Whether you want to build a business or start a passion project, you need a website if you are doing it online.

Creating a website used to be a daunting task. You used to need to know coding to create a website from scratch and the process was far from straightforward.

But now, new tools and platforms make website creation easier than ever.

You do not need to code at all and anyone can set up a website with minimal knowledge.

In this article, we will walk you through step-by-step how to create a website.

We’ll cover everything, starting from choosing a domain name and hosting plan to designing your site and adding content.

We will also highlight creating different websites such as eCommerce websites, business websites, or blog websites.

We have meticulously crafted this guide with beginners in mind. So, even if you have never built a website before, you can do so today!

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Chapter 1

Why Does Your Business Need a Website?

Now that you know that you need a website.

But do you know why?

As we mentioned website is one of the most important tools your business can have.

It’s a way to connect with customers and sell your products or services online.

In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of having a website and some of the benefits it can provide for your business.

Create Website Chapter 1

Credibility

Having a website for your business gives you immense credibility and makes you appear more legitimate.

In fact, according to Verisign 56% of people stated that they trust a business with a website.

If you do not have a website, customers will think you are behind the times, which isn’t what any business wants potential customers to think!

Reach

A website allows you to reach more customers. You are no longer limited to your brick-and-mortar location or traditional marketing by having a website.

97% of people look for a local business online before anywhere else (Source) and around 28% of people purchase after looking up a business online.

That’s 9.51 million businesses in the United States alone!

You can now reach people worldwide with just a few clicks. You can promote your business on social media or drive people from search results.

No matter what you do, with a website, your business is open to a global audience.

You’re also open 24/7. No matter what time of day or night, people can find you online, check you out, buy from your store or send you a message.

Insights

A website provides valuable insights into your business. In a brick-and-mortar store, you hardly have any data on where your customers are coming from, why they buy from you, or what offers do they respond to the most.

By analyzing your website’s traffic data using Google Analytics, you can learn about your customers, what they like, and how to better serve them.

Once you know who your target market is and where they live, you can tune your marketing and even your products to better serve them.

Marketing

Online marketing is more cost-efficient than offline marketing. Compared to traditional marketing channels such as TV or print ads, promoting your website online is relatively inexpensive.

Moreover, you have fewer targeting options when it comes to traditional marketing. At most, you can target which news media to run ads in or which billboard to place your banner on.

With digital marketing, you can not only display your advertisements to a particular demographic but also target your ads to their personal interests.

This hyper-targeting gives you more control over your marketing.

But you’ll need a website in order to utilize most forms of online marketing as you need somewhere to convert them into customers.

The best part is that building a website is really simple. Let’s see how to do it.

1. Define Your Objectives

Do you want to build a website for your service business? Looking to create a personal blog or portfolio? Want to sell products on your website?

Before you start building, it’s essential to take a step back and think about your objectives.

By objective, we mean understanding:

  1. What you are going to deliver with the website
  2. Who is going to consume your product, service, or content?
  3. Why would they prefer your website

When you answer these questions, you will know exactly what kind of website you need to build and what it should include.

2. Get Web Hosting

Once you have decided what type of website you want to build, it’s time to take action.

You can start by selecting a reliable web host.

A web host is a service that allows you to publish your website to the internet for the world to see. It’s like renting space on the internet where you can publish content.

In this section, we will discuss the main types of hosting so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.

We have also extensively talked about the best web hosting companies out there. Feel free to check them out.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most affordable type of web hosting. It is perfect for small businesses and individuals on a budget.

Shared hosts provide a shared server, which means that your website will be hosted on the same server as other websites. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your needs.

The good thing about shared hosting is that it’s cheap. The downside is that shared hosting is usually the slowest form of hosting.

Shared hosting is okay for small websites or for when you’re just starting out.

VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is ideal for businesses that have outgrown shared hosting but don’t need a dedicated server.

With VPS hosting, you get your own virtual server, which is a portion of a physical server. This means that you have more control over your website and can customize it to meet your specific needs.

VPS is faster and offers more control than shared hosting but is more expensive. It would be ideal for more established websites with a growing audience.

Dedicated Hosting

If you have a large website or need complete control over your server, then dedicated hosting is the way to go.

Dedicated hosts provide your own physical server, which means that you don’t have to share it with anyone else.

It offers full control over your web server and a lot of freedom. It is also the most expensive type of web hosting.

Dedicated hosting would be ideal for large business or eCommerce websites that have outgrown VPS or another type of hosting.

Which Web Hosting Should You Choose?

So, which type of web hosting is right for you? It all depends on your needs and budget.

If you’re just starting out, shared hosting is a good option. If you have outgrown shared hosting or need more control over your website, then VPS or dedicated hosting may be a better option.

Best Web Hosting for Creating Websites

Now that you know the different types of web hosting, it’s time to select a host.

We already mentioned the fastest WordPress hosting companies but if we had to pick one, we would recommend SiteGround because they offer great features at an affordable price.

Plus, they make it easy to set up your website with WordPress (more on that later).

SiteGround Hosting

Here are the key features of SiteGround:

  • It is really easy to install WordPress
  • Offers excellent value for money. Prices start from as low as $3.99/month for a 12-month subscription
  • Pricing options are transparent
  • 24 x 7 reliable tech support
  • Highly rated and has been used by 2.8 million users

3. Get a Domain Name

Domain names are the addresses of websites, just like how your home address is used to identify your house.

When someone wants to visit your website, they type in your domain name into their web browser and land on your website.

The ‘wpastra.com’ you see in your browser bar? That’s our domain name.

How To Choose a Domain Name

The important factor to consider when choosing a domain name is what your customers will remember.

It has to be memorable and easy to suggest to anyone without spelling it out.

When choosing a domain name, you’ll need to consider the following factors:

  • Length: Shorter domain names are easier to remember than longer ones.
  • Domain name extension (.com, .net, .org): The .com domain type is more common, as you would have noticed by now. Most popular websites like FaceBook, Youtube, Google have a .com extension.

    However, the domain extension depends on availability, situation, requirement, industry, and price. There are well over 500 domain extensions in the market, so you are free to choose.

We cover domain names in a lot more detail here.

4. Install the Right CMS

Now you have your hosting and domain, it’s time to create the website. For that, you need a Content Management System (CMS).

A CMS is a software application that helps you create and manage your website without needing any coding or technical knowledge.

We would recommend WordPress because it’s easy to learn, has a ton of features and plugins, and is free to use.

Plus, it powers over 40% of all websites on the internet, so you’re in good company!

You can set up your website with just a few clicks with WordPress.

5. Build Your Website

Now that you have your hosting space and name, it’s time to design and build your website.

This is where the real fun begins!

The best thing about WordPress is that it handles all the heavy lifting without you having to code.

There are hundreds of themes and plugins that WordPress has in its repository that allow you to customize the look and feel as well as the functionality of your website.

Let’s understand what these themes and plugins are.

WordPress Themes

A WordPress theme is a group of files that controls the overall appearance of your website. It includes graphics, style sheets, and several other types of file.

Themes control many things, starting with fonts, layouts, and overall color scheme.

All you need is an idea and some creativity, and these themes will help you create a website in minutes.

We recommend installing the Astra Theme.

It is built to deliver high performance and functionality and is very easy to use. It also comes with hundreds of website templates that help you create your website in minutes.

Whether you want to start a blog, a portfolio website, an eCommerce store, a business website, online learning portal, or a restaurant website, you can do it with the Astra theme!

It’s cost-effective, installs fast, and is entirely customizable.

We are a bit biased because it’s our theme. But more importantly, we suggest Astra based on the combined experience of over 1.6 million users.

We have active users worldwide who have blessed us with perfect 5-star ratings and incredibly positive reviews.

Astra Theme Screenshot

WordPress Plugins

A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that is an addon to your WordPress website. It extends the functionality of your website by adding features or improving features that are already there.

Think of a phone app you load onto your phone. It adds features like games or tools in the same way a WordPress plugin does.

For example, WordPress websites, by default, are not equipped with eCommerce functionality. But by installing the WooCommerce plugin, you can turn your website into an eCommerce website.

Whether you want to build a personal blog or a website for your restaurant, a simple contact form for customers to contact you, or a rich portfolio, there is a plugin for everything you need.

It is estimated there are over 55,000 plugins to choose from the WordPress library.

You can use these themes and plugins to customize your website any way you want.

6. Prepare Your Content

Now that your website is set up, it’s time to create some content!

Content is what makes a website unique, interesting, and valuable.

You can talk about your business, highlight your customer stories or showcase your best products for visitors to see.

You can also create articles, blog posts, videos, images, or anything else you think would be helpful or interesting. Just make sure it’s high quality and relevant to your website’s topic.

The sky’s the limit for website content and design, so be creative!

7. Publish Your Website

Now that your website is ready, it’s time to publish it for the world to see!

Once your website is live, you can start promoting it on social media, through email marketing, or by advertising.

You can also create a blog and write articles about your website to generate traffic. The important thing is to get started and be consistent with your promotions.

Over time, you will start seeing results, and your website will begin to grow.

Chapter 3

Things to Do Before You Create a Website

Designing a website can be a fun and exciting process, but it’s essential to make sure that you do some preparatory work before you get started.

In this section, we will discuss some of the things you should do before designing your website.

In this section, we’ll create a user persona, define your goals and also craft a website architecture.

This is going to be the foundation of your website. By taking these steps, you’ll be able to create a website that is both beautiful and effective!

Create Website Chapter 3

Define Your Target Audience

The very first step is to identify your target audience. You need to figure out who you are making the website for.

Ask yourself the following questions before you start building:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Are they children, teenagers, or adults? What is the broad age group?
  • Are they men or women?
  • What is their income level?
  • What is their education level?
  • What language do they speak?
  • What problems do you intend to solve with your website?
  • Where do they hang out online? Is it on Facebook, YouTube, or another platform?
  • What type of keywords might they be searching for in Google?

When you find answers to these questions, you will have clarity on what your ideal customers want.

This process takes time but makes creating a website much easier.

Define Your Goals

Now that you know who you’re making the website for, it’s time to figure out what you want the website to achieve.

  • Do you want it to be a place where people can learn about your business?
  • Do you want your website to generate leads?
  • Do you want an online store where people can buy your products?
  • Do you want a space where people can interact with each other?
  • Do you want a platform where people can consume your content?

Your website’s purpose will determine its design, so you must take some time to think about what you want your website to achieve.

We have seen that most websites serve one of the following purposes:

Increasing Sales

If you want to increase sales, your website will need to be designed in a way that encourages people to buy your products or services.

You might need a website with eCommerce functionality — for example, shopping cart, checkout process, and payment gateway.

Attracting New Prospects

If you’re looking to attract new customers, you’ll need a website that’s optimized for search engines and contains relevant keywords.

This way, your website appears on particular search terms relevant to your industry and attracts interested prospects.

You’ll also need to include website content to explain what you do, why you do it, and what you can do for that new prospect.

Generating Leads

If you’re looking to generate leads, you’ll need a website that’s designed for lead capture.

This means content to explain what you offer and convince the reader to take action.

You’ll also need forms and opt-in boxes on your website so people can provide their contact information in exchange for something of value.

Once you are clear on what your website needs to do for you, you can decide the type of website you want to make.

7 Main Types of Websites You Might Be Building

If you have worked through the above exercises, you will have enough information and clarity on the type of website you want to build.

Here are seven broad types of websites you can choose from:

Business Website

A business website is built to promote a business and its products or services. You can add specific functions depending upon the type of business website you make.

For example, a restaurant website will require a table reservation feature, while a hotel booking website will require the option to book rooms.

Personal or Portfolio Website

A website to showcase your work, skills, or interests is called a portfolio website.

If you are an artist, freelancer, or have a personal brand of your own, then a personal or portfolio website is what you need.

Blog Website

A website where you regularly publish articles or write-ups on a particular topic is called a blog.

If you love to write and want to share your knowledge on a particular topic, a blog website will deliver.

eCommerce Website

A website that sells products and services online is called an eCommerce website.

If you want to sell physical or digital products, an eCommerce website is the best way to go.

Forum Website

If you want to build an online community or create support systems for your products and services, you could create a forum website.

Learning Management System

A website that allows you to create and manage online courses is called a Learning Management System (LMS).

If you want to create and sell online courses, an LMS is a perfect solution for you.

Multimedia Website

A website that hosts multimedia content is called a multimedia website. Some very good examples of this website are YouTube, Netflix and Spotify.

If you want to create a website where people can watch, listen, or read your content, you need a multimedia website.

Sure there are more than seven types of websites out there. But pretty much every website falls in one of these categories.

You can also combine these categories.

For example, you can build a business website with a portfolio or an eCommerce element.

You could also build a blog with a forum or a business website with an LMS.

One of the great things about WordPress is that you can build anything you like, in any form you like!

Create a Website Architecture

Your website architecture is the structure of your website. It defines the hierarchy, or how your web pages are organized.

You’ll see website architecture in action when you look at the navigation, typically at the top of the page.

Every menu item is a category that may have sub-categories underneath.

Navigation should be designed so it’s clear to anyone who lands on your website where everything is.

If you look up at our own navigation, you’ll see Starter Templates, Pro, Features, WooCommerce, Testimonials, and Pricing.

You’ll also see Blog, Docs, Log in to Account, Contact & Support and We’re Hiring menus.

All these labels should tell you exactly what to expect from each page so you know exactly where to go to find what you’re looking for.

There is no rule for hierarchy except simple is best.

This image shows a typical website architecture plan.

Website Architecture Img

When creating your website, it’s essential to understand the basics of website architecture and design.

This way, you can create an easy site for users to navigate and find what they are looking for.

Having a well-designed website is essential for usability.

You need every user, of every ability to be able to instantly recognize where they are and where they need to go next.

Chapter 4

How to Create a Website (Step-By-Step Guide)

Alright, now that you have an idea of the principles and theory behind website design, let’s start building one.

In this section, we will walk you through the process of creating a website from beginning to end.

We will provide step-by-step instructions on how to set up your website, choose a domain name and hosting plan, design your website, and more.

So whether you are a beginner or an experienced web developer, this guide has something for you!

Create Website Chapter 4

Step 1: Select Web Hosting and Domain Name

As explained in the overview section, we recommend SiteGround web hosting.

They provide the best performance and keep your website secure. Customer support is just a chat away and ready to help you through every step.

Select Webhosting

Here’s a step-by-step guide on setting up your domain and hosting in SiteGround.

Click on “Hosting” from their navigation bar to see the types of hosting they have.

We recommend going with Managed WordPress Hosting.

As we discussed above, we prefer to build our website on WordPress because it’s reliable and lets you create websites without any code. It is perfect for beginners and it is easier to manage.

Next, select the plan you need to build your website on.

Select WP Hosting Plan
  • The StartUp plan ($3.99 per month) is suitable for one website and can manage up to 10,000 visits per month. If you need just one website and don’t plan on creating any more in the future, this is the perfect plan to get started.
  • If you plan to build multiple websites, go for the GrowBig plan ($6.99 per month). You can also create staging sites with this plan, meaning you can create a fully developed website without making it live to the public.
  • If you are building a website where you need to upload many high-resolution images (such as eCommerce websites), go for the GoGeek plan ($10.99 per month). It gets the highest amount of server space and can handle up to 400,000 monthly visitors.

Next, you would enter your domain name. You can choose to buy a new domain or link an existing domain to Siteground.

If you are starting, it’s much easier just to buy a new domain from Siteground rather than elsewhere.

Think carefully about the domain name you choose.

It should be memorable, easy to say and to type and reflect your business, brand or website topic if possible.

Choose Domain

On the next page, you need to fill in your billing details.

Review and Complete

The important stuff is at the bottom of the page. You’ll notice a few options under Hosting Services.

Purchase Info

Here you can modify your hosting plan under the Plan section to change your mind.

The Data Center shows where your data will be stored. You can pick the location near to where your target market is located or use the default, it’s entirely up to you.

In the example above we have selected Iowa, USA.

You can choose from 3 more locations to host your data, like the United Kingdom, Europe, and Singapore.

Next, select the Period. This is the term of your purchase. There are multiple options you can choose from:

  • One month
  • One year
  • Two years
  • Three years

We suggest going with a 1 year plan. That way, you have enough time to work on the website and you can upgrade as you deem fit.

SiteGround also gives its best deal for the 1 year plan.

Once the purchase is complete, you will receive a confirmation.

You need to verify the purchase by confirming the text message you received.

Verify Your Phone

Step 2: Install WordPress

One of the best things about SiteGround is that you don’t have to leave their dashboard to install WordPress.

Everything can be set up with a few clicks.

Here’s how to install WordPress from SiteGround.

Start New Website

When you enter the wizard, you’ll see that the Start New Website option is already selected. If not, select it.

Next, select WordPress from the list of applications.

Finally, add your email address and select a password so you can log in to your WordPress dashboard.

Installation should only take a minute or two and you’ll see a success message on the screen once complete.

Once WordPress is installed, you can log in to your website by adding a “/wp-admin” extension to your domain name.

For example, if the domain name you purchased is “yourdomain.com”, then you can log in to WordPress by typing “yourdomain.com/wp-admin” in the URL bar of your web browser.

Use the username and password you used during the SiteGround installation process.

Step 3: Install a WordPress Theme

Congratulations, now you finally have your own website!

However, it’s not ready for your business yet. It looks like this 👇🏼

Default WP Theme

This is the default theme added by WordPress.

Now, it’s time to customize it.

The first step is to find and install a theme.

From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Themes.

Add New Theme

You will see the default WordPress themes there. Now, click on the Add New button from the top left to add a new theme.

You can choose to upload a premium theme you purchased or search for a free theme inside WordPress Dashboard.

We recommend going with the free Astra theme and getting started right away.

Search for Astra in the search bar. You will see the Astra theme appear as the first search result.

Here, click the Install button.

Install Astra Theme

In less than a minute, the Astra WordPress theme will be installed.

Once it gets installed, the Install button will be replaced with Activate. Click on it to activate the theme.

Step 4: Import a Readymade Template

The best part about using Astra is that you can import ready-made websites with the Starter Template plugin.

To do this, go to Astra Options in the Appearance tab and select Install Importer Plugin from the right.

You can also install Starter Template by searching for it in the WordPress repository.

To do so, go to Plugins > Add New and search for Starter Templates by Astra.

Next, install and activate the plugin just like you did with the theme.

Astra Dashboard Setting Option

This will open up the site installation wizard to start importing a readymade site.

Getting Started With ST

Click Build Your Website Now.

Next, select the page builder you want to build it with. In this case, let’s go with Block Editor.

The Block Editor, also known as the Gutenberg editor, is WordPress’s own product that helps you build websites.

It is lightweight and delivers the highest performance compared to other page builders.

Select Page Builder

In the next tab, you will have many pre-built templates ready to be installed on your website.

From here, you can select any template you deem fit to be similar to your website.

For this example, let’s select the Portfolio & CV option from the list.

Pick a Website You Want to Design

Similarly, you can select the template you want to install and select to preview it.

Make sure it works for your needs and install it when you’re ready.

Add a logo if you have one, otherwise, click Skip and Continue.

Skip and Continue

In the next step, you can edit the color scheme and typography of your website.

Set Colors and Typography for Your Site

You can play around to see which one works best for you. You can change all of these later as well. Click continue to move to the final step.

Next, just fill in a few details and click on Submit & Build My Website.

Newsletter Submission Form

Starter Templates will start importing the website.

Now, you’re ready to make small changes to call it your own!

Step 5: Install Essential Plugins

Once you have imported the website, its time to install some plugins to have more functionality in your website.

For example, if you want to build a restaurant website, you cannot always do that with default WordPress functions.

You will need additional functionality such as booking dates or tables, a contact form, a menu, a map to show the restaurant location, and other essential features.

To install a plugin, go to Dashboard → Plugins.

You’ll see that the starter template has already been imported some of the plugins that your website needs.

The Starter Templates plugin as you must know by now. helps you import ready-made website templates.

Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugins adds more functionality to your WordPress block editor.

To add a new plugin, click on the Add New button on the top.

Add New Plugins in Your WP Site

Next, you’ll land in the WordPress repository. You can search for any plugin you need and install them from here.

Search for the Plugin You Need

Once you find the plugin that you need, click on Install and then Activate to add it to your website

Install WP Plugins

We recommend installing five different types of plugins to help improve the performance and security of your website.

  1. Caching Plugins: Caching plugins help you optimize the speed of your website.
  2. Image Optimization Plugins: These plugins help you compress the images on your website, helping you increase the site speed and reduce the load on your hosting.
  3. Security Plugins: Security plugins help keep your website secure against cyber-attacks and malware.
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Plugins: SEO plugins help your website rank higher in search results and help bring in more traffic to your website.
  5. Back up Plugins: Back up plugins keep your website backed up in case something goes wrong.

You can also install the plugins we recommend to have the best performance using the same steps.

Step 6: Customize Your Website

Let us see how you can customize your WordPress website consistent with your branding (all without ever writing a single line of code).

Head over to your WordPress Dashboard.

Choose Astra Options under the Appearance tab.

You will see the following page where you can pick and choose what to customize.

Astra Options Setting Page

Here you can customize all the basic elements of your website using the links:

  • Upload Logo
  • Set Colors
  • Customize Fonts
  • Customize Header and Footer
  • Customize Layouts

Create a Logo and Add to the Website

If you didn’t want to upload a logo during Starter Template installation, you should do so now. After all, your logo is the identity of your brand and therefore, your website.

If you don’t need a logo, skip this step.

If you don’t have a logo, you can easily create one for your website by using FreeLogoDesign or Canva.

If you don’t have an eye for design, you can hire a professional from Upwork or Fiverr.

Once it is ready, you can upload the logo to your website.

To do so, navigate to Appearance > Astra Options section.

Choose Upload Logo.

Upload Logo on Your Site

This will take you to the Logo Customizer page.

Here you can set the logo for your site. You can have different types of logos depending on the kind of header you want to build.

Change Site Logo

You can change the logo position, width, and appearance as well.

Once you are happy with the settings, hit the blue Publish button on top to make the changes live.

Update Website Colors

You might already have brand guidelines for your business, and you want to make sure that your website is consistent with those brand colors.

Or you may have a specific design in mind. Now let’s bring it to life.

Head over to your WordPress Dashboard.

Under Appearance and the Astra Options section, choose the Set Colors link.

Set Colour for Your Site

This will take you to the customizer settings. Here you can set the color palette for your website.

From here, you can set the colors you want to have on your website.

The Global Color Palette is useful because you don’t have to set the colors again and again.

Set Global Color Palette

Take a look at this video which shows all the color changes you are able to make on your website.

You can also see the changes visible on your website through the Live Preview.

Once you are happy with the changes, click the Publish button to make the changes live.

Update Typography

If you have a specific font in mind, you can add that to your website as well.

With the help of the Astra options, you can add fonts and control the font sizes of every element on your website.

Even if you don’t have style guidelines, you can always find the fonts we have added through the Starter Templates plugin.

Head over to Astra Options from the Appearance tab and select Customize Fonts.

Customize Fonts

You will land in the Typography Customizer section, just like this.

Astra Typography Customizer Setting

Global Typography makes it easy to create a consistent look for your website.

You can edit the preset font, change sizes based on heading and body text styles with ease or add different fonts that you like – all in one place!

Take a look at this video – we show you some of the typography changes you can make using our customizer.

Once you like the changes in the typography, hit Publish to make the changes live.

Updating Layouts

Page layouts are pre-designed sections or pages with content that you can replace, edit and customize in your website.

Basically page layout is how you want your page to look, to your visitor.

Set Up Layout for Your Site

To set the layout of your pages, head over to the Astra Options section and choose Layout Options.

Astra Site Layout Options

Here you can see all the available layout settings.

You can increase or decrease column width and pick the type of layout you want for your blog posts.

Customize Site Layout With Layout Option

You can also see all the available options to update the look and feel of your WordPress website.

See the changes taking place in the preview and make sure to hit the blue Publish button to make the changes live.

Step 7: Create a Web Page

It’s really easy to build a page using WordPress. In this step, we will show you how to build one from scratch.

Create a Page and Give It a Name

  1. Navigate to Pages > Add New.
  2. Add the page title that you want on the top of the page (where we have written “Your WebPage Title.”)

You can add or disable any of your page elements and customize them as well. Just click on the Astra button on the top right corner, and you’ll see the options.

Customize Site Pages With Astra

For this tutorial, here are the settings that we will be using the following settings.

  • Title: Disabled
  • No Sidebar
  • Full Width, Contained content layout

You can play around with these settings and see which one works best for you.

Add a Page Banner

Here’s how to create a beautiful page banner with texts and buttons.

1. Click on the “+” button to add blocks.

2. Search for the Cover block and add it to the page.

Add Cover Image to Your Website Pages

3. You can choose to upload an image as a banner or add a background color. For this example, let’s just pick a color.

Cover Bg

4. Click on the alignment button to make it full-width.

Full Width Cover

5. You can add a headline for the page by editing the part where it says Write title…

6. To add another block inside the cover, hit Enter on your keyboard. Here you can add any element that you want.

Let’s go with a button.

7. Choose Buttons to add a button below your page headline.

Add Button on Web Page

8. Don’t worry if it seems like the button is not at the center. Click on the button and choose the Align Center option from the alignment icon.

Button Alignment

9. You can add an action to the button by clicking on the link icon. You can add a link to another page or form.

Add Button URL

10. Hit Preview to see what your website looks like.

Check Website Changes in Preview

Looks cool, right?

11. To change the height of the header, click on the cover, go to the page settings and change your cover height.

In this case, we are making it 600 px.

Set Cover Width

Add Multiple Columns

Here’s how to design the rest of the web page.

1. Click on the “+” icon below the cover and select the columns block.

Add Multiple Column

2. You can select any column width you want.

Add Multiple Columns

3. In this case, we are adding two columns with equal width. Select the 50/50 column to do so.

Add Image and Text to Columns

Now you know how to add columns, it’s time to add images and text.

1. Click on the “+” button to add the image block in each column.

2. Add images as required.

Customizing Columns

3. Add headings and text by using the “+” button and adding heading and text blocks.

You can also customize the column width.

1. Select the column you want to change the width of.

2. Add the width that you want from the sidebar under block settings.

Customize Column Width

This shows up as a beautiful paragraph.

Web Page Preview

Publishing Your Web Page

Once you are happy with the design, hit Publish at the top right corner to make the page live.

Publish Your Website

See, it’s simple!

With just a few clicks, we have now designed a beautiful page!

You can do a lot more if you want. You can embed videos and add audio players as well.

Step 8: Customize Individual Pages in WordPress

This section will give you an overview of customizing and editing pages on your website.

1. Navigate to Pages from the WordPress dashboard.

Exit an Existing Page

2. Here you will see the pages added by Astra Starter Templates.

3. Click on the page you want to edit.

4. Here you can add, delete or change any element you want. Just click on the element and start editing.

5. Once you’re done, click Update to save your changes.

Update WP Web Page

Step 9: Update Your WordPress Settings

Once you have added the required pages or edited the ones you need, let’s look at some settings you should make to have the best user experience possible.

You have a few settings you can update:

  1. General Settings
  2. Writing
  3. Reading
  4. Discussion
  5. Permalinks
  6. Privacy

Let’s quickly go through them and learn how to make the necessary changes.

General Settings

Go to Settings > General Settings.

Update General Settings

You can set the Site Title, Tagline, WordPress Address, Site Address, Admin Email, Timezone, and more here.

Writing Settings

Writing settings help you control the writing experience of your WordPress website.

You can set the default settings for your posts, such as default category, post format, and also set up remote publishing options.

To update the writing settings, head over to Settings > Writing.

If you are writing in multiple categories, you can set it up here. We recommend leaving everything else as it is.

Update Writing Settings

Reading Settings

Reading settings let you control how your posts will appear to your visitors.

Here you can choose to display your blog posts instead of your homepage or have a dedicated home page for your website.

Go to Settings > Reading to change these settings.

Update Reading Settings

If you want to show a certain number of blogs to display on your archive page at a time, then input the number there.

If you want to display full-length blog posts in your archives, select Full text, else select Excerpt under the “For each post in a feed, include” option.

Permalink Settings

Permalink settings let you control the URL structure of your posts and pages.

This is the format of the URL bar that shows up when someone visits a post or a page.

Update Permalink Settings

If you do not rely on timely content, then we recommend using the Post name option. This is because it is easy to remember and helps with the user experience.

Discussion Settings

Under Discussions Settings, you can moderate a visitor’s comments on your posts and pages.

Update Discussion Settings

In this section, just check the Comment must be manually approved option.

This helps you check and delete spammy comments.You can keep the other options as they are.

You can always come back and change them in the future if you need to.

Privacy Settings

Privacy settings lets you select the privacy policy of your website.

WordPress comes with a default privacy policy page. You have the flexibility to make changes to the privacy policy page depending on your business.

Update Privacy Settings

Step 10: Update Your Menus and Widgets

A menu is the list of links usually displayed at the top of a website.

Update Navigation

Menus make it easier for visitors to navigate through your website. In most cases, you’ll see menus at the top of your website in the header.

You can also see some menus at the footer, featuring essential links such as a privacy policy, disclaimer pages, or other legal pages that you display on the website.

By default, the Astra theme comes with default menus.

You just need to edit them.

To do so, head over to Appearance > Customize > Menus.

Here, you’ll see all the available menus and their locations.

Set Menu

When you click on any one of them, it displays all the items in the current menu. You can make changes right on the same screen.

You can drag options around to reorder the menus as you like.

Rearrange Menu

You can add more pages or widgets to these menus.

Widgets are modular elements that display a certain feature on your website.

This feature can be:

  • A search bar
  • A specific button
  • Social media buttons
  • A list of recent posts

You can add widgets to pretty much any part of your website, including the header, sidebar, footer, and in the body of the website.

To customize widgets, go to Appearance > Widgets.

You will see the places where your website has widgets.

Just click on any one of them and you will see the widgets that the place contains.

Edit Widgets

Click on any of the widgets and edit as required. It is very similar to the way you build web pages.

What More Can You Do?

In this section, we will discuss a few additional steps that you can take for the best functionality, performance, and visibility.

Publishing Blog Posts

A blog post is a piece of content you create on your website that is aimed to deliver information, entertainment, or inspiration.

Blogs help you attract the attention of your target audience and keep them engaged.

Blogs are timely content that has an author and date associated with them.

It is different from a typical WordPress page. A page is often timeless. It doesn’t display a public author or an associated date.

Here’s how to write and publish blog posts on your website.

You will see a default blog post named “Hello World”. You can choose to delete it if you like.

Add New Post on the Site
  • Click on the Add New button to add a blog post.
  • Add a title, and create content, just like you did while creating a page.
  • Once you are happy with the content, click Publish to make your blog post live.
Publish Blog Post

There’s a lot more to blogging than this, though.

Here’s a complete guide on writing blog posts for your website.

Index Your Website on Search Engines

We’re sure you love some free traffic, right?

When you write helpful content, you attract people searching for them on search engines like Google.

But before that, you need Google to find, crawl and index your website.

Search engines use software bots to scour the internet looking for new websites, pages and posts. This is called crawling.

When a bot finds a page, it ‘reads’ the page to understand what it’s about and will then categorize it. This is indexing.

Once indexed, your page will eventually appear in the search engines results.

This takes time and a lot of effort, but the reward will be well worth it!

You can install plugins like Google Site Kit to help index your website.

Here’s a great resource we created on the website Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO is the process of optimizing your website and its content to appeal to search engines in the hope of getting it indexed and ranked.

Optimize Your Website Security

As the exposure of your website grows, you will find yourself facing multiple security challenges.

Therefore, it is essential to optimize your website security to the best settings possible. After all, website security is essential for protecting both your data and your customers’ information.

Thankfully, many WordPress security plugins help you make your website secure. You can install any one of them to help you fortify your website.

We have created a complete guide to website security to help with that.

Customize More With Astra Pro

The free Astra theme is perfect for getting you started. If you want to really amp up your website, we recommend going with Astra Pro.

With Astra Pro, you can get more done with your website without any limitations. All while maintaining peak performance and having full control over the customization options.

Here are some of our favorite features of Astra Pro:

Complete Control Over Site Layouts

Astra Pro has extensive site layouts to help you create websites without any design skills or coding knowledge.

You can choose from many different pages and post templates available. You can also customize your website as you see fit.

Site Layout

More Design Flexibility

Astra Pro gives you more control over your website’s design with options for customizing the color, typography, and spacing. You can also add a background image or video to your site.

You can customize any area of the site with any color or type you choose.

Header and Footer Customization

Astra Pro provides many customizable options to make your website stand out. You can change the header and footer the way you want, add icons, buttons, and other widgets, and design them just the way you want.

Website Launch Checklist

There are certainly a lot of things involved in creating a website. We understand that it is not always possible to remember every step involved.

To help you out, we have created this complete checklist on creating a beautiful website.

Download our free Website Building Checklist Here

Chapter 5

Creating Different Types of Websites in WordPress

WordPress is a very versatile CMS and you can pretty much create any type of website you like.

Whether you want to create a blog or build a website for your personal brand, WordPress makes it easy to get started.

In this section, we will show you how to create a website in WordPress using the right plugins and themes for your needs.

We will also cover some basic tips for getting started with WordPress. Let’s get started!

Create Website Chapter

How to Create an eCommerce Website

Do you want to sell physical or digital products? If so, WordPress is a great platform to use.

What Does an eCommerce Website Look Like?

eCommerce Website

An eCommerce website is a website that allows you to sell products or services online.

Customers can browse products, add them to their shopping cart, and purchase them.

You will need to have a payment gateway set up to accept payments to make an eCommerce website work. You want to get paid after all!

Functionality of an eCommerce website

Some of the essential features that your eCommerce website should have are:

  • A shopping cart so customers can add products to their order
  • A payment gateway so you can accept payments
  • Shipping options so you can ship products to your customers
  • Product pages so customers can learn more about your products

Plugins Needed for an eCommerce Website

Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of plugins to add all the functionalities we mentioned above.

You need just one, WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is the most popular plugin for eCommerce stores. It is a free plugin with all the features you need to set up a fully operational online store.

Just install the plugin from the WordPress repository and set it up according to your requirements.

Check out our guide on building an online store from scratch.

How to Create a Business or Personal Website

Do you provide services such as graphic design, photography, marketing, or something else?

Then you need a business website.

WordPress is the perfect solution as you can create one in less than an hour.

What Does a Business Website Look Like?

Business Website Example

A business website showcases your business online.

Here are some of the main features of a business website:

  • It displays what your company does (what services you deliver and how you deliver them)
  • It showcases your previous work and achievements
  • It displays information about your products and services
  • It gives the option to your visitors to contact you

Functionalities of Business Websites

Now that we know what a business website looks like, let us understand the key functionality it should have.

Your business website needs to have the following basic functions:

  • A product, service, or portfolio page
  • A contact form
  • Lead generation method

Plugins Needed To Create a Business Website

We created a business website earlier in this guide, so you already know what’s involved.

Here are the plugins we used:

  • Starter Templates to help you import beautiful business website templates
  • WPForms to help you create contact forms

You can make your business even more efficient by using the following plugins:

WP Portfolio

WP Portfolio is a plugin that helps you showcase your work within the beautiful design. It comes with 48 different layouts, which can be imported to any website.

This plugin also supports web videos including images and displays them in a beautiful lightbox.

ConvertPro

Convert Pro is a plugin that helps you turn visitors into subscribers and leads.

It includes features like exit-intent popups, A/B testing cart abandonment prevention, and personalized triggers to ensure your messages are always relevant for each user!

Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg

Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg (UAG) comes with 28 creative blocks that you can use on your website.

You can add infobox, Lottie animation, content timeline, star ratings, advanced columns, blockquotes, and many more.

How to Create a Blog Website

If you want to start writing on a topic you love, a blog website is what you need. WordPress is one of the best platforms to use to create a blog website.

We have created a very in-depth series on creating a blog and making it successful.

In this section, we will give you an overview of what a blog looks like and what functionality you need.

What Does a Blog Look like?

Blog Page Example

Blogs are developed to deliver information and the design is almost always information-focused.

Most blogs have a similar structure:

  • There is a header at the top of the page, followed by the main content area
  • The sidebar is usually located on the right-hand side of the page and contains additional information such as links to other pages on the website or social media buttons
  • The footer is typically located at the bottom of the page and it usually contains copyright information or links to other websites

The Astra theme, without its Starter Templates, looks like a blog.

Functionality Needed in a Blog Website

The blogs are almost always designed to be minimalistic and performance-focused. Since a lot of blog traffic usually comes from search results, website speed and performance are important.

Here are some features a blog needs:

  • Fast loading speed
  • Website optimized for SEO
  • Email list building systems
  • Contact form

Must-Have Plugins For a Blog

The best thing about Astra is that it already does a lot of heavy lifting for you. It is fast-loading and focused on delivering a great performance.

You can also use the plugins we mentioned earlier to set up a great blog:

  • Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg lets you craft great layouts that are easy to read and navigate
  • Convert Pro lets you build your email list. You can also use our plugin Schema Pro to boost your website search engine performance even more

Schema Pro

Schema Pro adds the schema markup language to your blog. Schema markup is a language that search engines understand while crawling through your content.

The more you make things clear and detailed for the search engines, the better your listing will appear when someone searches for what they are looking for.

Schema markup helps search engines understand all information available in your content and it creates a listing that is most favorable to your audience.

Create Your Website Today!

Anyone can create a website. You don’t need to be an expert, you can easily do it using WordPress – it’s easy, fast, and free.

You just need to choose the right theme and plugins to get started and this guide

In this blog post, we’ve outlined what you need to create a successful website. We’ve also recommended some great plugins that will help you get started.

So what are you waiting for? Start building your dream website today!