How to Make a Website Using WordPress for Free – Step-By-Step Instructions
Most of us have heard of WordPress, the popular content management system. With over 80 million downloads, it’s clear that lots of people want to use this system to make their websites. But what happens when you want to make a website but don’t have the budget for a premium CMS or the knowledge to implement one yourself?
Fortunately, you can use WordPress to make a website for free. In fact, you can use this platform to build your entire web app if you’re smart about it. Let’s take a look at how you can use WordPress to make your website and what you need to know.
Choose A Free Plan From WordPress.org
WordPress is a completely free, open-source content management system (CMS). To check out the various plans, visit
- Choice Plus
Each plan comes with a free domain and you can install it on your own server. To learn more, visit WordPress.org and click the Get Started button that’s next to the plan you’d like to use.
When you visit WordPress.org, you’ll see that there are multiple Get Started buttons. This is because there are actually multiple CMSes available for free on this platform. However, only certain ones are suitable for making websites. You must select a media type from the dropdown menu (image, video, or both) before you can begin building your website. After you make this selection, the Get Started button will change to say Create Your Free Website.
Build Your Website Structure With Scaffolding
Scaffolding is short for structural elements that make up a website, such as the header, footer, and sidebars. These are the things that you’ll know are there even if you don’t add any content to your site. You can use WordPress to build your basic website structure with the help of a plugin, which you’ll learn about in a bit.
When you first log in to your WordPress account, you’ll see a blank page with a text cursor. Right now, there’s nothing on this site but you can still use it to start building your brand. Just type in some content here and you’ll see the difference—a website with no content simply won’t look or function the same.
Install The Relevancy Plugin
WordPress comes with a handful of plugins that you can use to expand its functionality. Probably the most useful one for making a website is the relevance search engine plugin. This plugin allows you to create editorial calendars, monitor mentions of your company or product, and pull content from other websites.
However, this plugin is only available on the paid plans and since you’re just building your website for free, you don’t need to worry about spending money on a plugin.
Take A Look At The Main Menu
The main menu is located at the top of the screen and it contains the site’s navigation. The main menu is often overlooked by website owners because it doesn’t look like much until you start adding and removing pages from your website. Once you start entering in content and begin structuring the site, you’ll see that the main menu will become an invaluable resource for navigating your site.
This menu will also function as your website’s navigation bar once you start implementing the Schema markup language, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Use The Schema Plugin
The schema markup language is a simple way of structuring your website’s content to make it more semantic—that is, relevant and easily accessible to search engines and other website viewers.
If you want to start using the schema markup language, you can do so with the help of a plugin—the schema plugin. This plugin will help you automatically create web pages that adhere to a particular set of rules, which will make your content more accessible to search engines and other website viewers.
For instance, if you created a page titled About Me, the Schema markup language will help you make this page more useful by adding some extra information such as the my name and contact details. If you type in the name “About Me” into a search engine, it will return your website along with any content that matches this search term. Anything matching the “About Me” page will include this new content in its results—including any other pages you create that use the same markup language—making your website more discoverable by potential customers.
Build Links To Important Pages
While you’re busy putting together your editorial calendar, you can use the back-end of your website to begin building links to other pages on your site. To do this, simply add an image link to the bottom of each page. You can also use a third-party link shortener like Linky—a free tool that will create custom-shortened links for you.
Once you begin exploring the various features of the back-end of your website, you’ll see an icon at the top containing your site’s social media icons. Click this and you’ll see a menu with options such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
If you click on the Facebook icon, you’ll be taken to your Facebook page, which you can then connect to your website. Similar links can be found for Google+, which you can then connect to your website, and Twitter, which you can then connect to your website.
These icons will help you begin linking your website to other important pages and social media accounts. In the future, you can add more icons to this menu to connect your website to more platforms.
Add A Favicon
A favicon is a small icon that appears next to hyperlinks and bookmarks in a browser. For example, when you click on a hyperlinked image in a Google search results page, you’ll see a small image next to the link. Most browsers will try to load the icon for the website you’re linking to, however, if the icon is missing, users won’t be able to access the linked content (at least not without some serious web design know-how).
To add a favicon to your website, you can either create a dedicated page or add the link to an existing one. For example, if you want to add a favicon for a page titled About Me, you can either create a separate page or add the link to the existing About Me page. To do this, click the edit button next to the link and a small window will pop up. In this window, find the icon you’d like to use and click the Choose File button. You’ll now have the option to either upload a new icon file or choose an existing one.
If you go with the second option and click on the Choose Existing Icon button, you’ll see a list of your computer’s icons. Select the one you’d like to use and click the Choose button to add it to your website.
Customize Your Site’s Header And Footer
WordPress comes with a handful of headers and footers that you can use to style your site’s content. These are the bits of text at the top and bottom of your web pages that function as a bit of a heading and as a way of closing the page, respectively.
To add additional headers and footers to your site, visit the Appearance menu in the dashboard and click on the Customize button. A window will open with options for both the header and footer.
The header is where you’ll see the heading for the page, while the footer is where you’ll see the copyright information at the end of a page. You can use the optional fields at the bottom of this window to input information such as your web address and a brief description. Hit the Save Changes button at the end of this window and you’re all set.
Add Content To Your Site
You’ve just finished putting together your editorial calendar and you’re ready to start adding content to your site. To do this, go back to your dashboard and click on the Publish button next to the post you’re ready to publish.
You’ll now see a small window appear along with the post’s content. To add images or other media to your post, click on the Insert button to the right of these content blocks.