A WordPress website is a site created using the open-source content management system WordPress. It is typically best for small companies that need a user-friendly, no-code-required builder with extensive customization options. To build a WordPress website, you need to sign up for hosting, choose a theme, and then customize the theme using WordPress menus.
What Is a WordPress Website?
WordPress is an open-source website content management system (CMS) that can be free or paid. It is one of the most popular website platforms because it is easy to use and can be customized to support both very simple business websites as well as content-rich, sophisticated sites. WordPress websites use custom-made themes as well as third-party plug-ins that add a variety of functionality to your site, including appointment booking, ecommerce, advanced slider and image manipulation, live chat, and more.
While WordPress is based on PHP, HTML, and CSS, users are not required to know coding to use the CMS. Installing and updating themes is done easily, while pages, blog posts, images, and other elements can be added using drag-and-drop or menu interfaces.
Who a WordPress Website Is Right For
WordPress is extremely versatile and user-friendly, making it a terrific option for all types of businesses. Specifically, individuals that need a particular type of website, like a WordPress IDX website, but don’t want to code their own site can benefit from a WordPress website. With a vast number of plug-ins, it is possible to make WordPress work for nearly any industry and for businesses of any size, and because of this, it is also a good platform to start on as it can grow with you.
WordPress for Beginners: Website Costs
It is possible to make a WordPress site for free, although many businesses choose to pay for a premium theme (or template) as well as paying hosting costs and plug-in fees. Depending on your needs and requirements, themes can be found for free or can be purchased for as much as $100.
Generally, small businesses do not need to purchase an expensive theme and hosting is very inexpensive at around $3 per month with Bluehost. In addition to these costs, small businesses may choose to pay for premium plug-ins to add advanced functionality; the cost of these plug-ins varies widely, and some cost as much as premium themes.
How to Make a WordPress Website in 5 Steps
Creating a WordPress website is easy and does not require coding or development expertise. To create your WordPress site, you need to get hosting, choose your theme, and design your site. When you’ve created and designed all of your pages, posts, widgets, and site elements, then you can add additional functionality via plug-ins.
Here is how to make a WordPress website in five steps.
1. Sign Up for Hosting
A host is a service that “stores” your website’s files, and typically also allows you to register your domain name (www.YourSite.com) and business email accounts. While you can use most major hosts to set up a WordPress website, a few have the WordPress CMS pre-installed.
We suggest you go with Bluehost, which lets you register a domain, host your website, and get a professional email address (AnyName@YourSite.com). You also get an easy one-click WordPress installation and the first month of hosting is free. Bluehost normally charges $7.99 per month but, with our exclusive offer, you can click here to get started for $2.95 per month.
Domain, Website & Email Address $2.95/mo.
Cheap hosting that is reliable and packed with free extras.
If you want to compare hosting options in greater detail, check out our full guide to WordPress hosting costs or take a glance below:
WordPress Hosting Options Compared
|Custom Domain Included?|
As Bluehost is the best option for WordPress website hosting, we will continue to use them throughout our steps.
2. Choose Your Domain Name
Next, you’ll choose your website domain — like www.YourBusiness.com. Most businesses prefer to use a .com name since it’s the most popular and best-known extension. If your top choice is taken, consider adding an extra word, like your city name.
Lastly, you’ll enter your payment information and finalize your order. Keep in mind that to get the best pricing, you do need to pay for three years upfront. However, you can also cancel within 30 days for a full refund. If you aren’t happy how your website turns out, cancel and try a different option.
3. Access WordPress Through Your Bluehost Account
Once you’re registered with Bluehost, you’ll be prompted to set a password and confirm your email address. After this, you’ll reach the Bluehost welcome page. Before you begin working on your site, there are three quick steps to complete:
To start, click “My Sites” on the left panel, then “Manage Site.” Find the “Settings” panel. In the box that says “Site URL,” change the temporary URL to the one you purchased. This ensures your new domain is linked up with your new site.
Now click the “Security” tab. In the box that says “Free SSL Certificate,” click “Enable.” This will change your website to an “https,” or a secure website that encrypts transfer of data, which is better for search engine rankings and protects user information.
Once those steps are complete, click “Log in to WordPress” to start working on your site.
4. Choose Your WordPress Theme
After installing WordPress, you need to choose a theme. A theme is a predesigned website template that you personalize with your own text and photos. It’s much easier than starting from scratch since you get to follow a visual template that is editable with next text and photos.
To create these, we analyzed how visitors are using business websites in 2019. Customers often browse from their smartphones and are looking for quick information at a glance, like operating hours, phone numbers, or street addresses. As a result, we designed our themes to look great on both mobile and desktop and provide this essential information upfront.
To design your website, you need to input your text and photos. There’s no programming required, although you can modify just about everything — like fonts, colors, and formatting — from the simple customization menu.
Find and download our themes based on your business type:
- General theme: Fit Web Themes: Free Business Edition
- Restaurant & foodservice: Fit Web Themes: Free Restaurant Edition
- Salon & spa: Fit Web Themes: Free Salon Edition
If you want to see even more options, you can browse through the WordPress free theme database, or view premium themes by clicking “Commercial Themes.”
5. Customize Your WordPress Theme & Design Your Site
When you first log into WordPress, you will reach your WordPress dashboard. This is the main “control center” of your website where you’ll design your pages, make edits, add blog posts, and other elements using the menu options on the left side:
Here’s a quick rundown of each of these menus:
- Posts: If you want to add a blog to your business website, “Posts” is where you’ll go to write, edit, and publish new blog post articles
- Pages: This is where you create website pages like your About, Contact, or Pricing pages
- Appearance: This is the main menu for editing your website’s style’ under “Appearance,” you can choose between different themes and then customize the colors, fonts, and other formatting options for your website
- Plug-ins: These are additional features you can add to your website like contact forms or ecommerce carts; some plug-ins are free while others charge a one-time or recurring fee
The steps for setting up your website will vary depending on your theme, so it is recommended that you choose a theme first, then finding specific instructions for that theme.
Pro Tips for Beginner WordPress Users
WordPress for beginners can be challenging as there is a learning curve. To help ensure your new website meets form and function, there are some things to keep in mind, including aligning themes to your brand, keeping the design clean, and making sure your site is secure.
Here are top tips for WordPress for beginners:
- Choose a theme that suits your business: It’s worth taking the time to find a WordPress theme that is a good match, both in design and function, for your website needs; this will help make it easier to build a site that is effective
- Avoid clutter: Keeping your web design clean is important. Too many images or too much text can be overwhelming and will likely lead to more website bounces
- Use quality images: Make sure the images you use look high-quality on your site; poor quality images quickly devalue your brand by making it look unprofessional
- Take advantage of the built-in SEO tools: Don’t bypass the WordPress’s built-in search engine optimization (SEO) tools; taking the time to utilize these can help your website rank organically, increasing your brand’s exposure; click here for more guidance on the best SEO tools
- Maintain site security: Online security is important. It can secure your data, protect from hacking, and keep your website up and running; if you use a web hosting service like Bluehost, your site will have added security features; if not, there are security plug-ins available
- Use plug-ins: Plug-ins are WordPress-specific apps that can be added to your website to give your site more functionality; plug-ins are available for everything from lead capture to secure payment processing systems. You can search these in WordPress under “Plugins”
- Consistently update your site: Frequently adding new content not only keeps your website relevant but can also increase your domain authority
”Use WordPress together with an SEO plug-in, such as Yoast. Together, they help you grade and serve the web pages you’re creating to market your services. Don’t overdo the SEO. The text, images, and videos on your site should be focused on locals looking for real help. Clear copy, instructive images, and creative videos help everyone.”
― Lisa K. Hawes, Vice President of Public Relations, Sterling Communications
WordPress’s vast capabilities mean there can be a lot to building and managing a WordPress website. Get more detailed WordPress insight and advice in our article on the Top 25 WordPress tips.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where Can I Find More Resources for WordPress Beginners?
There is a ton of information available online geared towards WordPress for beginners. YouTube has many videos that can help teach WordPress for beginners. If you want something more formal, there are inexpensive courses available through sites like Udemy created to teach beginners how to use WordPress.
How Can I Sell Products on WordPress?
WordPress is a great choice for those selling online. To create an ecommerce site using WordPress, you will get an ecommerce plug-in, upload products to your store, and manage your inventory. Get the step-by-step details on how to sell on WordPress.
What Are the Best Web Hosting Providers?
This can vary depending on your web hosting needs but, overall, we recommend Bluehost as it is one of the most affordable hosts with unlimited bandwidth, free email, security features, and more. If you’re on a very tight budget and your site is very simple, it might be worth checking out free web hosting services.
The Bottom Line
WordPress is one of the most professional and economical ways to design a business website. The platform is easy to set up, ranks well in Google, and through the use of specialty themes and plug-ins, can support just about any industry, making it a good choice for business types with limited coding know-how.