Introduction

Once upon a time, a merchant earned a large sum of money by selling his goods. With his goods sold and his purse full, he began the long trip home. He went to the stable to get his horse. The stable master brought out his horse and said, “Sir, your horse has lost a shoe nail. If you wait a bit, I will repair it for you.” The merchant said, “There’s no time, I must get home before dark. Moreover, one nail more or less in the shoe does not matter.” Saying so, he got on his horse and galloped it towards his destination.

After some time, another nail from the shoe of the horse came off. The horse began to limp. Being in a hurry, the merchant did not stop to repair the damage. More time passed, and the horse began to stagger. Presently, the dark of night descended. The horse slowed to a walk.

Evening enveloped the land, and the horse was moving so slowly, the merchant decided to get down and lead the horse. Suddenly, a gang of robbers appeared from the forest. The merchant tried to mount his horse again to escape, but the horse faltered, and he was thrown to the ground. He was at the mercy of the looters. They thrashed him thoroughly and snatched his money. The merchant returned home with a lame horse and empty pockets. His carelessness cost him a heavy price.

Making a Website can be Hard

The internet is full of promises stating claiming you can “create a website in five minutes!”, or “set up a website with one click!” and other such snake oil. But, if you are reading this guide, you must know that these are empty promises. Making a website is not simple. It can be infuriating. And, how to make one is constantly changing.

But there is hope. The main challenge is choice. There are too many ways to build a website, too many places to keep it, too many styles to choose from. This book is the solution. I’ve carefully designed this book to reduce complexity and decisions as much as possible, while still allowing you to make the website of your dreams.

I created this book because I know there is a need for it, and I love teaching. I make websites for businesses, non-profits, artists, and entrepreneurs. I offer a wide array of services, but most of my clients have no understanding of how a website works, or how they can change it. I’ve been making websites for eleven years, and teaching coding to elementary school students for three years.

Over time, I developed a teaching strategy that helps non-technical people make changes to their website on their own. I would like to share this strategy with you. Follow this guide, and you will be able to create a website on your own, customize it to fit your needs, and make it live on the internet.

This walkthrough is for people that are ready to create a website, but don’t know where to start. You don’t need any coding experience, or any experience with making a website. We won’t be doing any coding at all. All you need is a willingness to learn something new, and some time.

This is not a “5 minute tutorial”. This is the whole process. My goal is to make sure you understand how your website works, so you can change it later on, and make it look the way you want, without having to hire anyone.

If you are looking to get a website up as quickly as possible, here are some other websites that offer all-in-one website makers: Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and Shopify.

When you are done pulling your hair out trying to use these services, come back to this book, and we will create your website with WordPress. I prefer WordPress because it is more customizable, and has lots of excellent add-ons, plenty of guides on the internet, and it’s free.

Overview of this Course

This book is a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough. We’re going through the entire process: In the Getting Started chapter, you will pick a name for your website, and how to set up your name so anyone on the internet can find it. Then you will set up a place for the files that make up your website to live.

In the next chapter How to Install WordPress, we will set up WordPress so you can use it to create your website.

After that, you will learn How to Use WordPress. You will learn about what WordPress does for you, and how to use it to create a website.

In the next chapter, Add Your Theme, you will pick out and install the theme, or design of your website. This chapter ties in with the next, How to Customize your WordPress Theme, where you learn how to customize the look of your website without coding.

Then you can learn about making good content that will be easy to find on Google and other search engines, in the chapter Search Engine Optimization.

Then we will go over one of the most popular features of WordPress: plugins. In All About Plugins, you will learn how to add powerful upgrades to your website with a couple of clicks.

Then we wrap up with a preflight checklist to Launch Your Website, and a few closing thoughts.

There is also a glossary at the end, where I define some technical terms I use.

The goal of this book is to guide you, hand in hand, through this entire journey, but you can also use it as a reference guide, and just read the chapters you need. When you are ready, grab a drink, put on some light jazz, and let’s get to it!

About the Links in this Book

Throughout this course, I make recommendations for free and paid products and services. You can click on these links and visit the website and check them out for yourself. Some links are affiliate links, which means if you end up buying something, I will get a percentage of that sale. The price is the same for you, it costs you nothing extra for helping me in this way.

From my years of experience, I have found good companies offering good products, and those are the ones I’m recommending. If they have an affiliate program, I use it, if they don’t then, oh well. I’m recommending the products I think are best for you.

Lastly, I don’t get any information about you, or what you bought. The only thing I know is that somebody bought something at some point.

By supporting me this way, it allows me to make more guides like this, and help more people like you make the website of their dreams. And ultimately, the funds from these links will help me realize my dream of making an educational farm to teach inner-cities kids about the value of the natural world. Dreamers helping dreamers!

Next Chapter: Getting Started