There are many of people out there right now who want to create and launch a website, but they simply don’t have the money available. Unfortunately, most conventional methods you’ll use to put a site together are going to cost you a lot of money – perhaps even thousands of dollars.
Luckily, however, you can use the web’s best content-management system, WordPress, and create a fully-functioning, great-looking, professional website for mere pennies on the dollar.
Our WordPress video tutorial gives a really in-depth look at how to easily create a site in a matter of hours, and we’ll relay some of that information to you here in this article.
1: Finding Web Hosting and Choosing a Domain
There are dozens of reputable web hosts out there, but Hostgator is the one we use, and the one you should use. You can get a Baby plan for dollars a month, and a really solid plan with a domain and tons of space for $12/month – the Hatchling plan. So, just stop by Hostgator, choose the right plan, fill out your information, and select your plan.
If you don’t have a domain name, you can create one here and purchase it. All told, you’ll get out there of there for under $20, especially after using our own coupon code for your purchase, “PressTheWord.” Just enter that for an extra 25% savings. Fill out legitimate information and wait for your confirmation email.
2: Installing WordPress on Your Server
This confirmation email from Host Gator is very important. It contains not only the link to your control panel but also your login information – user name and password. You can change these later, of course, but for right now, click-through on the control panel link from your email, and scroll through the panel until you find an option that says Quick Install. After choosing this, you will see the WordPress option on the left-hand side; simply click it, hit Continue, select your site name (your domain name) from the drop-down box, and install it after filling in the required fields.
Now just wait a few hours and you can log into your WordPress site by visiting Yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin – this takes you to your WordPress site.
3: Installing the Best Theme
There are a lot of different themes you could choose here, but if you want something that looks professional and functions incredibly well on every platform, then it’s the Responsive theme you’re after.
So, from your WordPress site, go to the Appearance tab, click on Themes, and then on Install Themes. Here you will find a list of different themes, with the one you want, the Responsive theme, under the featured theme. If it isn’t, just search for it and install it, and then activate it for it to take hold.
4: Changing Your Homepage and Fixing the Layout
Now you can check out your responsive theme. Just refresh if it hasn’t shown up yet. But we’re not quite done setting up a WordPress site yet. The theme isn’t quite responsive. We have to go through a couple of quick steps to fix that, starting by visiting your Dashboard, hovering your mouse over Pages, and selecting the Add New option.
You first want to add a new page, creating a Home page, and publishing it. Don’t worry; you don’t have to add any content to it yet. Next up, go through the same steps and create a new Blog page. After you have created these two pages without content, return to your Dash, hover over Settings, and click on Reading. Now you simply have to change your front page display to a static page in the circled options, and set your front page to your Home page and your Posts to a blog page.
5: Installing New Pages on Your Site
The previous step may have seemed a bit complicated, but the options are there in your line of sight, so you don’t have to search around. Fixing those pages will allow the Responsive theme to actually change and adapt. Now, to add additional pages, just follow the beginning steps discussed above, by hovering over the Pages tab and selecting Add New. You can name them whatever you want, inserting photos, videos, etc.
6: Adding Custom Widgets
On your homepage, do you see those three widgets at the bottom? Home 1, 2 and 3? Well, you can change these by simply visiting your Dashboard, Appearance, and Widgets. On the bottom-right, you will see these widgets (titled the same as on your homepage). From the center of the page, you will see different widgets you can add. If you want to create a custom widget, though, you’ll need a visual editor. That way you can add text, custom icons, links, etc.
So, search for a widget in the area and look for Black Studio TinyMCE Widget (just type “black” into the box). Install this, activate it, and drag it into any widget box you wish. You can now name it whatever you want and enter anything you wish.
7: Creating a Free Logo
Every website needs a cool logo, and you can get one for free by stopping by pixlr.com. From Pixlr, you will see three main options; choose the Editor Advanced option. Now you can add any image you want (just make sure it’s a PNG image so that it’s transparent), changing the size, adding effects, etc. You can go and watch various WordPress video tutorials on Youtube if you want a more detailed description and additional tips on where to find a great icon.
8: Adding Social Media Widgets
You can add a variety of different widgets, including social media widgets. For a detailed look at installing Facebook, check out our video. But for right now, here’s a simple way to install your YouTube Subscribe widget. Just visit Appearance from your Dashboard and return to the Widgets area. It’s practically the same steps as the custom widgets, only this time you want to search for the YouTube Subscribe widget. Drag it into your widget box on the right-hand side, add a little blurb of text there, and you’re ready to go after installing and activating.
If you were to break these down into simple steps, you’re probably looking at over a dozen rather than just eight for a complete website. However, a lot of the steps are repetitive, such as adding widgets and pages, and the main thing you need to focus on is finding the right host and the right theme. Other than that, you can have a lot of fun playing around with your site and creating something custom.