Making your First Website
In this modern era of the internet, where every company and shop have a website for themselves, it is essential to build a website, to reach the global audience and customers while staying local. Making a website can be hard, as there is a lot of information out there and some are trying to make money off you, by selling you different packages or plans to their services. Services like Wix or Squarespace are good if you want to build a personal page using drag and drop, but if you want a real website or blog, where you can actually control the whole functionality, you’d have to go with a real choice like building the website with Self-Hosted WordPress. In this article, i am going to show you just that, so you can build your website on your own and you will not have to spend hefty amounts of money on hiring freelancers and getting it done. Below is each and every step to building your online presence, from purchasing a domain to finishing your blog or website by modifying the configuration.
Step #1 – Register Domain Name
The first step to making any website is to purchase a domain name that will represent your website. This name should be unique and should perfectly represent what content you will be hosting. If you’re building this website for your company or shop, getting a domain name with the name of your business is great, but if you are going to build a blog for yourself to start with online money making and sharing content, you might have to brainstorm some ideas. I’d recommend you sit with your friends and start brainstorming names for your blog for the niche you’re making the website. After you have 10-15 names, go to GoDaddy or Namecheap and start searching to see if the domain’s available, then go with the best domain that you like. If you are not sure what domain names are, you can head to this link and read more about it.
How to register a domain?
For this guide, I will be going with Namecheap, as this is one of the best domain registrars I have worked with, they have awesome support staff to help you 24×7.
- First of all open Namecheap, hover over “Domains” option in the menu and click on “Domain name search“, or alternatively you can find a search box in the homepage, just enter the name you want to purchase and click “Search”, then wait for the Namecheap page to fetch results for you.
- Now, if the domain you want to purchase is available, click on the Cart button (a shopping cart icon) next to your domain and it will be added to cart. If .com TLD is not available, you can try getting a .net or .org TLD, or you can select from one of the other popular TLD’s according to your choice and add it to cart (you can purchase multiple domains at once, just add them to the cart).
- Now from the right-side panel, click on the “View Cart” button and you will be taken to the shopping cart page.
- Now, select the required options. I’d recommend you to purchase WhoisGuard with the domain, as it’s free of cost. Select how many years would you like to purchase the domain for and then click on “Confirm Order”
- In the next window or page, it will prompt to either make an account or log in to an existing one. If you already have one, you can log in at this point. If you don’t have one, click on “Create new account” and create an account, then confirm it with the email you got in your email.
- Once your account has been made, you will be redirected to the next page now click on “Place order” and pay with your Credit or Debit card (or PayPal).
- Once you have done purchasing the domain, you can head to the next step.
Step #2 – Setup Hosting
After purchasing a domain name, the next step is to purchase hosting for your domain, where your website is actually hosted. Many people refer to this as Shared Hosting or Cloud, but in short, you are just purchasing space on a server hosted in some data center (Namecheap’s datacenters in this case). In this step, we will actually be purchasing a small and cheap hosting plan for you.
How to Purchase and Setup Hosting?
This step by step guide will teach you exactly how you can purchase a web hosting package from Namecheap.
- First of all, head to this Shared Hosting page on the Namecheap’s website and select the plan you want, then click on the “Add to cart” option. If you’re on a budget, the Value (Stellar) Hosting package is more than suitable for you.
- In the next page, click “Use a domain I own with Namecheap” and sign into or log into your account that you created in the last method, then select the domain you would like to use with this hosting package, and then complete the purchase process (as we did for the domain in the last step, steps should be similar)
- Once your purchase is complete, you will get an email from Namecheap with credentials to your hosting account, click on the link and then log into cPanel with your credentials.
- Now log into your Namecheap account and go to your dashboard (in a new window or tab) and open “Domains” section
- Next to your domain, click the manage button and wait for the next page to load.
- In this page, under nameservers section, click on use Namecheap’s hosting nameservers, or you can manually put in these nameservers: “dns1.namecheaphosting.com” & “dns2.namecheaphosting.com”
- Once done, go back o your cPanel window and you are into the first cPanel page, scroll down and find “Softaculous Apps Installer”, and click “WordPress” under it.
- On the next page, click on the “Install Now” button (the big blue one) and it will load the next page. Now fill in information about your website and leave the “In Directory” section blank, unless you want to install WordPress into a folder. Fill in the administrative username and password, and once finished with all the configuration, click on “Install” button (at the bottom of the page)
- It will begin the WordPress installation process, wait for it to finish and you will see a “Successfully Installed” message at the end, along with a URL to WordPress administration area, click on it.
- That’s it, your website (WordPress installation) is complete and you are ready to proceed to the next step.
Step #3 – Basic Configuration and Settings
Our website is ready now, but before we release it to the public, let’s give it a few more finishing touches. These will be the configuration or settings that are required to be done on any new WordPress website. These are the basic settings, like changing your Website’s name and description, changing the timezone (to your local timezone) & setting permalinks to be search engine friendly, etc.
How to Change basic settings?
As we clicked on the link in the last guide, you should be on the dashboard right now. If you are not, go to your-website.com/wp-admin (replace your-website.com with your domain name) and log into the WordPress admin account.
- After you have logged in to WordPress dashboard, hover your mouse cursor over the “Settings” option at the bottom of the left panel and click on “General Settings”.
- Once the General Settings page is loaded, enter the desired website title and description, then set the time zone to your native and click on “Save Changes” (you can also interact with other options).
- Now hover your mouse cursor over the “Settings” option again and this time, click on the “Permalinks” option.
- Once the page is loaded, set the permalink to “Post name” (recommended for most website, as it generates SEO friendly URL’s) and click on the “Save Changes” button.
- That’s it, you are done with the basic settings and configuration of the website, you can now interact with other settings like Installing a theme, installing plugins, customizing website, etc.
We recommend you to install some of the basic plugins for a better website. These basic plugins include Jetpack, Yoast SEO, Contact form 7, etc, and also recommend you to add your website to different webmaster console’s, like google’s webmaster console, bing webmaster console, as it will help you reach more audience with your content (make sure to submit a sitemap to these consoles, once you have verified your ownership of the website). Also, connect a wordpress.com account to your jetpack plugin and add google analytics’ code to it, to better track the audience.
Do let me know your thoughts on this article, I would love to hear from you!