How to Create a WordPress Website
A Beginners Guide: Create a WordPress Website
Creating a website will be one of the best decisions you've ever made. Whether you are looking to build a business, get a job, generate some extra personal income, meet new people, stay accountable to something, strengthen your personal brand, or just have a lot of fun and express yourself online then you are heading in the right direction. Creating your own site is an amazing thing to do. Keep reading to learn how to create a website!
We're the Websavers team. We've been creating WordPress websites and making money from them since 2005. It's been our full-time "job" (if you want to call it that) since 2011. This guide is our way of giving back to everyone that helped us throughout our journey in learning WordPress, blogging, social media, and everything else you need to get your website going.
We'll take you through every aspect and teach you exactly how to create your website - from getting your hosting set up and installing the software, right to how to generate ideas and meet others. Regardless of whether you want to generate any money with the site or not, this guide will help take the hassle and frustration out of getting started. So on that note, let's get started!
How To Use This Guide
We're endlessly tweaking and updating this guide to make it as simple as possible while still offering the best advice available. You can jump directly to any section by clicking on the expandable Table of Contents at the top of every page of the guide.
We have broken the process down into manageable chunks that you can tackle bit-by-bit. Many sections of the guide will have a video demonstration accompanying them so that you can follow along visually.
There is a lot of information here on how to create a website. Although the process of getting your site online shouldn't take any longer than 30 minutes, there is even more information beyond the initial setup that discusses promotion, marketing and more.
Some of the sections you may not need to follow. For example, if you don't want to make money with your website you can skip over the promotion and make money sections if you'd like.
Why This Guide Is Different Than The Rest
It was built specifically for you
We created this website creation guide for the absolute beginner and wanted to make sure that we left nothing to the imagination when it came to getting your website up and running.
We've already helped thousands of people set up their websites, but we still remember how long it took each one of us to get started with the minimal documentation available back at the dawn of the Internet. Things that take 5 minutes now used to take us an hour!
That's just how it works. Looking back, we wish we had someone to explain the process and be available to answer questions. That is why this guide delivers the best results not just to set up your site initially, but also to keep it moving forward in the future.
We provide an easy to follow process to getting set up, and the help and support that you may need throughout all parts of the journey.
Don't get me wrong, there are a few other decent guides out there for setting up a website. A lot of them cost money though - anywhere from $50 to over $200 for basic information on creating and getting started with your site. Others simply aren't as comprehensive; they'll show you the basics of getting started, but not how to make money from it. There are guides out there still that give you a lot of good free info, but try to sell you on extra "special sauce" or information over and above everything. There are already some costs involved with starting a site - your domain and hosting for instance - so the last thing you want to do is spend additional money on getting things set up.
We're in it for the long-haul
We have a vested interest in your success. In almost all the other guides I've seen out there, the creators make their money by signing you up to a hosting company that they know little about. After you're signed up they don't really care whether or not you get things sorted out or help out if you run into any problems.
I'm not saying they all should do this - they've added some value by giving you some great information, but we really want to see you succeed.
Knowledge & Experience
The experts here at Websavers and I have been creating and setting up other people's websites for over 10 years.
Getting started is the toughest part but it doesn't need to be a hassle. This guide is the compilation of our knowledge in the different areas surrounding how to create a website that will help you out every step of the way.
Since we're hoping you'll host with us, we have a vested interest in you getting up and running as smoothly as possible.
Not sure building your own site is for you?
Trust us, you've got this!
A lot of people have some hesitations around creating a site. No one will read it, I don't have enough technical knowledge, I'm not sure what to write or if I even have enough information to put up.
If you're having some of these thoughts don't sweat it you're not alone, and you have nothing to worry about!
I recently helped a busy soon-to-be-father, Nathan, get a blog site set up. Nathan knew he wanted to start a blog and have a place online to express himself and share his journey - both as a new dad and throughout his transition into healthier living. He was up and running in no time and is glad he didn't talk himself out of it.
You had the idea of starting a website for a reason so don't let these little hesitations stop you. Whether you complete the set-up process yourself, or you need some help along the way (just like Nathan), the entire Websavers team is here to answer questions and help you through your journey.
This guide is relevant across any topics. It doesn't matter if your site is geared towards personal finance, weight loss, parenting, business, or everyday life. If you follow this guide you'll be up and running in under 30 minutes. The marketing parts take a bit longer, but the basics are all you need to be online!
Benefits Of Starting Your Own Site
I think I could write an entire book on this topic, but here's the Coles notes (Cliff notes for you Americans):
Generating extra income
Whether a basic blog site generating revenue through ads, or an eCommerce site with affiliate links or selling your own product: they *all* can produce at least a small revenue stream with enough hard work.
Before I started blogging, it was a struggle. I was a new grad competing in a sea of eager and qualified professionals. Things were tough. Now, the only regret about the whole thing was not taking the plunge sooner and setting the site up properly using WordPress from the start.
Since then I've managed to build a full-time living purely through my published websites. But even if that's never your dream - what would an extra $500 or $1,000 a month mean for you or your family? It is certainly possible to generate this type of income with even a simple blog site, when you focus and put the energy into it.
The key is being prepared to learn and do it all yourself.
Getting a job or a raise
Starting a blog and/or portfolio site builds your own personal brand and authority. Having a voice and sharing your information and insight on a particular topic is a great way to get noticed in the industry. Whether you're looking for a new job or just looking for a raise, adding a blog to your resume and having that brand will do wonders for you - trust me, it worked in my case.
Real relationships, friendships, and having fun.
This is something I wasn't expecting when I started blogging. I didn't realize that the people I met through my website and related online communities would become real friends. You might think that blogging is just a way for you to let off some steam or share a bit of information but it really can be so much more. Get engaged in the community and you will meet some amazing people through blogging. I now give talks at blogging conferences and get to meet other bloggers both online and in person every day.
This was a big one for me and I know it will be for Nathan, the dad I mentioned earlier. Having a place online to share your story and experiences is big for motivation and accountability. This is why there are so many weight loss blogs, personal finance blogs, and other topics where the writers are trying to accomplish a task and share their process.
Our 100% Guarantee
We guarantee: You will be able to have your website live on the Internet in 30 minutes by following my video demonstrations or textual instructions on the Hosting setup and WordPress installation pages. If for whatever reason you can't, we'll finish the set up for you.
Most people have a little fear during the beginning stages of starting their website. This is normal and I had the exact same thing when I first created my site, long before I ran my own hosting company. I'm taking the risk away from you and offering my company's help if you get stuck on anything: you don't need to worry! There is no risk here. If you want a powerful, extendable, fast website, you will have one.
Endless Awesome Support
Did I mention that our team is willing to help you out every step of the way? Hopefully, if that wasn't clear before, it is now. All you need to do is follow this guide and try. If you get stuck or can't figure something out, just ask. Send us a message indicating where you're having trouble, and we'll get you past the hurdle in no time.
With other similar guides, the support stops once you get everything up and running. Here, the support doesn't stop. If you ever have a question about your website or anything to do with it - promotion, design, configuration, simply get in touch and we'll be more than happy to help you out. Why? Because we want long-term happy hosting customers that are empowered to manage everything about their website, and free advice helps you do that.
How To Create Your Website In Under 30 Min
Getting your site online is the first step - and it's an important one. It takes me about 5 minutes to get a new website (particularly a blog site) up and running. You can do it in under 30. These are the most important things you'll need to do:
Once these two steps are completed your site will be set up online. I would suggest that you get these out of the way now.
I receive a lot of support requests and emails from people asking about different aspects of creating a website and the configuration that should come much later in the process. For example, I received a couple emails recently - one asking to set up their social media links and the other asking to install ads on their site.
The problem was that neither one of them had their website set up yet. It's like trying to talk someone through moving a wall in a house that hasn't yet been built... without having a wall to see, the specifics are going to be different in each case!
It's much easier for me to help you out once your site is up and running. I can give you specific steps, or do it for you, if it's already online, if not then everything is far too abstract for us to provide specific advice. We can provide advice to help you do anything with your site, from sorting out what theme to choose, how to get your social media on the site, setting up ads, using custom contact forms, and so much more... but you need to have a site up and running first. To put it plainly, stop talking about it; let's do it!
Getting Started FAQs
Free website builders are abundant. I totally get the appeal: why should you sink money into something you're not 100% committed to; why not use a free builder to get started? There's a bunch of reasons, but the most important answer is because it's not about the money: it's about your time.
Long Term Investment
No matter what website building solution you choose to use, you have to sink your time into learning how it works. We recommend WordPress because the site you build with it can grow and move with you to whichever provider you think is best.
In contrast, if you build a site using a free website builder, you're permanently trapped using their software. There's no way to move the site from their systems to another hosting company. Oh sure, they'll tell you that you can export your content at any time, but that's not the same thing as moving your site as a whole. The content is yours, but the layout and design belongs to them. So when it comes time to move to another provider, you've got to rebuild your site from scratch.
Always Paying More
If you suddenly start getting a large quantity of visitors, or want to add more features, the site builder companies very often tell you to pay a significant amount more to make that happen.
Heavily Limited Customization
If you want to optimize your site's SEO, many free web builders don't set up your site with the appropriate structure to make this happen. In other cases they don't even provide access to the necessary HTML tags to effectively optimize your site. WordPress does!
Wrapping it up...
If your free web site builder company declares bankruptcy, your site is done. You'll be offline waiting days, weeks, or even months for a new site to be built. If a hacker attacks their systems: same result. If they suddenly decide you need to pay them increasing amounts every year? You have no choice but to pony up or start building your site from scratch somewhere else.
Why put hours of your time into learning how to use something that you never fully own and where you won't have enough control to build your site to its fullest potential?
If you start with WordPress, your site can expand in every way, including adding new features, pages, posts, entirely new data types, and SEO. Did you know time.com uses WordPress? Same goes for TechCrunch and the Walt Disney Company. WordPress is a well-tested, super-powerful, scalable website platform.
With WordPress, if the provider fails or wants to start charging you more, you can simply restore your most recent backup to another provider, point your domain over, and your site's back up and running, exactly as it was when you last backed it up. Nifty, eh?
Although, with our rock-solid super-fast WordPress hosting, we doubt you'll ever need to! Start your site the right way. Use WordPress on Websavers hosting 🙂
Locked-in e-Commerce providers like Shopify and BigCommerce may look great, but they suffer from the same issues as the free website builder providers (see the FAQ above for those details). Plus with these guys, you're stuck paying them hefty monthly fees and, very often, also a cut of every product you sell. Every single sale takes a chunk out of your profits.
Instead, we suggest using WordPress with the free WooCommerce plugin to set up your online store! With WordPress + WooCommerce, the only fees are those of your credit card processor like Stripe, PayPal, or Square. And most importantly, your site remains yours.
By hosting your WordPress + WooCommerce store with Websavers, you pay us a flat-rate for hosting, not per sale, and not every time you want to add more features to your website (many WooCommerce Extensions are free, though not all of them). You can also optionally pay us to gain hands-on support, rather than DIY-only hosting, via our Platinum management add-on. That's all there is to it.
Have we convinced you yet?
To some degree, yes. Every tool you can think of that allows you to create a website is going to have some kind of limitation. The biggest question you can ask then is whether the tool you plan to use limits you in beneficial ways or in negative ways.
Content Management Systems like WordPress are built around the concept content is king wherein the focus of your website is primarily on the content you create and the structure of your website. Beneficially, this is also how search engine algorithms work: the better the content and structure, the better your website ranks. Other website building tools very often aren't as good at this, typically because they allow you to put things anywhere without formal structure.
WordPress is also built to be infinitely expandable. This means you can find a plugin to do just about anything you can think of (many of them free!) And if you can't find such a plugin, you can have a WordPress developer build literally anything you might want; this is not true of closed system website builder tools.
With that much power comes inevitable complexity and a certain amount of rigidity in the way your website is designed. WordPress and most of its plugin ecosystem (especially the ones we recommend in this guide) generally work to obey standard web design principles, like using the WordPress Theme Customizer functionality to define global styles that apply throughout your website, and using single-page overrides only when a style needs to apply on that one page.
Many website building tools don't force this behaviour, instead requiring that you apply the styles you want to every single header and every single block of text. This methodology is both poor coding practice and makes more work for you later on as you add more pages and content to the website.
In conclusion: yes, there is a bit of a learning curve, however once you better understand the principles of creating a website with WordPress, you'll begin to understand why it behaves this way and the benefits it provides you long-term.