How to Get a Website up and Running in Five Steps

Jenny McKaig / June 12, 2018

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So, you’re ready to make a website to house your blog or business — congratulations! Creating your own space on the internet is an important step for sharing your content and building your brand.

This means understanding how to get a website up and running. The first step is to choose a platform to build it on. Using a hosting platform, like WordPress.com, is a user-friendly and cost-effective solution.

With a platform like WordPress.com, you can build a site without having any technical skills or coding experience. All you need to get started is a working email address that you can sign up with.

After you sign up for a site-building platform, you’ll design your website by choosing a name and theme, and by creating pages and posts. To create a website that makes you proud, follow these five steps.

1. Pick a unique domain name

A domain is your address on the internet. It is the name that visitors will type into their browsers to find your website. If you’re using WordPress.com, a free plan will get you a domain name with “WordPress” within it (example.wordpress.com), while a paid plan allows you to pick a name without including WordPress at the end (example.com).

To pick a domain name, choose a word or phrase that describes your website and its purpose. It might be the name of your business, the title of your blog, or perhaps your own name. After you create a domain, it will become the primary way that people find and refer to you — so make it a good one!

2. Choose a theme

The look and feel of your site is established by a theme. A theme is a pre-designed template created by web-development experts. Themes are meant to make your site look beautiful.

Platforms like WordPress.com offer a wide selection of free, responsive themes to choose from. Creating and customizing your website’s appearance is probably one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of getting your website set up. This is your opportunity to create the look and feel of your digital first impression, setting the tone for your visitors’ experiences on your site.

3. Build the perfect pages

Now that you’ve chosen a theme, you’ll want to create pages for your website.

Pages are the sections of a website that display static content that you don’t intend to change frequently. When considering which pages you want on your site, ask yourself, “What does my audience need to know?” The answer to that question is the content that should be included in your pages.

If you’re a blogger, you might want to create an About Me page that explains who you are and what you write about. If your site is for a family-owned restaurant, include pages that highlight your menu, share your business’s origin story, and feature contact information and your hours of operation to inform your visitors.

4. Create your first post

Not every website will have a blog — but you might want to create one. Blog posts are excellent tools for getting people to come back to your site, engage with your business, and read about any updates or upcoming events.

You can dive in with a welcome post, or whatever is most relevant to your business at the moment. Allow yourself to be creative and choose a topic that your target audience will be interested in reading about.

Once you publish your first post, try to commit to writing a new one on a regular basis — this is the key to engaging with and growing your audience!

5. Keep up the good work

Once your pages and posts are set up, your site is ready to be shared with the world. But, this doesn’t mean that your work is done — there are always ways to make your site even more exciting. Running a website is an ongoing commitment that requires dedication and time.

Now that you know how to get a website up and running, there are dozens of smaller choices that you can make to improve your site. You might add a logo or favicon to your site, or change your tagline and header images. You can go even further and add widgets, videos, and more. Exploring what you can do with the finer details can help to set your site apart from the crowd and improve your users’ experiences.

With WordPress.com, you have endless options to discover when it comes to building a site. Follow these five steps, and your site will attract visitors and establish a positive repute among the online community.

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