how to create a wordpress website

How to Create a WordPress Website (Step by Step)

In this tutorial I will show you how to create a WordPress website for your blog or business.

This tutorial is designed to be beginner friendly and easy to follow.

Keep reading if:

By the end of this tutorial, you will have a brand new website for your personal blog or business.

Using WordPress will allow you to build any type of website you want, from a traditional blog, a directory site, an online store, etc. You name it, WordPress gives you the tools to create it!

This walk-through has been created to give you the complete foundation you need to build any website that you like using WordPress, and as you get familiar with the process of installing WordPress, you’ll easily be able to put together amazing looking sites for your family and friends.

Introduction To Creating A WordPress Website

I have been using WordPress to build sites for over 10 years. I have tried many platforms but I always return to the platform that I love the most, WordPress.

There are lots of courses on how to start a WordPress blog, some good and some bad, but I wanted to put together a resource that I wish was available to me when I first started out online.

So here is a resource that is EASY TO FOLLOW and FREE!

Below you will find everything that you need to get started on your website owning journey.

Please note: I only recommend tools that I personally use and have used. Certain links on this page do contain a referral link, also known as an affiliate link. It works like this, I tell you about an amazing product or service, you click on the link and make a purchase, I earn a commission.

It is a way of saying thank you from the company for sending them a new customer, and by using the affiliate links, you are helping me to create even better content that will help you be more successful with your business. You can find a link to the DKP Marketing affiliate disclosure policy in the footer of the site for further information.

Before I dive into building a WordPress site, let me answer a few frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Running A Website Expensive?

No.

When you start a website, your only cost will be a domain name and your hosting. A domain name is extremely cheap unless you want to purchase a domain with history, authority, and a backlink profile (if you do, check out Sedo).

Hosting will be your biggest purchase but you can get amazing discounts by registering for a new hosting account by signing up for the longest term possible with places such SiteGround or Bluehost.

As with most things, the more you can afford in the way of hosting packages, the more power, speed, and add-on features you will gain access to.

As your website becomes more popular and your income grows, you can move from shared hosting to VPS Hosting, Cloud Hosting, etc. These packages have greater performance benefits but cost more.

Additional costs are optional, such as the purchase of premium WordPress plugins or a premium WordPress theme.

Do I Have To Keep Creating Content For My Website?

Yes and no.

You can have a fully functioning WordPress website that you do not need to update with regular content if your site has a specific purpose, such as, a brochure site, or an online resume, etc. These sites will not require you to keep adding new content and may only require the occasional edit/update.

A business blog or affiliate site will need fresh content. You will want to grow your audience, and blogging is a great way to do that. Writing content that your readers find useful can be time consuming but the rewards can far exceed the time investment involved. People link to great content from their websites and your audience will share it across their social media channels.

If you do not have the time to create your own content or you do not think that you have the writing skills required, that’s not a problem either. Simply hire a content writer from places such as Fiverr for as little as $5 per article (this typically won’t be high level content but it will be usable and you can always improve on the content you are sent).

Should I Hire a Freelancer Web Designer Or Web Design Agency To Design My WordPress Website?

Yes and no.

Yes, hire a freelancer or web design agency if you have no time to build a website yourself or you cannot get someone on your staff to follow this tutorial.

Hire a freelancer or web design agency if you have a budget ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds and you want a truly bespoke design.

No, do it yourself if you have the time and want to learn how to create, manage, and edit your own site. This will save you the cost of hiring a designer/freelancer to update your content or to make small changes to the design of your site.

Are There Alternatives To WordPress

Yes.

These days, there are lots of options when it comes to website builders, blogging platforms and e-commerce platforms.

You can quickly start a blog on WordPress.com or Blogger.

You can even build beautiful looking website with ease using services like Wix or Weebly. These services are free to start but you will have to upgrade (pay) to access more options or to use your own domain.

Joomla and Drupal are great self-hosted alternatives to WordPress. Both have a steeper learning curve and do not have the huge array of themes and plugins that the WordPress community enjoy. You can install these platforms easily using one-click installation scripts found on most popular hosting accounts such as SiteGround and BlueHost.

If you want to build an e-commerce store you can use Shopify. Shopify is an amazing platform that allows you to easily create a storefront and process payments.

However, if you don’t have anything to sell yet, you can build your blog and then install WooCommerce, a WordPress e-commerce platform. WooCommerce + WordPress gives you greater control than Shopify will give you.

None of these options give you the freedom and functionality that owning your own self-hosted WordPress website gives you and this is why the platform is typically my number one suggestion for the majority of projects.

Owning you own site, on your own hosting account, gives you more control over your content, and your lead capture and promotional methods.

Do I Need to Know How to Code?

The short answer is, NO!

However, knowing some basic HTML and CSS will give you the skills to edit the design of your site without being overly reliant on the default styling set by the theme.

You can learn to code from the experts with a free 7-day trial with Treehouse. Start learning HTML, CSS, javascript, PHP, and more, giving you the necessary skills to power up your site.

To make editing a WordPress theme super simple, you can also use a visual page builder such as Divi. Divi allows you to build and customise theme layouts and style elements quickly and easily in just a few clicks on the front and backend of the site.

Another great way to make changes to any WP theme, and learn as you go, is the very powerful CSSHero plugin.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, What is The Difference?

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a ‘hosted’ for you service provided by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

If you want to get started with creating a website and do not want to worry about all the technical stuff like hosting, domain registration and FTP clients, etc. then starting with WordPress.com may be a good option for you.

WordPress.com provides you with different packages for all types of websites.

I recommend you go with WordPress.com if you want to:

If you do go with WordPress.com, you can upgrade at any time to use your own domain with their platform.

Get started with a free WordPress.com website

NOTE: You can build your blog on WordPress.com and when you are ready to switch to a self-hosted WordPress site, then you can easily export your content. You can export content from WordPress.com and import it to your self-hosted WordPress blog in just a few clicks.

WordPress.org

WordPress has humble beginnings as a pure blogging platform and has steadily grown and evolved into a fully-fledged CMS (content management system).

A CMS allows you to manage your website, add content, images, videos, etc., without having to edit static code files unlike the old days of website management.

WordPress is free and is constantly being updated for better performance, security, and functionality.

Out-of-the-box, WordPress is very easy to get started with and learn. You can change the look of your website in seconds by activating a new theme. You can access a large number of free themes on the WordPress.org theme directory.

WordPress also has a large community of theme developers who provide premium themes. Premium themes usually have more features and come with a greater level of technical support.

You can search for premium themes on directory sites such as ThemeForest or RocketTheme, and you can purchase premium themes directly from theme creators such as TeslaThemes and StudioPress.

In addition to premium themes, you can also access a number of free and premium site builders, allowing you to get your hands dirty and put your own theme, page and post layouts together. In this space, you’ll find Divi, Elementor, ThemifyBuilder, among others.

Another reason I always end up using WordPress to build websites is because of how easy it is to extend the functionality of a site by installing a plugin.

Just like with themes, WordPress.org has a huge library of free plugins that you can add to your site in just a few clicks.

You can also purchase premium plugins from creators on plugin directory sites such as CodeCanyon. Additionally, you can purchase directly from premium plugin creators such as the amazing MonsterInsights (Google Analytics on Steroids), Monarch (stylish social sharing buttons), or GravityForms (add powerful contact forms to your site).

Just like with premium themes, premium plugins generally have better support.

With the introduction out of the way, let’s get started and create your very own WordPress blog or website.

Register A Domain

The first you need to do to have for your own website is to register a domain.

Before we get into that though, it is very important to think about what your domain name will be.

This is what people will type into the browser address bar or into a search engine to find your website.

dkp marketing domain in browser address bar

If you prefer to purchase your domain with your hosting provider, then you can skip this step. If you register a domain with a hosting provider, you will not be have to worry about step number 3, pointing your DNS (domain name servers) to your host.

I like to keep my domain separate from my hosting account provider in the majority of cases. This is a personal preference. If you would like to a grab a free domain or purchase your domain with your hosting provider then jump ahead to learn how to register a hosting account.

Use the search box below to search Namecheap for a domain.

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Or follow the link and perform the search on their website.

Namecheap Domain Name Search and Registration

If you already have a domain name in mind, then type that into the search bar. For this example, I am going to use biglittlemarketing.com to start my search.

search for a domain name using namecheap

Enter the domain that you would like for your website in the ‘search domain’ area and click on the search button represented by a magnify glass.

You will now be presented with a list of domains matching your criteria. You will also be able to see whether the exact extension is available or whether you’ll have to settle on an alternative.

domain search results

Here you can see that (1) the domain is available to purchase. These are (2) alternative domain extensions that you may be interested in, such as .co, .net, etc. The (3) prices are listed here, and (4) are the ‘Add to cart’ buttons.

If you are struggling to find a domain using the normal search, you can switch to ‘Beast Mode’ at anytime.

Simply type in your domain and this time click on where it says ‘Beast Mode’.

beast mode search

Click on the different search criteria to change the results you will be shown.

beast mode options

You can choose your (1) ‘Price Range’, select/deselect (2) ‘Transform/Options’, (3) ‘Append Prefix/Suffix, select (4) TLDs (top level domains) and then click on (5) ‘Generate’.

You will now see a long list of results that you can sort through.

beast mode bulk search results

Whether you choose to search for a domain the traditional route, or you go with ‘Beast Mode’, the end result is the same.

add domain to cart

Simply click on the ‘Add to cart’ button next to the domain that you want to register.

domain chekcout options

You will see that the domain has been (1) ‘added to your cart’. (2) Additional resources will be presented to you.

You can leave these all blank unless any of the ‘upsells’ or additional features make sense to your business.

NOTE: You won’t need the ‘Web Hosting’ upsell because you will register with SiteGround in the next step.

Now click on the ‘View Cart’ button.

view cart

The next steps will give you options related to your domain.

confirm order

(1) Shows the domain you are registering, (2) shows the term of that registration. You can click here to change it to a longer term, (3) toggles ‘auto-renew’ on/off, (4) is for WhoisGuard and PremiumDNS features. I do not use either but the choice is yours. Click on (5) ‘Confirm Order’ when you are happy.

You will now either have to ‘Log In to your Account’ or ‘Create An Account’.

Follow the steps to complete registration and then pay for your domain registration using your preferred payment method: PayPal, add funds to your account, or credit card.

That’s it, you’ve registered a domain for your blog or business website. Now you will need a hosting account.

Register for Hosting

To have a self-hosted WordPress website you will need hosting.

You have plenty of options available to you in the hosting space, some premium and pricey, some terrible and cheap (but will cost you in other ways – poor performance, lack of support, etc.).

For this walk-through, I am going to use SiteGround. SiteGround is a fast, secure and reliable host that is affordable for a new blogger/business owner, and comes with a very high level of customer support.

Click here now to sign-up with SiteGround

Alternative Hosting Options

Without getting too technical in this post, you can get dedicated WordPress hosting with providers such as WP Engine and Kinsta.

Dedicated WordPress does cost more than other hosting environments and you’ll gain access to high-level WordPress experts as part of their support teams.

You will also find certain restrictions on the plugins you can install on your site when using dedicated WP enviroments.

This is often due to how the specialist hosting providers have their server environments configured. This can be because certain plugins have an impact on site speed and security.

WP Engine

wpengine hosting
WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting

WP Engine boasts a catalogue of premium WordPress themes from StudioPress and the powerful Genesis Framework as a bonus feature to their packages.

Get WP Engine from $35 per month

Kinsta

kinsta wordpress hosting
Kinsta Premium WordPress Hosting

Kinsta provide seure hosting, free migrations, daily backups and ultimate speed as a basis of their service.

Get Kinsta from $30 per month

Registerting For Hosting With SiteGround

siteground hosting
SiteGround WordPRess & WooCommerce Hosting

Head over to SiteGround.

Click here to sign-up with SiteGround

When you arrive on the SiteGround website, click on the ‘Get Started’ button below the ‘Managed WordPress Hosting’ package.

siteground get started wordpress hosting

Now select your package. I recommend starting with the GrowBig or GoGeek if you have the budget.

siteground hosting plans

Click on ‘Get Plan’.

You will now have the option to register a new domain.

We did this using Namecheap, so we will select ‘I already have a domain’ and put our domain information in the field provided.

Be sure to type your domain correctly.

proceed with domain

Click on ‘Proceed’.

You will now have the option to ‘log in’ to an existing account or ‘register for a new account’.

Complete the registration process.

ALERT: for BIG SAVINGS select the longest term that you can afford. It gives you the biggest discount on all packages (except the 1 month trial).

Below your account details you will see some extra options.

siteground hosting extras

Select the (1) ‘Period’ of your hosting account, I recommend you pay the extra yearly charge for the (2) ‘SG Site Scanner’ protection, (3) accept the terms of service and then click on (4) ‘Pay Now’.

Congratulations, you’ve just registered your hosting account.

Now, if you purchased your domain with Namecheap, you will have to complete one extra step that tells the visitors to your domain URL where your website files are hosted.

This is known as pointing your DNS (domain name system/server) to the server on your hosting account.

Don’t worry, it is easier than it sounds.

Point DNS to Host

To be able to point DNS to host, you will need some information from your hosting account. This information is the ‘nameservers’ where your files live.

NOTE: SiteGround are updating their backend so things may look different by the time you read this article. I will place an updated link to this step when it becomes available.

Visit SiteGround and ‘Login’

siteground login

You’ll find the button at the top of the homepage.

You will be taken to your ‘admin’ area.

go to cpanel

Click on (1) ‘My Accounts’ and then (2) ‘Go to cPanel’.

The information you need (name servers) will be at the top right of your cPanel area, found underneath ‘Account Information’.

name servers

Your name server information will start with ‘ns1’ and ‘ns2. Some hosting providers have more but your SitGround package will typically only have the two.

Now you will need to visit Namecheap in a new browser tab/window or copy your ‘Name Servers’ into a notepad file to use in a minute.

namecheap login

On the Namecheap homepage, click on ‘Sign In’ at the top of the page.

Inside your admin area you will be presented with your registered domains.

click on manage

Next to your domain, click on ‘Manage’.

Scroll to where it says ‘Namesevers’.

namecheap nameservers

Change Namecheap BasicDNS to ‘Custom DNS’

custom dns

Enter your ‘SiteGround’ (1) information that you copied from the step above and then click (2) the green tick to save the changes.

That’s it!

Now we can install WordPress.

Install WordPress

In the not too distant past, you would have to download WordPress from WordPress.org, then upload all the files via an FTP client (file transfer protocol) to your server on your hosting account, and then finally, you would have to configure WordPress to even start blogging.

Thankfully, things are so much easier today.

The majority of host providers now have the famous one-click installation scripts for many blog and e-commerce platforms, and SiteGround is one of them.

The process will be pretty similar whether you use providers such as Bluehost or SiteGround.

Login into your SiteGround cPanel. Locate ‘Softaculous’ or ‘WordPress’ underneath the heading ‘Autoinstallers’.

wordpress installer

Softaculous gives you access to all site installation scripts, go there to look at the other platforms that are available. To install WordPress, click on ‘WordPress’.

custom wordpress installation

Click on the ‘dropdown arrow next to ‘Install’ and then click on ‘Custom Install’.

You will now have to fill out your site details.

wordpress software setup

You can leave (1) as is for the latest version of WordPress. (2) Select the option that makes the most sense for your site (read about www vs non-www). Choose http:// for now and you can change this later after you’ve installed an SSL certificate for your site.

Make (3) sure the domain you want to install WordPress on is selected. (4) Give your site a name and (5) a brief decscription (some themes show this as a tagline).

Now enter an (1) ‘Admin Username’, an (2) ‘Admin Password’ (be sure to choose a strong password), an (3) ‘Admin Email’, and then (4) ‘Select Language’ for your site.

wordpress database name

Lastly, (1) tick to install ‘Loginizer’ as an extra security layer. You can also install the classic editor to return WordPress to an older post/page writing interface, but I like using the new Gutenberg ‘blocks’ system.

I never use the (2) ‘WordPress Starter’ themes and plugins but you can install these and test them out for yourself if you wish. You can edit your (3) ‘Database Name’ and ‘Table Prefix’. Removing signs to ‘wp’ is recommended for improved security. Now click on (4) ‘Install’ and the installation process will begin.

installation progress bar

After the installer has completed, you will be presented with your site admin URL.

wp admin url

Be sure to bookmark your admin link for future access.

Click on the ‘Aminstrative URL’ to go to the famous WordPress login screen.

Remember, to access your website login/admin area, add /wp-admin to the end of your domain.

For example:

https://demo.dkpmarketing.co.uk/wp-admin.

wordpress login screen

If you are not logged in, you will be redirected to the login screen. (1) Use your details you created above to ‘login’. Press the (2) ‘Login’ button to be taken to your WordPress admin dashboard.

If you are logged in already, you will automatically arrive at your admin dashboard when ever you visit the /wp-admin URL.

wordpress admin dashboard

Take some time to familairise yourself with the different areas of the WP dashboard.

Now it is time to configure WordPress.

Configure WordPress

WordPress is pretty much ready to go out of the box, but there are some things we need to do before we get started.

Set Your Site’s Tagline

When you intall WordPress with SiteGround, your site title and tagline have already been set.

Some themes display the tagline on the frontend of the site. It is a quick description that says what your site is about.

Let’s say you are a ‘food blogger’, you would put something like ‘foodie reviews’ as your tagline.

Some hosts do not set the site description/tagline during the WordPress installation process. If your host does not, then this is how you can do it.

general settings

From your WordPress admin area, go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘General’.

wordpress website tagline

Whatever you change your tagline to, make sure it accurately describes what your users can expect from your website.

Change Admin Email

You’ll find this by going to ‘General’ found under ‘Settings’, just like the step above.

Some installation processes will give you a default admin email address. This is usually admin@yourdomain.com.

wordpress admin email

Change it to your domain email or an email that you are going to use for your website.

new admin email in wordpress admin area

You will need to confirm that the email has changed. You wil be sent a confirmation email to the new email address that you used, simply click on the confirmation/verfication link in the email to confirm the changes.

Site Language, Timezone, Date And Time Format Settings

In the same area as you changed the email address and added a tagline, you will find the site langauge, timezone, date and time format settings.

wordpress site language timezone settings

Select the (1) ‘Site Language’, set the (2) ‘Timezone’, (3) ‘Date Format’, (4) ‘Time Format’, and then click (5) ‘Save Changes’.

Now, arguably one of the most important settings to change, is your permalink structure.

It is better to do this straight away, as doing this on a large site can cause a lot of problems, especially if you do not know how to redirect old URL structures to the new URL format.

A permalink is a static (permanent) link to your page or post.

The best structure is the ‘post name‘ structure.

It is the best option because it allows you to add keywords to your URL without having any additional words or numbers proceeding it.

As an example, what looks better:

https://www.dkpmarketing.co.uk/?p=26503

Or

https://www.dkpmarketing.co.uk/2019/09/07/create-a-website/

Vs

https://www.dkpmarketing.co.uk/create-a-website/

I’m sure you will agree which of these URL structures looks best.

You will find the permalink settings under ‘Settings’ and then ‘Permalinks’.

wordpress permalinks settings

You will be presented with a few different permalink structures that you can use. Visit the link to learn more about WordPress permalinks.

wordpress permalink structure

Now select the ‘Post name’ permalink and save the changes.

Now, let’s install a theme.

How To Install A WordPress Theme

Installing a WordPress theme is quick and easy.

In just a few clicks you can drastically change the way your site looks and feels.

WordPress comes with plenty of free theme options to get you started. WP also boasts a vast number of premium themes and visual site builders.

You also have a few ways you can add a new theme to your site.

In this tutorial, I will cover how to install a free theme directly from your WordPress admin dashboard and how to upload a premium theme .zip file, also through the WP dashboard.

You can install a theme using an FTP client or your host accounts file manager, but I will cover these in a separate tutorial.

How To Install A Free WordPress Theme

Installing a free theme is very quick and easy. For this tutorial I will install the Hello Elementor theme.

hello elementor theme

Before you continue, the downside to many free themes that are available is that they are not always supported for the long term (essential if you need help from the theme creator), and many do not come with demo content.

Demo content is a quick way of getting your theme to look just like the ‘demo’ of the theme by installing the necessary content that the theme author has already created.

You can then edit and delete this content as you wish.

All this being said, Hello Elementor is an Elementor theme and has great support.

To install a free theme just follow these steps.

wordpress appearance themes

Now you can search for a theme using a few different criteria.

add themes search by filter

You can search for a theme by (1) ‘Featured’, ‘Popular’, Latest’, Favorites’, or by ‘Feature Filter’. You can also perform a (2) ‘Search’.

The ‘Feature Filter’ allows you perform a search based on your selected criteria.

wordpress feature filter

Select your filters based on (1) ‘Subject’, (2) ‘Features’ and/or (3) ‘Layout’. Click on (4) ‘Apply Filters’ to return a search based on your selected features.

To ‘search’ for a theme using the search feature, type a keyword into the search bar.

search for a wordpress theme

In this example, I typed the keyword of purple in the ‘search’ bar and these are the results.

Find a theme using any of these methods and select one that you like the look of.

wordpress theme preview

Hover your cursor over a theme to ‘Preview’ or ‘Install’ it. Some previews will not look like the actual site demo because it may require the installation of certain plugins or demo content. It could also be that the demo theme contains content that your site does not, such as blog articles and page content.

install free wordpress theme

Go ahead and click on ‘Install’ to install your chosen theme. The theme will now install.

activate theme

Now ‘Activate’ your newly installed theme.

You may be presented with different options based on the theme you installed.

customize theme

You will see a notification that says (1) ‘New theme activated’. The Hello Elementor theme I have installed recommends I (2) ‘Install Elementor’ a visual page builder. Click on (3) ‘Customize’ to see the options for your theme.

Now you have installed a free theme, let’s install a premium theme.

How To Install A Premium WordPress Theme

One of the biggest benefits to purchasing a premium theme is that many come with premium plugins as an added bonus, often saving you £100s if you were to purchase the plugins separately.

For this example, I will install a premium WordPress theme from ThemeForest, an Envato Market site. The theme is The7.

The theme comes complete with 6 premium plugins.

The theme also has 40+ pre-made websites that you can install with the automated 1-click installation.

the7

Click here to search the ThemeForest WordPress themes category

There are other premium theme providers that you can use. A few good ones to use are:

Click here to browse TeslaThemes themes

Click here browse StudioPress themes

Click here to browse Themify themes

The steps to install a premium theme involve a few extra steps.

You will have to download the theme .zip file to your computer and then upload this to your WordPress admin area.

Let’s install The7 premium theme.

If you purchase a premium theme from a different theme provider, the steps will be similar when you get to the download area for your theme files. Once you download the theme files, the steps will be the same.

Go to ThemeForest and register with the site. After you purchase a theme, you will find it in your downloads area.

theme forest downloads

On the downloads page, you will see all your purchases. If this is your first purchase, it will just be your newly purchased theme files that are ready to download.

download installable wordpress files only

Click on ‘Installable WordPress files only’ to download your theme files. If you download ‘All files & documentation’, you will have to extract the folder and locate your theme .zip file contained within.

Download your files to a location that makes sense to you. I’m using a PC, but the steps will be similar on other platforms.

Return to your WordPress admin dashboard.

wordpress appearance themes

Head to ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Themes’, just like with the free theme installation process above.

add new theme

Click on ‘Add New’.

upload theme

Now click on ‘Upload Theme’.

locate theme zip file and click on open

Locate your theme .zip file and (1) select it. Now click on (2) ‘Open’.

install now

Click on ‘Install Now’ to start the installation process.

activate premium theme

You will see a ‘Theme installed successfully’ message. Click ‘Activate’.

Your premium theme will now be live on your website. The option page will differ depending on what premium theme you have uploaded.

The7 theme provides quick access to install a pre-made layout so that it looks just like the demo. Many premium themes have this option.

theme installed successfully notification

(1) Confirms that you’ve installed the theme. (2) This is where you put your purchase code. Other themes require an API to verify your purchase and to get future theme updates. (3) This is where you ‘Import a pre-made site’.

You’ve now installed a premium WordPress theme. Let’s install a free plugin.

Install A WordPress Plugin

Plugins add particular functionality to your site. There are many plugins on the market, free and premium.

There are many popular plugins that are free. Many come with ‘extra’ features that can be unlocked with a premium licence. Other plugins are premium only and do not come with a free version.

You can find plugins to help you with your on-site SEO, add booking forms to your pages, create powerful contact pages, speed up your site, and much more.

Install A Free WordPress Plugin

Installing a free plugin is very quick and easy. For this tutorial, I will install the popular Redirection plugin.

redirection plugin homepage

Before you continue, the downside to many free plugins that are available is that they are not always supported for the long term (essential if you need help from the plugin creator), or you have to pay to access premium support.

Certain hosts install extra plugins during the WordPress installation process. Some beneficial, some not.

installed plugins

On your website admin dashboard, head to ‘Plugins’, and then ‘Installed Plugins’ to see what is installed.

wordpress plugins admin control page

Here you can click to (1) ‘Add New’ plugins. You can filter by ‘All’, ‘Active’, ‘Inactive’, and ‘Recently Active’ plugins. (3) Shows an inactive plugin, Elementor. (4) Shows active plugins, Loginizer and SG Optimizer (learn more about the SiteGround WordPress plugin and how to use it to speed up your WordPress installation on a SiteGround hosting environment).

(5) Details the plugin descriptions and links to the authors’ websites, and details under ‘View details’. (6) Is for selecting more than one plugin using the checkboxes and applying ‘Bulk Actions’, such as ‘Activate’, ‘Deactivate’, ‘Update’, and ‘Delete’.

Let’s install a free plugin. If you are on the plugins page, click on ‘Add New’. If you are elsewhere on your admin dashboard then follow these steps.

add new plugin

Head to ‘Plugins’ and then ‘Add New’.

wordpress category search

You can filter a search by (1) ‘Featured’, ‘Popular’, ‘Recommended’, ‘Favorites’ and perform a search by (2) ‘Keyword’, ‘Author’, or ‘Tag’. Type your search term in the (3) search box.

(4) Gives you the name of the plugin, and (5) shows you user reviews, installation counts, when a plugin was last updated and shows compatibility with your version of WordPress (if a plugin is not compatible, it will say ‘Untested with your version of WordPress’.

wordpress redirection plugin

I used the search term ‘redirection’ to find and install the ‘Redirection’ plugin. Click on ‘Install Now’.

The installation process will begin and show an installation progress bar.

activate plugin

The ‘Install Now’ button will now be an ‘Activate’ button. Click to activate the plugin.

plugin activated notification

What happens after you press ‘Activate’ depends on the plugin. Some plugins redirect you to your plugins page.

The Redirection Plugin shows a notification to ‘Please complete your Redirection setup to activate the plugin’. This is to ensure the plugin operates properly. Other plugins take you directly to their settings pages.

redirection settings menu

Plugins also place the menu label (to access their settings) in different locations. The Redirection plugin adds a menu link underneath ‘Tools’ and then ‘Redirection’.

You’ve now installed and activated a free WordPress plugin, let’s install a premium plugin.

Install A Premium WordPress Plugin

Just like with the premium WordPress theme installation, a premium plugin installation has a few extra steps.

You will need to purchase a premium plugin and download a .zip file to your computer that you then upload to your WordPress admin dashboard.

For this example, I’m going to download the Monarch plugin by Elegant Themes, a premium social sharing plugin.

monarch social sharing plugin

To follow along you will need an Elegant Themes account. That being said, the process will be similar no matter where you purchase a premium plugin from.

Follow the link to sign-up to Elegant Themes and try it risk free for 30 days

A membership will gain you access to the Divi theme and visual page builder (and Divi plugin), Extra magazine theme and visual page builder, Bloom lead capture form builder, and Monarch social sharing plugin.

You can also find premium WordPress plugins at:

CodeCanyon WordPress plugins

Themify plugins

RocketTheme plugins

Right, head to Elegant Themes and login/signup.

elegant themes account and my downloads

Head to ‘Account’ and then ‘My Downloads’.

download monarch

Locate the Monarch plugin and click on ‘Download Monarch’.

Save the file somewhere that is easy for you to locate, like your desktop.

Back on your website, go to your WordPress admin area.

add new plugin

Go to your plugins page, click on ‘Add New’, or, from the dashboard, go to ‘Plugins’, and then ‘Add New’.

upload plugin

Click on ‘Upload Plugin’.

choose plugin file

Now ‘Choose file’.

locate wordpress plugin and open to upload

Locate the WordPress plugin .zip file (Monarch in this case) and click ‘Open’.

file name and install now

You will see the .zip file name next to ‘Choose file’. Now press ‘Install Now’ to start the installation process.

activate premium plugin

Click ‘Activate Plugin’.

What happens next depends on what premium plugin you install. Some plugins redirect back to the your plugins page, while others take you to an setup page or a settings page.

Monarch returns you to the plugin page and you will see a ‘Plugin activated’ notification.

plugin activated notification and settings

You can access the Monarch ‘Settings’ directly from here.

monarch settings

You can get to the settings by going to ‘Tools’ and then ‘Monarch Settings’.

You’ve now installed a premium WordPress theme.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations on creating your first WordPress website.

Now you know how easy it is, you’ll be able to create WordPress sites quickly and easily, install themes and plugins, in absolutely no time at all.

Let me know in the comment section below how you found the experience of creating your first WordPress blog or website?

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