How to Create a Website (in 2020): The Free Beginners Guide to Building a Business Website

Learning how to create a website in 2020, is now more easier than ever.

As a matter of fact, you can set up a full functional website from scratch even if its your first time learning how to build a website for your business with no coding knowledge required, and I’ll show you how.

illustrated image of a website maker building and designing a website

Whether you want to create a website for free as a beginner (for personal use), so you can be able to set up any website you want, or learn how to make your own website to save cost, or maybe you’re a SMB business owner in search for how to build a website for your small business yourself, the process is all the same. The only difference is your choice of the type of website you want to create.

image of WP Astra wordpress themes and website builder
Premium WordPress themes and business website builder

Creating a website often comes down to four major things, regardless of your skill level.

  • A domain name: The address people type in to access your website.
  • A website platform (website builder): An online platform that helps you construct your website easily. With a website builder, you don’t need to know how to code or even know anything related to programming to build your website. A website builder typically manages and secure your website for you.
  • A website hosting: The place where your website is hosted on the internet that keeps it online.
  • Your time and brain: This helps you organize everything and get your site actively working :-).

As promised, this is a detailed step by step guide on how to create a website for beginners, and everything gets covered.

I have made this guide very simple and easy to understand by thinking myself as a beginner, and then outlining every possible information needed to create a website as well as a detailed step by step guide to help you make your own website even as beginner.

So, even if what you are asking is “how do I create my first website” or “how do I build a website for my business”, at the end of this website setup tutorial and training, you should be able to make your own website for any purpose of your choice.

How to Create a Website in 7 Easy Steps

Follow these 7 simple steps to create a website today:

  1. Decide on what kind of website you want to create and its purpose.
  2. Choose a good domain name for your website.
  3. Select a simple website builder you can use to make your own website.
  4. Select a good looking website template that fits the type of website you want to create.
  5. Customize your website template as you want. Add design features, text, galleries, videos & more.
  6. Select a suitable website hosting plan and connect your domain name.
  7. Publish your website, go live and start building your online presence.

Usually there are two popular ways to set up a website, outside using HTML or knowing how to code. The first is using a website builder and the second is using WordPress.

For beginners looking to create a business website and maybe also sell online, the best choice is to use a website builder, and for people who wishes to create a blog instead that shares personal experience or offer a service that requires constant article publishing, the best choice is WordPress.

Not withstanding both processes are taught on this page and you can choose whichever you want. My recommendation? go with the first and if you want to start a blog instead, then see our guide on how to start a successful blog.

How to Make a Website For Free or For Business: Detailed Step by Step Guide for Beginners

Here then is a detailed step-by step guide to creating a successful business website:

1. Decide on what kind of website you want to create and the purpose it will serve

The very first step to creating a website is to first have a clear understanding and know for yourself the type of website you want to create.

illustration image of idea brainstorming and research to choose the type of website you want to create

As with every other thing in life, knowing what you want helps you stay focused and not distracted.

For website creation, having a clear understanding of the type of website you want to build or have, makes the whole process of creating a website easy. This will help you keep your website design and functions aligned with its original purpose.

For example, if you want to create a business website for your restaurant, outlining the purpose and function of this website will help you decide on the various features and functions you need in it. This way, you can decide whether you want people to be able to book tables from your site, place orders, or contact you for personalized services.

With all these in mind, you can then begin your website building process with a clear understanding of what you want and, choose a good website template for a web design that aligns perfectly.

Below are some some possible questions you can ask yourself and provide honest answers to at the beginning stage of your website.

Get a paper and write down your answers because you’ll need it for the rest of the process.

  • What kind of website do you really want and why are you building it?
  • What purpose is it going to be serving?
  • What are the important webpages you want it to have? (pages like about us, contact us etc.)
  • Are you just building this site for fun? or is it to serve as a website for your business?
  • What features should it have?
  • Do you intend selling products on your website?

If however the reason you are learning how to create a website is so that you can learn and start building websites for people as a service and get paid, then asking your clients the above questions makes you look even more professional and will help you deliver your service better.

Having answered those questions, you can now move to the next step of this tutorial on how to build a website.

2. Choose a good domain name for your website

Your domain name is your identity on the web, you will want to make sure you choose a name that not only fits your business, but is also memorable, easy to find and promote.

illustration image of domain name and domain extension brainstorming and research to choose a good domain name for your website

If you already have a domain name, you are free to skip this step and move over straight to step three – the website building process.

But I however recommend you read this so that you know if whether or not you are to change your current domain name.

What is a Domain Name

A domain name is basically the link at which your blog is accessed all over the world anywhere on the internet. It is the address people type into their browser to access your website. I.E yoursitename.com , yoursitename.net or yourorganizationname.org.

If you are creating a website for your business, then your business name will be your domain name and if it is a personal brand website, then your name should be your domain name. I.E Briandean.com.

However, if you don’t already have a domain name, here’s how to choose a good domain name for your website.

How to choose a good domain name for your website

Keep it (relatively) short and simple.

A web address that’s overly long and complicated is difficult to remember and a pain to type in the browser. Don’t choose a name like www.MyBlogIsAwesomeAndYoursIsPrettyLame.com (even if it’s true).

Don’t choose a name that’s too close to an existing site or blog.

You don’t want people confusing your blog with another site that’s out there. Don’t pick EPSN.com or Bizzfeeds.com. Be unique and stay original. It will help your business branding over time.

It should be easy to remember.

Ideally, people should be able to remember the address of your blog without needing to Google it. If people can’t remember it, they’ll be less likely to visit it.

If you already have a domain name skip this step and go straight to the website building process to make your own website here, but if you don’t, then follow carefully.

After you have decided on what domain name you want to use for your website, the next thing to do is to check if its available or if someone else has already registered it.

How to check if your selected domain is available or registered

To check domain availability, Click here (opens in a new tab), type in the name of your domain and press enter.

If your domain name is available, congrats, keep it. You can go to the next step now.

If however you are having a hard time coming up with a domain name, then use a business name generator to help you generate a good domain name for your business.

How to use a business name generator to quickly get a good domain name for your business website.
  • Click Here to open the Wix business name generator (opens in a new tab, so you can continue to follow while working or practicing),
  • Type in your desired domain or business name you intend to use for your website, click enter.
  • A list of available domain names will then be generated for you with your keyword in it.
  • Sift through the list of generated domain names to see if there’s anyone you like.

If you finally find a name you like, you can either register it immediately for $10 -$12 or keep it and continue to the step 3 and 4 of this tutorial where I’ll show you how to get it for free.

3. Select a simple website builder you can use to make your own website.

A good website builder makes the whole process of building and creating a website a whole lot easier, smarter and faster.

website creator concept illustration image

Remember the list you made earlier about the type of website you want to create? Now is the time to use it as a guide to find the right website builder that will fit your website.

But before that, just to get things clear, what is a website builder and how do we use it to create a website?

What is a Website Builder

Website builders are drag-and-drop tools that typically allows the construction of websites without manual code editing. You simply just select the elements you want on your page and drag it to the position you want it to stay on your webpage, add texts, visuals and more.

Ready? let go…

How to Build your website using a Website Builder

You can drop whatever you are doing now and follow me as I walk you through a step by step process that shows you how to create a website for any purpose you want.

Ready to build your own website? Lets get started.

Step #1: Choose a good website builder software

You already know what a website builder is, now is the time to choose one and use it for your website creation.

While I do not want to further confuse your head with lots of site builders to choose from, I’ll simply recommend the best for you, and that’s Wix.

For the remaining part of this tutorial I’m going to be doing it using Wix.

Step #2: Create an account with your preferred website builder
  • Click here to open Wix website builder (link will open in a new tab so that you can continue to follow while you practice).
  • Click on the “Get Started” button you see on the homepage. It will prompt you to create an account or signup.
  • Enter in your email address and password you intend to use. (Keep it safe).

Remember that list you created earlier? Bring it out now, this is the point where we start using it.

By entering your email and password, you have successfully created your account with Wix website builder.

Don’t do anything else at this stage. Ignore the rest of the other things or pages you will see and go to your email inbox, there should be a message from Wix there, asking you to confirm your email address.

  • Confirm your email address by clicking on the link given to you from Wix.

Upon confirmation of your email address, you will be taken to your website builder dashboard where all websites created by you can be accessed.

  • Now click on the “Create New Site” button at the top right of your screen (if you are using a PC).
  • Next, select the type of website you wish to create from the dropdown menu.
screenshot image showing how to select the type of website you wish to create

If you are creating a website for your business, select business. If it is a photography website, choose photography and if it is a website for your organization choose organization. There are various options presented, just choose what best describes the type of website you are creating.

After selecting the type of website you want to create, the next step will be to choose how you want to create your website.

You can either choose between using a website template or allowing an A.I do the website creation for you.

It looks like this,

choose how you want to create your website either using an A.I or website template

Before you select any option, let me first explain what each does. Although the image is self explanatory.

Option 1: Let Wix ADI

With this option, you literally don’t have to do anything except answer a few questions and your site will be set up automatically based on the things you want. The ADI is an Artificial Design Intelligence, and just like A.I., it designs you website for you automatically.

Choose this if you want no stress at all and like automation.

Option 2: Choose a Website template

This is the traditional way of building websites, you are presented with different design templates. You will have to select from different website templates and designs that appeals to you and then edit by changing or adding texts, images, videos and more.

Choose the website template option if you want to be more involved in your website creation process.

Since I personally like to get myself involved in my website design and appearance, I’ll choose to use a website template.

That brings us to the step 4 of this tutorial.

4. Select a good looking website template that fits the type of website you want to create

A beautiful and well designed website creates trust in the mind of your customers, and even attracts more visitors, many of which will eventually turn to customers.

Even when they have nothing to do with you or your website, they just come to look at the amazing design you have.

Now is the time to select a good website template for your website.

screenshot image showing different website templates to chose from
  • Select the industry or category your website fits into and search for a website template you like.

Remember we initially selected the option to create a business website? Aha, that’s why we are being presented with a collection of business website templates. If we had chosen other types of website, the templates displayed will be different.

For this option, I selected a digital staffing / agency website template because I love that design. You can select anything of your choice or any website design template that appeals to you.

5. Customize your website template as you want. Add design features, text, galleries, videos & more.

After selecting your website template, the next thing will be to edit and customize your website as you want. Add design features, text, galleries, videos or anything else you want.

At the end of my quick website customization, here’s what the result looks like.

if the image doesn’t appear clear on your device, please click on it to view the clearer version on Giphy. I cant tell why its not so clear. Will take it to Youtube soon enough.

Don’t forget to always preview after you make any change, and if it is looking good, then Save always.

Don’t worry about perfection, it doesn’t have to be perfect immediately, you can always add or remove things from your website later on. Just familiarize yourself first with the website builder user interface and environment.

Next will be to select website hosting and connect your domain name.

6. Select a suitable website hosting plan and connect your domain name

  • After your initial design and site customization, click “Save” to save your work.

Upon clicking the save button, you will be presented with two options; the first is to use a free website domain and the second is to use your own custom domain name.

image showing how to choose custom domain name option to connect your domain to your website
  • Choose the custom domain option.

Let me explain.

If what you want is to create a free website then use the free wix domain option and continue with the rest process.

But if you are creating a real website for your business, personal branding or organization, then you are better off with the custom domain option. This way, your website address takes your domain name.

After selecting the custom domain option, you will then be directed to a page where you can either use a new domain (if you do not already have a domain name) OR connect your existing domain name (if you already have a domain name registered with another domain registrar).

register or connect already existing domain name

Since I am assuming you don’t already have a domain name registered yet (remember we generated one using the domain name generator earlier), I choose the new domain option.

However, if you already have a domain name, choose the second option.

You will then be brought to the page where you can select your website hosting package and plan suitable for you.

  • Choose any of the website hosting plans that appeals more to you. For business websites, choose the unlimited business plan. You can however choose any plan you like.
screenshot image of website hosting plans to help you choose a web host plan for your website

If however you want to be able to accept online payment from your website or sell products online via your website, then select the business and ecommerce plan.

With each plan you choose, you will get a free domain for 1 year (only if you choose to pay annually).

Remember I told you earlier to keep the available domain name you generated so that you can get it for free instead.

To enjoy the full benefit of your website builder, I recommend you go with the most popular unlimited plan if you are building a website for your business. Anything else will do for a personal website or simple organization website.

Select a subscription period (annual plan recommended), and checkout to complete the process.

7. Publish your website, go live and start building your online presence

So, you’ve built your website from scratch using a great website builder, chosen a nice looking website template and customized it to give you a good website design.

The next thing now is to get the website online and make it accessible for anyone to see when they type in your site address into their browser.

  • To get your website live online, simply click on the “publish website button” on your website dashboard and your site will go live and ready to function.

Congratulations, you have successfully created a website and now know how to make your own website for your business, crafts, organization, services or anything else.

You can continue to build out different pages you need on your website, add texts, images, medias and anything else you like over time.

The process never stops. Building a website is a continuous process, as new events and things happen everyday, the need for a constant website update is inevitable.

While it is one thing to first learn the basics of how to make your own website, it takes constant practice and updates to keep up with modern business and design trends to satisfy your website users need and keep your business running.

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