So you want to create a great impression with a stunning blog or website. Maybe you got inspired to write an online diary, create a digital resume for potential employers, build a personal brand, or make money by advertising.
No matter what the goal, it has never been easier to build a professional and interactive website or blog. With new advancements in WordPress in recent years, you can now build a slick website fast and cheap, regardless of your skill level.
In this guide, I am going to walk you through the entire process of creating a beautiful and functional website from start to finish. By following the steps outlined below, you’ll finally have an online platform you can be proud of.
So put aside about an hour of your time and let’s get you setup with a professional website in just a few easy steps.
Step 1: Buy A Domain Name
The domain name is the address people will use to access your website online. For example, google.com is a domain name, and so is oceanwp.org. Domain name is, as well, as any name, a unique identifier and in extreme cases, the only designated property one has, or doesn't have, in digital workspace, the internet network.
Without a domain name, there is no way for people to visit your website. So it’s a mandatory part of the website or blog creation process.
If you are short on ideas, tools like our CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies, can help you brainstorm possible domain names.
A domain name is not something you’re going to change again and again. So it’s wise to put some thought into your decision. Moz has a great guide on picking a good domain name.
Also, it’s better to shortlist more than one domain name idea when you’re in the brainstorming phase. This is because your chosen domain name may not be available at the time of purchase.
Unless you’re buying a really premium domain, a typical domain name will cost you around $10-15 per year, but it can also cost substantially more if it is general enough or specific enough that reserved..
Once you’re ready with a few ideas, the best way to buy a domain is through a reputed registrar like CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies. Just search for your chosen domain name, and if it’s available, add to cart and checkout. It’s that simple.
Step 2: Get High Quality Hosting
What is one of the first steps when you want to open a shop or office offline? You get a commercial space on rent.
Same is the case with your online website or blog. You need to rent storage space on a server that’s online 24 hours a day. This is known as web hosting.
Your hosting will hold all of your website content, text and images in one secure place, and will serve it to anyone who tries to access your domain name.
Depending on the features you get, high quality WordPress hosting from a reputed company can be around very affordable,, $10 a month (Cloudways), or from $69 per month (CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies), including managed application maintenance (basic). Here’s a basic comparison to help you pick from these options.
Don’t worry if some of the pros and cons don’t make sense as of now. To put it simply, lower plans are the cheapest option with high quality hosting and limited support.
While the 10 GB storage space and bandwidth you get is less than other hosts, it’s more than enough for your new website. Cloudways has additional features, but can be a bit complicated for beginners.
Getting web hosting is pretty simple. Let’s take CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies for example. Head over to hosting page and click the Sign Up button and pick your hosting package.
Click Order Now on the package that you want to purchase. Next, CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies will ask if you already have a domain or you want to register a new one.
Since you already purchased a domain in the first step, select that you already have a domain, enter your domain name and click on the Proceed button.
You’ll be taken to an order form to enter your billing details and complete the signup process.
CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies may try to sell some additional services, but buying them or not is totally up to you. They are not required to follow this guide and build your website.
Step 3: Add Custom Nameservers
I know this sounds somewhat technical, but stay with me. It’s really easy. So far you have purchased the domain and hosting, but you haven’t connected the two. That’s what we are going to do in this step.
Once you have checked out, your host will email you the login details to your hosting account, as well as the nameservers required to connect your domain with the hosting account.
Nameservers are basically URLs which consist of an identifier followed by domain of your host. If you have purchased hosting from CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies for example, your nameservers may look like this:
dns1.thelematics.co | dns2.thelematics.co | etc | etc ..
Take a note of these nameservers and head to your account with the domain registrar. If you have purchased domain from other provider, for instance, then you’ll see the link to manage the domain in your account.
It may take up to 48 hours for the nameservers change to take place, but you have successfully pointed your domain to the hosting you bought.
Step 4: Install WordPress
WordPress is the most popular website creation and management system, currently used by around 30% of all the websites in the world.
The growing popularity of WordPress is well-deserved. Not only is it free, but also makes really easy to build and maintain a website, and it can be extended with any features you need by installing enhancements we call “plugins”.
Plus, there’s a widespread community of WordPress users all over the world. So anytime you run into any issue, chances are someone has already faced and solved that problem. So the solution is just a Google search away.
Installing WordPress on your hosting is really easy. On CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies, for example, login to your hosting dashboard or user area and click on the My Accounts tab. Then click Go To cPanel.
Once you’re in the cPanel, scroll down and look for the icon to install WordPress.
On the next screen, click on the Install button and you’ll see the WordPress installation form.
Choose a protocol. Default should be https://. That’s because CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies provides you with free SSL certificate for a year, which you should definitely install.
An SSL certificate is basically a security badge which shows how trustworthy a website is, especially if you’re going to accept payments. And a free SSL certificate for a year is great because SSL is one of the new search engine ranking factors.
So a website domain name which starts with https:// is more likely to rank higher in search engines than the one without it. Plus, if your website is not https://, it will be shown as “not secure” in the Chrome address bar, which can turn away some visitors.
Once you have chosen a protocol, select the domain name you purchased to install WordPress. You can leave the directory field blank.
You’ll also see some fields to type in your blog title, username, email etc. Don’t worry about the title for now, as you can easily change it later.
But note that the username, password and email you set here is going to be used to login and manage into your WordPress website.
The username and password you typed earlier when purchasing hosting was for your hosting account, which is not the same as your WordPress admin account.
Leave the other fields as they are, and then click the Install button. Wait for a few seconds for it to complete, and your WordPress installation will be ready.
In fact, now you can even try accessing your website by typing your domain name in the address bar of your web browser. And you’ll see that it works. Your website is now live on the Internet!
Step 5: Login To WordPress Dashboard
Although your website is now up and running, it may not look anywhere near to how you want it to be.
This is because it’s based on a default theme that already comes bundled and installed with WordPress. And you haven’t customized it to your needs. So that’s what we are going to do moving forward.
To get started, you’ll need to login to your WordPress admin dashboard. If you have followed the exact instructions so far, you can access the dashboard by typing this in the address bar of of web browser.
Once you’re there, you’ll be prompted to login using the username and password you entered at the time of installing WordPress.
After you login, you’ll see the complete interface you’re going to use from time to time to change, manage and add content to your website.
This is called your WordPress admin dashboard. Don’t worry if it looks a bit intimidating at first. Once you get a hang of it, it’s really simple, and fun too.
You may also see some plugins already installed and some extra notifications caused by them, but don’t worry about that right now. We’ll discuss about both themes and plugins in the next steps.
Step 6: Install A WordPress Theme
A theme is what defines the overall look and feel of your WordPress website. And the good news is that because WordPress is so popular, there are thousands of themes available for it, both free and paid.
But the bad news is that most of the themes (even some best-sellers) are poorly coded, bloated (maybe) with unnecessary features and complicated to customize. So if you’re not careful, it’s more likely that you’ll pick a bad theme, based only on how nice and fancy it looks.
That’s why for this tutorial, we’re going to go straight to the best – CONNECT, 2u2 Web Technologies provided main framework (by demand). It is coded with respect to WordPress coding standards, optimized for speed and SEO, easier to customize, looks stunning and has a whole lot more.
And here’s the real kicker: it is not even a theme which packs a lot more value that many premium themes put together. But it comes with a price of the basic $69/month, including maintenance (basic).
Step 7: Install Essential Plugins
Just like there are thousands of themes available for WordPress, so are plugins. While a theme determines the look and feel of your website, plugins add new features and functionalities.
With a plugin, for instance, you can add a contact form on your website, block spam comments, or implement a shopping cart. The list is endless.
When you installed WordPress and logged into your WordPress account in step 5, you may have noticed that some plugins are already installed.
Click on Plugins in the left menu to see the full list currently installed plugins.
For our purpose, you can safely remove those plugins as it’s wise not to have any more plugins than what you really need for the website. To remove a plugin, click on Deactivate link next to the plugin name, and then click Delete afterwards.
Once you have deleted the unnecessary plugins, the next step is to install the essential ones recommended by Thelematics, boutique digital agency.
Step 8: Start Customizing
Now that you have been given or installed and activated the base system, framework and plugins, you’re ready to start making the website your own.
One of the best things about the Thelematics / whoops.online is the powerful customisation panel. It's extremely simplified. In here you’ll be able to customize your website dramatically without touching any code.
In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Customize to get to the customizer panel.
To change the website title and tagline, for instance, head over to Site Identity, as shown in the above image, and there you can change your site title and tagline.
Let’s add a logo too. If you don’t already have a logo, you can create one for free with a tool such as Logo Garden.
In the customizer panel, click on Header, and then Logo.
Upload the logo, and on the next screen, select Skip Cropping to get the whole logo. Then do the same for retina screens, but keep in mind that retina logo should be twice the size of normal logo.
You can also change a favicon, that is that little icon that shows in the tab of the browser.
For a simple website though, a single menu is enough, which we will get to later. And you can create as many layouts, headers, as you like.
There are hundreds of settings in the customizer panel that you can use to change the look and feel of most parts of your website, without touching any code or CSS. We encourage you to play around with the customizer, where any change also happen in real-time.
Step 9: Change Permalink Settings
You can keep on customizing over time as you work on other parts of the website and notice things that need to be changed.
But for now, the website is currently blank, as it doesn’t have any posts or pages. So let’s work on creating some essential pages.
Before you create a page or post in WordPress, you may want to change the permalink settings. This is because by default, your page and post URLs will be generated like this:
Clearly, this is neither visitor-friendly nor good for search engines. It’s much better to have your post and page URLS like this:
To make sure you can create such user-friendly URLs for your posts and pages, this happen, go to Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard.
Now, whenever you create or edit a page in WordPress (which we’ll talk about in the next step), you can set your own easy-to-remember and relevant URL.
Step 10: Creating/Editing Pages
Now, the standard way to create a page in WordPress is to click Pages > Add New in your WordPress dashboard.
Next, you’re going to see the WordPress text editor interface, which is a bit similar to word processing programs like WordPad or MS Word.
Here, you can give your page a title. And you can add your content, including text, images and more in the body section.
Once you’re done adding your content, hit the Publish button on the right to activate your page.
Editing your existing pages is just as easy. Go to Pages > All Pages to view a list of all the pages you have created so far.
Hover over the title of the page that you want to edit, and click Edit. You’ll see the same interface that you saw when creating a page. Make the changes as you want, and then click the Update button to save the changes.
Now, you can create and edit as many pages as you want with this approach, but the problem is that all you pages will have the same overall design. Each page will be a title, followed by chunks of text, and some images may be.
And don't forget, use your imagination. You can achieve anything you set your mind on, but if needing any help, and if you wish a professional to look into your setup, you're welcome to book our support at Bookings with Thelematics
Best luck! And see you on the other side of the screen.