How to Create a Website
Sorry for the late update! I’ve been trying to create a video tutorial on how to create a website to go along with this post. Unfortunately, I failed. Making a video is harder than I thought. In addition to making the video, Hurricane Sandy hit NYC real hard. Lost power for 5 days. So here it is, chapter 4 of the niche competition.
Following up on my previous post, I came up with a few content ideas and so far I have 7 articles ready to be posted (Special thanks to my friends! They agreed to be authors and help generate contents for the niche website) and have a few pages ready such as Contact Us and About Us.
So now I have all these contents ready to be posted on my niche site. It is time to create a website.
I will be using Siteground.com to set up my niche website and using WordPress as my CMS. Why SiteGround and WordPress? I’ve been using SiteGround for all of my websites so far and everything is working fine. Furthermore, SiteGround has 24/7 customer service, so if anything goes wrong with my website, I can contact them any time. In addition, the price for hosting and purchasing the domain is relatively cheap! $6.95 a month. As for WordPress, it is the most user friendly platform to create a website and it has tons of plugins to help enhance the website. Furthermore, HTML and web designing skills are not needed.
If you are planning to create a website, follow along!
Setting up the website
There are many services such as Hostgator.com or Bluehost.com that helps user purchase the domain name if it is available at a set price and host the domain as well. Once again for this guide, I will be using Siteground.com because this is the service that I’m currently using for all my websites, easy to use and provides 24/7 customer support if you need help with your website. You can learn more about Siteground by visitng their website.
Here is a step-to-step guide in creating a website from scratch.
- First, visit www.siteground.com and select the Web Hosting plan. It will direct you to a page with more details on the web hosting plan.
- Click on the Green “Buy Hosting Now” button on their banner
- Enter the domain name you would like to buy and click on proceed. (Note: On a SEO perspective, you should definitely do some keyword research first because URL plays an important role in SEO and if you have keywords in your domain name, it will be a plus; However, due to Google’s recent EMD update, if you are not using the website to provide informative content, the domain name will backfire) If the domain is already taken, a list of recommended similar domain name will appear. You can either choose from that list or enter a new domain name and press enter.
- If the domain name is available, it will direct you to the contact and payment information page. Enter all the required information. Choose whether you would like to receive website back-up for $2/month, Hack Alert for $1/month and etc. (Money Saving Secret for Readers! When you are at the payment screen, if you hit back button, a $3.95 offer will pop up. Click on that offer and save money!)
- Siteground will offer you two options. One, if you know what you are doing, you can install your own CMS and the other option is follow their questionnaire and they will help you set up your blog based on your answers. If you choose the 2nd option, follow their instructions and they will set up your blog. It is very straight forward and simple! You can skip to “How to Create a Website with WordPress” and continue to follow along. If you choose the first option, please continue to read.
- Siteground will direct you to the logged-in home screen. If not, just log in yourself. Go to “My Accounts” Tab and click on go to cPanel. A box will pop up and click on Proceed.
- The cPanel is where you manage all your domains, set up emails, and where all your files are saved. Scroll down until you see “Site Building Software” and choose WordPress. There are other CMS that are good such as Joomla and Magento, but I prefer WordPress since it is easy to use and they have a lot of plug-ins to help customize your website to make it unique. (Note: There are 2 WordPress websites, wordpress.com is the website where anyone can create a free blog but must include wordpress in the domain name such as www.example.wordpress.com and wordpress.org is the site where you download plug-ins and the wordpress CMS).
- Click on the blue “Install” tab on the upper right hand corner and enter the site you want to install WordPress to. Select the domain name you registered and fill out all the information such as Username and password. Scroll down and click install.
- Now, you have a website where people can visit when they enter the URL in the browser. The only problem is you have no content on and the theme is chosen by SiteGround.
How to Create a Website with WordPress:
Enter www.yourwebsite.com/wp-login.php on your browser and log in with your username and password. This is the log in page for the admin.
How to Change Website Theme:
Here is your WordPress Dashboard and on the left hand side is menu bar where all your tools are located. In the middle, there are a few WordPress recommendations for what you should do first.
The first and what I find the most interesting thing about creating a website is finding a theme for your website. There are thousands of amazing themes out there and it is fun going through each theme and picturing how your website will look like.
On the menu bar, click on Appearance >>Themes. There are already a few pre-installed themes in your account. You can either use the themes that are already provided or install new ones. Click on the Install Themes tab on the top, you can either search for a theme by keywords, featured, newest, recently updated or install a theme you downloaded externally. Other than the themes you can search on WordPress, you can also find a lot of premium (paid) and free themes doing a search on Google.
100 Excellent Free WordPress Themes by Smashing Magazine
80 Premium Like Yet Absolutely Free WordPress Themes 2012 by 1st Web designer
If you downloaded a theme outside of WordPress, go to Install Themes and click on the Upload Tab, Browse.. then click on Install Now. If you found a theme you like on WordPress, click on “Install Now” under the theme’s name. (Note: Although WordPress provides a lot of nice looking themes but I prefer to find other free themes outside of WordPress because they usually have a better Theme Customization.)
Adding Functions to Website:
To further customize your website, on the menu bar click on “Plugins.” Plugins are a set of software components that adds specific abilities to a larger software application – source: Wikipedia. Once again, there are a few plugins that are already installed, click on “Add New” to find and add more plugins. Similar to the theme section, you can search for plugins based on keywords, download external plugins and upload it to your site, find featured, popular and newest plugins.
Here are a few free MUST HAVE Plugins. If you want to add more functions to your website, check out the 17 MUST HAVE WordPress Plugins for your website!
All in One SEO Pack– This plugin will help you optimize your website for the Search Engine. Customizing your Title tag, URL, meta description and meta keywords.
WordPress SEO Plugin (Yoast SEO Plugin)– If you want a bit more customization and more advanced tool, you might want to use this plugin. This plugin includes all the ability you get from All in One SEO Pack plus a few advanced tools. Yoast SEO can also check your post to see if it is optimized with keywords and notify what you are missing.
WPtouch– Why pay someone thousands of dollars to create a new mobile site when you can do this with one simple plugin. If you didn’t download a responsive theme for your website, you might want to install this plugin. It converts your nice looking desktop website into a mobile friendly version when viewed on a phone or tablet. Google Analyticator – If you theme doesn’t have a section for you to include the Google Analytic code, this plugin will be a good alternative.
Google XML Sitemaps– If you want your website to be found in Google, you must have Google indexed your pages. This plugin will generate the Sitemap for you so that Google can index your pages. You won’t need a SEO specialist to help you.
Akismet – This plugin should be included when you installed WordPress. All you have to do is to sign in and register your blog. This plugin will check comments visitors submitted whether it is “ham or spam.”
Customizing SideBars, Footers and Menu Bar to Your Website
Plugins will add a lot more functions to your site to make it unique. Now it is time to design your website a bit by adding widgets to the site bar & footer and customizing your header menu.
On the menu bar, click on Appearance, then Widgets. Adding widgets is very simple. First, on the right hand side, click on the arrow on the Side Bar and Footer box. Then drag and drop the widgets you want to add in the “available Widgets” box to the side bar or footer box. You can also drag and drop to reorganize them.
There are only a few available widgets but as you download more plugins you will get more widgets to customize your website. Furthermore, some themes will also come with widgets, so it is also up to the theme you’ve selected.
How to Customize Menu Bar
To customize the Website Menu Bar, go to Themes >>> Menus. Enter the name for the menu bar you are creating (anything is fine as long as you remember) and click on “Create Menu.”
On the left hand side, under the Theme Locations box, select the menu you just created from the drop down and save.
Now, you can simply choose pages and categories you want to add to the menu bar. Click on the check boxes and click on Add to Menu. Again, you can drag and drop to reorder how the items in the menu appear.
If you would like to add a specific page or post to the menu bar, you can enter the URL of that page/post in the Custom Links box and add a name you want it to show up on the menu bar.
How to Manage Multiple Authors
If your site will have multiple authors submitting articles and you want to review them before posting it, you can set the authors as contributors and give them to permission to create a new post and submit for review.
Go to Users and click on All Users. Click on the name of the user to view the complete profile. Click on the “role” drop down and choose Contributor or Author to give them certain powers.
You can also download the Co-Authors Plus plugin if you want to list multiple authors for a post.
Is there anything else that you want to learn regarding to creating a website with WordPress? Leave a comment below and I will get back to you!
The Niche Marketing Challenge Series
- Chapter 1: I’m Joining the Challenge 9/18/2012)
- Chapter 2: How to Find a Niche Market (9/20/2012)
- Chapter 3: How to Generate Content for Niche Website (10/1/2012)
- Chapter 4: How to Set up a Niche Website (11/5/2012)