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Ultimate Guide: How to Make a Website – Step by Step Guide (Free)

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Are you looking to make a website? Starting a website can be a terrifying thought specially when you’re not techy. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Having helped over 400,000+ people make a website with WordPress, we have decided to create the most comprehensive step by step guide on how to a make a website without learning how to code.

 

This guide is useful for users of all ages and skill levels. However, if you need help, then you can contact our expert team to help you setup your website for free.

→ Click Here to Get Your Free WordPress Website Setup! ←

If you want to do it by yourself, then please continue to follow our step by step guide on how to make a website.

Here is an overview from start to finish of all the steps we’ll walk you through in this guide.

  • How to find and register a domain name for free
  • Choosing the best web hosting
  • How to install WordPress
  • Installing a template to change your site’s design
  • Creating pages in WordPress
  • Customizing WordPress with addons and extensions
  • Resources to learn WordPress and get support
  • Taking it further, building websites with more features (eCommerce stores, membership sites, sell online courses, and more).

Before we start creating a website, let’s cover some of the most commonly asked questions that we get.

What do I need to build a website?

You’ll need the following three things to start your WordPress site.

  • A domain name – this is the name of your website such as google.com
  • WordPress hosting – this is where your website files are stored.
  • 45 minutes of your undivided attention.

How much does a WordPress website cost?

The answer to this question really depends on what kind of website you are trying to build. We have written a 2000 word guide explaining how much does it really cost to build a website.

A typical business website can cost as low as $100 per year and can go as high as $30,000 per year.

We recommend all our users to start small and then add more features to your website as your business grows. This way you will save money and minimize potential losses while avoiding overspending.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to build a website for less than $100.

We will also show you how to take it further by adding more features to it in the future.

Which is the best website platform?

There are many website builders available that will help you setup a website. We recommend using self-hosted WordPress as your website platform.

WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world. It powers nearly 41% of all websites on the internet.

WordPress is free, open source, and comes with thousands of pre-built website designs and extensions. It is extremely flexible and works with almost every third-party tool and service available to website owners.

We use WordPress to build all our websites including this one, Wp Guide Plus.

How to make the most of this create a website tutorial?

This is a step by step tutorial on how to make a website. We have divided it into different steps, and we’ll walk you through everything from start to finish. Just follow along the instructions, and you’ll have a professional looking website in the end.

We will also point you in the right direction to take your website to the next level based on your needs.

Have fun creating your website.

Remember, if you need help, you can contact us and we will setup your website for free.

Let’s get started.

How to Create a Website Video Tutorial

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If you prefer written instructions, then please continue reading.

Step 1. Setup

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is choosing the wrong website platform. Thankfully, you are here so you will not be making that mistake.

For most users, a self-hosted WordPress.org site is the perfect solution. It comes with thousands of designs and addons which allow you to create any kind of website you can think of. For more on this topic, please see our guide on why you should use WordPress.

WordPress is free for anyone to download and use to build any kind of website without any restrictions.

If WordPress is free, then where is the cost coming from?

WordPress is free because you’ll have to arrange your own domain name and web hosting service, which costs money. For more on this topic, see our article why is WordPress free?.

domain name is your website’s address on the internet. This is what your users will type in their browsers to reach your site (For example, Wp Guide Plus.com or google.com).

Next, you’ll need website hosting. All websites on the internet needs a web host to store their website files. This will be your website’s home on the internet.

A domain name typically costs $14.99/year and hosting costs start from $7.99/month.

This is A LOT for most people who are just starting out.

Thankfully, Bluehost, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They are also an official WordPress recommended hosting partner.

They have been working with WordPress since 2005, and are committed to give back to the community. That’s why they have promised us that if you cannot set up your website by following this tutorial, then our expert team will complete the process for you without any cost. They will compensate us, so you don’t have to. Feel free to contact us for free website setup help.

Note: At Wp Guide Plus, we believe in transparency. If you purchase hosting using our referral link, then we will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. In fact, you will get discount on hosting + free SSL + a free domain name. We would get this commission for recommending any WordPress hosting company, but we only recommend products that we personally use and believe will add value to our readers.

Let’s go ahead and purchase domain name and hosting.

First, you’ll need to go to the Bluehost website in a new browser window and click on the green ‘Get Started Now’ button.

Get started with Bluehost

This will bring you to a pricing page where you will need to choose a hosting plan for your website. Basic and plus plans are the most popular choices among our users.

Select your hosting plan

You’ll need to click on select to choose the plan that you like and continue to the next step.

On the next screen, you’ll be asked to select a new domain name.

Select domain name

Ideally you should stick to a .com domain name. Make sure that it is related to your business, easy to pronounce and spell, and easy to remember.

Need help choosing a domain name for your website? See these tips and tools on how to choose the best domain name.

After choosing your domain name, click on the next button to continue.

Now you’ll be asked to provide your account information such as name, address, email, etc.

On this screen, you will also see optional extras that you can purchase. We generally don’t recommend purchasing these extras. You can always add them later on, if you decide that you need them.

Uncheck optional extras

Next, you will add your payment information to finish the purchase.

After completing your purchase, you’ll receive an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel).

This is your hosting account dashboard where you manage everything like getting support, setting up emails, etc. Most importantly, this is where you’ll install WordPress.

Step 2. Install WordPress

When you signup with Bluehost using our link, they will automatically install WordPress for you. They launched this one-click WordPress installer to make it easier for non-techy users to create their website.

What this means is you simply need to login to your Bluehost account, and then click the Login to WordPress button to get started.

Log in to your WordPress blog from Bluehost dashboard

You can also login to WordPress dashboard by simply going to yoursite.com/wp-admin/ directly from your browser.

You can use your Bluehost account to create multiple websites. Simply go to the My Sites section and use their one-click WordPress installer to make additional websites.

If you are using a different WordPress website hosting service like SiteGroundHostGatorWP Engine, etc, then you can see our comprehensive guide on how to install WordPress for step by step instructions for those providers.

Once WordPress is setup, you’re ready to customize your website design by selecting a new template, and creating new pages.

Wasn’t that easy?

Now let’s move on to the next step and choose a design for your website.

Step 3. Select Your Theme

The visual appearance of your WordPress site is controlled by a WordPress theme.

WordPress themes are professionally designed templates that you can install on your website to change its appearance.

By default, each WordPress site comes with a basic theme. If you visit your website, then it will look something like this:

Default WordPress theme

This is not very appealing for most users.

But don’t worry, there are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes that you can install on your site.

You can change your theme from the WordPress admin dashboard. Visit Appearance » Themes page and then click on the ‘Add New’ button.

Change your WordPress theme

On the next screen, you will able to search from 8.474 free WordPress themes that are available in the official WordPress.org themes directory. You can sort them by popular, latest, featured, as well as other feature filters (i.e industry, layout, etc).

Searching for free WordPress themes

Need help choosing a theme? Check out our list of these awesome free WordPress business themes, and our pick of the best premium themes for WordPress.

You may also want to take a look at our guide on how to select the perfect WordPress theme for your website.

For the sake of this guide, we’ll be using Bento. It is a popular multi-purpose free WordPress theme with flexible design options for all kind of websites.

If you know the name of the free theme you want to install, then you can look for it by entering its name in the search field.

WordPress will show you the theme in search results. You will need to take your mouse over to the theme and then click on the Install button.

Install WordPress theme

Once you have installed your theme, you can customize it by clicking on the Customize link under the Appearance menu.

This will launch the theme customizer where you will be able to change your theme settings with live preview of your website.

Customizing your WordPress theme

You don’t need to finalize all theme settings right away. You will be able to customize it much better once you have some content on your website.

Let’s see how to add content to your WordPress site.

Step 4. Add Content to Your Site

WordPress comes with two default content types called posts and pages. Posts are part of the blogging functionality and appear in reverse-chronological order (newer items displayed first).

On the other hand, pages are meant to be static “one-off” type content such as your about page, contact page, privacy policy, custom landing page, etc.

By default, WordPress shows your blog posts on the front page of your website. You can change that, and make WordPress show any static page as the homepage of your website (we’ll show you how to do that later in this guide).

You can create a separate page for your blog or news section to show your recent posts. Alternatively, you can create a website without any blog section at all.

Having said that, let’s add some content to your website.

You’ll start by adding a few pages to your WordPress site. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough content for these pages at the moment. You can always edit and update them.

Head over to Pages » Add New page in WordPress admin area. This will bring you to the page editor screen, which will look similar to this, depending on your theme:

Adding a new page

First you need to provide a title for your page, let’s call this page ‘Home’.

After that you can add content in the text editor below. You can add text, links, images, embed videos, audio, etc.

After adding content to your page, you can click on the publish button to make it live on your website.

You can repeat the process by adding more pages for different sections of your website. For example, an about page, contact us, and a blog page to display blog posts.

Now let’s add a few blog posts as well.

Head over to Posts » Add New in your WordPress admin area, where you will see a screen much like you saw earlier when adding pages.

Adding a new blog post

You can add a post title and then add content in the visual post editor. You’ll also notice some extra options in the sidebar like post formats, categories and tags.

You can click on the save button to store your post as a draft or click on the publish button to make it visible on your site.

For more detailed instructions on how to utilize all these options on post and page edit screens, please see our guide on how to add a new post in WordPress.

Step 5. Customizing and Tweaking Your Website

Now that you have created some content for your own website, you will be able to customize and put it all in a nice presentable shape for your users.

Let’s start by setting up a static front page (also known as homepage).

Setting up a Static Front Page

You need to visit the Settings » Reading page in your WordPress admin dashboard. Under the ‘Front page displays’ option click on the static front page and then select ‘Pages’ you created earlier for your home and blog pages.

Static front page

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button at the bottom of the page to store your changes.

WordPress will now use the page titled ‘Home’ as your site’s front page and ‘Blog’ page to display your blog posts.

Change Site Title and Tagline

During the installation you get to choose your site’s title. WordPress automatically adds a tag line to your site title that says ‘Just another WordPress site’.

You can change both your site’s title and tagline at any time by visiting Settings » General page.

Site title and tagline

Your site title will be the name of your website like Wp Guide Plus. The tag line is usually a single line that describes your website.

You can also leave the tag line field blank if you want because WordPress SEO plugins like AIOSEO, Yoast SEO, and others will override it for better search engine optimization (more on this later).

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Set up Comments Settings

WordPress comes with a built-in comment system allowing your users to leave comments on your posts. This is great for WordPress user engagement, but it is targeted by spammers as well.

To deal with this, you’ll need to enable comment moderation on your website.

Visit Settings » Discussions page and scroll down to ‘Before a comment appears’ section. Check the box next to ‘Comment must be manually approved’ option.

Enable comment moderation

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Create Navigation Menus

Navigation menus allow your users to browse different pages or sections on your website. WordPress comes with a powerful navigation menu system, and your WordPress theme utilizes this system to display menus.

Navigation menus on a website

Let’s add a navigation menu to your website.

First, you need to visit Appearance » Menus page. Enter a name for your navigation menu and click on the create menu button.

Creating a new menu

WordPress will now create your navigation menu. But it will be empty at the moment.

Next, you need to select the pages you want to display in your menu and then click on add to menu button.

Add pages to WordPress menu

You will notice your selected pages filling the empty area of your navigation menu. You can move these menu items up and down to rearrange their position in the menu.

Select menu location

Now you need to select a display location. These locations are defined by your WordPress theme. Usually, most WordPress themes have a primary menu that appears in your website header at the top.

Finally, click on the save menu button to store your navigation menu.

You can now visit your website to see the menu in action.

For more detailed instructions see our beginner’s guide on how to add navigation menu in WordPress.

Step 6. Installing Plugins

WordPress Plugins are like apps for your WordPress site. They allow you to add features and customizations to your WordPress site. Think contact form, photo galleries, etc.

You can install plugins from your WordPress dashboard by clicking on the Plugins page.

There are currently more than 58,000 free plugins available for WordPress. There are also paid plugins sold by third-party websites and developers.

With this many plugins, how do you find which plugins to install? We got you covered there as well, see our guide on how to choose the best WordPress plugin.

Here is our list of essential plugins that you should install on your site right away. All of them are free.

Features

Website Optimization

Security

  • Updraft Plus – Create automatic scheduled backups of your website
  • Sucuri – Website security audit and malware scanner

Extras

  • WooCommerce – makes it easy to set up an online store and sell physical products.
  • MemberPress – makes it easy to create and sell online courses and digital memberships.
  • Smash Balloon – makes it easy to add social media widgets for InstagramFacebookTwitter, and YouTube.
  • OptinMonster – helps you get more email subscribers and optimize website conversion rate.
  • HubSpot – add free live chat, email marketing, and CRM to your WordPress website. Works seamlessly with OptinMonster.
  • Uncanny Automator – helps you set up automated workflows to streamline your small business workflows and save time.
  • WP Mail SMTP – fixes WordPress email deliverability issues with PHP Mail configurations on managed WordPress hosting providers.

Need help installing plugins? See our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

For more plugin recommendations check out our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

Step 7. Mastering WordPress

WordPress is easy to use, but it is also an extremely powerful content management system. From time to time, you may find yourself looking for some quick WordPress help.

The good news is that there are plenty of free WordPress help available. See our guide on how to properly ask for WordPress support and get it.

Wp Guide Plus itself is the largest WordPress resource site on the internet. You will find the following resources on Wp Guide Plus (all of them are completely free).

  • Wp Guide Plus Blog – This is where we publish our WordPress tutorials, how tos, and step by step guides.
  • Wp Guide Plus Videos – These step by step videos will help you learn WordPress FAST.
  • Wp Guide Plus on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 245,000 subscribers and 23 Million+ views.
  • Wp Guide Plus Dictionary – The best place for beginners to start and familiarize themselves with the WordPress lingo.
  • Wp Guide Plus Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on Wp Guide Plus.
  • Wp Guide Plus Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for Wp Guide Plus users.
  • Wp Guide Plus Engage Group – Connect with our WordPress experts and other like-minded bloggers / website owners (over 76,000 members).

Here are few of our guides that you should bookmark right away. It will save you lots of time and money in the future.

Many of our users use Google search to find answers on Wp Guide Plus. Simply type keywords for what you are looking for and add Wp Guide Plus.com at the end.

Can’t find an answer? Send your question directly using our contact form, and we will try our best to answer.

Step 7. Taking it Further

So far we have shown you how to make a website, add a new theme, add new web pages, and install essential plugins.

Want to take it even further?

Using WordPress you can create powerful niche websites capable of doing a lot more.

For more examples, check out our list of 19 types of websites you can create with WordPress

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Having helped thousands of people start a website, we have answered quite a lot of questions. Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about creating a website.

Is WordPress the only way to create a website?

No, there are a lot of other website builders out there such as Web.comWixGoDaddy, etc. But we believe that WordPress is the best and easiest platform to build a website.

Other industry experts agree with us too which is why over 41% of all websites on the internet use WordPress.

How do I make money from my website?

After helping users create a website, this is by far the most commonly asked question. There are a lot of ways to make money online from your website.

We have a list of 30 ways to make money online using WordPress. These aren’t get rich quick schemes. If you’re looking for a way to get rich quick by making money online, then sorry to break the bad news, there’s no such way.

How do I start a website where I can sell products?

You can easily add an online store to your WordPress website. We have created a list of the best eCommerce plugins for WordPress. You can also follow our step by step guide on how to start an online store.

While there are many other eCommerce platforms like ShopifyBigCommerce, etc, we recommend using the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress.

It gives you more user-friendly features at an even more affordable price. This is why WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform in the market.

Do I need to know HTML / CSS to create and customize my website?

No you don’t need to know how to use HTML / CSS to build a website with WordPress. You can use one of the many drag & drop WordPress page builder plugins to easily customize your web design.

How can I start a website for free?

Some website builders may offer free options, but we strongly recommend against using those website building solutions. Often they will insert their advertisements on your website which doesn’t look professional and offer a terrible user experience.

It’s always better to purchase your own domain name and hosting, so you have full ownership of your website. See what is the difference between domain name and web hosting.

Can I start a website like eBay?

Yes, you can easily create a website like eBay using an auction plugin for WordPress. We have a step by step guide on how to build an online auction website using WordPress that you can follow.

Can I 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. Bluehost is an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider, and they’re offering Wp Guide Plus users free domain + 60% off hosting if you choose to build your website using their service.

With that said, you can always register a domain name separately from a popular domain registrar and then purchase web hosting from a different hosting company like SiteGround or WP Engine.

Can I create a website like Facebook?

Yes, you can absolutely use WordPress to turn your website into a social network. We have a step by step guide on how to make a website like Facebook using WordPress.

Can I start a website with a discussion board / forum?

The answer again is yes. You can use one of these forum plugins in WordPress to build a website with discussion board features.

What’s the difference between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org?

When we mention WordPress in our tutorial, we’re talking about the popular self-hosted WordPress.org platform. It’s the powerful open source software that you always hear about.

WordPress.com is a limited blog hosting service. They have recently expanded their platform to offer website and eCommerce plans with custom domains, but they’re far more expensive compared to other WordPress hosting services like Bluehost or SiteGround.

For more details, see our detailed comparison chart of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

I accidentally started my site with WordPress.com or another website builder, can I switch?

Yes, you can always switch your website to WordPress. Often times beginners make the mistake of using the wrong website builder and then realize that those platforms don’t have all the features they need.

We have written detailed tutorials on how to properly migrate from other website builders to WordPress. The most important part is to make sure that your permalinks (URL structure) moves over seamlessly, so you don’t lose SEO rankings.

Here are our detailed tutorials on how to move your website to WordPress:

How do I grow my online presence?

Now that you have created your new website, it’s time to to grow your online presence and get more traffic.

We have created an ultimate guide with over 27 actionable tips to drive traffic to your new WordPress site.

The most important advice we give to small business owners is to immediately start building an email list.

Email marketing allows you to stay in touch with website visitors and customers after they leave your website. It’s proven to have a 4300% ROI on investment.

Here is our comparison of the best email marketing services for small business.

We hope this guide helped you learn how to make a website without hiring a web designer or overspending money. You may also want to see our tutorial on how to create a professional business email address, and our comparison of the best business phone services for small business.

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