Wondering how to create a website on WordPress?
Then you’re in the right place and if I may say so myself, you’ve made a great choice.
Whether this is your first website ever or just your first on WordPress, then know you’re making a smart decision because you’ll be joining 35% of all websites online.
Believe me when I say it’s an incredible community to be part of.
Plus this is an amazing opportunity for you to build something you’ll own, something that can free you from the shackles of a 9-5 and bring you even closer to living the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
If any of that sounds interesting then allow me to show you how.
Table of Contents
Why Create a Website on WordPress?
I’m hoping since you’re on here, you’re already set on using WordPress to create your site, and if that’s the case then please go ahead and scroll down to the 7 simple steps below.
But you may also be wondering why you should choose WordPress over other platforms like Wix and Squarespace.
I’ve used Squarespace before and even though I didn’t necessarily hate it, there just wasn’t enough functionality for me – especially in terms of SEO which we’ll take a look at later.
Wix has some great design elements which I enjoy but it also has a ton of limitations.
And I’ve since been able to replicate many of those same design elements I wanted on WordPress.
So why should you create a website on WordPress?
For 4 simple reasons:
- Because it allows for more flexibility
- It grows with you.
- It’s far more robust.
- It is highly scalable.
Unlike other website builders, when you build a (self-hosted) site on WordPress, you own it.
You can do anything you see fit.
- It’s easy to use.
- You can monetize it any way you want.
- Add plugins to make things easier.
- Change your host down the road if need be.
- Change domains if it came to that.
- And so much more flexibility.
The point is you have complete freedom to make any changes and that’s the kind of control you want as a business owner.
Because that’s exactly what your website is – a business!
And if you plan on making any money online then you shouldn’t have to worry about any limitations to your progress or income.
As an added bonus, it’s also often cheaper to create your website with WordPress.
So I hope that eased your mind and validated your reasons for going with WordPress.
With that I’m going to walk you step-by-step on how you can get this done so you can launch that incredible site you’ve been thinking of, make some money online and finally escape the rat race.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
When I say WordPress, what I’m referring to here is WordPress.org.
There’s a huge difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
WordPress.com really isn’t any different from other platforms like Squarespace or Wix.
And like I mentioned, you want to completely stay away from those.
WordPress.org on the other hand is an open source software you can use to build anything you want online – Websites, apps, etc.
That’s exactly what we want.
But in order to use it, you’ll need a web host provider.
If any of that sounds foreign, don’t worry we’ll go through all of the details.
7 Simple Steps to Create a Website on WordPress
Step 1: Plan Your Website and Select Your Niche
The very first step is to start with a plan.
Your initial plan will involve a few key things:
- Your target niche.
- The type of content you want to create.
- The structure of your website.
Your niche is basically the overall topic or subject of your website.
The one thing you want to talk or write about.
Ideally you want to select a specific topic in a profitable market.
Because eventually you’ll want to build a following or a customer base.
The more specific you are about your niche and who your target audience is, the better.
Well because you want to make money online.
Every successful business needs money to thrive and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re not selling or recommending spammy products.
Here’s an example of what selecting a profitable niche looks like:
- Healthy diet (Too broad)
- Keto diet (Specific but still broad)
- Keto diet for athletes (Better)
- Keto diet for Female athletes over 30 (Bingo!)
The last one is very specific and it also targets a particular audience.
But even then it still gives you plenty of room to cover other aspects of the keto diet as long as they’re relatable.
Unfortunately, many people are going to struggle with niche selection.
And that’s because they keep trying to come up with a niche that’s new or “innovative”.
It may sound like a great concept but it really isn’t.
To sum up why it isn’t, I’ll let you know it’s easier to market something people already know about than it is to market something new to them.
The point is you want to pick something that’s already been proven to work.
So find a topic and put your own spin on it. Even if it’s something that’s already popular.
Don’t let the volume of other websites covering your topic scare you from doing what you really want to do.
You are an individual so focus on developing your own voice and let that reflect on your website over time.
That’s how you build a loyal following that resonates with what you have to say.
The structure of your website simply refers to all the different pages you want to include on there.
It could include things like:
- Your blog
- Your contact page
- Your “About me” page
- And so on
All of those things matter to some extent but I don’t want you to obsess over them – at least not yet.
Just have some ideas running in your mind.
If you’re feeling stuck, you can always get some inspiration from what other bloggers in your niche are doing.
Once you’ve got a good idea about your niche and your content, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
I have an excellent in-depth article on how to find the best niche for your website.
It’ll show you how to validate your niche, the things you need to focus on and also includes a roundup of some of the most profitable niches online (with examples).
Step 2: Get Your Domain Name with Namecheap
The next step is to get your domain name.
Your domain name is the name or address of your website.
This is basically what people will type in when they want to look up your website online.
It’s your brand name and how people will come to remember you.
Every time I say that, I feel like it comes across as you need to find the “perfect” domain name.
Well I’m going to tell you right now you do not.
Let me show you why..
Did you know Amazon is also the name of the largest river in the world?
When was the last time you referred to Apple as a fruit?
Do you know why they’ve become household names?
That’s because you’re familiar with the quality of their products and services.
I get that those are behemoths in the marketing world but the point is your name will be remembered because of the quality of your content not vice versa.
The only thing that makes people remember who you are is the amount of value you’re providing.
So don’t fret too much over a name.
If you need some help, here are a few guidelines:
- Pick something related to your niche.
- Keep it short.
- Make it easy to remember.
- Use your name if you’re building a personal brand.
Long story short, pick a name you’re happy with and go with it.
Also make sure the .com extension is available because that’s the one most people are familiar with.
As far purchasing your domain name goes, you have 2 options:
- Purchase your domain name separately
- Purchase it with your web host
I prefer the first option and that’s what I recommend you do as well.
The main reason for that is flexibility and it also acts as an added layer of security.
So in the final part of this step, we’re going to head over to Namecheap and purchase your domain name.
The process is very simple:
- Head over to namecheap.com
- Search for your domain name
- Tweak it if need be until you find one that isn’t already in use
- Add your chosen domain name to the cart and follow the checkout steps
It’s really that easy.
P.S. Namecheap has a bunch of other services but you don’t need any of those.
All you need is your domain name.
Don’t worry I’ll show you what to do with it in the next step.
Step 3: Sign Up for Web Hosting
With your domain name in hand, it’s time to sign up for web hosting.
As I mentioned earlier, you need a web host to use the WordPress.org software.
This is where we’ll make that happen.
My recommended web host is SiteGround.
- It’s affordable
- Excellent customer support
- It’s beginner friendly and easy to use
- Offers excellent performance and site speed
- And so much more
I could keep on going about their services but the point is they get the job done – and effectively if I may add.
If you’re still hesitant or you want the complete rundown of what they have to offer, please feel free to read my SiteGround review.
One of the main reasons why I recommend them is because they’re endorsed by WordPress and they offer an easy one-click install.
It makes the entire process relatively smooth and so much easier when you don’t have to worry about all of the technical stuff.
So here’s all you have to do:
- Head to Siteground.com
- Click “Get Started” under Web Hosting
- Click “Get Plan” under your preferred plan (StartUp is great for beginners, GrowBig is the better choice if you plan to make multiple websites)
- Follow the steps to set up your account
Once you’ve purchased your hosting plan, the next step is to link up your domain name to your web host.
I promise it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
The good news is I have a detailed guide that shows you exactly how to get this done.
Please read that post because it walks you literally step-by-step on everything we just went through including how to purchase your domain name and everything else you need.
Not to toot my own horn, but it’s a very handy guide if I may say so.
Get My SiteGround Discount
Take advantage of the huge discounts off any Shared Hosting plans when you use my special link below.
Step 4: Design Your Website
Here’s everything you should’ve completed so far:
- Selected your niche (read the post)
- Purchased your domain name (namecheap.com)
- Signed up with SiteGround and linked your accounts (read the guide)
The next thing we’re going to focus on is the design of your blog.
This is one of my favorite aspects about creating a website on WordPress – Design flexibility.
I’m a huge fan of user experience and being in full control of all the different elements of your website. (Even though admittedly I still have a lot to learn)
WordPress allows you to design any website you want, any way you see fit.
That’s a great thing but as it turns out, it can also be a very bad thing.
I’ve come across many people who spend so much time redesigning their website that they actually end up ignoring their content.
But I’m not one of those people who’s going to tell you to just pick any random design.
Because first impressions matter.
In less than 60 seconds, someone can make an instant decision as to whether they’re going to stay on your site or leave forever.
Positive first impressions are crucial for any business.
So I won’t tell you to just throw up anything and hope for the best but I’m also going to say this isn’t where you need to spend the most of your time.
If you’re not tech savvy and have no idea how to design a website, WordPress has plenty of free and premium themes you can select from.
Simply log into your WordPress account, go to Appearance then Themes and you’ll find so many options to select from.
Whether you choose a free or premium theme, I suggest you select something that has a professional look and fits you or your niche.
The 2 themes I recommend are:
They both have free and paid versions and are easily customizable with one of the plugins I’m going to recommend later.
Side note: If you purchase a theme from any one of those websites, make sure you keep them in .zip format.
That’s the format you’re going to upload to WordPress.
The purchases or downloads usually come with instructions but it’s worth reminding you so you don’t forget.
The takeaway is find something that suits your needs, make sure it’s functional, install it and keep going.
Don’t stall your progress over the “perfect” theme.
You can always change your theme at any point down the road.
How to Install A WordPress Theme
- Log into WordPress
- Hover on Appearance and select Themes
- Click on Add New (You can browse by featured, most popular, or use the text search)
- Look at a few themes to figure out which one you like, then click on Install to download it
- Click the Activate button after the download is complete to change the design of your website.
If you purchased your theme from somewhere else then the process is slightly different:
- Log into WordPress
- Go to Appearance and select Themes
- Click on Upload theme
- Once the upload is complete, click on Activate.
Step 5: Essential Plugins
Plugins are like the apps on your phone.
They’re there to add functionality.
You have an app for calls, messaging, email, social media, etc.
The same concept applies to your WordPress website.
You need different plugins to perform different tasks on your website.
The big question is “how many plugins do you need?”
The answer is as many or as little as you need.
I know that’s a technical response and it really doesn’t tell you much but that’s exactly the point.
To explain what I mean, let me break it down for you with the help of a few questions:
- What kind of phone do you have?
- How many apps do you have on your phone?
- What happens when you need an app to do something?
- What happens when you find out that app is slowing down your phone or causing it to crash?
It’s possible for you to talk to 10 different people who have the same answer to number 1.
Let’s assume they all had iPhones.
The answer for number 2 will very likely be all over the place for different reasons.
The answers for 3 and 4 will likely be the same.
Despite all of those variations, the same 10 people could all tell you they love their phones.
Now throw a Samsung into the mix.
The point is there’s no right or wrong answer here.
But what you really want to avoid is any plugins that will slow down or crash your website.
And just like your phone, too many apps can also lead to poor performance.
You need to create some balance.
So instead of listing every plugin in the world, I’m going to give you a short essential list of all the plugins you need right now and why you need them.
List of Essential Plugins when Creating a Website on WordPress
- Yoast SEO – for Search Engine Optimization (more on this later)
- Google Analytics – for web traffic and all your other online statistics
- MailerLite – for Email Marketing
- Social Snap – for Social sharing
- ShortPixel – for Image Optimization
- Elementor – best Custom Page Builder (you can use it to design literally anything)
- WP Rocket – for Sitespeed
- Sucuri Security – to keep your site safe
And that’s it.
Those are all the basic plugins you need for now and they cover just about every aspect of your website.
As your website grows, you may end up adding a few more for some more functionality and that’s okay.
But keep it lean and simple. No need to go overboard.
How to Install A WordPress Plugin
- Log in to your dashboard on WordPress
- Go to Plugins then click Add New
- Use the search bar to find any specific plugins you need
- When you find the one you want, click Install Now
- Once the download is finished, you will be prompted to Activate Plugin
- Configure your plugin as necessary
Everything I’ve shown you so far is the easy stuff.
I know, I know.
I get it.
Technology has its nuances and it’s possible you could run into some hiccups.
But when it’s all said and done, you can easily figure it out in no time.
However none of that stuff is what will really help you achieve your goals.
Look at all the steps we’ve taken so far:
- You have a niche
- You have your domain name
- You’ve purchased web hosting
- Designed your site
- You’ve installed all the plugins you need
If you follow all the steps I’ve given you so far, your blog should be ready to go live.
But guess what?
All you have is a completely blank canvas.
I’m not trying to be a debbie downer here. So don’t get me wrong, all of those steps are necessary.
But it really bothers me when I see tutorials or blog posts that end at just those steps.
All they’re basically giving you is an empty store.
You can make it as fancy as you want, give it the most amazing name in the world, place the most expensive lights on the building but if your store is empty, all you’ll end up with is the most expensive failed business in the world.
I believe if I’m going to say I have your best interest at heart then I need to give you a complete dose of reality.
Starting a website or blogging goes way beyond the fancy gadgets or tech stuff.
Now if you’re a hobbyist then the rest of this post really doesn’t matter.
But I know you’re reading this article for a reason.
You want to make money online.
And let’s be honest – You want to make life changing money.
We all have different definitions for what that could be but the concept still remains the same.
You’re not creating a website just for the sake of it.
Because if you had your way, you wouldn’t do it.
The latter part of this blog post is where the magic really happens.
This where you really begin to hone in on your skills and start to create content people want, add value to their lives and build the income you want.
Alright, let’s keep going.
Step 6: Add Content
Your content is going to make or break your blog.
Let me rephrase that – The QUALITY of your content is going to make or break your blog.
First I’m going to talk about the different kinds of content you need then we’ll take a look at why it is so important.
There are basically 2 different types of content you can add to your blog:
6.1 - Pages
We touched on this earlier when we spoke about the structure of your website.
Your pages essentially represent the navigation or menu of your website.
They allow your visitors to browse around and access all of your content.
Your pages typically will remain the same unless you go in and make some edits.
Some of the examples I mentioned include:
- Your blog
- Your “About Me” page
- Your Contact page
- A Resources page
- And so on
Not to make things any more harder for you, but pages also play an integral role in your sitemap and the way search engines crawl your website.
Basically you want to make it easy for people to understand what your website is about, how to find different things and how to move about freely from one page to the next.
All of those things have a huge impact on user experience and ultimately your search engine rankings.
We could dive into a whole other subject about technical SEO but that’s a topic for another day.
For now just keep it simple and make things easy for yourself and your audience.
Once again you can always make changes down the road.
6.2 - Posts
I’m not going to downplay the importance of your pages but at the end of the day this is what you will be remembered for – Quality blog posts.
And when I say posts, I’m not restricting it to written format only.
It could be videos, audio (podcasts) and so on.
Posts are basically any piece of content that’s constantly edited.
The stuff you’re going to add to your “blog”.
This is your money maker.
Why Do Posts Matter?
This is a lengthy subject but I’m going to do my best to touch on all of the key points here.
I think we both agree quality matters.
With the thousands of things competing for someone’s attention, nobody is going to waste their time on something that brings them no value.
Which begs the question – What is valuable content?
First of all every niche is different.
What a vegan might find attractive is completely different from what a pescatarian might find attractive.
A plumber and a mechanic don’t necessarily use the same tools.
The point I’m trying to make is value is in the eyes of the beholder.
I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before.
What it really means for you as a website owner or blogger is your audience determines what is valuable.
You won’t know unless you put it out there but whenever you publish anything, make sure you’re doing it to the best of your ability.
Quality posts matter because they garner attention, they keep people engaged and it makes them want to come back for more.
It helps you build authority within your niche.
You become the go-to figure.
That in essence is what will make you successful.
I’ve got 2 excellent posts to help you on the subject:
Go read them and apply everything you learn.
P.S. I recommend you bookmark the posts so you can always come back for some more reference or any updates.
Step 7: How to Monetize Your Site
Now let’s take a look at the different ways you can make money online.
I’m extremely passionate about this subject.
Not because I’m a cash printing machine (I wish) but ever since I finally grasped the concept of what it takes to make money online, it’s been amazing to see the different things that actually make people tick.
I understand the topic of money is touchy subject for many people.
But here’s the deal..
You have to come to terms with whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.
Think about this for a second, how can you say you want to make $1000/month or $10,000/month online if you don’t have people who are paying you for your services or products?
And do you know what the crazy thing about that is?
There are people out there who are willing to pay you for those things!
That’s the life cycle of money.
You create a product or offer a service, someone pays you for it and you in turn go pay someone else or buy a different product.
It only becomes a problem when your product or services are horrible.
It’s a problem when the quality of your content sucks.
It’s a problem when your offers lack value.
If you’re wasting someone’s time then don’t expect them to purchase anything you have to offer. It really is that simple.
Now that I’ve gotten my pep talk out of the way, let’s take a look at the different ways you can make money online with a WordPress website.
7.1 - Advertising
7.2 - Sponsored Posts
I like to think of sponsored posts as an organic and less intrusive form of advertising.
You get paid to talk about a brand, product or other blogger on your site.
It’s a way for other website owners or companies to drive traffic back to their site and you get paid in the process.
7.3 - Affiliate Marketing
As an affiliate marketer, you promote products or services on your site and you earn a commission for the sales you generate.
I’m a huge fan of Affiliate marketing because it’s an excellent way to help your audience while you make some money.
If you do it the right way, people actually appreciate you for it and will be willing to use your affiliate links.
7.4 - Offer A Service
You hire a plumber, mechanic or go to the doctor for one of two reasons:
- You don’t have the skills
- You just don’t want to do it
Those are the same reasons why people will pay for your services.
And No, you don’t need to be an expert. You just need to be knowledgeable.
Some excellent examples here include:
- Virtual Assistant
7.5 - Digital Products
Digital marketing was already a trillion dollar industry but with the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we’re seeing more and more businesses transition online.
That means the number is going to keep ballooning and you need to position yourself to get some piece of that pie.
People love digital products because they’re so much easier to consume.
The right product to the right people at the right time can easily lead to 6 or 7 figures on a recurring basis.
Some of the best digital products include:
- Online courses
7.6 - Membership Sites
A membership site is simply any part of your website that is behind a paywall.
It means people have to pay to access that specific piece of content.
A member’s only area so to speak.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to set up especially as a beginner but it’s something worth considering if it works for your niche.
How to Actually Make Money Online
Even though I’ve given you 7 steps, the journey doesn’t ever end, technically.
What I’m saying is you never get to a point where you say I’ve implemented XYZ now I can just sit back and watch the money come in.
That’s not how it works.
Once you create a website on WordPress, you have to keep on working on it for the lifetime of your business.
It’s a continuous process.
Which leads me to..
What does it actually take to make money online?
I’m going to break a very lengthy subject into 4 “simple” steps:
- Get people’s attention
- Keep them interested
- Build trust and make them desire more
- Get them to take action
Those 4 steps are part of the AIDA model and represent the steps every potential customer goes through.
If you can successfully walk your visitors through that cycle then you’re golden.
You can read more about the AIDA model and more money making tips in this post.
Here are few more steps you really can’t afford to ignore once your website is live and as you add more content.
Step 8: Keyword Research
I’m going to give you the technical definition and the real definition of what Keyword Research is.
Technical Definition: The process of finding out the different keywords you want to rank for online.
Real Definition: Figuring out the type of content your audience really wants.
Keyword research gives you insight into what people are searching for, how many people are searching for those terms, and how they want to consume that information.
Having all of those details handy makes it easier for you to understand how you can better serve your audience.
Some of the tools you can use for effective keyword research include:
Step 9: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO and Keyword Research basically go hand in hand.
This is another subject can get really geeky but I’m going to stick to the fundamentals.
SEO is simply everything you do to improve your chances of ranking as a top result on search engines.
It’s super important because it helps your website become more visible and helps you build more trust and authority in your niche.
All of that leads to more traffic which could lead to a loyal following and more sales.
As complicated as the subject may sound, that really is the whole point.
And also, many people teach SEO as though the only intended purpose is to outrank your competitors which is the wrong way to think about it.
Proper SEO can help you accomplish that but it should never be your only goal.
The whole purpose of SEO is to get your content in front of your target audience.
Write for human beings first then optimize your content for the search engines – in that order.
There’s definitely a lot more that goes into making your site SEO-friendly but understanding the basics is absolutely necessary.
Recommended read – How to Get Free Quality Blog Traffic
Final Thoughts on How to Create A Website On WordPress
But first a quick recap on all of the steps we covered today:
- Plan your website and Select your niche
- Get your domain name with Namecheap
- Sign up for web hosting with SiteGround
- Design your website (Select your theme)
- Install your plugins
- Add content
- Monetize your blog
- Keyword Research
If you followed everything then you should have a website that’s live and ready to monetize.
You can break the process down into 2 parts:
Steps 1-5: The “technical” parts which I personally tend to refer to as the easier side of creating a website.
Steps 6-9: The “money making” parts where you really get to hone in on your skills and build a profitable business.
The latter is what really matters.
Before you fight me, consider this statistic:
Do you know what that means?
The barrier to entry is low and it really isn’t that difficult to create a website at all.
In fact you could complete steps 1-5 in less than 24 hours if you have the time.
But out of those millions of blogs, over 90% will fail.
A whopping 90%!
Let that sink in.
That’s why I like to focus a little bit more on the things that really matter.
I suggest you do the same.
Spend your time figuring out how to create quality content, growing your audience and finding out the different ways you can monetize your site effectively.
The things that will actually make you successful.
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On How to Create A Website On WordPress
The WordPress Content Management Software is free to use.
All you need is web hosting in order to launch your website.
SiteGround has very affordable hosting rates starting at less than $10/month.
You can create a free website using the WordPress.com platform but it has its restrictions and you really don’t own the site.
If you want the freedom and flexibility to do as you please, I recommend you go self-hosted using SiteGround and the WordPress.org CMS.
Yes, WordPress is by far one of the best platforms to create a website on.
Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s beginner friendly and easy to use.
- The WordPress software is completely free (all you need is a web host)
- You can customize it easily to fit your needs
- It’s safe and robust
- Millions of other websites are built on WordPress so you’ll have good company
- It gives you 100% full control over your website