Our free WordPress themes are downloaded over 2,500,000 times. Get them now!
How-to-setup-website

How to Make a WordPress Website – Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

An easy step-by-step website setup guide written by web developers who have created hundreds of websites and helped thousands of others to create their own website.

6 reasons why you’ll love this awesome website setup guide:

Beginner-Friendly

This guide is very detailed, comprehensive and easy to follow even if you’re not tech-savvy.

Up-to-Date

This guide is updated weekly to keep up with the latest web design trends.

Fast Setup

Within an hour your website will be up and running and is going to be responsive and mobile-friendly.

Platform-Specific

Your website will be based on the right platform and in the right way.

Guaranteed Results

We guarantee that by the end of this guide you’ll have a working website

Free Support

We are open for questions. Drop a comment below with your question and we will be happy to help

At Colorlib we spend a great deal of time reviewing products and providing good reading content for our readership. Many of whom are familiar with the workings for a website running on WordPress. This guide is intended to help anyone who is creating their first website, likely with WordPress. It’s the platform we recommend and use for our website.

A step by step tutorial – we start off with finding the right content management system, choosing a domain name, then the right web hosting service, adding the right themes, plugins and customizing your site’s appearance. By the time you are done with this how to make a WordPress website for beginners guide you’ll have a full fledged website ready to go!

This guide contains three simple and easy-to-follow steps:

STEP 1

Choose the right platform for your website

STEP 2

Choose the right website name (domain) and hosting

STEP 3

Configure your newly created WordPress website

Step 1

Choose the right platform for your website

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) in simple terms, is a platform of sorts or a mechanism which permits you to create your content and publish it on a website. Let’s say that it is a coat hanger stand with the coat being your content.

It is software that is installed on your host’s server. Your host provider will likely have a one click installation process to help you get your CMS installed. Once it is installed, you can log in to your site as the admin and add photos, text and other content. You can use the content you’ve added to create blog posts and other forms of content like a product page or display a work portfolio on your website.

A CMS is way more than just a means to an end, you can install a theme which is a modified template to suit the specific niche and purpose of your site. With the template added, you can customize the appearance of your site. You can add plugins to add function to your site, for example a social sharing plugin to help spread the word about your site via social networks.

All of this and more can be accomplished with a Content Management System.

Which CMS is best for you?

An overwhelming majority of websites use WordPress. The other two options that lag way behind in comparison to WordPress (certainly in popularity) are Joomla and Drupal.

WordPress

The ideal option for someone who’s creating his or her first website. It has considerable scalability and works well with low and medium traffic websites. We receive 1.5 million views every month and we run WordPress, so that gives you an idea of what medium traffic constitutes if you were wondering. Even large websites such as TIME Magazine, CNN, TED, Techcrunch, NBC and others use WordPress to server millions of pageviews each day.

WordPress has a great number of points that can be made in favor of its use.

  • Easy To Install: Most hosting services have one click installation options for WordPress given the number of people who use it.
  • Strong Community & Open Source: It is free and used by a lot of people. There are a plethora of free themes and plugins that you can leverage for your site. Apart from the freebies, premium themes and plugins are cheap and come with excellent support services from their providers. If you ever have a doubt or a problem a simple Google search can answer your query. If fact, I’ll go so far as to say you’ll find the answer to your doubts answered by the first three results of a Google search. A strong community will aid in your WordPress initiation process should you ever encounter any hiccups. And you can always drop your comments here either Aigars or me will be sure to respond to the at the earliest opportunity.
  • Ideal For Non tech savvy online entrepreneurs: Most of the products associated with WordPress, such as themes and plugins are fairly straightforward and intuitive to use. Installing a Content Management System like WordPress is only the first step of the process, there is much more to website creation beyond that. Like WordPress which is easy to install and configure, the tools that you’ll require to make your website whole are easy to handle.

Two not so quite favorable things about WordPress

  • One drawback of WordPress, it may become unwieldy if your site grows far too large and receives an enormous amount of daily traffic. The cost of your hosting goes up. But we are talking about traffic in the order of millions here and it isn’t something you should let bother you for now.
  • Another potential problem is the quality of free plugins and themes. While most are good and have fairly high security standards, you’d should be wary of unknown third party plugins. WordPress is a secure platform out the box, but adding third party software while exercising poor judgement is a bad idea. That being said security vulnerabilities are generally fixed as soon as they are detected.

As you can see WordPress is by far the most popular content management system and is used by 65% CMS powered websites worldwide.

The thing you need to know is all CMSs have one drawback or the other. And for a new web admin, WordPress is the best way to go! But I’ll talk about Drupal and Joomla, all the same. You should certainly be aware of them, should you decide to switch your CMS at a later point in time. And it will also tell you why perhaps Joomla and Drupal are not best suited to the needs of beginner.

Drupal

Unlike WordPress, Drupal is not too well suited for the technically inept or a first time website developer. Drupal is an open source CMS and is largely utilized by big corporations with vast websites and high traffic loads. It has its own customization possibilities with themes and plugins created to add value to Drupal sites. Drupal websites are a bit faster and little less taxing on the host’s server resources.

But if you’re new to web development, it isn’t for you. Why? It is more complicated than it needs to be to meet your requirements. It is designed for complex, vast websites with high traffic loads, which your new website will not be to begin with. Given that, there is no need to add to the difficulty of the website creation process unnecessarily.  And besides, you can always switch to Drupal at a later date.

Joomla

Open source and free like the previous two platforms. It is a tad better than the other two when it comes to creating a community of users (like a small social network or tight knit community for your readers) and is far more amenable to creating social websites with a lot of interaction and engagement from users. It is easier to handle than Drupal and offers more than WordPress in terms of performance and tweakability.

And again my reasons are the same for not recommending it for you, unnecessary complication that you do not need.

WordPress – Probably the best option for you!

If you are starting off with a new domain name with no traffic so to speak of, you are better off with WordPress. It is exceedingly easy to use, it is free and comes with an enormous number of premium quality free themes and plugins. The cost of hosting is low and many hosts provide for easy one click installation of WordPress. And since a growing percentage of online entrepreneurs do not know how to program in HTML, CSS and PHP, WordPress is the best choice as it offers excellent customizability even to WordPress newbies.

Click here to summarize, why WordPress is the best choice, if you still harbour any lingering doubts. (Optional)

  • Free – Who isn’t happy about this?
  • Strong Community – Someone to answer your questions, if it isn’t answered on the hundreds of niche WordPress sites to begin with.
  • Frequently Updated Platform – Updates are important (Fix bugs, security, constantly improving features and performance and ensure compatibility with all WordPress products)
  • A host of themes and plugins that are free – Keep costs low.
  • Excellent options for premium plugins and themes – That little extra at a reasonable price.
  • Easy to use and beginner friendly – Designed for you and non programmers.
  • Secure platform out of box – Important for revenue generating websites
  • Scalable for medium traffic – For when you grow fast and need to accommodate more traffic.
  • Multiple options for hosting including managed hosting services (Managed hosting – You focus on content, your host takes care of everything else)
  • Wealth of choices for running site backups – Site Backups are a big deal and extremely important for medium traffic sites, it ensures minimal downtime if your site should ever be hacked.

Do not get confused with WordPress.com, which is a blog site built with WordPress. What you are building here is a yoursitename.com as opposed to yoursitename.WordPress.com. And if you do not know the differences between the two, please read <this post that elaborates differences between two.>

Now that you have chosen the best platform for your website you can proceed with the next step.

Step 2

Choose the right website name (domain) and hosting

Before you choose a domain name, you’ll need be sure of the niche you’d like to concentrate on. Selecting a niche area to focus on, is an important task in and of itself. To create a revenue generating website it is critical that you research the target keyword pool and the niche it is derived from. For the time being, just make sure it is something you like and are genuinely passionate about. And ensure that you have reasonable expertise in the subject matter involved.

You can literally register any available (not registered yet) domain name but here is something I recommend:

  • Business website – If you are making a website for your business it would be best to choose a domain name that is your company name or brand. An example domain name would be YourComapanyName.com or YourBrandName.com
  • Personal website – If it is going to be your personal website it would be great to go with com
  • Hobby website – The sky’s the limit 🙂

Most popular domain names extensions (the end part of website address, like .com) are .com, .org, .net, but in recent years a huge amount of new domain extensions have been introduced (Wikipedia). Now you can register crazy domain names such as YourCompanyName.pizza, YourCompanyName.green, or YourName.ninja.

However, for your first website I recommend to stick with .com, .net and .org. New domain extensions haven’t gone mainstream yet and might confuse your visitors. Even some social networks, services and apps have problems displaying these new domain names that’s why I advice to avoid them, at least for now.

Choosing The Right Domain Name

The next step in our process involves choosing a domain name. A domain name is basically the URL one types into a browser’s address bar to visit a particular website.

Getting the right domain name is crucial. A few things you need to keep in mind while considering domain name choices.

  • Short – Shorter names work better when it comes to remembrance and are easy to type as well.
  • Brandable – Remember your domain also runs to your brand, make sure it isn’t memorable for all the wrong reasons.
  • Memorable – People forget easily, come up with a name that first time visitors to your site are likely to remember.
  • Catchy – You want a domain name that rolls off the tongue and describes what you do.
  • Easy to type.
  • Includes keyword (optional) – Identify the right keywords or combination of keywords. The closer your domain name is to your site’s niche, the better for search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Niche specific (optional) – If you are writing a website about a specific niche check if there are popular abbreviations that you can use. For example, in WordPress there are many highly ranked websites with “wp” as part of their name. WPEngine.com, a managed hosting service for WordPress.

Funny domain name mistakes

Here are some domain names someone have registered without realizing what a huge mistake they have made:

  • Speedofart.com – Speed of Art
  • Choosespain.com – Choose Spain
  • Gotahoe.com – Go Tahoe

Click here to read advanced tips about domains (Optional)

1. Now to get yourself a domain, you need a domain registrar. A domain registrar is basically someone or an organisation that reserves your right to use a domain for a given period of time. Normally web hosting companies perform the function of a domain registrar in addition to being a web hosting service provider. So you do not have to be concerned with this specifically as your web hosting service will also play the role of domain registrar.

This option is great if you have multiple domains and tend to switch your hosting provider regularly. Not that we would recommend it but it does happen. Also it is more secure to keep your hosting separated from domain registrar. In case your hosting accounts gets compromised hackers won’t get access to your domain.

2. If you are exceedingly confident of your ability to generate revenue, you might consider buying a domain name that has been parked by someone else. For various reasons, sometimes the premium you end up paying for a domain name may be well worth the expense. You can buy domain names on Flippa.com or Godaddy.com but consider this wisely, we wouldn’t want you to pay a hefty price only to find out that the domain name isn’t worth it later.

Hosting

You really have two options when it comes to hosting provider types recommended for WordPress newbies.

  • Shared Hosting
  • Managed WordPress Hosting

I do not recommend anything other than a shared hosting plan for first time webmasters. All other forms of hosting that you may have heard of like Virtual Private Hosting (requires reasonable technical know how), managed WordPress hosting (too costly) might not be the right choice for your first website. As your knowledge and business grows you might consider VPS or fully managed WordPress hosting but let’s leave that for another post.

Shared hosting is the way to go and later we can talk about upgrading your host. We’ve recommended two shared hosting services and have also added elaborate installation processes for WordPress with both of them. Both hosting providers offers domain registration and website hosting and that’s exactly what we need to create an awesome website.

BlueHost

To make WordPress installation process easier we have created a short video that will guide you through installation process.

Click here to visit Bluehost and proceed with your first website setup.

If you had some problems understanding setup process outlined in video you can follow steps below.

  1. Choose the right hosting page. I’d suggest the starter package. It offers plenty of speed, performance, functionality and storage for your first website. You can upgrade your hosting plan as your website grows>
  2. bluehost pricing options

  3. You will be prompted to choose a domain name as you can see in example below. Double check your domain name to avoid typos.
  4. bluehost - choose your website name

  5. And on the next screens, enter your personal information and credit card details. And complete payment.
  6. signup-to-bluehost-hosting

  7. In Bluehost cPanel (administration panel), find a button which says Install WordPress
  8. bluehost-cpanel-demo

  9. Click on a green Install button to proceed with WordPress installation
  10. one-click-bluehost-wordpress-instal

  11. Now select if you want to use your website with or without “www.” at front of your website name (www.YourWebsite.com or YourWebsite.com). If you can’t decide you can leave it as is. It can be easily changed afterwards.
  12. choose-www-domain-name

  13. The details for the WordPress installation like email ID, username and password can be set. And tick all the necessary conditions under a licence agreement.
  14. advanced-wordpress-bluehost-setup

  15. And install.
  16. WordPress installation in progress

  17. Once installation is complete you will see a clear message on top saying “Your Install is Complete!” and button saying “View Credentials”
  18. wordpress login info bluehost

  19. By clicking on that button you will be sent to a page where you will be able to find your newly installed WordPress login credentials.
  20. WordPress login credential reveal on Bluehost

  21. Now you can login on your website by clicking link that says YourWebsitName.com/wp-admin.

SiteGround

SiteGroud’s shared hosting plan has a similar, equally easy to use WordPress installation and domain registration process. The site asks you whether you have a domain name or need to register one, in our case since you are creating your first site you need to register a domain.

Following the domain registration you can follow this easy to use this three step tutorial for a guided WordPress installation. It is best to select “Get WordPress Preinstalled in this account” and you will not need to get your hands dirty. You’ll need to set admin email ID, username and password, you’re set!

SiteGround vs BlueHost

Really anyone’s pick, I suggest that you have a look at both and decide based on which ever domain registration and WordPress installation process seems easier. But personally I feel it doesn’t matter much and you shouldn’t worry too much over which of the two hosting services to go with.

If you’d like a far more elaborate list of shared hosting service providers, check out our WordPress hosting guide.

Now that your domain is registered, hosting paid for and your WordPress installed. What’s next?

Step 3

Configure your newly created WordPress website

WordPress Admin Screens

  • Go to yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin.
  • Type in the username and password you previously entered during the WordPress installation process.

wordpress login screen

Your WordPress admin menu is available on the left side of the screen. Allowing your cursor to linger over them will open sub menus.

  • Dashboard
  • Posts
  • Media
  • Links
  • Pages
  • Comments
  • Appearance
  • Plugins
  • Users
  • Tools
  • Settings

That is a lot of stuff which you deal with. But I’ve promised to get your site up and running. So for the purposes of this post I will not be talking about Settings, Tools, Users or Your Dashboard.

I will talk about the rest of the menu options which are part of your WordPress menu. Let’s get started.

Customizing your site’s Appearance and activating a WordPress Theme

Themes (Appearances > Themes)

  1. Open Appearances > Themes. From here on have a look at the heading of each subsection if you have doubts with regards to accessing a particular part of the WordPress menu from the admin screen.
  2. install new wordpress theme

  3. And click on the “Add New” button on the top. And choose from one of the themes displayed or search for a specific theme. For a list of awesome free themes, you can check out this theme collection.
  4. install-sparkling-theme

  5. Install a new theme that you fancy and activate it.
  6. wordpress-theme-instalation-process

  7. The next part involves customization of a theme. You can access this under from Appearance > Customize. You can do a number of things to your site’s appearance from here. But that’s not the crux of this post, a theme is sufficient to start a website.
  8. wordpress-theme-customizer

Widgets (Appearances > Widgets)

Widgets are preset modules or pieces of code that add to a certain function which will prove useful for your website in some capacity or the other. Your sidebars, footers and headers can be loaded with widgets.

wordpress-widget-manager

As you can see in the above screenshot, there 6 widgets in the sidebar.  These widgets include a search bar, a recent posts widget, recent comments, archives, categories and meta. Then you can see 4 footer areas where you can add widgets just the same. The number of footer, header and sidebar areas available to you depends on the theme you are using.

Widgets are not plugins, but they are small chunks of code that add a bit of function. Sometimes it may help with navigation, sometimes with social media, you can even use to add HTML to a text widget which will function as coded to do so. So widgets are a very useful tool but you need to learn a bit about them before you can use them to the fullest.

Menus (Appearances > Menu)

Menus are an extremely important for any website. They offer a means to navigate your site and its content. After all, what’s the point in creating captivating content and if your visitor can not find it easily on your site. Bad menus and navigation can lead to a high bounce rate (the number of visitors as a percentage who leave your site after just viewing just one page).

You may have seen websites with menus on the top or the side and even at the bottom. We can do all of this.

You’d like to include pages like “About”, “Blog”, “Contact” and “Our Services” as part of your primary menu. Any page you’d like displayed on your menu can be added. The number of menus and their placement on your site depends on your WordPress theme.

You can add all the stuff that you see on the left to the menu ranging from pages to products as part of your menu. Again what you can include as part of the menu depends on your WordPress theme.

wordpress-menu-manager

A good menu,

  • Is concise and minimal.
  • It is a representation of all your site’s offerings.
  • Very intuitive to use and maneuver around your site.

Keep that in mind and you should be fine.

Background (Appearances > Background)

Many website choose to have plain single color background and I am big fan of that.

The Colorlib blog has a plain white background and it keeps things simple. But the homepage of the site is pretty awesome with a purple background and our tagline.

wordpress-background-color

 

Websites that are media heavy, examples would include photography sites or portfolio websites have great backgrounds. If you want your website to send across a powerful visual cue to your audience use a powerful background image. Else you can simply opt for a plain color which is appropriate for any blog that emphasizes readability.

A background should not be confused with a slider image which is basically a constantly changing image that moves across or your screen or changes with fancy animation.

Adding New Plugins (Plugins > Add New)

Plugins are a scripts or pieces of code written to perform a very specific function or set of functions on your website.

A simple example would be social sharing plugin, it helps share your content across different social platforms and helps get the word out that your content is awesome. Similarly, people have developed plugins for search engine optimization, security purposes, creating and maintaining a portfolio of images, to create contact forms, for caching the list is endless.

If you want to read a detailed list of plugins that we think is absolutely essential, read this comprehensive list of essential plugins.

Adding Pages (Pages > Add New)

Pages on a website help divide your website into a requisite number of pieces to present the different sections of your site’s content. Pages are to themes like widgets are to plugins. With pages you can create specific template styles that can be called on command for different purposes that require the same or similar design. Pages are more than posts and are used for specific purposes on your site. You can create pages specifically to cater to the requirements of a Contact Us Page or perhaps create landing page.

add-new-page-wordpress

And you are greeted by a New Page, which you can now fill up. From this new screen, you can create a new page and assign page attributes.

If you either need to create a template that you’re likely to use often or need to recreate a section of your site for a specific purpose, creating a page is the way to go.

Comments (Access from WordPress menu)

Websites need readers to make them successful. Comments are a very powerful means to establish a great debate on your site and this only further adds value to your site. Hardly, one percent of the traffic that visits your site will ever comment. And that is assuming that the content is great to begin with. Driving interaction with passive readers on your site is difficult and takes time and effort.

A great post with a pre-existing comment history helps your site receive more comments. Aigars wrote an awesome post on Colorlib a while back, yet till this day it still keeps receiving comments and continues to be a great source of traffic.

WordPress-comments-preview

And remember, WordPress allows you to link your site when you comment on another person’s blog. And this may send visitors your way, if you play your cards right and make genuine attempts to offer something constructive. For this same reason, many people will leave their comments on your blog as well.

If I feel your content is great and a particular post that you’ve written is awesome, then I’ll almost jump at the chance to leave my comment first and best anyone else to first comment. Because I know eventually it will lead a few visitors back to my site.

Comments are a great way to build an awesome readership and a loyal following for your site.

Adding Content

Content is king may be a cliched line. But it is true now more so than ever before. There are many more websites now than there ever were before. You name a niche, any niche and it is bound to be saturated to the hilt with websites producing content about said niche. WordPress is a very profitable niche. Why? 50% of websites use it and many of them are new to WP. WordPress newbies and even intermediate level users require a few resources to help them get started up and make changes to their WordPress sites, not too dissimilar to the content on Colorlib 😉 But a website like Colorlib works well and generates revenue only when we offer value to our readers.

We publish a great number of articles on premium WordPress themes and should you choose to buy one of them after clicking on our links we receive a small commission on your purchase. But truth be told, our most popular and widely read articles aren’t the ones that describe premium WordPress themes or plugins, rather they are WordPress tutorials and posts dedicated to free themes, plugins and other WordPress related articles. Because it is only when we offer value to readers that our site grows.

So based on your site’s niche and your expertise,  you need to produce content that genuinely offers value to would be readers. If you intend to create your site purely for monetary purposes, it will not be successful in the long run. No wait a minute, it may still be profitable but certainly not as successful as it could have been had you tried to genuinely help your audiences.So focus on good content.

Pick your niche and offer great value to your readers. And watch your traffic grow steadily and if you are lucky, perhaps even go through the roof!

So how do you publish your content on WordPress? What are the formats available to you apart from just plain ol’ text?

Posts (Posts > Add New)

The beating heart of your site or most sites anyway. At the end of this tutorial when all’s said and done, you’ll be here to populate your site with posts. WordPress has a very easy to use posting mechanism and this one of the reasons, it is so popular.

You have two ways in which you can write your posts: one is the visual editor and the other is HTML editor. You can opt to use the visual editor to begin with, but you should know the HTML editor (referred to as text editor) is a very powerful tool to help you create the right formatting for your posts. The sooner you are comfortable with the text editor, the better of you will be. You may notice I am using the visual editor and truth be told, once I’ve added all the necessary formatting I prefer the visual editor.

add-blog-post-to-wordpress

The visual editor is very much similar to most text editors and permits you to add bold / italic effects to your text, change its font, add bulleted lists and numbered lists, align content differently and add hyperlinks. There is also a distraction free writing mode which gives you a fullscreen version of the editor.

Categories (Posts > Categories)

Categories are a means to divide your content. Categories are a big more important when your site publishes content on a number of issues. You can add categories from your Post editor or you can access it under Posts > Categories.

wordpress-categories

Now you can name the category to create one and then you can add a slug which is basically a URL add on of sorts for all your site’s posts on that specific category. For example, if I know that Colorlib produces a lot of theme collection content, I can Google search Colorlib + collections and the first search result link is – https://colorlib.com/wp/category/collections/ . With this I can view only the posts that have been published under the category, “Collections”.

So it is a very effective way to divide your site’s content and make finding stuff on your site much easier for a visitor.

Tags (Posts > Tags)

Tags are very similar to categories, except each post generally has its own set of tags. Tags are a tad more specific than categories but that apart they are the same and they aid in helping visitors find your content more easily.

Media (Media >Add New)

Media as in photos and videos are important to normal websites. They are even more so for media heavy websites. Adding media is easy with WordPress. You can either add media from Posts or you can add media directly to the media library.

You can add the image title, a caption, description to the image. But it is also important you also add the alt text which helps search engines identify your image. It is a small step in ensuring good search engine optimization.

There a lot of effects and stuff you can do to your imagery like make it pop up or use a lightbox with WordPress plugins. But that’s for another day.

Your Profile

Setting up your WordPress profile. This is rather easy to deal with. You can edit your profile from the “Edit Your Profile” on your WordPress admin screen on the top right hand corner. You can describe yourself and add the necessary social media links as well.

And to add a profile picture for your WordPress ID, you’ll need to get a Gravatar account. You’ll need an account from WordPress.com with which you can login to your site’s admin panel.

Just Start!

We have far too many inhibitions, starting stuff is one of them. It opens the door to failure.

Creating the website and generating revenue is no joke. It is hard work, sometimes seemingly unrewarding work.

Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be launching our “Getting Started With WordPress” post series to help you out.

And apart from that if you need anything else, do let us know in the comments below! Aigars and I will always be happy to help you out 🙂

Aigars Silkalns

Frontend web developer and web designer specialized in free and premium WordPress theme development. Started to learn to code 2 years ago and now I am familiar with CSS/HTML/JavaScript (jQuery) and PHP. Obsessed with application performance, user experience and simplicity.

This Post Has 96 Comments
  1. Hello,

    I already have a wordpress site that I set up on wordpress itself, online. I haven’t bought it so it still has the ‘.wordpress’ part in the web address. I followed the steps above hoping to install activello but when I had signed up with bluehost it wouldn’t accept the web address with ‘wordpress’ in it. I entered it without thinking I guess I could update it later, or maybe purchasing this gave me that entitlement.

    However, now that I’ve completed this process, installed wordpress and tried to follow the wpadmin link it is bringing up a blank page. Wifi working fine otherwise so it’s not that. Can you tell me if I’ll need to go back and buy the domain name with wordpress? Or was that supposed to be taken care of as part of this process?

    Thanks very much for your help,

    Denica

    1. Denica,

      WordPress.com domain names can be used only exclusively with WordPress.com and you can’t move them elsewhere. The only thing you can do is to do a redirect from the old site to your new one. In case you didn’t get any domain name during setup, you will have to purchase one separately from Bluehost (the simplest option) or some domain registrar such as Godaddy (more complex).

  2. Hey,
    I liked your website and thanked you for giving us an excellent knowledge it is helpful me a create the not only website it’s much more improve my site and attractive to people And Gain a much more traffic in my web page.Thanks a lot for sharing a great tutorial with online.
    With Regards,
    Sarah.

    1. Sarah,

      I am glad you find this tutorial useful. Let me know if you have any further questions about website setup and I will be happy to help.

    1. Bold Grid is not compatible with WordPress themes of any kind. You will have to switch to WordPress in order to use any of themes you can see shared on Colorlib.

  3. Hi, I have been advised to change my website to a wordpress site. Can you tell me if I use one of your templates will I be able to install a subscriber section to my entertainment site, with usernames and passwords, and linked to PayPal auto recurring subscription payments ?

    1. Dan,

      User registration is there by default for WordPress therefore you don’t need any specific theme or plugin for that. But in case with recurring subscription payments you just need a plugin that supports that and there are plenty of free plugins available on WordPress.org that does just that. Therefore you can choose any WordPress theme you like and then install some plugins on top of it.

  4. Hi,

    Which hosting do you recommend for a small WordPress website? I have used Bluehost for a simple HTML website but can I use it for WordPress as well as it feels much more heavier and advanced.

    1. James,

      Thank you for your question!

      Bluehost can be used to host many popular Content Management Systems including WordPress. WordPress has much more features but it is not too large in size. It is 6.5 MB in size when archived and 22.5 MB unarchived. Which is not much by any means. WordPress on its own is small but most likely you will install multiple plugins and add several images to your website and that’s when your website will become 10 times bigger. Add website backups to mix and you have close to 1GB of storage used.

      I wouldn’t recommend to get hosting which is smaller than 1GB in size. Even for very tiny WordPress websites with few images and plugins. You will see how fast you can use up all that storage.

      Bluehost also offers WordPress optimized hosting which is specially built for WordPress and takes its quirks into account. If you want to have multiple options for hosting providers, another option I can suggest is SiteGround. They also offers hosting which is tailored for WordPress. They have done even more tweaking than Bluehost and offers custom WordPress caching which is something no other shared hosting provider offers. As you might know, WordPress is slow by default and it needs some caching. It can be implemented using various plugins but much better performing but more complex solutions are server side caching and SiteGround takes care of it. Basically they offer Managed WordPress hosting grade service for fraction of the price.

      If you have any questions about WordPress hosting providers, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

  5. I would love to see steps on how and where to get privacy policy. Since it is a necessary step to building a website. It seems to be a loose subject because we are most likely not qualified to mention privacy policy would be great. I am a consultant where we provide free privacy policy for developers to generate and not have to worry about updating every time a policy need changes. Of course, you can go through other free privacy policy generators, but iubenda also offers cookie solution plugin for WordPress. WordPress is the best and easiest cms out there and thousands of sites are built, I just wanted to open the topic up for discussion.

    1. Jerry,

      This guide is already over 5,000 words long and writing about privacy policy would make it much longer. Not all websites needs it as many websites does not collect any user information or anything else. It is a very optional step and is for website that all looking to make money or collect user data.

  6. Very Informative and easy to understand guide for setting up a WordPress website. One click install is the easiest medium to setup WordPress site from hosting control panel. Continuation to making WordPress site, If you are an Blogger or Webmaster with active registrations, it is a good idea to implement Social Login, as it removes seamless authenticating experience to the user hence saving time on remembering the password.

  7. Hey,

    thanks for such an informative review, I find this guide to be very helpful. Yet, I heard that there is a possibility to try free hosting. Wouldn’t that be a better option for beginners or when creating a page for learning purposes?
    I, myself, am also a beginner and would be grateful if you could provide some information about this topic, I wish to start my WordPress blog in the near future.

    Many thanks!

    1. Emily,

      Unfortunately, there aren’t any even remotely good free hosting providers. You will get frustrated trying to browse around because everything will be slow and filled with ads. The best option for testing is to install WordPress locally using MAMP, WAMP or similar tool. There are versions that comes with WordPress already preinstalled. I can recommend Bitnami that I use myself. Once installed you will be able to test WordPress, plugins and themes without spending money on hosting. Once you are ready you can get a good hosting for your website and not test your nerves and patience with free hosting.

      1. Totally (I mean TOTALLY) first-time WordPress user. Some years ago I used Joomla but then changed to Softpress, but we wish to change the site over to WordPress. From your recommendation above I have downloaded WordPress from the Bitnami website in the hope that, as I’m only testing and playing with it at this stage, both of your steps 1 and 2 could be eliminated. But I have no idea how to get started, or if this even makes sense. Your comments would be appreciated!

        1. John,

          For further information about Bitnami WordPress stack setup please refer to Bitnami website as there are loads of things that needs to be covered and therefore we would need to write another 6,000 word article for that. We might do it at some point but for now you should either go with Bluehost for sake of simplicity for go with Bitnami and check their website for further support.
          Sorry for inconvenience.

    2. I hosted my websites at some cheap hosting providers and now I am at WP Engine and the difference is huge.

      I think that finding a reliable hosting is even more important than how the make the actual website.

    1. This guide is completely free to use but hosting and domain is paid as there are no good free options available. But we have recommended hosting with the best price/performance ration therefore you will get the best possible deal.

  8. I have joomla site, but i am planning to go with wordpress. I am not happy with ipage.com so i will try bluehost like you said.

    Thank you for this tutorial!

    1. Your mentioned website runs on an outdated theme called Evolve and outdated version of WordPress which is not even secure to be used anymore. You aren’t even using iPage hosting but rather hosting by some small local German based hosting provider. I am not sure what you wanted to say with your comment but your actions doesn’t match what you are saying.

      Still if you need any help with hosting setup, WordPress configuration, WordPress themes and plugins please let me know and I will try to help you from there.

  9. I created a couple of web pages such as News and Events(menu) which will then lead to me to Photo Gallery page. I have added multiple widgets with media photos using Gallery and Slideshow however I would like to know how to I create “panes” that will divide the page one, will categorize the photos(on the left pane) and then the other(right pane) will show the pictures.

    Right the Photo Gallery is bare widgets I would like to Set a Title at the top of each set of slide.

    1. Hugh,

      Not necessarily and you can use your phone, tablet or get a temporary access to some computer. It is always easier to use a computer to setup a website rather than using a phone or smartphone because of limited screen real estate and limited input but it can be done.

  10. I have blog on my website. For blog i put WordPress application on it. But now Google Webmaster is showing Entry Title hatom error in Structure data. But all the titles are there. Can anyone help me out with this.

    1. Carl,

      Make sure to report this bug to theme developer as theme lacks a proper Schema markup. Here you can read more what blog post markup should be used. If the developer doesn’t want to fix his theme you can always choose a theme that is already done properly from beginning such as these.

  11. Hi
    very nice tutorial. I want to install the arabic language for my website . Can you please suggest me the best plugin for the web translate and hwo to install and configure that.

    Many Thanks,
    Ahmed

    1. Ahmed,

      If you are just looking to translate the site into Arabic and use this one language only instead of going multilingual you don’t need any plugins at all. WordPress is already translated into Arabic and you just have to change a language in WordPress settings and many parts of a theme will be translated as well. If you want to translate theme fully you can follow this guide. However, in most cases it is going to be plenty just switching language in WordPress settings.

      We highly recommend WPML plugin to create a multilingual websites. It is a premium plugin but their support is worth the price on its own. Also, it is compatible with all WordPress themes and is the simplest solution out there. More information about this plugin available here.

  12. Great guide, and it’s wild to think that this is just the beginning. Once you really start digging into WordPress you’ll be amazed what you can make it do!

  13. Very helpful tutorial. I want to create WordPress website for my new business. But I am looking best themes, but Confused about them. Please share some WordPress themes for my Business website.

    1. This is the right place to start to create your own business website. Once you get to the point in the tutorial where you have to choose the theme you can choose one from this outstanding list.

  14. Hello,

    I am just starting setting up my blog about sustainability in various areas (textile, food…).
    I am French and I would like to write both in French and English as to widen my target audience.

    I would like to have a super simple theme which looks modern and can adapts itself to smaller screens, can be changed while on the go, search engine friendly and that can customize enough so that my site looks unique. Looks pretty much like a 5-legs sheep.
    I have checked the 50 suggested themes, and I am a bit lost now. Would you recommend Sparkling, Dazzling, Ascent or Quidus?
    I like that site happyngood.com but I cannot see with which one I could have this kind of set up.

    It seems that Ascent is the only one that allows easy multilingual set up. Is this correct?

    Then I would add an e-commerce area within a semester to a year.

    Would you recommend to try several lay-out in kind of a A/B testing to see which one works best?

    As a complete newbie I appreciate your time.

    Best regards

    1. Sachin,

      Costs depend on hosting, themes, plugins, and services that you will use. Initial costs are usually around $50-150. And then you will need to pay for domain and hosting on yearly basis which is usually around $50/year.

  15. Sveiki! Aigars, this is very extensive step-by-step guide. Exactly what I need to include in our theme documentation. Will include a link pointing to this post. Thanks for sharing great stuff like always.

  16. Excellent guide for beginners to start a website or blog …but I still have a question..
    Can we show and use media files on WordPress website?

  17. Hi Aigars!
    Brilliant tutorial! I have a few questions.
    I have been wondering for a while about which premium Worpress theme to get for my website. I want to create a website where users can place their paid and free lists where other people can see their list so that my clients can promote themselves and their work (digital products) with review section underneath their list.
    I think that submitted lists will look a bit similar to Reddit.
    2. Also I want to create these sections: a forum and blog (to build community), bidding section maybe and maps. For further development it would be great to be able to give my clients an ability to sell via my website so I could get percentage from sell.
    What theme do you suggest? Thank you.

    1. Rocco,

      You are looking to get way too much from themes. Themes are all about design and building blocks to create a layout but not functionality. Functionality comes from plugins.
      For example, you can sell products using the WooCommerce plugin, build a forum using bbPress and community website using BuddyPress. These are free WordPress plugins that work with most WordPress themes out there.
      The best solution for you would be to start with a multipurpose theme such as these and then install plugin by plugin to get the functionality you are looking for.

  18. Hi. Just curious, but for someone who is learning about HTML web development in college currently, what’s the point in learning all that code when you can just make a WP website?

    Like CSS or HTML or PHP what is the point of learning all those when you can make a WP website and bypass all that?

    1. Rayan,

      If you want to build a simple website just for yourself there is almost no point of learning coding just for that. It will be way faster to hire someone to do for you instead of learning. If you want to become a web developer then there is no way not to learn PHP, CSS, HTML, JavaScript. While you can put ready-made themes and plugins together in many cases it won’t be enough and you will need to build some extra functionality and do other code tweaks. Also there are many cases where you can’t use WordPress or any other platform as core and you have to code everything on your own. And in general learning something new never hurts as it practices your brain and that’s what counts the most.

  19. Hi,
    I want to design a website similar to speechpad or transcribeme. Fully functional, everything include.. Can I develop it in wordpress or I need some other cms?

  20. Well I Can Say That This Post is Beautifully Designed For Newbies Blogger..
    Simple and Eligent Guide 😉
    That’s Y I Love Colorib

  21. Hi Aigars,

    Great Post. I like read this article because of website setup guide is awesome. By all the above steps beginner can also build quality website.
    Your website setup guide is very ingenious. I appreciate….!

    Thanks for sharing,

  22. Hi Aigars,
    You mentioned that the best place to host your website is WPengine, however they don’t provide domain names. Company for domain would be GoDaddy, but I think you said that GoDaddy is not reliable, am I right? If yes, then what would you suggest?

    1. Rock,

      Domains can be registered with Godaddy, NameCheap, Name.com and others. Godaddy is well regarded as a domain name registrar but not a hosting provider. They do domain management well and you shouldn’t worry about that but when it comes to hosting I would think twice before joining them.

  23. Hello,

    I found this very helpful however i do have a problem. I want to make a website that is like a newspaper. It has articles and all of that. However, I am 14, and i really don’t have a credit card or anything. So, i cant pay for WordPress. Do you know any website makers that are free to use and build? Thank you so much!

    Sincerely,
    Darian D.

    1. Darian,

      You can use WordPress.com which is a hosted service. The problem is going to be that you won’t have an option to use any of 3rd party themes and plugins but you will get a free website up and running. Once your news site grows you can always upgrade to self-hosted WordPress.

  24. Hi Aigars Silkalns,

    I am a first time user of Amazon Web Services and I have created a free account and installed the wordpress by bitnami options including doing the following:
    1. Created Security Group (including a SSH, HTTP, and HTTPS Port)
    2. Created Key Pair and downloaded the file.
    3. Created elastic IP.
    4. So the wordpress is running, and i am using a purchased theme – followed the directions to set it up. Now its structure wise ready however i need to now do customization using child themes and languages.

    However, I am having issues connecting filezilla to my server, neither do I have a FTP system ready neither is there clear tutorials guiding the process of FTP link to wordpress in AWS for first timers – my result keeps showing not timeout – not connecting to the server.

    Secondly, I have no clue what is the process of including the MYSQL in my wordpress site, I feel like i am missing out on critical development environment requirements as there is no clear checklist that provides guidance on complete setup requirements.

    Please let me know what are the critical points I am missing that i need to undertake to ensure a complete well hosted secure site is created like a professional developer would create.

    Your guidance would be greatly helpful.

    1. Naatasia,

      AWS is in no shape and form meant for beginners. It is even more complex than a regular VPS setup. To make things easier I would recommend using EasyEngine or some other similar tool that helps you with WordPress setup and optimisation. We use EasyEngine on Digital Ocean but it does work on AWS as well.

  25. I had my site set up for me but there is a page called tours that is not showing anywhere and i wanted to put it at the top of my home page with the other tabs (flights,hotels cars,etc but cannot figure out how to do this )
    Also if i want to add a text and image link / widget to a page do i have to do it via the page template plage or can i do it from just the edit link to the page (it would be code links )

  26. Nice article,
    I am going to start a blog in wordpress, your article really helps me to understand how to do it.
    Thanks alot.

  27. Thanks for sharing such informative knowledge about WordPress. It is very beneficial for the beginners, Who want to learn about making the website with WordPress CMS.

  28. hello i want create wordpress site but i don’t now codes can u learn me where i can order wordpress site for me ?

  29. I think excellent solutions you provided here for beginners. Easy steps with detailed information to learn the WordPress website design. Nice post! Keep it…

  30. Great article! Very useful for everyone wanting to build up their website in WordPress and are wondering where to start off. I like the clear and organised way you explain the basics step-by-step, we’ve written an article about the same topic, it also gives a clear introduction for WordPress beginners.

  31. i have purchased new domain and host . i have tried to using wordpress for design. but url ending with the wp..
    how to avoid?

    1. Amir,

      Make sure to contact your hosting provider. They will be happy to help with this problem. There are two possible causes of it. Either you used an URL in settings that has /wp in it or either you didn’t make your website in the root on your server. Both these things are easily to fix by someone who is familiar with WordPress but for a beginner you might end up completely breaking your website.

  32. Thanks for sharing this guide. I was looking for a simple and good guide in making websites using wordpress. Good job in making this guide. It’s easy to understand and apply.

  33. Thanks for the review! It is good to the point that I am actually thinking about building an ecommerce on WordPress now. The platform I have been currently using for that is SITE123, which also gives me great results and better design than WordPress. The bad thing about WordPress is the plugin part as it may be a little hard sometimes or unreliable as you said when the plugin is from third parties. SITE123 is a lot better on that with their new app market and plugin manager. Anyway, great tutorial! One last thing: lol with gotahoe.com!

    1. Victor,

      WordPress might be confusing to begin with but you can achieve so much more than using any website builder. If you can get past the initial learning curve it will just get better from there in a long run.

  34. Hi Aigars,

    Very helpful post for beginners who would like to start a website; I agree that WordPress is the best platform for newbies who would like to create their site themselves without hiring anyone.

    Great post, Thanks for sharing!

  35. Hey Aigers
    I want to thank you for this post. My WordPress site was installed yesterday and I have picked some ToDo from this post. I will be launching my blog on 29th August which is my birthday. I will contact you before then to help me analyze before the day of launching. Thanks once more for this post.

  36. I think excellent solutions you provided here for beginners. Easy steps with detailed information for them to learn the WordPress website design. BTW it was such a Nice post! Keep it…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *