How to Build a Website with WordPress

black and white logo for Word Press with a W letter in a circle

Post created by Talia Aukema-Gray
Applied IMC (Winter 2023)

As someone who usually struggles with technology (I mean crying over an Excel document levels of technological inability), building a website using WordPress seemed like an insurmountable task. However, through hard work and persistence, I was able to create my own website. And if I can do it, you can too!

Here are the basic steps for building a website in WordPress.

  1. Create a wireframe for your future site.

A wireframe is a blueprint that helps you develop a vision for your site. You can use a variety of online tools to create your wireframe, or simply draw it out on a whiteboard or piece of paper. 

  1. Develop a sitemap.

A sitemap includes the information you need to create your vision. Consider which individual pages you want, what content will be on those pages, how you’d like to organize those pages into categories, and the hierarchy of different pages on your website. You should also determine how the pages will link together and which categories are essential for your site. For example, from my home page there are two ways to access other pages on my site. All my professional work is in my “Portfolio” page, while my resume is on my “Experience” page.

  1. Select a WordPress plan.

Now that you’re equipped with a (rough) wireframe and sitemap, you’re ready to set up WordPress. To begin, choose a plan from You can choose between Free, Personal, Premium, Business, or eCommerce, depending on your preferences for monthly fees, types of site customization, and access to marketing tools.

  1. Set up your domain name.

Your domain name is the essentially the title of your website and it’s how visitors find your site on the Internet. It will look something like this: If you opted for the free version of WordPress in Step 3 your domain will end in “”. To avoid this, you can pay for a domain subscription through WordPress or use an alternate website (like GoDaddy or NameHero) to host your domain. If you choose to use another site for your domain, you’ll need to install the WordPress software to connect your domain to your website. Due to my aforementioned technological challenges, I chose to save myself from additional suffering and pay extra for a domain through WordPress.

  1. Choose your theme.

Congratulations, you made it to the fun part of building a website! WordPress has a ton of themes and templates to choose from, which can be found from your dashboard by clicking “Appearance,” then “Themes”. I recommend reading through theme details before making your final decision, as themes offer access to different features. I chose Heiwa, and although I haven’t tried most of the other themes, it’s obviously the best.

  1. Create pages and posts.

This is where your wireframe and sitemap will really come in handy. To create new pages for your site, navigate to the “Pages” tab in WordPress, add a new page, give it a title and fill in content, and click “Save Draft” to save your changes or “Publish” to make the page live.

  1. Have fun and customize your site!

After you’ve added in your site basics, it’s time to make the site your own. Add your website title and tagline in Settings, customize your navigation bar in the “Appearance” tab, and install plugins.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, you’re ready to start building your own website with WordPress. Remember that, while building a website can be frustrating, the end result is incredibly rewarding and completely worth it. Good luck!