How to start a website with WordPress.com
Building a website can seem like a daunting task considering the costs associated with web hosting and domain names. Maybe you want to start your own personal blog to express the ideas and emotions that reside in you. Or maybe you’ve started a new business and want a personalized website that represents the brand well.
With WordPress, you don’t have to worry about buying expensive hosting or hiring a web developer to build the website for you. Even you can easily design your own website with WordPress, for free.
Here’s how to start a free website with WordPress.com.
Step 1: Create a free WordPress account
Before you jump into website design, choosing a name and all of that good stuff, you’ll need to set up your account on WordPress. To get started, go to wordpress.com and click on Start your website.
WordPress will ask you to create a new account if you don’t already have one. You can either enter your registration information manually or choose to register using your Google or Apple account.
Step 2: Choose a domain name
After creating your account, it’s time to choose a domain name. A domain name is a unique identifier that directs users to your website. For example, in www.google.com, “google.com” is the domain name.
WordPress recommends using a “short and memorable” domain for your website. A short, catchy domain name is easy to remember and, in turn, attracts more audiences. On the other hand, it is obvious not to use long domain names like “thisismypersonalwordpresswebsite”. It’s hard to remember and not to mention, barely readable.
Once you are done with the domain name, enter it in the corresponding text field and check if the name is available.
Note that WordPress offers free domain names for the first year, but you can only take advantage of this offer if you purchase the annual WordPress subscription. Make sure you only select the free * .wordpress.com subdomain plan.
You will be redirected to the Price Web page. Click on the start with a free site option located under the heading “Choose a package. ”
If you are seriously considering building a website with your own custom domain, feel free to select a plan that suits your tastes. Remember that WordPress offers a free domain name for one year with the annual plans.
Step 3: Design and configure the website
After a brief “Build Your Website” loading screen, you will be asked to select a design for your website. You can either start with a blank page (by selecting Blank canvas) or choose one of the free themes provided. You also have the option to skip the site design process if you wish.
For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be using the Alves theme (available for free on the Choose a Design webpage). Click on the theme’s thumbnail to select it and WordPress will start applying the layout and design to your website.
At this time, your website will not be accessible to the public. Other people will see an “Upcoming” webpage if they open your website. However, you can see the website with the theme applied on your device.
Once done, you’ll be taken to the WordPress dashboard, where most of the magic will happen. WordPress provides a simple “checklist” that you can follow to complete the basic setup.
Configure site identity
To start, click on the Name your site button. Here add your website name and site tagline.
You can also change the time zone, change the footer credits, and launch your website to the public. To save the changes, click on the Save settings button at the top.
Configure the home page
Go back to the dashboard and click on the Edit home page button. WordPress offers an interactive tour to familiarize users with the interface; this is optional, however.
WordPress’ default editor uses blocks to denote items. You can add and remove blocks to change the appearance of a web page.
To modify an existing block, just click on it. For example, to edit the largest title of the web page, click on it and the edit cursor will appear.
Likewise, you can edit all the other blocks to personalize the website.
In addition, if you want to introduce a new element in the web page, click on the button. Add button located in the upper left corner of the screen. Then choose the block you want to add and drag it to a suitable position.
For example, to add an additional button: click on the Add option, select Button from the list and drag and drop to the appropriate location on the page.
To further customize a block, click on the element and go to To block tab in the right sidebar. You will be able to change the dimensions, change the font, color, etc. To change information at the page level, go to Page tongue. Here you can select the featured image, edit the permalink, add a snippet, etc.
When you are done customizing the home page, click the button Update in the upper right corner and close the editor. You can also Overview the web page to verify its rendering on the actual website.
You can create additional pages from the dashboard. Click on the Pages in the left sidebar and select Add new page. The steps for customizing the web page are similar to those for the home page.
For those who want to blog, you can add articles to your website and display them on the homepage. There are also several blog themes available which will make the website setup process easier for you.
If you want to create a website with multiple pages, it is important to create a navigation menu for the same. Return to the dashboard and select the Add menu option.
You will be redirected to WordPress Customizer, where you can edit various aspects of the website. In the left sidebar, select Menus and click on Primary. You can delete the default entries by clicking on the entry and selecting To delete.
To add new links, click Add articles and select the page you want to add to the menu. Make sure you have created the web page you want to display in the menu beforehand.
To display the menu on the page header, select Primary from the list of Menu locations.
When finished, click Save changes Continue.
Step 5: Launch the website
The last step is to launch the website and make it accessible to the public. To do this, click on the Settings in the left sidebar and select the option General option. Then scroll down and click on the Launch site button.
WordPress will ask you to reselect a domain name for your website. Scroll down and click on the Make the purchase option to continue with the address of the free WordPress subdomain. Then select the start with a free site possibility to continue.
Type your website URL into a browser to access it.
Congratulations! You have successfully built your own website using WordPress.
Should you buy the WordPress Premium plans?
While you can do (almost) while using the free account, having a premium membership will bring additional functionality to the table. For example, you will be able to install plugins, configure a custom domain name, use other themes (both paid and free), etc.
All in all, if you’re someone who wants to build a basic website for themselves or their business, the free version of WordPress has it all. However, if you need a professional looking website with customizations and plugin support, you should definitely go for a paid plan.
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