Matthew RogersAuthor: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: 2 September 2019
Affiliate Disclaimer

Looking to build a website from scratch, but don’t know how? You’re in the right place, we’ve written this comprehensive 7000+ words guide just for you! It doesn’t matter if you want to start a blog or create a website for your business. By the end, you’ll have a fully functioning website, and you’ll know how to do basic design adjustments and add content.

No, it’s not hard to do. And no, you don’t need coding and designing skills to come up with a beautiful, professional-looking website.

With the methods we’ll cover in this article, you’ll be able to put up a working website in about an hour or so (from start to finish). We won’t be using HTML or CSS coding (those take too long), so all you really need to do is follow the steps we’ll give you, click here, and click there until you’re done.

If you follow everything we say in this article, you’ll have your very own domain and functional WordPress website without the need to hire professional web designers (those are expensive, you know).

How to create a website

Why We Use WordPress

Before anything else, we want you to know that we’re going to use the WordPress platform to create your website. Yes, there are other website building platforms (also called content management systems or CMS) – but we believe (through experience) that it’s the best option right now.

Check out the most recent user statistics from BuiltWith (an awesome tool that can tell you what tech a specific site is using, definitely recommended to give it a spin).

  • * WordPress – 52%
  • ** Wix – 7%
  • * Joomla – 4%
  • ** SquareSpace – 4%
  • * Progress Sitefinity – 4%
  • **Weebly – 2%

Reference:

* Free
** Paid

WordPress logo

As you can see, a lot of website owners, developers, and designers prefer using the WordPress platform. We told you, it’s very easy to use when you compare it to other website builders and CMS platforms. And of course, it’s waaaay easier and faster than if you were to start a website from scratch by using shortcodes (HTML/ CSS). If you’re not an expert in coding and web designing, you might even end up with a mediocre-looking site. Whereas with WordPress, even beginners can come up with professional-looking and attractive websites.

Pros and Cons of Using WordPress

You may be wondering what the pros and cons are as far as using WordPress is concerned. So, we’ll tackle those in this section.

We’ll first look at the pros:

  • Free – Yes, FREE. That alone says a lot, doesn’t it? You can also expand the functionality of your WordPress site by using FREE add-ons in the form of plugins. And, you also get FREE support from the developers themselves and fellow users. In fact, you’ll find a lot of FREE WordPress tutorials on YouTube alone.
  • Flexible – With its customizable settings, you can use WordPress for small as well as large businesses. It’s also a popular platform for online shops.
  • No coding knowledge/ skills required – Learning and using HTML/ CSS can take months before you can put up a decent-looking website. With WordPress, you can put a working website up in an hour – or a day, if you really want to customize a lot of the settings on your site. In any case, you can be sure that your website will look professional (like it’s been done by pros!).
  • Affordable themes and plugins – WordPress comes with free themes, affordable themes, and expensive themes (premium themes can cost $100 or more). While a lot of plugins are free (with options to donate), there are also paid plugins that you can opt for. Still, keep in mind that you can do very well (great, in fact) with the free and affordable ones.
  • User-friendly – Beginners can easily get the hang of using WordPress. Professionals (even those with coding skills) also appreciate the fast and time-saving features of WordPress.

And now, for the cons:

  • Learning curve – It takes some time and patience to fully master the use of WordPress – but that’s to be expected of any new task. So, if it’s your first time to use it, don’t expect a walk in the park. With this tutorial post, however, it’s like having us by your side. We’ll take you by the hand and help you through it (that will make the learning curve so much easier).
  • Bugs – Well yeah, some WordPress themes and plugins can have bugs. However, their developers are always working on updating and perfecting their software from bugs. Bugs are also common (and can be expected) on the internet. It’s for this reason why we always suggest checking on user reviews and ratings when picking and using themes (as well as plugins).

OK, we’ve weighed the pros and cons of using WordPress and recommend it for beginners and professional web builders alike. It just makes the whole work of creating a website soooo much faster and easier.

How to Create a Website – Your Step by Step Guide

Here we are – prepare yourself for creating your website. These are the basic steps to follow:

  1. Register a domain name and get web hosting.
  2. Set up your website.
  3. Design your website.
  4. Add content to your website.
  5. Add plugins to your website.

We’ll tackle each one in detail below (along with step by step instructions). These are very easy to do as we simplified the steps. Then once you’ve finished, and the site is live, we added an extra 20 steps to take so you’re off on the right foot (these are optional but can make your life a lot easier).

1. Register a Domain Name and Get Web Hosting

SiteGround Web Hosting

Why should you get a domain name and web hosting? Well, you don’t really have a choice :).

  • Domain name – This is your URL or internet address. It looks something like this: www.yourwebsite.com.
  • Web hosting – You need this service to make your site’s content visible on the web. Your web hosting provider is the one that actually hosts your sites’ files.

To grab a domain name and hosting, we strongly recommend going with SiteGround. They’re the best overall hosting provider, officially recommended for WordPress, by WordPress, and they have multiple data centres all over the world to minimise site loading times. They can both register your domain name and host your new site.

Note: If you already have a domain name with another registrar (like NameCheap, GoDaddy, etc) and would like to use that one, you can still follow along without issues, but just need to go into your registrar account, go to your domains nameserver settings and paste SiteGrounds’ nameservers in there once you’ve bought your hosting package from SiteGround (more info here).

To proceed with getting a domain name and web hosting, follow these steps:

  1. Go to siteground.com
  2. Go to the hosting tab.
  3. Click Web Hosting.
  4. Step #3 will take you to a page with 3 options:
  • Startup
  • GrowBig
  • GoGeek

We suggest choosing the first option (Startup). The Startup package is great for beginners. Keep in mind that you can always upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time (as needed).

Siteground hosting packages

  1. Click Get Plan
  2. Step #5 will take you to their Choose Domain page. Click on “Register a new domain” if you don’t have a domain name yet. In case you already have a domain name and just need web hosting, click on “I already have a domain.”
  3. Think of a domain name and enter it in the blank field. For example, xyzcompany.
  4. By default, the extension (the end part of your website address) is set at .com. Leave it at that, although you can see that you have other options.
  5. Click Proceed. This step will bring you to a Congratulations page (for choosing an available domain name).

Notes:

  • Your domain name will depend on your type of website – if it’s a Company site or a personal blog, for example. You can opt to use your Company name for a business website or your own name for a personal site.
  • We suggest going for .com (first option), .net (second option), or .org (third option). These are the most commonly used ones and they’re already considered reputable by a lot of people (we are concerned about branding and authority here).
  • Have several domain names (options) ready as choosing an available domain name can be pretty hard. Play with several options and you’ll surely find the perfect one (that’s available) for you.

Siteground account information

  1. After completing step #9, you will be taken to the Review and Complete page. Fill in all the required information such as the following:
  • Account information – Your email and password.
  • Client information – Your country, first name, last name, address, phone number, etc.
  • Payment information – Your credit card number, card expiration, etc.
  • Purchase information – Your plan (StartUp, if you followed our suggestion). Also, you need to choose from the Period drop-down menu the length of time for your hosting service (e.g. 12 months).
  • Extra Services – Make sure that there’s a check mark on the Domain registration checkbox. We also suggest getting the domain privacy option (click on the checkbox) to keep your registration information private (no one will know who the owner of your site is – for your protection against spamming).

Siteground purchase information

  1. Step #10 will show you the total amount that your purchase/ service will cost. You will also need to confirm (by ticking the checkbox) that you have read their Terms of Service.
  2. Click on the Pay Now button to complete the process of getting your domain name and hosting service from SiteGround.

Note: After completing the above steps, you will already have a domain name and web hosting. Congratulations!

Siteground Pay Now

2. Set Up Your Website

WordPress Tools Installation

Now that you have a domain name and web hosting, it’s time for you to set up your website by installing WordPress. Don’t worry, there’s a one-click installation option that lets you set up WordPress quickly (again, no coding skills required). There are 2 methods to choose from:

  • Method 1 – Via one-click installation
  • Method 2 – Via Softaculous installation

We’ll show you the step by step details below.

SiteGround cPanel

Method 1 – Via One-Click Installation

  1. Sign in to your Siteground account. Use the credentials on step #10 in the previous section (Account information). Remember, this (your SiteGround account) is where you’ll go to buy domains (additional) and upgrade or downgrade your plan. Note that you won’t be able to access your WordPress website with the same details (we’ll talk more about your WordPress credentials later in this post).
  2. Click on Your Accounts.
  3. Click Manage Accounts. You’ll see your domain account and hosting combination here.
  4. Click on the cPanel button next to your domain and hosting package (orange-colored button).
  5. Click Access cPanel Securely.
  6. Click Proceed.
  7. Step #6 will take you to a page with A LOT of stuff. Look for the WordPress Tools section and click on WordPress.
  8. Step #7 will take you to the WordPress Installation page. Click on the Install button located at the upper left. You also have the option to click on the Install Now button below the page (they’re the same).
  9. Step #8 will lead you to a page where you can customize your WordPress settings. Do the following:
  • In the domain protocol drop-down menu, choose this: http://www.
  • For the In Directory option, leave it blank.

WordPress One-Click Install

  1. Scroll down in the current page until you see the Site Settings. Here, you’ll customize your website’s name and description – for your site visitors and for SEO purposes (these will appear in searches). Here are the things to do:
  • The Site Name says “My Blog” – change that to your real website name such as your domain name (e.g. XYZ Company).
  • The Site Description says “My WordPress Blog” – change that to your own site’s description (e.g. Apparel Online Shop).
  • Change the Admin username to one of your choices. You will use this credential to access your WordPress site.
  • Change the Admin password to a new one (it should be strong and hard to guess). You will use this password with the Admin username above to access the back-end of your site.
  • For the email option, you can leave it as it is and simply forward emails received to your email account for your website. You can also opt to change it to a current email and receive your messages directly in the said email account.
  1. Click Save.
  2. Step #11 will bring you to the Congratulations page (for completing the WordPress installation).

Notes:

  • Using our previous example, your site visitors will go here (it’s your site URL):

http://www.xyzcompany.com.

  • Still using the same example, you’ll go here to edit your site (it’s your Administrative URL):

http://www.xyzcompany.com/wp-admin.

Note: This is the back-end of your site and you’ll need to log in here if you want to post something new or tinker with your site’s settings.

  • To sign in to your WordPress Admin Dashboard, use your Admin URL and enter your Admin username and password (see step #10). After that, you’re in!

Method 2 – Via Softaculous Installation

Although we highly recommend using Method 1 (WordPress One-Click Installation), we’d like to show you your other option. This time, you’ll need to install WordPress through the use of Softaculous.

Here are the steps to using this method:

  1. Do steps #1 to #6 in the first method.
  2. Under the AutoInstallers section, look for the Softaculous icon and click on it.
  3. Step #2 will take you to a page where you can choose which software you want to install. Look for WordPress and click on it.
  4. Do steps #8 to #11 in the first method.

Note: Step #4 will take you to the Congratulations page (for successfully installing WordPress).

WordPress Install Button

3. Design Your Website

Designing your website greatly depends on your theme (your chosen theme, to be exact). The particular theme that you choose will define your brand and mission statement.

You really should put a lot of time and effort into finding the right theme for your site. For this section, however, we won’t spend that much time in picking a theme (this is only meant as an example for you to follow). Besides, you can always change your theme later – so, just choose anything that’s pretty and appealing to you.

By default, your WordPress install already comes with a ready-to-use theme. If you want, you can settle for that one. Still, we recommend choosing another theme (as default themes are commonly used and we want a unique-looking site, right?). So, go ahead and choose a theme for your website and keep the following things in mind:

  • There are over 1,500 WordPress themes to choose from.
  • A lot of WordPress themes are free.
  • WordPress themes are highly customizable so you can really create a unique-looking site.

To give you an idea, we’re going to install a theme right now. Follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress site using your Admin URL (use your Admin username and password, of course).
  2. On your WordPress Dashboard, go to Appearance (it’s on the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click on Themes.
  4. Click Add New Theme.
  5. On the Add Themes page, look for the search field and type in the keywords for your preferred theme. For this example, we’re going to input these keywords: blue, two columns.
  6. Look at the results and pick a theme. For the keywords we used, 2 results showed up – we’re going to go for the Blue Planet theme.
  7. Click Install.
  8. After successful installation, click on Activate.

WordPress ThemesNotes:

  • Step #8 will automatically change your site’s theme from the default one to the new one.
  • You can change themes without losing your previous content.
  • Should you find some content missing (upon changing a theme), simply choose another one (the 2 themes might not be compatible with each other).

4. Add Content to Your Website

For this step, you will learn about adding pages to your site, creating menus, adding posts, and editing posts.

Steps to Adding Basic Pages on Your Website

Having pages on your website will make it more organized and appealing to your audience. These pages also represent certain sections and functions on your site. To add pages, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress Admin URL.
  2. In your Dashboard, go to Pages (it’s found on the menu at the left sidebar).
  3. Click Add New.
  4. Step #3 will take you to a page that looks like Microsoft Word. In the Title area, write the title of the page (e.g. About). In the text area, input your message (in this example, something about your site, Company or business).
  5. Click Publish.

Steps to Creating Menus on Your Website

WordPress MenuHaving menus for navigation will make it easy for your site visitors to find what they’re looking for while on your website. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Appearance (located on the left sidebar).
  3. Click Menus.
  4. Click Create a New Menu and name it something like Primary Menu or Main Menu. Note that some themes already have default menus.
  5. Add items to the menu by clicking on the pages you have already created (located at the left side). You can click on the About page and other pages that you may have already made by the time you create your menus. Note that you can easily add new pages on your menu as they become available.
  6. Once all the needed pages are checked, click Add to Menu.
  7. Click Save.

Notes:

  • To reorganize items in your menu, simply drag and drop them (up and down).
  • Choose where you want your menus to appear by clicking on the Manage Locations tab.

Steps to Adding Posts to Your Website

To add a new article on your website, follow these steps:

  1. Open your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Find the Posts section in the menu (left sidebar).
  3. Click Add New.
  4. On the editor page, enter the title and body of the article.
  5. Choose the article’s category from the list of Categories (right side) by clicking on the checkbox.
  6. Click Publish.

WordPress Add New Post

Steps to Editing Posts on Your Website

Sometimes, you need to edit posts for corrections and updates. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Posts (on the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click on All Posts.
  4. On the list of posts, find the post to be edited and click on edit (it’s found under the post title).

5. Add Plugins to Your Website

WordPress Plugins Add New

Plugins are WordPress extensions meant to expand a theme’s features and functionality. If you need a particular feature that’s not built into your current/ chosen theme, you can use a plugin instead.

The truth is, adding plugins to your WordPress site will allow you to get the most out of your theme. In fact, we don’t know of any WordPress users that don’t use plugins. Aside from being very useful, most plugins are free (some come with the option to donate).

Here are the steps to installing a plugin:

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Plugins (it’s on the menu at the left sidebar).
  3. Click Add New.
  4. In the Add New page, search for a plugin by entering its name (e.g. Contact Form 7). You can also input keywords if you’re not searching for a particular plugin (e.g. contact form).
  5. When the result/s are shown, click on the plugin.
  6. Click Install.
  7. Click Activate.

How to Install Contact Form 7

WP Contact Form 7

We used Contact Form 7 in the example above (for searching a contact form plugin) since it’s the most popular contact form for WordPress right now. With this plugin (as with most contact form plugins), your site visitors will be able to send you emails directly from your website (it’s safe, effective, and fast).

To give you an example on how to install a plugin, we’re going to give you the steps on how to install Contact Form 7 below.

  1. Log into your WordPress Admin Dashboard.
  2. Go to Plugins (found on the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click on Add New.
  4. On the Add New page, look for the search box and type in “Contact Form 7.”
  5. When you see the Contact Form 7 plugin, click on Install Now to download it.
  6. After successfully installing it, click on Activate.
  7. Go back to your Dashboard and click Contact (it’s now included on the menu at the left sidebar).
  8. Step #7 will take you to the Contact Forms Page where you’ll see “Contact Form 1” on the list of items (if it’s your first time to use it, there should only be one). Click on the contact form’s shortcode to copy it to your clipboard. The shortcode looks something like this: [contact-form-7 id=“123” title=“Form for Contact Page”].
  9. Paste the shortcode to a page, a post, or on a text widget (if you want to place a contact form on your site’s sidebar). For this example, however, we’re going to place it on a page to create a Contact Page.

We’re almost there. Perform these additional steps to complete the steps of creating a Contact Page with Contact Form 7:

  1. Go back to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Pages (on the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click on Add New.
  4. On the Add New page editor, enter “Contact” or “Contact Us” in the title field.
  5. In the section for the page’s body, paste the Contact Form 7 shortcode (see step #8 from the previous section).
  6. Click Publish.

You've Created Your Website!

Follow ALL the steps we detailed above and you’ll have your very own working website. Below are some of the other important things you need to do after creating your website. These things are necessary tweaks to ensure your site’s success (to make it user-friendly and search engine-friendly as well). It involves configuring some of the default settings on your WordPress site and installing plugins according to your specific needs.

20 Things To Do After Creating Your Website

Remember, WordPress is a user-friendly platform and it’s very easy to tinker with. It’s also highly customizable through the use of plugins. Here are 20 other things to do after completing the installation and setup of your website:

  1. Delete your WordPress dummy/ sample content
  2. Reset your WordPress password
  3. Edit your site name and tagline
  4. Edit the date and time settings on your website
  5. Set up language preference on your site
  6. Create basic pages for your website
  7. Specify a structure for your site’s permalinks
  8. Update your WordPress profile
  9. Edit and customize your site’s sidebar/s
  10. Set up your homepage and blog feed
  11. Create post categories for your site
  12. Configure your site’s comment settings
  13. Configure your site’s membership option
  14. Add other users to your site
  15. Update your site’s WordPress version
  16. Add a ping list on your WordPress site
  17. Schedule a backup for your website
  18. Upload a logo for your website’s favicon
  19. Remove all unused plugins on your WordPress Site
  20. Clean up and organize your WordPress dashboard

Below, we’ll give you step by step instructions on how to do them all.

#1 – Delete your WordPress Dummy/ Sample Content

WP Sample post

When you first install WordPress on your website, it will come with a sample post entitled “Hello World.” For the body, it will say something like: “This is your first post.” Needless to say, you won’t have any use for this post as it’s merely there as a sample for new users. To delete this dummy content, just follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Pages.
  3. Click on All Pages.
  4. Find the Hello World title and click trash (it’s found at the bottom of the post).

Notes:

  • Having the Hello World post on your site will reveal to your audience that it’s just a new site (with no authority yet).
  • Professional websites don’t keep the dummy content of Hello World – so, make sure that you get rid of it as soon as possible.

#2 – Reset your WordPress Password

WordPress Users Account Management

After your WordPress cPanel installation, you will need to change your password immediately to make your site more secure. Here are the steps on how to do this:

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Users (on the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click Your Profile.
  4. Click on Generate Password.
  5. Click Update Profile.

Notes:

  • Write down your new password as you will be using this password on your next logins.
  • If you have already created a new password by following the instructions we gave in one of the previous sections above (Step 2 – Set Up Your Website Method 1 Via One-Click Installation, step #10), you can skip this step.

#3 – Edit your Site Name and Tagline

WordPress Site Title Tagline

Your site’s name and tagline can both be seen on your Homepage and browser tab – that’s why it’s very important for branding purposes. Here are the steps to editing these fields:

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings (it’s found on the left sidebar on your Dashboard).
  3. Click on General.
  4. Step #3 will take you to the General Settings page. You’ll see a field for the Site Title (it says A WordPress Website) and Tagline (it says Your Tagline goes here). Edit both fields by clicking inside the box and inputting your own title and tagline.
  5. Click Save Changes.

Notes:

  • Your Title can be your Company name, Store name, or domain name.
  • Your tagline can be anything that describes your site or content. It could be your motto, mission statement, or something to that effect.
  • You can also opt to have a blank tagline – this will result in a clean-looking browser tab when people access your site.

#4 – Edit the Date and Time Settings on Your Website

WP Date Time Settings

You can take control of how the date and time elements will show on your site by configuring the Date and Time settings. The steps on how to do this are listed below.

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings (on the left sidebar menu)
  3. Click General.
  4. Step #3 will open the General Settings page and there you can configure the following:
  • Time zone – e.g. UTC+0
  • Date format – e.g. March 24, 2019, 03/24/2019, etc.
  • Time format – e.g. 12:30am, 12:30AM, etc.
  • Week starts on – Choose from the dropdown menu (default is set on Monday).
  1. Click Save Changes

Notes:

  • The time and date settings are particularly important for bloggers who regularly post on their blogs.
  • Setting the time and date on your site is also important if you’re scheduling posts for future publication.

#5 – Set Up Language Preference on Your Site

You have the option of choosing the language that you want to use on your website. To do that, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings (on the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click General.
  4. Step #3 will take you to the General Settings tab. Scroll down until you find the Site Language section.
  5. Click on the dropdown menu and choose a particular language – e.g. English (United States).
  6. Click Save Changes.

#6 – Create Basic Pages for Your Website

WordPress Add About Page

Before you start filling up your site with content (posts), you need to create the basic pages first. In fact, creating pages ideally come before creating menus (of course, you can also add newly created pages on your menu).

We already showed you how to create a Contact Page in one of the sections above. Aside from the Contact page, however, you also need to create an About page as well as other pages that are relevant to your particular website. In this section, we’re going to show you how to create an About page (you can create other pages using the same method). The steps are listed below.

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Pages (found on the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click Add New.
  4. Step #3 will take you to the Add New page. In the Title field, type in the word “About.”
  5. Fill in the body of the content editor with your message about your Company, blog, or your mission statement (why you created your website).
  6. Click Publish.

Note: Now that you know how to create 2 pages (Contact and About), you can just add other pages as you go along.

#7 – Specify a Structure for Your Site’s Permalinks

WP Permalink settings

WordPress generates URLs for each of your posts – and these are called Permalinks. By default, WordPress permalinks have a structure that looks something like this:

http://www.xyzcompany.com/?p=12

As you can see, it’s not very informative (and really not that attractive as well). When viewing permalinks, users would want to know what a particular post (or page) is all about. Something that looks like this would be better:

http://www.xyzcompany.com/mens-clothes-for-sale

Below is the list of steps to achieve this purpose.

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings (at the left sidebar).
  3. Click on Permalinks.
  4. Step #3 will show you 6 options for your permalink setting. Choose the Post name option as this will show the title of your article on your site’s URL.
  5. Click Save Changes.

Notes:

  • We highly recommend that you configure your site’s permalinks before publishing your first post.
  • Following the above procedures will let your site visitors know what a particular post is all about.
  • Using proper permalinks will help boost your SEO strategy as you can place keywords on your post titles.

#8 – Update your WordPress Profile

Once your WordPress website is active, you should make sure that your user profile is updated. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Users (left sidebar menu).
  3. Click on Your Profile.
  4. Step #3 will bring you to the Profile page. Input all the necessary information (especially those that are marked as required) such as the following:
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Nickname (it’s the name that will be displayed as the author in your posts)
  • Contact information (e.g. email)
  • Yahoo IM
  • Google+
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • About Yourself – Biographical information (you can put a short but catchy bio here)

#9 – Edit and Customize Your Site’s Sidebar/s

WP Sidebar widgets

The sidebars at the front-end of your website are useful for your site visitors as they can access the needed elements on your website easily. However, having too many elements there can also prove to be confusing and counter-productive. To keep your sidebar/s clean (especially after just completing the set-up process on your new WordPress site), do the following:

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Appearance (left sidebar menu).
  3. Click on Widgets.
  4. Remove widgets from the sidebars by dragging and dropping them at the pool of widgets on the left side of the screen.
  5. If you need widgets from the collection of available widgets, simply drag and drop them onto your site’s sidebars.
  6. The changes you make on this area of your WordPress back-end are automatically saved.

Notes:

  • Since changes are saved in real time, you can check how everything looks like at the front-end by reloading the page.
  • We recommend removing elements that are not really useful to you and your site visitors (e.g. Meta, Archives, etc.).
  • Use the Text Box widget to display elements that use HTML codes (e.g. ads). Simply paste the code inside the widget and it will display properly at the front-end of your website.

#10 – Set Up your Home Page and Blog Feed

WP Reading settings

By default, your WordPress homepage will display your latest posts. However, you can opt to display one of your pages as the homepage instead. Here are the steps to doing this:

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings (located at the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click on Reading.
  4. Step #3 will lead to the Reading Settings page. You will see these options:
  • Your latest posts
  • A static page

By default, the setting is set to “your latest posts.” To change this, click next to the “a static page” option.

  1. Still on the same page, you will see a Homepage select option with a dropdown arrow. Click on the dropdown arrow and select the particular page that you want to use as your site’s Homepage.
  2. Now, while still on the same page, scroll down and look for the area where you can configure the number of posts that you want to appear on your pages and RSS feed. By default, you will see these:
  • Blog pages show at most – 10 posts
  • Syndication feeds show the most recent – 10 items

You can opt to change the numbers by clicking on the box and editing the numbers. However, we recommend keeping the default settings for this one (10 is a good number if you want an uncluttered look).

  1. While still on the same page, scroll down and look for the area where you can set the length of an article on your site’s feed. You have two options:
  • Full text – this will display the article in full.
  • Summary – this option will only display an excerpt of the article.

Note: We recommend using the Summary option as this will result in a more organized and cleaner look. The excerpt will have a “Read More” button for readers who want to see the whole thing.

#11 – Create Post Categories for Your Site

WordPress Categories

Surely, you already know the type of content that you’re going to publish on your site even before you created it. You can get your ideas for categories from your possible topics for your niche. Make a list of your categories and create your Categories list by following these steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Posts (left sidebar menu).
  3. Click Categories.
  4. Step #3 will lead you to the Add New Category page. Enter a category in the Name field.
  5. Click Add New Category
  6. Repeat steps #4 and #5 for every category.

Notes:

  • Using the Categories feature will help keep your site organized.
  • Your site visitors will find it easier to navigate your site if you have categories for your topics.
  • WordPress has a default category named Uncategorized. All posts that are not categorized will automatically fall under this category.
  • You can categorize an article as you post it by choosing from the list of categories on the content editor before publishing it.

#12 – Configure Your Site’s Comment Settings

WordPress Discussion settings

You can choose to allow and disallow comments on your old and new posts. Here are the steps to configure your site’s comment settings:

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings (it’s found on the left sidebar).
  3. Click on Discussion.
  4. You will see three default settings on the Discussion page – and you can keep them all as is. However, do take note of the third setting which says: Allow people to post comments on new articles. This means that anyone can comment on your new articles. Keep it checked if that’s what you want. Also, take note that this option can be customized (overridden) for each article.
  5. On the same page, scroll down to configure the settings on other commenting options. Configure the setting on this: Automatically close comments on articles older than – 14 days. For this option, we recommend 14 to 30 days. Or you can simply uncheck it if you want to allow commenting on old posts.
  1. Just below the setting on step #5, you will find this option: Enable threaded (nested) comments. We recommend checking the enable threaded comments option as this will help your users keep track of their discussions on particular comments.

#13 – Configure Your Site’s Membership option

If you’re running a membership site, it’s important to configure your Membership options. Follow the steps below.

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings (found at the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click on General.
  4. Step #3 will open up the General Settings page. You will see something like this:

Membership: _ Anyone can register.

  1. Make sure that the checkbox next to the Anyone can register option is unchecked.

Note: If the checkbox is checked, this will allow anyone to register to your website. Yes, anyone – including spammers.

#14 – Add Other Users to Your Site

WordPress Add New User

If you’re running a website or blog with a lot of authors, it would be good to use the WordPress feature of adding other users to your site. This way, you can assign each user a different role and they can log in on their own to perform their specific tasks. Here are the steps to doing this:

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Users
  3. Click Add New.
  4. Step #3 will bring you to the Add New User page. Fill in the necessary details there (especially the required ones) such as the following:
  • Username – required
  • Email – required
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Website
  • Password – required
  1. Click on Send user notification – this will allow the system to send the new users their passwords (via email).
  2. Click on Add New User

Notes:

  • New users can update their own profile.
  • New users can change their passwords once inside.

#15 – Update Your Site’s WordPress Version

Update WordPress Version

Usually, one-click WordPress installers carry older versions of the app. It’s advisable to have the latest version of WordPress all the time – so, update your site’s WordPress version by following the steps listed below.

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. If you see an update notification, it means that you’re using an older version of WordPress. If this is the case, you will see something like this: WordPress 5.x.x is available. Please update now.
  1. Click on the “please update now” portion of the message and the system will automatically update your version of WordPress.

Notes:

  • You will see an update notification if there’s an updated version of WordPress.
  • If you see a WordPress version update notice on your Dashboard, make sure that you immediately click on the update link.
  • Having an updated version will keep your site more secure.

#16 – Add a Ping List on Your WordPress Site

For SEO purposes, having a ping list is very important. WordPress only has one default item in its ping list, but you can actually have many. So, to add to your WordPress site’s ping list, just follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings (on the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click Writing.
  4. Step #3 will open up to a page for Writing Settings. Scroll down until you see the Update Services section.
  5. Add your list of ping services to the field for that.
  6. Click Save Changes.

Notes:

  • The above settings will allow WordPress to send notifications to the ping services whenever a new post is published.
  • You can search Google for the latest list of ping services.

#17 – Schedule a Backup for Your Website

WP backup

It’s important to schedule backups for your website so that you can retrieve your files in the event of crashes and other unexpected problems. Needless to say, you need to install a Plugin for this. Below are the steps on how to do it.

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Plugins (it’s found on the left sidebar menu).
  3. Click on Add New.
  4. Step #3 will open the page for the Plugins section.
  5. On the search field, type in keywords such as “wordpress backup.”
  6. Pick one from the results (choose one with good reviews and high ratings).
  7. Click Install.
  8. Once the plugin is installed, click Activate.

Note: There’s a lot of free WordPress backup plugins – you will surely find one that will work for you.

#18 – Upload a Logo for Your Website’s Favicon

The little image that you see on the left side of a site’s title (when you open it on your browser tab) is called a Favicon. It’s mainly used for branding purposes. Follow these steps to upload a Favicon to your site:

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Appearance (look for it on the left sidebar).
  3. Click Customize. This will take you to a page with a lot of options. However, we’ll focus on uploading a Favicon for now.
  4. Click on Site Identity.
  5. Click on Site Icon.
  6. Click on the field to select an image to upload from your computer. You will be able to see how it looks on the right side of the search field.
  7. An image is autosaved once it’s successfully uploaded. You will then have these 2 ready options:
  • Remove
  • Change image

Notes:

  • Without a favicon, your website’s tab will simply display your site title. In some cases, the logo of the web hosting provider is displayed as favicon.
  • We recommend using a favicon not only for branding purposes but for aesthetic reasons as well (your browser tab will look boring without a favicon).
  • You can tinker with your favicon image (size, color, design) until you find the best look for your site.

#19 – Remove All Unused Plugins on Your WordPress Site

WP Installed Plugins

WordPress bundles come with pre-installed plugins that you might not find useful at all. To remove these, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Go to Plugins (you’ll see it at the left sidebar).
  3. Click on Installed Plugins.
  4. Click Deactivate on all active plugins that you want to delete. Note that the option to delete only shows up on deactivated plugins.
  5. Delete all deactivated plugins that you want to remove from your site.
  6. WordPress will ask you to confirm your action – just confirm by clicking yes and this will automatically remove the plugin from your list of installed plugins (and your system).

Notes:

  • You have the option of keeping your installed plugins even if you’re not using them. Simply deactivate them in this case.
  • Removing useless plugins (especially those that you’re sure you won’t use anyway) will keep your WordPress back-end tidy (in the Plugins section, at least).

#20 – Clean Up and Organize Your WordPress Dashboard

WP Dashboard Screen Options

WordPress installations from the cPanel usually come bundled with widgets and plugins that aren’t really useful to you – so, these can only clutter up your Dashboard. To clean up your WordPress Dashboard, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Dashboard.
  2. Look for the Screen Options dropdown arrow (it’s located at the upper right corner of your Dashboard, near your Admin profile image). Click on the dropdown arrow.
  3. Step #2 will reveal to you all the widgets that are currently checked by default. Uncheck all the widgets that you don’t need.

Notes:

  • After following the above steps, you will no longer see all the unneeded (unchecked) widgets on your Dashboard.
  • Unless you uncheck some of the widgets on the Screen Options menu, you will see all of them every time you log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  • We recommend removing the Welcome widget.
  • Consider removing the Activity widget.
  • Consider removing the WordPress News widget.

Congratulations on Your New Website!

WordPress Site

As you can see, creating a website without coding knowledge is indeed possible. Sure, it involves a lot of steps – but you can get used to these as you continue working on your website (or perhaps create new ones in the future).

Keep this step by step guide as your reference and we’re sure that you can create a truly beautiful and functional website on your niche. Good luck!