How to Build a WordPress Website From Scratch (In a Weekend)

Hey there peeps!

Guess who’s back with another blog post for ya…

So, here’s the dealio:

If you want to build a WordPress website in a weekend from scratch, there are a lot of considerations to take into account.

There’s copy and messaging to consider, adding the right tech components to make sure that your website is optimized for lead capture, and the branding stuffage to consider too.

And so if you have been struggling to get your WordPress website off the ground and are not sure:

  • Where to start?
  • What tools you should be using to build your WordPress with
  • Need a quick start guide to building your WordPress website from scratch

Then consider this your Ultimate Checklist and quick start guide to building a WordPress website from scratch.

Now let’s get the post.


Ready to build an EPIC WordPress Website?

Enter your name and email address below to get instant access to your FREE WordPress Website in a weekend Toolkit and Resource guide filled with tools, checklists and more for building an EPIC WordPress website for your brand.


Day 1 Tasks: Building your Framework


Step 1: Choose a domain name for your website. 

Recommended Resource:  Siteground Domain Search

Your domain name is basically your “street address” on the web.  It tells people where to go to access your website. You can start your domain search here.  

Whenever you are choosing a domain name for your website, its best to keep it short, sweet and to the point.  Also, branded domain names work best.

Free Domain Name Checker

So for example, if your businesses name is "Just Blaze Consulting," then JustBlazeConsulting.com would work great as your domain name.

Key Considerations

Keep your domain name short, sweet and to the point

Use a .Com extension

Choose a domain name that can “grow” with your brand. Cutesy domain names may seem cool, but you need to consider the long term.

Step 2: Choose a web hosting provider 

Recommend Resource: WordPress Hosting

Let me be the first to stress to you that using a good web host matters and here's why: 

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to browse a website that moves at a glacial pace.  So please peeps, invest in a good web hosting provider to give your website visitors the best browsing experience possible.

Managed WordPress Hosting Plans


Key Considerations

Checking the reviews of the web hosting provider

What kind of support do they offer (24/7, Phone,Chat)

Review the uptime reviews and stats for the web hosting provider

Step 3: Install WordPress 

WordPress is a CMS (content management system) -- aka a platform that you can use to manage all of your website’s pages, content and more from one place.

These days WordPress is very easy to install.  There’s a 1-click install that you can use and also a setup wizard with managed WordPress hosting too.

If you don’t want to deal with the techie stuff, then you can easily reach out for support from your web host to ask them to install WordPress for ya.

Key Considerations

Does the web host offer a 1-step click install to help you get your website setup faster?

Is there tech support available to help you in case you run into tech snafoos?

Step 4: Choose a theme for your WordPress website 

Recommend Resourcess: Creative Market and StudioPress

I’m currently using the Thrive FocusBlog theme from the folks over at Thrive Themes to run my blog and I love it. 

But...a few websites that I’ve purchased WordPress themes from in the past are Creative Market and StudioPress.

Creative Market

Creative Market has over 3,700 affordable WordPress themes to choose from. You can get a theme from Creative Market for as little as $19 to build your WordPress website.

WordPress Themes _ Creative Market

StudioPress

StudioPress is another popular place where you can get EPIC WordPress themes from. What I love about the WordPress themes from StudioPress is that they are well-designed, they are optimized to help people find your website in search engines, and are blazing fast. 

WordPress Themes StudioPress 


Key Considerations

Is the theme responsive (does it work on all mobile devices)?

Is it easy to customize + brand? (Add your color schemes, logo and etc to?

Is the theme compatible with most WordPress plugins?

Step 5:  Add Essential Pages to your Website

In my opinion, there are 4 essential pages that you need to add to your website.  They are as follows:

Homepage:  The most important page on your website that tells your website visitors who you are, what you do and “should call them to action”.

About Page: Tells your website visitors how your brand can help them (yes that's right). Your about page is not about you. Please keep this in mind.

Services/Products Page: List out the products/services that you offer and add a strong call to action at the end of your pages that tell your peeps what to do next.

Contact Page: Gives your website visitors a way to get in touch with you

Key Considerations

Writing strong homepage copy that compels visitors to take action when they arrive on your page

Adding a call to action to all of your essential pages

Creating benefits driven products and services pages

Step 6:  Add Essential Pages to your Website

Peeps, please don’t overload your websites navigation menu with 10 different tabs.  It is not necessary. As I mentioned in this post, keeping your menu to 5-8 items max is good.  

If you decide to add more items to your menu, consider using submenus to organize the flow of your navigation menu.

Key Considerations

Keeping text on your navigation menu short and sweet

Use submenus when you need to add additional information to your main menu

Make sure that your navigation menu shows up great on mobile devices

Step 7:  Add a Footer to Your Website

Recommend ResourcesHow to Design a Great Footer

Your websites footer is pretty much a mini-directory on the bottom of your website. 

Consider your footer as a catch-all for sending website visitors to a few important pages on your website that you didn’t add to your main menu

Key Considerations

Add social media links to your footer so that folks can connect with you on social media

Adding a link to a privacy policy or disclosure page

Adding a sitemap link


Ready to build an EPIC WordPress Website?

Enter your name and email address below to get instant access to your FREE WordPress Website in a weekend Toolkit and Resource guide filled with tools, checklists and more for building an EPIC WordPress website for your brand.


Day 2 Tasks: Branding your Website


Step 1:  Create a style guide for your website 

Recommend Resources: Free style guide template 

You guys have heard me mention several times that if you want to keep your visual design projects consistent and your branding on point and here's why:

Style Guide Template Example from Venngage

Have you ever been to someone’s website and thought -- ummmm what the heck is going on with this design? There’s too many colors, fonts and it just looks a hot mess.

Well my friend, I don't want that for you.  So please my friend, download this starter kit and use the style guide to iron out the design details for your website.

Key Considerations

Use one color palette to design your website with

Choose 2-3 fonts to brand your website with

Use professional + high quality images in your websites design (Pexels and Unsplash) have tons of free stock photos that you can download + use.

Step 2: Design an EPIC Homepage for your WordPress website 

Here’s what I did wrong in the beginning peeps: I slapped up blog content on my websites homepage and that was pretty much it.  

Here's an example of what I mean:

When I started the YourChicGeek blog wayyy back when, well, I didn't have a dedicated homepage for the site (as you can see below):


YourChicGeek Old Homepage

Fast Forward to my current Homepages design using Thrive Architect.  I can tell you without a doubt that it converts much better and it is set up to grow my email list plus give peeps more information about products and services that may benefit them. 

Current Homepage for YourChicGeek

Key Considerations

Adding an irresistible offer that gets people excited to join your email list

Using a color for your call-to-action buttons that stand out and get noticed

Creating a professional mockup of your irresistible offer to help peeps envision themselves using it

Step 3: Add Compelling Content to your Homepage 

Here's the thing yall, design matters.  But, there is one additional thing that matters just as much: Your homepage copy.

I’ve learned a long time ago that slapping up boring and generic copy is a huge mistake. If your visitors come to your website and don’t get what you do or understand your unique selling proposition what do you think will happen?

My guess: They will bounce and go elsewhere.  So my friend, make sure that you take the time to create “copy that connects” with your peeps or hire someone that can help with you it. 

Example:  Chandler Bolt eBook School

Self-Publishing School - Homepage Copy

Key Considerations

Creating a strong headline for your homepage

Creating great supporting text (that ties into your homepage headline)

Calling them to action (aka download your freebie, call you for a consultation, take a quiz)

Step 4: Add a Pro Text Logo to your Homepage 

Recommend Resources: Photopea.com

Your logo is your brand stamp my friend and as with most websites, you will want to add one to yours. 

One thing to remember is that you don’t have to create anything that's too fancy smancy.  

You can easily create a text based logo using something like Creative Market font packs and add it your website.

Key Considerations

Use a simple font pack from Creative Market or DaFont to create a text logo

Use a free resource like PhotoPea.com to design the logo

Make sure that your logo has a transparent background (so that there are no white spaces behind it)

Step 5: Add a Professional HERO image to the Front Page of your Website 

Recommend Resources: Pexels.com

A Hero Image is basically an image of yourself or a professional stock image at the top of your websites homepage that has a call to action on it.

For example:  

Here’s one from Sarah Morgan of XOSarah.com.  I absolutely love this image as it comes across as very friendly, approachable and fun.

XO Sarah • Hero Image

Key Considerations

Adding a professional looking image of yourself to brand your homepage

Using high quality stock photos in your hero image (Pexels.com and Unsplash) are excellent resources

Adding a clear call to action that stands out on your hero Image

Step 6: Create a branded Blog Post Graphic Template   

Recommend Resources:  Canva Graphics Pack or DIY your template with Canva

One of the biggest compliments that I get from folks online is oh hey I saw one of your blog post images on Twitter and decided to check out your content.

Or, "Hey Kim, I saw an image that you shared on Pinterest and love what you are doing".  This my friend is the power of a well-designed blog post graphic.

Here’s an example of what my blog post templates look like:

YourChicGeek Pinterest Template Design

Plus when you create templates for your blog posts, your graphics will pull double duty for your brand.  They will make your blog content look super dope and also create brand consistency with your posts.

Key Considerations

Creating a blog post template graphic that you can use to brand your content with

Creating a style guide for your graphic to keep it consistent

Using a DIY resource like Canva or these pre-designed images to create your blog post graphic template

Step 7: Pimp Out your Websites Sidebar  

It’s been one of the great debates here lately: 

Whether or not to add a sidebar on your website.  In my opinion, the more opportunities that you can give your visitors to interact with your brand and view your offerings the better.

Take this sidebar from the good folks over at Thrive Themes:

Thrive Themes Sidebar Content Example

They have links to their facebook page, recent blog posts and blog post categories.

I am sure that having this information on their sidebar keeps visitors on their website longer and also encourages them to connect with their brand on Facebook too.

Step 8: Add Pillar content to your websites blog! 

When new peeps arrive to your website, you want to give them some kind of reason to stick around right?

Well my friend, adding content to your new website is one of the BEST ways to educate your audience, get them acquainted with your brand and also build your business authority online.

Yes, blogging takes work, but here are a few upsides to blogging to consider:

  1. You can market and share your blog content to your social media accounts  to drive traffic back to your blog

  1. You can repurpose your blog content and use it in different ways for digital marketing

  1. When you’re ready to get into more advanced marketing strategies, you can run paid ads to your free blog content to get your brand out there even more

Key Considerations

Creating three pillar posts to attract peeps to your new website

Writing content that your ideal audience + peeps will appreciate

Repurposing your new blog posts -- to get more mileage out of your content


Ready to build an EPIC WordPress Website?

Enter your name and email address below to get instant access to your FREE WordPress Website in a weekend Toolkit and Resource guide filled with tools, checklists and more for building an EPIC WordPress website for your brand.


Pre-Launch Activities


  • Set a launch date for your website!
  • Add a coming soon page to your website. (Thrive Architect and Creative Market) have coming soon page templates that you can use)
  • Sign up for an email account with Mailchimp or a different email service provider to start collecting emails before you launch your website
  • Connect your coming soon page to your email marketing service to start building your email list
  • Use Canva to create a set of pre-launch graphics to promote your new website on social media (If you're not good at design these will help)
  • Write 3-5 AWESOME pieces of content for your blog + add branded images to them
  • Use buffer or Hootsuite to pre-schedule a weeks worth of posts to your social media accounts announcing that your new website is coming soon.

Launch Day Activities


  • Remove the countdown page from your website
  • Use Hootsuite or Buffer to preschedule a week's worth of content from your blog to your social media accounts.
  • Spend time thanking all of your new followers + encouraging them to visit your blog 
  • Send an email to your email subbies letting them know that your site is live. 
  • Tell your friends, family, and people that you are already connected to on social media your blog is live!
  • Make sure that at least 3-5 blog posts are available for reading

Need Step By Step Video Guidance on How to Build a WordPress Website from Scratch? 


If you are non-techie and need step-by-step guidance (with video trainings, group support and assistance) for building your WordPress website, checkout the WordPress Website in a Weekend training via the Blazing Branding Academy.

This course is jam-packed with video tutorials and more that walk you through all of the steps you need to successfully build a WordPress website from scratch.  

What is your Biggest Frustrations with Building your WordPress Website?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the post and also want to know: What is your biggest frustration with building your WordPress website?

Cheers y'all and thanks for checking out this mega post!


Ready to build an EPIC WordPress Website?

Enter your name and email address below to get instant access to your FREE WordPress Website in a weekend Toolkit and Resource guide filled with tools, checklists and more for building an EPIC WordPress website for your brand.

Kim
 

Kim, YourChicGeek is a tech savvy diva + founder of YourChicGeek.com. She is passionate about teaching solopreneurs how to go from unnoticed to unstoppable online using tech and digital marketing. Kim has created several online courses and DIY trainings in the Blazing Branding Academy that help small businesses flourish online. You can contact Kim to hop on a quick 15 minute call to chat about your digital marketing goals.