How to Make a Website
Making a website can be a way for you to broadcast your views, opinions, information or content to millions of other people all over the world. To many, making a website may seem daunting, however this isn't the case. Anyone can make a website, no knowledge of coding or web design is required to create beautiful and engaging sites. There is only two items that are required for your website to succeed - determination and investment. So let me take you step by step through the process of creating an awesome website to share with people all over the world! (For this tutorial we will be using WordPress)
The first step when making a website is knowing what you will post on your website. Decide what type of website you want to create - whether it be an ecommerce store, a blog, a photography gallery or a website for your business - the first step is knowing what you will post on your site. If you are struggling to keep posting on your site, ask others for help! Sharing your ideas with friends and family is a great way to receive ideas and opinions on what people actually what to see. Once you have your idea set out, then get to creating a name.
Creating a Name and Logo
When creating a name for your site make sure you think of a name that will be catchy and recognisable, try to keep your names short. Your website name will illustrate a viewers first impression of your site, so it is vital that you create a name that you think resonates with your website. Once you have a name figured out, I recommend creating a logo for your site. Like a name, logos are used to associate you work with your site which can be very important. Logos, like names should illustrate your website and its content. Usually at the top of the webpage, logos are one of the first things that viewers are drawn to so make sure to create one that is eye catching and impressive. I recommend using these sites to create your logo - LogoMakr and Canva.
What Will you Post?
Your sites design will only take you so far, all successful websites have one thing in common - great content. Great content doesn't just apply for writing a blog post, but it appeals to all industries. Photographers must have beautiful and engaging photos, ecommerce stores must have easy to use stores with information and images of each product, educational sites must have a range of topics and lessons to teach people all different sorts of skills. Content in my opinion goes hand in hand with design. Without an easy way to access your content, viewers will often click off your site and look for a simpler way to find the solution. That is because we are lazy, we want to figure out the problem now without any hassle. So make sure that with your content you must have viewer friendly ways to access it.
On your site you can post whatever you want, its up to you, but people often struggle to regularly post because they lose inspiration or run out of ideas. My tip for continuing to upload content is to keep learning. Everyday I implore you to learn something new, explore somewhere you've never been before, learn how to play an instrument, DO SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY! From here you can draw inspiration and keep up with regular engaging posts on your site.
Get Hosting - Register your Domain Name
Hosting is very important for your website! You need to have your website up all day everyday, if your website crashes, or goes down then you're losing potential viewers, which is a big no-no. There are various different hosting sites of which are all very reputable, some include - BlueHost, GoDaddy, HostGator however there are many more. Usually hosting costs around $3-$10 per month depending on your plan and various add ons. Personally I would recommend Host Gator, I myself use Host Gator and it works like a charm. With support to guide you through the way there is absolutely no reason to stress or need a previous knowledge of setting up websites.
Your Domain Name
As previously outlined, your website will need a name, I would simply use your intended name as the URL address, the more obscure the name is, chances are that it will be available. But if you're planning on calling your website www.lol.com, I can assure you that the name is taken. When deciding for your domain name make sure that it is
The easier your name is to remember then the better chances you will have of attracting more viewers, which is great! Creating a simple but catchy name is essential and should be well thought out before registering your domain name. If you can't get your domain name (because it is already taken)
Registering Your Domain
Once you have decided on a name for your website, its now time to register it and pay for the ownership of the name. As mentioned before, most domain names cost $3-$10 per month, however you may choose to implement add ons that will cost extra. Once you have registered and paid for your domain then you should receive confirmation of your payment and access to your Control Panel through the email that you registered when paying. The Control Panel will give you access to a range of services that you can implement to improve and monitor your website.
Accessing your Control Panel
With the email you used to purchase your domain you will receive an email regarding the confirmation of your purchase and also your Account Details. On the email you should receive a link to your Control Panel and the login to access it. On your control panel you will have access to a range of services that you can use - analytics, installs, securities and among the range.
Through the Control Panel you will install WordPress to help you create your site. To get to your installation go to Software -> Quick Installs.
Once you have accessed Quick Installs click onto the WordPress install, then select your domain and click next. Here you can fill out your admin file which gives you control to your website. After installing WordPress you should receive a confirmation email and your admin login so that you can access your 'Dashboard' which is used to edit and customize your site.
Creating your Site - Adding Pages, Plugins and Themes
Now that you have logged onto your dashboard, you now should have a page that looks similar to this (don't worry about all of the extra settings in the sidebar, these come with plugins, which we will discuss next).
Here we can see 'Pages', 'Posts', 'Media', 'Comments' and more tabs, all of these will be used in order to customize and improve your website.
Firstly I would recommend to install plugins for your website - plugins work like apps on your site to add services that WordPress doesn't provide on its default dashboard. To get to Plugins, go to the dashboard sidebar hover on Plugins and click Add New. Here search for the plugins below to add them. Plugins that I would recommend installing include:
- Black Studio TinyMCE Widget - Adds a new 'Visual Editor' widget which is very handy when writing blog posts or editing pages
- Contact Form 7 - Allows you to create and edit your own contact forms which can be used to contact you
- Easy Facebook Likebox - This allows you to display your Facebook Page (if you have one) on your website and give viewers the choice to like your page. It can also show the recent feed on the specified page.
- Pagebuilder by SiteOrigin - A drag and drop, responsive page builder that simplifies building your website
- Polylang - Allows you to translate your website into multiple languages
- Recent Posts Widget Extended - Enables advanced widget that gives you total control over the output of your site's most recent posts
- Simple Lightbox - A highly customizable lightbox for WordPress
- SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle - A collection of a range of widgets, all bundled into a single plugin. (Very Handy!)
- TJ Custom CSS - Wanna add your own custom CSS to your site? With this plugin you can.
When scrolling through the range of plugins, you may have seen the word Widget used, a widget is a tool that you can use to edit your site and its also adds further functionality and more options for you when adding content on your site. You don't have to add these plugins if you don't want to, but I highly recommend looking to add plugins as they can come extremely handy in the long run.
Allocating a Theme for your Site
If you want your site to look as cool as ever, then I would recommend choosing a theme. WordPress gives you access to thousands of themes that you can use to customise your website and create a design that suits you! When choosing a theme remember that it should be:
You don't have to follow your theme like this, but I would recommend it. A simple website won't confuse viewers and can take them through your site easily - in terms of the internet less can be more. A clean website will also make sure viewers aren't flustered or confused with lots of content all over the place, make sure that the viewer can locate pages and posts easily without going to too much trouble. Finally an engaging site, to keep the viewer entertained and mesmerised, make sure your site is engaging so that the viewer wants to keep coming back.
To choose a theme hover on Appearance -> Theme. From the Theme page, click add new, and WordPress will show you a range of themes that you can implement to make your site look awesome! Find one you like, then click it to activate it, this will change your site's look to fit the new theme. From here you may have to tweak some things in the customise page (colours, menus, sliders, etc) to clean up your site. Next, we have to add pages onto our site to great content.
Adding Pages to your Site
In order to have a good website, you must first add pages - pages are simply what the viewer sees when they click onto your site. PageBuilder (the plugin mentioned above) can provide you a great deal of help when creating pages. It allows you to seperate your site into rows and with the help of other widgets allows you to create polished and professional sites. If you are struggling to find images for your site then head to Pixabay, they allow you to use their images for free! Which is excellent for websites. Continuing with adding pages, most sites follow the standard pages of - Home, About, Contact and so on. I would recommend adding these pages first.
Also allocate your website to have a 'Static Front Page' - this just means that your Home Page is the first page that people look at when clicking on your site. You can find the Static Front Page option here.
Once you have your pages set up then you can also add the 'Posts Page', on your dashboard you will find the Posts tab. Every time you write a new post it will come up on the posts page. To select your posts page allocate it here.
Creating the Navigation Menu
A navigation menu in your website is very important, it allows viewers to navigate through your site and find different pages and posts, it will keep them engaged for longer and may accumulate more clicks for you which is great traffic. When creating your navigation menu you can choose a range of options to customise it, I prefer to keep my main pages, however if you wish you can link other things alongside it. To create your menu you must first go to your dashboard and locate Appearance -> Menus, here you will create your first menu.
Once on the menus page click, create new menu. This will take you to the page that will allow you to create your navigation menu. Simply give your menu a name then click - Create Menu.
You will then be taken to another page that allows you to customise your menu, here you can add pages, services, links, categories and more (plugins can allow for more options). Simply choose what items you would like to add then click Save Menu.
You now have you first menu! Well Done! To add it to the header of your site hover over Appearance -> Customize. This will take you to your website customiser. From here click menu, then make the menu you just created your Primary Menu for you site. Now you have your website! Great work! Next we will begin to register our site with Google to make sure that when people search for your site, they will find it.
Registering for Google Search - SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Registering for Google Search is a key element of creating your website. To get your site onto Google Search first you must look Google Search Console. Log into the email account that you registered your site with (if its not a gmail, then its fine to use a different email). Once on the page it should look like this.
From here we want to add a Property. A property is simply your website, type the name of your website into the property tab and then click the button. Next we will need to verify our site so that Google knows that we own it. To do this I recommend choosing the alternate methods - in my experience the meta tag works best. Click onto the Alternate Methods -> Meta Tag. From here copy the text then return to your WordPress dashboard.
Locate Appearance -> Editor. DON'T CHANGE THE CODE - this is very important, make sure you don't touch any of the editors code unless you know what you're doing. Once on the Editor page locate Header, or Theme Header on the right hand side. Click onto the Header File and then paste the Meta Tag into anywhere between <head> </head> and then update the file.
Then return to your Google Search Console and click verify. Here Google should verify you as the owner and allow that email access to the Google Search Console. It may take a couple of days for Google to Index your site, however know that it will come, be patient. In the Google Search Console you can view analytics, bugs and more regarding your website.
Now you have a basic set up for your website! Well Done! Make sure to keep posting engaging content to receive more views. We hope this tutorial has helped you create a website that you are happy with. To keep improving your website make sure to check in with fromearthtoman.com daily to see recent blog posts!