How to Start a Website Course – Day 1 – Getting Online

How to Start a Website From Scratch

This page is the part of “How to Start a Website Course”.

We have put this page together to make it easy for you to complete your number one goal within the course you are taking:

START YOUR WEBSITE AND GET ONLINE!

Your goal in the Day 1 of the course is to start your website and get online so we can work on it during the next days and lessons and make sure that you get as much value from the course as possible.

Your task today is to go through the steps listed below and launch your website.

Okay, now let’s start changing your life! 😊

Step 1: Sign Up for Website Hosting

Web hosting is a service that stores all the website’s files (in other words, the website as a whole) on a server.

Picking the right hosting provider from the outset is super important. Your hosting means your website’s speed, security, uptime, SEO and overall performance.

We have tried many different hosting services and SiteGround was the best one among all. We use SiteGround here at Siteefy and therefore recommend it to you as well.

But it’s not just us, WordPress officially recommends SiteGround, which offers 24/7 support with all its plans and decent speed.

SiteGround web hosting platform
— SiteGround website hosting for WordPress

Now, let’s quickly get started with SiteGround:

  1. Head over to SiteGround WordPress hosting page .
SiteGround managed WordPress hosting
  1. Select a plan (you can start with the StartUp plan which should be enough during the early days of your website)
  2. Once you pick the plan click on “Get Plan.”
  3. Enter your domain name to register. Domain name is not very important at this stage, you can always change it in the future. So, don’t overthink it and just pick something that is close to what you would like to make your website about:
SiteGround domain selection
  1. Fill in all the details and complete the transaction.
SiteGround application form for hosting
  1. You will receive an email with all the account login credentials.

Note: We (Siteefy) are currently hosted with SiteGround and we love it!

Step 2: Install WordPress On Your New Site

Once you sign up for SiteGround WordPress package, you will receive all the necessary login information you need. When you log in for the first time, you will see a message asking you if you want to Set Up a new website or to migrate a website. Click on Set Up Site.

After you click Set Up Site a new section will appear. On this new section click on Select under Start New Website.

This will take you to the next section where you need to choose WordPress and enter your preferred login details for the new WordPress application. When ready, just click on Continue.

Next, choose what else you wish to add to your account (you will be given options). When ready click on Finish.

And that’s it! WordPress after this should be installed and ready to use on your new website.

Step 3: Install Theme and Page Builder

In WordPress, themes control the design and layout of the website.

WordPress has thousands of free and paid themes available in the WordPress.org Theme Directory.

Usually, paid themes are better, with advanced features, regular updates, and active support. Some paid themes, like Divi, come with a highly advanced page builder, which transforms the whole WordPress experience.

We advise you to go with a premium WordPress theme, as it will save you a lot of time and resources in the long run.

Divi is an excellent option to start with.

Divi WordPress Toolset (Theme, Builder & Marketing Tools)

Divi Builder, by Elegant Themes, is a premium theme and page builder for WordPress.

Divi builder to build website from scratch

Divi is important for three reasons:

1. Divi will transform WordPress to a code-free environment for you – you won’t need to touch a single line of code with Divi. This is very important for beginners.

2. Divi has pre-made website kits and you will be able to get a professional website set up in minutes. This will help us to save tons of time.

3. Divi is a website marketing toolset. As a website owner you will need some tools and instruments from time to time for your website. Usually, you need to look for all these things elsewhere and very often pay for them extra. But with Divi almost anything you may need for your WordPress website comes absolutely for free. You only once get the Divi (Elegant Themes) subscription and voila you have everything you need for your website in one place.

Divi’s template library is huge, with over 800 pre-made designs and 100+ full website packs. All the Divi designs look amazing, and you can find a template for almost any industry, such as beauty, health, events, technology, business, eCommerce, photography, and more.

Layout library of Divi Builder

As we mentioned above, with Divi subscription you will get almost anything you might need for your website. In the bundle, you will get access to Divi theme, Divi page builder, Extra theme, Bloom popup builder, Monarch social media plugin and tons of other cool things.

So, once you sign up with SiteGround head over to Elegant Themes and sign-up with them as well.

Siteground + Divi is a very powerful combination and great start for your website!

After you get the subscription, here is how you add Divi to your website:

  1. Download Divi from Elegant Themes members area. Log in to your account and then find Divi in the Downloads tab. Click “Download” and Divi will be downloaded in a zip file.

2. Next, go to your WordPress dashboard and click Appearances > Themes on the left. This will open the themes page. On the themes page click “Add New” (top left part of the screen)

3. On the next section select “Upload Theme” and this will create a new section where you can choose your file.

4. Choose Divi.zip file you downloaded from Elegant Themes members area and select it.

5. Next, click “Install Now” button. This will install Divi to your website.

6. After Divi is installed click “Activate Theme” button on the next screen. This will activate Divi on your website.

7. Congratz! Divi is now installed on your Wordress site and you can start using it.

Install Essential Plugins

In WordPress, a plugin is an external solution that adds additional features and functionality to your WordPress website.

For example, if you want to build a contact form, you can install a contact form plugin, and then you can create your contact form in a few clicks.

Plugins are designed to extend the core functionality of a WordPress website.

Like themes, thousands of plugins are available to download for free.

You’ll find a plugin for almost everything from SEO to image compression, forms, payment gateways, and forums in the WordPress plugins directory.

There are some free essential plugins that every WordPress website needs. Here they are:

  • Yoast SEO: Yoast helps you maintain the on-page and technical SEO of your site.
  • Akismet: This plugin often comes preinstalled. It filters spam comments and contact form submissions.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress: This is a plugin designed to integrate Google Analytics for traffic data. You can also use MonsterInsights plugin for this purpose.
  • UpdraftPlus: UpdraftPlus lets you take the backup of your site directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3.

To add a plugin, go to Plugins > Add New and search for the plugin you want to install.

Add plugins in WordPress

Create Pages

After the design setup, you can start with the content and create the necessary pages.

To add a page, navigate to Pages > Add New.

Since you have a Divi builder installed on your website, creating all sorts of pages will be a piece of cake for you. Just use Divi pre-made layouts and pick the one you like the most.

At this stage you need only 4 pages and we all know them. These pages are:

  • Homepage: The most important page of a website.
  • About: This page helps people understand what your website is all about.
  • Contact: This page displays your website’s contact options.
  • Blog: This page showcases all your blog posts.

Follow the video below to quickly create all these pages with Divi Builder:

Set Up Navigation Menu

Navigation helps visitors to go from one page to another. It is usually placed at the top of every website.

To set it up for navigation, go to Appearance > Menus.

Then give a name to your menu and click on “Create Menu.”

WordPress menu to build a website from scratch

Now, you’ll be able to add or remove pages in the menu.

Menu setup of WordPress
  1. Select the pages you want to add.
  2. Click on “Add to Menu” to add the selected pages.
  3. Drag and drop the pages to arrange the structure.
  4. Select the location where you want to display the menu.
  5. Click “Save Menu.”

Finally, go to your website homepage and check whether the menu is correctly displayed.

Must-Have Website Features

Building a website is just a start.

To get ahead of your competition and establish your online presence, you will need to optimize your website and focus on essential elements such as speed, user experience, and quality content!

So let’s have a look at some of the features on which you can easily work.

Sitemap

Suppose you publish a blog post on your site, but because your site is new, search engines have difficulty finding it.

That’s where sitemap comes into the picture.

The sitemap acts as a website roadmap, which helps search engines (Google) crawl and index all of your site’s content.

To create a sitemap, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin.

Yoast SEO for WordPress to build a website from scratch
— Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress

Whenever you add a blog or any other web page, Yoast will update your XML sitemap automatically.

Optimized Page Speed

Page speed is the total time a website takes to load, and it depends on multiple factors, such as hosting server, page size, and images.

If your website takes more than three seconds to load, it can negatively affect the user experience and you might lose your visitors. So try to optimize the page speed as much as possible.

To optimize, you can install a caching and image optimization plugin such as WP Rocket and WP Smush (available for WordPress).

Smush image optimisation plugin

These two plugins will apply all the basic settings for you, which you can then tune according to your website performance.

Before the Launch Checklist

So before launching a web site, take a look at this quick website-launch checklist:

  • Include Important Pages: Make sure you’ve included all the important pages, such as the Home, Service, About, and Contact pages.
  • Install Google Analytics and connect Google Search Console: To track organic traffic and bounce rate, install Google Analytics.
  • Check Browser Compatibility: Many browsers are in the market, and your website should be compatible with all of them. The most important ones are Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
  • Fast Page Load Speed: Keep the page load speed as high as possible for the best user experience.
  • Install SSL Certificate: It is important to keep the website secured. This comes free with SiteGround, so just make sure you have it (check if your website display https in its URL).
  • Working Contact Form – Even one lost customer lead can cost you hundreds of dollars, so make sure you set up your contact form and email ID properly on your Contact page.

Conclusion

That’s it!

Now you know everything you need to build your first website from scratch and start your journey on the internet.

To sum up:

  1. Zero in on your niche (this is important).
  2. Get a domain and hosting (go with SiteGround for a seamless experience).
  3. Install and set up WordPress in no time, with just a few clicks.
  4. Design your website (use Divi for this).
  5. Finally, check everything and launch the website.

All of this can be confusing at first, but once you start the process and follow our guide, you’ll be able to get your website up and running within a day.

After that, you can spend as much time as you need to add the content and other stuff on the website.

If you need further help, please drop us a line and we will try to help you.

In the next lesson we’ll start the process of turning your new website into the money making machine! 😉

Cheers,

Nicky

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