Here’s a quick tutorial on how to build a website from scratch step by step. If you’re a business, it’s important to have an online presence since much of the information people are searching these days is done using search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Creating a website shouldn’t be a headache because we’re all not web developers and don’t have the knowledge on domains, hosting and WordPress. I remember when I started blogging there were not too many platforms that provided an easy to use interface for creating websites. Anyway, I wanted to put together this quick step-by-step tutorial on building a website with WordPress from scratch. Here’s what you’ll learn…
- Video Edition of Tutorial – How to Build a Website for Beginners
- Where to purchase a domain
- Where to purchase reliable affordable Web Hosting
- Install WordPress on your hosting plan
- Install the basic plugins and theme
- Upload logo, Add categories and Publish Posts
- Install Email Subscription Form (Optional)
- Additional Resources
Watch Video – How to Build a Website From Scratch in 4 Minutes
1. Where to Purchase a Domain
This is the first step when you’re learning how to build a website from scratch. You can purchase a domain at any domain registrar. GoDaddy has long been my provider for both domains and webhosting. Here are the steps:
Go to GoDaddy.com
On the home screen you can search a domain name to see if it’s available. Once you’ve found one that’s perfect for your business and available, click to purchase.
If you don’t have an account with GoDaddy, you can create one when checking out. If you have an account, just enter the details while checking out to log into your account at the same time.
2. Purchase Web Hosting Plan
When making a website from scratch you need to purchase web hosting. The awesome thing about registering your domain with GoDaddy is that you can purchase hosting at the same time while checking out. This helps streamline the entire process making things much easier for you. When Building a Blog From Scratch, you only need the basic plan which starts at $7.99 a month. If you purchase 12 months up front, you’ll save 50% so it’ll be $3.99/mo. This is an awesome price and you’re getting other perks like 99% uptime, advertising credits, free email addresses and unlimited bandwidth.
If you’re business and need more powerful hosting then you can upgrade to the affordable web hosting for small business plans like the deluxe or ultimate. With these plans you can add unlimited domains on one plan.
3. Installing WordPress on Your Hosting
GoDaddy has automated the whole process so you no longer need to download the .zip file when learning how to create a website using WordPress. Everything is done with the click of a button through your hosting control panel.
Once you log into your GoDaddy account, head over to the “webhosting” tab and click on “Launch”
Within the control panel you’ll see “Wordpress under “Popular Apps”. Select WordPress and then the domain you just purchased from the drop-down menu.
Enter: username, password and email address
You’ll receive an email from GoDaddy once the installation is done!
4. Install the Basic Plugins and Theme
Login to your website backend using the following: http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin (replace “yourdomain” with the domain you registered).
Once logged in, it’s time to install the WordPress plugins you need on your website. These plugins will cover the basic “must have” aspects of any website. For example, SEO plugin, quick cache for website performance, external links, reduce bounce rate, theme logo and ewww image optimizer.
Here’s a little more information on each…
All-In-One SEO Plugin: This plugin will optimize your WordPress site for Search Engine Optimization. Easily add title, description and keywords to your post. Generates Meta tags automatically and no setup required for beginners since it works out of the box.
WP Quick Cache: Improves site performance by taking a quick snapshot every time a visitor arrives on your site. This information is stored so it can be referenced later when the visitor returns. The information doesn’t need to be loaded from the started saving you time while increasing speed. Just enable it and your read to go!
External Links: This plugin will open all links pointing to external sites in a new browser window. Helps decrease bounce rate and makes it easier for the visitor to come back to your page.
Reduce Bounce Rate: It will tell Google Analytics every 10 seconds that your visitor is still on the page and there’s some interaction on that page. Your page will be “unbounced”.
Theme Logo: This plugin adds a field in the admin panel that allows you to change the logo of your website without needing a developer.
Ewww Image Optimizer: Automatically and losslessly optimizes your images as you upload them to your blog. It will convert the image to another file format while reducing image size. Great for increasing site speed because server will have less to load once size is reduced.
To install each plugin, head over to “plugins” then “Add New”.
Type in the name of each plugin in the search bar, then click “search” to start the sorting process. Once you see the name appear, hit install and then activate.
Theme installation requires the same process as plugins however all themes are located under the “appearance” tab. Select Themes from the drop-down under Appearance
Then at the top select “add new” then “Popular” tab.
Once you find one you like, hover over it to either see a preview or install it. You can activate it immediately or later from your Appearance>Themes Menu.
5. Upload logo, Add categories and Publish Posts
Uploading a logo was made easier after we installed the theme logo plugin. This makes the process very easy and can be done with a few easy clicks.
Before continuing make sure you installed the “Theme Logo” plugin from Step 4.
Log into your WordPress backend and head over to the Media tab on the left. From the drop-down select “Add New”. Click on “Select Files” and upload the image you’re going to use as your logo.
Next, once the image is uploaded you’ll see it listed on the same page. Click ”Edit”
Next to the image so you can copy the file URL.
Under “Appearance” select “Theme Logo” and paste the copied URL in Logo Location. Be sure to “Save Changes” before proceeding to the next step.
The last step when setting your logo is to change some code within your header.php file. You will need to do this only once because it’s a new install. Going forward when you need to change your logo, just upload the new logo and change the logo location.
Copy this line of code: <?php theme_logo(); ?>
Go to “Appearance” then “Editor”. On the right locate and click the header.php file.
Find and replace this code: <?php bloginfo( ‘name’ ); ?> with <?php theme_logo(); ?> …Here’s a quick way to do this…
Once you open the header.php file, Hit “CTRL + F” to bring up the find text tool…
(in Chrome the tool opens in the top right) (in Firefox, the bottom left) (in Explorer the top left)
Copy and paste: <?php bloginfo( ‘name’ ); ?> into the tool and click “Find”
Should look like this…
Save the file and you’re done!
Refresh your site and you’ll see the logo added to your header.
Log into your website backend, navigate to “Posts” then “Categories…
By now you should have some categories in mind. Add them by typing in the name under “Add New Category” and then click the button on the bottom labelled “Add New Category”
You’ll notice the category added on the right. When you hover over the category name, you’ll see “View” appear under the category name. Click the “View” button and it will open in your browser. Copy the category URL from browser window.
Go back to your website backend, click on “Appearance” then “Menus”
Select the “Links” drop-down and paste the category URL from the previous step in “URL”. Give your category a name under “Link Text”. Once your done, click “Add to Menu”
The menu item will be added to the right under “Menu Structure”
On the same screen under “Menu Settings” check-mark “Primary Menu” then “Save Menu”
Once your logged into your backend, simply navigate to “Posts” then “Add New”
Give it a name and add your content. On the right you’ll see “Categories”. Select the relevant category for your content. By now hopefully you’ve setup a few categories.
You can optimize your content for search engines by scrolling further down filling in the title, description and keywords.
If you don’t see this option, you haven’t installed the All-In-One SEO plugin from the “Basic Plugins” section above.
6. Install Email Subscription Form (Optional)
I can’t stress how important it is to start collecting email addresses from your visitors. Collecting subscribers enables you to…
- Reduce time and effort connecting with your visitors
- Send them updates on new products and services
- It’s cheap to setup and the ROI (return-on-investment) is huge. Long-term, statistically, each subscriber will make $150-$200.
- It’s more efficient then Twitter and Facebook
- Increases brand awareness
- Very cost effective
Adding an opt-in form to WordPress is very easy and can be done with a few simple steps. The most popular email marketing software is aWeber. Start you’re FREE 1 month trial for $1.
By now hopefully you’ve created your form within aWeber. If not, aWeber provides step-by-step tutorials on how to create your first opt-in form.
Copy the aWeber form code and head back to WordPress.
From my experience adding the form to sidebar is a perfect location. Here’s how to add it using a “Widget”…
Go to “Appearance” then “Widgets”
Scroll down looking for the “Text” widget. Drag and drop it under “Primary Sidebar” or “Content Sidebar”. (See which one you like better!)
Paste the code which you copied from aWeber in the box once it opens up. Don’t worry about adding a title.
Before closing, make sure to click the “Save” button.
You’ve just learned how to create a website from scratch within 4 minutes, which to you, at one point seemed impossible. If your still have trouble, watch my “build a website from scratch in 4 minutes” – Video. I’ve posted it below.
If you’re ready to get started, head over to GoDaddy.com
Once you’re up and running, check out some of my additional resources. It’s a combination of posts on content writing, reducing bounce rate and tips to increase your blog traffic.
8 Proven Ways On How To Reduce Bounce Rate – From My Top Bloggers
Case Study – How to Speed Up WordPress Site By 3.74s – Part 1 – Lazy Mans Approach
122 Epic Case Studies from My Top Bloggers & Blogs
Ultimate Guide to “Overcoming Writers Block” – 8 Simple Steps
13 Content Writing Tips That Will Crush Your Competition
24 Tips to Increase Blog Traffic in 30 Day