How to build a website from scratch step by step

Would you like to create a beautiful website without coding and without paying someone $200-$1000?

If you said yes, then this article is for you. It will teach you to build a WordPress site from scratch in less than one hour.

I will teach you what to do and how to do it.

What you’re going to learn:

1-Choose a hosting website
2-Install WordPress
3-Introduction to WordPress
4-Choose a Theme for your site
5-Customize the Theme
6-Must have plugins
7-Install google analytics

Why using WordPress?
WordPress, a CMS (content management system) is a user-friendly platform that helps you build websites and manage your own content.

It is the most popular CMS, WordPress runs 30% of the websites. It has +50,000 plugins where most of them are free and will help you increase your performance.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a service that allows you to post your website on the internet.

Picture your site as a house and hosting is the land. A web hosting service provider is a business that offers the technology for your website to be viewed on the internet.

Paid vs Free hosting

There are a lot of reputable hosting companies that offer their service for a small monthly fee. On the other hand, you also get hosting for free.

But there are some disadvantages:

Support- Sometimes you’ll have problems with your site, lots of them. With a free hosting it’s not guaranteed you’ll get support from an expert.

Speed- How fast your site loads? Speed is a Google ranking factor. If your site takes forever to load, you’ll not rank well.

Advertising- The company can place ads on your site which may not be relevant to your article.

It’s restrictive- You don’t have many options in terms of ability to customize your site. 

So, if you want a website which looks good, loads fast and that doesn’t give you a headache every day, you need to choose a reliable hosting company.

Step 1- Go to Hostgator.com
There are a lot of web hosts. But, I personally use and recommend Hostgator.

Hostgator was created in 2003 and is one of the most reliable hosting websites.

Its one of the largest web hosts on the world with +9 million websites hosted.

Other qualities:

  • 99.99% uptime
  • Great support on 24/7.
  • 45 days money back guarantee
  • Enhanced security and free migration

There are three different plans.

The hatchling plan allows only one domain while with the baby plan you can have as many domains you want.

I recommend Hatchling plan because as soon as your website becomes popular you can upgrade to the other plans. And of course, it’s less expensive.

If you don’t like Hostgator you can choose BluehostSiteground, Dreamhost. The three of them are reliable web hosts and the steps are similar.

Step 2 – Pick a domain

Chose a good and simple domain name. Try to find a name which is memorable and that clearly describes your website.

I also recommend using .com .net or .org extension.

Now, if you already purchased your domain name somewhere else click “I already own this domain”.

Another option is domain privacy protection. It hides your name, email, and your address. I don’t think it is a big problem so I suggest to uncheck it.

Step 3 – Check your package information

At first, we choose the hatchling plan. Now you have to choose the billing cycle. You have different options about time. The more you pay upfront the less you pay in the long term. Enter a username and a four-digit pin.

Step 4 – Fill in your details

Enter your personal information. Enter credit card details or pay with Paypal.

Additional services and coupon

There you have three additional services. Uncheck them all because you don’t need them now.

Enter the coupon 1cent for a big discount.

Check once again if everything is correct and click “Checkout Now”.

Step 5 – Install WordPress

Every reliable hosting company has the one-click installation option.

Log in to your hosting account

Click on hosting and at the bottom of the page click Launch Quickinstall.

Go to WordPress

Next, select your domain name and leave the “directory” blank. Also, ignore the offers. 

Fill the necessary data, check the two little boxes and click install.

After installation is complete make sure to copy and save the Username&Password.

Now you have to wait 2-4 hours until your website is online.

Then insert on google yourdomain.com/wp-admin and voila your website is live.

Step 6 – Login to WordPress

There are some little things you can do to improve your site.

Head over to Settings and fill the form:general settings on website

If you want to disable comments go to Discussiondiscussion settings, how to build a website from scratch

It is good for SEO if you make your pages URLs simple.

If for a human is hard to understand the URL then also the search engines will find it hard too.build a website

Change your password

You can change that complicated password and set a new one.

1. Go to Users – All users
2. Click on your username
3. Scroll down to the end of the section and click generate password button
4. Add a strong password
5. Update profile

Also, make sure to change your login username. If your username is “admin” then you are saving time for hackers. 

Step 7 – Customize your site

In the left go to Appearance- Themes

Here you can search themes or add a new one that for your website type and design.

Besides that, if you don’t like or prefer any of the themes shown, you can check online for theme libraries where 4 of them that I can suggest to you are: Colorlib, Justfreethemes, Themegrill, athemes.

If you choose a theme in any of the above sites, you can watch the demo and download it:

Now click Add New –  Choose FileUpload the theme zip folder.

Now click Customize

create a website from scratch

So from your left, you can see what you can do and change starting from the title of the page to the footer of the website.

Every change you make in each of the settings below you will see it live as the website reloads on the other side and you will be able to see the difference.

Site Identity
Here, all you can do is change the site tags, site logo, site title & site icon.

At Logo, click remove and upload the unique logo for your site.

Header media

It’s the part above the menu bar, usually, here you can add or remove an image or a video as a banner it is always depended on the design of the website.

Menus

Menus are a very important part of the website. Here you need to choose the categories that peoples are going to click to navigate through the site.

Click primary menu and set the menus.

Widgets

Widgets make your navigation and design better.how to build a website from scratch

On the left, you have widgets of slideshows, article slideshow, tag widget (tag displayed), the list goes on and on.

All you have to do is to drag and drop the widget in the right where you want to be displayed on the site.

It is amazing what widgets you can use but it always depends on the theme that you have chosen.

A better tip for you is to go online a search for theme manual.

It will show you what widgets you can use on your homepage, articles, sidebars and everywhere. It is easy for you to find it, just type the name of the website you’ve chosen training manual and the website who owns the themes will have it ready for you on their own.

Don’t be sad if you can’t find it you will learn it very fast how to manage the theme.

Homepage Settings

Here are the settings that you will have to change upon your desire to make your front page look very cool and simple just by putting the widgets in the right place, the articles, the images slideshows and etc.

You will choose what to display there, to have it as a static page where everything will be fixed and change it whenever you want or to display always your latest posts.

After that, you will choose your homepage display from one your navigation bar where usually as in every website you need to choose home.

Additional CSS: This is a part where web developers can understand the best because it is about coding.

CSS it is a programming language used for the designing style and you can add codes upon your desire. If you are good at CSS you can add some CSS code.

Header options: Depended on the theme you have chosen there you can change the header logo, the menu, the search icon you can add some other cool styles that theme offer to you. They will all be displayed to you in details.

Design Options: Here you can change the structure of your website, wide or boxed display.

You can choose the layout of the front page, your articles, and your sidebars.

Social Options: If you don’t see this as an option is because your theme didn’t support it to you at the first place but usually it does. So here you can edit and activate the social links logos starting from the head to the footer.

Footer Option: Footer option is the bottom look of your website where you can usually see in a darker color divided in colons to add other stuff like social links, menus and other widgets or plugins.

Additional Options: You have some other options to edit and choose. Depended on the design you can change the way how the images in articles are displayed, the related posts, how the images will be opened etc.

Category Color Settings: As you can see from the article here, if you scroll up you will see what categories they have different colors to make them differ from other categories.

After you have finished with all the customization click Publish on the top and see it online how you did it better.

Step 8 – Add pages

Very important for any website are About us, Contact us, Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions pages that you need to make them right away.

But why do we need them? Every website needs to have these pages to give information about what they do and publish and how safe are users information when they access their site for any reason. And some links to contact the admin if given.

Here it is how these pages will look in your website.

Privacy Policy

Terms & Conditions

How to edit each one of them in a perfect way:

First of all, you need to go to the dashboard and create a page for each one of them.

For the page “About us” go to the dashboard and click on the top New Page.

You might think what to write but it is easy because all you need to do is to describe the content of your website, what type of website is it, what is the purpose of it, what does it include inside. Just think like you are writing an essay for your own webpage for people to understand it very good.

Terms and Conditions

As the first one, you need to add a new page with that title. So this one requires a lot of things to be included and written.

Luckily to make this easier there are some websites that provide you with a questionary about your website and at the end, the terms and conditions will be generated ready for you to copy and paste them.

Here is the link that you need to do it: Termsfeed.com

Privacy Policy

After adding the new page you need to visit the link as in the last one to generate it easily just for copy and paste. This one is for people to understand your purpose and what data you have about them. So that is why every website has it as a page for people to have this information.

Visit this link to generate Privacy Policy: Freeprivacypolicy.com

Contact us

Contact us its really simple, you don’t need to write anything but some links and some google maps for people to understand where they can find you/contact you. Don’t worry about it too much, just put some facebook links and other social media links where they can find you and if you want you can put your address of google maps and your email address.

After you have done the pages required that we discussed, you need to add them to your footer links.

Go to the appearance> widgets.

how to build a website from scratch

After you click that you must be at the page where you can see all the sections of pages to edit and all the available widgets to add on each of the section. So to add the links you need to choose the section of the footer, and edit one of the sections displayed.

If it shows to you just like in the photo, choose one and drag and drop the widget of ‘text’ to that section and start editing it.

Write the name of the pages in a colon.

About us

Privacy Policy …etc.

Insert the links to each one of them and then click save.

Step 9 – Install plugins

As I mentioned above there are +50,000 plugins that will help you add new features for your site.

Some of the best plugins you need to install right now are:

Yoast SEO

It is the most complete SEO plugin. It really helps in improving your organic search because is based on the ranking factors by Google.

Some of the factors include:

  • Readability
  • Focus keyword
  • Slug
  • Meta description
  • Page analysis

SEO friendly images – This plugin increases traffic from image search. It automatically updates the images with alt and title attribute.

Social Warfare – One of the best social share plugins. You can choose which social button will appear. You can place them in different places in the post. It also has the click to tweet option.

W3 Cache plugin – It’s a must-have plugin because it makes your website load insanely fast.

TinyMCE Advanced – Have you ever visited a site and the words were so tiny? Well, this plugin allows you to change your writing fonts and size. I personally use Georgia font, size 20.

All in One Wp Security
It is a must-have plugin for securing your website.

Some of the features include:

  • Database security
  • Filesystem Security
  • Brute Force
  • SPAM Prevention

iThemes Security – Another must-have security plugin. What I like about this plugin is that it gives me the ability to ban certain malicious IPs.

WPS Hide Login – Your login URL is mywebsite.com/wp-admin.php. And of course, the hackers know this and will try to take advantage of this. And here this plugin come to help.

You can change the URL in something like this: mywebsite.com/newusername234543. Make sure to write this down because you don’t want to block yourself.

Redirection – It helps managing all 301 directs and for monitoring 404 errors.

Step 10- Install google analytics

The majority of websites use GA.
 
It is a service created by Google that helps you see your site’s stats, such a:
  • The number of visitors
  • Where they are coming from
  • The time spent on site
  • Their technology and many others.
You can use those stats to improve the site.
 
If you want open a GA account you can use your Gmail.

Go at Google Analytics.

Klick sign up

Fill the necessary details.
 
Make sure to choose HTTP or https if you have an SSL certificate.

The last option is for sharing data. It’s your decision either you want to share your data with Google.

Klick Get tracking ID.

Next, a small box will come up, accept terms and proceed.

 
Now we need to install the google analytics on our site. We can do that by installing a plugin called google analytics for WordPress or GADWP.
Install and activate the plugin.

 

Go to GADWP setting and click authorize plugin.

 

Click get Access Code. Choose the Gmail address, accept their terms and you’ll see the code. Copy paste that code and hit save.

 

That’s it. Now you can see the stats on your dashboard.