Creating a website used to be a big project that could end up being very expensive.
Everything had to be coded by hand which usually meant working with an online marketing agency or freelancer that would charge a significant amount of money to build the site for you. If you wanted a professional-looking site, that was really your only option.
Fortunately for you and me, things have gotten a lot cheaper over the years.
Now it’s possible to get a polished site for less than £100. About £10 to buy the domain name, £30–60 for a strong theme, and £5–10/month thereafter to host it. It’ll look so good that people won’t even realize that you built it yourself.
Not only has it gotten cheaper, it’s also gotten a lot easier. Platforms like WordPress make it really easy for even complete beginners to make a strong website for their brand or blog.
There are 4 easy steps to building your own website fast, so let’s get started with how to build a WordPress website!
Stage 1 – Choosing the platform that you’re going to build your website on.
If you’re on this page you’ve probably decided that you want to use the WordPress Platform for your website. If you still aren’t sure which platform is right for you then check out our guide about choosing which platform is best to build your website on.
Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why WordPress is a great choice:
1.Easy to use & great for beginners
The WordPress CMS is very easy to use. It’s perfect for bloggers and people looking to start a business online. The interface is user friendly and can be fully grasped over your first couple of hours using it. Content publishing is a breeze and so much so that anyone with Microsoft word experience should have no trouble publishing their first article or page.
In addition to this WordPress allows users to customize the platform with plugins. Installing these to your website can help you personalise your website and make it look exactly how you envision it. No matter if you’re after a small business website or a large e-commerce website, WP will have you covered.
WordPress is extremely versatile meaning it can run most different types of websites. It’s a platform that’s trusted by many of the top websites on the internet with 75m+ sites active. This means no matter the type of store, blog or landing page you want to create you’ll be able to customise it to your needs.
3. Mobile Friendly
With google moving towards mobile first indexing it’s more important than ever for your website to be optimised for mobile. Luckily with WordPress most themes that you install will come with mobile responsiveness built in meaning UI will be easy to use for both mobile and desktop users.
4. Its Free to use!
Using WordPress is free. You won’t be charged to use the platform all you have to do is buy a domain name and hosting and you’ll be good to go using their platform. It’s that simple.
5. Wonderful community
With WordPress being so massive there are loads of users and developers to help you out if you get stuck. Any issues you have can usually be remedied with a quick Google search.
Stage 2 – Getting a domain name and setting up web hosting for WordPress
You can host with WordPress for free but it is not a good long-term solution as your URL will end up looking something like this:
Example – (websitename.freewebsitebuilder.com).
In addition to this you’ll be limited to using their hosting service which is often slow which will hurt your page rankings in google and more importantly often turn users away from your site and/or brand.
So how do we get around this?
By spending a little more money (& I do mean a little) you will be able to get web hosting that is not only better but much faster than the free web hosting you can get as well as a domain name.
This basically means you’re buying your own Web Property instead of renting one form WordPress.
Web Hosting and Domain Name Costs
Before you can start building a website, you need to lay the foundations. The most important components of getting a website online are the domain name and web hosting. Without these two things, your website will not be accessible to visitors.
What is a Domain Name?
The domain name is the address the users can use to visit your website. This is what your website’s identity will be going forward so you should choose something that you want to stick with from the start. If you’re a business or brand I’d recommend going with your brand name. Alternatively, if you’re starting a blog, something that represents the content that users will find on their website.
What is Web Hosting?
Web Hosting is the location in which your website will be stored. This needs to be done with hosting companies as thy have data centres that are filled with servers for your website data to be stored on. When you buy your Web Hosting, you’ll get a dedicated section of one of these servers where your files, content, images and everything else on your website is stored.
Choosing your WordPress web hosting
Web Hosting is the primary cost associated with your website, luckily it will only cost you around £3-£11 a month for well-established hosting. If you’re serious about building a website then you need to get this.
For most of the websites I have built in the past I have used BlueHost as my web hosting.
Go to www.bluehost.com and click on the ‘Insert landing page action’. Use this link to get a FREE domain name for your first year with them.
You can get the basic hosting package for just £2.38 a month and includes everything you’ll need to get started. I would recommend stepping up to the plus plan for a small amount more though as you’ll get unlimited features with this and the ability to host more than one website on your account in the future if you want.
The Plus Hosting plan is currently £4.40 per month but normal this package costs £8.88! You can always start with the basic package though and move up if you need to.
Here’s what you get with BlueHost Plus Plan:
- Unlimited Websites
- Unlimited SSD Storage
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- Free SSL Certificate
- Standard Performance
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Parked Domains
- Unlimited Subdomains
- Spam Experts
- 1 Office 365 Mailbox – Free for 30 days
- Normally £8.88/month
- Free domain and SSL certificate
- Recommended by WordPress
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Check out their great packages
No matter if you’re going to be setting up a blog, personal portfolio or business website, you will need a domain name and a hosting package. That will allow visitors to find your website in search engines like Google or Bing.
If you plan on starting an eCommerce store, you can download the woo-commerce plugin for WordPress or alternatively it might be worth looking into starting a Shopify website however more costs may be involved.
Registering your domain names and getting your hosting sorted
As we’ve now explained why it’s important to get hosting and a domain name we’ll go into how you can actually get it. As we talked about Bluehost in the last section we’ll look at them for this guide.
BlueHost is one of the biggest names in hosting and have a great proven track record of keeping your website safe and online. If you want to look at the other hosting providers we have available we’ve taken a look at some of the other ones available for UK customers.
The BlueHost plans start from £2.38 a month and can be upgraded at any time if you so wish. You can see the different tiers when you join their website.
In addition to offering a hosting service, you can also register your domain name with them. This makes things simple as you can do it all in the same place which saves you transferring a domain name and having to wait a few days.
You can register your domain names and sign up to their hosting service in just a few minutes. We’ll walk you through this process on how to do so now.
The homepage will contain some basic information about the company and the price that the hosting pages will start at. You can move onto the next stage by simply clicking the “Get Start” button.
2. Select a web hosting plan
Next, you’ll be taken to a page that shows all the shared hosting packages that they offer at the different price points. These shared plans will provide everything you need to help you get your website up and running easily. All the information about each plan is broken down on this page.
Select one of either the Basic, Plus, Choice Plus or Pro plans from this page. All of these plans are good and starting from the basic plan can be good for a lite blog. However, if you want to add more than one website you’ll need the Plus plan at least.
We would recommend the Choice plus plan as that will give you access to the site back up feature meaning you won’t have to worry about losing changes or manually backing it up. The unlimited storage also makes it worth the upgrade for a small price more.
Select the plan you feel fits you best and click on the “Select” button to move onto the next step.
3. Choosing your domain name
Next it’s time to select your website domain name. If you already own one then you can type that into the box on the right and click the “next” button. If you do not then you’ll need to create a domain for you new website using the box on the left.
When choosing your domain try to think of something relevant to the content you plan to have on your website. If you’re a business owner that could by the name of the company. What you name the website is up to you but ideally it’s something you will want to stick with.
Clicking on the drop-down menu will reveal the different domain extensions that you can select from. Choose one of the many different extensions that you feel would work best for your website.
I’d recommend going with something that your users will be familiar with such as .com, .co.uk or .net. These are some of the main ones that have been around for the longest amount of time and will more than likely help users trust your website and make it look more professional.
If you want to purchase another domain later you can separately after you’ve completed your sign up.
4. Creating your account
The next step is to set up your hosting account. This is where you’ll be entering your billing and contact information for BlueHost. Simply enter your details in such as your name, address, email, and other required information.
After doing this you can scroll down the page and you’ll see a section to enter your billing information. BlueHost accepts many different payment methods such as major credit and debit cards. When filling in your payment information it’ll be encrypted so you know you details will be protected.
5. Finishing signing up and select the extras
Now you’ve chosen your plan, domain name and entered your details it’s time to complete your sign up. Look over all of your information and confirm it’s all correct.
Now you’ll see the option to add on some extras to your hosting package. It is of my option that you will not need any of these extra features especially if you’ve selected the Choice Plus plan as I recommended before.
If you however are interested in some of these other features, you can click and read the more information below each of them.
6. Confirm your account
Finally click to confirm your sign up and that’s the process complete. You’ll now receive a confirmation email to the address you signed yp with that contains a link to confirm that you made the account.
Below this message on the page you’ll find a button that will allow you to create the password for your new account. Click on the “Create your password” button and enter a password that you’ll remember in the future. You’ll need it going forward every time you wish to log into your hosting account or to contact support.
Now this is done you’re now the owner of web hosting and a new domain name. You can now log into your hosting account and get started with building a website fast.
What if I already own a domain name?
If you already own a domain name then this is fine. You can move on to Stage 3 and begin setting up your website.
What type of domain name should I choose?
Choosing your domain name can be the toughest part of building a website. With millions of websites already being registered a lot of the domain names have been taken already.
To keep it simple you need to think of something, catchy, relevant and easy to remember for your users.
I’d recommend trying some different names if your first choice is not available and keeping a record so you can see what is available for different domain extensions.
Guide to choosing you domain name
Here’s some domain choosing tips to keep in mind when making your choice.
1.Think about what you want to appear on Google for
Select some keywords that you want to appear for in search engines and try to think about if you can include them in your domain name. We want to attract people interested in building a website, that’s why we’ve gone for buildawebsitefast.com
2. Unique domain names are the best
Once you’ve had some ideas have a look on google to see if there are any websites with names similar or different domain extensions. You don’t want a name to similar to another website or users may get confused between the two or you may fail to rank for at the top for some of your target keywords.
3. Try to choose a Dot-Com domain if possible
With a huge selection of domain extensions available you may be confused about which one to go for. Dot-Com domains are considered the best domain extensions to go for as well as the most trusted by users. If you’re going to be looking to target worldwide traffic Dot-com domains are the way to go.
If you’re looking to target local traffic we’d recommend going with .co.uk or the domain extension relevant to your area.
4. Make it memorable
By making your domain name easy to remember you may find users returning to your website more frequently via branded Google search’s. This means it’s important to make it easy to spell and quick to type out. Failing to do so may result in you missing out on a large proportion of potential traffic.
By doing so you’re also more likely to stay in people’s heads and they may share it with their friends via word-of-mouth resulting in free marketing for you and your brand or website!
5. Try to keep it short and sweet
A sort domain name is the way to go. Try to get your message across in as little characters as possible while still keeping it to the point. The most common length of a .com domain name is 12-13 characters long and contains 2 words.
The maximum length is 63 characters, but we definitely don’t recommend using that many.
6. Check for Copyright infringement
Although it’s a rare occurrence it’s always worth checking that your chosen domain doesn’t infringe anyone’s copyright as it can get you in hot water. Simply head over to Copyright.gov to check and a search for your domain, if nothing comes up you won’t have any issues.
7. Avoid using Hyphens or Numbers in the name
We’d really recommend avoiding using a hyphen or a number in your domain as it makes it hard for users to share it via word-of-mouth or search for it on Google.
Stage 3 – Building your website and making it look Professional
Now that you’ve completed your purchase of your domain name and web hosting its time to get your website online.
The first thing you’ll need to do is install WordPress. This is easy to do if the web hosting you’ve got has 1-click instillation.
How to install WordPress
To install WordPress, you have two options either 1-click instillation or if it’s not available a manual instillation is the other option.
1.How to 1-click install WordPress, Joomla and Drupal
Using 1-click instillation is extremely easy, if you’ve not worked out what it means yet, all it means is you click one button on your hosting site and it will be installed for you. Most webhost providers provide this feature from their dashboard. Using this feature will have you up in running in a matter of minutes and one step closer to building your website.
If you’ve signed up with Bluehost via this page, you’ll find the “1-click instillation” feature in your accounts control panel.
If you’ve gone with a different type of hosting the 1-click-instilation should be in the same place.
Here are the steps to follow in order to start off the “1-click-installation” process. This should be same or similar for most alternative web hosting companies.
Log into your web hosting providers website
Head over to the control panel for your web hosting
Find and click on “1 Click Installs”
Find the “WordPress” icon and click on it
Select the domain name you want to install WP onto
Click the “Install Now” button and set your login details and password
- Log into your web hosting providers website
- Head over to the control panel for your web hosting
- Find and click on “1 Click Installs”
- Find the “WordPress” icon and click on it
- Select the domain name you want to install WP onto
- Click the “Install Now” button and set your login details and password
If you need any help with this read out full in-depth WordPress instillation guide to read though and print off.
2. Manually installing WordPress
If you web hosting does not have “1-click-installation” available, then you will need to manually install WordPress.
If the hosting provider you’ve chosen doesn’t provide this feature you should think about changing who you host with!
Designing your new website
We’ve now purchased your domain name and hosting package. We’ve also installed WordPress onto your server so you’re now ready to get to work and start designing your new website.
In this stage you get to make the website look however you want. This part is the best bit in my opinion as you’ll finally get to see your website taking shape. When you head to you domain name now you should see a standard WordPress website theme that looks like this:
This theme is called Twenty Twenty and is the standard theme that WordPress comes installed with. You may want to change this to give your site it’s own identity.
There are thousands of themes available both free and premium themes that can be paid for and include extra features.
How to find a Theme
Log in to your WordPress Dashboard. This is where you can change all your features, add pages and everything else you need to change on your new website.
You can log in by adding the /wp-login extension to your URL like so:
Now you’re on this page enter your username and password that you created when you were installing WordPress and press log in.
Once you’ve logged in this should the dashboard that you’ll see:
It may look complex with a lot of different buttons but the more you use it the easier it will become to learn what everything does. Let’s start by selecting a theme to install.
Installing a free WordPress theme
The WordPress theme is the name for a collection of files that can be easily downloaded for your website that will provide the front end styling of your site.
Heres what your theme will contain:
- Front end design
- Colours of the theme
- Widget locations
- Page templates or layouts
- Styles for your blog post
- Other stylistic details
- Menu styles
- A responsive design for mobile
You’ll find thousands of FREE themes for you to enjoy and can be accessed via the “Appearance” section of the WP Dashboard.
Select “Appearance” then then in the drop down “themes”. This will take you to the menu section where you can search for a choose a new WordPress theme.
Click on the “Add New” button that will take you to the page where you can install a free wordpress theme.
Here you can search for themes or filter some of the most popular, featured or the latest themes. You can also click on the “featured filter” which will give you the option to filter it even for to find the best theme for your website.
Opting to use a Premium theme for your website
If you’re looking to go with something that is a bit more professional, then a premium theme that you pay for may be the way to go.
Premium themes do have advantages over the free themes available on wordpress. This includes things like reliable sipport and custom widgets. They also look and perform slightly better depending on the them you go for.
Some themes allow you to design your website like you’re using some webs design software. This means you can design your own page layouts and templates sometimes with a simple to use drag and drop feature.
I get my premium themes from Theme Forest. They have thousands of figgerent themes for different types of business or general website. It’s worth having a look through and previewing some of the top ones to get a feel for what they look like and the features they incourparate.
Pre-made design elements
To make your website stand out from your competitors you may want to be a bit more adventurous with the design elements and images you use.
On Evanto you can get access to thousands of different design features and elements from ready to use images, website fonts, backgrounds and plugins.
You can get all of these by signing up to Evanto’s unlimited designs package for just €14.50 per month. If you don’t want to get involved with that then there is plenty of free stuff on Evanto that you can use for your website.
How to manually install a new WordPress theme
1. Installing a free theme
So if you’ve selected a free theme you want to use we’ll show you how to install it. This s incredibly simple all you need to do is click on the “Install” option next to the theme after clicking on it. After this the button will change and you can click “activate” to officially change the theme on your website.
You can now go and look at how this has changed your website. Feel free to change the theme as many times as you like as it will have no effect on the content of your website such as your images, layout or posts. Nothing will be deleted.
2. Manually installing a theme
If you’ve purchased a theme from Theme Forest or other premium theme website then it’s easy to install them too.
All you need to do is head to Themes < Add New < click install < select the file and the theme will be installed to your dashboard. You can then activate it as you would with any other theme.
How to add content & pages to your new website
Now your website it’s up and running you’ll need to know how to do some basic things. This will include the main tasks you’ll need to do with your website such as adding and editing content on your website.
How to create a new page in WordPress
This is one of the easiest things to do on WordPress and can be done but anyone no matter how much experience they have. I’ll show you how to create a page such as a simple about us page to add to your website. Here’s what you need to do:
1. In the sidebar of the WordPress dashboard you’ll see a section called pages, click on this. This will reveal a drop-down that gives you two options, select “add new”.