How to set up your own website in 2 hours or less
Fortunately times have changed and you can build a stunning website in a very short time. If you follow all of the steps that we are going to share with you, you shouldn’t need more than two hours!
Whatever type of website you are considering, from ecommerce stores to static web pages, you should be able to build them by following these simple steps:
1. Get web hosting and domain name with Namecheap: 20 minutes
First of all, you will need a reliable and affordable web hosting service. Web hosting services rent space on remote computers called web servers, where your web files will be stored.
There are a lot of web hosting services out there, but for this tutorial, we recommend using Namecheap. Namecheap lives up to its name as one of the cheapest places to get web hosting and domain name without sacrificing quality or customer service.
To use Namecheap, go to their home page and click on domain names. You will then be prompted to search for the domain name you wish to purchase. Once you have chosen the one you like, you will then be prompted to choose a hosting package.
If you are looking to build a single mid-sized website, the basic Stellar plan is sufficient.
2. WordPress installation: 15 minutes
Once you have purchased a domain name and a hosting account, the next step will be to install WordPress on your web server. In the past, you had to do this using File Transfer Protocol (FTP), but nowadays most web hosting services provide native WordPress installation through software called Softaculous.
To find Softaculous and install WordPress, you will need to access your cPanel. cPanel is where you’ll manage most of your web hosting setup, and you’ll have received a link to it in the welcome email from Namecheap.
Using the login details provided, log into cPanel and scroll to the section with the header “Softaculous app installer. ”
Once here, click on the WordPress icon. This will take you to a new page where you will see the option to click “Install Now”. Click on it to go to the next step.
Here you will need to enter the domain name in the space for the installation URL. If you only purchased one domain name, it will be auto-populated by default so you don’t have to worry about it.
Scroll to the bottom of the page, where you’ll be prompted to enter the email setup details. Enter your email address and click Install.
That’s it! Your WordPress site will be installed, online, and ready to use. However, you will need to do a bit more software installation and configuration for your website to function properly, as new WordPress installations come with a simple default theme.
We’ll cover this in more detail in the next section.
3. Installation of a custom theme: 1 hour
WordPress is a complex ecosystem of core files, themes, and plugins. Core files are what you just installed using Softaculous, and they control the behavior and dynamic capacity of a WordPress website.
In WordPress, themes are used to provide the basic structure, additional design options, and new functionality to a bare WordPress installation. WordPress plugins are also used to provide new functionality or improve existing functionality.
To create your stunning website, you will need to install the Astra theme. Astra theme is one of the most popular WordPress themes and is a great solution as it comes with its own free plugin called Starter Templates.
The Starter Templates plugin provides a library of hundreds of pre-built website templates, which can be imported and installed with one click.
Installing the Astra theme and starter templates
To install Astra, log into the WordPress backend at your site.com/wp-admin. In the dashboard, go to appearance and click on themes. Click on Add new, and enter Astra in the search bar. Click on Install and activate.
Likewise, to install the Starter Templates plugin, click on plugins and Add new. Look for starter templates, then install and activate.
Once done, click on the Library option to see all the beautiful, fully pre-built website templates that are available for installation.
Before choosing one, the plugin will prompt you to select the page builder of your choice. WordPress page builders are plugins that help users create the look and feel of their web pages without writing any code.
For this tutorial, we are going to advise you to use Gutenberg, which is the default WordPress page editor.
Once this step is completed, you can install the pre-designed website template you want. Each comes with default content and text that you will need to change to suit your needs.
4. Secure your new website: 15 minutes
WordPress is the website builder of choice for over 40% of internet users, according to W3Techs. Unfortunately, with the increased use of WordPress in building websites, the software has also become a very attractive target for hackers.
A new installation of WordPress is most vulnerable to hacking from the early stages of its installation.
WordPress security can be a complex subject. However, there are a few precautions that every newbie can take to keep their websites safe.
First, you need to make sure you’re using strong login credentials. In general, this means that you should not use your real name as the username. This is the first thing hackers will try. Another pitfall to avoid is to use “admin” as the username. Admin is the default username issued during a fresh install of WordPress, and hackers know that.
Most importantly, you need to make sure you are using a strong password. According to current best practices for website security, this means that your password must be at least 8 characters long and must contain both letters, numbers and symbols.
These two steps will keep your website safe from most opportunistic hackers. However, they might not be enough to defend your website against more determined sites.
To add extra layers of protection, consider using some of the best WordPress security plugins.
WordPress security plugins are designed to counter all known WordPress security risks. From setting up firewalls to monitoring denial of service (DOS) attacks, the right WordPress security plugins can make your website a lot more secure.
Launch your own stunning website
We have shown you how to get hosting account and domain name using Namecheap, how to install Astra theme and Starter Templates plugin. We also walked you through some basic WordPress security tips. That’s it!
If you follow these steps you will have a great website up and running in 2 hours or less! While we’ve focused on WordPress in this article, there are other content management systems you can consider, like Squarespace.
WordPress and Squarespace are the two biggest names in website building. Here’s what you need to know to choose between the two.
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