Read our unusually simple guide on how to plan and then immediately get your new website online!
Follow steps on how to install your website theme and plugins that will bring your site together.
Learn the basics about changing things and adding content to your new website that is now online.
Let’s Get Started….
My Father used to always tell me stories when I was a kid about him working for Dr. Pepper repairing soda fountains at bars and restaurants throughout Texas.
“The stuff I was doing seriously wasn’t complicated,” he said, “especially in the 1970s, there really wasn’t much to it. But to the restaurant staff who probably didn’t know the difference between a screwdriver and a hose, I might as well have been the all knowing Wizard of Oz when I got that thing to work for them.”
He continued on that whenever he’d take the time to show the ones who were interested in learning how some of the more basic functions of the soda fountains worked, an interesting thing would happen….
Suddenly he was getting fewer and fewer service calls, because they began to understand what was going on and newly had enough confidence to make simple (or even complicated) repairs themselves.
That life lesson has always stuck with me.
When you start to understand the basics of how something works, suddenly the whole thing becomes less intimidating.
And if you can take that and actually do something for yourself, suddenly you begin to figure out how to do more-and-more, eventually knowing what you’re doing.
I’ve seen this same thing happen time-and-again with friends learning how to build their own websites.
And, without fail, the ones who know how to do things themselves have a substantially greater chance of actually reaching their goals and doing something great with their website.
These days, with all of the powerful, simple-to-use tools available to you (not to mention all of the great free guides out there available online….), building your own website is something you can easily do yourself.
You just have to stop being intimidated by it.
Our goal in the next hour or so is for you to accomplish four main things:
1) Build your confidence in knowing the basics of how your new website works.
2) Walk you through actually choosing and setting up your website’s domain name and hosting to be live on the internet.
3) Show you how to install themes, plugins, and the basics behind how WordPress works.
4) Give you access to the tools you need to build your site(s) into what you want them to be.
Basics: What is WordPress?
We will be creating your first website using what’s called WordPress, and, before we get started, let’s quickly talk about what WordPress actually is. WordPress is considered a “Content Management System” (CMS), which is really just saying it’s a way of managing digital media and content (aka: your website) for the internet.
So instead of you having to learn complicated coding techniques and spending hours-upon-hours manually creating all aspects of your website, WordPress helps manages the vast majority of that for you, allowing you to focus on creating your actual content and the other important aspects of growing your website.
And that’s huge.
WordPress has helped the internet grow exponentially faster, both because it makes it considerably less difficult for most anyone to learn the basics of website building (hey, that’s what we’re doing here), and because it just seriously speeds up everything about getting you online.
There are two other really exciting parts about WordPress that help make it so versatile for everyone’s website needs: themes and plugins.
When you install a fresh copy of WordPress on your server, it’s just a simple, blank canvas that will let you post your blog, pages, and what not. It does the job, but isn’t much to look at.
This is where themes come in.
There are thousands of very talented theme developers out there who create every imaginable kind of WordPress website design that you can easily purchase (most ranging from $15 to $60), download, and install into your site.
Most even have what’s called “demo content,” which means you can download an exact copy of the theme onto your site and then just switch out logos, photos, and content so that everything is yours.
Depending on what kind of theme you downloaded — and more importantly, what kind of functionality it has, it will also use what are called WordPress “plugins” to achieve different things.
And, trust me, there are plugins for everything you can think of. Need help with SEO? There are plugins. Want a calculator on your site. Done. Want to share your content on social media automatically? Call in a plugin.
Seriously, there are millions of them, and we’ll get into which ones you want to use and why you don’t want to go crazy on using too many.
I was always nervous to start learning how to build a website, because it all seemed so complicated. FreeSiteGuide.com helped me get the confidence to plow through the basics and get online, learning from there as things came up.Mauricio Trejo, LeanMass.com
Even though we design and manage websites for clients, it is always helpful when they can begin to take control of their own sites. FreeSiteGuide.com is my go to resource to send people who need to learn the basics.Andrew Pour, MediaBandit
I absolutely LOVE this website.Kalika Moquin, Blackout Artists