Using this tutorial, we will build a website with 4 key characteristics:
- It will look great. Make a positive first impression on your viewers with a beautiful website that sets you apart as a professional.
- It will be easy to manage. Your website will have a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for you to add and update the content on your website.
- It will rank well in search engines. Even the most polished website is useless if your customers can’t find it!
- It will be affordable. Hiring someone to build a website can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but by following this tutorial, you can build one yourself for about $175.
There are lots of ways to build a website, but not all are created equal. After years of research, trial and error, I can tell you that WordPress + the Genesis Framework are the best tools for the job.
- BlueHost Account – $71.40 for one year ($5.95 per month)
- Domain name – Free! Register your domain name (e.g. thepixelista.com) at no charge when you sign up at BlueHost.
- Genesis Framework – $59.95 one-time purchase
- Genesis child theme of your choice – $45 (prices vary). I recommend purchasing a theme from one of the following:
The Pixelista | StudioPress | Pretty Darn Cute Design | Restored316
Don’t worry if you don’t understand exactly what everything is or does right now. I will explain as we go along. If you have any questions during the process, send me an email and I will be happy to help you. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Sign Up for a Web Hosting Account & Register a Domain Name
It’s important to choose a web host who: 1) has an incredibly tech-savvy team; and 2) offers amazing customer support. This ensures that someone friendly and competent is always available to help you.
I personally use and recommend BlueHost. They are one of the largest and most trusted web hosting services powering millions of websites. BlueHost is also the #1 web hosting provider recommended by WordPress.
During the sign-up process at BlueHost, you will select your domain name. Your domain name is the address a web user will type into their internet browser in order to access your website. For example, my domain name is thepixelista.com.
Note: there are many useful add-ons in the package information section, but you don’t need them to complete this tutorial.
Step 2: Install WordPress
WordPress is powerful, flexible content management software that will allow you to add and edit content on your website without ever touching a line of code. Here are the steps to install it:
I recommend using at least 15 characters with a random mix of upper-and-lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Unfortunately if it’s something easy for you to remember, it’s likely also easy to crack. It may be helpful to use a secure password generator. Remember your username and password – you’ll need them soon!
Make sure you have also checked the box to automatically create a new database for this installation, as well as the terms and conditions box, then press Install Now.
(or visit http://your-domain.com/wp-login.php/ – obviously, replace “your-domain.com” with your domain. This is how you will log in to your WordPress site in the future.)
Step 3: Install the Genesis Framework + Your Child Theme
A WordPress theme is a bundle of files that handle the look and feel of your website without modifying the underlying WordPress software. When I first started using WordPress, I installed a theme and customized the design to suit my needs. The problem I ran into was I couldn’t install updated versions of the theme without losing the customizations I made.
That’s where the Genesis Framework by StudioPress comes in. Genesis handles core portions of code that impact your website’s SEO & security, while a child theme enables you to tailor the layout, fonts, and colors of your site.
Once you’ve installed Genesis and the Genesis child theme of your choice, be sure to check out the set up tutorials available for your child theme in order to get your site looking just like the theme demo. If you’re not sure where to find the tutorials, contact the site you purchased it from and they’ll point you in the right direction.
For getting familiar with WordPress as a whole, check out the tutorials available at WP Beginner.
And that’s it! Congratulations on becoming the proud owner of a brand new WordPress website!