How To Make A WordPress Website In 2018 – The Beginner’s Guide
The game has changed. These are NOT your grandfather’s tools.
If you want to make a WordPress website in 2018, I’ve got news for you: It’s dead simple! Never has it been easier to put together a great looking WP site without touching a single line of code. And gone are the days of having to spend thousands of dollars on hiring a developer (unless you can swing it, then more power to you).
Let’s jump right in! Today I’ll be teaching you step by step how we make websites and share the exact tools you can use to do it yourself.
The tools I’m going to suggest are ones we personally use to build and grow our own website. I’ll start by summing up the 5 simple steps to making a WordPress website from scratch and then elaborate on each step further into the article, cool? Alright here goes:
3. Install WordPress
5. Install plugins
And it’s simple as that, you guys. In just 5 steps, you have everything you need to start designing your website.
Now let’s talk about the tools we are going to be using to make this project come to life. Full disclaimer: We do include some affiliate links in this guide and may receive an affiliate commission if you choose to purchase one of the recommended products by clicking our links. With that being said, we are only going to list tools we use and swear by for our own website.
We have experimented with many products and services over the years and found the following tools to be some of the best for us. So if you are already going to purchase one of these products or services, please consider clicking through one of our links as it really helps us out a lot and motivates us to write more of these guides for you guys. Thanks!
The 3 tools that we’re going to be using in this guide are:
1. GoDaddy – Domain name
2. SiteGround – Website hosting
3. Divi – WordPress theme
Those are the exact 3 tools we used to build our own website, WP Rocket. Let’s begin our tutorial. We’re going to break down the first 5 steps we mentioned earlier one by one. Ready?
Buying A Domain Name
The first step is buying a domain for your new website. Personally, we like to use GoDaddy for all our domain names. GoDaddy is the best in terms of service, support, and a modern user friendly interface.
It’s worth noting however, we do NOT recommend GoDaddy as a web host. We’ve had some lousy experiences with slow page load speeds and server outages with GoDaddy before switching our host to SiteGround. For hosting? Go with SiteGround!
Got your domain name ready? Awesome, let’s move onto the next step.
Setting Up Hosting
While we love GoDaddy for all our domain name needs, SiteGround is hands down our favorite host. We currently use SiteGround’s “GrowBig” plan to host our own website. You get the most bang for your buck with SiteGround. Their web hosting service trumps GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator, etc. SiteGround gives you blazing fast website load speeds, rock solid reliability, and backs their customers with one of the best support staffs in the industry.
Before we proceed, I want to stress the importance of choosing a quality web host. You do NOT want to skimp on web hosting because it will come back to haunt you, trust me.
We’ve dealt with our fair share of headaches with BlueHost and GoDaddy hosting when building WP Rocket. Switching our web host to SiteGround was one of the best decisions for our website. And I can say with confidence that SiteGround is going to be the best web host for most websites. Go ahead and pick the plan that best suits your needs. I’d suggest getting at least their mid-tier “GrowBig” plan. That’s the one we use for our site. It’s loaded with features! Plus you get a huge discount for becoming a new SiteGround customer.
Click here to read our full in-depth SiteGround review for 2018 to see why it may be the best choice for your WordPress website.
I remember the days installing WordPress was a real head scratcher. You had to manually install the WP file structure on your host through FTP. Luckily, those days are gone. With SiteGround, installing WordPress can be done with the click of a button. When I started out, I used to wish we had the tools we have today.
Once you set up your SiteGround hosting account, add your new domain name to SiteGround as your primary account domain. It will ask you this during the initial setup of your account. Then all you need to do is go to your GoDaddy control panel and point your domain’s DNS to SiteGround’s IP which you can find in your SiteGround admin panel. This step may seem a bit tricky but is actually fairly simple once you get there, trust me.
Finally use SiteGround’s built-in app to one-click install WordPress on your new domain. Simple as that! You can find the WordPress Installer in the admin tools of your SiteGround hosting account.
WordPress is installed. You can now access your WordPress admin panel two ways:
- From SiteGround’s admin tools
Setting Up The Theme
At this stage, you’ve already got your website’s domain, hosting, and WordPress freshly installed. Congrats, the backbone of your website is complete. Now it’s time to dig into the nitty gritty and actually build out your site. Get excited, cause the actual design process is one of the most fun and rewarding task during the whole project.
You can go with any number of free WordPress themes on the market, some are actually really great! Or, you can invest in a premium theme. When people ask us which WordPress theme we can recommend? We always say Divi. WP Rocket was built from the ground up using Divi and quite honestly, we couldn’t live without it.
Divi by Elegant Themes is what made it possible to transform our thoughts and visions into reality with COMPLETE control over every minuscule detail of our website.
We’re actually in the process of writing a full review for the Divi theme of 2018. There are too many cool features to list here, but you can check them out yourself: Divi by Elegant Themes. One feature I would like to point out, is the awesome visual editor that lets you build out your entire website intuitively and on the fly right from the front end of your web pages. It’s magic. Seriously, you need to see it in action! As a website designer/developer, it will make your life so much easier.
To install Divi, you must first purchase and download it from Elegant Themes. Once the download is complete, go into your WordPress admin > appearance > themes > add new > and upload the .zip file you downloaded. Finally go into your themes and activate Divi as your live published theme. From there, you can go through Divi’s settings and basic customization options. When you’ve configured everything to satisfaction, start creating and designing your actual pages such as Home, About Us, Contact, Products, Blog, etc.
Take advantage and make use of Divi’s awesome visual builder and modules to piece together your site.
Once you finished configuring your WordPress theme, it’s time to install a few plugins to further enhance your website without touching a line of code. As a bonus to purchasing the Divi Theme, you also gain access to all of the Elegant Themes premium plugins at no extra cost.
Two that we love and recommend using on your own website:
1. Monarch – An amazing social sharing plugin
2. Bloom – An awesome email subscriber plugin
At this point, you can also explore the plethora of other high quality free and premium plugins for WordPress by going to your WordPress admin > plugins > add new plugins. Browse away! We’re also working on a new article that will feature the best free and premium WordPress plugins, coming soon…
For your reference, we’ve included a handy list of links to each one of the tools mentioned in this article. We encourage you to visit each one to see their full set of features. We’ve also looked up the best deals. Here they are:
1. GoDaddy – Grab a new domain name for as little as .99 cents
2. SiteGround – The best WordPress hosting starting at just $3.95 a month
3. Divi by Elegant Themes – The most powerful theme engine on the market for only $89
To conclude, by the time you follow through with this tutorial you’ve got:
A domain name setup with GoDaddy, the world’s best and largest domain registrar. One of the best web hosting plans you can get with SiteGround, and a state of the art theme, Divi by Elegant Themes. Now you’re ready to tackle your new web design project with a small arsenal of super powerful weapons.
Time to get creative and build the next BIG thing! We know you can do it.
That concludes our guide on how to make a WordPress website in 2018. We hope you gained some value from reading it. Comment down below to let us know what you think or if you have questions. And don’t forget to share. It really helps us out!
*This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you. So if you are going to buy one of these products, please consider clicking through one of our affiliate links. It really helps us out and motivates us to continue writing free articles like this one.