We are now in 2016, and if you don’t yet know how to build a stylish website with the number 1 content management system then you are seriously falling behind.
Even if you have never built a website before, and have absolutely no skills in website development I can show you exactly how to build your very own WordPress website in under 30 minutes – Don’t believe me? Then carry on reading!
There was a time when you were required to have a basic understanding of how hosting worked, what an FTP was, and how to combine the two, to install the WordPress content management system on your very own server. Luckily those days have passed, and even if you are the biggest technophobe ever to walk the planet, you can now at least do so with an online presence.
The truth is that it is because WordPress is so popular, that you no longer need to actively install WordPress.
A growing number of website hosts have started to specialize in WordPress hosting – and this means WordPress comes pre-installed straight out of the box!
Let me show you how it works, and how you can have your very own website up and running within the hour.
Lets Get Started!
All websites rely on two things; a domain name (facebook.com, google.com, etc) and a website host.
Website hosting (in our case we will be using Flywheel) is a service that stores your website files, to ensure they can be accessed online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They allow your visitors to call any page of your website at any time, just as my web host is allowing you to view this page at the moment.
So to follow along with this tutorial you will require a hosting account, and a domain name (we will get to that shortly)
For this tutorial, please make sure you have a pen and paper to write down important information (passwords etc.)
There are thousands of hosting services, some good, some bad, and some that are absolutely awful. Today I will be sharing a hosting service that I believe is without a doubt the best.
Flywheel is a managed WordPress host, that is fantastic for seasoned developers, and novices alike. Their support is awesome, and their service is second to none.
Step 1: Register Account
2. Complete the basic details requested: First Name, Last Name, Username, Email Address, Password, and confirm that you agree to their terms of service.
Please keep a note of all this information.
3. Press the “Sign Up” button. This will complete your registration.
Step 2: Create Your Website
Once you have submitted your details, you will be taken to your account page
1. Simply click on the large green button “New Site”.
2. Complete the details; Site Name (you will be able to change this later), Admin Username (This will not be able to changed later, and is used for logging into your website), Admin Password (you will be able to update this later), Temporary Domain (this can be anything, as it will only be used until we connect you real domain to the website).
Please keep a note of all this information.
3. Scroll to the bottom of the page & select the “Choose A Plan” button.
Step 3: Choose A Plan
Because you are just “testing the water” we will select the “Tiny” plan (you can upgrade later if you need to)
1. Under the plan option marked “Tiny” select the button “Choose Plan”.
2. Select whether you would like to pay monthly or yearly, I suggest paying monthly.
3. Do not select any add-ons, you can do this later if you feel you want to.
4. Select the button “Select Payment Method”
Step 4: Complete Billing
1. Simply select the button “Add Payment Method”
2. A pop-up will appear, simply select whether you would like to pay by credit/debit care or Paypal, and complete the billing details. Click the button “Add Card” or if you have chosen to pay with Paypal, it will allow you to connect your Paypal account.
3. Finally, click the button “Pay Now”.
Flywheel will now create your WordPress website. allow the page to work its magic
Step 4: Final Step
Once Flywheel has created your website, the screen will update to your account area.
1. Please take a note of both your temporary website address & websites IP address – this will be located on the right hand side of your screen (as per the image below).
We are now ready to connect a domain name to your website. For this part of the process I will be purchasing a domain name from GoDaddy and configuring it to point to my hosting account. If you already own a domain name from a different registrar, the process will be similar but may not be exact.
Either Flywheel support, or your domain registrar’s support will be able to help you if you encounter any problems.
Step 1: Search & Purchase A Domain Name
2. Type in the domain name that you wish to purchase (ie. samsinton), this will search all domain names that are available with that term. If you are specifically wanting a dot COM, search yourdomain.com. If it is unavailable, it will bring up potential alternatives. Keep searching until you find a domain that you like, and that is available.
3. Once you have found an available domain, select that domain and click the large button “Continue To Cart”
4. You will now have to navigate your way through a number of pages where Godaddy attempts to sell you other services, you do not need any of these.
5. Continue to cart, register as a new customer & checkout.
Step 2: Navigate To The DNS Zone File
1. Once you have purchased your domain name, you will see a confirmation email in your mail box (example below)
2. Click the large green button “Manage My Domain”.
3. Click the domain you wish to manage (ie. the domain you just purchased)
4. Select the “DNS File Zone Tab” (as per the image below)
Step 3: Replace the A Name DNS record
1. Delete the “A Name” record as per the image below.
2. Once deleted, we want to add another “A Name” record, select “add new record” (as per image below)
3. Select “A (Host), and complete the details as per the image below – replacing the “Point To” value with the website IP address that we noted down earlier in the tutorial.
4. Select “Finish” & Save.
DNS by nature can take 24-48 hours to fully propagate, though we generally see much quicker propagation. If you see anything out of the ordinary during that time it’s best to clear your browser cache and cookies, and restart your computer to clear your operating system DNS cache.
Step 4: Final Step
1. Visit getflywheel.com & click the login link (top right of page). Complete the login details and submit.
2. Click the website that you are working on (you should only have one website at this time anyway, and this will take you to the main dashboard for your website.
3. Hover over the area that has the title “Domains” & a button will appear with the title “Add Domain” (as seen in the image below).
4. Click on the add domain button and complete the information (as per the image below) – replacing www.yourdomain.com with your actual domain name & then press “Add Domain”
Your website will now be live on your domain name (once your DNS has fully propagated)
5. To login to your WordPress dashboard simply visit “www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin” or click the login button within the getflywheel dashboard (as per image below).
To login you will use both the username & password created in step 3.2 of “Hosting”
Everything should be working.. However if you have reached this stage and are having any problems please feel free to contact me and ask for some help. I can be contacted here – please use the title “Flywheel Support” when sending the message & Ill try and get back to you as soon as possible.
Changing The Design (WordPress Themes)
So far, we just have a basic WordPress installation. Your first website is online, but it is not looking too pretty.
WordPress themes are a way of changing the overall design, it can be the difference between looking like an amateur, or a professional.
I personally almost always opt for premium themes for my projects; the themes are of better quality, the themes come with in depth instructions and the developers themselves provide support (so you will never be stuck).
To learn how to install a WordPress theme I would suggest reading the article below:
Taking WordPress Further
This guide has really been about getting your first website online. To cover every aspect of WordPress would really be a step too far.
However, as a suggestion I would simply type anything you want to know about WordPress into Google or YouTube and you will surely find exactly what you are looking for.
A great place to start for beginner tutorials is WordPress.TV.
WordPress is the most popular blogging and website building software, and because of this there are literally thousands of tutorials explaining every aspect of how the content management software works.
In the meantime, just experiment & learn a little at a time.
You have just taken your first step of an exciting journey through the WordPress ecosystem – I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
I hope to be adding tutorial to this website over the next few weeks and will be sure to link them from this page.
Thanks for reading.