How to Build a WordPress Website from Scratch

create a wordpress website from scratch

Are you looking for a simple step by step guide on how to build a WordPress Website?

If yes, then this guide is for you.

In 2020 anyone can build and design a WordPress website without having any prior knowledge of designing, coding and web development.

Whether it is for business or personal use you can design a website just by using the right tools and this step-by-step guide.

Ready to start the simple step-by-step tutorial

In this guide, I am going to show you how you to build a website in WordPress in 2020 and so on. I know that building a website is overwhelming and intimidating.

But this guide is all about for the beginners and will guide you on how to build a website in WordPress from scratch without spending your money either on freelancers or any expensive agencies.

So let’s get straight to the point and start building your WordPress website from scratch

The entire process of setting up your website generally takes about 50-60 minutes.

After that, your website will be ready to go live on Google search results.

There are seven steps we are going to discuss how to set up a website in 2020 and so on.

Step 1: Pick your Domain name.

Already have a domain registered? Skip this part jump to #2

The very first step in the process of building a website is choosing a Domain name.

The domain is the name and address of your website. It is the name that will be used by the users to find your website on their browsers.

The domain for this website is websourav.com. If you type this domain name anywhere from this world on your internet browser you will be directly landed on my website.

A good domain name is unique and descriptive, so the audience can easily remember and recall it quickly.

We recommend when choosing a domain name use your own name(personal or company name). You can use your middle name as well if your name has already been taken or registered.

Many of the top bloggers of the world using their own name (also their company’s name) as a domain name. The benefit of that is it prevents others from using your name and allow you to secure your authority. And it also helps you to build your own personal brand, for example- digitaldeepak.com.

Once you select your domain name, you need to choose the domain extension. We highly recommend you to go for .com. It is the gold standard. You can also go for .in as well if you are going to target a particular country(India).

Note-  At the time of registering your domain, you might find that your desired domain is already taken. At that time you can add simple words like, “a”, ”the” or “my” at the beginning of the name or you can use dashes in the middle of the name.

How to register a Domain Name(on GoDaddy)?

  1. Go to your browser type GoDaddy.
  2. Create an account
  3. Check the availability of your desired domain( go for.com or .in)
  4. Add to card it
  5. Go to the cart choose to buy now
  6. Provide your details (give a strong password)
  7. Make the payment + taxes (choose one-year subscription plan)

Check your email. You will receive the bill for your payment.

A domain name will cost you around Rs.500-Rs.2000 per year.

NOTE: You cannot use punctuation other than dashes (-) in your domain name.

Still not registered your domain name, don’t worry.

I will show you how you can get a Domain name for free for the first year(step2).

Step 2: Chose a Web Hosting

Apart from domain name another important thing that you’ll need is Web Hosting to build your WordPress website.

Web hosting is a service that hosts and stores your website files (content) on a secure server that is always up and running. Without a web host, your site will not be accessible for others to read and browse.

Whatever hosting service you signup, make sure it has all these features:

  1. Free SSL certificate (For security)
  2. A Free Domain
  3. One-click WordPress installation system.
  4. Unlimited bandwidth
  5. 24*7 Customer support
  6. Custom email account.
  7. Speed and Uptime of your website.
  8. Reviews

Always do your research first in order to get your first hosting. Because choosing a bad hosting might destroy your desire to be a blogger. You will be frustrated with the slow loading speed.

If you find a web hosting provider where all mentioned features are available, surely you’ve found a good web hosting provider.

You will find hundreds of hosting providers in the market, but choosing the best one is up to you. Our personal recommendation is to choose either from Godaddy or Bluehost.

The following are the steps showing how to get your Web Hosting and a Domain for free.

  1. Go to your browser and type the name of the web hosting company. For example Bluehost.

2. Then Select your hosting plan

3. Check your desired domain name is available or not(generally free for the first year)

find a domain to build a wordpress website

4. If your desired domain is not available it will give you a lot of similar domain name options that are available, from where you can choose one. Or you can simply type another name to try.

5. When you find your domain name you will be taken to the registration page.

6. Then you will also choose the hosting package and options including taxes.

7. Make the payment.

8. You will then be prompted to create a password for your account.

You will receive an email for website login details.

(Note: Your WordPress login details is different from your web hosting account. Make sure you keep the track of these.)

Once you have done with your installation go to your browser and type your domain name and check everything is ok.

Step 3: Choose a Platform for your Website (CMS)

Choosing a good platform for building a website is also an important thing like choosing a good web hosting.

Some of the platforms for blogging is-

  1. WordPress (This is generally the most popular CMS).
  2. Wix.com
  3. Joomla  and many more

In our article, we only talk about how to install WordPress so we are going to stick on it.

Definition of CMS or What is CMS?

A Content Management System or in short CMS is a platform where you will be writing and publishing your blog posts. A good CMS is generally easy to use. It allows to customize your own theme, organize your content, upload videos, images and gives you full control.

The most popular CMS that people use is WordPress. More than 60% of the world’s website is built on WordPress.

Now you might think, is WordPress really that good? Should I build my website in WordPress?

So the answer is Yes, WordPress is a really very good platform for starting a blog. Although there are few other CMS also available like Wix, Ghost, Blogger, etc. but we personally recommend setting up a self-hosted WordPress site.

But here you should be extremely careful at the time of choosing a WordPress because it comes in two very different platforms. WordPress.com and WordPress.org.They have almost a similar kind of name but still, there is a difference between the two of them.

WordPress.com:
1. It is generally free to use
2. It doesn’t let you pick a custom domain name.
3. Has very limited monetization options and also you can’t sell your own ads
4. Besides, it has very limited theme support with very basic designs
5. You have to pay to remove WordPress branding
6. It also has a very limited SEO and analytics

WordPress.org:
1. It allows you to fully customized your designs. Also gives you unlimited plugin option and no branding
2. You also get total control over your own monetization effort
3. It, in fact, has a very powerful SEO feature
4. In addition, it lets you start or add an e-commerce store in your site
5. It has a small monthly fee (approx $50-$100/year+hosting). 

Step 4: Set up your WordPress Website

So, I am assuming that your Domain and web hosting is ready to go. Now you’ll need to choose and install a CMS platform so that you can start building your WordPress website.

We recommend you choose WordPress since it is very user friendly and comes with thousands of free designs and plugins, which makes your website looks professional and unique.

Setting up your WordPress website is easy. Most of your work done by your web host.

If you choose Bluehost it will install WordPress automatically for your site.

But if you are not using Bluehost, don’t worry. Many web hosting providers have “WordPress Install” located somewhere in cPanel. If not then you can try setting up WordPress manually.

Install WordPress website on Bluehost

  1. Log into your Account

2. Click on “My Site” then on “Create Site”

build your wordpress website with bluehost

3. Provide some basic information about your site, and WordPress installation will start.

4. When the set up is done, it will show you the installation and login details. Be sure to save them somewhere.

wordpress installation is running

This informations will be sent to you through your e-mail also.

Test your Site from your Browser

After setting up WordPress, the next step for you to test if everything works fine.

The easiest way to do that is to type your domain name in your browser.

If everything works fine, you will see something like this.

set up of your wordpress website

Don’t worry If it still doesn’t look attractive. This is just the basic setup. You can customize it later.

Step 5: Customize Your WordPress Website Design and Structure

Finally, your site is live and ready for kicking. Therefore its time to add some look and feel you your website and makes it more attractive and compelling with some nice customized designs.

Let’s Start:

1. Choose a Theme for your Website

WordPress has thousands of free as well as paid themes for websites available on the web.

WordPress themes are complete design packages that change the look and feel of an entire website.

popular WordPress website themes

If you want to get free and the popular themes through your dashboard

Goto Appearance > Themes > Add New > Popular

You can also access this page from Popular Theme. (link)

All the themes you see there have proven to be great quality and have a large user base.

 You can browse through the entire list and install the one you like. But makes things faster, we recommend using “Neve”.  You can also choose “Astra”, “Ocean Wp” etc.

The rest of the guide will be on using the NEVE theme.

2. Install the theme you Choose

Log in to your WordPress dashboard. You can find it at yoursite.com/wp-admin. Log in with username and password you set during WordPress installation.

  1. From the Sidebar go to “Appearance > Themes > Add New.” 
WordPress themes

2. In the Search box, type in “Neve” or any other theme you want yo install, then click the install button.

install atheme for your website

3. After the installation is done, click on the “Active” button“.

4. You’ll see a  success message after activation.

3. Import a Design

Once the theme is activated, there are a couple of more things that you can do to make it look right.

One of the great things about Neve (and a few other themes) is that they provide some pre-build template design that you can pick from.

These templates generally make your site looks more attractive.

pre-build website templates

They cover most of the popular website niches, like business, restaurant, music, food and many more. It has design packages that generally fit all.

For this guide, we will pick one of these- “Original”.

Once you start installing it will take care of all the elements you’ll need on your site- you get the design itself, all the plugins required, and also the demo content that you can modify later.

Click on the “Import” button to get everything going.

installing a template

Next, go to “Appearance → Neve Options” to see what else you can do with the theme.

Customize your site

Play with these options and you will soon get familiar with this easily.

Step 6: Add Content/Pages to your WordPress Website

Pages are the essence of your website. Without, pages it’s hard to imagine a website.

A website is built on web pages.

Web pages are very easy to build on a WordPress website. You can create as many pages as you want as per your needs, but every website has a few essential pages to start with.

Most of the websites will find the following pages essential:

  • Homepage – this is the page where your visitor’s lands after they search for your domain then visit different other pages.
  • About page – this page generally explains what your website is about.
  • Contact page – a page that contains your contact details.
  • Blog page –  this page generally contains your most recent blog posts;
  • Service page – if it’s a business website, use this page to showcase your services.
  • Shop page – for companies who want to launch an eCommerce store.

Generally, most of these pages are quite similar in structure – the only difference is the content of each page.

Basically, you just need to learn how to design one page, rest you can easily take care.

To design a page from scratch you can also use the Elementor page builder. Its simple, drag and drop feature will help you build an amazing website.

How to Create/ Edit a page in WordPress?

To create/ edit a page in WordPress choose pages from the sidebar.  

Select the page (for example HOME page) to edit and click – Edit with Elementor.

edit with elementor

Use Elementor page builder to easily edit, drag and drop elements to build your page.

Just play around with this plugin and soon you will get familiar with this.

The best part of this plugin is that you don’t need to have any technical skill to use this.

edit a page with elementor

Use this process to build all your pages and give your website a unique look. Elementor also give some free one page templates that you can use, rather than creating a page from scratch.

Adding new Blog Posts:

To add a new blog post, simply go to Posts → Add New.

start writting your blog posts

Add your title and then start writing your blog.

Step 7: Set up a Navigation Menu

After creating all the required pages, the next step on our quest is how to build a WordPress website from scratch is to create a navigation menu.

The navigation menu on your website helps the visitors to go from page to page on your website. It also guides them to find the relatable content on your site. It also increases user engagement as well.

Go to “Appearance → Menus” Click on “create a new menu

create a customized menu for your website

WordPress by default creates a menu based on the pages you build. You can also edit and use that as well. It will save you a lot of time.

Here is how you can create your customized menu step by step.

steps showing how to create a menu for wordPress Website
  1. Add a title.
  2. Select all the pages to be added to your menu. We can also add our blog posts and custom links.
  3. Then click on the “Add to menu” button to add all the selected items to your menu.
  4. Then arrange all the pages and links as per order or importance. (just drag and drop)
  5. Select a menu display location. Select the “primary” location to display the menu on the header,
  6. Save your menu.

Now your menu will appear on your website.

Step 8: Optimize Your Website

Once you have done with all your setups, its time to optimize your site. Test your website with GTmetrix, and it will give you all the improvements you need to make on your website

A few easy things you can do are:

  • Optimizing your websites’ images;
  • Enabling caching;
  • Minifying CSS, HTML, and JavaScript Scripts.

Congratulations – You’re Ready to Launch!

Conclusion:

Building a WordPress Website from Scratch in 2020 and afterward is becoming very easy. In fact, you don’t even need to have a deep technical or designing knowledge to build a WordPress website. Therefore, anyone with proper tools and guidance can easily design a website from scratch. Therefore you don’t need to spend your money on freelancers or expensive agencies. Just spend one hour or two with a guide and will soon be able to build your first website.

We hope this detailed guide helps you to understand how to build your first WordPress website from scratch.

If you have any farther questions you can comment below.

Cheers

Also read:

What is a WordPress Plugin? How to install it?

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