Step-by-Step Guide to Building A Website

Website design these days require no stress, with out wasting time we are going to take you on the step by step guide to building a website.

the are two ways of making a website come to a reality, with a website builder or with WordPress. There’s no question about it: website builders like Wix, Squarespace and Weebly are the best way for tech novices to get online.

Use a Website Builder

How to Build a Website in 9 Steps

  1. Choose the right website builder for you.
  2. Sign up for a plan that suits your needs and budget.
  3. Choose a unique and relevant domain name.
  4. Pick a design template you love.
  5. Customize your template design.
  6. Upload and format your own content.
  7. Choose and download apps.
  8. Preview and test your website.
  9. Publish your website on the internet.

Step 1: Choose the Right Website Builder For You

Website builders are super popular nowadays – and with good reason – but you need to pick one that matches up with your needs

Wix alone has over 100 million subscribers, while Shopify recently passed 1.2 million.

Step 2: Sign Up For a Plan That Suits Your Needs and Budget

Once you’ve chosen your website builder, it’s time to find your price plan. If you’re after a simple site (say for a portfolio or small service business), the cheaper plans will probably work just fine. If you need something more complex, check out the features on offer with the more expensive plans. If in doubt, start cheap and upgrade later.

Once you’ve settled on a website builder, you need to sign up for a plan. Website builders tend to offer multiple plans. Different sites have different needs, and plans ensure you aren’t paying for things you don’t need.

Which plan you choose depends on your needs. Are you making a website for a portfolio to showcase your artwork? Wix’s Combo plan, costing $13 a month, will probably do. Want to create a website for your business that will get thousands of visitors and have multiple staff accounts? Then the VIP Plan, costing $25 a month, may be a better fit.

Which Plan Is Best For You?

Wix has eight price plans in total, plus a free plan – that means you’re sure to find a plan that works perfectly for your budget! Browse its features to find your ideal plan today.
Pick My Perfect Wix Plan

Rest assured there’s a plan out there for everybody. If in doubt, start small and scale up.

Can you make a website for free?

You can make a website for free, but there are catches. Free accounts on website builders hold a lot of important features back. You can’t use custom domains, and your free site will have ads for that website builder. If you’re looking to learn more about website building then the free options are worth a look. However, if you want a professional, feature-rich website you’re going to have to pay at least a few dollars a month.

Step 3: Choose a Unique and Relevant Domain Name

A domain name is your site’s unique address – for example, ours is websitebuilderexpert.com. You’ll need to pick one for your site, which can be done easily through your website builder (you’ll be prompted when you sign up). If you already have a domain name, you can transfer it to whatever platform you want to use (you’ll see an option for this).

A domain name is the bit of the URL (the site address in your browser’s search bar) that identifies a web page — in this case your website. For example, ours is websitebuilderexpert.com. You can register them separately at sites like GoDaddy and Domain.com, but website builders offer to do it for you when you sign up with them. Most provide it for free (at least initially), while a handful charge a few extra bucks.

A domain name is one of the main ways a site presents itself to the internet, so make it count. Here are a few rules of thumb when choosing a domain name.

  • Make it relevant. This sounds obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Make sure the domain matches what visitors see when they visit your site. If your company is Vintage Pantaloons ™, don’t register the domain flipflopsfromthefuture.net
  • Keep it short, or at least memorable. If you want people to remember your site don’t pick a domain that’s dozens of characters long. It will look silly and no-one will remember it
  • Avoid numbers. It’s generally best to avoid numbers in domain names. It (generally) looks unprofessional and adds another element for people to remember.
  • Check the branding doesn’t already exist. There are millions of websites already out there. That means there are millions of domains already taken. Check whether yours will stand out before committing to it

Once you’re sure about a domain, simply register it as part of the signup process with your chosen website builder. Some of the leaner plans will require an annual renewal fee of around $12, though with premium plans it’s usually included.

Once you’ve got your unique domain name, what happens if you want to move?This is a very common question we get. Don’t worry. When you purchase a domain name — from a website builder or through separate registrars — you own the domain name and can take it wherever you want.

 Step 4: Pick a Design Template You Love

Okay, now we’re at the fun part – time to set the design of your website by choosing a ‘template’ or ‘theme’ to work from. Your website builder will guide you to this stage after you’ve signed up. Templates are categorized by industry or site type. Take a few for a spin before you settle on your favorite.

Step 5: Customize Your Template Design

Time to customize your template with your own content and images. Again, this is something most builders will guide you through, but it’s super easy to get the hang of. Before long, your website will really start to look like your website.

Step 6: Upload and Format Your Own Content

Now your website is starting to take shape, it’s time to fill it with your own images and written content. You can replace any ‘placeholder’ content already on your template, as well as ‘dragging’ text and image boxes around each page (if you use a drag-and-drop builder).

Step 7: Choose and Download Apps

Check out your builder’s app store to add any missing functionality to your site, such as forms and social media integrations. There’s an app for just about anything, and downloading them is really simple.

Step 8: Preview and Test Your Website

Don’t forget to preview your site before putting it live, both on mobile and desktop!

Step 9: Publish Your Website On the Internet!

Once you’re all set, hit the Publish button! But don’t worry – it’s easy to make changes to your site after you’ve published it. Just bear in mind that some builders won’t let you switch templates after your site is live.

Option 2: Use WordPress

How to Build a Website in 8 Steps:

  1. Decide if WordPress is right for you.
  2. Buy the right hosting plan
  3. Choose and register a domain name.
  4. Install your WordPress site with one click.
  5. Choose a theme for your site’s design.
  6. Create and customize your content and pages.
  7. Choose and install useful plugins.
  8. Make final checks and publish.

Step 1: Decide if WordPress is Right For You

WordPress is a powerful (and popular) platform, but the work it requires means it’s not for everyone.

Step 2: Buy the Right Hosting Plan (We Recommend Bluehost)

If you’re building a website through WordPress, you’ll need to sign up to a hosting plan to reserve a virtual ‘plot of land’ for your site. Most new websites will be fine to start off on a shared hosting plan, then upgrade later as needed. Hosting plans can cost between $4 and $500+ per month.
1. Choose a provider

We’re going to go through this step-by-step guide using web hosting company Bluehost as an example because it’s one of the services explicitly recommended by WordPress, and it scored highest in our research for WordPress hosting. It performs particularly well for shared WordPress hosting, which is ideal for beginners

2. Pick a plan

Before you can get down to the business of building your WordPress website you need a place for it to live. This requires a hosting plan. Signing up for a hosting plan is easy. Signing up for the right hosting plan is where things get a bit trickier.

There are various types and tiers of hosting designed for everything from tiny blogs to online stores with millions of visitors per month. For an idea of the range of plans available, just look at Bluehost:

Did You Spot a Plan You Liked?

Bluehost offers a range of hosting types, so it’s worth comparing them to make sure your find your ideal plan. See what Bluehost has to offer today!
Yes! I Want to See Bluehost’s Plans

Some of the main types of hosting are as follows.

  • Shared. Where you share a server with multiple other websites. This helps to keep costs down, but limits how much traffic your site can handle. These plans are best for small and starter websites with modest traffic. Price: $4 – $35+ per month.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS). These mimic the control of a dedicated server, but still share space with other websites. A good half-measure if you’ve outgrown a shared plan but don’t want to commit to the cost of dedicated hosting. Price: $15 – $155+ per month.
  • Dedicated. A server all to yourself. These plans can take a lot more traffic and offer full admin control. On the flipside, as you can see, they also cost a lot more. Dedicated hosting is for the very top tier of sites. Price: $70 – $500+ per month.
  • WordPress. This can be in the format of shared or managed WordPress hosting, and comes with extra features to help those using WordPress for their site, like one-click WordPress installation and automatic software updates. Price: $4 – $50+ per month

If you’re just starting a website it’s highly unlikely you’ll need to look past shared hosting. If, further down the line, a shared plan proves inadequate you can simply upgrade. For your first WordPress site a basic shared plan will see you right.

Find out more

Looking to get started with shared hosting? Make sure you pick one of the Best Shared Hosting Providers – our review will help!

If you’re not sure which type of hosting is right for you, start off with our Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting comparison to find the best option.

Step 3: Choose and Register a Domain Name

Every site needs a domain name. This is basically your site’s unique address. You can get a domain name directly through some hosting providers (like Bluehost), or otherwise you’ll need to get it from a domain registrar like GoDaddy or NameCheap. This will typically cost around $12 per year.

A domain name is the virtual address of your website. Ours is websitebuilderexpert.com. That’s where you find us. The New York Times’ is nytimes.com. That’s where you find them. And so on. Your site needs one too, and when setting up a WordPress site it’s something you may have to take care of yourself. Bluehost lets you choose a domain for free as part of the signup process.

Step 4: Install Your WordPress Site With One Click

With most hosting providers, WordPress can be installed with just a single click.

Once you sign up to a hosting plan with Bluehost, an account will be made for you automatically, though setting up a WordPress requires something from you: a click.

WordPress’s massive popularity means it’s in the interest of hosting providers to make setup easy. Accordingly, most offer one-click WordPress installation. In the case of Bluehost, that means going to ‘My Sites’ on the dashboard. As you can see below, it’s very easy to find.

If you bought a domain name as part of signing up, a WordPress site will already be there (a no-click setup!). To create a new one, you simply click ‘Create Site’. Most web hosting providers offer a similar experience

For a complete walkthrough, check out our guide on how to install WordPress with Bluehost.

Step 5: Choose a Theme For Your Site’s Design

The fun begins – it’s time to pick your WordPress theme! This will provide the basic design springboard, from which you can build your own personal site. There are plenty of free themes available through the WordPress theme directory, while you may have to pay a small amount for a premium theme.

While website builders have templates, WordPress has themes. Your theme affects how your site looks. There are free themes and paid themes, and you can change your website’s theme as often as you want.

The upside with free themes is the cost, obviously, though bear in mind a nice free theme is likely being used on a lot of sites already. Paid themes are more ‘exclusive’ in that sense. Some only require a one-off payment, while others offer a subscription in exchange for support, updates, and maintenance.

Once you select your WordPress site you will find yourself in the WordPress dashboard. This will be your online control room from now on, and it’s here that you can manage themes. A handful of default themes are waiting for you when you arrive, and adding new ones only takes a few minutes.

To add a new theme, go to ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Themes’. Click the option to ‘Add New’ to the right, and you’ll be taken to the WordPress Theme Directory to browse a new theme.

There are thousands of templates to choose from in WordPress’ own Theme Directory. Search for the types of themes you’d be interested in. If you’re setting up a newspaper search ‘newspaper’, if you need a site for your café search ‘cafe’. There’ll be dozens, if not hundreds, of contenders. Clicking on a theme takes you to its own page where you can see user reviews and preview the theme in action.

Customization on WordPress requires much more technical skill than it does with website builders. You’ll need to dive into the code to make the changes you want. If you’re comfortable with HTML, CSS, and Javascript (or looking to learn more about them), this shouldn’t be an obstacle. Just be wary. WordPress offers more control than website builders, but only to those equipped to use it.

Step 6: Create and Customize Your Content and Pages

Make a website your own by customizing text and images.

Step 7: Choose and Install Useful Plugins

With a hue bank of plugins on offer (both free and paid), you can easily get your site working the way you need it to. The WordPress plugin directory makes it super simple to find what you need. Plugins are easy to install (and uninstall), so you can do some experimenting.

Plugins are bits of software that can be added to WordPress to improve the functionality of your site. Default features offer enough to make a perfectly good website, but plugins are often necessary to take it to the next level.

WordPress has tens of thousands of plugins for everything from search engine optimisation (SEO) to image compression. Browse the WordPress plugin directory and you’ll soon get a sense of how vibrant and creative a community it is. Each plugin has its own page with descriptions, screenshots, user reviews and more.

To install plugins it’s easier to browse within your WordPress dashboard. To do this go to ‘Plugins’ and ‘Add New’. There you can sort through featured, popular, and recommended plugins, as well as search for them yourself. To install simply press ‘Install Now’.

Here are some of the top plugins if you’re unsure where to start:

  • Jetpack. Made by Automattic, the team behind WordPress, this is essentially dozens of plugins within one plugin. In-depth site stats, automated social media posting, and lazy loading (a way for pages to load faster) are just a handful of the features available
  • Google Analytics Dashboard. This one’s a no-brainer. Google Analytics is a superb, free tool for tracking traffic to your website. This plugin allows you to see everything in your WordPress dashboard
  • Social Media Share Buttons. You want your content to be shared right? This plugin allows you to add fully customizable social share buttons to your posts so they can get as much exposure as possible

You manage your plugins in the ‘Installed Plugins’ section of the ‘Plugins’ tab. There you can edit plugin settings and toggle installed plugins on or off.

As ever, don’t be afraid to test things out. You have a whole lot more to gain from plugins than lose. Worst case scenario you simply deactivate a plugin you no longer want to use.

Step 8: Make Final Checks and Publish!

Website, meet world. World, meet website. It’s time to set your creation loose! Give your site a final once-over, and remember you can make changes at any time.

All right, we’re almost there. Before publishing your WordPress site let’s recap the steps you should have gone through to reach this point.

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