STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON BUILDING YOUR SITE
HOW TO CREATE A WEBSITE FROM SCRATCH
I am going to show you how to create a website from scratch. You won’t need to have any technical knowledge. Just follow every step below, and you will have your own website in no time.
Even though I have designed many of my websites in programs such as Dreamweaver, Flash and even basic HTML. I now exclusively design all of my websites on a platform called WordPress. WordPress will allow you to easily customize your website and with so many templates available, you can find a template for any kind of business.
BUYING YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Domain Names are purchased from sites called registrars. I pick between 4 different registrars and I always buy from the cheapest one at the time. Don’t worry, not one registrar is better than the other. You are just looking for the cheapest price here. For this tutorial, lets use 1and1.com because I’ve been able to buy domain names for $1 per year!
Usually when purchasing a domain name, the amount of extra offers that pop up can become overwhelming. So make sure you don’t click on additional offers. Below I highlight exactly what to do.
Click here to go to: 1&1 Domain Registration
PICK A DOMAIN NAME
Usually you want to find something with .com at the end. If not, try .net. Enter the name you want and click “Check.”
Once you find a name that is available, you want to click on “Continue.”
Click on “Continue with Domain only”
This screen will try and upsell you some other names. Just scroll to the bottom and click on “No thanks, continue without selection”
Once you get to your cart, click “Continue”
Next it will ask you if you want to register as a new customer or if you have an account. You will click on new customer.
The following screen, you will fill out your information. But you will get to the options below. You want to fill out “Register your domain privately.” This makes it so that your information is kept private.
Then you will continue to fill out your credit card information and you’re done.
You will be sent a confirmation email with details. Keep it.
Congrats, you now own your domain name!
BUYING YOUR WEB HOST
Now that you have a name, your name needs a place to live. It’s going to live in a web host.
I’ve used plenty of hosts, and in the end, I recommend the company Hostgator. This is where I host my own sites. They have great support, are reliable and cheap.
So lets get started.
Click here to go to: Hostgator.com
Click on “Get Started Now”
I recommend choosing the “Baby Plan” because you can host UNLIMITED websites.
Make sure it says Baby, and you can choose your billing cycle.
When you scroll down, you will be asked for these Additional Services. Uncheck the box. Unless you really do want these services.
And this is it. Make sure your price is right and click on “Checkout Now.”
Fill out all your credit card info and you will receive an email confirmation.
Congrats, you now have a web host!
POINTING YOUR DOMAIN NAME TO YOUR WEB HOST
So now you need to connect both your name to your host. This is done by pointing the name servers of your domain name to your web host.
You should have received an email from Hostgator telling you what your NAMESERVERS are. It should look something like this:
Name Server: NS6619.HOSTGATOR.COM
Name Server: NS6620.HOSTGATOR.COM
Now, we are going to go into our 1and1.com account and point the nameservers to hostgator.
Click here to go to: 1and1.com
Click on “Login” at the top right.
Enter your Customer ID number which was emailed to you with your password. You want the “Control Panel” tab highlighted.
Click on “1&1 Instant Domain”
Click on “Manage Domians”
Click the “check box.” Then click on “Domain Settings.” Then “Edit DNS Settings”
And this is where you enter the nameservers that were given to you. Also make sure you click on “Other name servers.” Then scroll down and click “Save.”
Congrats, you have pointed your domain name to your web host!
INSTALLING WORDPRESS WITH YOUR WEB HOST
So now that you have pointed the name to your host. You have to wait usually 24 – 48 hours. It’s going to take some time for your domain name to start pointing to your web host. So be patient.
So once enough time has gone by. You are going to need your username and password, which should have been in your welcome email from Hostgator. Now, lets log in and set up our Word Press site!
Go to your domain name Cpanel. It’s going to look like this: http://yourdomainname.com/cpanel
Enter your username and password. Click on “Log In.”
You will be taken to your Cpanel home page. Scroll down and you will see an icon with “QuickInstall.” Click It.
Find the WordPress Icon to the left. Click It.
Then click “Continue.”
You are ready to install. Fill all the fields on the bottom and then click “Install Now.”
Congrats. WordPress is now installed!
CREATING YOUR FIRST PAGE AND POST ON WORDPRESS
Now it’s time to go into WordPress and start creating your site.
Go to your WordPress Admin Section: http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin
Enter your username and password.
Make sure you update to the latest WordPress.
Go to “Settings” and click on “Permalinks”
You want to click on “Post Name.” This is going to create easy URL’s for your site. Meaning if you write a post titled “Hello” then your post will be http://yourdomain.com/hello/ instead of something like http://yourdomain.com/p=3. It’s easier to make this change now, rather than later or else something like this could hurt your search engine rankings down the road.
To create your first PAGE, you will simply go to “Pages” and then “Add New”
Then to create your first POST you will go to “Posts” and then “Add New”
For your home page, you may want to show a specific page. This is what I usually do for my sites. So in order to have your home page be a “Static” page and not just a blog page with all your posts, go to “Settings” then “Reading.” Click on “a static page” and you can choose from the drop down, what you want your home page to be.
You are going to need menus, for your site. Go to “Appearance” then “Menus.” WordPress lets you have several menus. You can have a menu on the top and even at the bottom. So the first thing you need to do is name your menu. I pick something easy like “Top Menu.” Then you can start adding menu items from the left hand side. Finally, you will need to tell WordPress where you want this menu to appear. So click on “Top primary menu” for example.
Congrats, you built your first website on WordPress!
There is a lot more in WordPress. I will show you how to add new themes and plugins so you can create a site just like mine and also learn how to optimize your site for the search engines.