Are you looking to design a new blog or a website? Or maybe, you’re looking to redesign the old one? Then, you will find this article perfect for your need.
In this post, we will discuss everything you will need to design a website using WordPress. If you’re looking to make a new website, then there are few things to consider:
- Domain TLD.
- Type of CMS (Content Management System).
- Any many other parameters which make your website successful.
We will discuss all of these things and even beyond.
If you stick around until the end, you will have your blog or website up and be running.
Let’s get started.
Step By Step Guide to Create your Website using WordPress
Step 1: Find The Perfect Domain Name For Your Website Or Blog
The first thing you need when you want to launch a website is the domain name.
A domain name is a URL or the website address that a user types in the browser.
You would have been visiting www.amazon.com for your daily needs purchasing from Grocery to Garments. For Amazon, their domain name is “amazon.com”
If you have the domain name with you, you can skip this step. But if you don’t even have a domain name, follow this step. Reading this section will certainly help you in choosing the right domain name for your website.
Before you decide on a domain name, you must take inspiration from the type of the business that you’re going to start. You can search the available domain names on the websites of the domain registrar. But if you need some impressive brand domain names, then I would recommend you to check out Flame Domain.
Flame Domain is a domain name research tool that allows you to find beautiful pronounceable domain names within a matter of seconds.
We have compiled a list of preferred websites to buy a domain name. Check them out or you are free to buy your domain name anywhere else, wherever you are happy.
Some tips to consider when you buy a domain name:
- You should avoid using hyphens in a domain name.
- Make it short and memorable.
- Avoid mis-spellings within your domain name.
This article on best domain name practices is a good read to check out if you wish to read further on this topic.
Step2: Select A Hosting Provider – Buy Hosting
Now, that you have got the perfect name for your website, it’s time to get the hosting for your website.
Hosting is the space for your website files, content and data. You have to buy hosting from a hosting company, which have a large number of physical servers throughout the world.
There are many hosting companies.
Since you will be keeping your files on the server, it’s important to choose the right hosting company.
Some of the important point to consider while choosing a hosting company is:
- Hidden Charges
That is why you must consider buying hosting from a reliable and professional hosting company.
There are various types of hosting servers available. They are Shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Servers and much more.
Based on your requirements you need to select the web hosting server. If you are just starting the website and you don’t expect much of website visitors just during launch, it’s better to start with the budget-friendly and shared hosting servers.
One hosting company which we can recommend is Siteground.
Three Reasons To get Hosting from SiteGround:
- They have one of the best support – 24x7 live chat support.
- They use the modern caching technology which makes your site faster.
- They have one-click WordPress installation option.
Step 3: Prepare The Plan For Your Website
Now that you’ve got the domain and hosting ready, it’s time to put your thinking caps on. Most of the work that you will do later, can become easy if you plan well.
As the proverb says, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The first thing that you need to do in the planning stage is to figure out the goals and objectives of your website.
- What is it what you want to achieve with the website?
- Who is your target audience?
- What do you want them to do?
- What will be your call to action?
- What will be the lead magnet?
After you have got a clear idea of the goal and objectives, you should spend some time in detailing the features and flow of the website. After you have got the most important flow correct, you should be prepared with an idea of the most important pages and how will they be interlinked.
You should now document everything so that you can use it as a future reference.
Next, you should prepare a mockup of your site. You can use a design tool like Photoshop or any other software to prepare your mockup.
You can even use a pen and paper to create a general feel for the website. But don’t neglect the documentation.
If you’re a freelancer or an agency, then the planning stage should be more detailed. You can read our article in which we have described the website designing process for clients.
Which Web Platform or CMS Should You Choose?
Now that you have a clear idea on the design, flow, and features of your website, you have to take one of the most important decisions for your website- which platform or CMS should you choose.
If you’re going to build a simple static website, you can choose to build an HTML site. You can either choose simple HTML template and build a site by customizing the template or choose a self-hosted HTML platform like Wix.
While HTML templates are easy to install, keep in mind that you will need to know the basics of HTML and CSS if you want to customize them.
If you don’t have expertise in HTML, CSS and need help with your website, you can find a great website designer from WebDesignShow itself. We have been regularly featuring the best of the website designers across the globe.
With the self-hosted platform, however, you won’t need to know HTML and CSS. You will have the drag and drop options. However, if you want more customization on your site, it’s best that you hire an HTML designer.
In case, you want your website to have a blog, you will need to update the HTML design each time you write an article written in HTML. This can be cumbersome. Also, this will cost you more money in the long run if you’re hiring a developer to manage your website. Here lies the advantage of Content Management System (CMS).
CMS is a software application that makes it easy to create, edit, publish and manage content. There are many CMS applications, however, WordPress is the most popular among them all.
With a CMS like WordPress, you don’t need to code. You can simply drag and drop without any coding. (Here we are referring to self-hosted opensource WordPress, the wordpress.org and not the wordpress.com.)
Yes, you can design a website using WordPress without writing a line of code!
Let’s discuss few of the advantages of WordPress in brief:
- Easy To Use: The biggest advantage of all is the ease of use. Anyone can learn and become a pro in WordPress just by following youtube tutorials.
- Inexpensive: WordPress is an open-source software which doesn’t cost you anything. Since it’s a self-hosted blogging platform, you need to pay for the hosting and the domain (which you already have by now).
- Easy Theme options: Themes make the design of the website. You can simply change your design by switching to a new theme. Users can download free themes from the WordPress repository or buy a premium theme as per your choice.
- Easy Customizations With Plugins: With the help of plugins, users can customize their site and add or delete features easily.
- Strong Community: WordPress has an active and strong community. So, you will always have strong support if you need any help.
- SEO friendly: With the help of popular SEO plugins, you can easily control the on-page aspects of SEO of your site which will help you to secure high rankings.
- By comparing all the options of web-platform- HTML, self-hosted HTML platform, and WordPress CMS, we can conclude that WordPress is the best option for anyone who wishes to get started just right now.
The rest of the article has been written keeping in mind, that you have chosen WordPress as your website platform.
(If for any reason, you’ve decided to choose HTML site, then you can read this tutorial.)
Step 4: Install WordPress On Your Hosting Server
Now, that you have both the domain and hosting, the next thing you need to do is install WordPress on your hosting.
Before Installing WordPress, Let’s connect your domain to your hosting.
Before you do anything, you need to make sure, that you have pointed your domain to your hosting. Most of the time, the domain you have bought will be parked by the domain registrar.
You have to log in to your domain registrar account and change the nameserver settings to the new hosting nameserver that you just bought.
In case, you don’t know what is the nameserver settings, check the welcome email sent by the hosting company. It might take few hours for the domain name to propagate depending upon the TTL settings.
You will then need to login to the Cpanel of your new hosting and add the new domain as your add-on domain if this is not your primary domain. If this domain is your primary domain, then skip this step.
Sometimes it takes few minutes and sometimes 24 hours. So, after a maximum of about 24 hours, you can install WordPress on your domain.
Now, that your domain is ready, you’re ready to install the WordPress on your hosting.
Within cPanel, you will find the Softaculous option.Click on that option and enter.
Once in your Softaculous dashboard, look for the WordPress icon. (Based on your hosting provider, the Softaculous option may not there but something else would be there that would allow WordPress installation with one click).
Select it, and click Install on your domain name.
Keep the directory option blank if you want to install the WordPress on the root domain.
You will have to fill a form with the admin username and password. Also, the e-mail id and description of your website.
Once the installation is complete, you will see a message that WordPress has been installed. You can now log in to your WordPress dashboard with the admin username and password you selected during the installation process.
If you want further clarification, you can read this short guide: How to Install WordPress
Step 5:Choose Beautifully Designed WordPress Theme
Now, you’ve installed the WordPress, you will need a theme to design your website.
There are hundreds of quality WordPress themes respective to each category.
You can find free themes as well as premium themes for each category.
Premium themes cost you money but come with a load of benefits.
Some benefits of choosing a premium theme for your project:
Support: Any theme which is premium, comes with support. That is priceless.
Loading time: Most of the premium themes are minimalistic and have faster loading time.
Easy Customization: Nowadays themes comes with a variety of customization options so that you can click to customize your site with no coding.
SEO – Premium themes now come with coding that boost SEO of your website.
All of the premium themes come with the above benefits.
However, when buying a premium WordPress theme, you should look for some more essential features.
Some Essential Features you must have in a WordPress Theme
If you have decided to use a simple WordPress theme, here are some essential features you should look for:
- Simple Customization options: Most of the premium themes come with the admin settings panel where all the important settings are grouped together. You can change font, colors and everything just by the click of a mouse.
- Demo Import Options: Many themes now comes with multiple demo import options. What this means is that you can import the exact design that the theme authors have designed. So, you can simply import any theme, whose design you like. But again there are few WordPress themes where demo import options are not required as they come with inbuilt builders.
- Updates and Fixes: When you’re buying a premium theme, you must look at the changelog, whether they’re updating the theme and fixing bugs on regular basis. If yes, that should make you more confident purchasing the theme.
- Support from the Theme Developer: This is crucial. You bought a premium theme and your site is stuck due to an error in the theme, you will need the support from the theme developer. The theme company from where you bought this theme should be available to support you in the time of need.
Some Recommended WordPress Themes
Now that you have decided to build a WordPress website with a premium theme, it’s time to select the right one for your WordPress website design project. Let’s have a look at some of the common themes and theme memberships.
Jupiter is a very common multi-purpose theme. It has global style setting through which you can use to change your layout in the header, menu, etc.
Jupiter WordPress Theme comes with Visual Composer plugin through which you can design the rest of the page. But it doesn’t have the Visual Composer Add-on plugin, which limits the use of the Visual Composer plugin.
Checkout: Jupiter Theme.
The Divi theme comes with its own proprietary front-end visual page builder. What really impressed us about this theme is that you can set the general style of your website on the WordPress Appearance screen.
Then add a custom style to any item you want to insert into your page. Let’s say you want to add a button but it should be different from the other buttons. With Divi Theme, you can define general styles for all buttons, and then add a custom style for that specific button, even by writing your own CSS code.
We have literally tested Divi Theme for building beautiful small websites or one-page website in net 30 minutes. Divi theme has many premade layouts, niche-focused, to get started in under few moments.
We recommend you to read our detailed Divi Theme Review.
At the heart of the Extra Theme is the front end visual Divi Page Builder. Extra Theme comes with dozens of more features, which you can use to build any kind of blog you want – niche, review, travel, video blog, and likes.
We recommend you to read our detailed Extra Theme Review.
Thrive Themes is built with conversion in mind. If you need to build conversion-focused pages or landing pages, then Thrive Themes is your best option. Thrive themes comes with its content builder, known as Thrive Architect.
Thrive themes work little differently and it takes only a day to learn it properly, or even much less time. There are many ready-to-publish themes that can get you started in no time.
We recommend you to read our detailed Thrive Themes Review.
My Theme Shop
My Theme Shop is a very popular Theme Club. You can access all their 100+ themes and plugins with a simple monthly membership. All of their themes look great on all devices, are fast and easily customizable.
You can check all the themes offered by MyThemeShop here.
Genesis Themes by StudioPress
Genesis theme by Studiopress is also a very good option. It has some excellent built-in features like multiple layouts, SEO friendly schema tags and many more. Genesis Theme is a framework which you need to purchase and install on your WordPress website.
After you have the Genesis Theme Framework installed, you can either create your own child theme (if you have knowledge of website development or get it done from a website developer); or further get a free Genesis Child Theme or buy one.
Studiopress even has a marketplace where you can buy child themes of Genesis parent theme, so you can easily create good looking themes.
Let’s discuss the Page Builders
You would have read above that few of the themes comes with their page builders. If you are someone to whom Page Builders is something new to explore, please read this section.
With page builders, you can easily build layouts and designs just by drag and drop options. There are many page builders in the market. All of these page builders have easy learning curve and tons of tutorials so you don’t need to worry if you get stuck somewhere.
Let’s have a brief look at few of them.
Divi Page Builder
Divi Page builder is compatible with any theme. You can easily create beautiful layouts within any theme.
With more than 46 content modules, Divi page builder gives you endless possibilities. Just drag and drop to create any type of website you want. Visually. Yes, you can build websites visually.
Check out the Divi Page Builder.
Thrive Architect is another popular WYSIWYG visual editor. WYSIWYG is known for What You See Is What You Get. Thrive Architect has all important modules that you will need to build a conversion focused page. Its strong point is the ease of creating highly focused landing page. There are many options within the plugin to build a landing page.
Check out: Thrive Architect.
We have covered important premium WordPress Themes and few great page builders. These are the themes and products which we ourselves used or many of our clients use.
We will update this post with new WordPress themes and Page Builders as and when we find something interesting and a great product with great support.
By now, you must be clear which theme you would want to buy. Themes are very important because the choice of the theme will decide how your website is going to look. You also need to see which theme fits in your budget.
After you’ve decided on the choice of theme, it’s time to install it.
Step 6: Install WordPress Theme
After logging in to your WordPress dashboard, see the Appearance option on the left. Go to Appearance> Themes> Add New. Then click Upload Theme.
From there, just select the compressed folder containing the theme files and upload it. Wait and then enable.
For other ways to install a WordPress theme, read this article on our blog.
Step 7: Choose Your WordPress Plugins
By now you might have selected the best WordPress theme for your website. But just choosing a theme is not sufficient. If you want specific functions and features in your website, you will need the help of plugins. If you are even looking to add a simple gallery, you will need the help of a plugin.
Plugins are pieces of software that help to add some important functions to your blog and customize your website. They allow you to build awesome features on your sites like form, gallery, social media sharing and many more.
Here are some essential plugins along with their utility:
- Sucuri– It helps you to protect your site from all kind of unwanted attacks like malware, XSS attacks etc.
- Yoast SEO– It is one of the popular plugins which help you in your SEO efforts. You can manage the on-page SEO elements with the Yoast SEO plugin.
- Contact Form 7/ Gravity Forms– To build forms on your website.
- W3 Total Cache – Helps you to make your website faster by compressing and caching of files.
- All in One Schema – It helps you to insert the appropriate schema tags within your website.
- Backupbuddy– It is a plugin which automates the backup and restores of your WordPress blog.
These are the very basic list of plugins.
There are many more plugins which you may need which you can find from the plugins section. Or let us know what you wish to achieve in the comments section at the end of this page and we will help you with some ideas and references to plugins.
Step 8:Install the WordPress Plugin
You should see the option of Plugin Installation within the WordPress dashboard. There are three ways in which you install a plugin within WordPress.
You can read about it in this post on our blog.
Step 9: Content Creation
Now that you have your theme and plugins installed, you will need content on your site.
Check the website plan that you have written at the beginning.
Prepare all the text content for all pages that are there in the website plan.
Write it yourself or hire you can also hire a freelance content writer for the job.
Apart from text content, you will also need multimedia content like Images and Videos. Also, make sure, you have a beautiful logo, slider, and banner images that make your pages attractive. For creating images and videos, you will need to hire a graphic designer if you’re not good with Photoshop yourself.
Step 10: Test your WordPress website
By now, you have completed the website design using WordPress. Now test out your website thoroughly.
Check out for responsiveness on different devices. Also, check for compatibility using different browsers. Also, thoroughly test out the navigation links, whether they are linking correctly or not. Don’t forget to check the forms on the website, whether they are delivering the email to the desired email id.
If you find any issues, resolve it. Now you have finished creating a website using WordPress.
Transfer From Local To Server- Additional Step If You Were Working On Local Server
If you have followed our post to the T, just ignore this step because you already have the website live. (You should be proud of your accomplishment if you’re doing it for the first time!)
But if you have built your WordPress website on the local server like XAMPP, WAMP or similar, then it’s time to migrate your website. We have an easy tutorial on how to migrate from local to the server on our blog.
Test, Test, Test
Now, that you have launched your site and is live and running, your job is not over.
Test the website again. Test it for responsiveness, usability, and functionality. Once more.
Make an excel sheet with all the bugs that you find and start to resolve them.
In case you need: Hire a WordPress Design Agency
If you followed our post, you should have no problem in designing a WordPress site. However, if you’re busy and would like to hire an expert for the job, we also have few recommendations for it.
#1 BusinessLabs – It is one of premium quality experts, hand-picked by the founders of BusinessLabs and has over 100 successful mid-sized to large projects delivered and under maintenance.
#2 Solutions 4 Biz – They are passionate about technology and you can trust them with your project, however, complex it might seem to you. Guys at Solutions 4 Biz have all the solutions for your business needs.
#3 BestWPDevelopers – This is a network of expert WordPress Developers (and website designers working with WordPress).
Creating the perfect website is not easy. It takes continuous hard work. There is always something to optimize, edit and security issues to worry about. You might find bugs from time to time. You might have to keep up with the updates. Or you may want to simple re-design your website.
So, creating a website for the first time is just the beginning of your journey, if you are in for a long-term business. But there’s nothing to worry building your first WordPress website. If you have read this tutorial, you have enough knowledge to get started.
If you get stuck somewhere, just drop a message below. And, we would be happy to help.