Starting at $3.95 per month.

Want to build your own website, but you’re not sure where to start. Not to worry. I’ll show you how to build a website step by step. This guide includes a lot of images for easy to follow visual instructions. I will walk you through every process of building a website step-by-step, from setting up hosting, to publishing your new site.

Ready to get your new site underway? Great! Let’s Go!

creating a website with Bluehost Hosting
 

Build a Website on Top of Solid Hosting

Any web host that offers WordPress installation is acceptable, but not all web hosts are created equally. We do offer our endorsement for Bluehost, though, because that’s who we have personally used for the past eight years. They are a solid web host in our opinion. Even more, Bluehost is one of only three web hosts reccomended by WordPress. That’s quite an endorsement.

For this, as well as various other reason such as affordable pricing, easy to use dashboard and cPanel, they have grown to be one of the most popular web hosts.

If you already have a web host, you can proceed to the WordPress installation section.

Click Here to go to Bluehost. The Bluehost website will open in a new tab so you can easily go back and forth to follow along with the set up.

On the Bluehost page that opened, click the green “Get Started” button.

Web Hosting Special Offer

Choose a Web Hosting Plan

After you’ve click the green “Get Started” button, you will be taken to a web hosting plan page. You should see these options below as well as a Pro option.

The basic plan will usually more than suffice for a small business website. Upgrading is easy and an option at any time. However, if you aren’t worried about a couple of extra dollars per month, the Choice Plus Plan is a bargin at $5.95 per month and packs plenty of power.

choose your Web Hosting Plan

Choose a Domain Name

Whoo Hoo!! This part is always exciting. But please, do put some thought into it. You will be investing a lot of energy into your website, so choose a domain that fits your company. If the .com name you want is taken, many times the .net, .biz, .org or .site are available. Most people prefer a .com, unless of course, they are a non-profit, in which case a .org would be fitting.

If you want to take more time in choosing your domain name, click “I’ll create my domain later”. You can proceed with your account setup and come back to that later.

Side Note: If you are not a non-profit and you plan on running any Google Ads marketing for your business, do not choose a .org. Google will want you to verify that you are truly a non-profit before approving your Google Ads account.

choose your domain name

Enter Your account information

Enter in all the required information such as name, address, email, city, zip, state, country and phone number to proceed to the next step. I would also recommend adding an email address because that is where Bluehost will email your receipt. Adding a business name is optional.

enter your billing info

Choose the Length of your hosting plan

You’ll notice the per month price for your hosting plan goes down when you sign up for a longer term. It’s only a $24 per year difference from a 12 to 36 month plan. But hey, $24 is $24. If you know you will want your hosting for longer than 12 months, you might as well save $24 per year.

At this point, you are just a few click and a little info away from owning your domain and having your hosting set up.

choose a hosting term

Choose your package extras

The one package extra I would highly recommend is SiteLock Security – Find. For $1.99 per month, it’s worth the protection against malware it offers. It also adds trust from your website visitors when you display the SiteLock logo on your website.

If you are starting a blog, then the SEO Tools Start is worth considering. This option includes search engine optimization tools that help you develop an SEO plan.

If your business will include a lot of emailing, the 1 Office 365 Mailbox is also worth considering. Bluehost offers a 30 day free trial, making it risk free to try it out.

add extras before creating your website

Enter you paymant info, add a checkmark next to Bluehost’s terms and conditions, click submit and you are now 1 step away from logging into your new account.

enter your Billing Info

Now just create a password for your account and you can log in by using your domain name as your username and the password you created as the password.

Change Account Password

Ok…break time. You’ve earned it.

create your website with wordpress

You are now ready to install WordPress and begin creating your website. Luckily, Bluehost makes WordPress installation very simple.

Once you’re logged into your Bluehost account, click on “My Sites” in the upper, left hand corner.

My Sites Tab

Click “Create Site”.

Create your website

Enter your site name and site tagline. Your tagline should be something catchy or describes, in a clever or descriptive way, what you do.

Create a new password

From the dropdown menu, choose the domain you want to install WordPress on.

Leave the optional Directory area blank unless you want what you enter there to come after your website address. For instance, if we entered the word blog in the Directory area, our website address would be dsmartmarketing.com/blog instead of dsmartmarketing.com

If you would like to try any of the helpful Free Plugins, just leave them checked and click next.

We won’t need any of the Helpful Free Plugins for the theme and website builder we will be using in this tutorial, though.

choose a domain name

Congratulations! You have just successfully installed WordPress. You can now log into your WordPress Dashboard.

WordPress Installed Successfully Message

Choose a Theme

Now that you have WordPress installed and are in the WordPress Dashboard, you are ready to choose a website theme. For this tutorial, I will be using a DIVI theme and the DIVI Builder by Elegant Themes. I chose DIVI because it’s a powerful website builder that requires little, to no, additional plugins, is lightweight so it doesn’t compromise load speed, and it is a front-end builder that has little learning curve. It is truly fun to build a website with DIVI.

DIVI does have some cost associated with it, but for what you get, it’s well worth it.

When I first signed up for a plan, I chose the $89 per year plan. I had heard good things about it, but wanted to see for myself before commiting to a Lifetime Access subscription. I can attest that it did live up to my expectations, plus some.

Go to Elegant Themes to purchase your DIVI plan.

DIVI plans by Elegant Themes

Download DIVI Theme and website builder

After you click the “DOWNLOAD THE DIVI THEME” button, DIVI will download in a zip file into your downloads. We will now go back to your WordPress Dashboard and install the DIVI zip under your WordPress theme section.

DIVI Website Builder and Theme Download

Install your theme

From your WordPress Dashboard, hover over the word “Appearance” and click on the word “Themes” from the menu that pops out.

WordPress Dashboard

Click on “Add New” toward the top right.

Adding a new theme

Click on “Upload Theme” toward the top right.

Upload theme

Click on “Choose File”. After you have clicked on choose file, find the zip folder that you downloaded from DIVI and double click it.

Choose a zip file

Click “Install Now”.

Install your theme

Click “Activate”.

Congratulations! You just installed DIVI WordPress theme and website builder. You are almost ready to start designing your website.

Activate Theme and start building

Time to Create Your Website

Now for the most fun part of all, creating your website. Not to worry, we’ll take it step by step, Besides, DIVI makes website creation fast, easy and fun. In fact, the layouts are already responsive on all devices, so it going to look good on mobile, desktop, laptops and tablets by default.

Ok, let’s add your first website page.

1) Click “Pages”.

2) Click “Add New”.

3) Add a page name

4) Click “Use Divi Builder”.

creating a new website page

Cloning an existing page wouldn’t apply right now since this is the first page. Later, as you add more pages, though, you will have the option to clone a new page from an existing one. 

Likewise, the build from scratch option is probably not the best choice. There are occasions where building a page from scratch might make sense, but not typically. 

So that leaves choosing a premade layout. For starters, we’ll click on “Browse Layouts”.

Choose a page layout

Choose Your Website Layout

DIVI gives you 145 theme layouts to choose from and 1,074 total layouts. What this means is that each theme, has multiple page designs. This is nice because you can choose a theme, choose the homepage layout from that theme for your homepage, and choose the about us layout from that same theme and the layouts will be different but the overall style and colorization will be the same. This helps you make a more expanded website quickly that isn’t boring.

If you are in a business that relates to any of the category options on the left, you can narrow your search. Don’t worry, if there’s a layout you prefer in a different category, you can still use that layout. Any of the DIVI layouts can be altered any which way you decide.

When you see a layout you like based on the small sample, click on it. This will open a more expanded view the layout. You can then also see all the page designs for that particular theme.

website layout options for creating your website

Choose a Layout for Your Homepage

As you can see in the image below, there are nine differnt page layouts for this theme. You can click oneach one and see a design preview of the whole page. Once you’ve made your choice, click the green “Use This Layout” button. 

At this point, DIVI will ask for your Elegant Themes Username and API Key.

Website layout in more detail

Your Username and API Key can be found under the Account menu in your Elegant Themes Account. Hover over account and click “Username & API Key”. 

After you’ve entered your Username and API key and click “Save”, the layout you chose will install on your page.  

Adding a new website page

This is what your first website page would look like to visitors right out of the gate. Not to shabby for the preconfigured design, but will look even better after a few tweaks. The view you will see from the editing dashboard in WordPress will look a bit different, though. It will have the editing borders and editing options like the second image down.

You have successfully created your first page

Editing Your Website

Most sections of your web page will be divided into three areas. The outer blue or purple section, the middle green section and the inner gray section. Each of these areas have a small gear icon that is visible after clicking on the section.

Each section has some similar, but mostly different functions. Clicking on the gear icon for any section will bring up the design area for that section. This is where most of your website editing takes place. Everything from margins, padding, font styles, background images, row numbers, css, html, image sizes and most other design functions will be done from within these sections.  

DIVI editing page

Clicking on the gear icon will bring up the design section like in the image below. From there, you can switch between the content tab, design tab and the advanced tab.

The content tab is where you will add text, add links to your text and add background images.

Go to the advanced tab to add transitions, CSS classes or IDs or adjust visibility on certain devices.

website editing dashboard

Using the Design Tab

The design tab is where most of your website editing will take plave. From this area you will style your body text, your heading text, adjust section sizing, add spacing, padding and margins, add borders, filters, box shadows, animation and transform areas.

DIVI is not a hard website builder to get the hang of. As a safeguard, though, if you ever make an edit you don’t want to keep and you’re not sure how to undo it, just refresh your page and click don’t restore. But after each edit you make that you want to keep, make sure you click Save Draft or Publish. You don’t want to make a lot of edits and then lose them accidentally because you didn’t save as you went.

font, images, heading text and more

You really can’t go wrong. Just play around with the DIVI editor and you’ll get the hang of it quickly. Again, the great thing about it is that you don’t have to know html, css, javascript or how to code at all. You also shouldn’t need many, or any, plugins at all.

A good place to start famaliarizing yourself with DIVI is with one of their many DIVI tutorial videos like this one.

WordPress Alternative

If you’re still a little intimidated by WordPress, Wix is an easier alternative. Although more expensive is the long run and Wix doesn’t offer the same power and prestige as WordPress, it is plenty capible of building a suitable website with a lot of functions. This is especially true with the many app integrations Wix offers through the Wix App Market.

If Wix doesn’t seem suitable for you, you can also check out Weebly, Joomla, Drupal, Squarespace, Shopify or BigCommerce. Shopify and BigCommerce are great options worth considering if you’re looking to open an online store.

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