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How To Build A WordPress Website In 8 Simple Steps in 2024

Updated on February 29, 2024 – Written By: Shant Alexanian

Whether you are a new small business or a well-established company, having a professional website is essential for expanding your online presence. WordPress is a popular platform for building websites, as it is versatile and offers many customization options. In this guide, we will demonstrate how to build a WordPress website in eight simple steps.

How To Build A WordPress Website

1. Get Web Hosting and a Domain Name

To begin creating a WordPress website, the first step is to acquire web hosting. To make your website available online, you need to use a web hosting service even though WordPress is a free website builder.

Typically, web hosting expenses are less than $5 per month. To simplify the process of creating a WordPress site and save time and money, it’s recommended to obtain web hosting services first. This is because the best WordPress hosting providers offer a free domain name and one-click WordPress installation.

Choose a Domain Name

During the registration process for a web hosting plan that offers a free domain name (e.g., yoursitename.com) like Bluehost, you will be asked to select a domain. If not, you can buy a domain name directly from a reputable domain name registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap. Then, you will need to manually connect your domain name to the nameserver of your web hosting service.

When you select a domain name, remember to consider the following:

  • The shorter the better.
  • Avoid using numbers and dashes.
  • It is recommended to use a .com domain, but other alternatives can also be considered.
  • Check if the domain is available.
  • Avoid using words that are challenging to pronounce or spell.

Install WordPress

Once you have purchased a web hosting plan, like the one we recommend from Bluehost, the next step is to install WordPress. This means connecting your web hosting service to WordPress.

To create a new site, first access your user dashboard (or cPanel). Then, select “My Sites” from the vertical menu on the left-hand side and click on it. Finally, click on “Create New Site.”

Please note that the duration of this process may take a few minutes, and the steps involved may vary depending on your hosting provider; several hosting providers are geared towards WordPress hosting, thus making the process even easier.

Check out our in-depth Bluehost Review for an honest assessment and real-world test results.

2. Find and Install a WordPress Theme

In WordPress, a theme refers to a website template that determines the appearance and functionality of the site. It also determines what the site is capable of without any additional customization. There are numerous premium templates available for purchase on websites like  ThemeForest.

Taking the time to browse through and find the one that best suits your website is a valuable investment. After selecting the theme that suits you best, buy it and proceed to download the theme files.

Furthermore, you can obtain themes for free from WordPress. However, they usually demand a considerable amount of effort; therefore, it is generally a better decision to purchase a well-crafted premium theme.

To install a premium WordPress theme, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to your WordPress dashboard by signing into your account (yourdomain.com/wp-admin) or directly from your hosting administration panel.
  • Now, from the left panel, click on “Appearance”. Then, choose “Themes” from the menu.
  • Click “Add new” at the top of the page.
  • Select “upload theme.”
  • After, find the zip file containing the theme files, then click on “browse” to locate it.
  • Select “Install” and then click “Activate.”

3. Install Important Plugins

After you have installed your theme, make sure to install and activate the necessary plugins to enhance the capabilities of WordPress. Furthermore, your theme comes with some plugins, but you can choose from thousands more that have various functions. These plugins can improve your site security, add live chat, or transform your page editor into a drag-and-drop editor. It is advisable to use a limited number of plugins to avoid slowing down your website or causing other plugins to malfunction.

Here are the plugins we suggest you install for your business website:

  • Site Kit by Google: It is essential to monitor your website’s traffic and activity, especially if you’re a blogger. Having this information is crucial as most brands require it before working with you.
  • Yoast SEO: The plugin is designed to enhance your posts for search engines.
  • Akismet: To prevent spam comments on your blog posts.
  • Jetpack: The plugin can enhance the security, maintenance, and performance of your website.
  • Elementor: You can utilize a page builder plugin like Elementor which will help in converting your page editor to a drag-and-drop editor that is easy to use for beginners.

Here’s how to install WordPress plugins:

  • From your WordPress dashboard, choose “plugins” from the menu on the left-hand side.
  • Click “add new” from the drop-down.
  • Type the name of the plugin you want to install in the search bar.
  • Click “install now” and then click “activate.”

4. Configure WordPress Settings

Before creating web pages and content for your website, first, you need to configure your settings. This includes setting your home page and blog posts page, Furthermore, update your site’s name, tagline, and logo.

Here’s how to configure the most used settings:

  • Logo: Go to the “Appearance” menu, then select “Customize,” followed by “Site Identity.” From there, choose “Change Logo” and upload your desired logo image.
  • Site title: Go to your website’s dashboard, click on “Appearance”, then select “Customize”. Next, click on “Site Identity” and enter your site title (a.k.a. your business name).
  • Site tagline: Go to the “Appearance” section and select “Customize.” From there, choose “Site Identity” and either input your desired tagline or delete the default one provided by WordPress.
  • Site icon: Go to “Appearance” and select “Customize.” Click on “Site Identity,” and look for “Site Icon.” Click on “Change Image,” then upload the image you want to display as your site icon.
  • Homepage: Go to “Appearance” first, then select “Customize.” After that, choose “Homepage Settings” and select the webpage you want to use as your homepage.
  • Permalink settings: Go to “settings” and then to “permalinks”. Choose your desired structure (usually “post name”) and save changes.

5. Create Pages

Now it is time to start building your website by creating webpages, as they are the fundamental building blocks of a website. For example, the average business website typically consists of several pages, including the homepage, services, pricing, about us, and contact. In WordPress, any page that is not a blog post or article is considered a page.

Here’s how to create and customize pages in WordPress:

  • To access the “pages” section in the WordPress dashboard, select it from the vertical menu located on the left-hand side.
  • To create a new page, select the “add new” option.
  • To customize a page that already exists, follow these steps: Go to “All Pages”, locate the specific page you want to customize from the list of pages and click “Edit”.
  • If you have already installed a page builder plugin, Select the option that is situated at the top, such as “Edit with Elementor”.
  • Write your site content and customize your pages.
  • When you’re finished, click publish.
  • To create additional pages, simply repeat these steps.

6. Setting Up Your Menu

Now that you have set up your pages, create and configure your menus. Visitors use the menus on your website to navigate through it. Your website may have a couple of menus, depending on the theme; for example, one in the header and one in the footer.

Here’s how to configure your site menu:

  • Navigate to “appearance” on your dashboard and then click on “menus.”
  • To add new pages, select pages from the left-hand menu then click “add new.”
  • To rearrange the order of your menu or create sub-pages, click, and hold on to the pages.
  • Click save changes.

After setting up your menu, you can find the section called “Menu Settings” on the same page. Then, select the “Primary Menu” option under the “Display Location.” Doing so will set the menu as your site’s main menu, which will display in your header.

7. Create Your First Blog Post

Furthermore, many businesses choose to publish blog posts as well as webpages to increase their chances of being discovered on search engines like Google. To create a blog post, access the left-hand menu and select the “Posts” option, then click “Add New.” From there, you can edit a blog post just like a webpage, with the exception that you can also schedule a blog post to be published at a later date.

Here is how to create a blog post in WordPress:

  • From your dashboard select “posts.” Then, click on “add new.”
  • Type in the post title.
  • Choose the category you want to put it in.
  • Write your content.
  • When you’re finished, click publish.

Note: If your blog posts are not appearing on your website, make sure you have assigned your blog page to WordPress. To do this, click on “Appearance” and then click on “Customize.” Under “Homepage Settings,” select “Posts Page” and choose the page that you want to set as your blog.

8. Start Marketing Your Blog

Last but not least, you should plan to market your website. Websites don’t always draw visitors automatically, so it is not enough to just build them and expect people to come. Instead, businesses that invest in various web marketing strategies are the ones that get found online, resulting in increased visibility and more visitors to their website.

Here are some of the most effective ways to market your blog:

  • Submit your URL to Google Search Console to help it rank more quickly.
  • Create social media accounts for your website and include links in your posts (e.g., a Facebook Business Page, an Instagram account, or a Twitter business account).
  • Create a Google My Business profile to get found in local searches.
  • Submit your website to relevant online directories (i.e., Yellow Pages, CitySearch, Yelp).
  • Add your business to the Better Business Bureau.
  • Add your business to the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Add your website URL to your email signature, business cards, or any other promotional materials that you use.

To increase the chances of your website being discovered online, it is best to utilize multiple marketing strategies from the list mentioned above to give your site maximum exposure and the best chance of getting found online.

The Benefits of WordPress

With over 43.1% of the internet using it, WordPress is the most widely used blogging platform for good reason. With its massive flexibility and customization options, it can be used to create websites, blogs, portals, business websites, and applications. The WordPress.org software is a dream for coders because it is free and open source. The experience of using WordPress is improved by a large community of developers and users who regularly create new plugins, widgets, themes, and features.

FAQs About How To Build A WordPress Website

Is there a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Yes, WordPress.com and WordPress.org have several differences. The biggest difference is that WordPress.com is a fully hosted platform, whereas WordPress.org is self-hosted.

Can a beginner build a WordPress site?

Yes, WordPress is not only limited to advanced developers but can also be utilized by beginners to create websites. Although it may not be the easiest for beginners, with some time and effort, anyone can become proficient in using it. Since WordPress is a widely used CMS, there is an abundance of free information available online to assist you in learning how to create a website using WordPress.

Can I build a WordPress site for free?

Creating a WordPress site without incurring any expenses is achievable. However, opting for a custom domain name instead of a subdomain like businessname.wordpress.com will entail buying a hosting plan. Although hosting costs only $2 to $10 per month, having your own website can help you project a more professional and trustworthy image.

How much does it cost to create a website in WordPress?

The total expense of creating a WordPress website can differ significantly based on several factors, including whether you construct it yourself or employ a web designer, your hosting requirements, and the price of themes and plugins.

For insights, if a small business is willing to invest the time to learn how to use WordPress, they can build their own website for as little as $100. All they need is a premium theme (which usually costs between $25 to $90) and a web hosting plan (which costs around $2 to $10 per month).

Are website builders scalable?

Website builders are very scalable, and your plan can be easily modified to meet the needs of your expanding team. If you need more features than what’s available in the highest-tier service package, some vendors provide enterprise-level capabilities with flexible pricing. To find out more, consider reaching out to your system’s customer service team.

What's better: WordPress or Wix?

WordPress is a more suitable option for website builders who possess technical skills or for bigger websites requiring greater flexibility. If you are looking for a website builder with a drag-and-drop editor and no coding required, Wix is a great option. That being said, you can create a basic website using the templates provided by WordPress.

Is it possible to build a website from scratch using WordPress?

Yes, you can create a custom website from scratch using WordPress and a drag-and-drop page builder plugin like Elementor without any coding knowledge.

What is the maximum amount of traffic that WordPress can handle?

The amount of website traffic that WordPress can handle largely depends on your hosting platform and caching setup, but it is possible to handle unlimited traffic.

Is it possible to get a free domain for my website?

Yes, some web hosting companies offer a free domain if you choose to start a website with them. If you decide to use Bluehost as your WordPress hosting provider, you can get a free domain for the first year and 60% off hosting. This offer is for users of Alex’s Guide.

With that being said, you can choose to register a domain name from a domain registrar of your choice and then purchase web hosting from a different company, such as SiteGround or Hostinger.

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