How To Setup Hosting, Install Wordpress, & A Website Theme.
Below you will find our guide on how to create a website step by step using the Divi theme.
Note: If you are unfamiliar with Divi, you can read our full Divi review here.
We will take you through the entire process and show you how to get your small business website designed and launched.
In this guide, we will link to all the resources needed to get your site up and running, and the total cost will be less than $300.
This guide on how to create a website will be based on creating a WordPress website so that you have the most significant amount of control and flexibility as a business owner.
NOTE: This is for someone who has used WordPress before. If you’re not comfortable using WordPress and want something more straightforward, we recommend Weebly, an all in one, easy to use website builder.
Weebly Website Builder
Getting Setting Up
The first steps of how to create a website are to purchase the tools you will need.
Once you have everything completed in this section, you will be able to start looking at your small business website design; please read the entire section first.
1. Secure Your Domain Name
What will be your web address?
Securing your domain name is the first thing you will need to do in our step by step guide on how to create a website.
Your Domain name is the name people will type into their browser to go to your website. For example, our domain is www.thebrokebusiness.com.
Your domain should also be the name of your business as this will improving your awareness and branding.
Domain Name Types
There are different types of domain name extensions you can choose from; the extension refers to the .com portion of the domain name.
The general advice from web developers is to choose a more generic extension such as (.com) if you can, and only look at the more specific extensions like (.co) or (.com.au) if your first choice is taken.
Another factor to consider with small business website design is your audience location.
If your audience is global, you will want to stick with (.com); if your audience is Australian based, then a (.com.au) will be fine.
- Domain name cost should be around $15-$20 per annum and will need to be renewed every year.
- Purchase your domain name from the same place you will be hosting your site (see links below).
- Purchase your domain name and hosting together to save you time.
Domain Name References
2. Choose Your Hosting Plan
Where will your site be stored?
The next step in ” how to create a website ” is the selection of your web hosting plan. This is the purchase of storage space from your hosting company so that you can store your website.
This space is located on the servers that the company operates and is what will be “served up” to visitors of your site when they type the domain name you registered earlier.
There are many different options for hosting plans and packages, each with different allowances and resources.
As a starting point for your small business website design, go ahead and choose the Sitegrounds start-up package as it is only $6.99 pm if paid annually.
- Webhosting packages should be purchased from a reliable host as this can affect your website speed and stability.
- Ideally, you want the option to upgrade if a larger hosting plan is needed
- when starting out your total cost should be $80 – $200 per year depending on needs.
- Ensure your hosting plan comes with an SSL (security certificate) The SiteGround packages provide this free.
Hosting Plan References
3. Install WordPress
How will you manage your site?
Step 3 in ” how to create a website ” is to get WordPress installed in your hosting package so that you can start your small business website design.
This step is super easy, and the SiteGrounds WordPress installation wizard will get this done for you within minutes.
Below we will link the step by step installation wizard process so that when you are ready, you can follow it and get WordPress up and running.
What Is WordPress?
WordPress is a free platform that can be installed on your website host, which will allow you to build your website.
This type of platform is called a CMS (content management system) and will manage and organise all the parts of your website.
WordPress is the most popular CMS globally and powers over a third of all websites.
The popularity of WordPress also means there is a huge amount of support and information to assist you if you get stuck along the way.
Another advantage of such a Widley used platform is the large number of developers and designers who work with WordPress should you need any specialised help.
- Install WordPress using SiteGrounds set up wizard.
- Once installed, bookmark your WordPress Login page for easy access.
- Ensure your WordPress login password is secure and complex.
- Type in your domain and check your site is live, You should see the default WordPress theme.
4. Install Divi Website Theme
How will you build your site?
Now that you have a working WordPress site, it’s time to focus on your small business website design.
This is by far the most exciting and also the most time-consuming part of building a website; luckily, we can get a little help from a great tool called Divi.
What Is Divi?
Divi is a front-end website builder; this means you can build and design a website without knowing a single line of code.
In this step of our how to create a website guide, we will be installing Divi in preparation for the design phase further in the guide.
You will first need to purchase Divi, which is $89 for your first year or $249 for a lifetime licence which is crazy cheap.
We recommend paying for a year and then upgrading to the life deal once your business and website is up and running. Divi also allows you to upgrade and pay the difference between the two licence types.
5. Install WP Rocket Plugin
Installing your plugins will be the next step in how to create a website.
Before we can finally start our small business website design, we need to ensure the site has any of the functionality we are going to need.
Most of the functionality and website features will come from our theme, which we installed in the previous step; the rest of it will come from our WordPress plugins.
WP Rocket is one of these plugins and is the best tool available for site speed and optimisation, a must for any WordPress Site.
What Is WP Rocket?
This plugin will help keep your website loading quickly and running smoothly. It will also help with a host of other speed based improvements that you will need in the future.
The speed of your site is an important ranking factor by Google, which is why we highly recommend this plugin.
What’s A Plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software that we can download and install to add features, functionality, or other elements to our website.
Because WordPress is so large and open source, there are millions of 3rd party developers creating amazing plugins to do just about anything you could possibly need.
In our case, we will need to purchase one of these plugins, WP Rocket. We will need more than one plugin, but the rest can be added later and are completely free to download.
- Purchase WP Rocket plugin using the link below – (Choose the single site $49 USD).
- Download and save it to your computer.
- Install WP Rocket using the guide linked below (you will be using the automatic installation method).
- Activate the plugin in WordPress and register using your licence key.
Summary Of Getting Set Up Phase
You have now purchased all the tools you need to be bought and have completed the first section on how to create a website.
Setting Up WordPress
The following steps in this guide will be to set up and prepare WordPress for our small business website design.
This phase in how to create a website is relatively quick, and everything needed is entirely free to download in the WordPress repository.
6. Install WordPress Plugins
What site functions will you need?
Installing WordPress plugins to give your site the functionality and design elements you want and will be the next step in this guide.
The plugins you will need will vary depending on your business; however, there are some core plugins you will need, irrespective of your final site design.
Below is a list of 8 free WordPress plugins you will need to install in addition to the WP Rocket, which you have already installed from the previous section.
Akismet anti-spam. Akismet is a plugin design to help stop spam from getting through your contact form and comments.
Updraft Plus. Updraft is a plugin designed to automate website backups to a cloud or local storage environment.
Bloom. Bloom is a plugin that comes with your Divi purchase designed to create contact forms and email capture that links to your email marketing service.
Imagify. Imagify is a photo optimisation plugin designed to reduce the size of photos, so they don’t slow down your site.
SVG Support. This plugin is designed to allow you to upload vector images to your website for things like your logo.
Sucuri Security. This is an all in one security plugin to help keep your site safe from attacks and potential hackers.
Really Simple SSL. This is a plugin designed to apply your SSL certificate provided by your hosting company to your site to keep it protected.
Yoast SEO. This is an SEO (search engine optimisation) plugin designed to help optimise your website for better visibility on Google.
- Download and install Bloom plugin from Elegant themes site just like you did with Divi.
- Install the other plugins directly from your WordPress Dashboard (see link below).
- Once installed you can Activate the plugins using the provided documentation from each.
- Activate them one by one and check your site to ensure there are no problems.
7. Update WordPress Settings
Finally, the last minor change we need to make before starting our small business website design is to update a few settings. WordPress, by default, will have certain settings that we will need to change.
This step in our how to create website guide should not take more than a couple of minutes. Below we have listed the settings and what changes you will need to make.
- Update website title & tagline
- Ensure admin email is correct
- Ensure site language is correct
- Ensure Permalink is set to (post name)
- Update time zone
- Update week start day
- Update date & time formats
- Setup your discussion notifications
- You can access all the settings from the left-hand side navigation panel.
- Ensure you save any setting changes.
- Read the guide below to get an understanding of WordPress settings if you’re not familiar with them.
WP Settings References
Summary Of WordPress Setup Phase
WordPress is now set up, and you are ready to begin your small business website design phase.
- Download and install plugins – Total cost $0 AUD
- Update WordPress settings- Total cost $0 AUD
Small Business Website Design
This section in our how to create a website guide will be all about your website design and layout.
We will take you through the steps of choosing and importing a layout, swapping the demo content and adding your own touches to the site.
8. Choose A Site Design From The Divi Layouts
At this point, you should have a working site with all your main plugins installed and ready to go. The problem is the website is empty and looks terrible, so now we need to focus on the design.
Traditionally you would need to design and build your website from scratch; however, because we purchased and installed Divi, we can bypass this whole time-consuming process.
Divi comes with a vast library of already building websites called layouts; these are all completely free for personal and commercial use with your licence purchase.
What Is A Layout?
A layout is a website that has been completely designed and built for you to use as a starting point for your own website.
Divi layouts come with all the photos, dummy text and site features and can be imported to your WordPress site with the press of a button.
- Choose a layout that is relevant to your business.
- Follow the instructions in the layout installation guide.
- Don’t worry if it’s not exactly what you want as you can make changes to the layout.
9. Adjusting Your Website Design Settings
Now you have a beautiful working website, thanks to the premade layout you just installed. The next step in your small business website design is to adjust your sites global design settings.
These settings are things like typography, colours, header, logo etc.
To do this, you will need to be somewhat familiar with WordPress; If you are still not comfortable, we have included a link below to a guide on the theme customiser settings.
What Are Global Settings?
Global settings are website settings that are applied site-wide and not just to a specific page or section.
- Add your logo
- Choose heading & body text type
- Add site icon
- Choose default text colours
- Choose default text size
- Choose header size
- Choose your accent colour
- Learn all the other settings
- Read the WordPress guide linked below.
- Go through your setting tab by tab to ensure you don’t miss anything.
- Make sure you publish your changes once you’re finished.
- When setting your colour scheme and typography ensure it’s consistent through your site and brand.
- Update your site menus style ( Menu creation in a later step).
Customizer Settings References
10. Swap Out The Demo Content
Your global small business website design settings have now all been adjusted; it’s time to focus on your content. This step in how to create a website will take the longest but will be the most rewarding.
The layout you installed earlier came with “demo content” to showcase what the website could look like.
Now you will swap out the images for your own and replace the dummy text with the copy relevant to your business.
To swap out your demo content, you will be using Divi’s front end builder, which will allow you to customise your website without knowing any code. We have included a link to their guides in case you get stuck.
- Read the builder guide linked below.
- Do one page at a time.
- Save your progress as you go.
- You can delete the pages not relevant to your business and rename the others.
11. Create Your Menus
A key factor to website design is your navigation and how customers will be able to find what they are looking for.
Now that you have swapped out the demo content and named your relevant pages, we need to set up the corresponding menus.
You will need to create multiple menus for different parts of your website like your header, footer, etc.
You can create these in the Appearance tab of your WordPress dashboard, and we have linked a great guide below to help you through this.
Remember that the menu needs to be clear and easy to follow to provide a great user experience to your potential customers.
- Your header menu should be the main menu with your main pages linked to it.
- Keep the menu labels short and relevant..
- Think of your customers and what they will need easy access to.
- Don’t forget to save any changes as you create your menu in the customizer.
12. Setup Your Contact Form
The final design step of how to create a website is to make sure your contact form is set up and working correctly.
Your contact form will already be part of your small business website design as you already used a premade layout, now we need to adjust a few settings, and we are done.
To do this, you will work in the Divi visual builder, which you should now be familiar with. We have also linked another guide below to assist with this if needed.
The settings you will need to adjust will depend on your business and the type of customer you will be dealing with, but we have outlined some of the main ones below.
- Ensure you have a field for each piece of info you will need.
- make sure you turn on spam protection.
- Make sure you put in your email address for the receipt of the enquiry.
- Adjust and update your success message.
Summary Of Small Business Website Design
Now your site is ready to go, and you have finished the final steps on how to create a website.
You will still need to make adjustments and tweak some settings but you now have a fully functioning website that you can send your customer to.
- Choose a layout- Total cost $0 AUD
- Update global settings – Total cost $0 AUD
- Swap out demo content – Total cost $0 AUD
- Create your menus – Total cost $0 AUD
- Adjust your contact form – Total cost $0 AUD
Now you have a small business website up and running and your total cost was less than $300 AUD.
If you’re in the process of setting your business up check out our comprehensive guide on- How to set up a business step by step.