To have a great website design is important in creating your own website.
And to do that, it is not expensive and fairly easy to achieve.
All it requires from you is some time and a splash of creativity to make it happen.
In this straightforward website design guide, I will list down the steps you need to create your first one using WordPress.
Decide On A Name
Before you pick a brand name for your site, consider this first:
- Is anyone using the same name as yours?
- Are the social sites available for the name you are using?
- Does it rhyme well with .com, .com.my or .my?
You can easily Google to do a quick search and see if anyone is using the name.
If yes, then it’s advisable to look for another.
This is because:
- You do not want another site competing with you in the search rankings.
- If it’s a registered (®) brand name, even worse. You may get sued.
If you plan to be active on social sites, then make sure the name has not been taken up.
It’s easier for people to find you if the name is the same across all social sites.
Take this site for example:
It’s way easier, isn’t it?
Remember to “chop” them first.
And lastly, you have to find a name that is short, memorable and rhymes well too.
Let’s take this for example:
Which one is easier to remember?
You get the idea.
How To Buy A Domain?
Now that you have a name for your website, you need to get an address.
Without an address, people will not be able to get to you.
To get an address, you need to buy a domain.
Before you buy one, go over to Mynic.my to check whether your domain is available.
Mynic is a Malaysian government agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia.
This agency is the one that provides you with a Malaysian address:
If the domain is available, you can purchase it through the reseller list on Mynic.
It is advisable to get a reputable reseller.
This is because the reseller will likely be the contractor a.k.a WordPress hosting that you will be working with to build your home.
We will touch on that in another section below.
What Is WordPress Hosting?
Now that you have an address, you need a piece of land to build your home.
A WordPress hosting (also known as web hosting) provides you with that land.
It is a server that stores your website’s information and files.
It is similar to having a home to house pieces of furniture and electronics.
WordPress will be one of your furniture.
The web host will act as your contractor too, to build your website along with you.
This site uses Serverfreak for its WordPress hosting and the team has provided an excellent support in building my site.
As I have mentioned earlier, you can pick a web host from Mynic’s reseller list.
Just remember to read reviews before engaging their services.
It is important to get a managed WordPress hosting.
When it is managed, your WordPress host will handle all complicated technical issues for you.
How To Install WordPress?
Once you have selected your managed web hosting provider, it’s time to install WordPress.
How do you do it?
Just get web hosting provider to install it for you.
You can choose to install it by yourself if you want to.
However, it’s best to leave the technical bits to your web host.
You can log into WordPress after installation is complete.
You can access the login page by going to this page:
Your web host will provide you with the username and password.
Once you have logged in, remember to change your password.
Congratulations! Give yourself a pat for making it this far.
Now you can start creating your own website.
Using A WordPress Theme
Using a theme for your WordPress is like having your home designed.
Both inside and outside so that it looks great.
Your current WordPress comes with a standard theme with basic functions.
This is how can get a new theme by using your WordPress dashboard.
Dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Add New
You can browse through all the themes and download them for free.
A variety of themes are available for:
Pick one that suits your needs.
I use GeneratePress as the theme for this site.
You can download it for free too.
Just search for “GeneratePress” under Add New and you will find it.
If you want high-end themes with drag and drop functions, you can purchase them from Envato’s Themeforest.
The cost of these themes ranges from 40 to 60 US dollars.
Protecting Your Website
Having a great website design is useless if security is neglected.
You would get additional locks for your own home, wouldn’t you?
Same goes for your website.
You have worked hard to build your website.
I’m sure you do not want someone else hacking into your website, taking it apart.
The very least you can do is to use two-factor authentication (2FA) for your site.
I personally recommend using Unloq.
Very sleek and easy to set up.
You can download this for free under Plugins (more on this in the next section).
What is 2FA?
The concept is exactly the same as doing transactions online with your credit card or banking account.
An OTP (one-time password) will be sent to your smartphone to confirm a transaction.
In this case, a link will be sent to your email.
Upon confirmation then will you be allowed to log in your website.
Even if a hacker had guessed your password correctly, he will not be able to enter your website without a link.
There are other security measures but as a starter, use a 2FA first.
The other 2FA plugin that I would recommend is Rublon.
This is another user-friendly 2FA plugin that you may like.
Give them both a try and see which suits you better.
What Are Plugins?
Plugins are enhancements to your website.
Like a home, you buy an oven, a refrigerator, air-conditioners and so on to make it better.
By installing plugins, you make your website design, better.
But not all plugins are created equal.
Some are really great, and some can be really terrible that they can break your website.
To install a plugin:
Dashboard > Plugins > Add New
Search for a plugin that you need, just like Rublon.
After installation, remember to activate it.
You can easily remove a plugin by simply deactivating it, then delete.
Plugins > Installed Plugins > Deactivate > Delete
With everything now in place, it is time to create content for your website.
You can’t be having a nice looking website without content, can you?
WordPress gives you the option to create either a page or a post.
What is the difference?
- Pages are the main pillars of your website design.
- They tell visitors what your website is all about.
- Visitors can’t leave a comment on pages.
- No date and time stamp.
- The main important pages include:
- Homepage (yourdomain.my)
- Shipping and returns (if you run a store)
- Your main bulk of activity will be here.
- It includes all your daily, weekly or monthly writings.
- Your visitors will be able to leave a comment.
- You can interact with your visitors through posts.
- Each post has a date and time stamp.
Therefore, create your main pages first.
You can put these pages in a menu so visitors can access them easily.
Once you have your pages up, start writing your posts.
Graphic designs and website creation go hand-in-hand.
What happens you do not know how to create any graphics?
Not to worry.
There are sites which you can go to for your graphics needs.
Canva allows you to create any designs through drag and drop.
Plenty of templates to choose from.
Not just for your website, but graphics for your social sites too.
Very easy to use even for a beginner.
If you want a unique design, something that only appears on your site then Fiverr is a good option.
The fee for each job ranges from 5 US dollars to over hundreds.
Say, if you need a unique logo for your website.
You can get one designed for as low as 10 US dollars.
Set Up An Online Store
Do you want to sell products through your website?
You know what?
You can easily convert your WordPress website into an online store.
So, how do you do it?
You can easily change your website into a store by simply downloading a plugin.
The plugin is called WooCommerce.
Once you have the plugin installed, you can start adding products to your website.
Dashboard > Products > Add New
Through WooCommerce, you can:
- set up prices for your products.
- adjust payment modes such as bank transfer, cheque or cash on delivery.
- determine the shipping cost.
- keep track of your inventory.
- tabulate your earnings and lots more.
Therefore, have fun tweaking your store to your liking!
More importantly, remember to select a WordPress theme that supports a WooCommerce.
After all, you want a great looking store to get your customers to buy from you.
Now It’s Your Turn
Great! Now that you have all the details in hand, I’m sure you’re ready.
All geared up to create your very first website. Good luck!
Or, you are still not that confident yet?
If you are, feel free to shoot any questions which you have in mind.
I’m more than glad to have them answered.