How To Make A WordPress Website From Scratch (Free Guide)

Making A WordPress Website From Scratch

This guide can be used to learn how to create a WordPress website for free. This guide is written for my students at Colorado State University but it is set up so that anyone can use it.  The only difference for some of these guides is that the software provided is free for my students as it is donated by some generous companies. If you follow this guide, and are not a students the total cost will be less than $100 to get online.

How To Create A Self Hosted WordPress Website Set

The instructions below will show you how to make a nice, self hosted WordPress website. If you have no experience with website development, then the easiest way to get a website up is going to be to use a website template. A template website isn’t going to be as nice as a custom designed website, but it is a good way to get up and running quickly and will be much cheaper. Setting up a website on a WordPress template is better for your business than using an auto website builder such as Wix or Squarespace.  WordPress is much more powerful when it comes to digital marketing tools and will do much better in the search engines.

Despite template websites not looking as great as a custom websites they can still turn out pretty nice with a little bit of effort.

You can see some of the websites my students have made at GreenHorn digital which is a student run digital agency at CSU.  You can check that out here: GreenHorn Digital Agency

How To Quickly And Easily Get A Website Up & Running:

1) You will need hosting:  Siteground offers free hosting for students. This guide will show you how to sign up for free hosting with Siteground. 

2) You will need a URL: NameCheap gives a free .me URL for students to use for a year. This guide shows you how to claim your free URL on NameCheap. If you do not have  a .edu email address to get a free domain, or if want a .com then you can go to and get a URL for cheap for the first year.  Just google “GoDaddy coupon codes”  and there is always a coupon code for a 1.99 .com domain.

3) You will need a CMS. A CMS is a content management system. With a CMS you do not need to know how to code to upload and move content around to make a website. The most popular CMS is WordPress. WordPress websites do really good in search engines and are very powerful.  This guide will show you how to install WordPress into your Siteground hosting (or any hosting company that uses Softaculous).

4) You will need a template. You can use a default install of WordPress to make a website or a blog.  However, it will look very plain. There are limitless templates you can install from a website such as ThemeForest. There are also Frameworks for WordPress that have powerful website builders with easy to use layouts, skins and templates.  The framework I use in my classes is called Themify. This guide will show you how to  set up Themify in your WordPress.  This guide will show you how to get started with a Themify template.  I also have about 15 Themify guides on this website.  If you want more Themify tutorials go to the search bar at the top of this website and search for Themify.

Blank WordPress Install Graphic


With those four steps you can easily get a website set up. Once you have your website set up, you will need to implement a digital marketing strategy by setting up your initial digital marketing tools.