You’re about to learn how to create a fully functioning, attractive & professional website in less than 30 minutes (yes you’ve read that right – less than half an hour…) starting right now!
First of all, I’d like to start this tutorial by asking you to abandon all current beliefs that you may have about how hard and tedious it is to make a professional website – because it’s not.
The fact is, even a 10-year-old could create a website by following the 5 simple steps outlined in this tutorial. Don’t worry if you have no knowledge or understanding of websites at all – you don’t need it. I will teach everything you need to know and in less than 30 minutes from now, you can have your first website up and running! This is my promise to you.
There will be no HTML programming involved, no graphic designing, no complicated stuff like that whatsoever. I will show you how to get all of that done for you – for free.
All the steps will be accompanied by screenshot images and instructions so you can’t get lost even if you wanted to. Once you learn how to do this, you will see that it is actually extremely easy. Heck, you can even start selling your services to others for big bucks!
Have I got you excited yet? Great, Let’s Get Started!
First and foremost, we have to get familiar with what a website really is. Believe it or not, most people think a website is just the URL address that you type in your browser and when you hit ENTER – there it is! Well, obviously a website is more than just that, and it’s crucial for us to get this concept right before we proceed to the creation process.
Every website actually consists of 2 primary parts:
- The URL part (also known as domain)
- The hosting server (or Web Host)
I am sure you already know what domains are, you’ve been using them every single day to access various websites by typing them into the URL bar of your browser. However, note that your domain is not actually your website, but only a pointer to its true location!
And guess where that location might be? – That’s right, on your hosting server. All your files, content, images, videos and all the rest – it’s all held there.
That’s why we will have to first set up your domain and your hosting before we can start doing anything. It’s the backbone of our website and if we get that right – all the rest is easy!
So let’s start by choosing a domain name.
Step 1 – Choosing Your Domain Name
First we have to decide what kind of domain name we want for our website. Obviously, this depends on what our site is about, whether it is a personal site, business site, a blog, etc.
There are no »rules« to what your domain name should look like, but here are some really good tips which should make your decision easier:
- The domain name should be short and easy to remember
- Try to make it catchy/funny if you can – people love this!
- Don’t use too many hyphens (-) it makes it look very ugly
- Choose the proper extension (preferably .com/.net/.org)
For example, if you’re going to build a site about »relationship advice«, you could pick a domain name like: www.relationshipadviceguide.com – this is just off the top of my head…
Once you have an idea for a domain name you would like to use, next we need to check to see if its available, or if someone else has already registered it. And then we need to setup our web hosting account.
Step 2 – Registering Your Domain & Setting Up Web Hosting
For registering our domain and hosting our website we use (and recommend) Hostgator.com (One of the worlds largest and most well respected Web Hosts & Domain Registrars).
So head over to Hostgator.com by clicking the link below:
When you get to Hostgator, You will see something like this:
Click on the button that says “View Web Hosting Plans” and then you should see the screen below:
You can choose whatever hosting plan suits you, but I recommend going with the middle one “Baby Plan” as it allows you to host unlimited domains in your account.
So click the “Order Now” button, and then we will see a search box for your desired domain name:
Enter your desired domain in the box, and a new window will appear telling you if that domain is available.
If your first choice of domain isn’t available try a few variations, until you find one that is:
Scroll down and you can then confirm (or change) your hosting package as well as choose a billing cycle. (the longer you pay for, the cheaper it gets)
Next you will need to select and enter a username and password for your hosting account:
Then you just enter your payment details (credit card or PayPal are accepted)
Once you have entered your billing details, you will see a bunch of extra options (Hosting Addons)
You can add any of these that you like, but none of them are necessary, so I usually just untick them all.
In the next section, you have the option to enter a Coupon Code.
Special Note: We have arranged an additional discount for readers of this website, (25% off, for the life of your hosting account.)
In order to take advantage of this special offer, all you need to do is enter the coupon code: WEBSITETUTORIALS in the box and click Validate.
Once that is done, you then simply review the details, read and agree to the terms and conditions, then click the “Create Account” button.
that’s it, you have now registered your new domain name, and setup your web host account, you are almost ready to start building your website. You will just need to wait for the confirmation email from hostgator and you can move onto the next step.
Step 3 – Installing WordPress on Your Site
Remember when I told you that you don’t need any programming or graphic design skills in order to make a clean, professional looking website in a matter of minutes?
Well, it’s all thanks to a free CMS platform called WordPress. This platform actually makes the website for you and all you need to do is to customize it to your own preferences!
Thanks to the Hostgator’s built in WordPress installer (Fantastico), we can set up WordPress for our site in less than 5 minutes. That’s one more reason why I always recommend this host.
So without further ado, fire up your browser and type in:
Replace »yourdomain« with your domain name and ».com« with your extension. You are now trying to access your hosting control panel and you will need the account details you were given upon registration with Hostgator. Look for them in your e-mail.
Once you’re logged in, you will be astonished by the number of features that you can use, but for now, just focus on finding the blue smiley named »Fantastico De Luxe« and click on it.
In the newly opened window, in the left sidebar under the column entitled »Blogs«, click on the link »Wordpress«.
Once you’re here, there are just 3 steps to do:
1) Click on »New Installation«
2) Select your domain in the drop-down menu, leave the »Install in directory« field BLANK (this is very important!) and fill in the details (username, password, site title…)
3) Click Install WordPress!
Once you do that, you will be given some information about your database (which you typically won’t need right now), just press »Finish Installation«.
See how easy that was? I told you a 10-year-old could do it! Now wait a couple of minutes and try accessing your URL, you should see a default (twenty-eleven) WP theme installed:
Congratulations, you’ve now got a real, professional website!
Getting familiar with WordPress
To configure your WordPress site, type /wp-admin after your url and press enter:
Once again, you will be asked to login. Simply use the information that you chose yourself while using Fantastico Deluxe (in the previous step) to install WordPress.
Welcome to the WP dashboard. This is the main control panel of your entire website.
Everything you will do, you will do it from here. Adding new content, images, videos, installing themes, plugins – it’s ALL done in the WP dashboard.
Let us check out some of the main features of WordPress:
1) Posts and Pages
WP allows you to create 2 different types of web pages: Posts and Pages. Posts are commonly used when you wish to host a blog (instead of an ordinary website).
This means that you can have post previews on your pages, so users can click on the link to read the entire post (this is a default blog layout).
On the other hand, you can also just use ordinary pages and have links to them from your »homepage« (the first page that is displayed once a visitor comes to your site).
Either will work, however, if you’re creating a blog, you will want to get familiar with posts.
This is an area in which all of your uploaded images and videos will be stored. You can upload media either here or directly while creating a page, it’s entirely up to you.
Personally, I upload my media right on the spot, and then I can review my media here.
WP also allows you to create various link categories which you can then populate with all sorts of links of your own choosing. This tool can be very useful when creating widgets.
You can enable or disable for people to leave comments on your website, which is absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend you enable people to leave a comment, as it encourages them to come back and participate in a conversation – this is how you build a community!
Of course, you can also set up comment restrictions, moderation, etc – totally flexible.
This is one of the best features of WordPress – its ability to change your website’s look entirely in just a few clicks! There is another free tutorial on our website that goes into this in deep details, so be sure to look for it.
Another brilliant feature from WordPress. If you ever need anything for your website, you can bet that there’s a free plugin for it – whether it be visitor counter, image slideshow, anything!
Simply search for what you need and install them with a single click – easy peasy.
Once again, all of this and more about how to set up WordPress after the initial installation is explained in our other free website tutorials – so be sure to check them out!
We would love to hear your feedback, did you like this tutorial? is there anything you didn’t understand, or needs to be explained better? We want to make this site and these website tutorials the best they can be, so we value any and all feedback from our users. Just post any comments you have in the comments form below. Thanks again.