How to Create a Website in 2018 (Step by Step Guide for Beginners)

Step by step guide to create a website

Have you always wanted to create your own website?

The good news is, in 2018, creating a website is easier than ever!

Technology software such as WordPress has made it simple for everyone to start a website from scratch and reach billions of people online.

You will no longer need to learn ALL technical aspects of coding and spend few months to get your website up and running.

In fact, if you commit the time to focus (by logging out from Facebook and Instagram…), your website will be up in few days instead of few months.

We have put together a step by step guide on how to create a website in 2018. Follow these steps and you can build your own website without having to hire a developer.

Let’s do this.

 

5 Key Steps to Creating a Website 

1. Register a Domain Name

2. Pick an Established Hosting Provider (Most Important Step)

3. Install WordPress

4. Select a Beautiful Theme

5. Website Navigation & Structure

 

Step 1: Register A Domain Name

Think of your domain name like an address for your website.

For example, our domain name is Axceldigital.com

Having a domain name that is memorable and easy to spell will enable people to easily find your website when they are searching for the domain name.

You have 2 options when selecting a domain name:

Option 1 (The Recommended Way) – Brainstorm and think of your own domain name. Take a paper and write down as many domain names as possible, let your creative juice flow freely. You can also ask your family or close friends for suggestions.

Note: It might take some time to think of your own domain name, but it will be well worth it in the long run to have a branded domain name that you love.

Once you have a list of domain names, check its availability before purchasing. Head over to Namesilo and enter your domain name.

For example, say we enter digitalshowman:

Namesilo blog domain name

Ideally, you want to register for .com. This is the first and best option.

However, if you really like your domain name but the .com version is already taken, go for .net as a second alternative.

The domain name would cost you $6.99 a year, but there is an option to get a free domain name (more on this later in step 2 below).

Option 2 (The Alternative Method) – If you are too busy (or lazy) to think of a domain name and need some instant ideas, go to Shopify’s Business Name Generator:

Shopify Business Name Generator

Click on “find a business name”

Enter a word that you like in the search query. For example, I would like to have some ideas of a domain for the word “digital”

Shopify generate blog name

The name generator will then give us some available domains suggestions. Play around with this tool and type in different words in the search query to get more ideas.

Shopify domains suggestions

 

Step 2 – Pick an Established Hosting Provider (Most Important Step)

Now that you have picked a domain name, let’s move on to step 2.

While the domain is your “home address” online, you now need to have a house online to complement the address.

This is where hosting comes in.

And choosing the right hosting provider is like picking the best house to stay in. You will want to make sure the hosting provider you go for is trustworthy and established in the industry.

This is the most important step among all as a bad hosting provider will give you a lot of headache in long run.

Sure, you can go with free web platforms that are available everywhere, but the problem is, you would have limited control of the website.

And given that it’s a free platform, your website’s content can be taken down without any prior notice. Yes, your website could be shut down at any time…

So if you are serious about establishing a reputable website and have a secure online platform, we recommend going with Fastcomet.

Our website is hosted on Fastcomet from day one and we have not looked back since. You may also carry out your own research before deciding on a hosting provider.

Here’s a side by side comparison of Fastcomet with other popular hosting providers in the market:

Fastcomet hosting comparison

Fastcomet hosting comparison v2

Of all the hosting providers, only Fastcomet, Inmotion Hosting, and Arvixe are offering SSD servers.

SSD stands for Solid State Drive. SSD is the latest type of electronic storage device and integrated circuit used to store data on the server.

With SSD servers, you will get significantly faster loading speed on your website’s page as compared to other hosting providers who are still using the traditional data storage server.

And if your website loads like a snail, everyone will click the exit button on your website.

It’s 2018 now, ain’t nobody got time for slow websites!

On 17 January 2018, Google has also announced on their blog that they will assess website’s speed as a ranking factor for BOTH mobile and desktop searches.

What this means is, if your page load time is slow, your website will have lower chances of appearing on Page 1 of Google. The rationale is that faster websites provide a better user experience, which is ultimately Google’s main objective anyway.

Fastcomet will also give you a 100% free domain name and 24/7 live chat support no matter where you live.

With the free domain being taken care of, you won’t need to pay $6.99 to register for a domain at Namesilo.

If you are ready to get started with Fastcomet, here’s how:

1. Click here to go to Fastcomet.com

2. Once you there, click Start Now

3. Select your plan.

Fastcomet hosting plans

If you decide to have only ONE website, choose the StartSmart plan at $2.95 per month.

However, if you would like to have multiple websites, go for ScaleRight plan.

Note: If you are unhappy with Fastcomet, they are offering a 45-day money back guarantee. So feel free to test it out and see if you like their hosting service.

4. Get a free domain from Fastcomet.

Once you have selected your plan, you will be directed to choose a domain name. Input your own domain name and ensure you are registering a .com.

Following the example earlier, I will enter digitalshowman.

Fastcomet domain names

5. Fill up the details and select your preferred billing cycle.

Fastcomet account information

Skip all the Addons except domain privacy if you would like to remain anonymous as the website owner. This is an optional choice.

6. Once you are done, you will receive an email confirmation from Fastcomet:

Fastcomet cPanel details

The most important details are your assigned username, password, and control panel URL. Save it in your excel worksheet or somewhere convenient that you can refer to in the future.

 

Step 3 – Install WordPress

With the hosting being sorted out, you now have an official house address (domain) and a house online (hosting).

So what’s next?

It’s time to install a system for the house. This is where WordPress comes in handy.

To install WordPress, follow these 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Click on your control panel URL provided in the email earlier.

Step 2: Login using your username and password given in the email earlier.

Fastcomet cPanel login

Step 3: Once you have logged in, scroll down and go to Security > Let’s Encrypt SSL and get your free SSL certificate.

Fastcomet security SSL

This will show your site as https instead of http. Most online users prefer to browse on https than http as it is secured and trustworthy.

Click on issue new certificate:

Fastcomet SSL Install

You now have your own SSL certificate.

Reminder: If you would like to request the assistance of Fastcomet support team, simply go to Fastcomet and ask their live chat personnel to do this step for you.

Step 4: You can now install WordPress.

Go to cPanel again and find Softaculous > WordPress

Install WordPress in cpanel

Click Install Now

One click install WordPress

Here are the recommended details to fill up for each section:

Choose Protocol – Select https://www.

Choose Domain – Select your domain

In Directory – Delete “wp” and leave this field blank

In Directory – Delete “wp” and leave this field blank

Site Name – Your domain name

Site Description – Brief one sentence for your blog

Enable Multisite (WPMU) – Leave it empty

Admin Username – Select your preferred admin username

Admin Password – Create a strong password

Select Language – Select your preferred language

Limit Login Attempts (Loginizer) – Leave it empty

Advanced Options – Leave it empty

Select theme – Leave it first, we will select a suitable theme in the next step.

After everything is filled up, hit “Install” down below.

Each time you want to login to WordPress, just go to https://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin.

So if I registered digitalshowman, I will login to using this URL https://www.digitalshowman.com/wp-admin with the admin username and password input earlier on WordPress.

WordPress login

And voila! You now have your own website.

 

Step 4 – Select A Beautiful Theme

To make your website attractive, install a theme on WordPress.

The good news is, there are plenty of free themes available on WordPress. Once you are logged into WordPress, scroll down to the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard.

Hover over Appearance and click Themes.

Wordpress appearance themes

By default, your theme is Twenty Seventeen, which honestly looks terrible if compared to other free themes that are available in WordPress.

To select another theme for your website, go to “Add New Theme” and on the top bar, click Popular. Here you can pick any theme that suits your taste.

Install WordPress theme

If you are finding it hard to decide, we recommend the free Sydney theme. This is one of the most impressive free themes we have come across.

Sydney Theme Overview

Click on install and activate.

To navigate and custom design the Sydney theme, refer to this tutorial on YouTube. Skip to 20:12 as that is where the theme tutorial starts.

If you are going for other free themes, simply type “your theme name” + WordPress tutorial on YouTube to learn the theme navigation as every theme is different.

Set aside 1 to 2 hours to customize the theme to suit your preference.

If you want to use a paid theme instead of a free theme, we recommend getting the premium theme at Themeforest.

For beginners, a free theme like Sydney will be more than enough to get started. It is also easier to build a website using the free theme as premium themes are often more sophisticated and harder to set up.

 

Step 5 – Website Navigation & Structure 

Here comes the fun part!

Once you have installed your theme, there are three things to add to your website to make it fully functional:

1. Pages

2. Posts

3. Plugins

Let’s go through each of one of them:

1: Pages

Pages are like your services page, product page, about us page, and contact page.

To add pages to your website, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Pages > Add New

wordpress pages add new

Write your title and the body of the page. If you have images, click “Add Media” to add them.

our services page wordpress

Once you are done, click publish at the right sidebar and your page is live.

WordPress publish post

Repeat the same step when you add other pages.

2: Posts

Moving onto posts. Posts are for you to add blog posts to your website.

A blog is useful to help you attract more website visitors. Case in point, you are now on our website thanks to this blog post!

To add your first blog post, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Posts > Add New menu

First Blog Post

Write your title and the body of the post.

WordPress first blog post

Once you are done, click Publish and your blog post is live.

WordPress publish post

Ultimately, what makes your website’s blog unique is….

YOU!

Everyone has their own unique opinion on different topics. To have a blog that stands out, write in your own tone and don’t be afraid to state your opinion.

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston Churchill

The more blog posts you write and promote, the faster your blog will grow and amass a large following of engaged audience to your website.

If you don’t feel like writing, simply hire a freelance writer to take care of the blog posts for you.

3: Plugins

Think of plugins like downloading apps on your mobile phone, but instead, you are installing it on your website for additional features.

There are currently over 40,000 plugins available on WordPress. Like mobile apps, there are free plugins and paid plugins. For beginners, free plugins are good enough.

To install a plugin, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins > Add New

Add New Plugins

Under keyword > Type in the plugins you wish to install

WordPress Add Plugins

Here are the lists of free plugins we recommend for every website:

Contact Form 7

Contact form 7 helps you create a contact form on your website so people can contact you by filling in their details.

You will then be notified via email when someone contacts you.

If you go to our contact page, you will see the contact form created by Contact Form 7.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a must-have for every website. Use Yoast SEO to edit the title and description of your page.

For example, if you go to Google and type Axcel Digital, this will appear:

Axcel Digital Title Tag & Meta Description

These are created using the Yoast SEO plugin.

Powerful stuff!

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP)

Google Analytics helps you track your daily website visitor and give valuable data on your audience demographics and assess which pages are the most popular on your website.

You can then use these data to your advantage and assess how to increase website visitors.

Here is an in-depth guide we wrote on how to increase website traffic.

UpdraftPlus

Updraft is vital for backups of your files. In case any unforeseen things happen, your files will still be securely backed up.

WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache helps improve the page speed of your website. Again, a great plugin to have on every website.

 

Costs to Start a Website

Here are the total costs to start a website:

1. Domain Name – Free

2. Hosting from Fastcomet$2.95 a month

3. Install WordPress – Free

4. Select a Theme – Free 

5. Website Navigation & Structure – Free

There you have it….

The costs of starting a website are much cheaper today than say 10 to 15 years ago thanks to WordPress as they provide free installation, themes, and plugins.

All you have to do is purchase the hosting package for the price of one meal!

 

Conclusion

If you have followed the steps in this guide, you should now have a fully-functional WordPress website!

It’s easier than ever to create a website today. We hope this article can provide you the springboard to start a website, attract new customers, and generate sales online.

If you are too busy to build a website or need professional help, visit us at our web design Malaysia page for more information.

But please, if you have the time, just follow the step by step guide to create your own website.

Here’s a recap of the 5 key steps to get started:

1. Register a Domain Name

2. Pick an Established Hosting Provider (Most Important Step)

3. Install WordPress

4. Select a Beautiful Theme

5. Website Navigation & Structure

Now it’s your turn to take action, utilize this golden opportunity and get your website live!

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below or email us at [email protected].

 

Axcel Digital was started with ONE purpose - Help People Grow Their Business Online By Leveraging On Digital Marketing. With the world moving towards a digital ecosystem, people are spending more time online than ever before, and this trend will only grow further in the coming years. Now is the time to transition from offline to online to capture customer's attention towards your brand.

Leave a Comment

    • kattevenn
    • November 10, 2018
    Reply

    I loved this posts! I read your blog fairly often and you’re always coming out with some great stuff!
    I have just shared this on my Facebook and my followers loved it! Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Reply

      Thanks for the share! Happy to hear that your followers like it as well 🙂

    • Thomas
    • November 10, 2018
    Reply

    Great article! Love the step by step guide

    • mongoose
    • October 30, 2018
    Reply

    Thanks f᧐r the post! I enjoyed reading it and have bookmarked yоur blog to future reference. Great work!

    • Reply

      Most welcome Mongoose 🙂 We will continue to push out great content for our readers.

  1. Reply

    Thanks for this brilliant guide. Just shared on Facebook 🙂

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