In this tutorial, I will show you how to start a wordpress website in few minutes. First, we will see which hosting plan to choose, then I will introduce you the CMS, how to use it, how to search and choose the right theme, how to write your first post and finally how to use plugins to improve your website.
What is WordPress?
In simple words, wordpress is the simplest and the most powerful way to create your own website/blog. For this reason, 30% of websites on internet are built in wordpress. In fact, WordPress is a free and open source CMS (content management system). It means that every one can use and share the wordpress code source. (As you can see it here). Thus, WordPress is a free tool that you can manage important aspects of your website without programming.
Ok, great! Now let’s start the first part of this tutorial. Indeed, before using WordPress, you need to install it on a server. To do that, let me introduce you several wordpress hosting plan. But, what you need to know is that the plan you will choose will depend on several parameters like performance, price, sustainability and so on. This will only depend on the ambition you have for your website. For example, if your aim is to reach 1 000 000 people a month on your website, you should choose the hosting plan which will allow you to do it, and of course it won’t be the same price that a little website.
As I said earlier, the first thing you need to do before using wordpress is to install it on a server. Here is a schema that explains how it works and how we will proceed:
Basically, there are fours steps to create your own website on wordpress:
- Launch a server
- Install wordpress on it
- Configure your website by choosing the right theme and plugins
- Allow your users to connect to your website
This can seem quite complicated but don’t worry because some companies think about you and allow you to do the first and the second step easily. Then, I think about you for the third and the fourth step because I will explain you, in the second part, how to configure your website and let users connect to it.
Before showing you the different solutions, There is something important to explain: the difference between shared and dedicated hosting solution. Let’s refer to the previews schema. I said, to build your wordpress website you need a server. Actually, you can build several websites on the same server. That’s what we call a shared wordpress hosting. In the opposite case, when there is only one website on the server, this is a dedicated wordpress hosting. This is important because choosing a shared wordpress hosting will be surely less expensive but the performance will be lower, and conversely, choosing a dedicated wordpress hosting will be more expensive but the performance will be higher. So, If you plan to create a little blog with few traffic, pick the shared solution, but if your aim is to create a big media with many articles and fresh content, pick the dedicated hosting solution.
Bluehost is one of the best company to host your wordpress website. The company has been founded in 2003, and their wordpress hosting solution is used by millions of people, so there is no risk if you use their solution for your first wordpress blog. They allow you to choose shared hosting or dedicated hosting solution depending on your aim. For me, if you are a very beginner in wordpress hosting, I advice you to pick this option because it’s really not expensive (even for the dedicated hosting) and it’s really easy to setup.
Install wordpress with bluehost
First of all, you need to choose your hosting plan by going to Bluehost > wordpress > WordPress Hosting (For the tutorial, I chose the basic plan). Notify that, if you want a dedicated hosting solution, you should go to Bluehost > wordpress > WP Pro. Once you choose the right plan, click on ‘Select’. Then you should see this:
At this step, you can either create a new domain or use an existing one. For the tutorial let’s create a new domain: www.this-is-my-new-domain-for-bluehost.com. Then you should see this message:
It means that the domain you chose is still available. But if it’s not, you should pick another one. Then fill the form with all informations they need (Account information, Package information, Package extras and Payment information). For the Package extras section, I suggest you to let the default settings if you don’t know how to deal with it. Once you complete your payment, you should see this message:
Now, you can create your bluehost account by clicking on ‘Create Account’. Here is what you should see:
Once your account is created, you can now log you in. Then, bluehost ask you more information about your future website:
Once you completed the two steps, the interesting part is coming. Now you should pick the right theme for your blog. WordPress have thousands of themes so you should find your happiness. For our example, let’s take the first want in the blog section:
Then bluehost is instaling your website for you (easy right?). At this moment, they are launching the server for you and install wordpress application on it. (It’s the first and the second step on the schema). Once it’s done, click on ‘Launch My site’:
Once you confirmed the popup message, congratulations! You have just created your first website! Now, to configure it, you can click on the ‘wordpress’ button in the previews image and you should see this:
This is the wordpress home page and you can now go to the second part for a better understanding on how it works.
Let me introduce you another great wordpress hosting solution: WP Engine. Unlike other compagnies, WP Engine offers only dedicated wordpress hosting. So in appearance, the price may be higher but compare the different options offered by other solutions like local storage, bandwidth and so on before choosing. Plus, if you are a developer, I can only suggest you to take this solution because they offer a large amount of services through their tool WP Engine DevKit.
I won’t detail installation of wordpress for WP engine like I did for bluehost for the simple reason that the installation is quite similar. Just follow the different steps by clicking on ‘Get started’ once you chose the plan which suits you best.
I would like to introduce you one more hosting solution I found quite interesting. At the opposite of WP engine, Hostpapa offers only shared hosting plan, and the price is very low. So if you plan to take a shared hosting plan, consider using the Hostpapa solution. They also offer an unlimited SSD locale storage, meaning, if you plan to put a lot of photos or videos in your posts, the solution can be very interesting for you. Furthermore, for less than 6$ you can host many websites, so I think you got it, HostPapa is a great product in terms of value and price, if you plan to choose a shared hosting solution.
I focused on three hosting solutions because I found them interesting in terms of price, the plan they offer or for their quality but I wanted to mention the others. You should know that each solution has pros and cons so feel free to compare them and choose the one which suits you best:
As I said, each solution is different and depending on your need they can suit you or not. But, I would advice you to take your time to choose the right one because if you want to change the hosting plan later, this can be a little bit painful and expensive.
Getting started with wordpress
Ok, wonderful! Now you have a wordpress website online but you don’t really know how to use it. Don’t worry! Breath in, breath out! I’m here for that. Actually, having a deep understanding of wordpress with all its power can take hours. But I will show you the basic, like the explanation of the different tabs, how to customize your website by picking the right theme, how to add plugins and also how to write your first post.
A quick understanding of the CMS
WordPress is split into several tabs on the left of the screen as we can see it here:
Let’s dive into the different tabs on the left:
- Dashboard (The dashboard tab allows you to see all activities on your website like the latest posted articles and some other plugin informations. For wordpress updates and important information about your website you will find it here.)
- Post (This is the tab you use when you want to write a new post or edit previews one, categorize article or adding tags on them. I will explain in detail how to write a post in the next section)
- Media (If you want to add photos or video to your articles, you need to store them in the media tab before)
- Pages (When you want to write a page on your website which is not a post, for example an About page that introduces the website)
- Comments (In this section you will see all comments people made on your article and you can approve them or not)
- Appearance (Allows you to manage the themes of your websites, the widgets and some other appearance settings)
- Plugins (In this section, you can add, delete or update wordpress plugins)
- Users (Allows you to manage users who can access to your website to write new articles for example)
- Settings (Allows you to manage the settings of your wordpress website)
Now, you should grasp how wordpress is organized. Let’s go to the next step to learn how to post new articles.
Writing a new article in WordPress
The first thing you should know about WordPress regarding articles is that everything has been made to make it simple to write an article. So, you just need to click on Post > Add New, then you should see something like this:
Then you choose the title of your post. The most important thing you should know about wordpress post is that since the version 5+, we can use only the Gutenberg Edition (The one you see) and a post is split into several blocks (Here is the block Heading H1). This means, each time you want to add a new paragraph, a media (photo or video), an item list or a subtitle, the first thing you need to do is to create a new block then you select its type. Once your article is written, you can publish it by clicking on ‘publish’ (on the top-right corner). Once it’s done, you can go to your website and you will see your first article online.
Choose the right theme
Now you have your first article online, you may find your website not beautiful enough. To change this, you pick a new theme for your website. Hopefully, WordPress has a collection of free themes you can choose. To do that, just go to Appearance > Add New. Then you should see this:
Here you can navigate through thousands of themes by searching with keywords (for example type cook, travel, dance,…). Most of the time, free themes can be too simple, so, if you want more advanced WordPress Themes, you can find some on these websites:
- Elegant Themes
- Hello You Designs
- Restored 316 Designs
I hope you will find your happiness in this selection.
Improve your wordpress website by using plugins
Plugins is what who made WordPress so popular. The legends says ‘no matter what you want to do with WordPress, there is a plugin to do it’ (And if there is not, there are developers to build it :-)). Actually, this is not completely false. In fact, Go to Plugins > Add new. You should see this:
You can find several plugins to do what you need it to do. For example, you can add google analytics plugin to your website to check the traffic, SEO plugins, customization plugins and so on. As for themes, if it’s not enough, you can buy plugins on some other websites:
- Code Canyon
That’s it! We are at the end of this article and I wish I help you to create the best WordPress website on internet. So finally, we can say that to create a wordpress website you just need two things, one is to find the hosting plan which suits you best (shared hosting vs dedicated hosting) then is to set your wordpress website up by using the right themes and plugins to make your creation perfect. Easy, right?