Welcome To the Free Website Design Tutorial!
Disclaimer: While this tutorial is 100% Free, there is always a cost associated with building websites. In this training the only money you will spend is for your (.com) domain & hosting. Total cost to make your own website today is going to be under $100 per year.
Just a Little Bit About
There are a lot of different ways to build websites. For years people could only design websites with traditional HTML. But on May 23, 2003 website design was changed forever with the launch of WordPress.
WordPress is a platform that enables you to set up a professional looking website on the internet. The best part? The WordPress platform is 100% FREE! (OK the platform itself is free, but you do need to register a domain and buy hosting.)
Like they say, millions of people can’t be wrong! I’ve personally used WordPress to build my own websites since 2009.
I feel like I need to let you know that it is not just bloggers on a small level that use WordPress for their websites. Below are some of the brands that use WordPress.
Brands That Use WordPress
WordPress Website Design Tutorial: Table Of Contents
Module One: Introduction
In this WordPress website design tutorial, I have put all the content together for beginners. Follow along step by step and make your own website today.
When it comes to building a website, it is always best to streamline your time. So I have put this training into four separate modules as you can see above. These modules are separated into different pages. You will find each of the module pages by clicking on the buttons above.
Follow along as we go through the steps to build your own website.
Free WordPress Website Design Tutorial For Beginners | Step By Step
What Everyone Ought to Know About Website Design
With the evolution of technology over the last few years, we all understand how important it is to have a website. However, the type of site design that you choose is key. You need a website that not only makes a great first impression on online users but also allows for high levels of online visibility.
A responsive WordPress website might just be the solution you have been looking for to all of your website design problems. This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to create a website for your hobby, event, passion or small business that helps you increase relevancy and visibility.
Here are a few things that a responsive WordPress website offers that everyone needs access to in order to increase profits:
- Search Engine Optimized Site Design
Having a website offers no benefits if it is not recognized by search engines and seen by online users. A successful WordPress website should be designed with SEO in mind. This means that the overall look of the site will help you to rank higher in the search engines. This will make it so much easier for you to use your website as a marketing tool. SEO principles are infused into the design of WordPress websites so if you follow along with this web design tutorial when creating your site, you are already ahead of the game.
- Social Media Integration Made Easy
Not only is having a website key, but you need a site that makes social integration easy. Social media sites including Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are growing in popularity by the day. Promoting your social media accounts for your small business on your website will allow you to help make your business more relevant online. WordPress is specifically designed to make social integration simplified.
- Content is King
While WordPress can make SEO and social integration more manageable, you still need to make quality content the priority. The content that you display on your site needs to be seen as valuable to your target market and created with their needs and concerns in mind.
You need quality content to be added to your website regularly that is infused with keywords, but also completely unique. SEO methods and promoting your site on social media can be effective forms of marketing for small business owners, but the quality of the content on your site always needs to be maintained.
Find The Perfect Name For Your Website
Your website name is very important. But, your domain could be the most important part of your website.
A domain name is like a virtual identification card. It’s a way for people to verify your online presence. Many mistakenly believe having a bad domain name is better than not having one at all, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Having a bad domain name can backfire and even cause you to lose customers and/or visitors. Having a bad domain name makes you look unprofessional while a good domain name leaves a positive impression and fosters a feeling of trust within your visitors.
A well-chosen domain name will also allow your website to rank higher in search engine results, which in turn allows your site to be seen by even more people.
Since your domain name will be on your social media account, other web properties, promotional print/swag, and more if you choose to take it over the top, you’ll want to choose a name that is reflective of what your website is.
Now that you understand the importance of a domain name, it’s time to make a list of potential domain names for your website. You don’t just have to use your company/product name.
In fact, it might be better not to if your company name is long or difficult to spell. One company had a difficult name to remember so it launched a website for its most popular product and found that customers were able to remember that domain name. This resulted in better customer/visitor conversions and higher search engine rankings since more customers were searching for the product than the company.
If you’re the face of your brand, you might consider using your name as your domain name. For instance, Gary Vaynerchuk and Mark Cuban are two people that are the face of their business. If that’s the case for you, then you’ll want to use your name as the domain name.
I would recommend you put together a list of 5-10 names that you would like to use. Do not get attached to any of these because in a few minutes we are going to eliminate a few of them.
Once you’ve come up with a list of potential domain names, go through and cross out anything that’s too long. Sometimes the best name is a longer name depending on what you are doing for your website.
Try to stay around or under twenty characters so your domain name is easy to remember. Think about how easy it would be for someone to remember it.
Cross out anything that might have negative connotations. If you’re using several words write them without spaces to be sure that your domain name wouldn’t be potentially offensive. One of the examples that I found with this is a children’s clothing shop that was called Kid’s Exchange.
Kid’s Exchange didn’t look bad when it is punctuated properly but when people look at the name without punctuation it could look like something way worse!
I first saw this looking for examples of bad logo design for a social media business conference I was hosting. The logo is all together with the same font and the letters are all different colors so it runs together. This made kidsexchange look more like kid sex change. From a branding point of view, this could be a very negative tick on your website.
After you’ve gone through your list and crossed some out, rank these domain names in order of your most favorite ones to your least favorite ones. Go online and research which domain names are available without any active trademarks and also has matching availability with social media profiles.
You can use a FREE tool called KnowEm to check total availability.
I’ve used this tool since about 2011. I share this tool with almost anyone I talk to because it is, in my opinion, one of the best free tools available online.
When you first land on the website you will see the search box.
Start by typing in the first name you desire and click on “Check It”.
This will now go check the availability of usernames for 25 of the top social media profiles, the top available domains, and the trademark status.
The best thing about using this tool is that it allows you to make sure that your social media handles will match your domain.
The first section checks 25 of the top social media profiles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always get the information correct. I have never seen it say something was available and find out that it wasn’t. But, I have seen it say that a specific handle for a social media account was taken when it wasn’t. When you start out, the ideal results will show everything available except LinkedIn (I’ve never seen anything show available on LinkedIn) & SoundCloud normally will show as “Oops, Error!”. (See Screenshot Below)
The next section is a “Quick Search of the Most Popular Domain Extensions”. Most of the time it doesn’t matter if there are 2 or 3 registered if you can get the .com domain. But, ideally, it would be best if you could find a name that was available on all of the extensions listed within knowem.com
The trademark status check tool within KnowEm.com is one of the most important steps in starting a website. If you start building a website without doing a trademark search, you risk losing everything. I have spent weeks building out a website/project only to get a cease and desist letter because I forgot to check the trademark & I wasn’t allowed to use the domain I registered or any of the social media profiles I created.
This is a great example of a good username/domain that I would register based on the availability.
EXAMPLE: If you run ACME Home Improvement, you’d want to check acmehomeimprovement. After a search I see that it is too long for a few of the social platforms and the .com is already registered. So I would continue to try different variations. Finally I found acmehometn.com was available. The USPTO Trademark Database came back with the trademark available! Last thing that would make this name great? It is available on all social media sites. At the time of me writing this “Facebook” is the only platform where it is not available, so I would continue until I find one that is good for everything. (Sorry I don’t want to waste our time so I’m stopping here.)
Once you find a name that meets all of your requirements. You will want to finish the search of with checking for any of the other social media sites that you may use that is not on the homepage. You can check these by clicking on the Social Networks tab.
The Social Networks check on KnowEm is broken down into categories. So depending on what social sites/apps you are wanting to check you need to find that category and click on “Check This Category”.
Don’t worry if some of the sites are taken especially if you honestly never plan on using them. You should only be concerned if it is a platform that you will use or at least setup and point to your main social media platforms. (Contact me on Instagram @cjhallock)
Once you have found a name that you really like, that’s available on social media, for your domain (.com) & isn’t trademarked, make sure that no one else is using a similar name for something dishonest, spammy or offensive.
While this might seem like a very boring task, you don’t want your website confused with a similar website that’s not ethical. Even if you aren’t associated with them, it doesn’t mean people won’t automatically think about them when they visit your website.
NOTE: While you may want to use a different extensions I highly recommend that you ONLY MOVE FORWARD WHEN YOU FIND A .COM. If you want to use a .net .org or one of the fun extensions such as .yeah, you can. But, you would be better getting the .com and building your website there then forward the other domain(s) to your main website. (More on that later)
If you do not see a social media site you want to check on the main page (like Instagram) you can go to the “Social Networks” tab and check each category of social sites. It automatically checks the “Blogging” category for you. If you want to check each of the other categories all you need to do is click “Check This Category” button for the desired category.
Run a search on Knowem.com with your desired username/domain and don’t forget to use a notebook or the Website Design Workbook to track your progress until you find the perfect name for your business.
Once you have found the best name for your business/project the next step is to register your domain and sign up for hosting.
When it comes to registering your domains there are a few options I’d recommend. The first option is HostYak.com which is what I use for about 90% of my domains. The cost with them (at the time of me writing this) is $13.25/year for a (.com) so it isn’t going to break the bank.
If you choose to use HostYak for your domain you will need to purchase your domain before you continue with your hosting.
The second way is to use the “FREE DOMAIN” that you get from signing up for hosting with MyHostLink.com. You can decide to use the FREE DOMAIN & if you do you’ll need to jump to the MyHostLink.com section.
When you land on HostYak.com you will see a domain search box that says “Find your perfect domain name”. Simply type in the name you decided on in the previous step and click on search.
Once you search for your domain and see it’s available then just click “Add to Cart”
The next page you land on is the “add-ons” page. The first section you get to is going to be privacy protection. What this does is keep your personal information private from a “Who Is” search. I HIGHLY recommend that you use privacy protection. It’s only $1.95/domain per year!
The next option is for hosting, you can host here but I’d recommend you say “No Thanks” and keep going. Moving forward, the last add-on is to add email to your domain. We are going to be using our hosting company to set up our emails so you can go “No Thanks” on this too!
Click Continue with these options.
Before we can check out we need to either Sign in (if you have a HostYak account) or Create Account.
If you need to create an account, simply fill in the blanks and create your account. Then move forward to checkout.
If you have an account, sign in and move forward to checkout.
Now all you need to do is add a payment option and Complete Purchase.
Sometimes the default setting will set your registration period for the domain to 2 years if you wish you can change the registration period to any of the following duration periods (1 Year, 2 Years, 3 Years, 5 Years or 10 Years) as you change the registration duration the privacy length will increase or decrease accordingly.
You now have your domain purchased. Moving forward you will need to get your hosting & once you have your hosting you will need to come back here and change the DNS. Don’t worry we are going to cover that in a little bit.
When you go to www.MyHostLink.com you will see that you land on the business hosting page.
The best performance package that you can sign up for is “Pro”. Click on “Order Now” & then chose the registration duration. It will break down to what it would cost monthly but you are required to pay in advance.
If you wish to select “Launch” or “Power” this will work with either one.
NOTE:The best option is VPS but I’m going to use shared “business” hosting for this tutorial if you want VPS all you need to do is to hover over Web Hosting in the navigation and then VPS Hosting and select Managed VPS Hosting – VPS-1000HA-S will work for most websites. Unfortunately, if you are working with a limited budget, this may be too much. (Don’t worry you can upgrade later)
As you move forward with the “Pro” hosting package you’ll see the default price is $15.99 per month. Depending on the specials they’re running, I’ve seen them do 43% off like they are doing at the time of me working on this workbook a few times.
At the time of me doing this you can get 1 year and it will cost about $107.88. (Prices are subject to change.)
Chose your Data Center – If they have availability for multiple servers at the time you sign up you will see multiple options for your data center. If you see the options, just chose the data center closest to you.
Do not install WordPress here. We are going to do this later so we can customize our advanced settings. So keep this section set to “No, Thanks”
Click on “Continue”.
Onward to the next step!
But first, just a reminder that we are going to be installing WordPress in a later step and if you want a massive shortcut you can check out the bonus video training at wwww.webdesignwebinar.com (Launching August 31, 2018)
Enter in the domain you want to purchase(if you have not already registered one) on the next page and click search to start the process. Once you see the success message “Great news, thedomainyouwanted.com is available!” click on “Add to Cart” & then click on “Continue”
If you didn’t follow along as we purchased the domain with HostYak then the next section is for “Domain Privacy Registration”. I highly recommend that you keep the privacy registration setting on. For only about $10/year this will keep your information private so that people can’t do a “WHOIS” reverse search to find your phone number, email address, mailing address, etc. Click on “Continue”
Once you have done that you will need to create a new account. Under “New Customer” please enter your email address & click continue.
On the next page fill out your information to create your account and complete the purchase. Now click “Continue”
Once you get to the “Review Your Order” page, please be sure to go over all of the information. Then you need to click “I Agree” on the bottom of the page to agree to the purchase & Terms of Service. Then click on “Checkout”
Now you have completed the process to register your domain name and have signed up for hosting. The next thing you need to do is check your email account for an email from InMotion Hosting to set your password & verify your account. Please follow along with those emails in order to complete this step.
If you used the free domain when signing up for your hosting you can skip this step. If you used HostYak then you will need to set your nameservers. This will tell the browsers what host to look at for your website files so when they go to your domain, they see your website.
In order to do this you need to sign in to your HostYak account. Once you sign in you need to get to the “My Products” page and in the “Domains” section, click on Manage All.
The page that will take you to will have all of your domains that you own with HostYak. Click on your URL to get to the domain settings.
Go towards the bottom of the page and click on “Manage DNS”
This is going to take you to the DNS Management page. In the second section you will see the “Nameservers” section.
Click on change and then select custom and enter the nameservers for your hosting account. Most of the time if you are hosting with InMotion your nameservers will be: (ns1.inmotionhosting.com) (ns2.inmotionhosting.com)
If you are not sure what your nameservers are, you can call into your hosting account and they will be able to tell you what they are.
Fill in the nameservers and click on “Save”
For starters you need to sign into your AMP (Account Management Panel). Which you can do by going inmotionhosting.com and clicking on AMP Login on the top right section of the website. Enter your login information on the next page and login.This is your account Management Panel. NOTE: You may see some extra options in the image below but that is because I have the “Reseller Account”
This is going to be your shortcut to your cPanel and how you access your billing portal to upgrade your payments along with viewing other account information.
The main thing you are going to be using here is just logging into cPanel. All you need to do is click on the cPanel logo in the second section.
This will take you to your cPanel. There are a few things here that you will need to know about. Don’t worry, I’ll cover what you will need to know in order to build your website.
I’ve decided to not include an image for the cPanel home page because it would have required A LOT of scrolling but will be going through the few options you will need to know.
This is important, because you want to look professional and have all of your emails for your business be [email protected] Don’t worry if you are like me and have been using gmail for years, I’m going to also show you how to send and receive your email via Gmail.
In the fourth section under EMAIL click on “Email Accounts”. This is where you create your email address. Enter in what you want your email address to be and your password. Be sure to remember your password. (Use the Password Log) As far as the “Mailbox Quota” I set mine to 250mb because we’re having the email go through Gmail so it won’t bog down the server for us.
Now that you have the account created scroll down the page and you will see your email with the different actions. This is where you can change the password & quota for this account. You need to open the “More” selection box and select “Access Webmail”. You are going to have a small pop up in the upper right hand side of the screen just click on “Got it”
Now you need to click on “Set as Default” under Horde. This will highlight horde. Now click on the horde logo. You will need this open for the next few steps. In a new tab within your browser, go login to Gmail.
On the right hand side of the header there is a gear box. If you click on that it will open up a dropdown menu. In that menu you need to click on “Settings”. Now that you are in the General Settings you need to click on “Accounts and Import” on the menu across the top of the page.
Send Mail As: You need to click on “Add another email address in the “Send mail as:” section. Enter your Name & Email address then click on Next Step.
Now you need to take the information from that one email inside of your webmail and enter it into the pop up window.
Always be sure to use the Secure SSL/TLS Settings and fill in the following fields:
SMTP Server – Port – Username – Password – Keep SSL selection & click Add Account.
Now you need to verify by checking your Webmail for [email protected] and click on the link in the confirmation email. It may take a few minutes for you to receive it so don’t worry.
Once you click on the verify link it will take you to another page with Gmail.
Click on the “Confirm” button and you’ve verified in order to send mail and now we need to be able to check our mail.
Check Mail From Other Accounts: We’re going to follow almost the same steps we used to send mail in this section so we can check mail.
Click on Add a mail account in “Check mail from other accounts:” section. Follow along the prompted steps and enter your email address in the field then click on Next.
The next panel will be to “Import emails from my other account (POP3)
Now it is time to enter in your account information again. (Use Port: 995) Once you finish that all you need to do is click on “Add Account”.
That is it! You have finished the first hurdle! Now you can start telling people to email you at your awesome new email address.
Go ahead and write it down so you can start to remember it!
If you need it, you can use the Website Design Workbook‘s password log to keep up with this and other passwords.
I cannot stress enough how important this step is. Before we go through the steps to get our SSL Certificate I want to go over some info with you.
Netscape began using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) in 1994 as a means of sending sensitive data over the web.
Before the introduction of SSL it was difficult to ensure privacy over the web in online transactions & data collection via online forms. There was a general distrust of the ability to conduct online transactions and a fear that an individual’s credit card & other personal information could be picked up by a third party and used for unauthorized purchases.
What makes SSL unique is an encryption technique that sends credit card and other personal data through the web. This encryption technique makes the information totally useless to anyone who does not have decoding abilities. If a third party were to intercept the information it would be useless to them.
The use of SSL Digital Certificates also provides a unique level of trust because a certificate verifies the users authenticity. This is an important step in instilling trust in potential customers. Many savvy internet users will avoid websites entirely if they do not use SSL.
Without the proper use of SSL, information such as credit card numbers, third parties with less than positive motivations could obtain passwords and personal identification numbers.
A 128-bit key that is harder to break and typically protects personal account information than the 40-bit key. If your name and address is all that is being protected a 40-bit key may be used; the higher bit the key, the greater level of encryption. Most financial institutions only use 128-but keys for the security of their client’s data.
As an online marketer you will likely be asking your visitors for personal data. Don’t be surprised if your potential customer determines their willingness to do business with you based on the security of your website. Many customers will look for the SSL symbol and will move along if the don’t find it. SSL use can also be recognized by a green padlock symbol in the address bar of your browser window. If the symbol is unlocked then SSL is not in use on the site.
SSL should be enacted on pages requiring a password or might contain personal data most clients would like to keep private. Some sites will place SSL on some pages and forget other pages that are equally as sensitive. For the sake of your personal experience with e commerce you should implement SSL protocol.
Now that we have covered the basics of what an SSL is, let’s go buy one & get it set up!
You can purchase your SSL via HostYak by going to: http://www.hostyak.com/products/ssl
The package you need is a Standard SSL. This is going to run you $39.99/year. We will get back to HostYak in a little bit.
In order to activate this we are going to get inside of our InMotion cPanel & under the “Security” panel you need to click on “SSL/TLS”.
The first thing we are going to do is to delete all current SSLs that may come with your hosting.
You will see 4 sections. Private Keys, Certificate Signing Requests(This also is refereed to as CSR, Certificates & Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)
Start by clicking on “Manage SSL sites.” under the fourth option.
Under the “Manage Installed SSL Websites” section if you see a certificate you will want to click on “Uninstall”
Once you finish that you need to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Return to SSL Manager or you can click on the cPanel at the top and go back to the SSL/TLS section again.
The next thing you are going to need to do is to click on “Generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests.”
On this page you will need to fill in your information.
Do not worry about the Key section you can skip over that. (Just in case it should say Generate a new 2,048 bit key.)
In the domains section you need to put your domain like this → testedurl.com
Enter your city, state, country, company, email, passphrase(this should be something you can remember – think of this as another password) & a description then click on Generate.
Once you get that you will have your “Encoded Certificate Signing Request”
You need to copy the entire thing and past in into a notepad or somewhere where you can keep it and know it’s secure:
—–BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST—–
Copy All Of The Crazy Stuff Here Too
—–End CERTIFICATE REQUEST—–
Be sure to ONLY COPY ENCODED CERTIFICATE SIGNING REQUEST
Ok, now we need to go back to HostYak. Once you login, you will want to make sure you are on the “My Products” page. Under SSL Certificates, click on “Set up” for the SSL you want to install. (If you only have one then you should only have one.)
That is where you will need to paste your CSR from InMotion. Be sure to agree to the terms and conditions then click on “Request Certificate” This process can take between 10-15 minutes. (It’s time for a break! :P)
Now that we’ve given it some time to issue the certificate, if you should see a screen that has a massive download button.
If you click on Download, it will download the certificate that we need to install on InMotion. All you need to do on the next page is to set the server to Apache.
You then will need to “Unzip” the file. (If you are on a PC I recommend using 7-Zip. I’ve used it for a few months and love it. PS. It is FREE!) (If you are on a mac you should be able to double click on the zip file to unzip it.)
When you unzip the file it will have a file that is a .crt inside of the folder. We are going to use this file next so be sure to have it in a location you can find on your computer.
Now, if you go back in your InMotion cPanel and go back to the SSL/TLS section you need to click on “Generate, view, upload, or delete SSL certificates.” under “Certificates (CRT)”
The next thing that we’re going to is delete the “- Self Signed -”certificates that are on your server. This is easy, all you need to do (if you have a “- Self Signed -” certificate) is click on delete. It will take you to another page asking if you are sure … click delete again.
If you go back to the SSL Certificates (CRT) page you will need to click on “Choose File” and then fill out your description and click on Upload Certificate.
Once you do that you should get a success message:
“The certificate for the domain “yourwebsitename.com” has been saved.
Moving forward everything that you do with your website should be done via https://
If you don’t know what that means and you are just following along, don’t worry. Just keep following the steps and you will be fine.
***If you find that you are not getting the green padlock showing that your website is secure, you may want to use WhyNoPadlock.com to see what the issue is.
For this step you are going to need to Login to your “AMP” (Account Management Panel) for InMotion Hosting.
In the second panel down you should see the cPanel logo all you need to do is click on that to get into your cPanel.
NOTE: This step and the next few may take a while. If you want a shortcut to take that will skip strait to designing your site in the next 10 minutes or so, you can get the FREE VIDEO TRAINING that will go along with this tutorial to design your website. Just visit WebDesignWebinar.com & use referral code: WP310
Once in your cPanel, you will need to go down to the “Top Applications” panel and click on the WordPress logo. This will take you to the install WordPress page.
Click on “Install Now” and now you are on the “Software Setup” page.
Choose the right protocol. This is very important to ensure that your website is secure.
Choose your domain. If you are using a larger plan from InMotion Hosting you may have added some “Add On Domains” in which case you will have multiple domains to choose from. If not then just make sure your domain is selected.
The next section is for your “Directory”, you will need to keep this empty. This will install WordPress on your actual domain instead of yourdomain.com/blog
In the “Site Settings” panel simply fill out your Site Name & Site Description.
Leave the “Enable Multisite (WPMU)” checkbox unchecked
The “Admin Account” panel is going to be used to create your “User Account”. So fill in a username & password. We are going to be creating your actual user account later so for now just use the info below.
Un-check selected plugins (We’re going to cover plugins later)
Now, the next section “Advanced Options” is going to be very important so I need you to pay attention!!
Touch Nothing! 🙂
The next thing you need to do is simply click on “Install” and you have now successfully installed WordPress on your domain.
Congratulations! You Have Successfully Installed The WordPress Software On Your Site!
Unfortunately, we are far from being finished. Moving forward there are some more boring steps, but don’t worry. We are going to be into the design part of our website project soon enough.
Once you have installed WordPress you can login to your website by going to yourwebsite.com/wp-admin. This will take you to the login page.
Admin URL: https://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin
If you followed along with the tutorial it should be: Username: start | Password: #delete • Now, you should be inside of your Dashboard.
You can go ahead and “Dismiss” (or click on the X) to close the “Welcome to WordPress” section.
The next step is very important. The reason we are doing this separately and not earlier when we installed WordPress is because you need to get all the information filled out and not skip anything.
Go down on the left sidebar and go to Users > Add New
Username: This needs to be around 6-10 characters and needs to be original. DO NOT USE “ADMIN”, “WEBMASTER” or anything else like that. Feel free to use your name or nickname.
Email: Put in a valid email address. Your new email address we created earlier would be
Fill out your First Name & Last Name.
In the “Website” section you need to include the full link so it should look something like this ( https://yourwebsitename.com )
Password: This is a touchy subject. I know how much you may want to create a password that you can remember, but that could cost you in the end. Click on the “Show password” button to edit & show your password.
I’d recommend you create a password that is 10-15 characters long that includes lowercase (a,b,c), uppercase (A, B, C), numbers (1,2,3) & special characters (!, @, #).
I highly recommend that you use the “Password Generator” and just remember to WRITE IT DOWN! OR… Find a creative way to remember it!
Check the box to “Send User Notificaiton” • Then set the “Role” to “Administrator”
Then click on “Add New User” & that is it!
If you don’t like the fact of writing down your passwords you can use something like LastPass (http://litl.me/lastpass) which is an awesome password manager that is secure. It stores all of your passwords on an encrypted server that you can access with one master password that you can create and remember.
You will notice that there is an Avatar or “Profile Picture” section within your user profile if you want to customize this, you will need to create a WordPress.com & gravatar.com account and update your image there. It will automatically update everywhere else on your site and when you comment on other WordPress sites.
You need to do two more things.
First is in the upper right hand corner you need to hover over “Howdy, start” and click on “Log Out”.
Now that you are back on the login page you need to login with your new username & password.
Next thing on the list is to delete the old username. You can do this by going to Users > All Users
Hover over the old user “start” and click on “Delete”
On the next page you need to check “Delete all content.” and then click on “Confirm Deletion”
This will automatically get rid of all default content by the initial installation of WordPress. The only thing you need to do now is to go into the “Trash” and permanently delete all trash. You can do that by starting with “All Posts” at the top of that page you will see “Trash (X)” Click on the top box to select all then in the “Bulk Actions” dropdown box, simply select “Delete Permanently” and then click on the “Apply” button.
Repeat this step for “Pages”.
Installing your WordPress theme is very easy. Once you login you go to install your theme by ..
Dashboard > Appearance > Theme > Add New
Once your are on the Add New WordPress Theme Page all you need to do is search for your desired theme.
GeneratePress is the WordPress Theme we are going to be using. Once you Search for the theme, simply install & activate. When you hover over the theme thumbnail you will see a “Preview” (Don’t worry about this, we are going to customize the entire site so this won’t matter) and then you will see an “Install” button. Click on “Install” and once it installs that same button will turn into an “Activate” button. Click on “Activate”. That is it!
Now, you need to delete all of the other default WordPress themes.
From the “Themes” page, hover over the other themes and click on “Theme Details” then in the bottom right corner of the theme popup click on “Delete”
You will get a popup asking for you to confirm. Click “OK”. Repeat until GeneratePress is the only theme left.
Before we install any plugins you need to delete the default plugins. Visit Plugins > Installed Plugins & on that page you can select them by checking the box next to the word Plugin to “Select All” then in the dropdown “Bulk Actions” box, select Delete. Then click “Apply”. It will bring up a “pop up” asking if you are sure … go ahead and agree to delete the plugins.
This first plugin we’re going to install will help us “Bulk Install” all of the needed plugins.
NOTE: This is a shortcut. If you would like to skip this step and do the installations one at a time, then by all means, go ahead. (Seriously, I’d recommend that you use the shortcut and save yourself about 10-15 minutes.)
Start by installing Wp Favs – Plugin Manager by searching for the plugin via:
Dashboard > Plugins > Add New
Install & Activate by clicking on “Install Now” then “Activate” once it installs. Once the plugin is “Active” go to the settings via: Dashboard > Tools > WP Favs
Insert the Quick Key & click on “Quick Load” Quick Key (QK):
Once you have clicked on Quick Load you will want to click on “Run this List”.
This will take you to our magic list of WordPress Plugins. These are the recommended plugins for this tutorial. (Image has been cropped to save space)
Click on the drop down over the plugins labeled “Bulk Options” and then select “Install” Check the first box (to the right of Plugin column label) to Select All Plugins.
Then Click Apply to install all plugins.
After it installs you may see some warnings from the install process, don’t worry those shouldn’t be a problem. At the bottom of the page you will see a success message:
All Installations have been completed.
Click on “Return to WPFavs Installer”, underneath that message, and move onto the next task. If you wish to do this manually you can be installing and activating each plugin one by one.
Use your judgment in using the recommended plugins. Only you know what you are doing and what you need. The plugins you are going to Activate will depend on what you will need for your website.
To “Activate” your plugins you need to check the box next to the plugins you wish to use and once all your plugins are checked in the drop down menu (Bulk Actions) select “Activate” and “Apply”. This will “Activate” all of your desired plugins.
We are not going to be using all plugins, all of the time so we will be deactivating a few. Also, feel free to close any of the warning messages you see within your dashboard. The recommended plugins for EVERY installation of WordPress are:
All In One Scheme Rich Snippets – This amazing plugin gives the power to the blog author to control the rich snippets to be shown by the search engines. There are 9 “Rich Snippets” that you can utilize. Go deeper into this via DigiToolBag.com/rich-snippets & learn what rich snippets are & how to use them.
- Item Review – This is great for a review of a product that you use for your business.
- Event – This works great for open houses or other events for your business.
- People – If you run an office where you want to showcase employees, use this.
- Product – This would be great for a detailed page that leads to a shopping cart.
- Recipe – Yes, recipes! 😛
- Software Application – Might not use this unless your in the tech industry.
- Video- This works for blog posts with a supporting video embeded.
- Article – This isn’t for “Blog Posts” but if you are doing a write up/news, this is it!
- Service – This is perfect for your service specific pages. (Painting, Plumbing, etc.)
Blackhole for Bad Bots – This puts all bots in a “Black Hole” so they don’t use your server’s resources. Once active, the plugin does all the hard work. No settings needed here.
Cloudflare – This is a plugin that works with the platform “Cloudflare” and speeds up your loading time and increases your security for your WordPress website.
Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd – This is one of my favorite coming soon plugins and is self proclaimed “The #1 Coming Soon Page, Under Construction & Maintenance Mode plugin for WordPress.”
Compress JPEG & PNG images – This is a plugin that helps you optimize your images for mobile & page speed within your media library.
Duplicate Post – This is not a “must install plugin” but it does help if you have template style blog posts to be able to just create a “clone” of a specific page and start with it as a new draft.
Duplicator – This amazing “FREE” website helps migrate and backup a copy of your website files and database and helps you duplicate or move your websites very easy. There is a bonus video training at www.webdesignwebinar.com that will show you how I use this plugin to build professional websites in under an hour.
Elementor “Page Builder” – This is the wysiwyg (What You See Is What You Get) page builder we are going to use to build/design your website. For this tutorial I’m also going to be using the “Elementor Pro” paid version. It isn’t a must but it does give you a lot more options when it comes to designing your pages.
View more info at: DigiToolBag.com/elementor
Elementor Pro – Like I said before you can continue without this plugin but at only $49 you will see the value in the paid version Buy the plugin here → DigiToolBag.com/buyelementor. You will have to upload the plugin(See Bonus Section)
Far Future Expiry Header – This assists in your page load speed. Go to Settings > FarFutureExpiry & check to Enable Far Future Expiration. Set the Number of Days to 7 and click all file types. Click to Enable Gzip Compression & click on “Save”
Force HTTPS (SSL Redirect & Fix Insecure Content) – When it comes to making your site secure with SSL encryption this plugin helps tell the browsers to load your site through the encryption for everything. If you followed the SSL steps earlier all you need to do is keep this active. That is it!
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) – This displays Google Analytics reports and real-time statistics in your “Dashboard.” It also automatically inserts the tracking code inside of every page on your website.
Heartbeat Control – It’s hard to explain but this completely controls the WordPress heartbeat which basically means … it speeds your website up.
Insert Headers and Footers – This is for putting code in your headers or footers. If you are using Google Analytics or something that needs “code” in the <head> or above the </body> section this is how you do that. Go to Settings > Insert Headers and Footers.
Pretty Links – This is like bit.ly for your website. For example if I want to create a short-link for my new YouTube channel, instead of it being
I can use Shortlinks and make it look like this: http://testedurl.com/yt
Remove Query Strings From Static Resources – This helps your load speed. No settings for this plugin.
Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan – Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Our Threat Defense Feed arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website safe. Rounded out by a suite of additional features, Wordfence is the most comprehensive WordPress security solution available.
WP Super Cache – This helps with browser caching (page load speed) Go to Settings > WP Super Cache
You are going to click on the “Advanced” tab & be sure that the following boxes are checked:
Don’t cache pages for known users. (Recommended)
Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors. (Recommended)
Cache rebuild. Serve a supercache file to anonymous users while a new file is being generated. (Recommended)
304 Not Modified browser caching. Indicate when a page has not been modified since it was last requested. (Recommended)
Clear all cache files when a post or page is published or updated.
Extra homepage checks. (Very occasionally stops homepage caching) (Recommended)
At the bottom of this section, click “Update Status” and you are done!
Yoast SEO – This is the best SEO plugin on the market. The settings for the plugin itself is decent for now without having to customize. The power of this plugin will come when using it while creating posts & pages within WordPress.
How To Upload A WordPress Plugin
Once you have the plugin file (.zip) you need to go to Plugins> Add New. Once you are on the install plugins page you will see a button at the top of the page that says “Upload Plugin”. If you click on that button you will start the process.
The first thing you need to do is to click on “Choose File” and select the plugin file on your computer. Once you have the file selected, simply click on “Install Now”.
This will automatically take care of installing the plugin, leaving the only thing for you to do is to “Activate Plugin” by clicking on that button.
Once Elementor Pro Plugin is Active, you will see a banner in the top of your website
If you click on the Activate License button this will take you to the activation page. This is where you will put in your license key. If you do not know how to gain access to your Elementor License key you can sign into Elementor.com & from your Elementor account you will see the “Download Plugin” to download your copy as well as your License Key.
Simply copy your license and paste it into WordPress & click on “Activate”