Building a website can seem difficult and intimidating but it’s actually quite easy. Of course you shouldn’t expect yourself to be able to build a luxurious, detailed website right off the bat, but you can definitely build a professional looking functional website with little or no experience.
The first thing you’ll need to do when building a website is to be clear on your goal. You should have an idea of what you want the website to do and any special functions you want. This will help you decide on things like the name and how you want your site to look.
This article will guide you through how to pick a domain, how to choosing a hosting company, how to choose a theme and how to install WordPress on your website.
Choosing a theme
Your theme will set the tone for your website. Depending on what you want your site to be for, certain themes will be better than others. For example, you don’t want a theme that primary shows of blog posts if you’re building a website to show your artwork.
The first option for themes is to use a free theme from WordPress.org. These themes have been released by different options for free and still allow you to have a fully functioning website. Free themes won’t be overly complex and they will be missing some features. Some free themes that authors release are demo versions of the full theme that is available for purchase.
When choosing a free theme keep a few things in mind. Don’t pick any theme that hasn’t been updated in over a year. You want a theme where the author is releasing updates to help you stay current with WordPress and general browsing regulations. Some authors only update their themes once every three to six months; this is fine as long as you can confirm that you will be getting consistent updates.
Take a look at the reviews when looking at free themes. You want to see what other people have to say and look for any potential problems that might arise. The comment section of a theme is also a good place to see what issues other people have had and usually a solution is available.
Paid themes are much more luxurious and complex than free ones. You can buy paid themes from sites like ThemeForest.com or ElegantThemes.com. The process for purchasing paid themes is basically the same as picking a free one but with a few caveats.
One thing is you want to make sure you contact the author of the theme before purchasing. It takes 2 seconds to send off a question about the theme and it accomplishes many things. First it lets you know that the author is active. Secondly it gives you an idea about how customer service will be for this theme. Third you can find out about any questions or potential concerns you have about theme.
The comment section is especially important on paid themes. Theme authors usually answer common questions here and you can see what real users have to say about the theme. The comments from other people are especially great because they usually explain in detail what they like or dislike about the theme.
Picking a domain
A good domain name is easy to remember, easy to type and relevant to your niche. If you have a local business it might be a good idea to have your area in the domain name. Otherwise you can just stick to the subject. Avoid using too many numbers and you shouldn’t use any hyphens.
Usually people go with .com but there are all types of options available. .Com is considered the most professional and recognized option but there’s nothing wrong with .net, .info, .us or .org.
Once you’ve decided on your domain name, you’ll need to connect it to your hosting company. We’ll cover how to do that at the end of the how to pick a host section.
Choosing a host
Hosting is a crucial component for your website. A good host saves you time and technical headaches. The more traffic you get to your site the better your host will need to be. Poor hoots are unable to handle high volumes of traffic, which affects your visitors experience and your ability to make money.
A lot of people are tempted to go with a cheap host to save money. A cheap host will cost you more in time and headaches than it’s worth. When you pay for a more expensive host you get added security, better and faster service and better support. Try getting good support from those .99 cents a month hosting companies. Dealing with them will be more frustrating than it’s worth.
Always speak with a hosting companies support team before deciding to go with them. They should have a reasonably quick response and make you feel as though they are knowledgeable and able to help you when problems arise. You’ll also want to confirm what they will and won’t do for you.
Your best option is to find a host that gives you a cpanel to use with your website. A cpanel is a very simple way to interact with the backend of your host and website. Cpanels usually allow you to hosting a few extra addon domains for free.
Once you’ve picked a host to go with, you’ll need to connect your domain. Most hosting providers will help you with this butit’s a simple process. Log into your domain account and look for your nameserver settings, you’ll need to change these name servers to the ones provided by your hosting company. Once you have changed the settings, save and it will take a little while for the changes to take effect.
The last step will be to install wordpress on your domain. Once you have changed your namesevers and your hosting company has recognized your domain, you can install wordpress via cpanel. All you need to do is login to your cpanel and find the section that allows you to install applications. Once you find WordPress, simple click on it, create a user name and password and hit install. If you’re having trouble with this step asking your host for help, some companies will even do this for you free. After this step you’ll be ready to use your website.
In a nutshell, that’s how you create a website. Your next step will be to log in with your newly created admin credentials and start editing your site. Each theme works differently, which is why it’s important to do your research and contact the author before decided on one. You’ll be able to customize what your site can do and your visual appearance through the admin section. You can further customize your website by installing plugins. So, what will you decide to use your website for? Let us know in the comments!