If you are a brand, business, or individual looking to create a WordPress website to showcase your work, here are seven easy steps to build your WordPress website.

Seeing the word “website” may make you think that this is highly technical or complicated. But trust me; it’s easier than it sounds! Let me help you with this beginner’s guide in building a successful WordPress website:

Table of Contents:

  1. Visualize your WordPress website
  2. Choose a web host
  3. Pick your domain name
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Design your WordPress website
  6. Optimize for SEO
  7. Manage your website

1.Visualize your WordPress website

A goal without a plan is just a wish. That’s why it’s important that you have a vision of what your website would look like and what purpose it would serve.

  • Would it be an informative blog?
  • Are you offering your products and services as an online business?
  • What content do you want in there?

Having a vision board for your WordPress website makes it a lot easier to create it.

2. Choose a WordPress host

A web host is typically a shared service where you store and manage all your data. Imagine it as the hard drive of your website. But instead of it taking space on your laptop, it is housed on the Internet itself. It is generally the same as a WordPress host but as the name implies, the services it offers are designed to accommodate specific WordPress concerns. 

Hosting also includes the bandwidth or the traffic that your site can potentially receive. This is why it is important to choose a WordPress website hosting that would cater to your brand’s needs.

For more professional features, I highly recommend using Kinsta which has a $30/month starter plan. The price is worth it with its premium features, daily automatic file back-up, and generally higher speed and performance compared to other web hosts. If you are not yet ready for premium hosting, you can also use Bluehost. It comes with a Basic plan that starts at $2.95 but is paid annually, which would cost around $36/year. 

At Made at Dawn, we primarily use Kinsta for our WordPress website as well as our clients’ websites.

When choosing plans, consider choosing annual, biennial, or triennial plans which you would pay upfront. This would save you money as yearly plans are usually discounted. It also saves you time and mental space. You can stop worrying if you paid for your hosting each month and just focus on cultivating your store throughout the year.

3. Pick your domain name

The domain is what you see on your browser’s address bar whenever you go to a website. The most recognizable are .com domains but there are other options such as .co or .store.

Choosing your domain name is important as it is part of your branding So make sure that it is unique but easy to remember!

The costs vary depending on where you are buying them, but you would spend roughly around $13 to $20 a year. Some domains come free in the first year if you use their hosting (just like Bluehost) but you can also find other domain hosts such as GoDaddy or Namecheap.

4. Install WordPress

It’s easy to add WordPress as most web hosts offer one-click installation features. Let me guide you on how to do it on the most popular web hosting platforms:

If you are using Kinsta:

Go to the Kinsta Dashboard and choose ‘Create your first site’ and click ‘Get Started’.

MyKinsta dashboard

Choose ‘Install WordPress’.

Install wordpress

Next, add your domain name and the name of your site.

Pick the location of the data center you want your site to be in. Choose the center where you expect your traffic would come from.

After choosing the location, add the WordPress admin username and the admin password you want.

add WordPress account

Next, select a language. After this, you can choose to connect plugins available or do it later. For now, you can click Add site.

If you go back to the Kinsta Dashboard, click Sites, and then click Domains, you would see an Open WordPress admin link.

Kinsta dashboard > Sites

Lastly, click the link and log your credentials. You are ready to design your WordPress website!

WordPress Login page

If you are using BlueHost: 

First, go to Bluehost.com’s home page.

Bluehost home page

Click My Sites and choose Add Site.

Bluehost > My sites and choose add site

Next, add a site name and site tagline. Don’t worry! You can change this later on.

Bluehost > create new WordPress site

Click on the Advanced Settings button and enter your email address, the WordPress admin username you want, and the admin password. Click Next.

Create an account in Bluehost

Lastly, add the domain name you want to connect and leave the directory blank as we want WordPress to be installed on the whole site. Uncheck all the plugins as you can add what you need later on. Click Next.

Add domain name

You’re done! WordPress is now installed. Click Login to WordPress so you can start building your website.

WordPress Installed successfully

5. Design your WordPress website

Seeing a website come to life is my favorite part of this whole process! WordPress offers free and paid themes that are readily available (and with no coding needed at all!), so you can design your WordPress website to your liking.

The world is your oyster when it comes to designing your website. But here are some things you want to consider when customizing your WordPress website:

Color Scheme

According to Ben Gremillion, a content strategist, coordination is key when choosing a professional color scheme:

No set of colors looks “professional” in and of itself. Rather, you have to follow a process to reach a coordinated, planned feel.

Checking your favorite websites for inspiration is a good way to start when building your color scheme. I also suggest starting with a neutral palette and experimenting with different combinations from there. You can check trending color schemes using Coolors and Canva.

White spaces

Adding valuable content and designing your website is a balancing act. When someone visits your website, you don’t want them to get overwhelmed right?

This is where white space comes in. It’s more likely for visitors to read your content if you have an uncluttered website. White spaces not only help with readability but also with lowering bounce rates.

About Section

Building a personal connection with your audience is essential. Knowing that there is a person or a team behind the website makes it easier for people to connect with a brand. You can add a personal touch by either creating an About Us page on your menu or simply introducing yourself on the landing page.

Contact Section

Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile says that 55% of readers spend an average of 15 seconds on a website. If you have good content to offer but no way to be contacted, visitors would more likely leave your website altogether. Make reaching you accessible and visible by adding a Contact Us page!

Responsive WordPress templates and themes

Make sure you use a responsive theme to make your WordPress website look good on any device. Our agency uses Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer which has 100% responsive themes and drag-and-drop customizable sections. The Lite version is free but with limited features while the paid plans start at $99/year. I personally think it is worth the price considering the premium sections such as galleries, testimonials, call-to-action pages, and even a countdown feature.

6. Optimize for SEO

With so much information on the Internet, visibility and searchability are key factors to consider. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process to make your website rank higher on search engines. Here are some basic things to check when optimizing your WordPress website:

WordPress hosting

As I’ve said earlier, web hosting plays an essential part in boosting a website. Look for trusted hosts by checking online comparisons and specifically reading what users say about speed and performance. Loading speed is very important in SEO.

Permalinks
Permalink settings

Permalinks are the full URLs connected to certain posts and sections of a website. It is important to choose a permalink setting that is clear and descriptive so that it can help in boosting the searchability of your post. You can see this when you go to your WordPress Dashboard, choose Settings, and click Permalinks.

Keyword-focused content

Keyword research is essential when you are optimizing your WordPress website. Having a list of words and phrases that your target audience would potentially search not only makes it easier for you to create content but also increases your chances of being more visible online. You can use free tools such as Moz Keyword Explorer for short keywords and Answer the Public for long-tail or question form key phrases.

Optimized images

While it is great to have high-resolution photos, it should not compromise the speed of your website. Choosing compressed file formats such as JPEG compared to PNG is one easy way to do this. File names and alt text, information attached but usually hidden on photos, should also be checked. Always use descriptive and relevant text when saving your photo details.

There’s no need to spend when optimizing your WordPress website. However, there are SEO tools like RankMath which analyzes your whole website and provides suggestions based on SEO best practices. It would cost you around $59/year for their cheapest plan, but you’re paying for convenience and efficiency as well.

7. Manage your WordPress website

Forget about sticky notes and back-and-forth emails for dividing tasks and organizing your content. Digitizing how you manage your website will help you and your team run the website smoothly!

There are project management tools available like Monday.com or Trello, which both have free plans. What we highly recommend though is ClickUp as its free plan offers features that are usually paid or unavailable on other platforms. Some features included in the Click-up free option are unlimited team members, in-app video recording, and real-time chat for quick and easy communication. I’ve written a step-by-step guide on how to set up recurring tasks on ClickUp as our team absolutely loves this tool.

Conclusion

It is possible to build your own WordPress website with only minimal fees for domain and hosting. For plugins, there are always free plans available out there. One thing to consider is choosing the path of least resistance versus cost-effectivity.

In essence, when you choose paid plans, you’re not just paying for the features but also for the time and energy saved. Whereas when you build from top to bottom, you pay less but spend more time and energy which could be used to create more content. The choice is a balancing act.

Remember, building a WordPress website is not something you do in one sitting. Conceptualizing the design, building the website, and managing the content takes more than just a day. So don’t worry if it takes a while for you to get a grasp on everything – the important thing is to get started and move from there. Happy creating!