Building a website can be both exciting and a bit intimidating. If it’s your first time building a site from scratch in WordPress and you have just purchased a domain, you might not be sure what to do next. If that’s the case, following these eight easy steps will help you get your new website up and running.
STEP 1: Determine the purpose of your website
Will your website be information-based like a blog or will it be an e-commerce site? Deciding what you want to accomplish with your website is the foundation that affects the general layout as well as the user’s experience.
STEP 2: Buy hosting
You can purchase hosting one of two ways.
- Purchasing hosting at the same time as the domain. This is the best option if you expect between 0-10 visitors a day to your site. If you select this option, we suggest paying the hosting monthly to start.
- Buying the hosting separately from the domain. This option will likely lead to improved hosting since the company you select will primarily focus on this service. You can also find better hosting deals this way.
Wondering what level of hosting you need? In our experience, 99% of websites don’t need significant hosting. A good rule of thumb is to pick the second-lowest offer. Try to find coupons or even a Groupon offer to lower your hosting bill. You should never have to pay full price for hosting.
STEP 3: Tell your domain registrant where to host your files
If you bought hosting when you purchased your domain, skip this step. If not, the domain needs to know where to host your files. You can tell your domain registrant where to host your files in cPanel. In fact, you can take many important actions in cPanel, including your next step, which will be setting or downloading a theme for your website.
STEP 4: Set the theme of your website
On hosting sites like WordPress, you will be given a default theme with a homepage and a few other template pages already built-in; however, you can get better quality and more robust updates with paid themes. We’ve found that Theme Forest is one of the best paid theme services out there. Select a user-friendly theme that complements your website’s purpose.
STEP 5: Add features with plug-ins
Plug-ins are features that allow you to edit metadata and create an XML sitemap for your website. They can also create default settings for titles across the website’s pages, set up contact forms or chat features, and change the appearance of your URL. You will want to ensure that the URL of your website and its pages are both keyword-rich and SEO-friendly.
One of the most popular plug-ins out there is Yoast. Yoast optimizes websites so that they can get more visitors from the top search engines. While you won’t get to the top of the SERPS — or search engine results pages — right away, it’s a valuable plug-in for someone with minimal knowledge about search engine optimization.
STEP 6: Perform a demo import
At first, your website won’t look like the theme you selected. You will need to do a demo import before it will adopt the theme. To make this happen in WordPress, go to Demo Import > Theme. You will get a warning stating that this will delete everything you already did, which is why we recommend setting this up before adding any content to your website.
After that, install and activate the suggested plug-ins. Now, you’re ready for Step 7.
STEP 7: Set up your pages and build content
Finally, it’s time to produce content! Now is the time to set up critical pages like the Homepage, About Us page, Contact page, and a page listing the services you offer or products you sell. You can also add a page to feature customer testimonials or company reviews. It’s also a good idea to create menus for navigation, or links back to the homepage.
You will want to add your blog, diagrams, videos, and/or photographs to your website to give visitors a complete picture of your business. You can get free images from Pixlr or do a Google search and refine it with the term “fair use.” Be sure to use images that are smaller than a megabyte; otherwise, they will cause a delay in your website’s loading time and may prevent your website from loading on mobile phones.
The goal of your website is to drive traffic. The more substance included in your website, the more visually appealing and informational it will be for visitors, who will have less trouble finding it than if it did not contain this information
Now, you are almost done setting up your website. On to Step 8!
STEP 8: Get HTTPS
HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. This is the secure version of HTTP that encrypts communication between browsers and websites. Not only does it create security for you and your viewers, but it also gives you a good ranking from an SEO standpoint.
Now that you have all the steps you need to create your website after you’ve purchased a domain, it’s time to get going. Building a website for the first time can be time-consuming, so dedication and determination are key to your site’s success. Keep your chin up and, if you ever get stuck, YouTube always has great tutorials to help you get the ball rolling again. Best of luck!
At Market My Market, we pride ourselves on top website design and development. Talk to our webmasters for a free quote on building your very own custom site from the ground up. Call (800) 954-9441 or fill out our contact form to get started.