are a few examples of the kinds of websites you will be able to create.
- Restaurant Website
- Interactive Resume
- Membership Website
- Club Website
- Non-Profit Website
- Blog Website
- Online Store
- Social Network
- Reveiw Website
- Small Business Website
I choose the tools and services that I recommend on this website based on my experience and independent testing. Some of the tools and services that I have tested I have developed a relationship with. If you use the links that I provide to these tools, I may receive a small commission. This helps me to keep my tutorials free for you to use. So thanks for your support!
Also if there are any special deals that I provide I’ll be sure to include them with the links!
If you have questions or need help let me know! My goal is to help you get started, so if something isn’t clear let me know! Send me an email and I’ll see if I can help answer your question.
Part 1: What website builder platform should you use and why?
Choosing the right website platform is the key to easily making a great website.
I’ve tried all of the major website platform and for me there is one that stands out as the best choice for most people to start with.
What Is The Difference Between Website Building Platforms?
The Two Main Types of Website Building Platforms.
There are two main classifications of website platforms. Open source and closed proprietary systems.
Closed Website Building Platforms
Examples of Closed Website Building Platforms
WordPress.com is based on the open source code of WordPress, but you are restricted by the plugins and themes that you can use with the WordPress.com platform.
With a closed system the website platform you choose restricts what you can do with your website.
Closed Website Building Platforms restrict:
- Options for additional functionality
- You must use the hosting provided
- Limited options for the tools to design and build your pages
If the closed platform that you choose offers exactly what you want and need this may not be a problem. The problem comes if there is additional functionality that you need that they don’t offer, or even worse if they decide to cancel a piece of functionality that your website is dependent on.
Open Source Website Building Platforms
Open source software allows anyone to freely use, modify, and add to the source code of the software. This means that independent people and companies can add all sorts of functionality to an open source platform. This makes open source platforms flexible and powerful tools to build a website with.
Examples Of Open Source Platforms:
With An Open Source Platforms:
- Choose your hosting company
- Many options for added functionality
- Many choices for website builders for designing and building your pages
- More widely used the the closed systems
My top pick for a website builder platform is WordPress.org, because of the flexibility and freedom to choose your hosting, page builder and providers for any additional functionality that you may want to add to your website. It’s also the most widely used platform.
What Is WordPress And What Can You Do With It?
WordPress is an Open Source system. This means that their code is free for anyone to add to or modify. The base WordPress software is actually free to download!
In the next section I will show you the fastest and easiest way to install WordPress.
With WordPress being open for anyone to add to and modify, there are lots of different tools and functions that you can add to a WordPress website.
You can do just about anything with WordPress. You can build a website that is basic, or you can easily add on all sorts of additional functions to create a complex website systems like a sales funnel or even your own social network.
WordPress accounts for almost 30% of all websites and of the websites that use a website building platform almost 60% of them are built with WordPress.
Here are just a few examples of what you can do with a WordPress website:
- Start a blog
- Run an online store
- Promote your local business
- Create landing pages
- Email opt-ins
- Membership Website
- Advanced Marketing techniques
- Create an online forum
- Create your own social network
- Make a club website
- Build a small business website
- Interactive resume
- Build your own sales funnel
- Split test pages
- Teach an online course
With all of this versatility and options available. WordPress is a great website platform for small business and content based businesses like blogs.
WordPress is widely used by companies big and small. Here are a few companies that use WordPress as part of their online presence:
- The New Your Times
- Best Buy
- Best Buy
- Katy Perry
- BBC America
- The Star Wars Blog
Part 2: What do you need to build your website and be successful with it?
It’s all about getting started the right way.
To be successful at easily making a website with WordPress it’s important to get started in the right way. Part of that is making sure that you install and configure WordPress correctly, and part of that is choosing the right tools to use with WordPress.
The two main things that you will need to build a great WordPress website are:
- A great hosting company
- The right WordPress Theme
WordPress is a very large platform with lots of different types of people using it with lots of different skill levels. There are people who use WordPress as a starting place to build a website. They then add to it by writing their own code, and then there are people like us looking for the best way to easily build a website and easily design our pages.
Choosing a great hosting company
I’ve tried many hosting companies. The hosting that you choose does make a difference as to how your website will perform and how easy it will be for you to get started.
Most hosting companies offer WordPress installations, but some hosting companies make it easier then others to manage and Install WordPress. I have a review of my favorite web hosting companies that you can use to build a WordPress website with, and later on in this tutorial I’ll show you how to setup WordPress with my top hosting pick for beginners.
Choosing the right WordPress theme
The key to being successful at easily creating a website with WordPress is to choose the right theme.
There are thousands of themes available for WordPress, and if you are new to the platform it can be confusing which theme is the right theme to get started with.
I highly recommend using a page builder theme.
Page builder themes allow you to easily design your website. Creating page layouts, changing things like background colors, fonts and background images is very easy with a page builder theme.
Most other types of themes rely on static layouts and static color palettes. In order to make even what seems like simple changes with most themes you need to know how to code. With a good page builder theme you can build a website with just about any kind of page design or layout.
There are a few different page builder themes out there. I’ve tested and tried most of them. The theme that I use and that I recommend is the Divi theme. It’s actually the theme that I have used to create this website with.
I have a full review of the Divi theme if you want to learn more about it’s features.
A few things that I really like about the Divi theme are:
Pre-made Page And Website Templates:
The theme itself comes with a few free page and website templates which is nice, but what is also nice is that there are many other free and paid website templates available for you to get started with. I have a whole page on free page and website templates for Divi, and I’ve created a few of my own free website templates to share.
A website template for Divi is a great way to get started. You can look at it as a design starting point and then you can easily change and modify the template to fit your content and the over all design of your website.
Continual updates and improvements:
Over the last couple of years the team behind Divi have made some amazing improvements to the theme and continue to add to and improve the theme.
Some of the the improvements that they have added that I really like are:
- An easy to use front end page builder
- Improved page loading time
- Ability to save pages and upload them to another website
- One of the best design interfaces of any page builder
- Preview your pages on different sized devices
- Built in tutorial walkthru feature to help you get started
- Contact form
- A/B split testing
And a bunch more. You can find out more about the Divi theme and test it out for yourself on their website.
Knowing what I know now about the Divi teams commitment to constant improvement is that I wish that I had just purchased the lifetime plan right from the beginning. I have found that having the life time plan is like paying a one time fee for a web development team that keeps working in the background to make your website better. It might seem like a lot to pay, but I have found it to be well worth the money.
Ready to start building your own WordPress website? Let’s get started!
Part 3: Let’s Build your website!
Step-by-step instructions on how to build a website.
What are the steps to build a website?
- Get a Domain Name
- Setup Website Hosting
- Install WordPress
- Install A Theme
- Build Your Pages
Let’s go thru this step by step!
Step #1 Get A Domain Name.
How Do You Get A Domain Name?
Getting a domain name is really easy. The easiest and fastest way
to get a domain name is to purchase your domain name when you sign up for hosting. That’s what I’m going to show you how to do in this tutorial.
It is also possible to register your domain name with a separate domain registrar or hosting company and then point that domain to your hosting company. Both ways are fine, however the convenience of managing everything for your website at one company is well worth it to keep your website building experience as easy as possible.
The fun part is choosing a domain name.
How Do you choose a domain name?
There are no hard a fast rules about choosing a domain name, however the main thing that I
recommend is keeping it simple and easy to remember.
There are two main strategies that you can use to choose a domain name. Select a name that has some keywords that your audience may be searching for, or choose a name that is easy to remember and that you can brand.
For example with my website I went with realwebsitehints.com It’s easy to remember and right in the domain name it tells you what my website is about.
You could also go with a name that you could brand. An few examples of brand-able names are something like Flickr, Amazon or Linkedin. These names don’t tell you directly what the company does, but I’m sure that because of their content, positioning and branding you know what these companies do.
The key to a good domain name is to be sure that it’s simple and easy to remember. I personally prefer the strategy of having one or two keywords related to your websites topic in your domain name. I think that that helps with it being easy to remember. It is usually easier to find an available domain name that is longer then just one word.
Should you use .com or another TDL (Top Level domain)?
A TDL or Top Level domain is the last part of a URL or web address. The most common is .com. There are now many, many other choices including .photos .today .kitchen .shoes just to name a few. I think that these new Top Level domains will start to become more common, but my feeling is right now most people don’t know that they exist.
My recommendation would be to find a great .com it’s what most people are expecting and it will be the easiest for most people to remember. Alternatively you might use a .net or a .org. If you have a website that is geared mostly towards viewers in your country you might want to use the popular TLD for your country, .co.uk for example.
Next up is to get a place to build our website. For that we need website hosting.
Step #2 Get Web Hosting.
What is the best website hosting to get started with?
I’ve tested and purchased hosting with many different hosting companies. I’ve signed up for hosting with 8 different companies! All just to see what they were like and so that I could feel confident in my recommendation.
My top pick for website hosting company for beginners is Bluehost. It’s also one of the more popular and widely recomended hosting companies.
What I like about Bluehost is that they are dedicated to helping people get started building their first website. Bluehost is also the most recommended hosting company on WordPress.org so you really can’t go wrong choosing Bluehost to get started with.
I’ve worked with Bluehost to provide you with a special link. This link will give you a few benefits. One it will allow you to sign up for Bluehost’s WordPress specific hosting, which will make you life much easier, it will also give you:
- Low Introductory Pricing
- Free Domain Name
- Free SSL certificate
- WordPress is automatically installed on sign up
- Easy to use hosting management panel
- 30 day money back guarantee
Signing up for Bluehost using this link is one of the easiest ways to get started with WordPress. If you use the links to Bluehost on this page you will also be helping support this free tutorial.
How do you sign up for website hosting?
Signing up for website hosting with Bluehost is really simple. It’s as easy as filling in your billing information and clicking sign up.
The first thing that you will be asked to do during the sign up process is to choose your domain name.
On the next page you will create your account. Bluehost does offer you a few options during signup. Most of them you probably won’t need, but there is one that I would recommend adding and that is Domain Privacy.
Domain privacy keeps your information out of the public record for the domain name that you sign up for. This might not seem like a big deal, but if you don’t like getting spam email, robo sales calls and junk mail it’s worth signing up for.
You might also want to get the Site Backup Pro. Backing up your website is very important especially during the building phase, but there are other services and ways to back up your website.
Once you have entered in your billing information the next step is to install WordPress. If you used the link that I provided to Bluehost this should happen automatically.
If you want to be walked thru the sign up process and the process of setting up and configuring WordPress I have a complete video tutorial that will walk you thru each step of the way.
Interested in other web hosting options? Check out my review of the best website hosting options for wordpress.
Step #3: Installing and Configuring WordPress
If you used the link I provided to Bluehost then WordPress should have been installed for you automatically at the end of your hosting signup. The next step is to configure WordPress and make sure that all of the settings are correct before you start building your website.
My full bluehost tutorial also shows you how to configure WordPress. On this page I’ll go over the basics, but if you want some more guidance check out the full tutorial here.
Steps to Configuring WordPress:
- Change the permalink settings
- Add a site title and tag line
- Add your email address
- Set your time and date preferences
- Make sure that the discourage search engines from indexing this site is UNCHECKED
1. Change The permalink settings
To change your permalink structure look on the WordPress dashboard under Settings > Permalinks
Change the permalink setting to Post name. The setting should look like this https://www.yourdomainname.com/sample-post/
Then Click Save Changes
2. Add a site title and tag line
In the WordPress dashboard Under Settings > Site Title add a title for your website this is usually the name of your website or blog or the name of your company.
My website is https://www.realwebsitehints.com so my Site Title is Real Website Hints
The tag line is a short description about your website. For example my tagline is “Learn how to quickly and easily build a website that is powerful and flexible.”
There are a few more changes that we need to make on this page. If this is the only thing that you are changing be sure to scroll down to the bottom and click save changes.
3. Add your email address
Next step is to add in your email address. This address is used for your website to communicate information to you. Things like notifications about new users or passwords. It is also sometimes used by plugins.
You want to make sure that you use an email address that you currently have access to, at least until you set up an email address for your domain.
You will find this setting on the WordPress dashboard under Settings > General. It is near the top of the settings under Site Address.
4. Set the time and date for your website.
The time and date setting on your website is mostly used for when your posts are displayed but is all so used for some of the administration notifications for your website.
I recommend setting this to your local time zone where you do most of the work on your website.
These settings are located on the WordPress dashboard under Settings General they start about halfway down the page.
Under Timezone set your local time zone. The first settings that appear are UTC offset, but if you scroll up you will find the settings by region and city.
Next is the Date format choose the date format that you would like or that would make the most sense to your readers.
After that is the time format.
And then the Week Starts on date for the calendars on your website and in the administration area. I like this set to the week starts on Sunday, because that is the calendar format that I am most used to.
Then at the bottom click on save changes.
5. Make sure that the setting “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is UNCHECKED
You will find this setting on the WordPress dashboard under Setting > Reading > Search Engine Visibility.
The default setting for this is unchecked, so you probably don’t have to worry about this.
What this setting does, if it is checked, is that it asks search engines to not crawl your website. Which means that it will be difficult for people to find your website. So it’s a really important setting!
Just ensure that the tick box is UNCHECKED.
Next we just need to clean up a few things on our website.
Cleaning up the WordPress install:
The best way to avoid potential problems on your website is to be sure that you only have just the things that you need to run your website. Anything extra on your WordPress install is a potential place for added complications and problems. So if you aren’t using it, get rid of it! Here are some of the default items that I suggest getting rid of.
1. Clear out any default posts
Default posts can attract comment spam on your website so it’s a good idea to get rid of the default post.
To get rid of the default post go to your WordPress dashboard, and then go to Posts.
Inside of your posts you will see a “Hello world!” post. Hover over the post name and then click on trash to remove it.
2. Clear out any default pages
Next let’s remove any default pages on your website. From the WordPress dashboard click on Pages. Hover over the “Sample Page” and click trash.
3. Next Remove any plugins that you don’t plan on using.
Each hosting company has their own default plugins installed. Some of them can be helpful but many of them are unnecessary and just create another thing to update and potentially create problems for you in the future.
To keep your website as easy to maintain as possible it’s best to have just the plugins that you need and are using installed on your website.
These are the steps to remove a plugin.
From the WordPress dashboard click on Plugins.
Under the plugin that you want to remove click on Deactivate. This will deactivate the plugin. After you have clicked on Deactivate, the you will see a new button in red that says Delete. Click on this and you will be asked if you are sure say ok and then the plugin will be removed from your website.
On Bluehost these are the Plugins that I recommend removing.
- Hello Dolly
- MOJO Market place
- OptinMonster (the theme that I recommend includes access to a plugin that offers many of the same features as OptinMonster.)
- WPforms Lite (If you plan on using it you may want to keep it. If not keep your website clean and remove it.)
Step #4 Choosing a WordPress Theme
Choosing the right theme is super important. The WordPress theme is the tool that you use to give your website a look and to design and layout your pages.
Most tutorials will tell you to just browse around and find a theme that you like and get started building your website.
I can tell you from personal experience that just picking a theme at random that looks good is the road to frustration.
One of the things that took me so long when I built my first website was playing the theme merry-go-round.
I’d pick a theme that looked good only to discover that I couldn’t modify the page layout to fit my content. Or to find that I could change some of the key colors to the colors that I wanted to use on my website without changing the code of the theme.
Page Builder Themes
Then I discovered page builder themes. This category of theme is designed to allow you to easily design the layout and look of your website and your pages easily and with out you needing to know any code.
My advice is to get a page builder theme. The Divi Theme is the page builder theme that I use and recommend.
Some of the highlights for me about it are:
- You can build an unlimited number of websites with a Divi theme license
- An amazing user base of professional and aperture users willing to help
- A deep feature set that provides many advanced features, saving you having to purchase other plugins
- One of the best and most consistant development teams in terms of improvements to the theme.
You can also make just about any kind of website with the Divi Theme.
With the Divi them you can make a:
- Fitness website
- Restaurant website
- Online store
- Food Blog
I have a complete review of the Divi theme if you want to find out more, before purchasing it.
The next step is to start building and designing your website. On the next page I’ll show you step by step how to set up and configure the Divi theme and I’ll show you how to start building and designing your own pages with the Divi theme.
From there you can either go ahead and start building your own pages or follow along with more page building tutorials that I have created for the Divi Theme.
Let’s start building some pages and bring your website to life!