Creating a website today is very different than it was even just a few years ago. In the past, you would have to hire a web developer or designer to code and build your site from scratch.
Today, there are website builders that allow you to create a website with no coding required.
However, not everyone wants to use a website builder. Maybe you want more control over the design of your site, or you don’t like the idea of having your site hosted on someone else’s platform.
Whatever the reason, it is possible to create a website without using a website builder.
In this article, we’ll show you how to create a website without a website builder using WordPress.org self-hosted software.
Why Use WordPress?
There are several CMS (content management systems) that you could use to create your website.
However, we recommend WordPress because it is the most popular CMS in the world. According to W3Techs, WordPress powers 39.5% of all websites on the internet.
WordPress is also very user-friendly, especially if you use a self-hosted version (WordPress.org).
This version gives you access to thousands of free themes and plugins that you can use to customize your site.
Plus, with WordPress.org, you’ll have full control over your website. You can host it anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about someone else changing the rules on you.
How to Create a Website Without a Website Builder
Now that we’ve gone over why you should use WordPress, let’s get into how to create a website without a website builder.
1. Register A Domain Name
Your first step will be to decide on a name for the domain of your website. Your domain name should be easy to remember and spell, not be too long, and be unique to your company’s identity.
You will be required to pay a monthly or yearly fee in order to acquire ownership of the name of your website. The annual maintenance fee for a domain is about $10–$20 but can go as low as $5.
Do some research to check whether the domain name you want is available. Once you’ve found an available domain, you can register it through a registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap.
2. Host Your Site
Although many people in the industry advise choosing a website hosting service different from your domain registrar, the two services actually go hand in hand.
A web host will give you space on their server for your website, as well as the resources and tools needed to create and maintain a website.
The cost of hosting your website might be anywhere from $2 to $20 per month, based on the functionality of your site.
Be sure to do your research and keep an eye out for things like storage limits, contract durations, and hidden costs.
3. Install WordPress
Now that your domain and hosting have been figured out, it’s time to install WordPress.org software so you can start building your site.
If your web host offers a “one-click” WordPress installation, you can skip this step and move on to the next one.
However, if you need to manually install WordPress, don’t worry — it’s still easy to do.
You’ll need to first download the WordPress files from WordPress.org. Once you have the ZIP file, you need to upload it to your web server using an FTP client like FileZilla.
Once you upload the files, you need to create a MySQL database for WordPress. You can do this using your web hosting control panel.
Finally, all that’s left is running the WordPress installer. You can do this by going to yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/install.php in your browser.
4. Choose A WordPress Theme
Now that WordPress is installed, it’s time to choose a theme for your website.
A WordPress theme is a ready-made collection of files that determine how your website looks and functions.
You can find free and premium themes in the WordPress Theme Directory.
Once you’ve found a theme you like, you can install it by going to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard and clicking the “Add New” button.
Or, if you have a ZIP file for your theme, you can install it by going to Appearance > Themes and clicking the “Upload Theme” button.
5. Install Plugins For WordPress
The huge gallery of plugins available on the WordPress platform is one of the benefits of using the platform to create websites.
A WordPress plugin is basically a “mini app” that increases the functionality of a WordPress website.
Users can use plugins to create contact forms, add social media integration, improve SEO, and more.
To install a plugin, go to Plugins > Add New in your WordPress dashboard. You can search for a plugin by typing in its name, or you can browse the featured, popular, and recommended plugins.
Once you’ve found the plugin(s) you want to install, click the “Install Now” button and then click “Activate.”
6. Create Your First WordPress Page
Now that you have WordPress installed, it’s time to start creating content for your site. In WordPress, pages are separate from posts.
WordPress users generally use pages to create static content like a “Home” page, an “About Us” page, or a “Contact” page.
To create a new page for your website, go to Pages > Add New in your WordPress dashboard.
From there, you can add a title and start writing your content. Once you’re finished, click the “Publish” button to make your page live on your website.
7. Customize Your WordPress Website
Next, you need to start customizing your WordPress website. You can change things like the color scheme, header image, and menus from the WordPress dashboard.
To access the WordPress website customization options, go to Appearance > Customize in your dashboard. From there, you can change how your site looks without having to edit any code.
If you want to take things a step further, you can also edit your WordPress theme’s code to change how your website looks.
However, this is only recommended for users who are comfortable working with code.
Knowing how to create a website without a website builder is a valuable skill for any small business owner or entrepreneur.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a professional WordPress website without spending a lot of money on a web designer.
Amit Gupta is the founder of Website-Builder.Guide.
Amit has spent over half a decade learning about website design and using multiple website builders. He has previously worked on designing websites for multiple clients and loves helping people with their website needs.