So, you’re building a website? You have your domain name from Godaddy, Namecheap, or Enom. You have your website idea. Now what?
After buying a domain name, your next step is to point the domain name to the hosting account or a server and create your website on that account.
Wondering how this is done? You’re in the right place!
In this article, I will give you step-by-step instructions to point your domain name to a server and create a website.
I’ll also give you a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at how I used the free WordPress Content Management System (CMS) to create the simple website you’re currently enjoying!
A Website-Building Process that Works
You found this website through Google, and people will be able to reach yours as well if you follow my steps.
The website-building process might sound a bit tough and technical, but the reality is that it’s a lot easier than it sounds. And here’s more good news:
You don’t even need any prior programming knowledge!
It will take you less than 30 minutes to make a basic website, add prepared content, and submit to Google for indexing.
Don’t get overwhelmed or overthink this. Just roll up your sleeves and get going!
Soon, you’ll have your own optimized blog, business website or profile page!
Here’s what I’ll show you:
- How to point your domain to the hosting account
- How to create a website from scratch with WordPress
- How to make sure your website is indexed by Google so people can find it when searching
- How to collect potential leads for your business through your website
- How to monetize your website or blog
First things first! Be sure you use reliable, reputable companies to host and build your blog.
I use Bluehost.com as my host. It offers a sweet spot between reliability and cost.
The 24/7 customer service at Bluehost is excellent. You can get help any time you need it!
You’ll also need a theme.
A theme is a template for the appearance of your site. Most websites use ready-made themes, although you can also get a personalized theme.
Later on, I will show you a trick I use to get great themes!
You can actually check which theme your favorite WordPress website is using and use it for your own site—with upgrades, of course.
Ready to get started? Read on for instructions!
Step 1: Go to the Bluehost website to set up your hosting account
Head to the Bluehost website and click the get started now button.
Step 2: Choose a hosting package
If you only want one website, you can choose the basic hosting package.
If you intend to have more than one website, you can choose the plus package.
I recommend you start with the basic hosting package, because it is cheap. You can upgrade it anytime to other hosting packages if you need to.
If you decide to upgrade your basic package to a higher package, you will only pay the cost difference!
Step 3: Assign a domain name to your hosting account
If you already bought a domain name, input your pre-purchased domain under the box “I have a domain name.” Click next.
You can register a new domain as well. Personally, I prefer to keep my domains name with a domain registrar.
Step 4: Create your hosting account
In this step, you will input your personal details, choose which hosting package to use, and pay using either a credit card or PayPal.
Here’s a tip:
The longer the contract you select for your website hosting, the more money you will save.
For example: If you use the Bluehost basic hosting package, you pay to host your website for 36 months for $3.95 per month.
If you pay to host your website for 12 months, the monthly rate will be $5.45.
If you decided to purchase a new domain with Bluehost, I recommend purchasing Domain Privacy Protection, since it hides your personal information.
If you don’t purchase it, personal details will be publically available to spammers. And we all know how lovely that can be.
Here’s a tip:
Other add-on services such as Site Backup Pro, Search Engine Jumpstart or SiteLock Security can be purchased later if you need extra security. I’m not using them, but they can be good for sites with sensitive information.
Input your credit card details to make a payment, or click more payment options to pay using PayPal.
Here’s a screenshot of the PayPal page:
Finally, agree to the terms and conditions then click submit to complete the purchase and move to the next step.
Woohoo! You’re almost done with the hard part. See? This is easy.
Step 5: Create a password for your hosting account
Now, you need to create a password for your hosting account. You can use a password generator or create one yourself.
If you create one yourself, make sure it is memorable, hard to guess and recorded somewhere (securely) so you can use it later.
A password is required to be at least eight characters and have both capital and lowercase letters, a number, and a special character (?,!,#, etc).
Step 6: Login to your hosting account
Once the password is successfully created, you will receive an email with the details of your hosting account username and other login information.
Hooray! You officially own digital real estate!
Now go to login.bluehost.com and log in with your username and the password.
Or, you can go to the Bluehost website and click the login icon in the top right-hand corner of the navigation menu, as shown in the picture below:
When you log into the Cpanel for the first time, you will see a welcome message similar to the image below. It will offer to guide you to the next step, but you can click skip this.
Step 7: Pointing the domain name to the hosting account or a server
This is an important step. Don’t miss it!
To point the domain name to Bluehost hosting account do this:
Input the Bluehost nameservers details – these are available on your Cpanel—on your domain registrar Custom DNS nameserver field.
Here are some Bluehost nameservers:
Check out this example using Namecheap:
Step 8: Assign a domain to your Cpanel account
This is important step, too.
After pointing your domain name to your hosting account, now it is time to check if it points correctly.
If it works, congratulations! Continue to the next step:
Now, assign it into Cpanel so that a folder can be created on your server, ready for your website installation.
If none of this sounds like English, don’t worry! Bluehost has a wizard just to do the above steps.
Check the guide below:
Step 9: Navigate to the Install WordPress button
You did it! Now on to building the site itself.
While you are still logged into the Cpanel, scroll down to the Website section and click the Install WordPress button:
Step 10: Click install WordPress
The previous step will redirect you to Mojo Marketplace, which enables you to install WordPress.
Click the Get Started button at the bottom right of the page.
Step 11: Select which domain you would like to install WordPress to
Here’s how to select the domain name for your WordPress site:
Choose the domain you registered earlier from the drop-down menu to associate it with WordPress.
You can choose one of the two options:
You can either have your website name or domain with the www at the beginning, or without. I prefer the one without the www, but it’s up to you.
After making the selection, click Next.
Leave the directory box blank if you are going to install WordPress in the root directory.
Step 12: Setup WordPress login username and password
We have almost finished the WordPress installation!
You deserve a bowl of ice cream. With sprinkles.
Now, you are going to set up your WordPress login username and password, which you will frequently use to manage your blog and post new content.
Don’t forget to check “I have read the terms and conditions of the GPLv2.”
Make sure that the automatically create a new database for this installation box is checked, unless you have a database already set up that you want to use.
Choose a username and a secure password.
In other words, don’t use your birthday or your dog’s name.
Step 13: Finalising installation
After completing the previous step, a notification banner will appear.
The installation has been completed! Time to break out the champagne! Well, almost.
You can now click on the View Credentials here button to check out your WordPress username, password, and other details.
Don’t purchase a theme yet. I will cover that step later.
Congrats! Now your website is live!
Ok, now you can open that bottle of champagne.
Step 14: First login to your WordPress website
This is the fun part!
There are a couple of things you need to do to make your website look and behave the way you want.
Here’s how you can access your WordPress website administrator tools:
Type in your domain name followed by /wp-admin.
For example, if your domain is yourwebsite.com, then go to yourwebsite.com/wp-admin.
Now, just enter the WordPress username and password that you created in Step 10, and WordPress will welcome you.
After your first login, there will be a prompt to ask you if you need help setting up your WordPress website.
Select I don’t need help.
You got this.
Below is a WordPress Dashboard Walk-Through Video:
Step 15: Remove unwanted pre-installed plugins
Plugins are software packages used to add functionalities or features to your website without you writing a single line of code.
There are free and paid plugins.
Your site will come with a few automatically. Some are great, but some are clutter and will slow down your website.
Do you really need a daily “Hello, Dolly” quote on your admin page? No. You do not.
It’s easy to remove plugins you don’t need:
Go to Plugins then Installed Plugins as shown in the image below.
I delete all the pre-installed plugins except Akismet. Akismet is a plugin for fighting spam comments. Trust me, you want that one.
Since these plugins are active, first you need to deactivate them, then delete them.
After selecting the plugins to delete, choose Deactivate from the drop-down menu and click Apply.
Next, choose Delete from the drop-down menu and click Apply as shown in the images below:
After the deletion of the plugins, you will be left with a clutter-free WordPress dashboard!
Check it out:
Step 16: WordPress settings
WordPress settings are general settings for your website.
These include your website title, your website slogan, your administrator email, your time zone, preferred date format, time format, and site language.
You also have settings on how you will manage your authors and comments.
You can access those by going to your dashboard and click Settings as shown in the image below:
Below, I will show you how I configured my settings.
For more details on what the settings parameters mean, read this article.
After making any changes, be sure to click Save Changes so the changes take effect.
Here’s a list of WordPress admin settings and how I use them
- General settings below are what I’m using on my website. Check it out:
- Writing settings. I didn’t change anything for these.
- Reading settings. I unchecked the Search Engine Visibility box as shown in the image below. I want the search engines to crawl, index my website, and make it visible to the world.
- Discussion settings. I unchecked the first two boxes under Default article settings. Here’s what it looks like:
- Media settings.I didn’t change anything.
- Permalinks settings. I’m using below Post name format, as shown in the image below:
Step 17: Choosing a WordPress theme of your choice
Now it’s time to get creative!
A fresh WordPress installation comes with a default, pre-installed official WordPress theme.
If you like it, you can stick with it!
Of course, there are literally thousands of themes you can use.
This website is using GeneratePress theme.
I know this theme isn’t that shiny, but I prefer this theme because it doesn’t have much clutter and helps readers focus on the content.
I also like themes from ThriveThemes they have been claimed to boost conversions and are ideal for digital marketers.
ThriveThemes have a customer support forum and a knowledge base, which makes it easier for you to customize your theme without hiring anyone.
I also like themes from StudioPress, since they look more professional
However, StudioPress themes are a bit expensive. They cost around $100 or more for the theme and a framework.
I haven’t tried any yet, but I’m always tempted to!
You can get nice looking free themes from MyThemeShop. I bought premium themes from these guys before I switched to ThriveThemes and GeneratePress.
You can also shop from ThemeForest! This is a huge marketplace for themes.
Just make sure the theme you purchase loads fast, is SEO friendly, has great support, and is responsive.
A responsive theme allows your website to be viewed properly on devices with small screen resolutions such as Smartphones, and tablets.
You can also use a theme from a website you like!
Let’s say you find the perfect website! You like the way it looks, and you want your website to look similar.
Good news! You can use the same theme, as long as the website is also a WordPress site.
Here’s how you find a site’s theme:
- If you’re using Windows, you can check the theme by going to the website and right clicking. Select “View Source.” You can also just hit “CTRL+U.” Next, push “CTRL+F” and search for “theme.”
- If you’re on a MAC, hit Command+U. Then click “Option/Alt+Command+U” and search for “theme.”
As you can see, nocodewebscraping.com is using FocusBlog theme:
Once you have decided on a theme, download the theme ZIP file to your computer.
We’ll use this file in the next step:
Step 18: Installing a WordPress theme
Now it is time to install the theme you downloaded!
I have the FocusBlog theme downloaded on my computer.
Here’s how I set it up on my website:
Go to Appearance, then Themes, as shown in the image below:
On the new “Themes” window that appears, click Add New.
Click Upload Theme.
Then, choose a theme file from your computer by clicking Choose File.
Click Install Now.
The theme will start to install, and once it is finished, you will get a prompt message with options to Live Preview or Activate the newly installed theme.
Choose to Activate the theme.
Now, visit your website to see what new theme looks like!
Step 19: Theme customization
If you have used the FocusBlog theme, you will need to activate the license before doing any customization on the theme.
Click Activate License, then input your email address and the license key.
You can get the license key from the ThriveTheme website on your member dashboard section. Look under the Member Navigation by clicking My Account & License Keys.
Once you can access your theme dashboard, go ahead and modify the General Settings.
The first thing I like to do after installation is to remove the theme author’s logo.
Here’s how to remove a ThriveThemes logo:
Set your Logo Type to Text if you still don’t have an image logo yet.
Next, write your Logo Text.
Then write your Footer Copyright Text.
Here’s a hint:
But a text logo will do just fine if you are on tight budget. I’m using text logo for my website.
Step 20: Installing plugins
As I mentioned above, plugins are software packages that add specific functionalities to your website.
Below are the three most essential plugins!
You need to configure these at the beginning. Others can be configured later, if you don’t have time to finish customizing now.
Akismet a plugin for fighting spam comments and any comment, which looks suspicious.
Akismet was already pre-installed with our WordPress installation.
The basic plan is free, and that is what I’m using. You will need to get API key to start using it.
To activate Akismet, follow these steps:
- In the left-hand pane, click Plugins.
- Under Akismet, click Activate.
- Click Activate your Akismet account, and then click Create a new Akismet key. Follow the instructions to create a key.
- After you receive the Akismet confirmation e-mail message, go to the WordPress plugins page again.
- Under Akismet, click Settings.
- Click, I already have a key.
- In the Akismet API Key text box, paste the API key that you received in the e-mail message.
- Click Save Changes.
- To configure Akismet, click Settings under Akismet
Below is a comment spam summary for one of my site. You can see how spam can be a problem for your site.
Yoast SEO Plugin and Google search console
Yoast is the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin.
This plugin is a great tool to guide you to make your website search-engine friendly.
It will guide you to implement good SEO practices that can help your website show up on search engine results pages (SERP) for specific keywords.
Of course, having this plugin will not guarantee that your website will show up on the SERP for certain keywords. There more than 200 ranking factors that Google uses to decide whether to display your website!
There are also other methods you can use to bring visitors to your website, such as paid ads and social media.
To use this plugin correctly – and help Google index your website – you must have a Google Search Console account. You can sign up for one here.
Google Search Console will make it easy for you to get your website indexed fast by Google.
Through the search console, you can monitor how your website performs on the Google search engine.
To install and to set up Yoast SEO plugin, follow these steps:
- In the left-hand pane, click Plugins.
- Click Add New.
- Write Yoast SEO in the Search box.
- Click the Install Now link.
- In few seconds, the plugin will automatically download and install itself, click Activate link.
- Click Settings link.
- Under the SEO menu, click Dashboard.
- Choose Your Info and fill in the info whether you’re a company or a person.
- Go to Webmaster Tools in the top menu (same page) and sign up for Google Search Console with Gmail.
- In Search Console, enter your site name and to verify the site, choose alternate methods, HTML tag and from within that code, only copy the content part of the code to the textbox in our SEO plugin, save changes.
- Click verify in the Search Console window.
- Next, choose the Titles & Metas settings under SEO and click on Taxonomies in the upper menu. Set Meta Robots as “noindex” for both Categories and Tags, then save
- Do the same for Archive and Others on the same page. Noindex “Date Archives”, “Author Archives” and “Subpages of archives”.
Here is an example of a Google Search Console interface:
Google Analytics will enable you to see how many visitors your website is getting, from where and what they’re doing on your website.
It is very important to have Google Analytics to analyze the performance of your website content and how visitors interact with the content.
Before you can use this plugin, you must have a Google Analytics account and at least one property. If you do not have an account, please sign up for one here.
If you do not have a property, please follow the steps here.
To connect your website with the Google Analytics, follow these steps:
- In the left-hand pane, click Settings under Insights.
- Under the General tab, click the Re-authenticate with your Google Account button.
- A window will pop up asking for permission. Click Allow.If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to log in. Please, login to the account with access to the Google Analytics property.
- A success message will appear with a long alphanumeric code. Highlight and copy the entire code.
- Close the window with the code to get back to your WordPress dashboard. Paste the code into the empty field after Paste your Google code here text. Click Save authentication code.
- Select the appropriate property for your website from the Analytics profile drop-down menu. Click Save changes at the bottom of the page.
- Now your site is already connected with Google analytics.
- You can view the reports from Google Analytics page “My preference”, or you can get quick stats from the plugin by clicking Dashboard under Insights.
Here an example of a Google Analytics interface:
Here are some other useful plugins I use!
I will not cover the installation procedure for them, but I think by now you are already familiar with how to install and setup the plugins:
- WP External Links – Configure settings for all internal and external links on your site. It can make the external links on your website open in new tabs, keeping more visitors on your website.
- All In One WP Security – Protects your website from hackers.
- UpdraftPlus – Automatically creates backups of your website, in case something breaks.
- Contact Form 7 – The easiest way to create a contact page for your website.
- Q2W3 Fixed Widget – Fixes positioning of the selected widgets, when the page is scrolled down.
- WP Fastest Cache – improves the speed of your website by caching content.
- Smush – for automatic image compression and optimization to improve website speed.
Step 21: Creating pages and adding pages to menu
It’s easy to get confused about the difference between pages and posts.
Here’s the difference:
Posts are content entries listed in reverse chronological order on your blog’s home page.
Let me show you how to create a basic page:
- In the left-hand pane, click Pages then Add New.
- You’ll find a screen that looks a lot like what you’ve maybe seen in Microsoft Word or your mail account. Add text, images and more to build the page you want, then click Publish when you’re done. You can also save a draft to work on it later.
Adding pages to menu
Until now, our website doesn’t have a navigation menu. Now it is time to add the pages we have created to the menu.
- In the left-hand pane, click Appearance then Menus.
- Give your Menu a name.
- Find the page you created and add it to the list by clicking the checkbox next to it and then Add to Menu. You can also add Posts, Custom Links, and Categories to the menu.
Below is my five-page footer menu setting:
Step 22:Creating posts
Let’s get some content on your new website!
Here’s how you do it:
- In the left-hand pane, click Posts then Add New.
- Write your posts same like what you do when writing an email, a catchy Title (Keyword targeted), short URL, you can add images but try not to use big size images they will slow down your website. Try images below 100 Kb without compromising quality.
- Add your meta description it helps with click through rate when your website shows up search results page.
- If you are still working on your post you can Save Drafts.Once you’ve finished writing your blog post, you need to add the right category for it and hit Publish.
- You can Update your post anytime.
Before creating posts, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with keyword research. Here’s why:
You want to write posts that answer questions that people search for on Google! You have a good shot at landing in top 10 results of a Google search results for certain keywords if all the SEO factors have been accounted for.
Here’s a video that shows how to add posts to categories and tags:
Step 23: Controlling sidebars
You can control what appears on your sidebars. Here’s how:
Go to “Appearance,” then “Widgets.”
You can drag and drop Widgets on the sidebar of your choice.
You can delete a widget by dragging it back.
Here is the setting of my sidebar:
Step 24: How to make money with your website and collect leads
There are many ways to make money online, but most take time, hard work, persistence, and continuous learning.
One of the easiest ways to make online cash is by monetizing your website.
It still takes work, but once you get set everything set up, it’s easy to watch your earnings grow.
Here are some ways I have tried! It’s easy to get started:
- Google Adsense – Display ads on your website. With high traffic and a website in a right niche you can make decent money. You make money by how many times an ad shows to visitors or if visitors click the ads. Clicks are more worth than impressions. Example nocodewebsraping.com is displaying Google AdSense ads.
- Amazon affiliate – You get a commission whenever someone goes to Amazon through your link and buys any stuff within 24 hours of you referring him/her to Amazon. Most review sites such as www.bestproducts.com use this method.
- Bluehost Affiliates – You get a commission whenever someone purchases a hosting account through your link.
- Email marketing is another effective method used by many bloggers. I haven’t tried this yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t! Check this guide on how you can make money with your email list.
I’ve covered the most important aspects of making a website, but there are a lot of moving parts involved, so don’t stop learning!
If you follow my instructions and approach the process with patience, it becomes easy! With time, you will be building websites in less than 10 minutes.
A Bluehost competitor hosting company I would recommend is Siteground, here is an article about their different hosting packages: SiteGround StartUp Vs GrowBig Vs GoGeek.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section below or send me an email through the contact form! I look forward to hearing from you.