Build a website from scratch by following this step-by-step guide.

This is Lesson 1 of the How To Build A WordPress Website On Bluehost series.

Preparing to build a website from scratch

  • Create a separate Gmail account for using with your new website.
  • Using the new Gmail account, sign up for a new Bluehost.com account, based on your needs.
  • A basic account is CA$ 3.90 /month, but heir regular rate of CA$ 10.56 will apply upon renewal.
  • Choose a three year term to maximize your savings.

Find a suitable domain for your WordPress website

To build a website from scratch, you will need a domain name that is not already in use by anyone else.

search for new domain to build a website from scratch
  • 🍳 Log into your Bluehost Portal under your new Bluehost account.
  • Search for a domain name that would meet your vision and your budget, this could take a while, be creative and patient.
  • 🎈 Since I wanted to name my new website “WP Trench”, WPTRENCH.COM seemed like a good domain for me.

Buy a domain for your website

To build a website from scratch, you must pick a domain name for your project.

order a new domain for your new website
  • πŸ’₯ Bluehost will attempt to upsell you on some things, such as domain privacy for instance.
  • While that is indeed a valuable service, I recommend unchecking all extra line items when you buy a new domain, but…
  • πŸ’‘ If you foresee using your future website for real, then privacy protection will prevent spammers from looking up your contact information.
  • πŸ’₯ If you opt out of domain privacy, be prepared for ongoing unsolicited offers in the future.
  • These will include offers to make a logo or build a website for you, and to do SEO optimization which you can learn to do yourself.
  • 🎈 If you had created a separate Gmail account upfront for your new website, your dedicated email will catch emails from Bluehost, WordPress, website contacts and of course, spammers.
  • Using Gmail Filters, you can automatically file incoming email and manage spammers to avoid seeing distractive messages in your Inbox.
  • Once you complete your domain purchase, you now own the name that you searched for, and it can now start working for you…

Assign your domain to Bluehost

  • 🎈 Since I had bought my new domain via Bluehost, it was “already associated” with my Bluehost account.
  • Therefore, I picked the top selection (under step 1 of “Assign Domain”) and selected my new domain from the dropdown list.
  • If I already owned the domain, I could have opted for “not already associated”, and then transferred the domain to Bluehost, or
  • I could have edited the DNS of my domain if I did not want to transfer it yet, which may come up in future lessons on our journey.
  • 🎈 I picked “Addon Domain” and under (under step 2 of “Assign Domain”).
  • 🎈 I left the suggested “wptrench” string intact, to create my new site’s directory under the “public_html” folder.
  • In the previous clip, you will notice that a “wptrench.mrit.me” sub-domain is about to be created…
  • That is the case because the very first domain I bought via Bluehost, was “mrit.me”.
  • Once your initial Bluehost domain is purchased (and created), all your future domains will be added underneath your first domain.
  • In my case, the “mrit.me” domain was instated as the “wptrench.mrit.me” sub-domain.
  • If you have just bought your very first Bluehost domain (to follow along and make your own website), then your website will not be located inside a sub-domain.

Create your new WordPress site

create new site on Bluehost 1

Once you click on Create Site, you have initiated the creation process…

create new site on Bluehost 2
  • Don’t fret if you cannot provide a descriptive “Site Tagline” value to go with your “Site Name”.
  • You can leave that field blank or type “I like to learn” in the field, to start off the WordPress creation wizard.
  • 🎈 We will revisit this when we configure and optimize your new website, in future lessons on our journey.

Select your new domain from the list

  • Depending on where you are on your journey, you may notice strange domain names in the dropdown list, in your Bluehost Portal.
  • 🍳 Just select the name of the domain that you purchased!
  • πŸ’‘ While the proposed “helpful free plugins” are indeed valuable once you get to know them, I recommend unchecking all of them.
  • πŸ’‘ You will see some of them being implemented in future lessons, but as a rule: always remove inactive WordPress plugins.
  • πŸ’₯ There is no good reason to keep unused themes or plugins around, as they require updates and increase your site’s footprint.

Confirm your new WordPress website is up

new site has been created
  • 🎈 In my case, an email from wordpress@wptrench.com was sent to the dedicated Gmail account (for my website).
  • The message confirmed that my Username is: WP Trench.
  • It also invited me to either: 1) set up a new password, or 2) to log in with my existing password at https://wptrench.com/wp-login.php.
  • Since I had noted (and saved) the new WordPress password (earlier), I chose option #2.
  • The screen shown below, came up next for me.
log into WordPress admin panel of your new website - 1

You have effectively built a website from scratch…

Log into the website you are building from scratch as Admin

🎈 After logging into your Admin Panel successfully, your browser’s address bar should show: your_domain_name/wp-admin.

log into WordPress admin panel of your new website - 2
  • The first thing that caught my eye, and probably yours as well, is the “Coming Soon Active” message.
  • That is Bluehost’s way of providing cover from public scrutiny while you build your website.
  • πŸ’‘ If you feel it is important that you have your site ready before it is seen by the public for the first time, then leave this in place.

View the website you built from scratch as a visitor

view the new live version of the website you have built from scratch
  • 🍳 If your website intended for personal use, then I recommend disabling “Coming Soon Active”.
  • 🎫 We will do that in the next lesson, so you can turn it on/off as needed.
  • 🀞If you can see your website live at this point, congratulate yourself for being great at following the instructions in this lesson.
  • 🎈 To recap, disabling “Coming Soon Active” allows you to see your website as it truly looks to the public, at any given time.

Wrapping up the website you built from scratch

  • πŸ’‘I prefer to edit a website in my default browser (Chrome), and view it separately in Firefox.
  • The benefit of viewing it in a secondary browser is that I have peace of mind by separating editiong from viewing when I build a website from scratch.
  • So, while Chrome allows me to tinker with my WordPress website, Firefox shows me what public visitors see, live, as I make changes.
  • The mentioned strategy is not necessary, but it highlights potential issues related. For instance, being pre-authenticated to certain resources which you may be ignoring.
  • πŸ’₯ It may seem like viewing your live site in incognito mode, or a private tab, can provide you the same results, but that is not true.
  • 🎈 The website that you build from scratch would expect browser cookies to be enabled. That is how your visitors would normally view it…
  • πŸ’₯ While optimizing caching goes a long way to seeing your changes live, there is more you need to do to limit slamming your desk and spilling your coffee on your keyboard.

What else is covered in other lessons?

  • 🎫 We will discuss website caching in the future,.
  • πŸ’₯ Not turning off server-side caching (while tinkering with your site) causes frustration you have not even begun to ndiscoverted yet.
  • 🎈 For instance, you may not be able to view changes that you know you have made!

You have now built a website from scratch

🎬 Congratulations, you have just build a website from scratch.

🀞If you found this lesson useful or would like to see some changes, please comment right on this page with your thoughts or suggestions.

🎫 See you again in WordPress Lesson 2: Title? of my How To Build A WordPress Website On Bluehost series.

Norman (MrIT.ca)