1: Register A Domain Name
A domain is your address. It’s how people on the internet will find you.
Securing a good domain name is a task unto itself. Chances are, the name you want is already registered as a .com. You might need to get creative. Generally, the shorter and more memorable the domain, the better.
For example, the domain name could be “mycompanyname.com” .
It can be a good idea to register a domain with your desired hosting provider. It makes managing the domain easier and often transparent.
The cost of a domain varies — usually around $12/year for generic TLDs such as .com, .net, .org and .info.
2: Finding A Host
A hosting provider is where your website content resides. Like a domain, it is a necessity.
Hosting varies considerably in price and quality. For your first website, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $50 monthly, depending on your desired experience. When purchasing hosting, you are renting space on a server for your website files to reside. You are also buying security, speed, reliability, management and more. Hosting features vary as much as the prices. At the end of the day, you want to find a host that caters to your needs.
3: Choosing WordPress As The CMS
WordPress is the foundation, frame, plumbing, wiring and roof of your website.
A content management system (CMS) is software for managing your website — similar to using OSX on your Apple, or Windows on your PC. A good CMS allows for the creation and management of pages, blog posts, menus, content and much more with ease.
There are many CMS options for managing websites. Sparing the confusion, WordPress is arguably the best web CMS available. The platform is open source, extremely powerful, secure, user friendly and best of all, it’s completely free.
If it’s free, how good can it really be?
Really good. Thousands of talented designers and developers have contributed to development of WordPress by improving the core software, creating themes, plugins and more. It has been tested and constantly improved over the course of several years by millions of users. It’s used by single moms and fortune 500 companies alike. WordPress currently powers over 50% of all sites that use content management systems. When taking into consideration how many websites exist on the internet, that number is massive — over 74.6 million websites. Just take a look at how many times the latest version of WordPress has been downloaded.
Just because WordPress is powerful, doesn’t mean it’s incredibly simple. While it is very user friendly, it will require some effort to familiarize yourself with using WordPress. Like any new software, there is a learning curve involved.
It’s not magic. WordPress does not build your website for you. It won’t read your mind. It’s a vehicle for adding content, images, functionality, changing the appearance of your website and more. The possibilities are endless with WordPress, but don’t let that overwhelm you.
4: The Website Appearance
WordPress Themes control the appearance of your site. In real estate, a WordPress theme is the paint on the walls, the type of flooring, landscaping, etc. It’s the presentation of your content — what people see when they visit your site.
There are no shortage of themes available for WordPress.
Choosing a theme is a matter of needs and personal preference. It’s the most artistic piece of the website process — and also the most subjective. Some people change themes like they’re changing clothes.
In terms of installing and setting up a theme, WordPress has made this an easy process. We’ve provided theme installation instructions. Setting up a theme usually requires the setting and saving of theme options — give or take a couple steps.
5: Adding Content
The content is the most important part of your website. As the saying goes, content is king. It is the furniture in your house, the food in your fridge; what makes your space habitable. It’s a common misconception among first timers that the purchase of a theme includes the content seen in the demo. Many WordPress users have existing content, and installing a theme that creates additional content is very undesirable.
The content is up to you. There is an art to writing great content, organizing your pages and using great images. Poor content and images will make the difference between an amateur site and a professional one.