Are you in the position where you’re thinking of building a website, and you’ve heard of WordPress as the platform on which to build? Then continue reading this article, as I’ll explain “how to use WordPress to build a website”, and what steps are required for a successful site.
Your making a very good decision, because WordPress is the most widely used platform for creating websites. The major benefit to this, is that there are so many places to get help when you require it. Loads of tutorials and guides have been created to help beginners get started in WordPress, and I’m going to guide you through what you’ll need to get started.
I will walk you through the following sections to get the most out of your WordPress website.
- #1 Purchase a Domain
- #2 Choose a Web Hosting Provider
- #3 Install WordPress Through Your Host
- #4 Become Familiar with the WordPress Dashboard
- #5 Install a Responsive Theme
- #6 Install Plugins That Enhance
- #7 Organise Your Navigational Main Menu
- #8 Setup a Widget Sidebar
- #9 Start Writing Informative Content
#1 Purchase a Domain
Once you’ve decided what niche you’ve chosen, and what you’re going to write about, you’ll need to purchase a domain name. This is easily done and will not cost you very much. Deciding on a domain name can be a challenge, so to give you an idea, here’s how to pick a domain name that pops.
I find exploring domain names are quite fun, but end up with so many to choose from. Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you can purchase it for $8-$15 generally. Don’t purchase your domain yet though, I want to explain where to purchase your domain in the next section.
#2 Choose a Web Hosting Provider
Web hosting will cost you a little more. Quite a bit more actually. You can pay anywhere between $80-$500 per year for hosting, it all depends on the type and speed you’re willing to pay for.
I mentioned in the domain purchasing section above, that I’d explain about where to buy your domain. You can purchase a domain from one provider, and get hosting at another. However, you’ll need to connect the two, and as a beginner this may be confusing. You’ll be given ‘nameservers’, which can be added to your domain provider.
I’d suggest purchasing both from the same service provider, so that your setup is made that much easier. If you’re after my opinion, and what I use myself, I’ll give you a tip. I’m an affiliate marketer, and choose to host my website with Wealthy Affiliate. There’s a number of reasons for this.
- I can get my domain and hosting in the one place.
- I pay one membership fee which covers my hosting inclusive.
- The hosting is second to none, and there are options for speed.
- The hosting support is terrific.
- The setup process is extremely easy.
- The whole affiliate marketing platform is available to me, including all the training, tutorials, tools and support.
- Mostly, it’s AFFORDABLE.
I’ll mention one more benefit in the setup section below.
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#3 Install WordPress Through Your Host (or WA)
When it comes to actually installing your WordPress website with your host, you generally have two options. Either install it yourself via your hosting control panel, or have the hosting provider install it for you, at a cost.
I installed it myself when I was first starting out, which means it’s certainly achievable for anyone. Trust me, it ain’t that difficult.
Now, if you’re still unsure, I do have an even easier option. Watch the video on this page, which explains how to use the best website builder for small business. This will show you how to setup a WordPress website in under 1 minute.
#4 Become Familiar with the WordPress Dashboard
There’s no point attempting to create a website, if you can’t learn the platform that offers you the ability to build a profitable online business. The potential here is huge, so learn how this dashboard works. It won’t take you long, the dashboard is fairly quick and easy to get a handle on.
Be aware though, the more plugins you add, the more functions that are added to the dashboard. Many plugin ‘Settings’ will be found under the general ‘Settings’ section the dashboard, other plugins will begin a new dashboard label of their own. I’ll talk more about plugins soon, so you understand what I’m talking about.
This article, how to build a website to make money, will explain more about the WordPress Dashboard and which settings will help with your general setup.
#5 Install a Responsive Theme
When you go to ‘Appearance’ on the Dashboard, your first option is to choose the theme you’d like associated with your website. Your chosen theme will dictate how your website will display. It’s like a suit or skin for your website.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of WordPress themes around, many of them being free. WordPress will have their own theme pre-installed on your website, but maybe not active.
Not all themes are as good as others. Most of the paid themes will be responsive, meaning they will change configuration with mobile screens. Many of the free themes don’t have this flexibility, although they are getting more up to date as time goes by.
I generally recommend 3 themes that do come at a cost. I use Divi theme, which is responsive and created via drag and drop modules. The other two themes I like are Genesis and Thrive.
If you’re just setting up a website to play around with and get used to the dashboard, maybe the WordPress default theme is good to get a feel for things. Once you progress and start building up a money making website, I’d advise using one of these paid themes.
#6 Install Plugins That Enhance
WordPress Plugins are small add-ons created by third party sites, designed to enhance your website in some way. There are thousands of plugins to choose from, and you’ll want to choose wisely.
Every plugin has a star rating, and an indication of how many times it has been downloaded. You can also read the reviews, which will give you an idea of what people think of the plugin.
Look for popular plugins with very good reviews. These will have been well coded, and therefore should not slow down your site, or give you conflicting errors.
Two types of popular plugins are a ‘cache’ plugin and an ‘SEO’ plugin. These will help your website run efficiently in the background, and help get your posts ranking in Google.
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#7 Organise Your Navigational Main Menu
All good websites will have a great navigational menu. This can be done under the Appearance >Menu section.
Your website visitors are going to need guidance on where to find the information on your site. Help them out by creating a well laid out main menu, pointing these readers to the right location.
#8 Setup a Widget Sidebar
A sidebar is the ideal location to place adverts, banners, maps or an email opt-in form. This can also be setup under the ‘Appearance’ section, this time look for Widgets.
Each different widget you use in a sidebar, is a separate module if you like. Depending on the theme you’re using, various different widgets offering different functionality, will appear in the Widget section for you to choose from.
Again, depending on your theme, you may have the option to move the location of your sidebar from the default position of down the right side, to the left side.
The most commonly used widget, is the ‘Text’ widget. This is because you can add just about any image, text or code within it.
#9 Start Writing Informative Content
Finally, once all your other website parts are put in place, it’s time to start writing good quality content. Not only that, you’ll want to produce it on a regular basis.
Great posts that earn high rankings are created with SEO in mind. Use keywords in your articles and learn other SEO tactics.
When it comes to writing your articles, keep in mind what visitors are coming to your site for. Generally, they come to find the solution to a problem. Just like “how to use WordPress to build a website”! I’m providing the answer you’ve searched for in this article.
Content writing however, is not always easy to write for everyone. Some people don’t like writing or find it difficult to get the right words to use. Remember, there’s always an online thesaurus, I use it often. You can also learn how to write content for taking action, which will come easier to you the more you write.
You’re making a great decision to build a website, especially if this is for financial gain. I’m a big advocate for affiliate marketing which is growing from strength to strength with the progression of smartphones and tablets.
Building a WordPress website is an easy process for anyone with minor technical skills. It’s made even easier should you decide to use the Wealthy Affiliate website builder.
If you’d like to learn how affiliate marketing works, read on below to get find out how.
If you have any questions or thoughts on how to use WordPress to build a website, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can.
Like many people, I struggled in my early attempts to make money online. It's really frustrating when you try product after product, searching for that elusive opportunity that is really genuine.
Eventually though, I learned how to achieve success in the online world with my own website. This website was created to show others how to do it. I direct people away from the poor opportunities and advise the good ones.
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The opinions in this article are solely mine, are are not intended to offend or discriminate. All information in this review has been researched on the public domain of the internet.
A good article about use WordPress to create your own website. WordPress is a powerful platform for building blogs, in addition to many tools for creating websites, you can also install plugins to make your website look better. I really like you to describe the theme, plugins, organise main menu, widget, sidebar and writing content. Because these are important things and content that you must pay attention to when you learn to create a website, a good website or blog site must reach these important steps, so that your website can attract more users. I will save this important information about creating a website and use it as a reference to improve my own website.
Thank you for sharing this very valuable article.
I created this article to display to newbies that creating a website is achievable for anyone that is willing to learn. If it can help a more experienced person such as yourself, that’s great.
Thanks for dropping
I really like the idea that you can get top notch monthly website hosting with Wealthy Affiliate for something like $25 a month if you get the yearly discount. Not only that, but you also get in-depth affiliatetraining on how to make money with that website. As for building the website this article is a great guide. I would also like to add that “Panoramic” is also a theme that is responsive and comes at no cost, it’s the one I’m currently using for my website.
Hey there Son
Panoramic is also a really nice theme that is responsive, and therefore works well with mobile devices. It just goes to show how even the free themes are becoming mobile responsive. They just have to keep up with demand. Nobody will be using their themes unless they are responsive.
You’ll find the paid themes are more SEO friendly, and have many more internal backend options.
I have to say this is a well thought out article that is easy to read, but without all the unnecessary hype most other income opportunities have. And to new site visitors, Wealthy Affiliate is exactly how Nudge described. I just joined last week and am having a blast connecting with all the passionate people there.
Hey Vince, great to hear from another WA member.
You’ve obviously seen all the benefits that Wealthy Affiliate can offer in terms of tools, support and training. You’re so right in having a great time connecting with people. I feel that I personally know many people here, even though I’ve never personally met them.
Thank you for the informative article on setting up a WordPress website. I also use a WordPress theme (Hiero) for my website and found that the steps for setting up my website were pretty much the same as those you describe. It took me a long time to decide on a niche and then even longer to choose a theme that matched the niche.
Your advice on choosing a responsive theme that works well on computers and mobile devices is advice worth listening to. I had to change my original theme to a more responsive one as my website would not display properly on a mobile phone. After all, more webpages are now displayed on mobile devices than home computers or laptops! This shows where the future emphasis will be.
Great article and keep up the good work,
Thanks for your thoughts Gary
Using a mobile responsive theme is so critical these days, as that’s where the majority of visitor come from. As you mention, the future is all mobile device related, so it’s worth the extra to get a great theme such as Divi.
A really easy to read and helpful article about setting up a WordPress website. It almost sounds too easy but I have worked with WordPress and it is truly isas easy as it sounds. There are hundreds, if not thousands of apps that handle everything that you can imagine to make your site do what you need it to do.
I have used a number of programs, paying hundred every year for the upgrades and new features and only WordPress updates and provides all the new apps fee. Your article really lays it all out step by step.
Having a well laid out and efficient Site is the first step to getting free traffic and a SEO app certainly is important.
Appreciate your comments Bryan.
You touch on a really good point here, the plugins are free. Unlike other platforms such as Shopify, where you have to pay monthly for their Plugins (apps), most WordPress plugins are free, some with one off paid upgrades.
This was an excellent explanation in detail on how to use WordPress to build a website. Possibly the easiest to follow training I have seen in quite a while. I actually have a colleague who was asking on how to get her website up, so I am going to send this link to her.
To the layman, WordPress can be daunting when starting out. I remember very well the first time I looked at the backend of a website. I did not understand at all how to leverage the many features, nor did I understand how to design the front end so it looked professional.
If I had this post available to me, it would have been a lot easier learning curve, no doubt. I like creating my own websites these days using WordPress as it gives you so much versatility as to the direction you take the end product. I had tried some other template website builders but did not like the constraints, plus you do not own the domain.
Thanks for putting this clear training together, I am sure many people will be helped when they read through the steps you have expanded on. You also have saved me quite a few hours of helping my friend out! I am sure I will still have some questions, but this guide will cut down on most.
Gee, thanks for the kind comments Dave.
You’re spot on when it comes to seeing the backend of a website for the first time. Whilst it may seem a little daunting at first, it shouldn’t do. Everything it where it should be, and once someone begins to navigate around, much of it becomes obvious.
I hope your friend gets a lot out of this article. She can always contact me if there’s any advice she needs.
Oh, yeah! The first thing that comes to mind while joining Wealthy Affiliate is having my own website but putting up a domain name is another confusing thing to work on especially if you haven’t decided on what exactly you intend to building your website on. Wealthy Affiliate has got all needed to help everyone succeed especially those new to the online world.
Choosing a domain shouldn’t be that difficult once you find your niche. There are plenty of blogs within Wealthy Affiliate that helps with niche selection. You can also read about the most popular blog topics here.
Hello thanks for this post. I actually run a WordPress theme blog but thanks to Wealthy Affiliate. I was looking for a good responsive blog and I’ll try the divitheme you wrote about. How many many plugin’s would you advise for me to have installed on my blog at most?
Expecting your feedback
Hi there Louis.
In my opinion, the least amount of plugins the better. Along with this, the better quality plugins the better, but this can be hard to determine. That’s partly the reason for using minimal plugins. As a general rule, I wouldn’t use more that 10-12.
This is very informative, Nudge. A beginner who wants to go through the process of setting up a website so that they can know the nittty gritty of setting up a website would find this “how to use wordpress to build a site in 9 easy steps”, very useful. There are some other platforms that avail you the opportunity to create a website without having to go through all of these 9 steps. I appreciate you for this Great effort in bringing this out to the public. Good job.
There’s loads of bloggers out there that attempt to provide information, without providing information. I choose to educate, rather than just just write for writing sake, then directing a reader elsewhere to buy a product. Education is the key to success.
Very nice informative and educative article on How to Use WordPress to Build a Website for beginners
WordPress is probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system in existence today.
and knowing how to use it as a blogger or online marketer is so essential.thanks for the article, I know it goes a long way for beginners
Appreciate your thoughts mate.
Any advice to get beginners into this journey is beneficial. This is something anyone can achieve, I just like to show everyone how easy.