How To Build A WordPress Website In 9 Steps – Forbes

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Published: Feb 28, 2022, 12:00pm
Whether you’re a small business just starting out or an established company looking to expand your online presence, a professional website is key. There are many ways to build a website, but WordPress is one of the most popular options due to its versatility and customization capabilities. However, it’s not the most user-friendly content management system (CMS), so we’ll show you how to build a WordPress website in as little as one weekend.
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Here’s how to build a WordPress website in nine steps:
The first step when building a WordPress website is to get web hosting. Because while WordPress is free, you must use a web hosting service for your site to be available on the web. Generally, it costs under $10 per month, and by getting web hosting first, you will save time and money as the best WordPress hosting services include a free domain name, as well as one-click WordPress installation to make the process of creating a WordPress site a lot easier.
If you chose a web hosting plan that includes a free domain name (e.g., businessname.com), such as DreamHost, then you will be prompted to choose a domain as part of your account registration process. If not, purchase a domain name directly from one of the best domain name registrars, such as GoDaddy or Google Domains and then manually connect your domain name to your web hosting service.
When choosing a domain name, keep the following in mind:
For additional insights, learn more about how to pick a domain name for your business.
After completing your purchase of a web hosting plan, such as one from our favorite, DreamHost, it’s time to install WordPress (in other words, connect your web hosting service to WordPress).
To do this, go to your user dashboard (or cPanel), navigate to “Websites” from the left-hand vertical menu, then click “Manage Websites.” From there, find the site you want to build, click “Manage” and then click “Install WordPress.”
Note that this process can take a few minutes and the steps will vary slightly by web hosting provider.
WordPress
In the world of WordPress, a theme is a website template. It controls how your site looks, as well as how it functions and what it comes out of the box capable of. There are thousands to choose from, with sites such as ThemeForest where you can browse and buy premium templates, so it’s worth investing the time upfront to find one that best matches the site you want to build. Once you find the best theme for you, purchase it, and then download the theme files.
Additionally, you can get free themes from WordPress. However, they often require a lot more work, so in the long run it’s usually wise to invest in a well-designed premium theme.
Here’s how to install a premium WordPress theme:
WordPress
After installing your theme, next, you need to install and activate all required plugins, which help expand the functionality of WordPress. In addition to the plugins that come with your theme, there are thousands to choose from, that can do anything from enhancing site security to adding live chat or turning your page editor into a drag-and-drop editor. However, try to limit the number of plugins you use as too many can slow down your website or cause other plugins to break.
For example, we recommend the following plugins for every business website:
Here’s how to install WordPress plugins:
WordPress
If you chose a premium theme, you will want to import your theme’s demo content. Without the demo content, your site will be much more difficult to build as it will have the theme’s plugins, styling, and capabilities, but it won’t have any of the pre-built web pages.
The process of importing demo content varies by theme. Oftentimes, upon installing your theme, you will see a tab in the left-hand vertical menu with the name of your name. This is where the demo content is typically housed. If you’re not finding it there, refer to your theme’s documentation on how to import demo content, which can typically be found with your theme’s files (from the provider that you bought it from).
WordPress
Before you begin customizing web pages and building out site content, you need to configure your settings, such as indicating your home page and blog posts page, as well as updating your site’s name, tagline, and the site icon.
Here’s how to configure the most commonly used settings:
WordPress
Now, it’s time to start creating your web pages, which are what websites are made up of. For example, the average business website includes a number of pages, such as the homepage, services, pricing, about, and contact. In WordPress, every page that isn’t a blog post (or article), is considered a page.
Here’s how to create and/or customize pages in WordPress:
WordPress
Now that you’ve set up your pages, create and configure your menu. This is how visitors navigate through your site, and so depending on your theme, you may have more than one menu (such as a menu at the top of the site and one in the footer).
Here’s how to configure your site menu:
Once you have set up your menu, scroll down on the same page and find the section called “menu settings.” Under “display location” check the box next to “primary.” This will set the menu as your site’s main menu that will display in your header.
WordPress
In addition to web pages, many businesses also opt to add blog posts in order to help improve their likelihood of getting found in search engines, such as Google. To write a blog post, go to “posts” from the left-hand vertical menu and click “add new.” From there, you can edit the blog post the way you would a web page. One difference is that, unlike a page, you can write a blog post and then schedule it to publish at a later date.
Here’s how to create a blog post in WordPress:
Note that if you’re not seeing your blog posts show up on your site, you might need to check that you’ve denoted your blog page to WordPress. To do this, go to “appearance” > “customize” > “homepage settings.” From there, find “posts page” and select the page you want to set as your blog.


Featured Partners
1
Zyro
Starting price
$2.90 per month
Drag-and-drop editor
Yes
E-commerce (low-priced plan)
No
1
Zyro
On Zyro’s Website
2
Web.com
Starting price
$1.95 per month
Drag-and-drop editor
Yes
E-commerce (low-priced plan)
Yes
2
Web.com
On Web.com’s Website
3
GoDaddy
Starting price
$6.99
Drag-and-drop editor
Yes
Built-in e-commerce
Yes
3
GoDaddy
On GoDaddy’s Website
Last, but not least, you should plan to market your website. The reason is, websites are not necessarily a “build it and they will come”-type of thing. Instead, businesses that get found online are those that have invested in a variety of website marketing strategies to help their site gain visibility online, which will help drive visitors to your site.
Here are a few of the most effective ways to market your site:
The best way to market a website is to use a variety of these strategies, giving your site maximum exposure and the best chances of getting found online.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform, with over 43% of the internet using it. It’s popular for a reason. It is used to construct websites, blogs, complex portals, business websites as well as applications, all with massive flexibility and customization options. The WordPress.org software is free and open-source, making it a coder’s dream. WordPress is also backed by a large community of developers and users who are always creating new plugins, widgets, themes and other goodies to add value to the experience.
Yes, while WordPress is often used by developers to build very complex websites, beginners can also use WordPress. It’s not the most beginner-friendly CMS, but with a bit of time, anyone can learn how to use it. And because it is such a popular CMS, there is a ton of information available for free online to help you learn how to build a WordPress website.
It’s possible to build a WordPress site for free, though if you want to use your own domain name as opposed to a subdomain (e.g., businessname.wordpress.com) you have to pay for hosting. Granted, hosting is affordable at around $3 to $10 per month, so it’s a small price to pay to appear professional and credible.
The cost to build a WordPress website can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as whether you build it yourself or hire a web designer, your hosting needs, as well as the cost of theme and plugins. For insight, the average small business willing to invest the time to learn how to use WordPress can build their own site for as little as $100 or so, with just a premium theme (typically around $25 to $80) and a web hosting plan (around $3 to $10 per month).
Kathy Haan, MBA is a former financial advisor-turned-writer and business coach. For over a decade, she’s helped small business owners make money online. When she’s not trying out the latest tech or travel blogging with her family, you can find her curling up with a good novel.
Kelly is an SMB Editor specializing in starting and marketing new ventures. Before joining the team, she was a Content Producer at Fit Small Business where she served as an editor and strategist covering small business marketing content. She is a former Google Tech Entrepreneur and she holds an MSc in International Marketing from Edinburgh Napier University. Additionally, she manages a column at Inc. Magazine.

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