Make a WebSite – Step by Step Guide


In this guide, I have included the information on how to make your own website. If you are not a technical person then don’t worry. This is will still help you in making a site. I have included the step by step instructions with screenshots.

Contents

What Is Provided In This Guide

When you finish reading this guide and follow it completely, you will have a working website exactly same as http://ebookdemo.com.

The above given site is made using WordPress. WordPress is a Content Management Software (CMS) which is used to create an informational website or a blog.

That site is hosted a DreamHost. DreamHost is a famous web hosting service provider. When you think of a hosting, DreamHost is the number one choice. I have been with DreamHost from past 9 years and can’t recommend it enough.

After you have signed up with the DreamHost, I will show you how you can register a domain name and host it.

When your domain is completely hosted and working, I will show you how to install wordpress on your domain. I will also give you guidance on how to use the wordpress. I will show you step by step how to create a page on wordpress site and create a beautiful website. Finally, you will have a complete website running on wordpress.

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How Website Works

You will need to follow two things to make a complete website.

1) Register a domain name

2) Host the domain at web hosting provider

If you want to create a website then you need to first register a domain name. The domain name must be unique and must not have been already registered. If the domain name is already registered by someone else then you will have to change the domain name to register it.

Let me explain you by giving you an example. Let’s assume that you want to make a website example.com. The first thing you need to do is register a domain name example.com.

If example.com is already registered then you need to make minor changes to your domain name preference. You can try something like myexample.com or exampleonsite.com whatever you feel is a cool for your website address. Just make sure that the domain name is available at the time of registration. If the domain is already registered then you will get error and won’t be able to register a domain.

When the domain is registered, you need to host that domain to a hosting provider. Hosting provider is a company which stores the web files and images of the website. When you access any site, the web page is served from the hosting provider. In short, hosting provider offers you a space on internet where you can save all pages and images related to your website.

When domain is registered, you will have to sign up with any hosting provider and host your domain there. Some hosting providers offer the domain registration as well. So you can actually sign up with the hosting provider before registering a domain name.

You will have working site after you have finished the hosting process. Now you can create web pages and put them on your hosting account and you will see them in your website.

In the past, I have tried many web hosting companies like HostGator, BlueHost and DreamHost. From my experience, I can tell you that DreamHost is the best web hosting provider.

Here are main reasons why I recommend DreamHost.

1] Transparency – DreamHost is very transparent in the work. The company never tries to cheat the customer.

2] Performance – All DreamHost servers now uses SSDs (Solid State Drives) for storage. That’s why DreamHost can offer 200% faster performance then other hosting providers who still uses traditional hard drives.

3] Easy to Use – DreamHost panel is very much user friendly and easy to use.

4] Domain Name Registrar – DreamHost is also a domain name registrar. So you can register a domain name also through DreamHost.

5] Low Cost – DreamHost offers the cheapest service. It’s annual charge is $119.40 for shared hosting while other charges around $140.00 per year. Also when you use the promotional offer of DreamHost, the first year of hosting will cost you $69.40 including the domain registration. No other hosting company offers free domain registration. There are many other things where DreamHost charge is very less compare to its competitors.

Let’s start the DreamHost Signup process.

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DreamHost Sign Up Procedure – Save $50

Please follow this guide to create an account at DreamHost. First visit the official website at https://www.dreamhost.com/.

You can see that there is a 40% discount offer. If you can’t see it then just close that tab and visit the DreamHost site from above link. Now you should be able to see the 40% discount as shown in the following image. Click on “Get Started Now” button.

Hosting Sign Up

Here enter your email address and password then click on continue button.

Email and password

On this page, select the option which says, “I’ll set this up later.” I will show you to register a domain when sign up process is finished. Then click on Continue button.

set domain

Now select the 1 year plan. Then click on Continue button.

choose plan

Now you need to select MySQL VPS option. I assume that this is going to be your first website. So you don’t need MySQL VPS. By default, the option is deselected. Leave it as it is then click on Continue button.

VPS Add on

Discount is already applied. PROMO CODE text field won’t be available. Just scroll down and make sure that you are getting $50 discount. You can also check that by seeing it on the top of the page. Also check the following image to see how it looks like when the discount is applied.

complete sign up

Now give your credit card details for the payment and click on “Place order now” button. If you have given the correct credit card details then your account will be created and you will get an email from DreamHost regarding your account information.

In this email, you will get all necessary details to start with the DreamHost accuont.

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DreamHost Panel

You can manage your DreamHost account from DreamHost panel. You can access the DreamHost panel at https://panel.dreamhost.com/ . DreamHost is not using cPanel. It has developed its own control panel. That is why it is very much user friendly.

To manage the DreamHost account, you need to login to DreamHost panel. You can login to DreamHost panel using the email address and password which you provided at the sign up process.

If you see red notice as shown in the following image then don’t worry.

DreamHost Panel

You will see this type of error when your account is in pending state or it is not verified. Just contact the support team using the SUPPORT link from the left side navigation panel. The support team will verify your details and activate your account. After your account become active, you can start using it.

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Domain Registration

DreamHost also offers domain registration service along with hosting service. You can register a domain through DreamHost.

DreamHost offers one year of free domain registration. If you have noticed that we didn’t register a domain name at the time of sign up.

To register a domain name, first login to DreamHost panel using email address and password.

Now click on DOMAINS link then click on Registrations link.

I assume you have already decided on the domain name. Enter the domain name in the text field then click on “Check Availability” button. If domain name is not available and already registered then you will see an error saying that the domain is already registered.

registere a domain

You will see a suggestion to register the same domain name with different top level domains. You can choose any one of them or change the domain name and try again.

If domain name is available for registration, you will be taken to the next page where you will see the message that domain name is available.

In this article, I am going to use the ebookdemo.com as an example. So I will register a domain name ebookdemo.com.

On the next page, you will see on option which says, “I want all contact information private.” If you select that option then your personal information become unavailable in whois database. If you keep it deselected then anybody can see your ownership data from whois records. That means people can see your email address and phone number from whois database.

I personally never hide this information but if you are not comfortable with sharing those information publically then you can opt of the option. For now, I am going to keep it unchecked.

domain available

Now go ahead and scroll down to make sure that all information is correct. In the Nameservers field, keep the option which says, “Use DreamHost’s Nameservers” selected. Next click on Continue button.

domain admin info

Now on the next page, you need to select the registration period. You can register a domain for 1 year or for 3 years. I generally register a domain for 1 year. You can easily renew it after 1 year. Now click on Continue button.

domain registration period

Now you will be asked for the payment. DreamHost won’t show you any due balance as you already have one free domain registration. Now complete the registration process.

domain registration payment

When the process is successfully completed, you will see a success message like following.

domain registration successful

When the domain registration is complete, you will get an email from DreamHost about the successful registration of a domain.

email

Now you need to verify the contact information.

As you can see in the above email that if your contact information is not verified then you will get an email from [email protected] You can see the copy of the email in the following image.

contact verify email

Now click on verify link and it’s done. You have successfully register a domain name. You now need to host the domain with DreamHost.

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Domain Hosting

Now to host a domain, you also need to go to DreamHost Panel. Login to DreamHost panel using your email address and password.

Then click on DOMAINS link in the left side panel. Then click on Manage Domains link.

Next you need to click on “Add Hosting to a Domain / Sub-Domain” button. On this page, you need to enter the domain name. Then you need to select your www preference. I don’t like www before my website address. So I always select to remove it. You can keep it if you like. Then you need to create a username. You will need to use this username to upload the files to your website. I am going to use the user ebookdemo. Next you need to enter the web directory name. DreamHost usually place the domain name as web directory name. I think that’s the good thing and you don’t need to change it. You can however change it if you like.

domain hosting

Leave all other options as it is.

hosting captcha

Now enter the captcha and click on “Fully host this domain” button. You will see the success message like following.

domain hosting successful

Your domain is now hosted at DreamHost. After few minutes, when you visit the domain, you should see a page like following.

website check

If you can’t see that page then give it some time. DNS propagation takes 24-48 hours. You can visit the site after few hours.

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Install WordPress

WordPress is widely used open source platform in making a web site. WordPress makes it easy to manage a website for a non-technical person. According to Wikipedia, more than 60 million websites uses wordpress. We will also use wordpress to make our website.

To install the wordpress on your domain, first go to DreamHost panel and login using your email ID and password.

Now click on GOODIES from left side navigation panel. Then click on One-Click Installs link.

From this page, you can install 19 different open source platforms on your domain. We will install wordpress on our domain. Click on WordPress link.

one click installs

Now select your domain where you want to install the WordPress. For the demo purpose, we will install it on http://ebookdemo.com . Then leave the Automatically Create Database option.  Also keep the Delux Install checkbox selected.

select domain

Finally, click on “Install It for me now!” button. You will see a message like following.

wordpress install successful

WordPress installation is not finished yet. You will get an email from the DreamHost. You need to read the email carefully. You also need to follow the instructions given in the email. Here is an email.

wordpress install email

First create the admin user by clicking on the link given in the email. When you click on the first link given in the email, you will see a page like following on your website.

select language

Select the language and click on Continue button. We will obviously select English then click on Continue.

Next you need to give Site Title. Site Title is a short description which informs visitors what the site is all about. I will use Ebook Demo as the site title.  Then enter the username which you like. I use admin as a username you can use any name. Also give the password and your email address. Keep the check box which says, “Allow search engines to index this site” selected. Finally click on “Install WordPress” button.

give website details

After the successful installation, you will see the following page.

wordpress install username

Now just visit your website again. You will see a whole new website. The default wordpress install looks like following.

wordpress website

Now your site is up and running with WordPress. WordPress automatically adds one post and one comment to the site. You just need to remove the default post and add new content to your website. You also need to make changes in the look of your website. Well, if you like the default look then you can obviously keep it.

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Change WordPress Theme

Theme is a core part of WordPress site. You can change the look and feel of a website, just by changing the theme. Changing wordpress theme is just few clicks task. You can easily change the wordpress theme.

I am going to use the “Sydney” By athemes wordpress theme. Let’s now change the default theme with Sydney wordpress theme.

WordPress Admin Interface

You need to login to WordPress admin interface to make any changes in your WordPress web site. You can login to the admin interface of wordpress site by just appending the /wp-admin at the end of the domain name. So for accessing the admin interface of the domain ebookdemo.com, I need to visit http://ebookdemo.com/wp-admin .

Now here you need to give username and password which you gave during the installation of wordpress.

wordpress login

The admin interface after logging in, looks like following.

wordpress interface

The admin interface is user friendly. You can learn the functions yourself by just using it.

Anyway, to change the theme, mouse over to Appearance and click on Themes link.

widgets

Although DreamHost did a very good job of installing famous themes, Sydney theme doesn’t come up with pre-installation. You will have to first install the Sydney theme on your wordpress site.

To install new theme, click on Add New button on theme page as shown in following image.

Sydney theme

Then enter Sydney in Search Themes… text box as shown in the following figure.

Sydney theme

Now just mouse over the Sydney theme. You will see Install and Preview button there. Just click on Install button.

Sydney theme install

You will see a successful installation message like following. There just click on “Activate” link to activate the Sydney theme. You also have a link to see Live Preview to before activating the theme.

Sydney theme activate

After activating the theme, you can visit your web site just to find out how it looks.

theme changed

Now it’s time to remove default content and add new content.

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Create Pages

You can add the content on the web site in the form of a page or a blog post. In this demo, I am going to show you how to create the pages and make a clean web site.

Delete Default Post & Comment

Again go to the admin interface. Here click on Posts link from the left side navigation panel. There you will see one post listed.

Select the post. In the Bulk Actions text box, select Move to Trash. Then click on Apply button.

delete post

Now your default post has been deleted. Default comment is also deleted with the default post.

There is also a sample page created by default. To delete the sample page, click on Pages link from the left side navigation panel.

Select the sample page, select move to trash operation. Then click on Apply.

delete page

Now your sample page is also deleted.

We will create a web site just by creating pages. If you are going to make a personal blog then you can use blog posts to regularly publish the content on your website. Our demo website is just a static website with few pages. So we will use only pages to add content.

Now it’s time to create home page. Home page is the default page which is displayed on the site when a web site is accessed just by domain name.

To add the page, go to Pages and click on Add New button.

add new page

On this page, you need to enter the Title of the page. For the home page, we will use the title Ebook Demo. Then add the content to the page.

add title and content

You can edit the URL of the page by clicking on edit button below the title box. When everything is done, publish the page by clicking on publish button. If you have made any mistake in adding the content or title, don’t worry. You can always edit the page after publishing it. You just need to click on update button when changes are made. So the new update will be published.

You can also add the other pages same way. Add all the pages. After adding all the pages, your website will look like following.

website

When you scroll down, you can see that, home page is not showing. Also you can’t see any other created pages here. There is a small link on the top right corner which says, “Create your menu here”. When you create a menu, all the pages link will appear on top.

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Organize Pages

All the content is added. We just need to organize it. We will now set our created home page(titled by Ebook Demo) as the home page of the site.

To set the home page, go to admin interface of the web site. Mouse over the Settings link from left side navigation panel then click on Reading link.

set home page

On this page, select “A static page” option.

set front page

Then select the front page from the drop down of your created pages. Click on Save Changes button and your setting is saved.

Now visit the site and you should see your set home page displayed there.

Next thing is to remove all widgets from the left side navigation panel and add the pages list in the left side navigation panel.

To remove all the widgets from the left side navigation panel, go to admin interface of the site. Mouse over to Appearance then click on Widgets button.

widgets

On this page, you need to remove all the widgets from the Primary Sidebar. To remove the widgets, just click on the widget, hold it and move it out of the Primary Sidebar section. It’s called drag & drop. You can remove all widgets out of Primary Sidebar using drag & drop.

After removing all the widgets from the Primary Sidebar, the Widgets page will look like this.

remove widgets from primary sidebar

Now visit the website. The site will look like following. Everything is gone from the right side panel.

website without widgets

You can see that there is still no navigation menu appears and you can see “Create your menu here” link.

To create the Menu list, go to admin interface of the site. There mouse over Appearance and click on Menus link.

menus

The menu page looks like following. You can see that there is already one menu structure created by default and all the pages are added to it. Click on Create Menu button to create the menu.

top menu

You can change the sequence of the pages using drag & drop. After changing the sequence, menu structure looks like this. Always click on Save Menu button after making changes in the menu.

create top menu

You can also change the navigation label by clicking on the small arrow. Enter the new label and click on Save Menu button to save the changes.

I have made Ebook Demo to Home page. So changed the navigation label from Ebook Demo to Home. I also removed the title word from all the pages in navigation labels.

Now to make this Menu the main navigation menu, just select the check box which says, “Primary Menu” as shown in the above image.

Visit the website and this is how it looks now! You can see the navigation menu on top of the site.

website created

Your first website is now successfully created. This website is also a mobile friendly. So if you access the site from mobile, you won’t have any problem in reading the content of the website.

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Summary

I have already included full detailed information of the how to create a website. Here is the summary.

Register Hosting Account

For creating a website, you will need to register a domain name and hosting. I have been using DreamHost from the last 9 years and I suggest DreamHost for hosting and domain registration.

Register Domain Name

We start the sign up process at the DreamHost and create an account first. At the time of creating an account, we don’t register a domain name. We register a domain name after creating an account. The reason of registering a domain name after creating an account is, that we get more time to think about the domain name.

Host the Domain

Once the domain is registered, we host it at the DreamHost. Hosting a domain is necessary to make a website. Without the hosting process, you cannot have a site up and running.

When hosting is finished, you can check your website and you should see a “Your Domain is almost here” message in your website.

Website Platform

There are many platforms in which you can make a website. I suggest WordPress because it’s easy to learn it and wordpress offers much more flexibility. You can easily change the feel and look of a website in wordpress with a single click. WordPress is also a widely use content management software. That is why I recommend WordPress.

You can easily install wordpress in your hosting account using a One-Click Installs feature. Just go to One-Click install page, select the domain and click on install button. That’s it. Now wordpress is installed on your website.

Change WordPress Theme

Now next step is to replace the default theme and put your favorite theme. In the example, I used Sydney theme. You can use your favorite theme but Sydney is a cool theme. You will surely like it.

Changing theme is also easy in wordpress. Go to theme page, download the Sydney theme, install it and activate it.

Delete Default Page And Post

WordPress setup comes with default page, post and comments. You need to delete the default page and post. The comments will automatically get deleted when you delete post and page.

Create New Pages

Now it’s time for creating a new content. This is going to be a static website. So we will only create pages. If you want to make a blog then you need to publish the posts at the regular time intervals.

So create the pages. In the above example, I have created home page, contact page and another three information pages. You can add whatever content you want in the pages.

After the pages created, next step is to organize the pages and create a navigation menu.

Navigation Menu And Home Page

When you create the pages, all the pages link doesn’t appear in the wordpress site. You will need to create a navigation menu. You also need to set one page as home page then only that page will appear when the site is visited. Once home page is set, create navigation menu.

In navigation menu, you can add all pages which you want to appear in the navigation link. Since example site is of only 5 pages, I have added all the pages in the menu. Once the navigation menu is created, you will have your site ready.

If you have made till here that means, you have your website ready. I hope you enjoyed the guide on how to make a web site.

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