By the end of this tutorial, you should have your own website up and running. I have tried to explain everything in the simplest way possible and will keep editing this tutorial if I find someone having issues. If you do not like reading, please have a look at the video tutorial.
Before we proceed, I would like to clarify that although this is a completely free tutorial, you will have to buy a couple of essential resources like your domain name and hosting. This is a tutorial on how to make a website so I will be assuming that you don’t have a website and you are not familiar with coding.
You will NOT need any knowledge of the following skills:
- Photo editing / Photoshop
- Server admininstration
All you will need is the ability to use a mouse and keyboard.
In this tutorial, I will be explaining how to do the following:
- Buying a domain and hosting
- Installing wordpress (one click install)
- Installing and changing a wordpress theme
- Installing new plugins
Step 1: Buying Domain and hosting
Buying a domain is an important part of our process as it will be your website’s unique address on internet. A domain also represents your business name or identity. When choosing a domain name, you can use your business or blog name or think about terms that people would search for in Google. For example you are a florist in San Francisco, you could either use your business name carlsflorist.com or search term like sanfranciscoflorsts.com. Hosting is the second essential part of the process. It can be thought of as buying some space on the internet (technically a computer) that will keep your website running all the time. I have been using hostgator or bluehost for my clients’ websites for about 5 years and both of them work very well for me. In this tutorial, I will be using hostgator to register the domain as well as the hosting.
A domain name is a unique string that helps the user point to a specific server without having to remember the IP sequence. Just imagine trying to remember sequences of numbers. Ever heard of 126.96.36.199? or 188.8.131.52? Well, the first example is the IP address of Google (that I am getting at the moment) and the second example is this website’s server address.
howtomakewebsite.ws is my domain name. You can book any of the available domain names.
Your domain will point to the IP address of a server where your site is hosted.
Now that need for a domain and hosting is clear, lets go to hostgator.com (opens in a new tab) to register our domain and hosting. On hostgator, you will notice a wide range of hosting plans. Click on ‘View web hosting plans’ and you will see three types of shared hosting plans.
To help you make a decision, hatchling plan supports just one website where as the other two plans support an unlimited amount of sites. You can upgrade your plan later so if you want to host just a single website, choose hatchling, otherwise choose baby (I really like this one) or business. Click on order now and on the next screen you will be asked to register a domain.
Scroll down the page and fill out all the fields including your credit card information. Uncheck the hosting addons as they can be added later if needed.
Here’s a small trick that will help you get 25% discount instead of default 20%: In the coupon field, use discount code GATORBARGAIN25 and hit ‘validate’.
This is what my screen looks like:
Hit the create account button and we are done with first step. If you type the address of your new domain, you should be able to see a hostgator page there. In step 2 I will show you how you can install wordpress on your website with a one click installer. Now all the work will be done on the hosting (shared server) you just bought. Keep an eye on your emails as you will be getting one with your hostgator details and grab a cup of coffee before we get started with the wordpress installation. Our next step – wordpress installation is fairly simple. Click here and I will take you through step 2 of the process, how to install wordpress for your website.