Do you want to build a website from scratch? Do you think it’s tough?
We are fortunate to live in the AI era, where technology advances so much that even an illiterate person can build a website from scratch within a couple of days. Now there is no need to hire a developer or learn to code, as the software does all the work of creating a website.
Whatever you want to do online, building a blog or website is a compulsory requirement. A professional website shows your credibility and builds trust among the public. So whether you are trying to sell your product, want to make money online, or are interested in digital marketing, you cannot do without having a website.
So, you are asking: Show me step-by-step, how to build a website from scratch? Here are the 10 Easy-to-follow steps where I explain all topics in detail. Let’s dive in.
The first step to build a website is picking a topic. If you’re not sure, here are a few ways to find a good blog topic:
A Personal Website (Blog)
A personal blog is a blog about you. This includes from the things you do consistently to collections of random thoughts. As it is said on shows, the stage is all yours!
A personal blog is an incredible method to share your thoughts with the world without limiting yourself to only one subject.
Hobbies & Passions
Hobbies or different interests are an incredible place to begin your website. Fashion, cooking, cars, travel, sports, and running are all examples of classic blog topics. Even blogs about rare hobbies can be effective since your readers can be anybody on the planet with access to the web.
Your life experiences are unique and sharing this information can be amazingly helpful to others living in similar circumstances.
Think about your experiences in life. Have a close look at your family, work, vacation, or other life experiences for inspiration, and you may have an idea pop up in mind to build a website from scratch.
Pro Tip. A Great Formula to Find Your Niche
What you love + What problem it solves + How to monetize it
The area which answers all these 3 questions is your niche.
A good name of a website should be descriptive so that a reader can understand the nature of your blog just from its name.
So the topic you are interested in should be a part of your blog name. Try not to get fixated on just one word though. For example, a fitness site doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “fitness” in it. The words ‘gym’, ‘exercise’, and ‘training plans’ would also let people know that your blog is around the topic of fitness.
If you are planning to create a personal blog where you discuss a multitude of topics then I recommend using your name, or some variation of it, since your site is going to be all about you. This is important when you build a website from scratch.
For example, if your name is John Doe, then you could have this as a site title. The possibility is that you can’t find the first name or last available as a domain for hosting. So you have to be creative.
One way to get around this is by adding your middle name initial (e.g JohnMDoe), another way is to add the word “blog” or “blogger” to the end of your name (JohnDoeBlog). Another tip is to include the topic of your website in the name, JohnDoeTravels.com, or TravelWithJohnDoe.com.
Now when you are thinking of names to build a website from scratch, write down 5-10 names that you like, have them in order with your most liked name at the top of the list. You’ll need this later.
See if your domain name is available
If you find that the name you wanted is already taken there are a few things you can try:
Try different extensions. If the .com is not available, go for “.net” or “.org” version.
Some new varieties are also popular like .co, .io, .pro. You should consider these too.
Add small words. Words like a, my, or the. For example, instead of JohnDoeBlog.com, you can try TheJohnDoeBlog.com.
Add dashes between words. For example, John-Doe.com, JohnDoe-Blog.com, etc.
NameCheap – Buying Your Domain Name
Buying a domain name is as simple as you buy any product online.
There are many companies (like GoDaddy, Buydomains, Register) that are offering domain registering services, but I found NameCheap best of all.
They not only make the buying process simple and easy but also provide world-class support.
Signup for NameCheap. Search for your favorite domain name and try its different variations. When you find the best one, press the cart button.
See the screenshot below.
I liked the domain name ‘Club4Sports.com’ and its cost is $8.88.
Then $0.18 is added for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) charges.
This makes the total $9.06/year for that domain name.
Also, enable WhoisGuard which is a free offer.
You’ll find many other extra features on this page (on extra charges), but you don’t need any of them.
Now that you’ve got a name picked out, and your site name is available it’s time to get your blog up and running. Although this step might sound hard to do, the steps below will walk you through all the important steps and help you register your new domain to build a website from scratch.
Free Web Hosting? Don’t Get in The Trap
There are several sites where you can create a website for free (Blogspot, blogger, google site, Wix) and to a beginner, it looks amazing.
But they all have their own limitation and restrictions, plus you lose control over your own site. Moreover, you never know when they change their rules and policies and all your hard work will turn to ashes.
That is why I recommend getting your own site and not the free options. This decision will make it easier to make a blog that makes money (which I’ll discuss in the last section).
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting companies have heavy-duty servers that store all your files, data, documents, videos, and images on their servers. They provide access to people all over the world to your website.
In other words, these companies host your website on their servers. Without them, it’s simply not possible to build and upload your website.
Get HostGator For Best Web Hosting
Although there are multiple hosting services available (both paid and free), I use HostGator for web hosting ad also recommend them to all bloggers because it is the easiest way to create a blog.
- They offer a simple solution at a cheap price.
- Free domain with every signup.
- They deliver 99.99% uptime and 24/7/365 support.
- They have a one-click WordPress installation which makes it easier to get started.
- The servers at HostGator are reliable and I have never come across a website going offline.
Go to the HostGator website and click the ‘Get Started’ button.
If you are a beginner and start building a website from scratch, then after clicking the ‘Get Started’ button, you may get confused.
HostGator asks you for your hosting plan and hosting type, and being a beginner you may not know about them.
But you need not worry as I am here to brief you about that.
Which Hosting Plan is Best for Me?
On HostGator, you’ll find 3 Plans.
- Hatchling Plan – for beginners
- Baby Plan – for somewhat experienced persons
- Business Plan – for professionals
I recommend Baby Plan to all my students. Why?
It covers all your future needs. Also, the hatchling plan is only for 1 website and the baby plan is valid for unlimited websites.
Which Type of Hosting I Should Select?
Generally, there are 5 types of hosting.
- Shared hosting
- Website builder
- WordPress hosting
- VPS hosting
- and Dedicated hosting
Without going into the technical detail of each of them, I advise you just go for Shared Hosting.
Shared hosting simply means that many websites are sharing hosting on a single server. This kind of hosting is very economical, compared to the other two.
You can later upgrade whenever you want. I’ve 7-year digital marketing experience and I’ve created about 17 sites till now, and I have never faced a problem with Shared hosting and never feel the need for an upgrade.
Here’s How to Fill The HostGator Form
When you click Baby Plan, the following form pops up.
1. Choose a Domain
Click the tab ‘I Already Own This Domain’ and enter in the box your domain name which you get from NameCheap.
2. Choose a hosting plan.
From the drop-down button, select Baby Plan.
From the Billing Cycle, you can now assess that the $3.95/month package is available only when you pay for 3 years (36 months) in advance. You can choose any package you want as per your budget. I prefer to pay $11.95 per month.
3. Enter your personal information
Enter all the personal information, plus credit card details, and continue.
4. Additional Services
While you can skip these additional services for the time being (as you just start learning the stuff) but you need to get SSL Certificate later.
Review your order, mark the checkbox that you agree to their terms, and click the button ‘Checkout Now’.
That’s all! The registration form is completed and you have successfully got the HostGator web hosting.
5. Finally, Connect Domain Name to Hosting
This is the final task of this section .. which most of the guides ignore to explain.
Your domain name is registered with NameCheap and your hosting company is HostGator. So how to connect these two?
It seems techy, but it’s a simple 10-second task!
HostGator provides us Nameservers (like registration numbers).
Then we go to NameCheap and change nameservers there with the HostGator nameservers. So, our domain name gets connected to our web host.
To make it easier for you, follow these steps:
- When the order is completed, Name Cheap shows Next Steps — Go to ‘Change DNS’.
- Next Screen shows detail process (no need to read it); On the top left, go to your drop-down Dashboard
- Go to “Domain List” on the left bar menu and click your new domain name.
- Go to “Name Servers” and from the drop-down menu, select “Custom DNS”.
- Login to Hostgator Customer portal (https://portal.hostgator.com/domain/manage)
- Go to “Domain” at Top Bar Menu and click your domain name.
- Domain Overview appeared showing name servers
- Copy these name servers and go back to NameCheap and paste there.
- Click ‘Tick Mark’ next to name servers to save.
6. Install WordPress to Build Your Website From Scratch
Go to cPanel of your site (click top right of HostGator) and follow the steps below.
Look for Quick Install or Softacuolous App Installer (or any other WordPress installer) > Next, click WordPress > From Dropdown, search your new domain name.
The process is simple and easy and you just have to follow the directions that appear on the screen.
Select Automated Backups of once a week and Backup Location as Local folder.
Finally, create your Admin Username and password (and save them somewhere).
Completing this step shows your dedication and commitment to your better future.
It’s time to make changes to your site and give it a personal touch. One of the great things about WordPress is that you can change your entire design with just a few clicks.
To access the admin dashboard, type this URL in the search bar: yourdomain.com/wp-admin
Enter your username and password to log in. Once you log in, you will be taken to your WordPress dashboard.
In WordPress, different blog layouts are known as “themes”. To change your theme, click the ‘Appearance’ tab on the left sidebar of your screen.
You will see several themes that are already installed: Twenty Seventeen, Twenty Sixteen, etc. These are well-designed themes that can work for basically any type of blog. Many of the world’s top bloggers use one of these themes due to their simplicity and ease of access for their readers.
Unless you have a very specific design in mind for your blog, I would suggest using the themes that are already installed. They are simple to customize and a great starting point. As you will see in the next step, should you wish to change this theme in the future it will be easy!
To activate the theme on your blog, place your mouse pointer over the theme you want to choose and click the “Activate” button. It’s as simple as that! Your entire theme for your entire blog has now changed, all in one click.
Theme customization is simple. Just play around and make changes you desire and see in preview how it looks.
Settings – Permalinks
On the left side menu bar, when you click settings, many options popups (General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, etc).
Well, all these are self-explanatory and you can easily select the options you like. However, the ‘Permalink’ is important and so I explain it below.
Permalinks are the short form of URL that point to and lead to a particular blog post or page. WordPress sets permalinks by default to yourdomain.com/postID.
There are a few options to choose from. I use the “Post name” structure on my blog which uses keywords from my title to create a unique permalink. For example http://selfesteemactivity.com/%postname%/
Plugins are the shortcodes that make your work easy. When you want to add a plugin to your site, then on the left sidebar, go to Plugins. On the top side, click ‘Add New Plugin’ and then write the name of the plugin you want to install.
The results show all related plugins. Just click ‘install’ and within some seconds, the ‘Activate’ button pops up. When you click it, the plugin will be added up to your site.
The plugins you should install for your website are:
- Yoast SEO
- Wordfence security
- Google xml sitemap
- WP super cache
- Ultimate Social Media Plus
- WP Smush – image compression
- Contact Form 7
- Backup WD (for backup of website)
Menu And Widgets
When you visit a site, you see this bar containing buttons; Home, Blog, Resources, About, etc. These all are set by Menus. Menus set the primary areas of the website and provide a fast navigational experience to readers.
How to Set Menus?
Go to Appearance > Customize > Menus > Create Your Menu (and name it). You can add your pages or posts to the main menu and also drag and drop them to set their position as you like. Never forget to save this setting.
Amazing Progress! In your journey of building a website from scratch, you reach halfway. Keep it up!
Every blog should include a few standard pages that are designed to give the readers information about what the website is, who is writing it and any other relevant information. These are all essential pages and it is important to add them.
The pages that you should include are:
This page should include some details about the author(s) of the blog as well as a mission statement, if you need ideas, have a look at other blogs and you can quickly get an idea of what you should write in this section.
A contact page should be easily accessible to readers. This page should be an easy way of contacting you. If you wish to keep your details hidden, which we would recommend, then use a simple form, or a generic email.
You can easily create a contact form using the ‘Contact 7’ plugin.
The problem is that majority of bloggers don’t know how to draft such legal documents. Fortunately, many plugins are available (like WP AutoTerms) that easily create these pages for bloggers.
Skipping a disclaimer page could result in legal action against you. Luckily for most of us who do not know about legal regulation, there are templates for disclaimer pages that you can find for free. As an example, if you monetize your blog, then this fact must be disclosed to your readers.
Terms of Service
If your website is selling services or running a store, the best option would be to get a lawyer familiar with the zone you are operating to write out terms of service for you. This way you can minimize any threat of legal damage claims.
Again, the above statement is for businesses and firms; individuals like us can get these Terms of Service by using a plugin, that I discuss in the next section.
Now that your blog is up and running it’s time to finally do some blogging!
On the left sidebar, click on ‘Posts’.
As your WordPress blog will be new, in ‘Posts’ you will see one post already there called “Hello World!”, delete this post as it is of no use.
To begin writing a new post, click the “Add New” button at the top of the page.
You are now on the post editor screen. Enter the title of your post in the top box labeled “Add Title” and then begin writing your post in the lower white box.
There are several modifications you can make to your post, such as adding images. To add pictures or media to your post then use the “Add Media” button to upload a picture, sound, or video. In the latest version of WordPress, hover the mouse under the paragraph and you’ll see a + button, from where you can add images.
It is worth noting that you will want your blog to load fast, we suggest keeping images to a small size, if you plan to show videos then we would suggest using a 3rd party hosting service such as YouTube and then embed these videos in your blog posts.
Once you have finished your post just click the “Publish” button on the top right side of the screen to publish it.
Expert Tips for Writing Content
Do your research before writing a post. Go through all the articles ranking on Google’s first page and observe how they cover the topic. Then chalk out your game plan to ensure how your post would be better than all these articles.
Each blog post should be as lengthy, informative, and engaging as possible.
Write a post on a schedule. This will keep users coming back week after week. This is the key to being successful.
Make your title enticing. Come up with a title that makes users curious, something that will ultimately end up with them clicking the link to your blog post.
Now with the reader on your blog post, it’s time to sink the hooks in! Use your first paragraph to capture your readers so they will become more engaged, this will likely lead to them reading the full post, and leaving a comment.
The Longer the Better. The more information and detail you include, the better your blog post will rank on search engines such as Google & Bing.
A great addition to long posts is a table of contents, this will allow readers to leap into specific sections if they wish to do so. With that said, you want to maintain quality, do not add content just for the sake of it!
Engage Your Readers. Throughout your blog posts, ask questions. Then at the end of your blog post, ask the readers what they think, generally speaking, it is a good idea to ask a question that is easy to answer.
Make sure your blog postings are edited and grammatically correct if possible. If you are not the best with grammar and spelling then consider using a service such as Grammarly.com.
Your content must be original and unique. Never copy and paste the content from other sites. The content contained in your blog should of course be your work.
Never use Google images. In case they are copyrighted, you may face quite serious implications. You can get royalty-free images at Pixabay or Pexels.
For more tips, read my post here. Affiliate Marketing Tips for Beginners
SEO is the process of optimizing your blog to receive organic traffic from search engines like Google.
(Organic traffic means visitors who learn about your blog through Google or Bing, and not through other channels. The antonym of organic traffic is paid traffic.)
I am a huge fan of SEO because the traffic from Google, Bing, and other search engines is free. Not to mention the fact that more traffic leads to a larger audience, more readers. This in turn will boost your income from your blog monetization, generating bigger profits for you.
SEP Pro Tips – Build Website Like Gurus
Keyword research is an essential part of SEO that you can’t afford to ignore. ‘Keyword’ simply means the words people actually write in the search bar to find information. Keyword research shows whether the people are interested in the topic you are about to write about or not.
When you start your website, you should aim for keywords that have at least 500 searches and have low competition. You can use some keyword tools for that like Google Keyword Planner, Ahref, UberSuggest, and Keywrod Everywhere.
The best tool for keyword research I recommend is KwFinder. It’s right on the target, fast and the make the work very easy.
For the title of the post, use the H1 heading (which is automatically set in WordPress). Don’t use the H1 heading again in your post, as it is to be used once (in the title). Use H2 and H3 for all other subheadings.
Mention your main keyword in the first paragraph of the post. Plus, use the main keyword in H2 headings twice or thrice.
Also, use the main keyword and its variations six to seven times in the blog post of 1000 words.
Use external links (links you use for other websites, like Wikipedia, and make them clickable) as well as internal links (connect your one post to another post of your own website).
Use images from Pexels or Pixabay, the sites famous for copyright-free stock photos. While downloading them, select a medium or small size. Convert the images into JPeg or Webp format (by using an online image converter like Squoosh.app) so they can load faster and reduce your page loading speed – an important SEO factor.
Add Alt Tags of images and include your main keyword in it. This will help people who are visually impaired and are using screenreaders.
Make your site mobile-friendly.
Search engines give weightage to hierarchy. Add categories to your site and your posts should be categorized into specific and relevant categories.
Don’t be intimidated by all this detail!
At first, all this may seem very techy and difficult to you, but believe me, if you have ‘Never Give up Mindset’ and keep on applying all these practical tips, gradually with every passing day, you’ll start enjoying SEO.
You need to promote your website to get visitors to your blog, and for that, you have to promote it. Although these steps are a must, for now, you can skip these strategies and come back to them later if you wish, just make a note to come back!
Family, Friends and Colleagues – Your First Visiotrs
As with most businesses, word of mouth is always going to be the most trusted form of promotion. Let’s say you tell a co-worker, who then shares your work on their social media. You now have potentially promoted your blog to ALL of their connections on social media, the best part of this tactic is that it is completely free!
As “Social Shares” are counted in ranking a blog/web page, the more shares you get, generally the better this is for your blog.
Use Social Media
If your content is high quality, generally others will do the work for you. If you post on social media you can always ask your friends, family, or co-workers to re-share your work to start the spread. If you have amazing content, you can now sit back and watch your post quickly get thousands of shares.
Pinterest, Quora, Instagram, and Medium are traffic giants where you must upload some content on regular basis.
While social media can be a great way to promote your blog, do not overdo it. Social media guidelines are very strict now and over-promoting and spamming social media will simply get you banned from major social media platforms.
Comment on Other Platforms
Find other blogs in your community and engage with them through comments. First, introduce yourself and then give meaningful and engaging comments. Just be sure to check with the admin of that blog if you can include a link, as this is prohibited on some blogging platforms.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
HARO is a platform where you can sign up and you will receive emails every day where reporters are looking for information. If you can help those reporters out, they will give you a shout-out along with a link to your blog. In some cases, these articles can be part of very big news and other organizations.
Try to collaborate with readers, as well as other experts in your blog category. Be active in your niche. Go for guest posting, participate in relevant Facebook groups, tweet regularly, and try different other options to show your social presence.
By doing this, you’ll gradually get noticed and get more and more visitors.
Post Regularly And On A Schedule
Choose a day that you will publish work, and then stick to it. For example, if you choose Fridays, then even if you complete work on Wednesday or Thursday, set the post to publish at the specified time on Friday.
Readers, as well as search engines like Google love blogs that have a schedule. Try to post new content at least once a week.
If you have long breaks between posts, your followers will simply move over to another blog and you can easily do a lot of damage if you take too much time off.
Once you have put in the effort of creating great blog content and promoting your blog, making money from your blog is the easy part.
Making money from your website or blog is a long-term game. Don’t expect that you start earning within a few weeks or months. The only thing that ensures earning is your consistency, that you should keep on writing content for your website – even you are seeing no income initially.
The average period a website starts making money is from six months to a year. This takes lots of blood, sweat, and tears, but once you build your readership and audience, you can be a millionaire – without any doubt!
Here are just some methods of making money through your website.
Sell Advertising Space On Your Blog
Once you have a popular blog up and running, advertisers will be running after you to advertise on your site. Although there are many ways of selling advertising space on your blog, I always recommend Google Adsense, as Google does all the hard work for you, then pays you for placing adverts on your website.
An affiliate program is a commission-based advertising method. When one of your readers clicks on an affiliate program on your blog, they get sent to an advertiser’s site and you earn a commission if they complete a specified task such as submitting an email or purchasing a product.
Related Post: How to Monetize Your Blog From Day One?
Sell Products and Services
Selling your products and/or services directly on your blog is a great way to monetize your blog and maximize your income. If you post consistently, you’ll get more and more visitors and will have a big audience.
At that point, your products or services will start selling themselves, on autopilot. You have possibly seen bloggers selling a range of products such as custom apparel. This is a great proven way to boost your earnings.
If you are extremely knowledgeable in your blogging topic, an eBook can provide a great source of income for years to come, as well as being a great way to promote your blog. Although this sounds like a daunting task if you are knowledgeable it will be relatively easy and your book will sell itself!
Starting your website is the first step to your dream life. It’s your choice now how much serious and passionate are you in this journey.
If you manage to spare 30 minutes to one hour along with your 9 to 5 job, then within six months to one year, you are in a position to start earning from $100 to $500 per month.
For any questions on anything related to blogging and how to start a blog. Please feel free to ask in the comments section below. I will try my best to answer you, or direct you to where an answer can be found!
I hope this guide helps you with your future business in websites and starts you down the successful path to your passive income. If you would like to set up more forms of passive income, check out our other passive income courses.
Finally, A Request:
I write this in-depth guide to help you create, promote and monetize your website, so now please help me rate this site. Share this post in your social circle through Facebook, Twitter, or other channels.