How to Create a WordPress Website

WordPress is a great platform for creating a website for your small business or other needs.

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to do:

  1. Get a domain name.  You can use a site like GoDaddy to register your domain (like YourBusiness.com)
  2. Set up Web Hosting.  This is where your website is installed.
  3. Install WordPress.  Most hosting services provide an easy way to install it.
  4. Create Content.  Add your pages and write the information you want on your site.
  5. Choose a Theme.  The theme is the design for your site.
  6. Customize Settings.  Every theme is different.  Use the options to personalize the look of your site.

OK, so that’s a really zoomed-out view of what to do.  But you’ll probably need more details.  Each step is broken down below, along with recommendations.

1. Domain Name

Your domain name is your web address.  It’s what people will type in their web browsers to get to your site.  If your business is called “John’s Flamingo Rental”, your domain name might be something like “JohnsFlamingoRental.com” or”JohnsFlamingos.com”.  Generally, the shorter and more memorable the better.  Also, try to avoid words that people are likely to misspell.

GoDaddy is probably the most popular site to register your domain name.  I don’t really recommend them for web hosting, though.

2.  Set up Web Hosting.

Every website has to be hosted somewhere.  It’s basically like renting space on a computer that has a really high-speed connection to the internet and is designed for showing websites.  You don’t have to spend arm and a leg, but at the same time you don’t want to go with the cheapest thing you find because it’ll probably mean your website will be down a lot and you won’t be able to get good support.

I’ve had pretty good success using HostGator.  They now have a plan that’s specifically designed for WordPress.  I’ve read good things about it and in my own testing it seems good.  Choose their “WordPress Hosting” plan.

After setting up your account, you’ll need to point your domain name to your hosting account.  The hosting service will tell you the settings to use.  There is a setting called “Name Servers”, and there are usually 2 settings that need to be entered.  Find these settings from your hosting service.  Often they’ll send you an email telling you what settings to use.  Then go to where you registered your domain name (like GoDaddy) and find the Name Server setting.  Enter the settings your hosting service told you to use and save the changes.  It’ll take a few minutes or more to take effect.

3.  Install WordPress.

The process will vary depending on which hosting service you use.  If you use the HostGator “WordPress Hosting” plan mentioned above, this is pretty easy.  Just log in and you should see an option to set up WordPress on your new hosting account.  If you can’t figure it out, get in touch with your web hosting’s support people and they should be able to help you or even do it for you.

4.  Create Content.

Log in to WordPress and start creating pages.  To do that, go to Pages -> Add New.  Give your page a Title, which usually will show up at the top of the page.  There is an editor box where you can type in the information you want to be on your new page.  It’s pretty much like typing an email or using Microsoft Word, etc.  Just write your content, apply formatting like bold, italics, etc.  When you’re finished, be sure to save your page and make it live by clicking the Publish button.

Repeat this process to create all the pages you need on your site.

When you’re finished, you’ll probably want to add all these pages to the menu on your site.  To do that, go to Appearance -> Menus and create a new menu.  Create the new menu first by giving it a name, then click the pages you want to add and add them.  When you’re finished, save your changes.

5.  Choose a theme.

In WordPress, the theme is basically the design of your website, how it looks, like a template.  You can find lots of free themes.  There are some good ones out there, but if you want the most control over the look of your site and want it to look as professional as possible, consider buying a premium theme.

To install a free theme, go to Appearance -> Themes.  Click “Add New”.  You can scroll through the themes that come up and check them out.  You can also search.

If you’re building a website for your business, here are a few you can search for that look nice and have some good options:

Decide on a theme and click the Install button to install it.  Then click Activate to make it the active theme for your site.

6.  Customize Settings.

Every theme is different as to what options it provides for customizing your site.  Often when you activate a theme it will add a new menu item where you can go to make changes to how your site looks.  Others let you make changes by going to Appearance -> Customize.

In addition to changing the look of your site, you may need to change the title of your site that appears at the top of every page.  To do that, go to Settings -> General.  You can change the Site Title here, and the Site Description.  Not all themes show the Site Description, but if yours does, this is where to change it.

Need Help?

It wasn’t practical to cover every step in this post, and you’ll probably want to do some specific things with your site that you may need help with.  We do offer a WordPress Coaching Service where you can hire us to help you with your specific needs.  We’re also putting together tutorial videos that will guide you through every step.  If you’re interested in these, please contact us.

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