Are you interested in building a website but find the process daunting? Fear not! This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on creating a website, specifically tailored for Australians. The best part? You don’t need any prior experience or coding skills. With only 30 minutes of your time, you’ll have a fully-functional website with hosting and a domain.
Step 1: Choose a Website Platform
Creating a website involves two options: building it from scratch, which can take several months, or using a website builder that can create a website within minutes. The latter option is more convenient and efficient, and it allows you to personalize your website.
Fortunately, there are several website builders available, both free and paid. Some of the well-known ones include WordPress, Wix, Drupal, Joomla, and SquareSpace. According to recent statistics, WordPress is the most popular website builder in the industry, and it’s completely free.
But what makes WordPress so popular? For starters, it’s an open-source platform, which means thousands of developers can contribute to the platform’s maintenance, security, and functionality. Additionally, the platform has a large community of developers who make various themes, plugins, and tools available to users.
WordPress is not only an excellent option for beginners but also for large websites. Its efficiency and user-friendliness, combined with access to thousands of plugins and themes, make it a top choice for website creation.
If you want to learn more about WordPress and my full review, please see my WordPress review here.
Step 2: Selecting a Domain Name and Hosting Provider
With our website builder platform in place, the next crucial step is to choose a domain name and a hosting provider. If you’re unfamiliar with these terms, don’t worry. It’s entirely normal, and we’ll explain everything you need to know.
A domain name is the address that people type into their web browser to reach your website, such as mysite.com. It’s an essential aspect of building a brand and creating a professional online presence. While you can use free domain extensions like blogspot.site.mysite.com, it looks messy and doesn’t give you full control over your website name and brand. Buying your domain name costs around $10 per year and is a worthwhile investment.
Web hosting is a service that stores your website files and connects them to the internet. Without web hosting, you would have nowhere to store your content, such as articles, images, and videos. It’s an essential part of building any website.
Choosing a Reputable Web Host for Australian Websites
Having built hundreds of websites over the past nine years, I can confidently say that BlueHost is my preferred web host provider for Australians. They offer lightning-fast speeds, almost perfect uptime, one-click WordPress installs, and a low price of AUD $5.57 per month. Moreover, you can get a free .com domain when you sign up. Click on this link to get started and claim your free domain name.
If you want to learn more about BlueHost, check out my guide on the best web hosts for Australians. It covers BlueHost in more detail.
Step 3: Go to BlueHost.com to Get Started
If you have already chosen a web host or decide to pick an alternative provider, you can skip this step and go straight to step 4.
3.1: Choosing a Domain Name (Or Bringing Your Own)
If you clicked the link provided above, you would be taken to the BlueHost home page. Click on the “Get Started” button, which allows you to choose your new free domain name.
If you don’t already have a domain name, you can enter one of your choosing on the left-hand side and then select a domain option from the drop-down menu. While there are various domain options, including .net, .co, and .biz, I recommend using .com as it’s the standard for all websites.
If you already have an existing domain name, such as a .com.au, you can add it to the right-hand section.
.COM Vs .COM.AU
When selecting a domain name, especially for Australians, you need to consider what domain is right for your website. Here’s a quick guide:
- Local business = .com.au
- E-commerce store targeting global and Aussie traffic = .com
- Australian blog targeting local and international traffic = .com
- News website/forum covering local topics = .com.au
3.2: Choosing Your Plan
After selecting the desired domain name, we are directed to the plan options page. BlueHost offers three primary options: Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus.
Personally, I am using the Choice Plus plan, which allows me to host unlimited websites and provides access to unmetered website space. Although it may be slightly more expensive than the Basic plan, costing AUD $8.39 per month (based on a 3-year plan), I believe that the additional cost is worthwhile for business purposes.
3.3: Providing Account Details and Plan Options
Once we have selected our plan, we need to fill in our details and choose our preferred plan options. After providing the necessary information, we can select the time frame for our hosting package.
For those looking to save money over the long term, I would recommend choosing the 36 or 60-month option for a lower monthly rate. However, the choice ultimately depends on individual budget and time frame.
3.4: Creating a Password and Logging into BlueHost
After completing the payment process, we are prompted to create a password for our new BlueHost account.
Step 4: Setting Up Your Website with WordPress
For those looking to save time, a helpful video tutorial on how to install WordPress on BlueHost with a new domain name is available below.
To install WordPress, we need to follow these steps:
- Log in to our BlueHost account
- In the control panel, navigate to “My Sites” on the right-hand side
- Click “Create Site” on the top right-hand corner
- Select our domain from the drop-down menu
- Deselect the add-on plugins (not necessary)
- Click “Next”
After completing these steps, WordPress will take a few minutes to install. We can use this time to take a break and grab a cup of coffee!
After installation, WordPress will display a confirmation screen indicating that it has been successfully installed. We will also receive our website login details, which are separate from our BlueHost credentials. It is recommended to store these login details securely for future reference.
Step 5: Designing Your New Website
Now that the technical setup is completed, it’s time to focus on the fun part of designing your new website!
5.1: Logging into Your WordPress Website
To begin adding themes and content to your new website, you must first log in. You can do this by using the login details that were provided to you earlier.
Alternatively, you can log in to your website anytime by going to https://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin. Once there, enter your username and password to log in.
5.2: Installing a Theme
After logging into WordPress, the next step is to add a new theme to your website. By default, WordPress installs a basic standard theme, but you can add your own theme depending on the type of website you want to create. There are a wide range of themes available for different categories, such as cafe themes, plumbing business themes, forum themes, online store themes, blogging themes, news themes, accountant themes, portfolio themes, and video sharing themes.
Adding a new theme will give your website a fresh look and feel, and change the way visitors interact with it. To add a new theme, go to Appearance > Themes on the right-hand side of the WordPress dashboard. Then, click “Add New” on the top left-hand corner. You can then search for your desired theme and hover your mouse over it to install and activate it.
It is important to note that if you change or delete a theme, you will not lose any of your posts, pages, or content.
5.3: Adjusting Your Website Settings
Now that a new theme is installed on your website, it’s time to make some minor adjustments before you start adding content.
Change Website Site Title & Tagline
The first setting to adjust is the site title and tagline of your website. This tells visitors and search engines what your website is about. To do this, go to Settings > General on the left-hand menu. Then, adjust your website title and tagline and hit “Save Changes”.
Change the Website Permalink Structure
The next adjustment to make is to the permalink structure. A permalink is a signature for whenever you add a new post or page. It’s important to have a clear and concise permalink structure to help visitors and search engines understand what your page or post is about. For example, mydomain.com/how-to-make-a-website is a better permalink structure than mydomain.com/p=13?/19/03/make-a-website.
To adjust the permalink structure, go to Settings > Permalinks. Then, select the “Post name” option and click save.
Now that the settings are adjusted, it’s time to start adding content to your new website!
Step 6: Adding Pages and Posts
In my opinion, adding great and valuable content to your website is one of the most important things you can do. No matter what type of website you are creating, having good content will encourage visitors to stay on your site and learn more about you, your business or your services.
If you want to learn how to write incredible blog posts, this is a great place to start. To add a new page, go to the left-hand side and select Pages > Add New. Once you have selected “Add New”, you will be taken to the Pages section of WordPress.
As you can see from the image above, the areas are very similar to other programs you may have used such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Pages and text editors. To get started, simply add in your title and then the content below. In this section, you can also add images, videos, tables, sliders, bullet points, numbered lists and much more.
Once you are happy with how your page is looking, you can go ahead and publish it. To do this, click on the blue “Publish” button in the top right-hand corner. Your page is now live for the world to see!
If you want to add a post, simply follow these same steps. You will find the posts tab on the left-hand menu.
As a side note, it is a good rule of thumb to use pages for information such as contact, about, opening times and so on. Posts are more suited for content that you wish to share, such as “Recent renovations to our restaurant: Update”.
Step 7: Downloading Plugins
One of the last things we should do is to add some plugins to our site. Just like a theme, a plugin allows us to add extra functionality to our website. For example, here are just some types of plugins that you can install:
- Social sharing plugins
- Table plugins
- SEO plugins
- Button plugins
- Security plugins
- Analytics plugins
- Email responder plugins
- Contact form plugins
- Pop-up plugins
There really is no limit to the types of plugins that you can find for your website. To add a plugin, go to Plugins > Add New on the left-hand menu.
In the plugins section, you will be presented with some recommended plugins to install. You can also search for the type of plugin you want in the top right-hand corner, and look at popular and recommended plugins on the left-hand side.
While there are thousands of plugins available for your website, below are some essential ones that I always install on any new website that I make (in no particular order). All of these plugins are completely free:
Really Simple SSL: This is a great little plugin with the sole purpose of redirecting any traffic from any HTTP versions of your site to the correct HTTPS.
WP Super Cache: Got a slow website? One sure-fire way to speed it up is to install a caching plugin. This will serve up an already static view of your website to the visitor, resulting in faster load times. At the time of writing, this plugin had over 1 million downloads!
JetPack: This is another great plugin that is like 10 plugins in 1. It has great extras like recommended posts, social buttons, contact forms, CDN, sitemaps and more!
Akismet: For me, this is a must-have! As a long-time website owner, getting spam comments is just part of life. To reduce or eliminate them, this is a must-have.
Yoast SEO: Last but not least, this is an SEO plugin that will help you improve your content to boost your search results on Google. This is done with recommendations like keyword density, longer
Step 8: Connecting Google Tools
This is the final step, and although optional, it comes highly recommended!
It took me a while to realize just how important these tools are for any website, and Google provides them for free.
Google Analytics is an exceptional tool that allows us to delve deep into our website’s traffic. We can view where our visitors are coming from and how long they stay on our site. We can also gather valuable demographic data like the age, gender, and even interests of our site’s visitors.
For any local business owner operating in Australia, this data is absolute gold, as it provides a clear view of who your customers really are.
Google Webmaster Tools is another free tool from Google that allows us to submit our website data to Google. Although Google will organically find our website and show it in the search results, using this tool allows us to track the progress and see what phrases our website is ranking for and how it is performing in the search.
If you are an A/B testing and optimizing enthusiast, you’ll have a field day with this tool!
Wrapping It Up
That’s it! Hopefully, this guide on how to make a website for Australians has been helpful to you. If you have followed this guide to the very end, please share your website in the comment section below.
If you have any other questions or need help with anything, please feel free to comment below, and I’ll walk you through each step.
Thank you for reading, and I wish you the best of luck in the future success of your website!