Are you looking to build your own website? If your answer is “Yes”, You have come to the right place. Here in this article, I’ll guide you through “How to create a Free WordPress Website”?
There are so many ways to create a Website, Some of them need coding Knowlege and Some needs to be paid. But, here I’ll only focus on wordpress.org, which is free and easy to use.
Wordpress is an open source, the most popular and widely used free CMS (Content Management System). Other popular content management system are Joomla, Drupal, Magneto.
Wordpress has 1000’s of free themes (temples) and more the 53 thousand free plugins which make it better than other CMS.
It is highly customizable which allows users to create and modify layouts as per their needs.
Before WordPress became a popular CMS for website development, it was developed for non-tech bloggers. So, most of the user-interface components are easy to use with simple drag and drop.
Most Popular Content Management System
Though It has Limitation too, If you don’t have the coding knowledge you will be dependent on those free themes and plugins only.
WordPress also has a paid version which is wordpress.com, but here I always mean wordpress.org. I know it’s a bit confusing for the beginners, but trust me you will get used to it.
What is The Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
WordPress.org, It is a self-hosted WordPress, It is an open source software that anyone can download and use however they want. All You need to have is to purchase your own web hosting, a domain name, and have full control over everything.
WordPress.com has a paid service. It hosts your site and handles everything for you. It offers Services which includes Hosting, Security, Backup and more.
Follow these three steps to Create a Free WordPress Website.
I have divided this into three different steps, and I’ll walk you through everything from start to end. Just follow along with the instructions, and you’ll have a very professional looking website in the end.
Let’s get started.
Step 1: Get You domain and Web hosting
In order to set up your Site, You will need two things.
- A Domain (Which will be the address of your website E.g – www.example.com).
- Web hosting (It is a server space which stores your files and connects your site to the internet.)
WordPress itself is a free platform. But, you need to pay for a domain and Web hosting. A domain name generally cost $10/year and a web hosting plan starts from $7/month. Here I would recommend Bluehost, Bluehost is one of the best host providers around the globe and It offers a free domain and free SSL certificate with every web hosting plan.
BlueHost Shared Hosting Plan
Follow these steps to Get your web host.
- Go to the Bluehost Website.
- Choose Your hosting plan. My best advice is to go with Plus plan Because it allows us to host unlimited website within the same hosting plan.
- Moving to the next step, it will ask you to enter your domain or Regester a new domain.
Basically, I’ll recommend going with (.com, .org, .net domain extensions or Your country specific domain like .us, .ca, .in, If You have a local business). You can also choose the option ” I have a domain name” If you already have a domain.
- Once You enter your domain, It will take you to the next screen.
- Fill out the account information, Choose the account plan under the package information option.
Uncheck the SiteLock Security, Codeguard Basic under package extra option if you don’t need it.
- Now, You are ready to Make a payment. Enter your payment information, Accept the Terms and Conditions and Click on Submit.
Once payment is done, You will be able to create your password. Using that password You’ll be able to login to the Bluehost account.
Now, You have a Domain and Web host, Let’s move to the Step #2.
Step 2: Set up Your Cpanel and Install WordPress
Before we start installing WordPress, There is one thing very important for them who have chosen the option “I have a Domain Name” in the step#1.
If your existing domain is registered on Bluehost, then you can skip these steps and can proceed to install WordPress.
But, If you have used the domain which is registered on other registrars like Godaddy, NameCheap, BigRock…etc, You need to change Nameservers pointing to Bluehost.
To change the Nameservers, Follow these steps:
- Go to the Registrar’s Website. Here I’ll take GoDaddy as an example. For other registrars, Options may vary, but processes are the same.
- Login to Your Godaddy account.
- Once You log in to your Goddady account, It will take you to the My Product page.
- Click on DNS option under your domain name.
- Once You click on DNS, It will take you to the DNS Management Page.
- Inside DNS Management Page, You will find an option to change Nameservers.
- Click on change.
- From the drop-down menu Choose the option Custom and change the Nameserver to ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com
Now, You are ready to install WordPress If you have followed the above steps correctly.
Install WordPress on Server
Generally, There are three possible ways to install WordPress.
- One- Click installation, Using cPanel (Control Panel).
- Manual Installation using FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
- Manual Installation using Cpanel / File Manager.
The most preferred and Safest methods are One-click Installation using cPanel and FTP. So, I will discuss both of the methods.
Manual Installation using cPanel/File Manager is the least preferred method, So I’ll be skipping this method.
Method 1: One-click Installation Using Cpanel
One-click Installation is one of the easiest methods to install WordPress. Almost every hosting company has this One-click installation method.
Follow these steps to install WordPress:
- Log in to your Bluehost account.
- Go to the cPanel option.
- Look for the Install WordPress option in the Website section and click the Install WordPress.
It will take you to the Next screen to select Domain for Installation.
- Choose the domain name You want to install. Leave the option blank next to the Select domain option. Click on Next.
- Now you can edit the email address, username, and password for the new WordPress installation. Check all the checkboxes and Click on Install.
After that it will start installing WordPress, It will take 2-3 mins to complete the installation process.
- Once Installation is done, You are ready to log in to the WordPress Dashboard. Your Dashboard URL will look like (YourDomain.com/wp-admin) Replace “yourdomain” with your site URL.
Method 2: Using FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Installing WordPress using FTP or cPanel/File Manager is almost the same. The only difference is that we use some apps like Filezilla, Cyberduck to install WordPress and for cPanel, we use File manager.
However, I recommend using One-click installation method which is very easy to use. For any reason, If your hosting companies don’t provide one-click installation for WordPress then You can use the FTP method.
For this method, I’ll be using FileZilla client to install WordPress on the server. FileZilla is free to use and available for all platform (Mac, Windows, Linux).
Follow these steps to Install WordPress using FTP:
- Download the WordPress Zip file and FileZilla client.
- Extract the WordPress Zip file.
- Install the FileZilla on your computer.
- Enter your FTP Login details in FileZilla to connect to the server. You will get the login detail via an Email or You can ask your host provider for FTP login details. Usually, the FTP address looks like ftp.yourdomain.com Or ftp://yourIPaddress, cPanel username, cPanel password and port should be 21 or 22.
Once you enter all your details, Click on Quick connect. On the left side, you will find the local files stored on your computer and server files are on the right.
- Copy the WordPress extracted file from the local site and paste it to the public_html directory on the remote site. Remember, You have to copy/paste the files from the WordPress folder. Do not copy the WordPress folder.
Now We will create a database.
To create Database, Follow these steps:
- Log in to your Bluehost account. Go to the cPanel.
- Look for the Database section and Click on MySQL Database.
- Enter any name for the Database and click on Create Database.
- Once the Database is created, You also need to create a MySQL user. To create a New User, Scroll down to the same page.
- Fill out the Information and Click on Create user.
- Now add a user to the database. To add a user to database scroll down to the same page.
- Choose the Database and Username You want to add. It will take you to the Manage Privilege Page. Allow all privilege to the Database and Click on Make Changes.
Now, You have created the Database and New Users. It’s time to install WordPress.
- Enter your Web address (YourDomain.com) to any browser. It will take You to the Setup Page.
- Choose your preferred Language and click on Continue.
- It will take you to the Welcome Page. Click on Let’s Go.
- Change the Database Name, Username, and Password to the names you have created earlier, keep Database Host and Table Prefix as it is. Click on Submit.
- On the Next screen, Click on Run the Installation.
- Create the username and password that you will use to login to your WordPress Dashboard. Click Install WordPress.
Now click on Log in Button and Enter your Username and Password to log in to your WordPress dashboard.
You can also access your WordPress Dashboard by visiting http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin (Instead of “yourdomain” Enter your site URL).
This is How your Dashboard will look like.
Congrats!! You have successfully installed WordPress using FTP.
Step 3: Customize Your WordPress Site
Once you log in to your WordPress, It will take to the admin page, On the left side of the Admin Page, You will find Menu Options.
- Dashboard -The dashboard contains different types of widgets which can be shown or hidden on some screens. It contains checkboxes to show or hide screen options and also allows us to customize sections on the admin screen.
- Posts – Here You can write Blog Post
- Media – Upload media files, Such as image, video, documents…etc
- Pages – Here you can create any type of pages, such as Homepage/Landing Pages, About us, Contact us…etc
- Comments – When your viewers/readers comment on your blog post, pages or media, It will appear here.
- Appearance – With this option, You can control the appearance of your website. This option allows you to add a new theme, change the Theme, Customize theme, add Wedgits and to create Menu for your website.
- Plugins – This option Allows you to install a new plugin, Activate or Deactivate them or Even You can modify them If you have codding Knowledge.
- Users – If someone subscribes to your site, their details will appear here, Or you can manually add/delete users from your site.
- Tools – From here you can Export or import files and Personal Data of users from your website.
- Settings – You can tweak some of the basic settings like Changing the site title, Can control the Comments settings, Links for the post, pages…etc.
Now, Let’s move on to Next step and install Themes and Plugins.
So, you’ve installed WordPress and looking for the best theme to start building your site. Here, we’ve listed out some of the best free WordPress themes and templates that you can use.
To install Themes, Go to Appearance > Themes and click on “Add New” Button. By default, each WordPress site comes with a basic Twenty-seventeen theme.
On the next screen, You have an Option “Upload Theme” to upload the theme manually. You can search from 1000’s of free themes and can also sort them by features, popularity, Latest and Feature filters (i.e Subject, Layout…etc)
Once you find your best theme, You can hover over the theme to take a preview on the theme or you can install and activate the theme from there.
Same way you can install Plugins, There are more them 50,000 free plugins available on WordPress. Plugins are just like an app, Which adds functionality to your website.
To save some time, I’ve put together a list of Most useful and popular WordPress plugin that you must have. These plugins will boost the speed of your website, protect from hackers and malware and more.
To install plugins Go to the Plugins > Add New and search the plugins which you want to use. Hover over the plugin, Click on Install and activate it.
Customize WordPress Site
Once you have installed the theme, You can state customizing the theme.
To customize the theme Go to the Appearance > Customizer. On the next screen, You will get lots of option to play around. Depending on the theme you have chosen, the customizer settings may vary. From the Customizer You can edit the Website title, Change the color, Add menu and Widgets and more. WordPress has an endless option to play around.
So start building your website Today.
I hope this article will help you to create a Free WordPress Website, If you still have any Question, write it in the comments below.