There are a lot of different ways to build a website. And over the years I’ve seen enough to have an opinion. Which is why I wanted to talk to you about my favorite way of how to make a complete WordPress site with Elementor.
There’s a lot of different ways you can put together a website. From WordPress themes, to page builders, to things like Showit, Squarespace, and Wix. I’ve dabbled with enough of them over the years to pick a favorite. You see, I started by hand coding a website in high school… for fun. (I know, how nerdy)
Then it went to WordPress. That’s where I started to learn about themes… and how restrictive those are. And from there I started to dive into the different kind of page builders or as they’re also called, the builders. I started with Divi and while it was great, I had some personal things I didn’t like about it.
And that’s when I found Elementor.
I’ve worked with Elementor for years now. I’ve seen some of the awesome things it can do. From integrating with things like WooCommerce, membership tools, course platforms, and more.
But, don’t let me overwhelm you with all the options. Right now let’s just focus on the basics of getting started building a website.
I understand how overwhelming the idea of building a website can be. So I wanted to mention something to you that may be a massive help. Heck, I wish I had it all those years ago when I started. Simple Site Secrets is a quick 5 day workshop to help you give your next or current website a makeover. It’s all about those little design things you can do to make that website beautiful.
But before we can get to building that beautiful website we have some basic first steps to get started.
Pick Your URL
The first step in making a website is to pick your URL. You want it to best represent your business, but there’s also a few things to keep in mind.
- Is it easy to spell? Have you intentionally misspelled anything? You may want to avoid this because it could lead people to go to the wrong site.
- Does someone else have the same domain name that you want, so you want to add a hyphen in there or an extra word somewhere? Be cautious of this. You may end up sending people to your competitor because they forget that hyphen or extra word. There’s nothing wrong with doing this… just be careful.
- Is it super long? Sometimes this can’t be helped. Like with my business name, it makes my URL a little longer but It’s also not something I could really help.
So, pick your URL out and then look around to make sure it’s not taken. Simply trying to go to the domain should give you a clue. Or you can go to GoDaddy.com and enter the domain you’d like right at the top in the domain search bar.
If your domain is already taken, then you have a few options at this point. Pick a different domain, try to change it up, or consider buying the domain… if it’s for sale. But as a note, that can be pretty costly.
Pick a Hosting Plan
The next part may be a tough decision, especially if you don’t know what you want.
But now’s the time to pick a host. Now, you may be wondering what’s the difference between a host and a domain / URL.
Think of it like this. The URL is the address where you live. The physical place people come to find you. The host is the land that home sets on.
So your domain or URL is the virtual address people can find you at. But your website has to actually live on a physical server somewhere. And that is what you need to purchase next.
You can look around at some of the top hosting companies out there. Most of them will offer you a 1 or a 3 year version of their hosting plan.
The important thing is to make sure that it allows for you to have a WordPress site. Some of them will call it managed WordPress hosting, or it will tell you that it allows for WordPress. If you’re uncertain, ask their support team. They’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
The other thing to consider is if you’ll have multiple domains. So most basic hosting plans give you 1 domain. And that means 1 active domain.
They’ll also usually let you park a domain. Parking a domain means that it’s linked to your account, but it’s not an active website. People can’t go to it and find anything on it, and you won’t have the ability to build on it.
So, if you’ll need more than one domain then you’ll want to make sure your plan allows for this.
It’s important to note that when you’re just signing up for a hosting plan, most of the time they give you a special introductory rate. And they usually allow you to purchase 1 or 3 years of hosting at that rate, or a similar lower rate. So if you know you’ll be using the hosting for that time, go ahead and do the 3 if your budget allows. Because when you renew it’ll be at the normal rate.
I’ve listed some of the common hosting companies out there below. I use and recommend Bluehost. I’ve never had a problem with them before. On the rare occasion I do need help, their chat support is always incredibly helpful.
Just know this, if you’re not happy, you can always switch hosts. It will require some work and patience on your part but it is totally doable. So don’t feel that you’re locked into one host.
Below are 2 of the biggest hosts around. These aren’t the only ones, but they’re popular. I’ve specifically linked to the plans that will allow you to have WordPress on your website. You’ll find it in the list of features.
Installing WordPress on Your New Site
Every hosting company works a little different. But the one thing I can tell you is that I’m sure they have a resource or reference section somewhere.
This section is where you’ll find info on how to do things within your hosting account. Like adding WordPress to your new site.
Most companies have a fairly straightforward process. I’ve linked some guides below that go with the hosting companies listed above.
If you don’t see your hosting company below, just google “How to install WordPress on to [hosting company name] site” and you should find a guide right on the first page.
Installing WordPress to Bluehost
Installing WordPress to Siteground
Getting Ready to Build Your Website with Elementor
So when it comes time to actually build your website you’ve got a few options. I’m gonna walk you through my preferred option of building a website.
When it comes to WordPress every site has a theme. This is like a basic set of rules for what your website looks like. Think of it like a recipe for a cake. But, you don’t have to rely on this option as the only way to design your website. You’ll still have to use one, but there’s another tool I use alongside this to build a website.
Elementor is my preferred way to build a website. You can get started with a free version but if you really want to get the most out of it… get a paid version of Elementor. It’s only $50 for a year, and that’s cheaper than most premium WordPress themes too.
So, from the WordPress plugin dashboard, go and install Elementor.
This will be the free version of the plugin.
Then, when you’re ready, go grab that Pro version of Elementor. They’ll give you a copy of the Pro plugin as well as access to their Hello theme made by them. Both will be in a zip file, leave them zipped.
So, once you’ve downloaded those from your Elementor dashboard let’s go install them. Inside WordPress hover over plugins, and click on add new. You’ll see a button on the top left that says upload. Go ahead and click this, then select the zip file of the Elementor Pro plugin. You’ll install this, activate it, and then login to Elementor to hook it up so you can use it.
Now, for that Hello theme. Go over to the appearance menu on the left and click on themes. Just like with the plugin you’ll see a button that says upload. Select your Hello theme file and upload this. Then activate it.
While you’re currently getting your website setup, let me leave you with a post I made covering my favorite WordPress plugins.
Let’s Build that Website
From here you can start building out your website. I do want to leave you with a few tips and resources for building it.
- Plan your website out first before you start building, don’t just dive into building it.
- Use the Elementor theme builder. You get this with the Pro version of the plugin. This is how you build out that full website experience with Elementor.
- If you’re ever lost, dive into Elementor’s YouTube channel. They’re great at giving examples and tutorials on it.
- As my favorite copywriter Ashlyn Carter says, “copy dictates design, never the other way around”.
I know there’s a lot here when it comes to building your website. But, taking it one step at a time is the best way to get it done without the overwhelm.
It’s totally possible to make a complete WordPress website with Elementor. I do it all the time in my business. My very own website is an example of it. The only limit is your willingness to put in either time or money into understanding the website building process.
I know it can be overwhelming to think about designing your website. What looks good? How do I make it look clean and polished without overwhelming my readers? What are best practices when it comes to web design?
And if any of that is running through your head, then you have got to check out Simple Site Secrets. It’s a quick 5 day workshop that will walk you through 5 web design secrets and how you can use them to make your website look beautiful. So go check out Simple Site Secrets now, your future self will thank you for it.