How to Make a Website in 2019 (Step by Step)

How to Make a Website in 2019 (Step by Step)

August 20, 2019 26 By Bernardo Ryan


Are you finally ready to create your own
website this year? Great, in this video you’ll learn how to make your own
website and we’ll cover it step-by-step so you can get it up and running quickly.
Building any website whether it’s your side project, a hobby, your next business
venture, or an ecommerce store, it requires usually the same basic steps so
we’ll cover all of those. Don’t worry though I’ll explain what each step means
as we go along but this is the broad outline that we’ll cover with this video.
First you’ll get a hosting account then you’ll get a domain name, that’s your web
address that everybody will go to. Next you’ll learn how to install WordPress,
then you’ll choose a theme that’s the look and feel of your site. We’ll set up
pages for your website and then we’ll add plugins. Plugins are little apps that
make your site do more things than what it can already do and then we’ll wrap
everything up and then you’ll see that you have a working website to share with
the world. So if you’re ready let’s get started. When you’re building a site it’s very similar to what’s happening when you build a
house. You have the land that you need to use to put the house on, that’s the same
as the hosting provider. The hosting provider has servers that all of your
files and folders will go on. Next, you have an address and that’s so people
know where to find you and the address is your domain name or your web address.
You want to start building your website and your website is your home, that’s
what houses all of your files, all of your images, the color structure, the way
that looks, or the functionality of it via the plugins. Finally you have your
mailbox which is your email address and that’s how people can contact you and
all of these come together to make up your whole website on the web. Now at
WPBeginner we recommend using Bluehost as your
hosting provider. They have great customer support, they are one of the
oldest most established hosting companies out there, they’re officially
recommended by the WordPress.org organization, and WPBeginner users can
get 60% off and a free domain by using our discount code. To get that discount
just go to www.wpbeginenr.com/refer/bluehost hit enter and it’ll take you
to that page. We also have a link below that you can use as well. From here just
click on the big green get started button and it’ll take you to the select
your plan page. You can choose your plan here the biggest difference between
these two is with this one it’s very basic and you’re only allowed one website
whereas with this one if you have web addresses or multiple websites that you
want to set up then this might be the best one for you. After you’ve chosen
which setup you want, go ahead and sign up with a new domain name that you want
since it comes free and click next. From here you want to go ahead and
create your account by filling in all of this information and then down here you
want to verify the package information I would say that your domain privacy you
don’t need we normally just turn that off. Things like backup site and site
locker, there are a lot of great plugins and features available within
WordPress so you don’t need that either. Once you fill out all the information
you see the amount that’s being discounted, now just fill in your payment
information and you’ll have your hosting account set up. Now that we’ve signed up
we’ll get a congratulations screen and we’ll just need to click on the next
screen where we can create our password. This password will be used to manage our
hosting account, once you create the password they will start setting up the
account for you. One of the great things about Bluehost is now they’ve made
installing WordPress even easier. From here you can select a theme that you
might like to go with your site. Since I’ll be walking you through the whole
process let’s go ahead and skip this step and now they automatically set up
WordPress for you. You no longer have to go into your Bluehost account and
install WordPress and go through that process. Once we get everything set up
you can click start building and will be taken to the backend of our WordPress
dashboard where we can start customizing it. Great, now that WordPress is installed
let’s take a quick look around. First, this is the admin area or your dashboard.
You’ll use a lot of this area on the left, the posts are if you are writing a
blog these will be your chronological date and time-stamped posts that you can
create. The media is where you’ll add your
images for your website and the pages are the more static like your about page,
things that don’t ever change and shouldn’t have a timestamp on them, your
services if you have a business. That’s where all of these pages will go and
then depending on the way that you’re set up is if you have plugins you’ll see
some of them here and then others you may see under tools or settings and
we’ll get to that later. The appearance area is where you go to set up the look
and feel of your website and we’ll touch base with that soon and then the plugins
are the little apps or the little features that extend the functionality
or make your website do things that it can’t do right now. That is one of the
most powerful features of WordPress is practically anything that you can think
that you want your website to do there is probably a plugin or a little app
that you can install to get that functionality for your website and then
our settings area we’ll go over that shortly. But, technically your website is
actually online and functioning and we can go up here to visit site and we’ll
open it up in a new tab to see it in action and don’t worry if you see
something like this at the top we’ll be setting that up shortly as well. So this
is our website as it is now and we’ll be making some changes to it. So I’m going
to close out of this so we can get started. If you notice from our website
it looks very simple and a lot of white space. That functionally is set up by the
theme, the theme is what controls the look and feel of your site and to change
that up or to look at that we can go to Appearance and go to themes to see
what’s going on. Yours will probably have different ones but I wanted to show you
what this looks like. This is my current theme and that is active it is 2019 yours
may look different depending on when you see this and if you have multiple themes
like I’m showing you here then you’ll see them here as well. Now like I said
the theme covers the look and feel of your site and you can add anything from
a free theme all the way up to a premium or
paid for theme and to do that most of the themes can be found here where you
can click add new and what this does is it pulls in all of the themes that are
approved or looked at and tested by WordPress.org to make sure that they
work properly. So you could go through here and you could spend hours and hours
searching for the right theme for your business or your website and the
featured one are the ones that they are showing and are featuring for you. You can
click on popular see the most downloaded themes out there, you could view the
latest ones that have been uploaded and approved on the theme repository. If you
created favorites then you could click on that. One of the best things you can
do is also do a feature filter, if you know the general look and feel that you
want your website to have then you can go through here and select filters for
that. For instance if you are creating a website for your photography business or
your restaurant if you’re building up an e-commerce website then you can go
through here and select those items. If you know the features that you want for
your website then you can select them here or if you know the layout that you
want. A lot of mobile-friendly layouts now have just one column. If you’ve
purchased a premium theme then you can upload that here and the documentation
from that premium theme will walk you through that process.
For the rest of the video I will be customizing the twenty nineteen theme but let me
show you how easy it is to install a new theme for you. So you can scroll through
find one that looks close to what you’re wanting your website to look like say
this one you can click install now and you can see it installing you want to
stick around and watch that it’s finished installing because you can
either activate it which makes it the active theme on your site now or we can
head back over to themes and now you see it here along with my other two. It’s not
active yet but you can activate it here if you want. So I’ll be using the twenty nineteen to
customize. We can either customize here or there’s also a customize button
here whenever you want to come back to this. So let’s go ahead and customize it.
This will open up a great feature and what I like about this feature is it
allows you to make changes on the left and then you can see the changes
somewhat in action on the right to see if that’ll work for you. Now depending on
what theme you have this area may be different it just depends on the theme
itself and that’s what triggers all of these tabs. You can see the little pencil
area these are the areas that you can change so if I click on this area then
this is the site title and you can change that here if you wanted a tagline
for your business you can change that here. Again this is dependent on your
theme, down here you can add a site icon and what that will do is it will change
this little what’s called used to be called the favicon now it’s called the
site icon. You can select an image here you want to make sure that it is a
square image if possible. I selected the image from my computer and it uploaded
into my media library you see that here and these are the images that are
currently on my website that I can choose from. I want to copy the title and
you’ll always, anytime you add an image to your website make sure you add the
alternate text or the alt text. This is great for accessibility as well as SEO
for your website. That means for people who use a computer reader because they
can’t see, the reader will tell them what an image is about. Also if you are
wanting to do search engine optimization for your site then having descriptive
alt text will help in that way too. So I’m going to select this and this is why
you want it to be square because then it will tell you to go ahead and crop it so
we’ll do like that and crop image and now you see it’s up at the top so
perfect. So that’s for my site identity let’s go back and we’ll keep working
through this list. For the colors you can choose primary color this is for things
like highlights, you see how if I change it, it changes these
hyperlinks so you’ll want to pick which one you want or you can simply go with
the default. Going back let’s choose menu. Normally you have a
menu navigation menu up here so we can create a menu here. Click on create new
menu, let’s go ahead and name it I’m going to call it main. The menu location
is different for each theme, this particular theme has three menu
locations and the primary is likely up here the footer menu will be down at the
bottom of the site and the social links menu we’ll just have to see where that
goes. But for the main menu let’s click primary and we’ll click Next to get it
set up. We’ll click on add items and from here it’ll start adding different pages.
You’ll want to keep the homepage, most people are used to seeing home that they
can click on. These are the pages that are available to us I’m going to go
ahead and click on the home page and we’ll want to create a couple of other
pages they will be blank but at least they will show up on our menu. So I’m
gonna do About, click Add and we’ll do contact so that people can contact us. If
you’re setting up your business site which you probably are let’s do services. You
can either do services or something like a portfolio if you need to show them
your work. So we’ll do services and click Add and that looks like a really good
beginning to a menu structure. We’ll do one more we’ll call it a blog. You can
name that news if you want. So now we have a good structure you can also go
through here and rearrange these as you see here. If you wanted to you could also
nest them so say I want my blog under my about then you see that here it’s nested
and then over here you notice that there’s a little drop down like that. So
you could do that if you want I’m going to bring that back out and make it its
own page. So that looks pretty good I’m happy with that
and that is our main menu. Moving along I’m going to go back, go back again and
now let’s head over to widgets. Widgets are great for showing little pieces of
content on your site. For instance, for instance I’m going to click on this page,
hello world, and I’m going to scroll down to the bottom. All of these widgets are
showing up here. First you have the search widget area, then you have the
recent posts, we have our comments, all of the archives that’s all of the, that’s
the list of all of the blog posts that we have created sorted by the month and
year, and then finally you have all the categories that you have on the site and
then all the way down at the bottom is something called meta which you can have
on your site to give you an easy way to access site admin area. You can remove
these and you can choose to not have any widgets, you can add a widget, and there
are several to choose from here. There are also several to choose from
depending on what plugin you install. Certain plugins have their own widgets,
for instance when we installed the WPForms plugin, it also adds a WPForms
widget area so we could add a contact us on the widget area here.
So you can choose to have these, rearrange them how you want, or remove
them if you don’t want them on your site. Most of the time these are up at the
sidebar area, if you notice here is this is the footer widget and so that’s why
it’s showing down at the bottom. Each theme will have its own widget area so
you want to play with that to see where you want it for your site. Going back,
let’s click on the home page settings to set this up and what you can do with
this is you can choose to either have your blog posts or your most recent
posts show up on your home page. If you prefer to have a static page that means
that you’ll dedicate a page that has all the information that you want on the
home page. You can choose a static page as your home page and then if you want
this is where choosing a blog page for all your blog items. That means when somebody
clicks on the blog page all of your blog posts will show up in chronological
order like you see here. So let’s click back, the additional CSS is if you’re
going to get into some particular coding for your site then you can add that here
easily and one of the greatest things about this customize is nothing is
actually changed on the website yet so if we’ve made any mess-ups or anything
then you can go back and fix it but nothing gets set in stone until you
click publish which is what we’ll do now. Great, now that we’re done with that we
can exit out here and it’ll pop us back into the area where we were before. You
can always tell where you are in your admin area by looking to the left and
you see we’re in appearance and themes and one of the things I like to do once
I’m done with an area is I simply like to go up to my dashboard and make sure
I’m at home just as a place to start off from. Since we’re setting up our home
page to be a page let’s go ahead and go in and create this page so it will show
on our home page properly. This will also show you how to work inside a post or a
page and how to write your content. So let’s go and do that next. So I’m going
to close out of here I want to go back to my dashboard let’s head over to pages
you can go to all pages and you can set up a page however you want you may be
named at home page so I want to set up the about page and you see here it’s
showing me that it’s my front page. I want to create some content on there to
welcome people. We’ll go in and it will edit this and I’ll show you a little bit
about how you can write in here. For me you can give it a title and these little
block areas are for when you’re writing if you want a paragraph that’ll be most
of the things that you’re writing. If you want to add images or headings, if you
want to add bullet lists, quote out what somebody is saying, if you have a link
you want to share from say YouTube or Facebook then you can add those here and
it’ll bring in that information and it’ll look really good for your site.
I have some copied content from WPBeginner website so I’m going to right
click and paste it just to show you what some of it looks like and I’m going to
click update and now this will be the home page for the website and I’ll show
you what it looks like and so you could do something similar to that for your
site and your theme. Now that we have the theme set up and a few of the pages set
up on our site let’s add some functionality. The way that you add
functionality to your WordPress website is through plugins so let’s head over to
our plugins area. By default if you remember when we first installed
WordPress a couple of plugins were installed for us as well. If you see here
there are several that are deactivated they’re installed but they’re not
actually working. You can either activate any of these by clicking on the activate
button and then it will bring it to life so to speak and then you can either set
up an account or go through the process of whatever it’s asking you to do. If
there is a plugin that you want that you don’t currently see here then you can go
up here and click add new and then it will go through and just like with the
themes area there is a plugin repository where WordPress goes through
and, and make sure that they are appropriate to use with WordPress and
from here you can search for the plugins that you need. You can also take a look
at the popular plugins or recommended or favorites just like with the themes area.
As you go through and set up your site and design your site the way that you
want you will probably come across plugins that people have recommended so
you’ll go here to search for them. For an example the Yoast plugin is a great
plugin to help you with SEO and a lot of people install this. So you can go
into the keyword area, type in Yoast, and you’ll see a few results here. This is
the one we’re looking for and you’ll see that they have more than a million
active installs and they have a great rating system here. Just to show you what
you can see when you’re going through a plugin on whether or not you should
install it. This one we’ll click install now
and it’s going to install it but you’ll want to hang out and wait for it to
finish installing so that you can also click activate and then it will be live
and available for you. With most plugins once they are activated you will either
notice the notification somewhere depending on what the plugins
functionality is it’ll show up in different areas. The Yoast will show up
here you’ll also on the Left have a new tab that you can use. Now to set up a plugin
I want to show you how you can easily use a plugin that was already installed
and that is the WPForms plugin. WPForms is an easy to use plugin that allows you
to add a contact form easily. So let’s go over to WPForms,
we’ll go add new because we’ll want to add a contact us form on our contact page. So
we can name it here I’ll just say contact and out-of-the-box the Lite
plugin has a few templates that you can choose from. The simple contact form will
be great for us and as your website grows the WPForms plugin has a pro
version that will allow you to handle a lot of things such as payments on your
site, maybe surveys that you’re looking for, even quizzes, and several other
things like that. So for this we’ll just set up a contact form so I’m going to
click on this area because personally I like to simplify it so I’ll click on this,
come over here and format it and I’ll choose simple. You can make these
required or not, we need a name we want an email, we need an email address so
that we can respond to them, and then we want to make sure that they tell us
something so we’re going to make all of these required. You can if you wanted to
you could drag these up or down to move them around if you want. You could also
click on the fields and choose other things to add if you wanted to as well.
Since this is a simple form I’m just going to stick with what we have and now
I’m going to click Save. Now we can exit out of here and it will take us back to
our WordPress dashboard. We have our contact here. So the next
step we want to do is let’s go ahead and add that to our page and that will also
introduce us to pages, so we’ll go over to Pages, All Pages and
you can see right here all the pages that are associated with our website. We
created the about page when we were setting up the menu we also created the
blog page and you see that the blog page holds all of the blog posts that are
associated with our site and then here’s the contact page that we created as well.
So lets edit this and this is the area for creating pages. You’ll get a little
tool tip that you can go through if you want and it’ll tell you a little bit
about everything but we’ll cover that right now. So this is the contact us page
and this is the title of the page. You see that here and then you also see that
that’s the URL of our website you can change that here if you want. Add a
little bit of information and then once you hover over you see this little block
we can click on that to find the form that we’re looking for and these are all
of the things that you can use on your page. Scrolling down you see that these
are the most used items you can also search for it. This is the widget area
that we were talking about, we’ll select the form that we want to add and now you
see it showing up here and it gives you a nice preview of what it might look
like. We can publish this or update it and now that it’s updated we can click
view page and I’m going to open that in a new tab to see it in action and now we
have a plugin working properly for our site and it’s creating contact form for
us. So as you can see plugins are a powerful way to extend the functionality
of your website and make it do exactly what you want for your visitors on your
site. Now that we’ve looked at plugins let’s take a look at one of the final
areas and that’s the settings area. In this area you can make some changes to
your site straight from here. So first let’s go up to the general area, up here
you’ll notice the site title we also saw this in the customizer but you can
change it here as well. This is your website URL address I would recommend
not ever changing that. Down here’s the admin
email address this is where most plugins will use for instance the WPForms
Contact Us page, this is the email that those forms will be sent to and down
here you can choose whether or not you want to allow people to register for
your site and if you do let them. These are the default roles that you can put
them in. By default you are set as the administrator and you have all the
administrator access to your site. Down here you can set your time zone and when
you publish posts this is the time that it’s pulling in for publishing those
posts. You have the time and date format and you can choose when things start.
Here are some writing settings you can have multiple categories and this was
where you can set the default category for all of your posts. If you want to set
any categories you go under posts to categories to set that up. You can create
different post formats. Standard would be great for most of your blog posts. Under
reading, this is also under customizer where you can choose your latest posts
or a static page and how you want that set up. From here you can also choose how
many posts automatically show on the blog page and we have it set for 10 and
then here is where you can choose to do full text or summary. Most websites do
summaries so we’ll keep that there and finally when you launch your website you
do definitely want to make sure that this is not checked, this discourages
search engines like Google from finding your site so you don’t want that you
want this unchecked. Finally I want to show you permalinks, this is the site
structure of your URL and I’m going to open up this page to show you. By default
it’s currently set to show the date and month structure here. A lot of web sites
have gotten away from showing the date structure simply because if you update a
post then it can be confusing for the users to see the older date structure.
What I prefer is if you come down here you can go to post name and that simply will show the title of the blog post or the
title of the page and it’s a much cleaner URL structure for your site. So
once you’re done with that you can come down here and click Save Changes and
those are the main areas under settings that will work for you and this is Yoast
saying that do be careful if you are changing your permalink structure on a
live site then that can impact things and yes that can but we’re creating a
website from scratch so you are alright to do that. Congratulations you did it,
you have successfully set up your own website. So real quick let’s just take a
look at all the things that we’ve done so far, you set up hosting, you got your
domain name, we installed WordPress, we got a theme that was great for our site,
we set up some pages, we added plugins and extra functionality to make our site
do what we want it to do, and now you’re ready to share it with the world. Did you
learn today’s video? If so subscribe to our YouTube channel and we’ll send more
helpful tips to help you manage your WordPress website and thanks for
watching.