If you have always wanted to build a WordPress website but do not know where to begin, this is the perfect guide. Today I am going to show you how to build a website with WordPress step-by-step so that you can follow along, regardless of your experience level. The user-friendly and powerful site builder for WordPress has evolved and changed the way we build websites.
In this WordPress website building tutorial, I am going to walk you through and cover all steps from registering a domain name, web hosting, installing WordPress, setting up Plugins/Theme, and then create and customize the website. All of these are done without writing a single line of code. You just need to know what to do, where to go, what to click to build a beautiful and functional website.
In this walkthrough guide, I am using HostArmada hosting (which I personally use and it has gained my trust from my personal experience of using over 10+ different hosting companies). The speed is simply best-in-class, top-notch. I am also using Elementor as the easiest and simple site builder.
Let's get started.
Step1: Domain Name and Web Hosting
Step2: Setup WordPress
Step3: Install Theme and Plugins
Step4: Create and Customize Website
How To Create a Website using WordPress
(in 4 Simple Steps)
Table of Contents
Step1: Get Your Domain name and Web Hosting
Domain Name is your online identity. It is just a business name in the online space.
Amazon.com, ebay.com, microsoft.com, apple.com are just some of the very well-known multi-million and billion companies that are using WordPress. You should know the company well and the fact that if big names have trust in WordPress, that means something very significant.
To start on strong fundamentals, you need to have a good domain name that represents your business. It can either be your business name, or it can be something catchy that represents your business, products, or services. Whatever it is, choosing a name that can make an impact on your business is important.
If you are running an international business with prospects from all over the world, an international domain such as the .com domain is most preferred. If the domain name has been taken, you may consider alternative extensions, such as .net. If your business is targeting a certain country or localization, you can use either .com or a country-based domain such as .au for Australia, .sg for Singapore, .my for Malaysia, .ca for Canada, and so on.
Web Hosting is your home on the internet. If the domain name is your business signboard, then hosting is the space on the internet where you store your website files. Both Domain Name and Hosting work hand-in-hand to build your online presence.
When choosing web hosting, it is important to only engage a reputable web hosting company. This is to ensure your website is secure, accessible at all times, fast, and without issues.
Over the last 10 years+, I have had both good and bad experiences with hosting companies. After spending countless hours studying and messing with over 10 hosting companies over the past 5-10 years, my top preferred choice is HostArmada and you can't go wrong with it. Another Top-notch hosting provider is KnownHost. These 2 are my preferred choices. These guys live and breathe web hosting, so you can rest assured you are in good hands.
The Speed Reaper Hosting Plan from HostArmada costs less than $6 a month, which is considered very affordable with fantastic uptime, speed, and support. But if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, you can consider Hostinger.
- Go to HostArmada
2. Select Your Hosting Plan. You can start with Start Dock Plan but if you have an extra budget, I suggest go with Speed Reaper Plan, mainly because of 2 main reasons. (i) Speed Reaper Plan is powered by Litespeed that a speed boost to your website, (ii) Speed Reaper gets more system resources (higher memory, processor, storage), which means faster processing & overall speed, plus more storage space.
If you started out with 1 starter website, by all means, go with Start Dock. You can consider upgrading in the future.
(the price listed below may vary and it could be slightly different from the time this guide is written)
3. Next, you are going to input your preferred domain name under the option that says “Register a new domain”. I assume you do not have any unused domain and I am guiding you on how to register a new domain name. If you already have an existing domain that you are parking somewhere and not actively using, you can select the third option that says “I will my existing domain and update nameservers”.
HostArmada is offering free domain from time to time, so if the offer is available, you can get a free domain name when you register for a web hosting plan.
For example, to register for TradingWithAlan.com, just enter “tradingwithalan” (leaving out the .com). Note: domain name is not case-sensitive. You can enter in any case, it is basically the same.
To proceed, click on the “Check Domain” button. If the domain name that you have chosen is not available, please choose another name with slight variation or you can go with a different extension (eg .net, .org, .biz, etc) if it is available.
4. If your domain name is available, you will see the message below.
Click “Continue” to proceed.
5. Next, we come to the Configuration part. You will be asked to choose your billing cycle. The options are annually, biennially, and triennially.
In this example, the Speed Reaper Plan cost per month is $5.66. For a 1-year subscription, it costs me $67.92 which I will pay in advance. (this cost exclude the cost for the domain(if any), any other option eg privacy protection)
(one of the advantages to signing up for a longer period is you don't have to worry in the case of the price increase in the future as your price is locked for the period you signed up for)
6. Next, you have the option to choose Data Center. Data Center is where servers are located and running their daily operations. Ideally, you want to choose the region that is closed to your target audience.
For example, if my website is targeted to an audience worldwide but I foresee most customers are from the US since this is where I will be running my advertising campaign. So chances are I will choose the US data center. It doesn't really matter whether I choose Dallas, Neward, etc.
It is worth mention that not all hosting provides you option to choose a data center. So if you are from Australia for example, you are now able to choose Sydney Data Center instead of just US data center in most cases of other hosting companies.
The last section asking if you would like to add any booster (enhanced version of SSL, plugin), I would ignore and click on Preview Order to proceed.
7. In the following screen, you will be shown the options that you have selected earlier (domain name, hosting plan). Next is the option to subscribe to Privacy Protection.
I highly recommend you select Privacy Protection. With Privacy Protection enabled, your personal details such as an address, name, phone, the email will be hidden in the public whois database. What it means is the spammer won't be able to harvest your details and send you spam emails. (I always ensure this feature is enabled whenever I registered a domain name). In this case, $3.95/year is reasonable for the protection it provides.
Click the Continue button to proceed.
8. You will see the Order Summary before you proceed to checkout and make payment. The discount is automatically applied. Click Checkout to proceed.
9. Enter your contact information and billing information.
10. Select your preferred payment method (i.e. credit card or PayPal). If you select a credit card, you will prompt to enter your card details, and if you choose Paypal, you will be prompted to log in to your PayPal account. Remember to check the Terms of Service box to proceed.
That's pretty much it!
You will receive emails from HostArmada for your order confirmation, as well as your hosting account details.
11. Once your order is completed, you will receive a few emails including Order Confirmation, Invoice Order Confirmation, Domain Payment Confirmation, Confirm Your Registration, and Verify Contact Information. The Confirm Your Registration and Verify Contact Information are 2 of the most important emails as it requires your action to click on the link within. (VERY IMPORTANT: Remember to open and click on the link within the email to confirm your registration and verify your email.)
12. Now, log in to your HostArmada Client Area. All the important information are accessible from your client area. (the account details eg Cpanel login won't be sent via email).
The client area located at https://my.hostarmada.com/.
Now, let us look at the following few areas:
- HostArmada Client Area
- CPanel Login
- FTP/File Manager
HostArmada Client Area
Within the dashboard, you can manage everything related to your hosting subscription. This includes managing your hosting invoice, manage your domains (registered via HostArmada), and manage the services you subscribed from HostArmada. Everything under the client area making it easier and organized. Just remembered you keep the client area login credentials safe.
You can reach out for support by submitting a support ticket or live chat. Based on my experience of using different hosting companies prior to this, I can say their support is not just fast, but lightning fast!
Put simply, the nameservers connect your domain name with the web hosting. If you followed the web hosting and domain registration above, you don't have to do anything else, as the nameservers have already been configured to you automatically by HostArmada.
Only for those who already have the domain name registered elsewhere eg Godaddy, NameCheap, etc. you will need to input HostArmada nameservers in your domain registrar. Nameservers info can be found within your client area (as shown in the screenshot below)
If you followed our steps in this guide, you are good as the nameservers are set to you automatically.
Cpanel is the hosting control panel software. It is basically a dashboard that allows you to “talk” to your web hosting. Cpanel is where you can install WordPress, set up email accounts, and a lot more.
Cpanel is accessible from your HostArmada Client Area, under My Services
If you clicked on it it will bring you directly to the Cpanel (without needing to key-in username/password – which makes life easier!). The Current user under General Information is your Cpanel username (note: only take note of this if you want to log in directly to Cpanel, bypassing the client area)
You will need to access Cpanel (Control Panel) shortly when we are ready to install the WordPress.
Direct Login To CPanel
Important: The info in this section only applies if you want to login to Cpanel (bypassing client area), else you can safely ignore this part, just access Cpanel via HostArmada Client Area.
If you would like to access Cpanel directly (bypassing client area, you can go to yourdomain.com:2083 (where yourdomain.com is the domain name that you registered or provide to HostArmada during the signup process.)
To log in, you will need to do a one-time password reset, to do so, in your client area go to My Services, then click on the Manage Service (little hand-pointing icon)
Look for the Change Cpanel Password. Enter your new desired password twice and click Save changes. Now you
That's it. Now you can log in to Cpanel without first logging into the client area.
Chances are, you are not going to need it now as we will do all the setup and settings within WordPress. But it is worth mentioning so that you are aware and it may serve as extra knowledge.
FTP is a File Transfer Protocol where it allows you to upload or transfer files to your web hosting. The FTP client such as Filezilla is software that connects your local laptop or PC to the server so that you can transfer the files. You need to create an FTP account within CPanel in order to connect via the FTP client.
Now the easiest method. Instead of using an FTP client, you can use File Manager which can be found within the Cpanel itself (refer to screenshot below). File Manager is simpler as you do not need a separate login to access it. I highly recommend using File Manager as it is easiest, even for newbies.
Step2: Install WordPress
Well done! Guess what, you have just got yourself a domain name and hosting.
Next, we are going to install WordPress, Yay!
WordPress is the software that allows you to build your website and much more. So imagine you would like to build a house, you first need a piece of land. So WordPress is that piece of “land”. It lays a strong foundation for your website. WordPress is probably the best simple site builder you can use to put up a beautiful and easy-to-manage website.
We are going to install WordPress via Cpanel. In HostArmada, you can access Cpanel within your client area. (refer to step 1 if you have forgotten how to login into Cpanel)
Once you are inside the Cpanel, it can get overwhelming if this is your first time. There are many colorful icons and sections which may cause you to confuse. Don't worry, you can ignore everything that you see and just scroll down to the bottom-most of the page.
Under the Softaculous Apps Installer, click on WordPress (usually the first in the list as pointed by the arrow in the screenshot below).
Click on Install Now button
Let assume your domain is https://yourdomain.com. To set up WordPress at the “root” which means at https://yourdomain.com, make sure the “In Directory” part is left blank. In the example below, I input options-trading which means the WordPress will be set up at https://wpfaq.net/options-trading
Next, enter your Site Name and Descriptions, this info can be changed later. You can leave it if you want and amend it later. For username, do not use the default name i.e. admin. change it to something else to have better security. Remember to use a strong password and enter your primary email as any email such as password retrieval, etc will be sent to this admin email.
In the next section, you may leave blank as default. Unless you want to set up WordPress in a different language, just skip in this section. Likewise for the subsequent Advanced Options and Select Theme, just skip it.
Scroll to the bottom-most and click on the blue Install button. You can enter your email to have the details you entered above email to you which is good as a future reference.
Wait for 15-30 seconds and the installation should be completed.
Click on the Administration URL hyperlink and that will bring you to the WordPress dashboard. (the system will automatically log you in. But remember the next time you will have to enter your username/password, so keep the info safe)
This is what you will see once you have logged in. This is WordPress Dashboard.
That concludes WordPress installation. Next, we will install WordPress Theme and Plugins. You are now halfway completing the tutorial on how to build a website with WordPress. keep it up!
Step3: Install WordPress Theme and Plugins
The WordPress Theme essentially is like a template. It changes the look and feel of your website in a blink of an eye. WordPress Plugin, on the other hand, is add-ons that add functionalities to your WordPress site.
However, in this tutorial, we do not need the theme as the plugin that we are going to install next already has great templates built-in. (By default, WordPress already has the default theme installed, I am going to use that. You can check the existing theme from the menu Appearance – Themes)
We are going to install the Elementor Plugin, which is a page builder. It is easier to use and dummy-proof 🙂 No coding, no technical skills are required to build a beautiful and fully functional website. To take full advantage of Elementor, you need Elementor Pro, which costs $49 a year, at this price it is really a good bargain for what it offers and the amount of time it going to save you.
Now, head over to Elementor Pro page you will notice several plans are available to choose from. The Essential Plan is suitable for those with 1 website only. If you plan to set up 2 – 3 sites, go with Advanced Plan. Click on Buy Now to proceed to the checkout page.
The purchase process is very simple, fill in the required details and then select the payment method. You can pay by credit card/PayPal.
Once payment is successful, you will see the following page. You can download the Elementor Pro now to your local computer, alternatively, you can also do so within the member area.
Once you have bought the Elementor Pro, log in to your Elementor Account at https://my.elementor.com/ (log in with the details you received in the email Elementor sent to you once you have done the purchase)
Once you've logged in, go to Subscriptions. Here you will see it says your Elementor Pro is active and if you have not downloaded the Elementor Pro plugin yet, you can do so on this page. Just click on Download Zip.
Now, we are going to install Elementor in WordPress.
Go back to your WordPress dashboard. To add a new plugin, from the menu on the left, go to Plugins – Add New
Type “elementor” in the search box and in the search results, the Elementor Website Builder will appear. Click Install Now, then Activate.
Next, click on the Upload Plugin button and browse the Elementor Pro Plugin you downloaded earlier. Then Click Activate the plugin.
Once you have uploaded and activated both Elementor basic and Pro plugins, you will see both in your website under Plugins – Installed Plugins
Note: Elementor Pro is an extension of Elementor, so you must have the Basic Elementor installed first.
Click Connect and Activate to connect to Elementor. Then click the big green Activate button to complete the process. Now you can to access to PRO templates and elements. Completing this process also mean you have just activated your Elementor Pro license (yes, that's it. you don't have to copy and paste license key manually, that's the old school way 🙂 )
Awesome! You have successfully installed the activated Elementor Pro Plugin. It's time to move on and create an awesome site!
Step4: Create and Customize Website
This is the final step of building a WordPress website. Follow along with these final steps and your website will be up and running in no time, no kidding. 🙂
In your WordPress Dashboard, from the menu on the left, click on Pages – Add New
A new page will be opened and as you can see, it is pretty plain. What you want to do is click on the Edit with Elementor button
What you see next is still pretty the same, except that it has the Elementor section on the left. You're now in the Elementor editor. On the left is Elements. Elements allow you to add content to your website. Example of elements available includes: heading, button, icon, image, etc and there are many more elements available for you to choose from. For eg, if I want to insert a photo on my webpage, I would drag and drop the Image element to the canvas.
To get started, at the bottom of the page, click on the gear icon (Settings), and then select Elementor Canvas. After you have selected the Elementor Canvas page layout, you will notice the page now looks cleaner and the Title “Elementor #8” (or whatever Title you see on your screen) is now gone.
Things are getting exciting from this point onwards..so fasten your seat belt and get ready.
You're all set and ready to build your page. You may drag and drop the elements on the left (eg heading, image, button, etc) to the canvas on the right. So that's how you build the webpage by inserting different elements on the canvas. or you can use shortcuts, a quicker way to build your website.
By the way, a canvas is a whitespace where you build your webpage and It is an area on the right side of your screen. Basically, the elements you placed within the canvas will appear on your webpage.
Let add a headline on the page. To do that, you would drag a Heading element to the canvas and then edit the text to suit your headline.
To add different columns, you can click on the “+” icon on the canvas. It allows you to choose the number of columns that you want to create.
Within each column, you can have different elements. For example, I created a 2-column structure, in the first column I insert an image (using image element), and on the second column, I inserted text (using text editor element).
Let's do that.
Drag the image element to the canvas (on the column that you want it to appear) where you will see a blue line that indicates where the element will be placed, release your mouse and the image element will be in place.
Click the image element to select it and on the left, it will show the options available for the image element. Simple click on Choose image and upload a new image (image that you want to insert) or browse your existing image in the media library. The same process applies to insert text, except that for the text element, you don't browse for an image, you will click on them and edit the text you want to show.
Well, dragging and dropping elements sounds easy and interesting, but it is time-consuming. There is a quicker way to get your website up and running without stacking up the elements yourself……..
Shortcut your way by Using Templates!
What Templates? It is basically premade blocks and pages that you can utilize without having to create pages from scratch so that you get up and running fast. So yes, if all you need is to have a great-looking website without getting your hands dirty, this is a perfect option. Let's get into speed mode, shall we? 🙂
On the canvas, click on the 2nd icon that resembles a folder. If you hover your mouse, you will see the tooltip that says “Add Template”
Click on the icon and you will be greeted with the awesome-looking pages in Elementor Library. On the top, there are 3 tabs i.e. Blocks, Pages, and My Templates. Blocks and Pages are pre-made templates that you can insert into your page so that you do not have to create from scratch.
If you want to add more creativity, you may use blocks. Stacking your preferred blocks on the canvas, and you will get beautifuland professional layout for your webpage.
If you prefer the least effort method, the answer is to use premade pages. The premade pages are pages that have been designed and done with a proper layout. You can even choose the niche of your website or business that you are in. Not all niches are available but it doesn't matter as regardless of any niche template page that you choose, you can change the image, text, and pretty much anything.
Now Let's move on. Go to the Pages tab and click to select the pages template that you prefer. You will see some of the premade pages are marked with a PRO label, those are template available only for Pro user. Since you are already a Elementor Pro user, everything is set.
Note: Frankly, the majority of the templates are for PRO users, so the free ones are limited. You may upgrade to the Elementor PRO Membership if you wish and the price is very reasonable, just $49/year for 1 website.
Your selected page template will be loaded on your canvas.
Great! Now it's time to edit and customize to suit your business or niche.
Remember that I mentioned earlier that it doesn't matter what page template that you selected, you can change the image, text, and pretty much anything with Elementor editor to suit your business.
This is the page template that I selected.
The website I am building for Alan is in the Trading niche, so I am going to make changes to the headline, the button, insert the image, and edit other text to suit trading.
I start off by changing the headline. Just click on the headline and edit the text. It's simple and has nothing technical involved. Even a newbie can do it. The process of editing the elements is the same as what was highlighted earlier, just click the element to edit (eg text), then enter my desired text.
Next, I am going to edit the button and include a call to action.
I want to insert an image that reflects investment or is related to money growth. I go to Pixabay.com to get a royalty-free photo. And after a simple search, I decide to use this image. It looks great and could deliver my message to the audience. I download it to my local computer and upload it to my WordPress.
Here's how it looks like overall after I have changed the heading, button, and image. Next, I am going to change the background image. And guess what, I got the image from Pixabay as well.
The background image is located in one of the sections. So to change the background image, click on the 6 dots on the top and replace it with a new one.
Besides the background image, I have also do some minor changes in the background overlay. Overlay allows me to adjust the opacity of the image and the color of the overlay.
This is the final result of the Hero section that I customized (I have changed the button border to green, which I think may look better). Here's the comparison of the original page Hero section compared to the one I have edited.
There are other parts of the website to customize, but I hope you get the point, the process is the same. Getting started with page templates is easier as all you need to do is to select your preferred layout and make changes to the elements. It is easier and faster than starting from scratch.
Well starting from scratch is great if you have already mapped out your idea of what you want to have on the webpage, your desired section, layout, etc. Otherwise, using the premade blocks and pages is probably is more user-friendly way of creating a website.
You've Just Learn How To Build a Website with WordPress, What's Next?
If you want to take your site to the next level, you may consider Happy Addons. Happy Addons provides high-quality premium WordPress templates, blocks, and widgets that you leverage on. The beautiful, top-notch quality templates from Happy Addons will elevate your site to the next level.
Happy Addons is fully compatible with Elementor so creating and editing your site is an absolute breeze.
Thank you and congrats on completing the guide and wishing you all the best! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to engage my team to set up your site.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. The guide and review that I shared above are my true experience of using the products myself.