how to start a website

How to start your own website. Complete step by step

Table of Contents

In this era, you can build and design a website even without knowledge of code or web development.

Whether it is a brand website or a blog that will require articles, the things you will need in creation are almost the same. 

In this article, I will take you through a step-by-step guide to get your website online and performing. You will learn the right tools you need, the plugins that work best, and all other resources that will ease your website creation experience.

You need to carefully choose the right tools, hosting, resources, and plugins carefully because making a wrong decision or step in the setup can be a disaster that can be fatal to your website’s performance.

 

What is included in this post:

  1. What you need
  2. In this setup, we are going to use Namehero: Why we are using Namehero
  3. Choosing your domain name
    1. How to choose a domain name
    2. Different TLD’s available. Which one should I choose?
    3. Domain Registration: How to register your Domain
  4. Decide on hosting
    1. How to choose the best hosting

What you need in setting up a website.

Domain name: This is a unique address that internet users will use to access your website.

For example, yoursitename.com.

Website hosting: this is a service that allows posting a website on the internet. Simply think of it as renting a place on the internet.

To get your website fully working, you will need both the domain name and web hosting set up. That’s just the start as a lot more is required to getting your first page and design setup.

let’s get into details on the step-by-step procedures of creating your first website.

How to start a website.

Step 1. Choosing a domain name.

A domain name will be the address of your website. This is the phrase that users will type into your browser to get access to your website. Every website should have a unique domain name.

For example, the domain name for this website is billionairesurge.com.

With a domain name, you can choose anything as long as it’s unique and not taken.

Choosing a domain name shouldn’t be hard but at the same time, it should be done with care.

  • If you are making a business website, your domain name should include the business name. Take an example of this website, the business name is Billionaire surge and our domain name is billionairesurge.com.
  • For a personal website, including your name in the domain name makes great sense. Just as you see popular public figures or celebrities with domain names as their names.
Where does .com, .net. .org and other generics come in?

These are domain extensions that complete the domain name. They help you set targets or shade more light on your website.

Domain name extensions such as .co, .net and . org is usually used if the goal of the website is international visitors.

.de, .fr, .us, .co.uk, .ru and others are usually used when targeting certain country visitors.

There are domain extensions such as .blog, .tech, .space, .online, .store, .site, .design, .biz and others that are used when somebody wants to be more specific in the line the website is in.

Domain names usually range from $5-15 on average. Sometimes, hosting providers give a free domain name on the purchase of their website hosting package.

 

Domain Registration: How to register your Domain[ps2id id=’domain-registration’ target=”/]

To register your domain, you need a domain registrar. There are many domain registrars but we are going to use Namehero as our example. I personally use it and enjoy every bit of it.

Step 1.

Go to www.namehero.com and on the top bar click ‘Domains. Or you can use this direct link here.

You will have such a page

And then type your domain name and search to see if it’s available.

You will be taken to a page showing you various options and prices for the domain name chosen. On average, Namehero sells .com domains at $12.98 per year and of which you can buy up to 10 years.

After selecting your domain name you will be taken to the cart so as you can complete your purchase. The page will look like this

Step 2: Web hosting.

Now that you have a domain name or an idea, you need to get a hosting package that will meet your needs. People usually make a wrong move when selecting hosting.

Web hosting is very important as this will greatly affect the speed, uptime, number of visitors you can have, and the existence of the website on the internet.

Hosting your website can get quite complicated when if you lack basic knowledge.

These days, WordPress websites are very popular and have a lot of solutions. Whether it is a blog or an E-commerce website, WordPress works well on them all.

What you should look for in a hosting company.

  • Enough bandwidth and storage.
  • Ease to set.
  • Affordability.
  • Easy site builder.
  • Secure site certification
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Power over your website and hosting.
  • Bonus features.
  • Custom email accounts.
  • Customer support, preferably 24/7 with an option of live chat or call.

A website hosting that offers most of the qualities above is a good provider.

Hosting can start from as low as $0.9 to even beyond $30 per depending on the package and type of hosting chosen.

Usually, shared hosting is the cheapest with some being as cheap as $0.9 but on average, good shared hosting costs around $2.90 up to around $7.

VPS hosting costs between $20-$30 per month.

Some hosting providers will offer cheap start-up hosting prices and increase prices on renewal. Some renewals even go beyond a 2,711% increment and more.

How to get a website hosting.

Before we proceed, here is our article on how to choose the best hosting provider.

I will still use Namero as I used it to purchase our domain. It is easier and safer to have both the domain name and web hosting.

Go to namehero.com and from the top bar choose web hosting.

You will have a page that shows different hosting packages and prices.

Choose your desired package and duration you want the hosting to last.

After the selection of the hosting package and duration, you will be taken to a page like this below.

You will have the option of purchasing a domain or use an already purchased domain name.

At the next step, you will be given options to add ons that you may choose at a price for a better experience.

You will be taken to the cart to complete your purchases. As for my cart, I chose a year of the domain name and 3 years of web hosting, and guess what am paying.

 

Step 3: Installing WordPress.

Now that you have a domain name and hosting set, it’s time to set up WordPress. WordPress will be the framework or base of your whole website.

The reason I recommend WordPress is because it is so popular with thousands of free designs, plugins, and many tutorials made all over the internet that will make you set up your website easily.

Many hosting providers provide an easy one-click WordPress set up in the cPanel. If you have chosen a web hosting provider that a one-click install of WordPress, you can do it manually.

During the installation of WordPress, you will provide the basic information for your website. You will also create login details for your website.

After the installation of WordPress, test your website by typing your domain name in the browser. If done correctly, you will see a basic website layout.

Step 4: Logging in.

After a complete setup of your website, you will have now login initials that you can use to access the back end of your website. These will give you the power to change edit or add or delete something from your website and of which other users or visitors won’t have.

 To access your dashboard, type your domain name, and then wp-admin. It is simply, yourdomainname/wp-admin/.

Log in using the user name and password you set during the WordPress installation.

How to log in.

To login into your WordPress, you will input your domain name in the URL bar followed by ”wp-admin”. You will have a page like below.

Use the username and password that you set during WordPress installation.

You will have the admin dashboard on the next page if the password and username were correct. Here is my dashboard.

Step 5: Choose a theme.

After the WordPress setup, your website will have a basic design and theme. It is at this time that you have to choose a theme for your website before you start designing pages on the website. See the best word press themes for e-commerce here

One of the great features of WordPress is the ease to change themes. There are thousands of free Themes like Astra to premium themes or other great themes that aren’t on WordPress such as the super-fast Acabado.

The theme you choose will determine the navigation and layout of your website. A poor theme will give a bad experience to your users and may affect the website negatively when you lose clients and visitors

It is simple to set up the theme, just go to your WordPress dashboard. (After step 4 of login).

From the dashboard, Scroll and click on appearance, a drop-down will appear with a list of options will appear and of which themes will be among. It is usually at the top of the list.

You will land on a list of themes that are installed on your WordPress. Click on add new to open a page of a list of themes you can install. 

The page will have a lot of themes with an option of preview to give you a picture of how the website will appear if you choose that theme.

To preview the theme before installing it, hover over it to bring the option of the preview.

In case you like the theme on preview, you can install and use it by clicking the install button in the top left corner.

How to choose a theme.

On the dashboard, hover over appearance to bring a submenu that will have themes as the first option.

 

Step 6: Customize the theme.

After installing the theme, you will be able to change somethings and customize them to your preference.

In the theme customization panel, you will be able to add a logo, change website scheme colors, and fonts.

Different themes have different customization options that will improve your website’s appearance and visibility.

Step 7: Add relevant plugins.

Now that your website is set up with the theme you like, it is now time to add more managing addons that will boost performance, navigability and make things around the website both at the front and backend.

These will be called plugins. You should however be careful about the plugins you use because some might break, slow down or mess around with things on your website.

Talking about plugins, if you can do something without a plugin that’s a far better option.

Usually, when am building a website, the first few plugins I install are;

Elementor: this is a drag and drop website builder that you can use to design pages even without knowledge of code.

Classic editor: works better than the default WordPress editor when writing articles or content on your website.

Yoast SEO: This plugin provides you with SEO solutions such as page content analysis, XML site maps, and a lot more on writing ranking articles.

Security plugins: these guards your website from huckers

You can stop at these at the start as you figure out which other plugins will work best depending on the purpose of your website.

How to add plugins.

On the admin dashboard, go to plugins and click. You will have a menu of already installed plugins and a button at the top that can let you install new plugins.

Step 8: Design pages.

I usually start with the homepage because this is the ”face” of the website. The homepage should be properly built because it is where people will land when they type your domain name.

The basic pages on your website include
  • The home page: it is the first page visitors will see when they visit your website.
  • About page: this is a page that will explain what your website is all about.
  • Contact page: this will provide all the basic information in case one wants to contact you.
  • Blog page: a page that will have all your articles. (You don’t build this, just customize it in your theme setting.)

I prefer using a drag and drop page builder because I just don’t how to code and it saves a lot of time. A section that may require you to write 20 lines of code can just be dragged and dropped here you need it in just seconds.

I told you earlier to install the Elemntor plugin because this is one of the best drag and drop builders.

Designing with WordPress and Elementor is easy because you can use templates.

Templates can make designing much easier since they will provide you with a base design and you will just need to change a few things. You will not be designing from scratch.

However, for cute and amazing templates or sections from Elementor,  you should upgrade to its pro version.

To start building, go to ”pages” on your dashboard. A list of pages will appear, go to the page you want to edit and hover over it. It will bring options of which edit with Elementor is among. This is what you should choose.

You can also choose to create new by going on the ‘’add new’’ under pages. With this option, you will get an empty page with a section of drag and drop elements on the left-hand side. Within the page, you will also have the option of choosing a design from templates.

On the left sidebar, you will find a customization panel with elements you can drag and drop on the canvas.

Grab the block, drag, and drop it on the page’s canvas. It will then give you options to edit the block that you have dropped. With these options, you can change the size, color, font, transparency, and everything depending on your preference.

It can be a little hard to get around the blocks but after experimenting and trying out, you will be able to get around quite easily.

To drop another block, in the right corner of the drag and drop panel is an icon made of 9 small square, use that to go to the block selection panel.

You might also want to edit a page you are currently visiting as a visitor on your website.

As long as you are logged in the same browser, you will have a strip you can use to access your dashboard even when you are accessing the website as a visitor. On that strip, you can edit any page you are on by just clicking edit with Elelmentor.

Elementor interface

Step 9: Create a navigation menu.

With the page setup, you will now need a navigation menu that will let your users move from page to page.

To create one, in your dashboard, go to ”Appearance” then Menus and click on ”create a new menu.”

  • Add a title to the menu you are creating. This will help you recognize it since you can have more than one menu.
  • Select all the pages you want to be added to the menu. You can also create custom links or posts on this menu.
  • After checking all the pages, click ”Add to menu” to get the pages added.
  • Rearrange the way you want the pages to follow one another by dragging and dropping them in the order that you want.
  • Depending on your theme, select the location where you would wish your menu to show. Some themes give the option of having a menu in the footer and header sections of the website.
  • To select the header section, choose ”primary” and the menu will be displayed in the header.
  • Don’t forget to click the ”Save menu” button.

Step 10. Optimize for SEO.

At this moment, your website is set and ready to launch. All pages are check

You need to carry out search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your website’s success.

Good and friendly SEO can attract traffic to your website and lead to its success.

A website with good SEO will have a higher conversion rate, less bounce rate, and has a higher chance of ranking in Google.

  • Analyze website data to ensure it’s on point and in line with what your website is meant to be.
  • Research keywords that you want your website to rank for. Keywords are the magic triggers of traffic to your website.
  • Ensure the headlines, URLs, categories, and meta tags are set.
  • Optimize your website for mobile. Websites created with WordPress and Elementor will automatically have your website set for the mobile view.

Step 11: Improve your website speed.

Your website speed matter a lot. A website that takes long to load will have poor conversions, a high bounce rate and this will negatively affect your rank in search engines.

Visitors will click back and go look at some other website if yours is taking long to load. Avoid that by getting your site lightning fast.

Here is how you will do it. 

Go to Google page speed insight, a tool by Google itself. The tool will analyze your site’s speed and tell you what may be slowing your website.

Fix it to be on the safe side.

Some of the factors that slow your website speed are;

  • Bad server or hosting.
  • A lot of code such as heavy CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Too many plugins and addons.
  • Big size images.

Work upon the factors above to improve your website speed.

Step 12: Add Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Now that you are expecting visitors to your website, you will need numbers to know if you are making progress. Don’t juggle around with tools on the internet looking or buying tools for this purpose. 

Use a free and recommended tool by Google called Google analytics. This will give you all the information such as 

  • Location of your visitors
  • Time spent on the website.
  • Pageviews.
  • Source of traffic.
  • The behavior of visitors on your website

And a lot more useful numbers and statistics from your website.

How to add Google analytics to your website.
  • To start, you should have a Gmail.
  • Go to google.com/analytics.
  • You will then set up a property. This the part you input your website name and URL.
  • The next step is verifying and putting a tracking code into your website.
  • After connecting your website with Google analytic, you will start receiving the performance statistics of your website.

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