The good news is that there are many services out there that make creating your own website easier and more affordable than ever before. The bad news is that the plethora of options can make it confusing to know exactly what you need to do and in what order. In this blog post I’m going to explain how to create your own, fully functional website from start to finish in just ten minutes. Don’t be fooled by the length of this article. It’s long because it’s chock full of pictures, not because the process is complicated. Creating a website may seem like a daunting task but together we can prove it’s a piece of cake.
Part I: The Tools
Before we get started I am going to introduce the two tools you will be using to create your website; Bluehost and WordPress. Once you are familiar with these tools and why we recommend them I’ll go into a step-by-step guide of how to use them.
We recommend Bluehost for your website hosting provider because we have found it to be cheap, easy to use and since they have the best customer service. What has impressed us most over the years is how individuals in the company go out of their way to find solutions to your problem — even if it falls outside their designated responsibilities. This is something that is hard to find with such big companies. Additionally, when you sign up with Bluehost, you can setup your domain for free which is a nice perk.
No hidden fees. Free Instant Setup. Anytime money-back guarantee.
You should know that if you sign up for Bluehost using any of our affiliate links in this blog post we get a small commission but we only recommend services that we actively use and are happy with. On that note if you plan on choosing Bluehost, please use one of our affiliate links. That way, it’s like Bluehost is paying us for this tutorial instead of you. Pretty cool, right? We love writing free tutorials like this one and our affiliate income continues to make that possible.
WordPress is a completely free website tool (content management system) that allows you to create and edit your website without knowing a stitch of HTML code. When you use WordPress you have access to endless website themes (both free and paid) and customizable features. We recommend it because of the absolute ease it adds and also because of the extensive open source community around it. It is also the most popular blogging and website system used today (60 million websites and counting) and used by 18.9% of the top websites.
Part II: The Steps
Get Started on Bluehost
Start by clicking our Bluehost affiliate link , then click “get started now” button!” You can think of website hosting like paying rent. Just like you need to pay for a place to store your things, so does your website.
Choose your Domain Name: Once you click the ‘get started’ button you will have to either choose a new domain name or transfer an existing domain. You can purchase a domain name on a yearly basis through a number of different websites but for simplicity sake we recommend purchasing your domain through Bluehost (and because they offer the first year free!).
The first step is to fill out your desired domain name in the ‘new domain’ form to find one that is available for purchase. Your domain name is quite literally your website’s address. It’s best to choose a domain name that is detailed and descriptive (but short) so that it is easiest to find. If your first choice is taken, try different options until you find one that is available.
Choose you Payment Package: The next step will be paying for your hosting and domain name and choosing any additional features you want. Bluehost offers a few different package plans. The best deal is to sign up for 36 months for $4.95/month. However, if you are wary of commitment you can always sign up for one year for only $6.95/month.
Bluehost also offers many features such as ‘SiteLock Domain Security’, ‘Search Engine Jumpstart’ and ‘Domain Whois Privacy’ for an additional fee. These features may have some value but for a basic website they are not necessary. If privacy is very important for you, ‘Domain Whois Privacy’ might be worth the investment because it will prevent your name and other information from being associated with ownership of your website. You can always decide for yourself after reading the ‘more information’ for each feature. We DO recommend you sign up for the ‘Site Backup Pro’ because your website will automatically be saved for you by Bluehost which means you will never lose all your hard work if something goes wrong.
After you enter in your payment details and press submit you will be taken to a page that gives you one last chance to sign up for upgrades. Again, since this is probably a basic website that you are creating from scratch the services will most likely not be relevant to you. You do not need to pay $99 for ‘Migration Services for example, because you do not have to move an existing website. You are creating a new one that will be manageable without any coaching sessions or additional support needed.
Create a Strong Password:The final step when it comes to signing up for Bluehost is to choose a password. It’s always smart to have strong passwords for all your online accounts. Bluehost provides a generator that can be used to create one of those hard to crack (and hard to remember) passwords. Choose whatever method you prefer but make sure to record your password somewhere secure.
Congratulations! You are now ready to log into your Bluehost account.
Begin WordPress Installation: Now that you are logged into your Bluehost account the magic can begin. The homepage for Bluehost will have many options. Look about halfway down the page for the heading ‘Website’ and click on the icon that says ‘Install WordPress’.
When you click this button you will be transferred to the ‘MOJO Marketplace’ which is still part of Bluehost but is the home of many website related tools and products. Once you have been redirected you can click on the green ‘install WordPress’ button.
The next screen will give you the option of which Domain Name you would like to download WordPress on. Make sure it is your new domain and that it is the option that includes the full web address. When you click ‘Check Domain’ you may receive an error message saying that something already exists on your domain and if you continue things may be lost. Since your website is newly created you can confidently click the box that you understand and are willing to proceed.
Confirm WordPress Account Info: Your final step before the WordPress Installation is complete is to confirm your account information. Keep this information handy because you will need it in the next few steps. If you click the box that says ‘Show advanced options’ you will be able to specify a few things such as the name of your website and what you want your username and password should be. In the same way it is important to have a super strong password for your Bluehost account, it is also important to have a secure password for your website. Websites with weak passwords get hacked all time which is never fun for anyone! We recommend this Password Generator website if needed.
For this step you should leave all boxes checked including the option to have a new database automatically installed. When you have filled out the information click the green button to install.
Finish WordPress Installation: You will now be taken to a waiting screen while the process of your installation is shown by the green bar at the top. While you are waiting they will try to sell you themes for the design of your website. Don’t feel obligated to buy anything — you will be able to find good deals elsewhere such as over at Elegant Themes.
When the green bar at the top is complete your installation is done and you successfully have a new website with WordPress that is ready to go! To check, you can always go to your new website. It will feature the very basic WordPress theme, waiting to be customized.
Log into your website: Hopefully by now you are feeling the exciting jitters that come with successfully creating something new. To log into your new WordPress website simply go to your new domain with ‘/wp-admin’ on the end. For example, to log into my new website I type http://www.teganjung/wp-admin into my browser. You will be greeted with your own log-in screen. This is where you put the login information that you chose in Step 6.
Now that you have logged in you will see your very own ‘WordPress’ dashboard. It is here that you will be able to easily create blog posts and web pages and change the look and structure of your website. If you are happy with the standard WordPress theme, you can sit back and add content to your website to your hearts content. If you prefer a different look for your website or have more specific needs, such as a shop or gallery section we can recommend free or affordable themes.
This concludes the 8 simple steps to making a functional website completely on your own! I hope you finish this process feeling fulfilled and empowered to create any website you desire.
If you haven’t done so already, please consider signing up for Bluehost with one of our affiliate links. Any affiliate money keeps us going and while it may have taken you only ten minutes to create a website with the help of this blog it definitely took me more than ten minutes to write it.
On that note let me know if you have any questions or want to share your finished project. I love seeing the success our work helps create!