Many of you have been trying to start your very own website but maybe you don’t know where to begin.
That’s actually 100 percent not true.
You can actually start your very own website (and monetize it) utilizing what we call a website theme.
You may be wondering “what is a website theme?” Well, this article explains just that. It also explains exactly how to go about building a website with no coding experience whatsoever (and make it look awesome).
Find a Domain Hosting Service and a Base Platform
First, you will need your own domain (what establishes your URL for your site and gives you a unique space carved out of the internet to develop content), you’ll likely want to start there first.
If you need to catch up and you don’t yet have your own domain name and hosting platform I suggest checking out my favorite web hosting platform that gives you access to your own free domain as well as the proper avenues to buy your own custom domain and make sure it stays renewed and up to date.
Now that you have a domain and have somewhere to host that domain, let’s talk about how to set it up as a real quality website.
There are all sorts of sites out there that have a platform pre-built that generates code for you on the back end and produces a final product that your visitors then see.
That is precisely the type of platform we want to target for simplicity and cost savings.
When first starting your online business, the last thing you want to do is dump loads of money into web development and site building. This cuts into your profits in the long run and your startup costs can get very out of control when employing a developer.
Personally WordPress has proven the easiest to navigate for me. You can setup a free WordPress site within the hosting platform I alluded to above with just the click of a button.
However, if you are looking for something more retail based and you are interested in selling a product you can also use Shopify. Shopify has been an awesome tool for me when I want to drop-ship products.
If you’re interested in the retail side of things and you’d like to build that style of site rather than maybe an affiliate site like this one then read this.
The article above will walk you through exactly how to setup a Shopify store and use their built in e-commerce platform, themes, and plugins to customize your site and make it functional.
For the purpose of this article I will focus on the style of site that you are reading right now.
One that develops articles and links to products and services that pay affiliate commissions as well as provides help to those looking to build their own website, online business, and ultimately generational wealth.
I’ve given you the simplest resource to find a domain and ultimately set up your website with WordPress in this section. However, we now need to discuss installing a theme on your website.
What Is A Website Theme?
In lieu of coding the backend of your website, a platform like WordPress generally has pre-developed “themes” that can be installed on your website.
A theme is what gives your website a particular look and feel. The one you are looking at right now was targeted due to simplicity and ease of content development and consumption for readers.
Since I utilize Wealthy Affiliate for all of my hosting, sitesupport, and content development and since they are partnered with WordPress, I utilize WordPress themes instead of developing my own custom look and feel (I do have html experience but it consumes too much of my time).
You are probably thinking to yourself that all sites must be the same then if there are standard preloaded themes in WordPress. However, that’s not the case at all.
In addition to simple, free, pre-loaded themes you can search the WordPress platform for paid themes that will be much more custom to your website.
When you purchase a theme you usually can get ahold of the developer of that theme and often times they will offer instructions or support regarding adjusting the themes overall look.
Now that you understand the basis of a theme and what it provides to your site, you need to understand exactly how to install one on your site.
Installing A Theme On Your New WordPress Site
There are a few simple steps to choosing a WordPress theme and getting it installed.
First, you will want to head over to your WordPress backend.
You should have a screen that looks pretty similar to this. Once in the backend. You will want to click on the “Appearance” menu for more options. Once you see the additional options available to you, navigate to the “Themes” menu under “Appearance.
You will now be provided with a list of different free themes from WordPress.
As you can see, this shows my Active Theme and that new versions are available. These are my current installed themes that I can switch to very quickly at any time. However, you are looking for a new theme for your site, not what you already have installed.
If you continue to scroll down on this same page you will see the option to “Add New Theme”.
Click on this widget and you will be shown a few different immediate options to choose from. However, you will want to dive a bit deeper in as some of these are the most frequently used themes and can take away from the uniqueness of your site (if that’s what you’re looking for).
Usually I would not use “Search Themes” unless I knew exactly what I was looking for. This can be quite overwhelming for your first theme choice. I would suggest either using one of the “Featured”, “Popular”, or “Favorite” this early on.
These themes often have regular updates and adapt very well to your writing style. You can also get a feel for how different pages or posts will look and how images will appear within this theme.
You can also get a feel for the customizeabliity of a theme before you decide what you want to stick with.
This will allow you to understand more fully where you can place menus, how they look when displayed, what images you can utilize on your home page, and how to implement your logo, header, and color scheme.
Before picking a theme, you will be shown quite a few options. How do you know which is best for your site?
That’s simple, you actually have the option to “preview” a theme and it’s functionality prior to installing it.
Quick tip: Just because this theme’s name is Travel Agency doesn’t mean you have to have a travel agency site to use it.
The theme preview tool shows you exactly what the site will look like before you develop any content or customize it. It shows you the location of all the different widgets, menus, and what the structure of your site will look like once you start adding your own design to it.
This window also offers you a description of the functionality of the theme and the best uses (per the developer).
If you decide that’s the theme that you want to go with, you next just click Install and it’s all yours.
Customizing Your Theme
You might still not understand how you take the basic installed theme to a fully customized website.
Well, thanks to WordPress this part is also easy!
I promised no code knowledge required, but if you want to learn a bit more about html or java and their respective front end languages I would suggest these books.
The set I linked to taught me a great deal and the Wiley books are without a doubt my favorite for learning any new subject.
It just so happened they have developed a great set for web design and building as well.
You don’t actually need to understand these languages to edit your theme, but sometimes it can be helpful and allow you to put a little bit of your own flavor on a theme (just don’t break it if you don’t have the knowledge).
Now that you have your new theme chosen and installed, you’ll want to customize it to fit your unique website.
Start at home again on the WordPress Dashboard. You will see the same menu on the left. This time under “Appearance” you will want to click “Customize” instead of “Theme”.
Once you get over to the “Customize” screen you will have countless options for editing.
As you can see, you’ll have the ability to edit the colors of your site. If you want to keep it simple you can stick with black and white like I did, or you can get a bit more attention grabbing and choose red, blue, any other color you want.
You can also select a header image. As you’ll see above and on my home page my header image is a aesthetically pleasing (in my opinion) photo of some nice blue Carribbean water. I believe that this represents a bit of the freedom I am constantly trying to achieve and hopefully my readers are as well.
You can also add widgets. This is a great place to copy banner code from a platform or site that you would receive affilaite commissions from.
As you can see on the right of this post even I have a widget for Wealthy Affiliate as it is my favorite platform to promote. Largely in part due to the tremendous amount of help that community has offered me, but I digress.
The part where you can get really creative is if you find interesting unique widgets or CSS code that you want to implement into your theme.
You can choose the additional CSS option and add in whatever you would like. The WordPress editor will naturally adapt it to your theme.
The best part of this editor is that nothing is final until you hit the “Publish” button at the top left.
Essentially, you have your own blank canvas to get your site looking just right before you present it to the public.
So jump in there, give it a shot, and share your results with me once you do. I love to see when others are able to successfully get their first (or second or third) sites up and running and customized to their liking. If you’ve done that, shoot me a comment below.
If you have any experience with creating your own site, or you have questions about the process I outlined above feel free to comment as well or connect with me over at my Wealthy Affiliate profile!