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How To Create A Website
Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide 2019
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Well hey there, friend! Welcome to my FREE guide on How to Create a Website!
My name is Dale McManus, and my mission is to help YOU build your own website without having to know any coding OR pay some fancy web guy $5,000 when you can easily do it yourself!
Here is an outline of what we will be covering in this guide:
Choose the right platform for your website.
Secure a domain name and web hosting.
Set up and install WordPress.
Customize Your Website.
PLUS a bonus at the end!Also, in case you’re more of a visual learner. Here’s my step-by-step video tutorial for How to Create Website:
10 Reasons You NEED A Website
You can make a LOT of money. In fact, both my sister and her boyfriend have become millionaires from the website that they own together as bloggers. I will talk more about them later on.
It’s an opportunity to be creative. If money isn’t what you’re looking for, that’s just fine because a website provides you with a creative space to show off your work, photos, and other artistic endeavors.
It serves as an amazing resume. Want to stand out in your next job or find a better job? Having a professional website will put you head and shoulders ahead of everyone else on Linked In or for that next job interview.
You can get a professional email address. I’ve got nothing against a gmail account, but the email email@example.com looks so much more official than firstname.lastname@example.org. Right? This professionalism can help you in all sorts of ways from getting new clients to looking good talking to your bank about your mortgage.
You can quit your 9-5 job if you turn it into an online business. Hate your job? Cool, so did I and that’s why I started building online businesses. Now I never have to go in for a 9-5 again!
It’s an outlet to expand your growth on a hobby or topic. If you have a hobby or topic you already like, a website is an amazing way to grow you passion. Connect with others, write blog posts, document your experiences it can all be done with a website.
You can become an influencer. You can HELP people learn new skills like DIY projects, how to cook healthy meals, automotive skills, etc. You can also help people reach their goals like losing weight, becoming a better gardener, being a better parent, etc.
You don’t need expensive coding or technical skills anymore. Back in the olden days you’d have to be an internet wizard to build a website. Not anymore with today’s latest drag and drop technology!
You don’t need to pay a pro $2000-$5,000 for someone to build it for you. It’s actually incredibly cheap and I’ll show you how to get started for less than $25.
Because I’m going to help you do it right!Remember, websites can be for whatever rhyme of reason. Let’s look at a few different types of websites you can create:
- Personal Websites (Lifestyle)
- Blog Website
- eCommerce Website
- Job Board
- Non-Profit Website
- Religious Website
- Portfolio Website
- Coupon Website
- Auction Website
- Podcasting Website
- Niche Website
- Affiliate Websites
- Photography Websites
- Videography Websites
- Private Blogs
- And so much more. Honestly, the possibilities are more limited to your imagination than anything else.
Step #1: Choose the Right Platform For Your Website
Popular Website Design Platforms
- And a few others
Why WordPress is the Best Platform for Creating a WebsiteNumber of users. WordPress powers 30% of the internet. Number of options. Because it powers over 30% of the internet, there are over 11,000 different templates and over 50,000 different plugin options. Other websites are limited. Websites like Squarespace and Wix are great but come with a handful of limitations including speed, customization, and more.
Website Builder (CMS)Without a doubt, WordPress is by far the most popular platform on the market for building websites and is my #1 recommendation. Before we move on to step two… Just in case you’re more of an audio/visual learner, I’ve put together a video of this entire step-by-step tutorial, How to Make a Website From Scratch: Step-by-Step for Beginners 2018 For more video tutorials on how to create awesome websites, SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube channel by clicking here.
Step #2. Secure a Domain Name and Fast Web Hosting
For some of you, after you see this title, you may be wondering… what the crap is a domain name? If that’s the case, make sure to watch this video:Domain Name = Address to your website
So think of the internet as a map full of avenues, streets, and turns everywhere. Think of your website as your house. In order for anyone to find their way to your house (even you), you need an address. This address is your domain name.
Every website has an IP address, or a string of seemingly random numbers to identify it. Like this:
So when you register and purchase a domain name, it’s like saving your home address into your phone’s maps, as “Home”. It takes this weird set of numbers and assigns them a very simple name that you can type in anytime you want to go there; like typing “Home” into your phone‘s GPS.
So, when you type createaprowebsite.com into your browser and hit enter…
Your computer sends a request to a bunch of servers that make up the DNS, which is short for “Domain Name System“. This DNS then looks up the correct IP address and points your computer in the right direction. All within less than a millisecond…
So now you might be thinking, “Okay that’s great… but what the heck is a web host??” Again, I’ve got an awesome video for you with a very basic explanation as well:
Web hosting is just a service that allows you to rent the space on the internet, fill it with all your media, and go public – like renting space out of a shopping center to open up your own store.
So, when you want to start a website, ALL of your text, pictures, buttons, and other media HAS to be stored on a server that is connected to the internet. No if, ands, or buts about it. And web hosting companies have buildings FILLED with these servers. They also provide you with design software, security, support.
With that said, if you buy a domain name but don’t buy web hosting, then you would just type in your new domain name into the browser and end up on screen that says this webpage is parked, but not active.
Where can I get a domain name and hosting?Glad you asked…
Personally, I’ve always used HostGator because they’re affordable, quick, and easy. Oh, and they also have great customer service.
Already have a domain name and hosting? Go ahead and skip to Step 3 so I can show you how to install WordPress and set up your website.
Step 1) Go to HostGator.com
Because I use HostGator for my own websites, I’ve requested a SPECIAL DISCOUNT for Create A Pro Website visitors (First Month Hosting for ONLY $0.01).
Step 2) Choose a Web Hosting Plan
Click on the “Get Started” button OR the “Web Hosting” tab and you’ll be taken to a page to choose your web hosting plan.
If you’re only planning to have one website, go ahead and choose the “Hatchling Plan“. It’s their cheapest plan available and all you’ll really need.
The “Baby” and “Business” plans are good if you plan on having multiple websites, but to start, just stick with the basics. No need to throw dolla dolla bills around if you don’t have to.
Step 3) Choose a Domain Name
Keep it simple! If your website is for your company, stick to something easy like yourcompanyname.com. Or, if you want more of a lifestyle or portfolio website, try YourName.com.
If your name is taken, try a combination of words and add some descriptive words for fun!
Or whatever your website is about. No need to overcomplicate it because the goal is to have something easy to remember for your visitors / clients / customers / etc.
MY TWO CENTS: Use a class=”allbold”.com whenever possible. Domains that end in .org and .net are okay but a .com adds a sense of legitimacy to your website that can’t be matched.
There is also .biz, .tech, .tv, and plenty more but I don’t recommend these unless you’re desperate.
*Important Step: After you choose a domain name, I HIGHLY recommend adding Domain Privacy Protection (below). I made the terrible mistake of not doing this when I bought my first domain and my phone EXPLODED with solicitor calls. Seriously, I received 10-15 calls a day until I went back and got it. If you don’t have privacy protection, then your phone number, email, and address will be publicly visible to solicitors.
Step 4) Create a Username & Set Your Billing Cycle
Next up, HostGator will let you confirm your plan (Hatchling), and set your billing cycle.
The longer you commit to, the cheaper your monthly payment will be. So 36 months = $2.75 per month, while a month-to-month cycle is $10.95 per month. So if you’re purchasing your domain name for one year, I usually tell people to go ahead and get the 12 month hosting plan to go with it.
But if this is your very first website and you just want to get your feet wet, go ahead and get a single-month payment. You can always upgrade your plan at ANY time with HostGator.
AND…. I negotiated a very special coupon code with the team over at HostGator to get you a HUGE discount at checkout! (Anywhere from 45%-60% OFF depending on the plan you choose)
Next, create a username and PIN that you won’t forget and write them both down somewhere!
Step 5) Fill in Your Details
Fill in your personal information and credit card info (or use PayPal). Whichever is easiest for you.
Your receipt will be sent to the email address you enter in this section, so make sure it’s correct.
Step 6) Uncheck Additional Services
Before you checkout, HostGator will ask you if you’d like to add additional services.
When you’re starting out with your first website, I recommend unchecking the Sitelock Monitoring and Site Backup boxes. You won’t need them unless you’re able to bring in millions of visitors to your site. If you ever do, then you can always add them to your hosting plan later. (:
As far as the Professional Email box, this is there if you’d like a professional email like YourName@YourCompanyName.com instead of a plain old Gmail email (or whatever email service you prefer to use). But again, if you’re just starting out then this really isn’t necessary.
Step 7) Enter Your Coupon Code and Checkout
Like I said before, I negotiated a HUGE discount with HostGator for your web hosting package and domain name.
Just enter this coupon code: CREATEAPROWEBSITE
Then just simply review your order details and checkout.
Step #3: Set Up and Install WordPress
Through HostGator One-Click Install
Installing WordPressThere are a few ways to install WordPress but the quickest and easiest is with the one-click install.
To Create a Website with WordPress, Use One-Click Installation:Here are the steps you should follow to do this:
- Log into your HostGator account
- Click on the Hosting tab at the top.
- Click on the “WordPress One-Click” button under special offers.
- Select your domain for installation and hit “next”.
- Now just fill in your admin details, agree to the terms, and click “Install“.
- Blog Title = What you want to title your website (you can easily change this later)
- Admin User = Your First Name
- First Name = Your First Name (again)
- Last Name = Last Name
- Admin Email = Your Email
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just installed WordPress and you’re now ready to start customizing your new website!Before you move on to the next step: You’ll be taken to a screen that shows all your sign in info. You’re also given a RIDICULOUS password that you have no chance of remembering. Something that looks like this: 13JW56FX88K I HIGHLY suggest writing that password down. And don’t worry, we’re about to reset it to something easier to remember…
Step #4: Customize Your Website
- Login to WordPress
- Reset Your Password
- Choose a Theme & Customize
1. Log Into WordPressType “(YourDomainName).com” into your web browser and ad “/wp-admin” to the end of it so that it looks something like this:
(YourDomainName).com/wp-adminExample: *I recommend bookmarking this page because it will be your own personal WordPress Login. Hit enter and log in with your username and password that you saved earlier (you can just copy and paste the password).
2. Reset Your PasswordWelcome to your WordPress dashboard! Let’s get rid of that default password and make our own. Hover over the “Users” tab and click on “Your Profile”. Scroll to the bottom and choose “Generate Password.”
Erase the random generation it gives you, and type in your own new password. Then hit Update Profile to save it.
3. Choose a Theme For Your WebsiteWith WordPress, you can customize every aspect of your website such as buttons, text animations, color schemes, background images, and MUCH more. If you’re logged into WordPress, you can hover over “Appearance” and click on “Themes”. The just click the “Add New” button at the top. From here you can choose from over 1500 free themes! Now you may be wondering, “Which one do I pick??? Where do I start??” Well, here’s my Top 5 recommendations for free themes that offer the most functionality, customization, and user-friendly experience (None of these themes pay me. I just like them!):
Again just click on Appearance > Themes > Add New.
You can preview over 1500 free themes and select your favorite. But if this is your first website, then I HIGHLY recommend “Hestia”. It’s free, incredibly user-friendly, and makes customizing your first website a breeze. Just click on the search box to search for a theme.
Then just click Install on your theme.
Then, just click Activate.
So once you’ve selected and installed a new theme, you can start changing the colors, fonts, and overall look of your website. Here’s how to get there…Step #1) Hover over your website title at the top left of the dashboard and click Visit Site (or type in your domain to the browser).
You’ll then be taken to your website which now has a lot of sample text and is overall pretty empty…Step #2) To start changing colors, buttons, fonts, etc. just click on the “Customize” button at the top of the page. From here you have a wide variety of options to customize such as changing text & button colors, adding background images & videos, and MUCH more. Feel free to play around in this customize menu to see how each section affects the look of your website. *If you chose Hestia theme, I recommend installing Orbit Fox that appears in this customize menu.
4. Add a New Page to Your WebsiteIf you’d like to add an “About Me” page, “Services” page, or maybe a “Contact” page to your website (like I have at the top of this one), then you can do this by following the steps below:
- Go to your WordPress dashboard
- Hover over “Pages” and click on “Add New”
- Type in your title and body text
- Add new WordPress page
When you’re done, don’t forget to click the Publish button. (Or at least Save Draft if you’re not ready to publish).
5. Adding Pages to the MenuAfter you’ve created a few new pages, you may want them to be linked to a menu at the top of your website. Much like the menu at the top of this website or the top of your screen right now. To do this, just hover over Appearance on the dashboard, and click on Menus.
Now, just give your menu a name and click Create Menu.
Look in the Pages box and check the page you’d like to add to the menu, then click Add to Menu.
Once added, just check the Primary box under menu settings, and click Save Menu.
Now if you visit your site, you’ll see a menu at the very top with buttons that will take you to the pages you’ve added.
Changing Your Website Title and TaglineTitle: This part is actually more important than most people realize. The title on the front page of your website is how search engines, like Google and Bing, decide how high your site ranks in search results. So if someone types in “how to make money online”, ideally you would want your site to come up on the first page of search results so people will click on your website. So this means your website title should be “How To Make Money Online” so it’s as similar to the keyword as possible. This is why my website title is “How To Make a Website.”
Just hover over your mouse over the tab to this website to find the keywords (or see below).
Tagline: This is a secondary title that should explain what you’re offering in your website. Mine is “Step-by-Step Beginners Guide 2018”To change the title and tagline on your website, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Settings > General. Then you’ll see a couple of boxes at the very top to write in your title & tag.
You’re All Set To Publish.
- WordPress Training
- Step-by-Step Designing Your Blog
- How to Create Beautiful Images
- How to Produce Amazing Content People Love
- Get Started With Email Marketing
- Setting Up Social Media
- And so, so much more!