Need a website without hiring a designer? Not feeling tech-savvy? You’re in the right place!!
In the paragraphs that follow, I am going to show you how absolutely simple it is to create a WordPress website—almost anybody can do it. I’m going to give you the basic steps you can follow right now to get your website going today (without knowing any code).
You’re going to need to download my FREE 50+ page guide adapted from my workshop on How to Create a WordPress Website to get all the details you need. (They simply don’t fit in a blog post.)
Better yet, you might prefer to go straight to the workshop where you can get the whole shebang, complete with 25 modules, 20+ videos, and worksheets to help you get ‘er done.
But first, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Heather McKelvey, and I created Savvy Courses and Workshop 1: Create a WordPress Website. I’ve been creating websites since 2004. (You can see a smidgen of my work at sitesonmain.com.)
I started out making websites from scratch, with HTML and CSS over ten years ago. My favorite part of every website project is teaching the client how to edit their website in WordPress. Using WordPress is super easy and fun, and the client always feels empowered.
If you’ve priced a website job lately, you know hiring a designer can be pretty expensive. As an entrepreneur, I have always wanted to serve other entrepreneurs and small business owners who really need a lower entry point on getting a website.
One day a light bulb turned on, and I realized that if I could teach people how to create their own WordPress websites, I would be happy and they would save money, and the world would be a better place. So after many months of work, I am presenting to you my very first WordPress workshop.
And I’m offering a large portion of it to you at no cost. Simply download the free 50+ page guide, follow the steps, and you’ll have a website today.
So let’s get started! Here are the basic steps we cover in the guide. I cover a lot more detail in the guide, so this is just a small taste of what’s to come.
1. Choose a Domain Name
Top 3 Things to Know About Domain Names
The domain name is the address to your website–that thing you type in your browser with the .com after it. You know, like www.google.com is the domain name for the Google website.
You need to know three things in order to get a domain name:
- How to select a good domain name
- How to find out if your domain name is available
- How and where to register a domain name
The free guide is going to teach you all of these things in detail. To make things as easy as possible, I always recommend registering your domain with the same company where you purchase website hosting.
2. Get Website Hosting
What is Website Hosting?
Your website host provides the physical space on their server to store your website files and kindly delivers them to the browser when requested by a user with the domain name. Now there’s a whole lot more that goes into hosting a website than just the obvious.
Choose a Good Host
If you’re choosing a host for your website, you want to pick the Hostess with the Mostess. When you host a party, you want to roll out the red carpet and play the hottest music and serve the tastiest hors d’oeuvres and generally make your guests feel like superstars, right? Well there’s a company that can do that for you with your website—Media Temple (mt).
I’ve recently become an affiliate with (mt), so you need to know right off the bat that I will earn a small commission if you sign up for hosting through my link. You also need to know that I would have written this article in exactly the same way, even if I did not have financial benefit. Because. I. LOVE. (mt).
Top 10 Reasons You Should Use Media Temple Hosting
- Superior Quality powering more than 1.5 million websites
- Super awesome WordPress-certified customer support with U.S.-based support teams available 24/7/365
- WordPress Hosting makes it E.A.S.Y. Your WordPress install is done for you in a New York minute.
- Automatic backup and restore
- Security—DDoS and Intrusion Protection
- Exclusive, professional themes in your control panel
- Save Time—you won’t have to wade through other hosting options. You can just get started today.
- Save up to $40 on hosting. (When you register for an annual payment plan.)
- 99.999% Network Uptime guaranteed
- WordPress videos available in the dashboard
3. Gather Content
So what exactly is “content”? Content is the actual information you are displaying on your website, mainly in the form of text and photos or other graphics. Some of your content may be headings, paragraphs, lists, forms, pictures, infographics, etc.
Gathering and planning the content can often be the most difficult part of building a website—it is often overlooked in the planning process, and it’s often the piece I have the most difficulty obtaining from my clients. And organizing it in a way that makes it easy to display in a website can be challenging if not done systematically and thoughtfully.
That’s why I’ve made some worksheets especially for you. Web designers use what are called “sitemaps”, “storyboards,” “wireframes” and other such nifty inventions to visually represent the content of their websites.
I’m gonna venture a guess that you’re using more like, a yellow legal pad. Or the back of some crazy coloring sheet the kids left on the printer and forgot about. Either one of those will totally work. But to make it even easier, you can just download the worksheets I have created to help you work your way through the content module.
These worksheets are available only to workshop students, so register here.
4. Fire Up WordPress
What is WordPress?
I don’t know that I have adequately explained what WordPress is just yet. WordPress is the command center of your website and is called a…fancy term here…Content Management System (CMS).
A CMS is a place where you get to log in to the control panel of your website’s content and create and edit that content with an editor that looks a lot like the tool bar in a word processing software.
When you sign up for WordPress hosting with Media Temple (mt), you won’t believe how easy it is to install WordPress–because you don’t have to. It happens for you automatically in the time it takes you to enter your credit card number.
If you are using a different host, you can follow the steps in your host’s support website to install WordPress. Most hosts make this very easy with a one-click install process. If you are not-so-tech savvy and your host does not offer an easy-install method of WordPress, you may want to consider using a different host. I’m just sayin’.
Login to WordPress
Login at Yourdomainname.com/wp-admin, and replace “Yourdomainname” with…your domain name. Enter the username and password you selected during the installation process.
If you are using (mt)’s WordPress hosting, you can also login by going to your (mt) control panel, clicking “Manage Site”, and then clicking “WP Admin”.
When you are logged in, you will see your WordPress Dashboard, where you have access to all the site management tools for your website’s management.
On the first screen you’ll see three sections: a toolbar at the top, the main navigation menu on the left, and the main work area on the right, filling most of the page. You will learn about each of these areas in the free guide.
5. Create Posts and Pages
You are probably familiar with the idea of a blog—an online journal that displays articles, usually with newest articles first, and organizes those articles into categories that group similar articles. We refer to those articles as posts.
In contrast to blogs, pages display static content, or content that stays the same. Most websites contain a menu that gives links to pages, like About Us, Contact Us, etc. at or near the top of the site.
With WordPress, you can choose whether your homepage displays a static page or a list of your blog posts. This setting is edited within the Settings > Reading area of your main navigation menu.
To create a post or a page, you will simply hover over your main navigation menu item “Posts” or “Pages” and click “Add New”.
The free guide goes into better detail about using the editor to create and edit the body of your posts and pages. Even better? The workshop gives you videos to show you on the screen exactly what to do.
6. Add Photos and Images
WordPress makes it wonderfully easy to add images, and even photo galleries, to your website. You’re going to enjoy the video in this module, because you’re not only going to learn how to upload photos, you’re gonna learn a quick little trick for getting a bunch of photos uploaded at once.
The basic idea is that you will select a post or page to edit, place the cursor where you want to put the image, and click the Add Media button. A neat little panel will then open up that walks you through the process of getting your photo from your computer to your website.
The free guide is also going to explain how to fine-tune your photos using Image Compression as well as the importance of using titles and alternative text.
So Let’s Review
Since you have registered your domain name, signed up for hosting, gathered your content, fired up WordPress, created some posts and pages, and added photos, you have a website!
Now comes the really fun part of learning to use WordPress and putting the rest of your content in place. There are tons of tutorials online that can teach you the ins and outs of WordPress.
If you consider yourself non-tech-savvy or otherwise just want a very easy-to-follow blueprint that tells you step-by-step what to do to learn WordPress, then my workshop is for you.
If you’re one of the lucky ones, you may find that the free guide will be enough info to get you off to the races and creating your own WordPress website. If you are fairly tech-savvy, you can probably find your way around the WordPress Dashboard fairly easily and figure out the rest on your own.
For those who are not-so-tech savvy, I’ve made Workshop 1: Create a WordPress Website super easy and as geek-free as possible. You will find so much more content there than I could include in a blog post or a 50-page (or so) typed guide. Check out the details of what’s behind the curtain in the workshop:
- 25 Modules teaching you how to create a WordPress website in geek-free language
- 20+ Videos showing you step-by-step how to operate every main feature of WordPress
- 14 Pages of downloadable worksheets that help you create the content you need and manage important information
- Master assignment list that helps you track your progress in the course
- Links to additional resources that will help you obtain everything you need to complete your website
- Bonus Goodies
What To Do Next
If you’re not-so-tech savvy, do yourself a favor, and sign up for the workshop today. You will build your website right along with the workshop and save yourself thousands of dollars or a bottle of headache pills.
Not sure you’re ready to spend any money? You can’t go wrong with my free 50+ page guide to How to Create a WordPress Website. The workshop will be here if you change your mind.