Want to know how to create a WordPress website? There are some very important steps you must take, before actually building your website than you would think. Before you put your website plans into action, you need to decide on what your site is going to be about.
Do you know what your domain name is going to be? Do you know what niche you are in? Have you thought about how to host your website and with someone that will get your site ranked? Do you know how to design your website to get your message out?
NOTE: There may be terms and acronyms that are foreign to you or just not clear. Visit my page, Internet Marketing Acronym Glossary for clarification.
So What’s This All About?
OK, what is this all about? That is what you have to ask yourself before you start. Before you can think about getting into the technical side of constructing a website, there are more steps to take.
What is the site going to be about? This question is going to determine your niche. A niche is the category of your interest, such as sports, romance, business, fitness and so on. I am sure you have some idea, since you are researching how to get started, but this is the very most crucial step of getting started.
The biggest mistake you will make, is just pulling a name out of your hat for your site and domain. You have to be clear and precise on what your goal is. Your interest may be about “Golf”, you just love the game, and can’t wait to get a blog and write all about it. Well here’s the thing, if you want to be found on the internet, just the word “Golf”, is just too broad. People would have to look through millions to find you.
Defining Your Niche
Defining your niche means, you need to take whatever your interest is, and be more specific about the topic. So you like golf, but is there any part of the subject you might be more of interest in?
To refine your interest, let’s pick a golf club bag. You hear all the time from other golfers, how most bags don’t have a drink pocket. This can be a sub-niche to your niche, and from here is researching the need.
Can you see what we are doing here? Take a category and then narrow it down to a more specific part of that category. This process, starts making your interest more unique. Which in turn, will make you easier to find out of the millions of search results.
You might be thinking that talking about golf bags isn’t what you really want your site to be about. But look at it like fishing, you have to find some way to reel in visitors. If you are talking about something specific like golf bags, then you will be getting traffic from people with that specific interest.
The nice thing about WordPress, your post have categories, your visitors will see them. This means you can create tons of post and categories about what you want to talk about. You just need to get that audience in front of the stage first.
Research The Need For Your Website and Domain Name
In the golf bag scenario, you should look into the interest or demand for it. This could be a dead subject that won’t help you get visitors to your site. Even though you hear offline talk, you need to look online about how many are searching for this.
This research is going to help you come up with your Website and Domain name. Let’s say you find that people are more interested in a golf bag with a drink cooler pocket. Now you have found the perfect fishing lure. Now you need to create a name for your website. Choose a domain name that reflects what this niche is going to be about.
After playing around with a few ideas, you come up with a name for your site, “Cool Golfers”. But before you stick to that name in stone, you will want to do some keyword research.
Knowing how to create a WordPress website can be very intricate on the start up. Keyword research can be aggravating and time consuming. So now that you have a website name you would like to use, you need to see how much competition you are going to have. This means, in a keyword search, if it shows that the competition for “Cool Golfers” is high, it will be more difficult to find you.
In your keyword search, you will be looking for how often the phrase or word is searched for. You will be looking for a search volume, at around 250 times a month and for the competition to be low to medium.
In our scenario, it turns out that “Cool Golfers” has too high of a competition. You will now need to rethink your website name. After some play on words, you come up with “Cool Golf Bags”. Your search shows low competition and a little over 250 searches a month. Now you are really unique and can begin to name your site and domain.
After reading the above, you might not be clear on some of the lingo. Keyword tools go out and look for for keywords or long tail keywords, (three and four keyword phrases), that you are searching for. The tool pulls information from search engines on how often the keyword is searched for and how popular it is.
It will then display the competition level, how many searches a month the keyword gets and how valuable it is. I highly recommend Jaaxy, most of the serious marketers use it. However you can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool. It is free but you do have to create a Google Ads account before using it.
I strongly suggest signing up with Wealthy Affiliate. They offer in both FREE and Premium, courses that will cover all of this, and you do get minimum access to the Jaaxy tool. The Wealthy Affiliate course will show you how to use keywords in your website to get ranked. It covers SEO in depth and if you want to get ranked, you will need the training.
To create a WordPress website, it has to have a URL to be found on the internet. Your site has to have an address, just like your home. If not, how could you tell anyone where to locate you?
Usually, you make your website name and the domain name the same or very similar. So if you have the name “Cool Golf Bags”, it’s time to see if anyone else has that for a domain name. “Namecheap” is a great place to get a domain name from, and where you can see if your domain name is available.
You could name your domain, “coolgolfbags.com”. If someone already has that “.com”, look for a “.net” or something that will be easy for others to remember. So if your website name, “Cool Golf Bags” matches your domain, then you will be easier to find and rank. To rank, means to getting to page one on a search engine.
This is a really crucial part of being found on the internet. Google Will Not Rank you if your website is slow. This means the hosting company you go with needs to provide fast speeds. I used to use Hostgator, and that was the biggest joke of all. They are really nice people and their support is OK, but their hosting speed is horrible.
Some of the things you should be looking for in a hosting company: Speed, great support, unlimited domains, unlimited emails and free SSL’s. If they offer a CDN is even better. I know that was a lot of geek talk, and don’t worry too much about the definitions just yet.
Just ensure that you get these services when signing up. I host with A2 Hosting and I am tickled pink. My sites pop right open, I always get help when I need it and SSL’s and a CDN are included in all my sites.
Most Hosting companies usually sell domain names, and many offer one or two for free when you sign up. Wealthy Affiliate offers 2 free websites to free members that sign up. So that is free hosting, all you would need to do is buy a domain name. You would then, have your own URL and you can get started.
How To Create A WordPress Website
Now that you have your domain name and registered it with your hosting provider, you are about ready to start building a website. Log into your hosting account cPanel and look for a WordPress Installer. Depending on your hosting, you may have different ways to install WordPress. See images below:
There are many different types of interfaces to manage your websites, but cPanel is the most popular one used. There are also different types of WordPress installs inside of the cPanels, below are two examples.
This is Softaculous, it is a little more advanced than the one above.
On either one of these or similar, go ahead and click on the Installer Icon.You should get a screen similar to this one:
You may get a screen a little more complex like this:
No matter what type of screen, it will ask you some basic questions:
Installation URL > http:// or https:// > Select Your Domain Name from Drop-down > Directory
- You should always use https:// ——— This is where you should get free SSL’s from your hosting
- More than likely this is your first and only domain, select the domain name you purchased
- Do not create a directory, leave blank
NOTE: If asked at any point, do not select a service to do the install for you. It would be a waste of money. They charge A LOT and as simple as this is to install a WordPress website, it doesn’t make sense.
Site Name: This is the name of your website, the one that you created to help create the domain name.
Site Description: This is what is going to show up under your website title. Example, website name is “Cool Golf Bags”, so you could write in the site description something like, “Keeping Golfers Cool All 18 Holes”.
Admin Username: Create a name that you will log into your WordPress account with. Do not name it “Admin” unless you are just wanting a hacker to easily guess it and crack into your site. Be creative, it can be numbers and letters, upper or lowercase and or combinations.
Admin Password: Again make it unique, at least 10 characters long. This can be numbers and letters, upper or lowercase and or combinations, and can you can use symbols.
Admin Email: This should be an email that you don’t use for everyday mail. I also recommend using a paid email account if you have one. If not, do not worry about it, just use one that is never used or create a new one.
The Install Information
After you have all the information filled out, go ahead and click on the install button. This will take a minute or two..
When a finish screen like this pops open, be sure to copy all the information about your login. Some of these installers do not ask you to create a password, it generates one for you. You will also notice that the WordPress website URL link is included in this information, you will need all of this. Copy and paste it into at least a notepad text file. Something you can save and retrieve anytime you need it.
Setting Up Your WordPress Website To Use
After you have clicked on the “Login” button from above, you will be taken to the WordPress Dashboard. Before you can start writing your awesome post, there are things that have to be done first. You will notice the left hand pane, this is your admin panel and where you are going to find your navigation to start building your site.
Things To Do While Your Site Is Under Construction
Even though your site isn’t ready to be found on the internet, search engines still look for new changes. You don’t want everyone to see live changes while you’re building your site, so here is what you do.
In your left hand pane, (Admin Panel), go to Settings, then Reading. On this page, you are going to select the options that says: “Discourage search engines from indexing this site“. This is step one, the next thing is to let people know your site is under construction.
Go into your hosting cPanel and go to “File Manager“. In the left hand pane, look for, “public_html“, click on the text, not the folder. This will display the right hand pane and all that is under this folder.
I am going to give you for FREE, an Under Construction HTML Page. No opt-in or any catch, just a thank you for visiting my site. Click HERE to get your download. A popup will open, just click the hyperlink and it will download.
Read More on how to get your Under Construction page customized to your site name or whatever you want on it.
In your file manage, look at the top of the page for, “Upload“. Click on this and upload the “Under Construction” HTML file.
Now drag the “Under Construction” HTML file from your saved location onto the upload page.
How To Setup Your Under Construction Page
Now that you have the “Under Construction” HTML file in the root of your domain, you will need to make this a URL. This may sound like it is going to be difficult but this is really easy. The HTML file you uploaded is named, (under-construction-1.htm). All that has to be done is type your website URL in front of it like this.
https://YOUR DOMAIN NAME.COM/under-construction-1.htm
To test this, copy the full URL and paste it into the address bar of a web browser to see if you get the “Coming Soon” page.
Redirect Your Website To Coming Soon Page
Go into your cPanel and go to the category “Domains“. Find the icon “Redirect” and click on it. In this screen you will select for Type, 302. In the next field for HTTPS:, select your domain. For the Redirect Field, type this path: https://YOUR DOMAIN.COM/under-construction-1.htm. To test it, type in https://YOUR DOMAIN.COM/. You should now see the Coming Soon Page.
Once your site is ready to go live, you can go back to this page in your cPanel and delete the redirect. With the redirect, you can do whatever you want with your site and not worry about others seeing your construction in progress.
Now that you have the redirect situation handled, it is time to create a WordPress site.
The first thing you will need to do, is to choose a theme that is going to fit what you want to say or promote. There are many kinds of themes. One or Two Columns, some made for just blogging and many made for eCommerce. There are many FREE Themes, some are already installed and ready for you to pick. I highly recommend doing a search on Free WordPress Themes, and look at demos.
There are Paid Themes and as you get more experience with Website development, you are going to want to start buying themes. With Free Themes, you are stuck leaving “Powered By WordPress” in your footer with no real way to eliminate it permanently. Plus free themes have limits and no support. But for now, let’s just use the free themes to get you started.
Here you will see that you can do a live preview of themes to get an idea of what it looks like. You may have to wait till you structure your site by adding content and images first. Once you have a little going on in your site, you can then try different themes. It will not hurt your site to try other themes.
Plugins You Will Need
You will need 2 plugins before doing anything. Most themes these days are setup to use the Gutenberg editor. This is based on a block method, it allows you to create sections on your pages and post. It may be great for certain types of layouts, outside of plain blogging. However, for people that want to write actual post, it sucks.
The first plugin will be the “Classic Editor”, the second one will be, “WP-Edit”. Classic Editor will give you the option to use both the regular editor or to switch over to the Gutenberg editor. WP-Edit will load more word editing tools into your pages and post to allow you do be more creative.
From the Admin Panel, go to Plugins, and at the top of the page, click on “Add New”. You will see a search bar, type in the plugins I mentioned. They will show up in a grid of plugins, click on the install button. After installation, the button will turn into Activate. Click on activate and then search for the next plugin and do the same thing.
To access the WP-Edit settings, you can find it under Plugins. Click the link to get to the settings panel.
After you add the desired tools, your pages and post editor go from this:
Pages You Need To Set Up
Now that you have the important pages created, you need to jump over to Settings, and then Reading. On this setting page, Select “Home” from the drop down Homepage, and then select “Blog” from the drop down Post page.
What you have just done, is set the page you created called Home, to be the what your website opens too, when someone lands on it. You will have to write and design this page for your website look. Setting the Blog page you created to be the “Post page”, means this page will always display all of your post. You will not be writing on the Blog Page, WordPress knows what to do with it.
You will want to select 5 for both “Blog pages show at most” and “Syndication feed show the most recent. What this means, the blog post page will show 5 post on each page. You will be able to go to the next page by pagination buttons at the bottom of the blog page.
Syndication is for RSS feeds, usually done in a widget. I wouldn’t worry too much about this one at this time. However I would go ahead and set it to 5. The reason for setting these to 5, it helps site speed. The more a site has to load per page, the slower it can make the site.
These settings are how most WordPress sites are setup, however, you can have your home page showing your latest post. These instructions are for basic setup and just an example. You will be changing things around to fit what you what your site to be about as you go.
Creating A Menu
From your Admin Panel, go to Appearance, then to Menus. In the blank field, “Menu Name”, type Primary and then click on the Create Menu button.
Creating Your Home Page
You want this to be a your best page, as I mentioned, this is the website’s front page, what your visitors see first. So you want this page not only to look good, you want it to be easy for your visitors to navigate. It needs to state what your site is about and convince people to take interest in staying for a while.
WordPress was originally designed to be just a place to blog, it wasn’t made for graphics. However through time, WordPress with all the things available for it, allows it to surpass all the other web builders. I would highly recommend installing a page builder called Brizy.
Page builders like Brizy allow you to make all these fantastic looking websites you see all over the internet. I encourage you to go look at Brizy and see what it can do for you. In this post, am not going to get into page builders. I want to mainly cover how to create a WordPress website and get it up and running.
Creating Your Post
From your Admin Panel, go to Post and then to Add New. You will notice it is pretty much the same as Pages as far as writing and editing. To make a post rank better, it is best to write a snippet at the very top, what your post is about. There is a “Read More” tool in your tool bar. You will want to make sure your cursor is below the snippet and click on the tool. This is what creates the “Continue Reading” link you often find in Blog Post Excerpts.
To add an image to your post title and snippet, you will find Featured Image towards the right hand bottom of the page.
Home And Blog Page
Let’s take a look at what has been built so far. This isn’t an ideal home page but I added some text and an image to the page named, Home. You will see your website name, (Testing Site) and the sub title, (Check out my new site). This was filled out when you were installing WordPress from your cPanel. Now to see what the blog page looks like, we’ll click on Blog from the main menu at the top right.
You will see in this image, the snippet I was talking about and how the Read More or in this theme, it is called Continue Reading falls after.
This whole process may seem a bit overwhelming, especially to someone that is new to all of this. But it takes little time to start understanding it.
I strongly suggest signing up with Wealthy Affiliate, even if it is just for the Free course. It steps you through this whole process in greater detail, with videos. The course will then test you to see how much you retained. That helps you understand where you need to study more.
With Wealthy Affiliate, you already get at least 2 hosted WordPress websites. This would be perfect for trial and error learning, before going out on your own.
I also recommend installing a page builder plugin to create a more dynamic home page. Brizy is a little cheaper than other builders, and I have gotten great results with it. You can also get Brizy in the Free version, but as you get more involved, you are going to want a paid version for more features and support.
Keep checking back or sign up to my newsletter to be notified. Soon, I will be covering how to optimize a WordPress site for speed and SEO. I will also be doing a post and video on comparing different Page Builders and the one I think is the best.
Customizing Your Site Under Construction HTML Page
As promised, there is no catch to my gift, (Under Construction HTML file). I did want you to take a look at it, to see the quality. It can be customized with your Website name or other information on it, like a going live date or different background. You can Contact Me through this site. I can do customized pages, Logos, Favicons, Banners and more, for very reasonable rates. Pages like the Under Construction HTML, can be customized starting at $5, many of my Logos and Favicons run between $5 and $55. Banners vary depending on how in-depth you need them. Simple non-animated ones start at $5.
No hustle, just offering services that newbies can afford and help get them going. If you have any questions about this post or anything else, again, please contact me. I usually reply within 24 hours.