How to create a beautiful website in under 60 minutes (for non-programmers)
How to create a beautiful website may seem to be rocket science to most, but it really isn’t. You can easily create a stunning website in under 60 minutes without writing a single line of code. If you have the slightest tech bug in you, don’t hire anyone, do it yourself!
Personally I recommend WordPress to everyone. WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.
WordPress provides you a pleothera of website themes to choose from. You can create any type of site you like ranging from Business, Corporate, blog, educational, wedding, infotainment, magazine, portfolio, e-commerce etc.
But having a simple website is not enough! There’s also an army of plugins waiting for you to be used. You can have google analytics, ecommerce setups, newsletters, security, social sharing etc plugins installed and configured at the click of a button.
Follow these simple steps to create a website as per your need:
Step 1 : Get a Domain name and Web Hosting
Domain name is basically the address to your website for end user, eg: www.ifuccha.com. Depending on your requirements, target audience, geography etc you can choose from .com, .in, .org, .gov, etc. You can usually buy a domain for INR 100-1000/- .Premium domains may go up to lakhs and crores of rupees and you may want to stay away from them. Godaddy is a major Domain registrar. Do not use Bigrock!
Web hosting is a space in the cloud where your database and web pages will be stored. You can choose from different acks provided by various hosts like godaddy, hostgator etc. You can choose a wordpress specific single site hosting or a generic hosting plan that allows hosting multiple websites and technologies. See a sample plan here.
If you’re a bit techy, why spend any money? Host your wordpress site on Google App Engine. See tutorial here
Do not buy without proper research, comparison and consulting!
Your web host and domain registrar support will help you set up the DNS and Install wordpress on your site. The hard part’s done!
Step 2: Choose a Theme
There’s an endless array of free and paid wordpress themes to choose from. If you are ready to spend some mullah, I’d recommend Themeforest as they have one of the largest collection of themes and an amazing support yo guide you through building your site. They literally will do the work for you!
Make sure to pick a “Responsive theme”. Responsive themes are the ones that are customized to be more engaging on your mobile devices as well, that is where most of the online traffic originates from these days. Surprise, Surprise!
Step 3: Build the Website
Once you install wordpress on your domain, your site should go “live” within minutes. If you try accessing the site www..com, yy default, it will show the theme template with a Welcome screen. You now have to login to the Admin panel using the url “www..com/wp-admin”. Login using the credentials that you specified while installing wordpress (if you dont remember then check teh Welcome mail at the Admin email you you entered during installation)
After logging in, you will see the admin panel which looks like this:
Depending on the features available with the theme, there maybe less or more options. But you don’t have to worry. Here are the ones that count the most:
Theme options usually located under “Appearance” tab. It is specific to the framework the theme is built upon, but it always is user friendly and self intuitive. You can customize several options like Social links, Site title, favicon(it is the icon that appears next to your site name on the web browsers tab), site Layout, logo, header, footer etc.
Pages, Posts & Media
“Pages” section lets you add static pages like About Us, Contact us, Home etc to your site. You publish content like blog posts on your site using “Posts”. “Media” lets you upload pictures, files etc and later use them anywhere on your site. Simple.. Isn’t it?
“Menu” is used to build the Navigation menu’s. You can pages, categories, links, tags etc to your menu’s to place on the site.
“Plugins” is the artillery for your wordpress site. This is where all the magic happens. They let you add a lot of functionality to your site. You can click on the popular tab and see the most popular plugins that people are using, and you should install many of them yourself. Each plugin is very well documented and extremely easy to install and configure. Go fish!
“Widgets” are gadgets that you can place on your theme’s sidebar, top bar or footer bars. You can have Widgets like facebook like box, twitter feeds, Most popular posts, Google ad’s, tag, menu’s etc
Once you’ve explored these options and added relevant sample data, you should be able to see the basic infrastructure of your site ready and live!
Step 4 : Add On’s
By now, you should be up and running with a basic website. Next you need to add relevant content to your site.
You should add various Widgets for sidebars, Plugins to add functionality, Sliders to beautify the site.
Step 5: Finesse
SEO, Security, Performance, Analytics, Graphics! Finesse is taking care of fine details and filling the gap between a site and a great site.