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How to Create Your First WordPress Website (for absolute beginners)

This article is a practical guide for absolute beginners who have no technical background and simply want to build their first WordPress website with ease. I will also help you explore how to create your first site with low money investment.


If you are still unsure about whether to use WordPress or Wix or other website builders, here are some articles that may help you make the decision.


WordPress vs. Wix

Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress


1. Hosting & Domain

Firstly, choose a hosting. There are many WordPress compatible hostings online. some popular platforms are Bluehost, GoDaddy and SiteGround. Below are some resources that may help you to compare them. I will leave you to choose which one is the best for you.


Best WordPress Hosting


Personally, I choose Bluehost simply because it offers the cheapest basic plan and it is the most popular (which also means more customer supports). I will use Bluehost as an example to demonstrate how to set up WordPress hosting. But the features and set up procedure will be similar for all hosting.


What is the actual minimum cost of WordPress website? Is it actually free?


1. hosting: USD 59.4 / year


Although it says only $2.95/month, you will have to pay USD 59.4 minimum even if you choose the cheapest plan. This is because Bluehost only offers 12-months, 24-months and 36-months packages. Therefore, you will have to commit for at least 1 year. This is not the case for all web hosting plans. Some do offer a monthly plan at a higher price than the yearly plan. For most of you who may want to create multiple websites under Bluehost, the "Plus" plan would be more than enough.


2. domain: USD 17.25

most of the hosting plan includes a one-year free domain, but it is essential to get domain privacy for an extra $17.25. I will explain in the following steps why it is important.


Therefore, although it is claimed that WordPress is free, you will still have to pay for you hosting plans and domain privacy,


How to set up WordPress hosting and domain?


1. Set up the domain

You can either use a domain that you already had or you can choose a new one for free. If you haven't decided on a domain name yet, you are able to skip this step and install WordPress first. You will still be able to get a free domain and connect it to your account later on.

If you would like to pick a new domain name, bear in mind that a lot of domain names with .com extension have been taken. I would recommend sticking to these common extensions .com, .org, .net, .co, .biz etc to make your website more brandable and also better SEO (if you would like to know more about how to choose an extension, here is the link).

Choose whatever domain name you like and it belongs to you for free for the first year. You will also notice that there is a "Domain Privacy" that costs $15 + tax $2.25. The image below shows the difference between with privacy and without privacy. Basically, if you don't have the domain privacy, random people can call you to advertise their hosting plans and your address is not protected.

2. Create an account and purchase your plan

Next step is to purchase your hosting plan. As I mentioned earlier, Bluehost only offers 12-months, 24-months and 36-months packages. The package will include an Encrypt SSL which protects your customer's information. Besides, it does come with some package extras. Personally, I don't think these are necessaries, since WordPress has some free plugin that serves the same purpose.


3. Transit into WordPress


After creating your Bluehost account and completing your purchase, you will be directed to your Bluehost dashboard. By clicking the "WordPress" button, you will be prompted to create WordPress login and finally you are landing on WordPress. Now you are pretty much done with the hosting and domain set up. Follow along to easily build your website from scratch.


2. Set Up WordPress

Log in to your WordPress account and you will be landing on the backend dashboard of your website.


1. Choose a Theme

To start building a website, you will need to choose a theme. A theme sets the overall design style of your site, such as colour, font, widget location etc. Some themes do offer options to change the style while some free themes are less flexible.


There are many free themes in the market, OceanWP, Astra and Hestia are the common ones. Some of them are more customizable, e.g. OceanWP, whereas some provide faster web speed, e.g. Hestia. Here are some videos and articles that may help you to compare them.

27 Best Free WordPress Themes (Hand-Picked for 2020)


2. Install the Theme

Here is a demo of how to set up OceanWP theme in WordPress.

  • On the left sidebar of the dashboard, choose Appearance > Themes.

  • Click the "Add New" button and you will be directed to a gallery of themes.

  • Search OceanWP

  • Click "Install" and "Activate"

  • Choose an existing website demo or build from scratch

  • Start building your website

You may encounter some issues, such as failed to activate theme because PHP version is not compatible, you can upgrade your PHP using Bluehost. This article gives a quick solution.

How To Change Your PHP Version - PHP Config Guide


3. Install Plugin

Plugins allow you to add more functionalities and more of your personality to a template site. WordPress offers a tremendous amount of free or paid plugins. For example, this is how to install Elementor Plugins:


Elementor is an essential plugin for beginners who want to create their websites with drag-and-drop editor. It provides an interface that is similar to Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. As shown in the image below, you will be able to add and edit texts directly on the website frontend. This definitely eases the pain of using WordPress built-in editor.

Step by Step guide to install Elementor:

  • Go to the left sidebar Plugins > Add New

  • Search "Elementor" in Plugins Libraries

  • Feel Free to click the title and have a look at their demos and documentations.

  • The button should be "Install Now" if it is not installed on your site, click "Install Now" and then "Activate"

  • Go to any page of your website and click "Edit with Elementor’ button to enable Elementor Editor

  • Your site page will change into this drag-and-drop interface.




Hopefully, this article eases the pain of setting up your first WordPress website. More WordPress tutorials coming up soon. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay tuned :)




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