This simple guide will explain to you how to setup a website without any coding. This guide is completely targeted for beginners. So, if you are a freelancer or a SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) and have been planning to setup your own website, but do not have coding knowledge and don’t want to spend $300 to $500 on your website by hiring a professional Web designer/developer, then this guide is for you. Just follow this guide and in less than 1 hour, you will have your professional website up and running. And let me reiterate, you don’t need to know any coding and don’t even need to write even a single line of code. All the steps are very easy to perform.
So, let’s get started.
A few years ago most of the people were using platforms like: HTML/CSS and PHP to create their websites but I will not recommend these platforms to you because if you are a beginner, it will take months to learn these platforms. So I would recommend using a CMS (Content Management System) for your website. CMS is very easy to understand for beginners and it’s completely free. You can consider CMS as a pre-made template for your website. You just need to provide the content, and your website will be up and running.
These are the popular CMS nowadays:
These are popular CMS which you can use but I will recommend you to go with WordPress. Now we will ask a question that why only WordPress? Here is some data that explains how popular WordPress is:
Yes, you heard it right. WordPress is completely free. You don’t need to pay a single penny to use WordPress. You can use it on any type of website and don’t have to worry about paying any money.
If you don’t have a technical background or you don’t know any programming language, even then you can create a professional website using WordPress. You can add text, images, Slideshows, Social media icons, Contact Forms and other functionalities to your website very easily without learning any programming language. WordPress is really as easy as it gets, and is perfect for newbies to setup their website.
With the help of WordPress, you can create small as well as big websites. Some famous websites like Sony Music, BBC America, MTV News, Microsoft New Center, techcrunch and many other famous websites are created in WordPress. With the help of WordPress, you can even create your online shopping website without any programming knowledge. So, even if you want to start selling products directly from your website, WordPress is a good platform for that.
(MTV News Website)
Before you start creating a website, you need two things Domain and Hosting:
To explain the concept of domain and web hosting more easily, you can think of domain name as your street address and hosting is your land where you built your house. You need to have both Domain and Hosting to create your website. If you have just domain, but not hosting, then you won’t have a space where you can actually host your website.
Now it’s time to purchase hosting. The hosting is very cheap and costs just between $3-$5 per month. So, in less than the cost of a coffee, you will have your website up and running!
As I mentioned earlier, even though domains typically cost $10/year, I will tell you how you can get domain name for free when you purchase hosting. For this, we will use a hosting service called Bluehost. I have been using Bluehost since last 5 years and most of the other web developers also recommend Bluehost.
If you are a reader of WebSoftTutorials.com, then you will get Free Domain when you purchase hosting with Bluehost. For that, you can use our special coupon code “WEBSOFT” when you order hosting on Bluehost. This coupon will get you free domain name.
If you are still wondering whether you should go with Bluehost or not, here are some facts that will help you decide:
Go to Bluehost website. Now, Click on “View Plans” button.
If you will scroll down then you will see that you can install WordPress, Joomla, phpBB, drupal and many other applications with a single click on this hosting.
You will be redirected to plans page where you can select plan according to your choice. Prices will vary according to features provided in hosting plans. You can go for basic plan for now. Basic plan has all the features that are required to get started with your website. Now, Click on “buy now” button.
Bluehost will ask you if you already have a domain name. As we want to get a free domain name, so click on “no”.
Now it’s time to select our free domain name. Enter your domain name and click on next button. Bluehost will see if this domain name is available to purchase. If it’s available then you can add it to cart. If it is not available, you can try some other domain name that describes your business.
In the above screenshot, you would also notice that two additional services have been selected: SiteLock and CodeGuard. You can uncheck both of them.
After that, next screen will show the domain name that you have chosen. Click on “Select” button to proceed.
In the next step, click on “Checkout” button.
After this, you will see a screen which will show the details of the domain and the hosting. By default, it will show a high price for the domain. To reduce that price to Rs. 1, just enter our special coupon “WEBSOFT” in the coupon box. You will notice that the price will go down. Also, by default Bluehost will show hosting duration as 3 years. You can change that to 1 year if you don’t want to spend a lot of money upfront.
We are almost done. In the next step, we will create our account on Bluehost. For that, click on “create an account in 10 seconds” button.
After that, provide your details, as in screenshot below.
Step 5: Finally, just provide your payment information and proceed with payment. Congratulations – now you have successfully purchased hosting for a very low cost and you also got domain for free. Bluehost will send you an email with details of your hosting account as well as other login details. Keep these handy as you will require these.
After purchasing domain and hosting, now it’s time to install WordPress and Create a professional website using WordPress.
Installing WordPress is very easy and most of the hosting companies provide one click installation option. I will explain how to install WordPress in Bluehost. It’s really very simple to do that. Just follow the steps below:
1. Login to your Bluehost account and go to your Control Panel (called cPanel). You can login to your Bluehost account using the information that Bluehost would have sent to you in email.
2. Once in Control Panel, just look for WordPress. It would be in section “Softaculous Apps Installer”.
3. Click on the WordPress icon. This will take you to next screen where you will see brief info about WordPress. Below that, there will be a “Install Now” button. Click on that.
4. Then you will be taken to next screen in which you have to provide some information for WordPress installation. In the top section, you have to choose the domain name where you want to install WordPress. Below that you will see “In Directory” section. In this, you will see “wp” by default. Just remove that to make that box empty. In the bottom section, you will provide Admin username and password to login to WordPress. Once you have provided all the details, click on “Install” button that is present on that page. This will install WordPress on your website.
That’s it. So, with these simple steps, your website is now powered by WordPress. You can’t use it yet, though. We need to customize it and add our content to it. Follow the steps below for that.
After installing WordPress when you will go to your website then you will see your website with default WordPress theme. It is a very basic theme, and we don’t have to use it. We can instead use a more professional looking theme. A great news is that WordPress provides tons of themes for free. And installing a theme is as simple as clicking a button. You will be surprised how quickly your website will have a great looking theme.
1. Login to your WordPress dashboard. You can login to your WordPress dashboard by typing http://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin (replace yourwebsite.com with your domain name) in the address bar. You will be redirected to admin login page where you need to enter the login credentials that you entered while installing WordPress via Bluehost.
2. After entering your correct login detail you will be redirected to WordPress dashboard.
3. In the left sidebar, you will see many options. One of these options is “Appearance”. Go to Appearance >> Themes. This will open the Themes section of WordPress.
Here you can look for a theme that matches the purpose of your website. For that, click on Add New button and enter a keyword in search box. You will see a lot of themes will show up that match the keyword that you have entered.
Just take your mouse over any theme, and you will see “Details & Preview” option. Click on this option to see a complete Preview of the theme.
When you find a theme that you like, just click on Install button, and then Activate button. Now you have your new theme. If you don’t like any of the free theme, then you can go with more professional themes that are available at ThemeForest.
If you face some problem, then you can take help of this WordPress theme installation guide.
So, now we have a nice looking theme for our website. The next step is to add the pages that we want in our website. You know that most of the websites have pages like Home, About us, Services, Contact Us.
Let’s start creating these pages. It’s really easy to do that:
In this, the textbox at the top is used to provide a title for your page. For example, it could say “About Us”, “Services” etc.
2. The big box below that is the part where all the content for that page will go. It is really easy to use this section. Just imagine yourself using Microsoft Word. As you can write your text in Word, format it, add images, etc., similarly, you can create content here. Just add all the content that you want on your page, and use formatting options available in the toolbar above this box. To add images, you can use “Add Media” button that you see above this box.
3. At any point of time you can preview how your final page will look. For this, click on “Preview” button. This will show you how your page will look on your website. I recommend doing it often while you are making a page, so that you can change formatting etc. if anything looks out of the place.
4. Once the page looks good, just click on “Publish” button. This will publish your page and it will be visible on your Live website. If you spot any mistake, you can just go back to your page in WordPress and easily edit it again.
In the same manner, create all the pages that you want to add to your website. You don’t have to create all the pages in one go; just keep creating them as you proceed, at your own pace. The great thing about WordPress is that it gives you complete flexibility in terms of easily making changes anytime you want.
Once you have created all the pages that you want, we can proceed to add the pages to the menu that will be visible on the website. This will ensure visitors will be able to easily navigate your website.
On this page, we will be able to give the structure of the menu, specify which pages we want to go on the menu, and also specify text for each menu item.
2. You will see Menu Structure on the right side, as you can see in the image above. The pages that we have added earlier are visible on the Left side. Now, to add any page to the menu, just select the page from left side, and then click on “Add to Menu”. This will add all the selected pages to the Menu. If you want to add more pages, you can repeat the process.
While adding pages to the Menu, don’t worry about the order of the items in the Menu, we can fix it once all the pages that we want have been added to the Menu.
3. Once all the pages have been added, you can start arranging them. For that, just click on any menu item, and then drag it to move up or down. You can place any item anywhere you want in the menu.
4. One more thing you can do now is to rename the items in the menu. By default, all the items would have the same name as the name of the corresponding page. Instead, you can change it to any name you want. For this, just click on small arrow next to any Menu item. This will expand that menu item.
You will see a text box which has the name of that menu item. You can change the name to anything you want. For example, you might have given page name as “About”, but you can give its menu text as “About Us”.
5. Once you are done with setting up your menu, just click on the “Save Menu” button. This will save the menu and you will be able to see that on your website.
So, now, your website is all done. You can browse your website at the domain name that you purchased, and you will be able to see your complete website, with all the pages that you added.
And remember, if you ever want to change anything, or add new page, or edit existing pages, then just go back to WordPress and make the required edits.
So, this is how you can get a Free Domain name with hosting. And then use that to setup your website. As I had promised in the beginning, we didn’t have to write even a single line of code, and the entire website is up and running. This is the power of WordPress.
Do note that there are some other settings also of WordPress that I recommend to tweak. You can see details of them here.
If you have any questions, do let me know in comments below. I am here to help.