In this article we will give you all the steps to allow you to design a website in wordpress for free. While the design is free, you will still need to purchase a domain name. Usually these are very cheap and cost around $15/year. You can also find relatively cheap hosting or even free hosting by doing a simple Google search. We will focus on the design and how you can have a website designed for free.
STEP#1 – LOG INTO YOUR WORDPRESS BACKEND
To start this tutorial, you must have wordpress installed on your hosting and your domain name already assigned to it. To get access to your wordpress dashboard, just type your URL followed by “/wp-admin”. This will bring you to this screen and you will be able to use the username and password which you have chosen during your WordPress installation.
STEP#2 – CHOOSING A PAGE BUILDER
Once you have logged in you will now need to install a page builder to be able to design a website in wordpress. For this tutorial, we will be using Elementor. Elementor is a free page builder with a lot of options and very user friendly with their drag and drop widgets. To install this plugin, head over to the plugins section and search for Elementor. Once you find the plugin, select install and then activate.
That will allow you to start building your website with all the widgets available for free. If you want more premium content, you can also see the cost of the page builder on the Elementor website. For this tutorial, we will use only the free version.
STEP#3 – BEST FREE THEMES to design a website IN WORDPRESS
Now that you have your page builder, you can head over to appearance and search for a theme. Themes are an easy way to get started and the most popular themes for wordpress beginners is Astra. Search for Astra and click install and activate.
Astra theme is not just one theme, it has a lot of free themes which you can use to design a website in WordPress. You simply have to install the site importer (in Astra options) and then choose your page builder. You will then be able to choose among a range of websites to fully import.
D’on’t forget to filter by ‘free’ items. There are a lot of free templates available and you will surely find one which you will be able to modify to adapt to your business.
STEP#4 – BRANDING AND CONTENT
Now you need to change the content and the brand to match your’s. Head over to the pages section and select the page you want to edit and click on “edit with Elementor”. This will load the editor for this specific page.
Elementor provides a few widgets for free and you can use them by dragging and dropping onto your page wherever you want them to be displayed. To change any content, simply click on the item on the page and you will see the editing options on the left panel.
You will be able to change the content and also apply styling, change the colours, fonts, sizes. You can also select columns and sections and see which options are available to you. For example, you will see that some images are actually columns backgrounds or sections background. Some are also sometimes found in “Background overlay” under the style tab.
Elementor free version does not provide for header and footer editing and this relies on the theme functionality. In the video, I show you how to access these sections using the “customiser” tool in WordPress.
It is very easy to replace your logo, edit your menu, add widgets to your menu bar as well as edit your footer. Don’t forget to always ‘update’ or ‘publish’ after you have made any amendments.
STEP#5 – ESSENTIAL WORDPRESS PLUGINS
When you are done inserting your content, you must install a few plugins to make your website faster, more secure and optimised. Here are 3 plugins I use most of the time when I design a website in WordPress: Nitropack, Wordfence and Rankmath.
Nitropack requires you to create an account with them and offer a free option. Sign up and get your unique token. Use this token to insert in your plugin on wordpress. You can head to Nitropack’s website and signup for a free account. You will be required to sign in when you will enable the plugin on WordPress.
Wordfence and Rankmath also have free options and you don’t need to register to access these.
STEP#6 – Design a website in WordPress which is RESPONSIVE
When you are done, make sure you check that your website is mobile friendly. If you use Google Chrome to design a website in WordPress, you can right-click and inspect the page. Choose a mobile breakpoint or just choose responsive and change the screen sizes manually.
You can also head to the Elementor page builder and select the mobile and Ipad breakpoints from the left panel to see if anything has to be edited to display properly. When editing, you will see a small mobile icon next to the styling you are applying. This indicates that this styling will only affect this element on mobile devices (or tablets, depending on the breakpoint you are editing.)
STEP#7 – SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
Rankmath integrates with Elementor and allows you design a website in wordpress and to do your content optimisation straight from the page builder. Just check the SEO tab in the left panel and follow the instructions.
Try to reach at least 90%.
You now have a fully functional website. Google algorithms always change and websites are not bulletproof against hackers. Make sure you keep your WordPress and plugins updated regularly to ensure that you receive the latest security updates and read our article about search engine optimisation for tips on how you can optimise your website and rank on Google’s first page.
AB Designs offers websites templates with the WordPress setup included as well as custom website design and search engine optimisation.
Need any help to design a website in wordpress? Get in touch with us.
We can help!