Gone are the days when you need to hire expensive web developers or waste time learning to code. Today all you need is a few minutes and a little money, and boom 💥 – you have your website ready!
In this post, I’m going to show you how you can create your website or online store. To be honest, both are pretty much the same; you just need the WooCommerce plugin for turning your website into an eCommerce store. WooCommerce is especially suitable for inventory based eCommerce stores; if you want to create a drop-ship store, go with Shopify.
Let’s get started!
How much does it cost to create a WooCommerce site?
While hiring a web developer or using a website builder could cost you $500-3000, creating it by yourself will cost you much less.
Domain name and hosting – You can get a domain plan for around $12-15. Siteground provides fast hosting plans with excellent support for as low as $3.95 per month.
Theme – WordPress theme is what gives the visually appealing design to your site. You can start with a free theme from the WordPress directory. However, if you have a professional website, I’d recommend a premium theme.
Getting back to the question, you can easily create a WordPress website for as low as $60 yearly cost.
How to create a website in 3 steps
Step-1 Choose a platform for your website
The first step to setting up your website is choosing a content management system (CMS) – software designed to help you create websites and publish content.
At the time of writing, WordPress runs over 35% of the sites on the internet. But there are tons of content management systems based on different coding scripts, but WordPress offers the best functionality and ease of use.
With WordPress Gutenberg block editor, you can live-edit your post or page. Plus, you can customize anything literally on your site with theme builders like Elementor. I will talk about this in another post, for now here are the quick pointers for which is the best CMS for you?
- WordPress – For creating all type of websites, dropshipping sites with WooCommerce and inventory-based eCommerce stores
- Shopify – A complete eCommerce solution for dropshipping as well as inventory store
- Wix – A page builder for your designing portfolio or photography site
WordPress is designing to take its functionality into any direction using a plugin. For instance, use an LMS plugin for an e-learning website, use WooCommerce for online stores, use gallery plugins for showcasing photography skills, and so forth.
Step-2 Select a name for your website
2.1 Find an eye-catchy domain name
Your website name, aka your domain name, is what gives the identity to your site. Although your domain doesn’t directly contribute to your ranking, it affects SEO signals (like CTR), which in turn affects your SERP.
- Keep it short and brandable – Think of a name that sounds elegant and is quick. Shorter the domain name, more natural will it be to spread brand awareness. Some great examples are Wired.com, Amazon.com, or theunbiasedreviews.com. It is nearly impossible to find a single word domain name, so try that your domain name doesn’t exceed three words.
- Use keywords if possible – Having partial keywords in your domain name will help you SEO-wise, but that doesn’t mean you just have to stuff it. Keywords based domain names make more sense for blogs or niche-specific businesses. For example, BoutiqueSetup.net. You can also use a business name generator to come up with really awesome names.
TLDs like .com, .net, or .org perform the best, but you can also use other TLDs like .info, .review, and more if the former is unavailable.
There’s a lot more info on finding a domain out there, but the aforementioned is all you need, don’t get stuck with a business name. Go ahead with one you like the most.
2.2 Get a domain name and hosting
Once you have a business name that you feel confident enough with, move on to a domain registrar.
There are many excellent domain name services available in the marketplace, but I’d suggest you get a domain from Namecheap for as low as $8 per year.
Along with your domain, you will get a free WhoisGuard that keeps your domain registration information private.
Next, get a Wordpress hosting from SiteGround. Select your plan based on how many sites you will be hosting, storage space, bandwidth, and other needs for your website.
Enter the domain name you bought from Namecheap and buy your hosting.
Alternatively, you can also go ahead with Bluehost hosting, which offers a free domain name. But you will be missing on quite a lot of features, just to save $1 per month.
Besides domain and hosting, you should consider SSL security and many hosting providers offer free SSL certificate with their plans. However, paid options are also better for long term security purpose as they come with heavy discounts, renewal offers and strong security. Comodo SSL, GlobalSign SSL, Thawte SSL are a few names which are popular in SMBs.
For instance, you won’t get the top class support (SiteGround offers the best support in the league), their team will go out of the way to fix the technicalities on their own. Plus, there are tools like SG optimizer, which covers every aspect of website speed optimization, free Cloudflare CDN, migration tools, and guaranteed 99.9% uptime.
Step-3 Installing WordPress + Adding theme
Here’s how your SiteGround dashboard will look like. Click on the Websites on the top menu and then on Add new site. When installing WordPress, note down your login credentials, this will help you access your website from WordPress admin panel.
You can use the above video for installing WordPress. Select the options WordPress + WooCommerce if you want to set up an eCommerce website.
Wait for a minute, and you will have your website ready. Next, point the DNS on your Namecheap server.
To do that, simply login to your Namecheap account and click on the Manage button in front of your website.
Look for the option Namecheap basic DNS and change it to Custom DNS. Enter the two DNS records provided by SiteGround and click the checkmark.
Once you update the custom DNS, you will have to wait for 24-48 hours for the update. But it is usually updated in 5-10 hours.
After your site is live, go to your website.com/wp-admin. For example, in this case, we will go to makeawebsite.today/wp-admin and enter the login credentials we used during installation.
Login to your website, and from there, you can easily add your themes in just a few clicks, thanks to the SiteGround’s website setup process. All you need is to select the options, and the SiteGround will get the design ready.
WordPress is used by over 35% on sites on the internet. With over 27,021,750 websites live at the time of writing, it is really important to find the best WordPress themes for your website.
You need to consider the factors like flexibility, responsiveness, accessibility and SEO friendly coding. To help you find some options, I have created this guide. It will not only help you select the best premium WordPress theme, but also let you know the difference between free and premium WordPress themes.
Let’s get started!
5 Best WordPress themes for every niche
1. Hello + Elementor (Multipurpose)
Elementor is a fully customizable, theme builder with over 150+ Elementor templates. Unlike most of the page builders, it gives you complete flexibility to build your website from scratch.
Hello is a free theme with all the additional coding stripped down. It is designed specifically for Elementor users to help you design any type of website while keeping up with the loading time.
2. Author Pro (Blogging)
Author is a freemium WordPress theme for creating a simple, unique personal blog. Most of the themes have a main menu on the header section, but this theme have it on the left sidebar.
So you can post content while keeping your identity clearly visible on every post. There are a lot of sidebar skins and background options to choose from. You will need to install Author Pro plugin to use the premium version.
However, if you want to fancy up your blog, you can go for Malina WordPress theme.
3. Authority Pro (Business)
Authority Pro is another themes for creating an eye catchy business website. Big reason for adding it in my best WordPress themes is that – it is light weight, even after being jacmpacked with functionality.
You will get multiple layout options, translation compatibility, custom header and SEO friendly coding with HTML5 markup. Also, Authority Pro by StudioPress is a genesis framework.
4. The Essence (Magazine)
The Essence is a feminine WordPress theme that you can use for newspapers, magazines, or even the viral blogging website.
It has a minimalistic design to keep audience focused on your content. In addition to tons of different layouts, you will get integrated social media, so you don’t need to install any additional WordPress plugin for that.
5. Flatsome (eCommerce)
Flatsome is one of the best selling WordPress theme with multipurpose eCommerce functionality. There are a lot of customization features that makes it the best WordPress theme for WooCommerce.
In addition to the ultimate user experience to get your the best conversion. It is optimized for performance and speed, and offers cross browser compatibility.
Free vs Premiun WordPress themes
Choosing a WordPress theme for your site is slightly confusing, especially to new users. There are both free and premium themes available in the marketplace, and the free themes are okay, until you decide to run a professional website.
To help you do a quick comparison, we have created this in-depth report.
Regardless of your experience level, you might need some professional support to use the theme on your site. And that’s why you need to find out what type of customer support options your chosen theme offers.
In most cases, free themes don’t offer guaranteed support. You may find solutions to the common issues, but getting personal support is not likely. On the other hand, most premium themes offer professional support. You can use the support forum, email, live chat or other available options to sort out you theme-related issues.
More than 15% of people are still using Internet Explorer (IE). That means every one out of the six visitors is accessing your site from IE. Since this browser is widely known for its issues with modern web technologies, you need to choose a theme that works correctly on all browsers, especially IE.
Ensuring cross-browser compatibility requires additional effort, making it more likely to find this feature on premium themes. Even if a feature doesn’t work in a browser, the theme will have some fallback system in place.
Having access to the ready-made designs makes it a lot easier to get started with your website. You can use the existing designs to build upon, or if you are in a hurry, you can use those to create a good-looking website quickly.
Most premium themes come with lots of demo designs and page templates. What’s more, you can get niche-specific ready-made designs by choosing a theme developed especially for that industry. You won’t get any of these in the free themes.
Using the default theme styles will make your website look very similar to other sites based on the same theme. You can personalize the design by using the available customization options.
Free themes offer only the basic options that will let you manage the overall website styling. But a good quality premium theme will provide you with lots of personalization options to control every part of your website. The best part is you can make all the style changes without writing any code.
Code Quality and Updates
Code quality is not one of our top considerations when looking for a WordPress theme, but it should be. At the basic level, your website performance depends on the theme coding. The code should be professionally optimized to handle the common security threats. Your theme also needs to follow the coding best practices to help you get better search engine ranking. Free themes usually lag behind premium themes in all of these cases.
What to do after setting up your WordPress website?
There are quite a few things that you need to do after your website is set. The first thing to do is installing these plugins:
- Yoast SEO – Yoast SEO is the most important WordPress plugin. It will generate the sitemap and robot.txt file for allowing Google bots to crawl quickly. Plus, you can do the on-page SEO using Yoast.
- Jetpack – Jetpack helps monitor the site performance and improve the overall speed.
- WooCommerce – You can turn your website into an eCommerce store by installing this plugin.
- Akismet Anti Spam – This WordPress plugin will help you safeguard the site from attacks, spam comments, and keep it clean.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins that you can use to improve the dynamic functionality, but above mentioned are the most crucial ones.
Thanks for reading this guide. I hope it helped you set up your website without much trouble. If there’s something you want help with, feel free to reach us out on [email protected] dot com. Alternatively, you can also discuss the details in the comments section.
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Written by Pulkit Bhardwaj