How to Build a Website for Free From Scratch for Beginners
Any other of beginners and newbies who want to build a website, for blogging or for your business or for any other reason. You are here because you’re confused on how to build a website? What should I do? Do I need to pay someone to get it built? how can do it for free? and so on…
Don’t worry I have covered almost all the answers to your questions on how to build a site.
Below are the steps that you need to follow in order to get your site up and running:
STEP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLATFORM
If you want to build a good, mobile friendly, user-friendly, functional and attractive website quick, you’ll need to choose a platform (also known as content management system).
What is “content management system”?
To put simply, a content management system or website building platform is a user-friendly platform for building websites and managing your own online content, instead of using a bunch of loose HTML pages that will be creating a mess of your site.
The most popular website building platforms according to W3Tech are WordPress being the most popular one followed by Joomla and Drupal.
But for beginners, I strongly suggest sticking to WordPress. As it’s the easiest platform to work with and it’s flexible enough to suit everyone from small business owners and freelancers to creative artists and bloggers.
STEP 2: GET A DOMAIN & WEB HOSTING
In order to get set up your WordPress or any other type of website, you’re going to need two things:
- A domain name – a web address like yoursitename.com.
- Hosting – a service that connects your site to the internet.
The WordPress platform itself is free, but a domain name and hosting will cost you around $3 – $5 a month. However, you can build your website through WordPress for free! but if you want to get all the features of WordPress, it will cost you something around $500 a year, which is a good deal since you will be getting all the features that Wordless offers.
Owning your own domain name looks far more professional than having your site on someone else’s domain (like yourbusiness.my-free-website.com). Also, having your own hosting will also make sure your website loads quickly and won’t go down for hours at a time (pretty important for everyone who visits your pages.)
But if you wish to get your free domain name and hosting
You can use Bluehost.com as a web hosting and domain registrar.
They’re really affordable, have good customer service, and they’re currently throwing in a domain name for free – so it’s worth checking them out.
When you get a domain name, you’ll also get a personal email account(s): email@example.com – way more professional than a generic Gmail or Yahoo address.
As an easy starting point:
- If you’re making a website for your business, your domain name should match the name of your company. For example YourCompanyName.com or.org and .net
- If you’re planning to set up a website for yourself, then YourName.com would be great and is highly recommended.
Domain names usually end with.com, .org or.net, but in recent months, a huge amount of domain extensions the end part of the web address, like.com, have come out, ranging from. agency to.burger.
My best advice for you is – Avoid the weird extensions and go with.com, .net or.org unless they perfectly describe what you have to offer – and even then, see if you can find a more common name.
STEP 3: SET UP & CUSTOMIZE YOUR SITE
Once you have your domain name and set up your hosting in place, you’re well on your way!
Now it’s time to get your website up and running. The first thing you’ll need to do is install WordPress to your domain.
There are two possible ways to install WordPress, one MUCH easier than the other.
1. TO CREATE A WEBSITE WITH WORDPRESS OR JOOMLA & DRUPAL, USE ONE CLICK INSTALLATION:
Almost every reliable and the well-established hosting company has integrated 1-click-installation for WordPress, which makes getting going a snap.
If you signed up with BlueHost or any other similar hosting company, you should find your “1-click-installation” in your account control panel.
Here are the steps you should follow (should be similar/same on all the major web hosting companies):
- Log in to your hosting account.
- Go to your control panel.
- Look for the “WordPress” or “Website” icon.
- Choose the domain where you want to install your website.
- Click the “Install Now” button and you will get access to your new WordPress website.
If you still haven’t understood it, don’t panic. There is a video at the end of this post to guide you throught this.
Choosing a Theme/Template for your site
Once you have successfully installed WordPress to your domain, you’ll see a very basic yet clean site:
Here’s how to find a theme you like:
1. Log into your WordPress dashboard.
If you’re not sure how type in: https://yoursite.com/wp-admin (replace “yoursite” with your domain).
This is what the WordPress dashboard looks like:
Everything is easily labelled. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t sweat it – I’m going to show you where to go next.
2. Access FREE themes
Once you’re in the dashboard, you’ve got access to over 1500 free themes! Just look along the sidebar for “Appearance”, then click “Themes”. You are sure to find a theme of your liking just spending some time browsing the free themes. Many of them are actually really professional and well-made; so don’t write them off.
If you like the original theme, you can go with it too!
3. Install your new theme
Once you have found a theme you like, installing it is as simple as clicking “Install” followed by “Activate”.
How do I add content and new pages to my site?
With your theme installed, you’re ready to start creating content. Let’s quickly run through some of the basics:
Adding and editing pages
Want a “Services” page, or an “About Me” page (like I have on my menu at the top of the site)?
1. Look along the sidebar in the WordPress Dashboard for “Pages” -> “Add New”.
2. Once you’ve clicked, you’ll find a screen that looks a lot like what you’ve maybe seen in Microsoft Word. Add text, images and more to build the page you want, then save it when you’re done.
Adding pages to the menu
If you want your new page to be linked to in your navigation bar,
1. Save any changes you’ve made to the page by clicking “Update”
2. Click “Appearance” => “Menus” in the sidebar of the WordPress Dashboard
3. Find the page you created and add it to the list by clicking the checkbox next to it and then “Add to Menu”.
Installing Plugins to Get More out of using WordPress
What is a plugin?
“Plugins” are extensions that are built to expand WordPress’ capabilities, adding features and functions to your site that don’t come built-in. They’re shortcuts to getting your site to do what you want to, without having to build the feature from scratch. You can use plugins to do everything from adding photo galleries and submission forms to optimizing your website and creating an online store. These plugins are similar to Google Chrome extensions.
How to install a new Plugin?
To start installing plugins, go to “Plugins => Add New” and simply start searching.
Keep in mind that there are over 25,000 different free plugins so you’ve got a lot of options to choose from!
Installation is easy – once you find a plugin you like, just click “Install”.
But before you go and install every single one of them, here are a few must-have plugins for your site, Google Analysis, SEO Optimizer, and Sumo.
Congratulations – you’re ready to launch! If you’ve followed the steps in this guide, you should now have a fully-functional WordPress website! That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now you can add to your content.
Also, here’s a short video to help you through building your website in 30 seconds!! Learn How
Hope you have found my guides useful, please share my page. This keeps me motivated to keep all the information on this site up to date and accurate. Also, if you need any help with site building do not hesitant to contact me. Do your comments and questions below in the comments box.