Over the years, building a website has become much easier and quicker. Today, it’s entirely possible to put together a basic website in under an hour. At least if you know the basic tools you will need for the job.
Today, I am going to cover the steps to build a basic website in less time than it takes you to go out to dinner at a restaurant.
What Is A Basic Website?
Now a basic website can mean a lot of things. It could refer to the designs behind it, the features it offers, or even the content it produces. So to clarify, I am describing a website that is functional and nothing more.
The website will use a preset appearance, and not have any advanced features.
Note: You should not build an eCommerce website this quickly. There is nothing basic about the setup process of one, and it can lead to a variety of mistakes that could cost you money or customers.
How to Make A Website in Under An Hour
Odds are if you want to build a website this quickly, you already have an idea of what you want to create. If not, you should really take a few minutes to figure out what you want to do.
Not having a plan in mind will slow down the entire process.
In either case, following this process will only result in a functional website without any of the bells and whistles, but you can always update it later on.
Step 1: Choose A Platform to Build On
When it comes to speed, you need to pick a platform that enables you to build easily and does a lot of the work automatically. While there are a lot of options to choose from, none come close to WordPress.
This is exactly why over 40% of all websites are built with it. So, what makes it such a great platform to build on?
The main advantage of WordPress is its accessibility. It’s no exaggeration to claim that anyone can build a website on WordPress without any experience. Nothing in WordPress requires any coding knowledge whatsoever.
The truth is that setting up WordPress is really just a series of settings to configure at its most basic level.
Now if the platform was just beginner-friendly, it still wouldn’t be nearly as popular. Instead, the other major factor to consider is customization. You can build any type of website and customize every aspect of it.
And a big part of what makes WordPress so easy and customizable at the same time is the huge library of plugins and themes. A plugin is just like an app for your smartphone. It adds a specific feature to your website.
Whereas a theme is like wallpaper. It dictates the appearance of your website, which can be changed at any time.
Step 2: Choose A Web Host and Domain Name
Now that you decided on a platform to build on, it’s time to find a web hosting company that supports it. A web hosting company rents out web servers that store websites. They are also in charge of maintaining it to operate 24/7 without interruption.
The web host you select will have a direct impact on your website’s performance. The good news is that you have a lot of options to consider because the web hosting industry is extremely crowded.
And as a customer, this has resulted in very low prices. But that being said, not all web hosts are equal.
Even a basic website needs a good web hosting company because it can improve speeds and open up doors down the road. That’s why at GreenGeeks we are proud to offer excellent services, low prices, and a positive impact on the environment.
We have even been recognized as one of the top web hosts in the industry.
We also throw in a free domain name for the first year, which is a great segway into choosing one. For those who don’t know, a domain name is your website’s address.
Every website must have a domain name, and there are a few basic rules to follow.
It should be short, reflect the website’s content, and be easy to remember. For small businesses, the domain name is usually just the business name. If you’re a freelancer or other professional, a lot of people will just use their names.
Step 3: Install WordPress And Choose A Theme
The good news is that most web hosting companies offer one-click installation, and GreenGeeks is no exception. Check out our detailed guide on how to install WordPress in just one click.
After the installation process, you need to pick out a theme for your website. In short, a theme is a collection of style sheets and templates that customizes the appearance of your website.
This allows you to quickly create a basic website design in just a few minutes as all of the themes are ready for use upon installation.
There are free and premium themes available, and the difference between the two is the level of support you receive and the features it may have.
In most cases, premium themes come with packages with premium plugins that justify the cost. Combine that with a support team that can help you troubleshoot basic problems, and they are well worth the money.
Since you are going for speed and don’t have a lot of time to customize a layout, I recommend starting off with a free theme. You can always change the theme later on when you have more time.
That said, it’s worth mentioning that you can edit them to get better results at a later date. You may find that you want to change the font, colors, or perhaps add a background image.
You don’t have to settle on the details right now when you’re building a basic website.
Step 4: Create Web Pages
At this point, your website is really ready to go and all that it’s missing is your content. Use the remaining time to enter your website’s information and create a few basic posts and pages to get started.
So that raises the question, what types of pages should your website have?
In truth, it should depend on your website’s focus, but there are a few general pages every website should have.
For instance, your website should include a Contact Us (Me) page. This page provides contact information (phone number, email, address, etc.) for visitors or customers that want to leave feedback.
It can also be how customers contact you to begin requesting a specific service. Every website should have one.
The other obvious choice is a homepage. This is where many visitors will end up when they find your website. It should provide visitors with a clear idea of what your website is all about. For example, a blog will display its latest content.
Whereas an online store will display products.
After this, it really depends on what you want the website to be, but odds are you are close to the one-hour mark. You should also have a fully functioning website, so congratulations!
Install Plugins for More Options
This tutorial covers the process of building a website with only the basic features in mind, and a one-hour time restriction. That doesn’t leave much room for plugins as some of the setups can take a few minutes to get right.
But once the rush is over, you should install a few necessary plugins.
These powerful software packages allow you to add a variety of useful features that really help your website shine. And don’t require any coding.
For instance, if you were building an online shop, you would want to install the WooCommerce plugin. It allows you to turn your website into a fully functional storefront that can accept payments and build product pages with ease.
Or, if you want to use WordPress for its impressive lineup of blogging tools, the Yoast SEO plugin will help make your website SEO friendly. It also provides writing tips to make your blogs more readable.
And never forget the value of great security plugins to keep your website and data safe.
If you are not happy with pages you can construct with the default WordPress tools, you can use a page builder plugin like Elementor to get more creative. These tools allow you to customize every aspect of the pages you build including unique layout designs.
The point is there are literally thousands of plugins that you can install to improve the experience on your website.
Take Time to Refine Your Website
Now, just because you can build a website within an hour, doesn’t mean you should. The point of this guide is to show that the actual process is really simple. The real time investment in building a website is improving the experience for visitors and creating content.
Unless you are an experienced web developer, the final result will be basic. It’s not going to be a website that wows visitors. And frankly, it will probably be very clunky to navigate.
It will take time to iron these issues out.
Obviously, a website without content isn’t much of a website. Creating new content or adding new products is a lot of work. It gets easier over time, but expect to spend hours before the process becomes streamlined.
How long did it take you to create your own website? Do you plan to spend more time later on to improve the design?