We find ourselves in age so technically advanced that hiring a professional web designer to design and create our website is no longer a first option. In this article I will take you through the necessary steps on how to create a website for beginners even with no web design experience.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through some of my links, at no cost to you.
What is a self-hosted website and What is a free website?
A self-hosted website is when you have full control over your website or blog. You can choose your own domain name and you are not limited to themes or plugins. The other option you have is to create a free website on platforms such as blogger.com, wix.com and wordpress.com, but your domain name will look something like this: myblog.blogger.com which is not very professional, and businesses and clients will likely not take you seriously. Getting approved by ad networks such as google AdSense will also be very difficult.
If you feel you would like to create your website on a free platform, if only to write review articles to earn money with affiliate marketing, you should do so because these platforms have beautiful templates to help you get started.
How A Create Your Website
To get started with a self-hosted blog the first thing you would need is a domain name and hosting. A domain name is the name of your blog or website and hosting is the platform on which your website will be built. Hosting providers usually provide a domain name and hosting as a package. Bluehost is highly recommended and is one of the largest hosting providers. Click here to go to Bluehost and select your hosting plan. You will get a free domain name for 1 year. I would suggest getting started with the shared hosting plan if you are just starting your new blog. You always have the option to upgrade after your blog gains more traffic.
Create your domain name and complete all the necessary information. You will have the option of adding extra’s such as domain privacy. These are all optional according to your preference. Once you created your account, you can login to your dashboard with your login details.
After you login, you will be prompted with questions about your blog or website, and you will also be asked which theme you would like to install. I would recommend the Astra theme which is one of the best free WordPress themes. You always have the option of changing your theme at a later stage. After you have chosen your theme, WordPress will begin installing.
You will be taken to your Bluehost dashboard and if you click on my sites in the sidebar, you will be able to manage your WordPress Website. When you click login, you will be taken to your WordPress dashboard where you can start designing and creating your blog or website.
How to Design Your Website
Your WordPress dashboard is the backend of your website. Here you will have full control over your theme designs, colors, website pages, and your blog posts.
One of the reasons why I recommend the Astra theme is because it comes with a bunch of templates for almost any type of website or blog. If you did not install the Astra theme with the installation of WordPress you can go to the side bar of your dashboard, click appearance then click on themes, add new theme and in the search bar at the top right, type in Astra. When you see Astra, click on install. After installation is completed click activate. Astra also come in a paid version with more advanced features. Click here if you would like to know more about the Astra Pro Theme.
In the sidebar of your dashboard, click appearance, and select starter templates. Select Elementor as the page builder.
Now you will see a selection of starter templates to choose from. If you only want free templates, go to the top drop town tab, and change all to free. If you would like to use the paid templates you need to have Astra Pro. To preview a template, just click on it then you can view what your site would look like. On the right side you will see the different page templates.
To import a template, click on import complete site at the bottom right, and click on import. Once the website has been imported successfully, click on view site. You will now see a complete imported site which we can now customize.
Customizing Your Website with Elementor
To customize your website, we need to use a plugin called Elementor. At the top bar of your website, click on edit with Elementor. You will be taken to the Elementor page builder. Here you can edit and customize your imported templates.
You have sections, columns, and widgets. The widgets are the elements in the left menu. You can drag and drop them into sections. The pro widgets are only if you have Elementor Pro installed which is the paid version of Elementor. You can check out Elementor Pro here.
Anything that you click on can be edited in the left menu. To change the background of a section, Click on the dots in the section, on the left menu in edit section, click on style and change your background image. You can add background overlay with color or gradient. You can add video backgrounds as well.
To edit or delete any widgets, click on the pencil icon. Right click on the pencil icon and select the navigator to rearrange widgets by dragging the widgets up or down in the navigator. To add more than one column go to the column settings. You can edit all your imported template pages and have your completely customized website ready in a few hours.
Take your time getting to know the page builder. Elementor is one of the best page builders and is used by thousands of web designers. Elementor page builder is user friendly, but I would recommend playing around with this builder to make designing much easier.
Adding Content and Blog Posts
The final step to getting started with you new blog is to add content. On your WordPress dashboard, on the left side bar, select post and add new. Here you can create a new post using the WordPress editor. You can add images, videos and more. On the right sidebar, you need to add your post to a category and add a featured image. You can also create a post using the Elementor page builder. Once your post has been created, you can click preview in the top right corner and publish your post when you are satisfied with your content.
To create a website for beginners is not as difficult as it use to be and will not cost you a whole lot of money. With the free Astra theme templates and the Elementor page builder you will be able to customize and setup you blog within a few hours even if you have no web design experience. Elementor also has a library with loads more templates that will help you get started.
For more WordPress Themes please read these posts:
These steps are only to help you lay your foundation for your website. I would suggest you do more research for more details on customization and mobile and tablet optimization. There are plenty of free Youtube tutorials that has so much value and will help you create a beautiful website or blog.