How to Create a Website Using WordPress Step by Step
The website which you are looking at right now is created with WordPress. WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, used by millions of users to create their website, blog or ecommerce store.
In this tutorial, I’m going to give you step by step instructions on how to create a website similar to this one (or even better) using WordPress from scratch. But first…
Why Choose WordPress?
Yes, WordPress is the most used content management system. There are many reasons that make it the best option for almost any project.
Here are some of them:
- It is free, but that doesn’t mean that you can make your website at zero costs, because, as I will explain later: it is necessary to pay for hosting and it is also recommended to buy a template or “theme”, in case you don’t choose a free option (I will mention this, too). But the source code is free to use.
- It offers thousands of options of personalization for your website, thanks to thousands of themes available on the market.
- Its framework is optimized for SEO.
- It is really easy to use: you don’t need to know the code for daily edits, like adding content or making updates.
- You will have access to a great variety of plugins. The majority of them are free. In case you are not aware, plugins are tools to add features, and there is a plugin for every function you may need. This makes WordPress much more flexible and personalizable.
- It is super scalable: It can keep growing at the same time as your project, without any problems of usability or availability of your website.
- You will be a part of the great WordPress community, which is constantly growing. In the community, things are made with respect to making everyone benefit, and many people participate on improving it or provide voluntary support.
Convinced? As you see, all these reasons are great. If you have a project and don’t have a website yet, the moment to show it to the world has come. I will make it really easy for you with this guide.
These are, in brief, the steps that you will need to take:
1. Get Web Hosting and Domain Name
2. Install WordPress
3. Install WordPress Theme
4. Build your Website or Blog
5. Install Plugins
Now, let’s follow my guide:
1) Get Web Hosting and Domain Name
The web hosting provider that I recommend is SiteGround. It is the one that I use for this blog and it is also recommended as the web host for WordPress right on the website wordpress.org.
It is very popular in the WordPress community, too. Among its advantages, it is super reliable and offers an excellent support 24 hours all days of the year.
Yes, you could also use free web hosting, but I don’t recommend that because WordPress needs a database to work and even the best free web hosts have problems with this.
What is the point of investing time and effort on a website that will be down often? Moreover, if the availability of your website fails, it will not only affect your image towards users that are your potential customers, but Google will also start looking at you badly.
When I started building websites 14 years ago, I chose free web hosting. However, I quickly realized that that was a bad decision because the availability of the database at this web host was down quite often.
Since then I always prefer to pay: it is a few dollars per month for a decent web host. Your project is definitely worth it.
All SiteGround plans offer a one-click WordPress installation, WP Auto-Updater and other features like SSD discs to achieve the maximum loading speed.
The one-click installation is a great advantage if you don’t have many technical skills. Thanks to this feature and the SiteGround support, you will quickly get your website running even if you know nothing about coding.
The higher plans, GrowBig and GoGeek, offer other advanced features like SuperCacher for even higher speed, priority technical support, staging websites and other configuration options.
The cheapest plan, StartUp, is ideal if you need hosting for just one website or if you have low budget. It is great to start off. If you reach 10,000 monthly visits, you will surely be able to afford to pay a little more.
As for the registration of the domain name, you can get it together with your SiteGround hosting account.
2) Install WordPress
You can do the installation automatically (with one click) or manually.
I recommend installing WordPress with the one-click installation option that I’ve mentioned before. It is quick and easy. In your SiteGround Site Tools, you will find the menu link “WordPress”. Click on it, then fill in all the details and click on “Install”. It is that simple.
If you prefer to install WordPress manually, check out my other tutorial in which I explain in detail how to do it.
3) Install WordPress Theme
Once you have WordPress installed, it is time to choose a WordPress theme for your website / blog.
At the beginning you could be fine with a free theme. For example, the one that is set by default when doing the installation, or any other from the free themes that you will find in the WordPress repository.
You can see the active theme or change it by clicking on Appearance > Themes in the side menu.
If you click on this option, the active theme will show up and there will also be the option to add a new one by clicking on the button “Add New”.
Free or Premium Theme?
Again, you have the possibility to choose a free option, but it is not very recommended. Why?
There are more reasons. The main is that free themes don’t usually update and don’t offer support. They are also the most used ones, so it would be difficult to build a different and original website which your project surely deserves.
I use and highly recommend the Divi Theme. I’m using it to build all the websites that I launch (including this website). It is a very nice theme that offers unlimited design options and by using it, you can create elegant websites of any type. It is the most popular theme in the world.
Divi is a theme that offers many advantages to web designers, but it is also a great option if it is the first time that you are building a website.
It is very easy to use, loads fast and offers many possibilities of configuration and personalization.
A big help is the Divi Builder which allows you to create interesting websites without the need to know coding, as it uses the “drag&drop builder”. That means you can create the design by dragging and dropping. Moreover, its visual editor allows you to see the changes in real time.
If you want to see the possibilities of Divi, check out my list of 7 examples of websites created with the Divi theme. I’ve tried to choose the most representative examples.
Divi is a premium theme, which means that it is charged. If you don’t know how to install it, you can check out my other guide after buying it: how to install the Divi theme.
4) Build your Website or Blog
To build your website or blog, you will need to create your website with the Divi Builder (or any other WordPress theme) and write your content.
I’m not going to develop this topic much here because it isn’t the point of this guide. We would need to write an encyclopedia to cover it. :) To give you an advice, before starting with the technical part, define thoroughly your topic and content.
Start with preparing a scheme of the website with the pages that you will have, the keywords for all of them and the “framework” of the content. That way it will go much faster. If you try to configure the topic for your content and your design without having anything defined, you could lose several days before starting to progress…
To learn how to use Divi, I would advise you to search for some Divi tutorials on YouTube. There are many good ones. Or you can also learn a lot from the official Divi Theme Documentation. As I’ve already said, Divi is very easy to use and is suitable for beginners.
5) Install Plugins
The last step is to install some WordPress plugins.
Plugins allow you to add functions to your website and are very useful. However, it is not recommended to add more of them than necessary because they also consume resources and could increase the loading speed of your website.
You will find the option to add plugins in the sidebar menu, clicking on “Plugins > Add new”.
By clicking on that, you will see a search box and a list of mostly used plugins with the main information about each one of them, as you can see in the picture.
Each one of the boxes displays a short description of the plugin, name of the developer and other information of your interest.
It is important that you analyze the following carefully before adding any plugin to your website:
- If it is compatible with your version of WordPress: this doesn’t require a lot of explanation, does it?
- When was the last update made: discard plugins that haven’t been updated for a long time.
- Active installations, which means, how many people have installed the plugin on their website.
- The ratings from the users: it is also very important to know what the community thinks about the functionality of the plugin.
One advice: Evaluate the plugin’s active installations with the reviews from the users. In general, a plugin with the rating of 4.5 and one million downloads will be a better plugin than one with the rating of 4.8 and 200 downloads. The more opinions you have, the more difficult it is to maintain a perfect rating.
There are both free and premium plugins. I have recommendations for both:
Within the purchase of the Divi theme, you will get access to these two plugins, which form a part of the Elegant Themes membership. Bloom is great for getting email subscribers (if you use e.g. MailChimp). And Monarch is a great plugin for adding social sharing buttons: you can see them on the left or at the bottom of this post.
Besides these plugins, I recommend the following free plugins:
- Rank Math (although many people prefer Yoast SEO which is a great SEO plugin as well). Any of these two will help you optimize the strategy for keywords and permalinks, besides other things.
- Akismet, to prevent the comments spam.
- Duplicator, to create security backups of your website. This is very useful; don’t risk losing all your work. Make sure you always have a backup of your website in case anything goes wrong.
So, here, my tutorial on how to create a website using WordPress step by step ends. I hope I’ve helped you create a beautiful website. And don’t hesitate to contact me if you prefer to have your whole website built by myself because I offer web design services, too.
Best of luck with your new website!
PDF link: This guide is also available as a PDF document. You can download this tutorial as a PDF file here.
WordPress expert. Divi user since 2014. I blog about WordPress and Divi, my favorite WordPress theme. When I’m not working with WordPress or writing an article for this blog, I’m probably learning Italian. You can read more about me here.