How to Build a Website from Scratch (Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners)
Creating a website from scratch is like building a house. You need a plan, a piece of land, the necessary materials, and some time to build your dream house.
In the same way, creating a website also involves some essential steps. Luckily, these are not as complicated as building a house. If you are planning to create a brand new website, go through the steps provided below, and you will be able to create your website within a short period.
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So, are you ready to create the website? Let’s get started.
Choose the Domain
The process of building a new website starts with selecting a suitable domain name. Since this is the name people will use to recognize your site, it is crucial to choose an interesting, memorable name.
There are some standard guidelines for selecting a domain name. First of all, the name should be relevant to your industry. It needs to be short, precise, and easy to pronounce. People should be able to get an idea about the site from the domain name.
Regarding the domain extension, it would be great if you can find a “.com” domain. However, you can also try the other standard ones like .net, .me, .co, .org, .info, .io, or the latest ones like .blog, .shop, .agency, .buzz, .center, and so on.
There are already 1.2 billion+ websites on the internet, which makes it a bit difficult to find out a suitable domain name in your first attempt. That is why you need to use a domain name generator tool. These tools will help you find out relevant, interesting domain names within a short period. Once you have found a name, you can use a registrar like NameCheap to register the domain.
Select a Great Hosting Provider
Now that you have chosen a domain name, the next important step is to pick a great hosting provider. It will lend you the space to store the website files. There are so many hosting providers and hosting packages that most beginners become very confused in this step. Let me help you make a wise decision.
First of all, keep in mind that you should choose a shared hosting plan. Unless you want to create a media-heavy website, shared plans will be more than enough for you.
The next question is which hosting provider to choose. Since you are a beginner, I suggest you stick with the familiar ones like Bluehost, HostGator or DreamHost. Each of these hosting services offers shared plans at reasonable prices along with timely customer support.
Gone are the days when you had to write your own code or hire a developer to create a website for you. These days, it is all about Content Management Systems (CMS). These systems offer a comprehensive set of tools to help you create, launch, and manage a website.
While there are several CMS options available, I strongly suggest you choose WordPress. Being the leading CMS, it currently powers 28% of all the websites on the internet. That means one out of three sites is probably using WordPress.
There are several reasons behind this incredible popularity of WordPress. First of all, it is free to use and very simple to get started with. Then, there are so many WordPress themes and plugins available that you can create any type of website you want.
Since so many people use WordPress, it is a lot easier to get support for any website problem. What’s more, it is highly likely that someone else has faced the same problem before you. Which means you can find solutions to most of your problems if you know where to look.
Choose an Appropriate Theme
WordPress themes offer a solid structure for your website. They will provide you with the designs for the home page and the necessary pages along with lots of additional features. It is also possible to customize the theme-provided design to apply your branding.
The default WordPress installation comes with some basic themes that may work for blogging sites. But if you want professional design and more features, you should go for a premium theme. There are several places like ThemeForest, TemplateMonster, Mojo Marketplace, Elegant Themes, StudioPress, etc. where you can purchase a premium theme.
When choosing a theme, make sure it is relevant to your industry and comes with all the features you need. Also check out other metrics like the customer reviews, average rating, the number of downloads, and so on.
Install the Required Plugins
WordPress plugins enable you to add advanced features to your website. You will need two types of plugins for your website. First of all, some basic plugins are necessary for any WordPress site. These include the security, SEO, social sharing, backup, contact form, cache, slider, page builder plugins, etc.
The other type of plugins depends on the type of website you are going to create. For instance, if you are building a real estate website, you will need plugins to display the available listings, provide detailed information for the single listing, allow the visitors to submit their own listing, show listing on Google Maps, and so on.
There are both free and premium plugins available for WordPress. The official directory is the best place to find free plugins, while CodeCanyon offers the largest collection of premium WordPress plugins.
Add the Necessary Content
At this point, you have prepared the basic structure of your website. Now, it’s time to add the necessary content. First of all, you have to create the basic pages like the homepage, about us, contact us, copyright, terms of service, etc.
Then, you should create the pages required by your website type. Continuing with the real estate website example, you will need pages to display all listings, single listing, dealer profile, FAQ, and so on. If you plan to have a blog on your website, you can publish a few initial blog posts to get started.
Launch Your Website
Well, we are in the final stage of building your website. At this point, you are only one step away from launching your site on the internet. Before you do that, we need to make sure that everything is okay.
Take some time to go through the plugin settings. Make sure that the contact form works, and the social media buttons are linked correctly. If possible, get a friend or family member to check the whole website from a visitor’s perspective. This will be helpful to reveal any silly mistake you may have missed.
Keep in mind that your job isn’t finished once you launch the website. Instead, you have to perform some regular tasks like adding new content, keeping everything updated, creating regular backups, etc.
Now that you have read this in-depth tutorial, you should feel confident with the whole process of creating a website from scratch. Am I right? Let me know in the comments below.
And if you have any question about the steps described above, let me know that too. I will try my best to help you out.