How to create a website?
Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
STEP - 1
Choose a website building platform. This is where you will create and edit your website.
STEP - 2
Choose a domain name and hosting provider. This is where you will store site files.
STEP - 3
Choose a template that best suits your business. It's the best way to create a website.
WordPress is better and budget friendly than Website Builders but requires a little learning and patience.
If you are trying to build an advanced & customized website go with WordPress.
If you are trying to build a quick website for business or portfolio go with Website Builder
Webflow is the best no code alternative to WordPress.
#1 - Choose a Platform
In our step by step guide for beginners on how to create a website? The Fist and the most basic step is to choose a platform. To build a website, you need to decide which platform you’re going to use to edit and manage your website. There are basically two types of platforms-
Content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, which is free to use open-source software that offers complete flexibility in terms of design and layout but you do have to through a bit of a learning curve to build your first website.
On the other hand, Website Builders- such as Webflow or Wix are beginner-friendly and allow you to create a website without any coding skills, but you will be limited by the flexibility of design and customization, also it comes at an average cost of around $8 per month.
Let's Compare: WordPress vs Website Builders
✔️ WordPress is Free.
✔️ Highly customizable and user-friendly
✔️ Customized Responsive Design
✔️ Full control over code
✔️ Thousands of plugins
✔️ Huge community for online support
✔️ Sites can be migrated for scaling
✔️ Thousands of Free Themes
❌ Requires a bit of Learning
❌ Hosting costs around $3/mo
❌ Website Builders Cost around $8/mo
❌ User-friendly but limited customization.
✔️ Default Responsive Designing
❌ No control over code
✔️ Hundreds of Apps
✔️ 24X7 Customer support
❌ Sites can not be migrated
✔️ Hundreds of Templates
✔️ No Learning Required
✔️ Hosting is included for free.
We recommend our readers to go with WordPress if you are really serious about creating a website for your business and looking forward to scaling it in the upcoming years. But you should keep in mind that WordPress is not beginner-friendly and you might need to go through a learning phase to create your first WordPress website. You could refer to our Free tutorial created by experts on How to build a website using WordPress.
But in case you are afraid to go through the learning curve and need a website real quick to create an online presence for your business then you should start with a Website Builder. Here is a list of Website Builders that prove to be the best alternative to WordPress. You could see the full list of Top 10 Best Website Builders for Beginners and compare them.
Webflow is the closest no-code alternative to WordPress. It is the best and most customizable website builder for designing a creative site. Webflow comes with integrated CMS, which is not offered by other website builders at the moment. It's interesting to consider that Webflow's official website is designed using Webflow website builder. You could read our full review of Webflow Website Builder.
You need a Domain Name and Web Hosting to create a website with WordPress
There are various factors you need to consider before choosing a Host.
Bluehost is the best hosting provider for WordPress. It is recommended by WordPress itself.
Bluehost is currently offering a 1 month free trial exclusively to the visitors of Website Builder Expert
For starters we recommend you to go with the Basic Plan @ ₹199
Its better to choose a classy domain name instead of fancy domain names.
Enter the billing details and choose the tenure of registration. For starters it better to go with a 12 month tenure.
You are required to install WordPress in order to create a website.
#2 - Choose a Hosting
In case you have decided to build your website using a Website Builder instead of WordPress you could skip this step and move directly to Step 3 - Using a Website Builder. But if you have chosen WordPress to create your first website, then let's continue our journey of website creation.
To start creating your website with WordPress, there are two basic things that you will need
Domain name (a web address like brandname.com)
Web Hosting (a place where site files are stored)
The WordPress platform itself is free, but hosting and domain do cost a little. However, the combined cost of both domain and hosting is still less than that of Website Builders, around $3 a month.
Which Hosting is Perfect For You?
Choosing a perfect host for your website isn't that easy, host is like a virtual plot of land for your business. This is where you will create your website and make it reach your potential audience. You need to consider various factors before choosing a host for your WordPress website.
Does it fit your budget?
Does it come with a Free domain & SSL?
Which version of PHP is being used?
Do they provide 24X7 customer support?
How much storage are you getting?
What's the bandwidth? and a lot more...
That's why we have compared all the hosting services for you and came up with few top-rated hosting providers. Please note that these ratings are completely based on practical research and usage performed by our experts. We literally spent thousands of dollars to buy and compare these hosting plans to come up with a final decision. Read Top 10 WordPress Hosting Providers
Our experts found Bluehost to be the best hosting provider for WordPress – it’s recommended by WordPress itself! But you can try other hosting providers or you may even try to host your site by yourself, but it’s a very complicated process and often wouldn’t be capable of serving your website visitors. So save yourself some money and get a proper web host.
Signing Up With Bluehost
Here’s a quick overview of how signing up for a hosting provider works. We’ve used Bluehost in our example, but the process is pretty similar across the board:
2. After you click on the above link you could see WordPress pricing as shown below
3. We’d recommend you go with the Basic plan if you are just starting with your first ever website. You could always change your plan in case you want to upgrade to any higher plan by paying the difference amount.
4. After you have selected the hosting plan you will be asked to choose your FREE domain
5. Just enter the domain name of your choice and then click Next. We recommend you to go with your name or your brand name followed by .com, .org or .net. Choosing a fancy domain name is not a good option.
6. After you have chosen your domain name. You’ll need to create an account and fill in your billing details:
At this point, you will also need to choose the period for which you want to register your website. Registration for a year or more is cheaper than a monthly payment. A 30-day money-back guarantee is offered by Bluehost so you can try it out anytime and change it later if necessary.
Now that you have your domain name and hosting plan, it's time to install WordPress!
Bluehost offers one-click WordPress installation, but some hosting provides don't so you might need to tickle a little but the process should be fairly similar.
Let's discuss step by step process for installing WordPress on Bluehost or watch the 4-minute video below:
Give your WordPress site a name and a tagline and then click on next.
Now select the domain you purchased or claimed for free with the hosting plan.
Uncheck any plugins that you don’t need and click next.
Now you could see admin details. Take note of your WordPress site URL, Username, and Password. You will need this later.
If you are a virtual learner watch this 4-minute video to understand better
Now that you have successfully installed WordPress. It's time to move to step 3 to choose a beautiful theme for your site.
A theme or template is a fully-made example of a website.
Using a website builder is easy and quick. We have used Webflow in our example
You should genuinely answer questions asked by website builder.
Choose Never Build a website to learn how to build a website in Webflow
Choose a template that best suits your business.
#3 - Choose a Template
We hear people ask, what is a theme or what is a template? Well first of all I want to make clear that there is no difference between a theme or a template. When it comes to WordPress, we call it a theme. And when it comes to Website Builder, it's called template.
A theme or a template is a fully-made example of a site that you can publish under your own brand name with your own content with little designing and customization.
Since you get access to codes on WordPress hence you could fully customize themes in WordPress with coding. However, Website Builders don't allow you to access codes so you are limited by the customization that you can make in your website using a Website Builder
Installing Theme on WordPress
WordPress comes with lots of themes to suit all type of websites. You can preview each one to see which one meets the purpose of your website. Here is a step by step guide for installing a theme on your WordPress site
1. Log into your WordPress dashboard.
2. Hover over 'Appearance' and then click on 'Themes'.
3. In the themes dashboard click on the button that says "Add New".
4. Preview a few themes and choose the one that's closest to the type of website you are trying to make, then hit "Install".
5. After a few minutes, a button labelled "Activate" will appear. Click on Activate to finalize this theme for your website.
Remember that a theme is only the beginning of your website's story. You are completely free to customize your site the way your want, either by editing the code or by installing plugins.
Using a Website Builder
Choosing a template in a website builder is quite easy, you need to answer a couple of quick questions. Your website builder is then going to suggest templates that suit your business the most to give a kick start to your website. We’ve used Webflow in our example, but the process is pretty similar for all Website Builders:
3. After you signup, the website builder will ask you a couple of quick questions to personalize your experience. We recommend you to go through it genuinely.
Please Note: Even if this is not the first time you are building a website we recommend you to choose "Never Build" as an answer for "Do you have experience building websites?" because this is how you will get to know the Webflow platform better.
4. Webflow will now give you 5 minutes guided tour to understand its platform. We recommend you to take this tour thoroughly.
5. Remember this is just a trial website for you to learn the basics of website building. After you have completed the tour. You will now be asked to create a new project or you could just go to your dashboard and click on 'New Project'. Now, this is where the magic begins.
6. After you clicked on 'New Project' You will now see hundreds of templates to choose from or you could create your own by selecting a blank site.
5. Now since you already know how to edit your website, just start by selecting a template that suits you the most and edit by customizing its design and layout the way you want.
At this point, I expect you already know how to create a website using a Website Builder or WordPress. From here the process is going to be similar for both WordPress and Website Builders. So Let's move on to our next step of customizing and publishing a website.
Customize your template to meet the purpose of your business.
Add a site tittle and tagline to make it yours.
Add a navigation menu in your website to make it easier for visitors to browse site content.
Add a homepage to summarize the purpose of your website.
Add features to your website by installing plugins. Remember to check ratings and reviews before installing a plugin.
After you have finished customizing your website its now time to publish it.
You could set page visibility to public or private. You could give limited access by protecting page with a password.
#4 - Customize & Publish
Once you've selected your theme or template, you definitely have a rough idea about your website. Now it's time to go one step further and customize your website to meet your business needs. Of course, there are many ways you can customize your site, but here are some points you should focus on.
Note: The points discussed here are applicable for both WordPress and Website builders. However, here we will discuss customizing your website on WordPress because customizing a website on Website Builder is quite easy. All you need to do is to double click on that element and edit it the way you want.
Add Site Title and Tagline
When you set up your site, WordPress will automatically set your site title to "Just Another WordPress Site". We're not "just another WordPress site" however, so we will change it.
Go to Settings, then General.
Add the title of your website next to "Site Title". and the tag line next to "Tagline".
Add navigation menu
This is a very important step in creating a site. You could have the best content in the world, but it means nothing if nobody can find it! Most topics have at least one menu option, while more complex topics can have several. Adding one is very easy!
Log into your WordPress dashboard.
Hover over Appearance, then click Menus.
Next to "Menu Name", add a name for your menu, then select the pages you want to add from the list on the left
For topics with multiple menu options, you may be able to see various check box options under Menu Settings, such as Primary, Secondary, etc.
Your best option is to highlight the primary one for now. You can always change this if you are not satisfied with the live version.
Click "Save Menu" to place your new live menu on the website.
Setting a Home Page
When it comes to your home page, you have two main options: a dynamic page that updates with all of your latest posts, or a static page that keeps the same content. Either way:
Log into your WordPress dashboard.
Click on "Settings" and then go to "Reading".
You will be taken to a "Reading Settings" page, the first of which is "Home Screens".
Select "Your Recent Posts" or "A Static Page".
Click "Save Changes" to activate the changes to your homepage.
When you select "Your Recent Posts" you can also choose how many recent blog posts you want to appear on the page at once and whether you want to see the full text or a summary. If you choose "A Static Page", be sure to designate a page called "Blog" (or something similar) that can hold all of your latest posts.
Plugin installation is a way of installing features that WordPress doesn't yet include. Think of them as applications. As with the themes, all of the plugins listed in the WordPress plugin directory are free. You only have to pay for third-party providers, which can cost anywhere from $ 40 to $ 200 (as a one-time or recurring cost).
There are over 56,000 plugins available for WordPress users. enough for every function you need and more. But not all plugins are created equal! And too many plugins will slow down your site. This will frustrate your readers and affect your performance in Google rankings.
Anyone can upload a plugin to the WordPress library, so it's definitely a mixed bag. Fortunately, all plugins have a user generated star ratings. We recommend only using add-ons with a few hundred downloads and positive reviews. There is security in the numbers, as they say!
Publish & Go Online
Once you've added all of your content to your page or post, you have the option to save the page as a draft or publish the page. Clicking the Save Draft button will simply save your page / post. This is useful if you want. Come back later to add more content or if you're not ready to post.
Clicking the Publish button will save your page / post and publish it on your website.
You can also change the visibility of the page by clicking the "Edit" link to the right of "Visibility" in the "Publish" pane on the right.
Public is the default setting and means that the page is visible to everyone. There is also an option to make the post "sticky". Sticky posts are placed on top of all blog posts and stay there even after new posts are published.
Password protected assign a password to your page. Only people with the password can access the page.
Private completely hides the content from the public. Ordinary users and visitors are unaware of private content. Content when logged into your WordPress blog.
By default, when you click the Publish button, your page / post will be published immediately to public. To change this, click page setting then got to page visibility to edit visibility of your page.
Congratulations! You are the proud owner of your new website.
But don't stop here, use your knowledge to learn even more. This is how you i=will be able to build a website exactly the way you want.
We are always here for you!
~Website Builder Expert