I showed you the first big step in creating a WordPress website, blog design from scratch in one of my last posts. I am going to show you all the steps in this post. Read on.
My birthday was 7th of May and I took some time brainstorming on what to give my readers as a birthday gift. My team and I concluded that the gift should stand the test of time. Consequently, we picked WordPress website, blog design. Our choice is fueled by the fact that your business will do better if you learn how to create a WordPress website or blog from scratch. Hope you like this. Okay, let us dive right into it.
On the 7th of May, 2017, I created a form through which we were to gather the emails of readers who wanted this guide. The results were mind boggling. So, rather than send the guide to people’s emails, I decided to do something crazy. I published it all as a post!!! And that is what you are reading now!
I have divided the steps into 8. With these 8 steps, you do not need any technical skills to design a WordPress website, blog design for yourself or your business. The 8 steps are below.
- Register a domain name,
- Get a hosting plan,
- Install WordPress,
- Choose a theme,
- Get Relevant Plugins,
- Customize & Add Pages,
- Customize & Add Posts,
- Work on the Front Page.
Other things we will learn in this ultimate Guide to WordPress Website, Blog Design series include
- Difference between pages and posts
- Content for your website
- Call to action
- Premium Themes
But before we do all that, lets quickly do a study of why it has to be WordPress.
Why WordPress Website, Blog Design?
WordPress is the number 1 choice for web design because the platform has certain qualities. These qualities makes it easy for people who do not have technical skills to create blogs or websites for themselves and their businesses. Some of the qualities include;
- Easy to install
- The platform can be used free of charge
- You can completely change the look of your site by changin the theme
- Availability of thousands of plugins to improve or enhance the functionality of your website
- It is an open source platform which means that thousands of developers around the world keep working on it. That therefore means the platform gets better and better with time since newer versions are released often.
It is likely that you do not understand how the qualities I have written above affects you. I was in your shoes just a few months ago. So don’t worry. Let me work you through how to create your own WordPress Blog or Website.
Step 1: Register a Domain Name
This is the first big step to creating a WordPress Website. I already did an extensive post on this. You should read it by clicking here. But what name are you supposed to register as your domain? Ideally, it should be your business name if you are creating a business website/blog. I have also done an extensive Guide to Creating a World Class Business Name. Click here to get that. Come back here when you finish studying those.
Step 2: Get a Hosting Plan
You have registered a domain name. The next step is to get a hosting plan. If you are using name.com like me, simply get on the website and click “Hosting & SSL” tab. Then click on Web Hosting on the drop down menu.
When you do this, the web hosting options will show. Choose whatever fits your budget and needs. Don’t worry you can always upgrade or downgrade later.
Do that by clicking “Add to Cart” and proceed to checkout. That is all.
Step 3: Install WordPress
After paying for your hosting, the next step is to install WordPress. This is how to do it.
1 – Login to your account on name.com.
2 – Click on “My Account”
3 – In the drop down menu, find “my products”
4 – Click “Web Hosting” under “my products”
5 – When you click on “Web Hosting”, a page opens. Find the “cPanel Login” button on the upper right hand corner. The cPanel is actually your control panel. Click on it.
The image below shows what your control panel will look like.
6 – When you get to a page like this, scroll down to the “Domains” Section of your cPanel. Note that if this is the first website you are installing on your hosting, you do not need this and the next step.
7 – Find the “Addon Domains” button and click on it. When you do that, the page that will open looks like the one in the image below.
Again, before we proceed, you need to know that if the domain name you want to install is the first you are putting on your host, you do not need this step. Read the yellow box I have created on the image above.
However, if you already have another domain installed, then the new one will need to go through this process.
Simply enter your new domain name (plus the dot com, dot net or whatever it is you have after the name). When you do that, the spaces to enter “subdomain” and “Document Root” will be filled in automatically.
After doing that, click “Create an FTP account associated with this Addon Domain”. The entries will also be automatically filled. Just enter a password and click “Add Domain”.
Warning: If you just paid for this hosting and no other domain has been hosted here before, ignore this step. Go back to your cPanel Home by clicking the square (the one made up of 9 little squares) at the left top corner under the menu bar.
8 – Scroll Down to the “Software” Section of the cPanel and find the “Softaculous Apps Installer.”
Click on the “Softaculous App installer” button. When you click it, the page on the image below will open.
9 – Hover your mouse on WordPress and you will find 3 buttons. Ignore the “demo” and “overview” buttons. Click on the “install” button.
When you click the “install” button, this is what the page that opens look like.
On the “Choose Protocol” entry, choose either http://www. or http://. Avoid “https”.
On the “Choose Domain” entry, leave the domain name that shows as default if that is the domain you are trying to install WordPress. But if you have more domains hosted, you will need to click and scroll till you find the domain you want to install WordPress on.
10: After choosing the domain, scroll down. Set your “Site Settings”. This is very easy. But I have also explained how to do that below in case you find it daunting.
Site Name: Enter the name of your WordPress website/blog here. You can choose any name.
Site Description: This should not be too long. And don’t think too much. You can change this later.
Admin Username: This is usually automatically created depending on the name with which you registered on the domain registration and hosting platform. It will usually show as yourname-admin. If you don’t like it, change it. But ensure it is something you remember because you will need it to login to your WordPress account.
Admin Password: It will also be automatically generated by the software. You should change it to something you can remember.
Admin Email: This is automatic. But you can change it to what you can remember. I usually leave this one alone.
11 – Scroll down and choose a theme.
As you can see in the image above, 4 themes are showing. There are also 2 arrows – one on and facing left facing and the other on and facing the opposite direction. Therefore, you can scroll left or right to pick which theme catches your fancy most.
Again, you do not have to waste too much time here. You can pick something that is close to what you actually want. Or not!!! But according to the notice on the software, “this is optional. If not selected, the default theme will be installed.” So, get this over with.
12 – Click Install
That’s it. WordPress is Installed!!!
When that is done, wait a while. Go grab a drink.
13: Then get back after a few hours and click on the Administrative URL.
A page like the one above will open. Enter your username – the one you created on the installation page. Enter the password you chose. Click login.
You should be very proud now. You have made it this far. The dashboard of your WordPress opens. Great things are ahead!!! The page will look like the one below.
What step are we now in the Guide to WordPress Website, Blog Design?
Remember that all we have been doing is step 3. That was long anyway. From sub step 1 to 13! Whew! Let us now move on to step 4.
Step 4: Choose a Theme
Yes you chose a theme before. But you probably did not quite like it. This is another opportunity to either search for a new one and install.
How to do that
1 – Go to “Appearance” on the dark menu on left side of your screen. Click the “Themes” option. See how it will look in the image below.
2 – Click on themes. When you do, a page like the one below will open.
I am very sure that you will not like the themes that show on the first page. So click on “Add New”. More themes, many of which are more elegant than the ones on the first page will load. If I were you, I will just click on the “Latest” or “Popular” buttons. It is easy to find nice themes in these categories.
You can also decide to click the “Upload Theme” button and upload a theme that is already downloaded to your computer.
As soon as you feel at home with the theme you have downloaded, move on to the next step.
NOTE: You do not have to go through this step again if you like the theme you chose while installing WordPress.
Step 5: Get Relevant Plugins
What is a Plugin?
A plugin is any software component that is added to another software to extend it’s capability and increase performance. Hmmm! I defined that like a business consultant! I can’t help it. The programmers may have another definition for that but my definition is absolutely correct.
The ability to add a plugin to your website so that it can perform the way it couldn’t before is one of those things that make WordPress the best platform to blog or create a website on. I’m sure you know already. If not, you won’t be at this level in this Guide to WordPress Website, Blog Design.
Before using plugins
To start using plugins, you need to first pick a sheet of paper and write down a few things you’d like your website/blog to be able to do for you. After creating that list, find out the best plugins that can perform each of the functionalities by asking Google. You can also do this right on the dashboard.
How to get to plugins
To get to your plugins environment, click the “Plugins” botton to the left of your screen.
When you click the button, the page that opens will look like the image below.
When you click “Add New” button, the following page opens.
You can search for “plugins” using the space the red arrow is pointing at.
Plugins to install
The plugins you need to install depends on what you are trying to achieve. But the following will generally help.
- Contact Form 7
- Title Remover
- Site Origin Page Builder
- Site Origin Widgets Bundle
- Easy Google Fonts
Search for a plugin and click install and you are good. Then move on to the next one. Always ensure that the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress. You will know this by looking under the plugin.
Step 6: Customize and Add Pages
By now, you should have written your content. If you are creating a website, you should have content written under the following headings;
- About us
- Contact us
- Our work (optional)
- Testimonials (optional)
- Clients (optional)
If you have these written, they should be on pages.
How to Create Pages
If you take a good look at the image above, you will find “Pages”. It is also on the left hand side of your dashboard. Hover your mouse on it and two options will drop out. They are “All Pages” and “Add New”. Click on add new.
The image above is the resulting page. Follow the yellow boxes.
Step 7: Customize and Create Posts
Now that you have created pages, it is time to create Posts. The facility to create posts is another very important reason WordPress rocks! A collection of posts is what makes up a blog. I have done an extensive report on why every business needs to have a blog. Click here to read that. When you finish going through that, click the back button to get back here.
So how do you create a post?
Go to your dashboard and hover your mouse on the “Posts” button. Different options will show. Click “Add New”. The page that will show is similar to the one I illustrated on in yellow above. Here, write something different from the main content of your website. It can be an educative article about how to use your service/product. It could be something about an experience you had with a customer. Whatever it is, ensure that it is interesting, exciting, and will in no way put your reputation or that of your business in a bad light.
How many posts are enough?
Create as many posts as possible. You can plan to post something on your blog once, twice, thrice or at any frequency every week. I will show you examples of the kind of blog posts you should write in a subsequent post.
You do not have to create too many posts immediately. Just 2 or 3 is okay. Having this content is instrumental in having a definite structure for your website when we start working on the front, otherwise known as the home page.
Step 8: Work on the Front Page
Wow! What a journey it has been. If you have made it to this point, bravo!!! Now that we have our content set as pages and as blog posts, let us get to work on the front page.
Some themes come with prearranged structures and content. This kind of content is also known as a “Demo Content”. If the theme you are using has all that, great! Simply put your mouse on “Appearance” and look for “Theme Options”. Click on it and through there, you can edit the front cover. You can also edit other things by clicking “Customize” button. That button can also be found amongst the options that show when your mouse is on the “Appearance” Button.
Live Example for WordPress Website, Blog Design
The image below is a screenshot of a theme that has features/plugins already installed to help you easily customize the front page. It is called Legal and is designed by Faster Themes. I suggest that you install this particular theme and lets get started.
Editing the Front Page of Legal by Faster Themes
I have chosen to show you how to customize this theme because it is very nice. I have used it for a client of mine before. I also used it to create one of my companies’ website. I will show you a live project I have used it for shortly.
Install Legal by Faster Themes
First of all, quickly hover your mouse on the “Appearance” button and click on “Themes”. Click on “Add New”. If you do not know where to find that button, simply consult the “How to Install Themes” section above. Then search for “Legal”. Many other themes will show. Find the one that is closest to the image above in appearance and install it. That was easy, right?
Back to the Front Page
Refresh by clicking “Dashboard” at the top left corner of your screen. Go to “Appearance” again and click “Theme Options”. The page that opens looks like the one on the image below.
Follow all the prompts. Enter the details of your business as though you are filling a form. To edit the front page of the website, simply click on the “Home Page Settings” button. You will have a cool website at the time you are done with writing whatever you want and uploading the needed photographs. They have indicated the size of the images you need to upload. If you can’t use Photoshop to resize, simply go to canva.com and use their resize software.
To see a website I create with this simple but awesome theme, click The Learning Edge.
In another post, I am going to teach you how to customize WordPress Themes that do not have “Demo Content” or not loaded with “Theme Options”. So, expect a part 2 to this detailed Guide to WordPress website, blog design.
Okay, I’d like you to try all the steps I have outlined above.
If you have any questions, simply put them in the comment section below and I will answer them. If you have any difficulties in your WordPress website, blog design, do NOT hesitate to post a comment below.