From Concept to Creation: Website Development WordPress from Scratch
14 min.

WordPress stands as a powerful and versatile platform for website development, offering a user-friendly interface combined with robust features. So, why choose it when building a website from scratch? Why is it a good idea to build one from point 0 at all? And finally, how to approach website development WordPress?

Let’s break down the essentials.

Why Choose WP for Website Creation?

Here’s what ProCoders developers have to say:

  • User-Friendly Interface: WP provides an intuitive and easy-to-navigate dashboard, making it accessible for users with varying technical expertise.
  • Extensive Theme Library: A vast collection of themes allows you to choose a design that aligns with your brand identity or project requirements.
  • Plugin Ecosystem: A rich ecosystem of plugins empowers you to enhance your site’s functionality without intricate coding. From SEO optimization to e-commerce capabilities, plugins offer versatility.
  • Content Management: WP excels as a content management system (CMS), allowing effortless content creation, publishing, and organization.
  • Responsive Design: Websites built on WP are inherently responsive, ensuring a seamless user experience across various devices.
  • Any Scale: Using this platform, you can create a site of any scale, from a landing page to a whole marketplace.
WP for Website Creation

Why Build a Website from Scratch?

Starting fresh actually holds a lot of advantages, even though it requires time and effort:

  • Complete Creative Control: Building from scratch grants you unparalleled creative freedom. You dictate the design, layout, and overall aesthetics, ensuring your website aligns perfectly with your vision.
  • Tailored Functionality: Customizing your website from the ground up allows for tailored functionality. You can integrate features specific to your industry or audience, optimizing user experience.
  • Unique Brand Identity: Starting fresh enables the creation of a unique brand identity. Your website becomes a true reflection of your brand, standing out in a crowded online landscape.
  • Optimized Performance: Websites built from scratch often boast optimized performance. Tailoring every element allows for efficient coding, resulting in faster load times and a smoother user experience.
  • Adaptability and Scalability: Starting with a clean slate ensures adaptability and scalability. As your business grows, your website can seamlessly evolve to accommodate new features and functionalities.
  • Enhanced SEO Opportunities: From the structure of your URLs to meta tags and content organization, building from scratch provides the opportunity to optimize every element for search engines, boosting your site’s visibility.
  • Fewer Risks: Unlike a free or even a paid theme for a website, when developing from scratch, there’s no risk that the theme will not be updated in the future.

In essence, building a website from scratch with WordPress is not just a technical process; it’s a decision that may help you stand out in your industry because it’s uniquely yours, with no compromises on creativity, functionality, or performance.

Step by Step on Building Your Own WordPress Website from Scratch

We talked to our WP developers and asked them about the general steps involved in the process of creating a site. Why general? Because each case is unique, and we’ll adjust the steps to match your goals.

Step 1: Planning Your Website

Clearly articulate the primary goal of your website. Whether it’s to showcase your portfolio, sell products, or share information, a well-defined purpose guides every subsequent decision.

Understand your target audience deeply. Identify their preferences, needs, and behaviors to tailor your content and design to resonate with them effectively.

Also, don’t forget to develop a content strategy aligned with your purpose and audience. Plan the type of content you’ll feature, ensuring it adds value and engages your visitors.

Finally, if your goal involves conversions, outline the desired user actions. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase, strategic planning ensures a user-friendly path to conversion.

Step 2: Choosing a Domain Name

Navigating the domain selection process is crucial for establishing a memorable and brand-aligned online presence. Your domain name is a direct reflection of your brand. Choose one that mirrors your brand identity and is easy for users to remember and spell.

It’s a good idea to incorporate relevant keywords if possible, as this can contribute to search engine optimization (SEO). However, prioritize simplicity and clarity over keyword stuffing. Also, opt for a domain that is easy to pronounce and remember. Avoid complex spellings or hyphens, which can lead to user confusion.

Choosing a Domain Name

Step 3: Setting Up WordPress

To start custom WordPress website development, you need to first select a reliable hosting provider that aligns with your website’s needs.Having a hosting service with separate environments for development and for the live site would be an advantage. 

Then, set up WP:

  • Manual Installation: For those who prefer a hands-on approach, manual installation involves downloading the latest WordPress version from the official website and uploading it to your hosting server.
  • Database Setup: During installation, you’ll need to create a database. Understand the database requirements and ensure proper configuration for seamless website operation.
  • WordPress Configuration File: Customize your website’s settings by configuring the wp-config.php file. This file holds critical information, including database details and security keys.
  • Admin Credentials: Set up your administrator credentials during the installation process. Ensure strong and secure login details for enhanced website security.
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Step 4: Configuring Basic Settings

A solid web development using WordPress needs essential settings configuration for a personalized result:

  • General Settings: Begin by defining your site title and tagline. Adjust the timezone, date, and time format to match your preferences.
  • Permalink Structure: Customize your permalink structure for SEO-friendly URLs. Choose a format that reflects your content hierarchy and is easy for users and search engines to understand.
  • Discussion and Comment Settings: Tailor your website’s discussion settings. Decide whether you want to allow comments and set up moderation rules to manage user engagement effectively.
  • Media Settings: Configure media settings to determine how uploaded images are organized and sized. Optimize for performance and user experience.
  • Reading Settings: Set your homepage and blog display preferences. Choose whether you want a static page or your latest blog posts on the homepage.

Step 5: Installing Essential Plugins

If you take up custom website development WordPress, you need plugins. Here’s what to do about it.

First, identify specific functionalities your website requires. Whether it’s SEO, security, or e-commerce features, understanding your needs guides your plugin selection.

Then, explore the official WordPress plugin repository for trusted and well-maintained plugins. These plugins undergo strict reviews for security and performance.

When you identify what you need, install plugins directly from your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to the “Plugins” section, click “Add New,” search for your desired plugin, and click “Install” followed by “Activate.”

After installation, configure each plugin according to your preferences. Pay attention to settings related to your website’s goals and functionalities.

Finally, keep plugins updated to benefit from the latest features and security patches. Regularly check for updates and ensure compatibility with your WordPress version.

Mastering WordPress installation, configuring essential settings, and strategically selecting plugins are pivotal steps in creating a robust website. This foundation sets the stage for further customization and ensures your website is optimized for performance, security, and user experience.


Step 6: Designing Your Website

An essential part of bespoke WordPress website development is designing your WP website. You’ll need your brandbook here, believe us. 

First, you need to choose a theme. Navigating the extensive landscape of WordPress themes is a pivotal step in shaping your website’s identity. So, how to choose the right one?

  • Basics: Consider your website’s purpose and target audience when selecting a theme. Choose a theme that aligns with your content and provides the features necessary for your goals.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Prioritize themes that are mobile responsive. With the increasing use of mobile devices, ensuring a seamless experience across various screen sizes is essential.
  • Customization Flexibility: Opt for themes that offer customization flexibility. Look for options that allow you to tweak colors, fonts, and layout to match your brand identity.
  • Performance Optimization: Evaluate themes for performance optimization. Lightweight and well-coded themes contribute to faster loading times and a smoother user experience.
  • Browser Compatibility: Ensure your chosen theme is compatible with different browsers. This guarantees a consistent and reliable experience for users, regardless of their browser preferences.

Recommended: How to Copy and Paste Blocks in WordPress

Step 7: Customizing the Website’s Design and Layout

Turning your vision into reality through developing a WordPress site involves mastering the art of customization. Let us tell you about the essential techniques to craft a website design that captivates your audience.

First of all, utilize the customization options provided by your chosen theme. This may include the WordPress Customizer, allowing real-time previews of changes.

You’ll also need to establish a cohesive color palette and typography that aligns with your brand. Consistency in design elements enhances the visual appeal and professionalism of your website.

It’s also a good idea to experiment with different layouts to find the one that suits your content and resonates with your audience. Balance aesthetics with functionality for an optimal user experience.

Don’t forget to customize the header and footer to include essential elements such as navigation menus, contact information, and social media links. These areas are crucial for user engagement and navigation.

Incorporate multimedia elements judiciously. Images, videos, and graphics should complement your content and contribute to a visually appealing and informative experience.

Website's Design and Layout
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Step 8: Adding Essential Pages and Content

Handling the essentials of content creation involves structuring your website with key pages and compelling content. Here are the elements of a robust foundation:

  • Homepage: Craft a captivating homepage that introduces visitors to your brand, clearly communicates your value proposition, and provides easy navigation to key sections.
  • About Us Page: Share the story of your brand on the About Us page. Include information about your mission, values, and the team behind the scenes to build trust with your audience.
  • Contact Page: Create a user-friendly contact page with clear calls to action. Include a contact form, your business address, and any other relevant contact details.
  • Product or Service Pages: If applicable, showcase your products or services on dedicated pages. Provide detailed information, high-quality images, and compelling descriptions to entice potential customers.
  • Blog or Content Hub: Establish a blog or content hub to regularly share valuable content with your audience. This not only positions you as an authority in your industry but also boosts SEO.
  • User-Friendly Navigation: Ensure seamless navigation by organizing your pages logically. Implement a clear menu structure and use internal linking to guide users through your content.

Designing your website goes beyond aesthetics; it’s about creating an immersive and user-centric experience. Thoughtful theme selection, customization, and content creation set the stage for a website that not only looks great but also effectively communicates your brand and engages your audience.

Step 9: Enhancing Functionality

It’s time to explore additional plugins for enhanced functionality. How?

Here’s how:

First, assess your website’s goals and identify specific functionalities you wish to enhance. Whether it’s e-commerce, security, or performance optimization, plugins cater to diverse needs.

Browse the official WordPress Plugin Repository for trustworthy and well-maintained plugins. Regularly updated plugins are more likely to be compatible with the latest WordPress versions.

Prioritize plugins that are compatible with your theme and other existing plugins. Compatibility issues can lead to functionality conflicts and impact your website’s performance.

Also, be mindful of the performance impact of plugins. While they add features, an excess of poorly coded or resource-intensive plugins can slow down your site. Choose wisely for a balance between functionality and performance. And remember that paid ones can impact the Cost to Build a WordPress Website.

And, of course, opt for plugins with a strong security track record. Regularly updated plugins are essential for addressing vulnerabilities and ensuring a secure website environment.

Step 10: Integrating Social Media and Contact Forms

Connecting with your audience seamlessly involves integrating social media and creating effective contact forms. Here’s how to enhance engagement:

  • Social Media Integration: Strategically integrate social media platforms that align with your brand. Utilize plugins or native theme features to display social media feeds, share buttons, and follow icons.
  • Consistent Branding: Ensure consistent branding across your website and social media channels. Maintain a cohesive visual identity to strengthen brand recognition and trust.
  • Contact Form Creation: Design user-friendly contact forms using plugins like Contact Form 7 or Gravity Forms. Customize form fields based on the information you need and implement anti-spam measures for a secure interaction.
  • User Data Protection: Implement privacy measures when collecting user data. Clearly communicate how the collected information will be used, and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.
  • Engagement Analytics: Leverage analytics tools to track user engagement with social media integrations and contact forms. Analyzing user interactions provides insights for refining your engagement strategies.

Step 11: Implementing SEO Best Practices

Optimizing your website for search engines is a vital aspect of online visibility. Implement WordPress SEO Services with these actionable steps:

  • Keyword Research: Conduct thorough keyword research to identify phrases relevant to your content. Integrate these keywords naturally into your website’s copy, headings, and meta tags.
  • SEO-Friendly URLs: Create SEO-friendly URLs that are concise, descriptive, and include relevant keywords. This contributes to both user understanding and search engine ranking.
  • Image Optimization: Optimize images for faster loading times and improved SEO. Use descriptive file names, include alt text, and compress images without compromising quality.
  • XML Sitemap Submission: Submit your XML sitemap to search engines like Google and Bing. This aids in indexing your website’s pages, ensuring search engines recognize and display your content.
  • Mobile Optimization: Prioritize mobile optimization for improved search engine rankings. Google considers mobile-friendliness a crucial factor in determining a website’s position in search results.
  • Quality Content Creation: Produce high-quality, relevant, and engaging content. Regularly update your website with fresh content, as search engines favor sites that provide valuable information to users.

Implementing these enhanced functionalities not only enriches user experience but also contributes to your website’s overall success. By strategically exploring plugins, seamlessly connecting with your audience, and adhering to SEO best practices, you position your website for improved visibility and engagement.

SEO Best Practices

Step 12: Testing and Launching

We’re almost there! Ensure a flawless user experience by exploring testing methodologies to identify and resolve any issues before launch.

Here are some types of testing ProCoders QA specialists use:

  • Browser Compatibility Testing: Test your website across various browsers to ensure consistent functionality and appearance. This is crucial for providing a seamless experience to users with different browser preferences.
  • Responsive Design Testing: Verify the responsiveness of your website across different devices. Conduct tests on smartphones, tablets, and desktops to guarantee a user-friendly experience on all platforms.
  • Functionality Testing: Thoroughly test all interactive elements, forms, and functionalities on your website. Identify and address any bugs or glitches that might impede user interactions.
  • Performance Testing: Assess the speed and performance of your website. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement to ensure optimal loading times.

Step 13: Securing the Website with SSL Certificate

Website security is of utmost importance. It builds trust and increases your brand’s authority. SSL certificates can help you with that.

Their advantages include:

  • Data encryption
  • Improved trust among users
  • A positive impact on search engine rankings.

Work with your hosting provider to implement SSL on your website. Many hosting companies offer free SSL certificates, contributing to a secure browsing experience for your visitors.

Don’t forget to resolve mixed content issues that may arise during SSL implementation. Ensure that all elements on your website, including images and scripts, are served securely to prevent security warnings.

For commercial websites, it’s important to have ‘Privacy Information’ compliant with GDPR. For this purpose, a plugin can be installed to display such information to the user.

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Step 14: Launching the Website:

Almost there! 

Now, you need to confirm that your domain is correctly mapped to your website. This ensures that users can access your site through your chosen domain name.

Also, don’t forget to conduct a final review to ensure all elements are in place, and there are no broken links or missing content. This last-minute check contributes to a smooth launch.

And, if applicable, inform stakeholders, clients, or your audience about the impending launch. This can include social media announcements, newsletters, or any other communication channels.

Launching the Website
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Step 15: Maintenance and Support

OK, this is the final step; hang on. And prepare to check some points off the list below:

  • uncheckedScheduled Backups: Set up a regular schedule for website backups. This ensures that you have recent and comprehensive copies of your site in case of data loss or system failures.
  • uncheckedOffsite Storage: Store backups in an offsite location or use a reliable cloud service. This protects your data even in the event of server issues or other localized problems.
  • uncheckedUse Performance Monitoring Tools: Utilize tools like Google Analytics to monitor website traffic and user behavior. Identify areas for improvement and optimize your site for a better user experience.
  • uncheckedPerform Security Audits: Conduct regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities. Plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri can help detect and address potential security threats.
  • uncheckedVisit Community Forums: Join WordPress community forums where you can seek advice, share experiences, and find solutions to common issues. The WordPress community is vast and supportive.
  • uncheckedTurn to Professional Services: Consider professional maintenance services if your website requires specialized support. Companies like ProCoders offer dedicated teams you can hire WordPress developers from for ongoing assistance.

Keep in mind that reliable hosting providers take care of security themselves and often provide information about potential vulnerabilities.

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Building a WordPress site from scratch may seem unnecessary and effort-intensive. However, a unique web resource will enhance your branding strategy and help you attract clients faster.

You have control over every feature, every color, and every line of code, which allows for maximum customization. And this is what WP is all about.

Pay attention to thorough testing, security measures, and ongoing maintenance. And, of course, if you need help at any stage of WordPress site development, you can count on ProCoders’ experienced engineers!

Can I change my domain name after the website is launched?

Changing a domain name post-launch can be complex and may impact SEO. It’s advisable to choose a domain carefully during the planning phase.

How often should I back up my website?

Aim for weekly backups, especially after significant updates or content changes, to safeguard your data.

What’s the role of SSL certificates, and do I need one?

SSL certificates secure data transfer between users and your website. They’re essential for user trust and SEO. Every website should have an SSL certificate installed for secure browsing.

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