Step-by-step guide for webmasters

Make a website

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HOW TO MAKE A WEBSITE

An easy and FREE, step-by-step guide for beginners

If you are looking for how to make your own website then you are in the right place

Learn how to make a stunning website from scratch – fast – and start or grow your business online.

With the help of my easy-to-use tutorial, you will manage to set up your website in the shortest time possible. Don’t worry about your skill level – my guideline is easy-to-follow and does not require any special knowledge. My goal is to show you how to build an impressive, optimized website by following the steps that I will describe.

Mark Bergman, Web designer and Author behind Makeawebsite.info

Author

Why make a website?

Your website will help you to maintain an online presence. With the help of your site, you can reach new and existing clients, with a view to presenting useful information to them on the Internet. You can make your own birthday, anniversary or wedding invitations with interactive RSVP. You can start a blog and share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas. Maybe you just want to accumulate new knowledge and learn how to make a website.

I hope that my guide will be very useful and you will enjoy your new experience.

You will love this guide, because it is:

Beginner friendly

Created for beginners

Clear guide

Clear and straightforward

Based on WordPress

Based on best platform – WordPress

Ask for help

You can ask help via email

I have divided the whole procedure into four basic steps::

Make a website procedure

1. Make a plan

Allow approximately 60 – 180 minutes to finalize all initial steps.

You should consider that every web page is a source of information for your visitors. So it will be necessary to determine the correct structure and content of your website. Think through what information you would like to present to your audience. All the information should be simply accessible from the website`s menu. A menu is the part of a website which is used for navigating the content of a site. Generally speaking, we can divide each web page into three basic parts: header, main part and footer. The header usually contains the website`s menu, logo, and sometimes a slider. The main part includes general text and the footer contains copyright and legal notices, tags and social media icons.

Website structure

Decide what the main topic of your website is and stick to it throughout your site. For example, if your website is about cooking then presenting information about trading on financial markets looks strange.

Do not worry about the design of your website at this stage. We will deal with that a little bit later. I will show you how to change the design template of your website without changing the structure and content of your site.

Now, when you know what content you would like to present to your audience and how to structure it, we can proceed to the next step.

See also: Getting The Website Information Architecture Right: How to Structure Your Site for Optimal User Experiences

2. Set up domain and hosting

To make a website you need a domain and web hosting.

A domain is a human-readable web address like ‘mydomain.com’ that points to a server address where your site will be stored. Your own domain name will help you stand out from other websites.
Web hosting is a service that enables a website to be viewed on the Internet. Web hosting helps to ensure uninterrupted availability of your site for visitors.

Hosting user

What domain name and hosting to choose?

First of all, think through what domain name extension you want for your website. There are many available like: .com, .org, .net, .info or .biz. I don`t recommend choosing very uncommon top level domain endings like .market or .limited.

Which one is better for a website? It depends on the purpose of a site. If you are making a website to create local presence then choose local extensions like .de (for Germany), co.uk (for United Kingdom), .eu (for European Union) or .com, etc. If you want a domain extension for a commercial website then choose .com. For a non-profit organization or project, choose .org.

I have heard from different sources that .biz or .info are associated with spam. I do not agree. All depends on the quality of a website. You can gain trust with .biz, .info or other domains as well. Of course, in terms of trust and credibility, .com and .org are the most popular and recognizable domain extensions, but overall they are just domain extensions and if the quality of your website is good then you will not have problems.

Your domain name should be easy to remember and associated with the topic of your site. For example, the domain name of this website is ‘makeawebsite.info’. It is memorable and informs visitors that this is an informative website about how to make a website.

In my opinion, it is better to have both the domain name and the hosting in the same place.

Where can I get a domain name and hosting?

I have mostly used eHost as a domain name registrar and hosting provider. They have unbeatable hosting prices $1.65 – $2.75 per month (with 50-70% discount for initial term) and offer a free domain name registration. Their servers perform well and have good Internet connectivity.

eHost has a 30 day money-back guarantee policy. If you decide that you do not like the service within 30 days from sign-up, you will get a refund, no questions asked.

Mark Bergman, Web designer and Author behind Makeawebsite.info

eHost

You can read here my detailed guide on how to get domain names and hosting with eHost.

Read my eHost review and how to get 70% discount on eHost hosting here.

Please register domain name and sign-up for hosting. After you have finished domain and hosting registration, you will need to create email and FTP accounts with your hosting provider.

I have made a simple guide on how to create email and FTP accounts for eHost users. Detailed description is here.

Of course, you can also choose a different hosting provider and domain registrar but I recommend that you use eHost because in my opinion they have best price/quality ratio. This website is using eHost as its domain registrar and hosting provider.

Now, when you have a domain name, hosting, email and FTP accounts, we can move to the next step.

3. Create content for your website

There are many ways of how to create content for your website. Many of them require HTML, CSS, PHP and MySQL coding skills and may take a long time to become familiar with. Don’t worry – we’ll choose an easier path.

We will use a content management system – ‘WordPress’, which does not require coding skills and will allow us to set up a professional quality website quickly. WordPress is absolutely free. This website is built on the WordPress platform.

I like building sites on WordPress, because they are good looking, easy-to-manage, SEO optimized, and allow the creation of backups. If you would like to make a website then I recommend using WordPress.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a platform that can help you create and manage a powerful website. There are many plugins (additions) for WordPress that will make your site even better. It is the best all-in-one solution for your website.

WordPress has a special ‘admin area’ where you can change the settings of your website and add content like pages, posts, images, etc.

Do you want to know why WordPress is the best content management system for your website? Read my article here.

How to install WordPress on your web hosting service?

If your hosting provider is eHost then you can perform a simple ‘one click installation’:

1. Please login to your eHost cPanel using the following link: https://login.ehost.com/ (page will open in new tab for your convenience)

2. Find the ‘Quick Installs’ section and click the ‘WordPress’ icon

Quick install wordpress

3. Please, click on “Install WordPress”

Install wordpress

4. Please, fill in form “Install WordPress”. You may choose your main domain in the first list and leave the path as blank if you want WordPress to be installed in the main path. Click on “Install WordPress”

Example: (1) Leave blank, (2) Provide admin email, (3) Blog title, (4) Admin username, (5) First name, (6) Last name

Make a website for wordpress

5. WordPress is installed. You will be provided Admin area link, Username and Password. Please remember them

If you have a different hosting provider than eHost, then please find out if they have ‘one click installation’ for WordPress, otherwise you will have to install WordPress manually. Manual WordPress installation is difficult and requires some practice and skills.

I recommend using ‘one click installation’ for WordPress.

After you have finished with your WordPress installation you can try to log in to WordPress.

How to login to WordPress?

In the final stage of the WordPress installation, you will have been provided with an ‘Admin Area link’, Username and Password. Please go to ‘Admin Area link’ and use your login and password to log in. the ‘Admin Area link’ is usually like: http://www.mydomain.com/wp-admin (please replace http://www.mydomain.com with your domain).

How to set up a design template?

After successful installation of WordPress, it is time to install a WordPress theme. It will allow you to make the website outstanding.

There are a lot of themes available on the Internet, both free and chargeable. If you are looking for a good free WordPress theme, then you can google for ‘best free wordpress themes’ and you will get many search results.

If you are ready to spend $35 – $60 on a WordPress theme, then you can check Envato Market (ThemeForest). There, you will find thousands of beautiful and well-documented premium WordPress themes.

Envato

Personally, I prefer the paid WordPress themes, because they are:

  • Fully customizable
  • Usually have built-in shortcodes for Text Editor
  • Fully responsive
  • SEO friendly
  • Optimized for speed
  • Well documented

WordPress themes can be installed in two ways:

1. The first option to install a WordPress theme is to directly upload the theme`s .zip file using WordPress Theme Uploader:

Log in to WordPress ‘Admin Area’ and navigate to Appearance -> Themes. Click on Add New Theme -> Upload Theme -> Browse. Now you just need to find the correct .zip file in the folder and click Install now.

2. The second option to install a WordPress Theme is to upload it via your FTP client.

Log in to your FTP account and go to WordPress Installation directory. Navigate to the folder http://www.mydomain.com/wp-content/themes. Upload the Themes`s folder (not the .zip-file) to the /wp-content/themes folder. Now, log in to the WordPress ‘Admin Area’ and navigate to Appearance -> Themes. Find the uploaded WordPress theme and click Activate.

What should I do next?

The next step is to perform basic settings configuration. Before changing configuration, please log in to WordPress ‘Admin Area’ and navigate to Pages in Dashboard. Create two blank pages by clicking on Add New in Pages section. One for Front page (Homepage) of your website and the other for Blog posts (articles). Just title them and publish. In my case, I have created the following pages: Make a website for Front page, and Articles and Tips for Blog.

Now, navigate to Settings in Dashboard.

1. Set up General Settings.

2. Writing Settings: Specify Default Post Category (I use Uncategorized) and Default Post Format (I use Standard). I do not use Post via email and Update Service functions.

3. Reading Settings: Specify Front page displays by selecting ‘A static page’ and choosing (correct) previously created Front Page and Posts page.

4. Set up Discussion settings.

5. Permalink Settings: Please choose URL structure in Common Settings. I recommend Post name structure.

Create static pages and posts for your website. See also: How to create page or post in WordPress?

Please also read any documentation that comes with your WordPress theme.

WordPress plugins installation

Your website can perform better with WordPress additions. They can help optimize your website work, speed up loading time, keep MySQL database clean and improve search engine optimization (SEO). I strongly recommend installing the best five free WordPress plugins that I use myself on my websites. You can read my detailed article about these plugins here.

Result of ‘makeawebsite.info’ optimization (https://tools.pingdom.com/):
Website performance test

After successful optimization, your website will be able to get more than 90 points in Google`s PageSpeed Insights test.

4. Promote

Making your website popular is probably the most difficult task in the site creation process. It is not possible to succeed overnight. Take your time and follow some easy rules that I will explain further.

To promote your website, aim your main activity at gaining domain authority. What is that? Generally speaking, domain authority is a metric of how authoritative your website is. Powerful websites get traffic from social media networks and search engines and, as a result, those websites become popular resources. You should constantly increase your site`s domain authority.

How to increase domain authority?

The easiest way is to perform technical optimization of your website and create a strong base of backlinks from authoritative sites. A backlink is a reference link to a web page published on another website. Your first focus should be on creation of valuable and linkable content on your website. Webmasters who like your site will make a link to it from their website.

The logic is very simple: more backlinks from authoritative websites – more trust and better ranking.

Try to be active. Write niche relevant articles with backlinks to your website and ask relevant websites with acceptable domain authority to publish them.

See also: The advanced guide to link building. Advanced guest posting technique.

Social media

Create accounts in the following major social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc. Regularly update the content of pages on these networks. Share posts on Facebook and click ‘like’ on other accounts.

Search engines

Add your website to popular indexes: Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.

Search engines will drive visitors to your pages and posts if your site is useful and helps contribute towards the best possible user experience. This is only possible if your website has valuable content and helps visitors to find useful information, solve problems, get information about products, etc.

Further reading:

1. How to choose a hosting type?

2. Best web hosting services (shared hosting)

3. How to create page or post in WordPress?

4. The 10 most important Google ranking factors

5. How to set up correct HTTPS redirection?

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