*This is probably the most comprehensive tutorial for beginners!
Hi! I'm Bogdan, a professional Web Designer and I'm ready to show you how easy it is to create your own website without any kind of programming knowledge.
By going through the 4 steps described below, you will obtain a professional website based on WordPress without having to pay a cent to any web design agency. But to begin with, I strongly recommend that you watch the following video.
Now that you've watched the video, I'm sure you can see how important is to create a website using WordPress! In addition, you should know that one of the biggest advantages of the WordPress platform is that it offers unlimited possibilities for source code administration and optimisation. A website created with WordPress will rank higher on Google, which means more visitors, and this is thanks to the thousands of free plug-ins created by the online community.
How to create a website?
This is what you need to get started:
- a domain name - this is simply the name of your website and costs about $10 a year (if you are patient, you will soon discover how you can register the domain name for free)
- a webserver - this is the physical space on which all the website's files will be stored (images, video, text etc) and it is hired out on an annual basis by hosting companies (such as Bluehost, Ipage, Fatcow etc)
- a CMS - this is a free available script running on a server and represents the basic structure upon which you will create your website (eg WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc)
- website content - this is what you present to your audience on the website (text, images etc)
I will present these 4 steps in detail below:
I. Register a Domain Name (YourSiteName.com)
Domain name registration is very easy and should not take more than 2-3 minutes. But before you go ahead and do it, it's worth knowing that certain web hosting companies - especially the big ones such as Bluehost - offer free domain name registration when creating a hosting account. My main recommendation for registering a domain name is that you choose one of the international extensions: .com, .net, .org, .info or .biz. You should only choose the .us extension if you are exclusively addressing your website to Americans.
II. Choose a Web Host
Choosing a web hosting company is as important as registering a domain name, maybe even more important! The company hosting your website must be trustworthy, enable WordPress and also provide quality services. In order for you to understand what I mean, just imagine how you would feel if you type in a web address only to get a message like "Server not Found" or a similar error. This is precisely what can happen to your website if you fail to choose a recognised hosting company. Having said that, if WordPress says that Bluehost is the most reliable choice then you can choose that provider with full confidence!
III. Install the WordPress Platform
WordPress recommends Bluehost for web hosting, so what you will read below refers to installing the WordPress script on the servers of this provider. I consider the installation of this platform to be so easy and intuitive that you don't need additional explanations or details. But if you encounter any problems, I strongly recommend that you take a look at the video tutorials available below. Note: thanks to the SimpleScripts utility server (available for free on Bluehost), WordPress installation is now a completely automatic process.
IV. Publish Website Content
Last but not least comes creating and publishing your website's content. That means writing text and publishing it, adding images and posting videos etc. Bear in mind that a successful online presence depends on unique and high-quality content. Do not copy and paste content from other websites. If you do, you will immediately be penalised by search engines such as Google and your website may even be eliminated entirely from their search results. Posting content that you did not create yourself can also lead to legal problems as you may be violating someone's intellectual property rights.
How to create a website step by step
Step 1 - Register Your Domain Name for Free
As I was saying before, domain name registration is very easy and costs $10 to $25 on average, payable annually. You can choose to register the domain name for several years but not more than 10.
Earlier, I asked you to have patience and wait to find out how you can get a domain name for free. Well, all you have to do is to register the website at the same time as you order a hosting package. Below you will see a box for checking domain name availability (it sometimes happens that the desired domain name has already been registered by someone else). Use that box to check the availability of your chosen domain name:
Check Domain Availability:
Update: If the box above does not work on your system, please click here.
Important! Every second, several hundred domain names are registered all over the world! So my advice to you is to hurry as your desired domain name could be taken by someone else at any moment.
So, if you've checked and found the domain name for your future website to be available for registration, access the link Claim it now! All the information you need to place the order is clearly visible on the company's page and you will of course also see that you can register your domain for free.
With Bluehost, you can also have your website hosted for a period of 12, 24 or 36 months. If your budget is not sufficient to pay for 36 months (at $4.95/month), I recommend the package for 12 months at a cost of $6.95/month ($6.95 x 12 = $83.40 for a year of hosting). You can find more details about web hosting and additional services at step 2.
P.S. This means $83.40 is the total cost for creating your website! I don't know if this seems like a lot of money or not, but my opinion is that this price ismore than OK! Just think, it will cost you at least that amount + $250 (or even more) to create your website if you ask a web design company to do it. Moreover, by creating a website with WordPress you will be able to operate it by yourself because everything is very simple, whereas if the website is created by a company you will have to keep paying the company for website administration services!
How to create a website - Step 2
Step 2 - Choose a Good Hosting Company
As you have noticed, so far I have focused on Bluehost, a web hosting company based in Utah in the US. Of course, Bluehost is not the only web hosting provider that enables WordPress setup, but it is by far the most highly recommended. Why am I saying that? Here are just 3 of the reasons:
• It is the number one hosting company recommended by WordPress!
Well, this official recommendation made by WordPress itself is the most important criterion to consider. And, considering the minimum requirements for installing WordPress - PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0 - Bluehost surely represents the ideal solution as it always provides the latest versions of these scripts.
• It allows the automatic installation of WordPress platform!
Unlike most hosting companies, which only provide instructions for manual installation, Bluehost carries out the installation of any CMS automatically using SimpleScripts, which is the fastest and easiest tool for installing scripts onto a server.
• It offers the best quality/price ratio!
Taking into account the high service quality (web hosting, customer support etc) as well as the possibility of chargeback at any time, Bluehost is not at all expensive. If you're curious enough to check out other hosting companies you will be surprised to find that, at best, you can save a few dollars (not many). However, these are false savings as the poor service quality means you will lose out in other ways (your website will not be available all the time, you will have security issues such as the deletion of files from the server, you will discover hidden fees that were not specified from the beginning etc). Therefore when installing WordPress, the only viable option is Bluehost.
Before paying for the hosting service, go to Package Information and uncheck all four boxes. Of course, if you are interested in one of these options and are ready to pay the additional costs then feel free to choose any of them, but I think that in the beginning they are not necessary.
Installing the WordPress platform means going through a succession of steps including creating a MySQL database and tables in the database etc. Also, if the installation process is performed manually, you must go through a different series of steps first, such as: renaming the file wp-config-simple.php in wp-config.php; editing this file and adding a number of important parameters, such as the name of the database, the user name and password; and using an FTP client for uploading the files to the server etc.
To avoid this, or to put it another way, if you don't want to make things harder for yourself by manually installing the script (which often leads to problems), all you have to do is to install WordPress using the SimpleScripts tool. This is easily done and I don't think you need any further details as you will see for yourself how it works. But in order to become familiar with SimpleScripts before opening a hosting account, please watch the video tutorial below which will give you a step-by-step and click-by-click explanation of how to install WordPress on a Bluehost server. Enjoy!
Step 4 - Write and Publish Content for Your Website
When setting up a website, there are two approaches to monetisation: as muchtraffic as possible or high-quality content. As good content is relatively difficult to create, most use the usual tactics to attract traffic: spam, SEO, redirecting visitors from one website to another, cutting corners, theft etc.
What is high-quality content?
In short, it's content that the audience finds relevant!
For example, visitors to Bankofamerica.com expect to find a certain type of content. For them, quality means "online banking", "credit cards" or "life insurance". They don't want news about current mobile phone trends.
Likewise, for visitors to Entrepreneur.com, high-quality content means business news presented in a professional manner or pertinent analysis. Not updates on Android or Firefox!
Giving them something other than what they are looking for is pure suicide! It means creating a website for a certain segment of the audience but offering content for a totally different category of visitors.
What is high-quality content good for?
The point of high-quality content is mainly to attract your audience to visit the website in order to show them relevant advertisements and incite them to buy. This is how the ads system works. We post an ad on website X for products that are of interest to visitors to that website.
Yes I know strange things can happen and you may occasionally see car ads on an environmental protection website. But on the whole the system must (or at least should) work based on relevance. So when creating your content, don't forget to take into account the type of advertisement that you want to display on the website. Equally, when you decide to place a new ad, first check to see if this ad is in line with your website's theme.
How to create high-quality content
In my opinion, the best way to create high-quality content is to use the A.I.D.A. principle. Here's what it means:
Attention: catch the eye of your readers with the title of the article! There is not much to be said here, all you have to do is to create a title that is as descriptive and relevant as possible for the content of the article.
Interest: create a connection between you and the reader in order to interest them in what you are offering. For example, you could tell them about how frustrating and difficult it was to find the best products at the best price.
Desire: by explaining how you can help, you will trigger their desire to act. A good example would be to tell them that they don't have to do any research because you have already analysed all the existing options so all they have to do is to follow your advice.
Action: tell them exactly how to act. Now is the moment when you say: CLICK HERE or BUY NOW or SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER.
Although one of your goals is to have your readers read the information and gain their trust, there is probably also an action you want them to perform. Whether it is the sale of a product, participation in a survey or subscription to a newsletter, it is very important to tell your visitor CLEARLY and using UPPERCASE LETTERS what he/she has to do.
Please note that the A.I.D.A. principle works closely with other equally important factors for creating high-quality content. Among them, the relevance of content is by far the most important criterion. So when creating an article, you must make sure that your subject is closely connected to the general theme of your website. As I said before, visitors to a business website will have absolutely no interest in an article about fishing.
To conclude: create unique and relevant content, implement the A.I.D.A. principle, and wait for the results...