How to create a website in one day

I built a new website at the weekend. It only took one day.  It’s for my sideline business where I train small business owners, freelancers and self-employed people how to do their own marketing, called Marketing in One Day.

In just one day I attempt to convey to the delegates my 20+ years’ of marketing experience and knowledge. And I’m pleased to say that in just one day, I managed to build a brand new website for it.

The old website was beginning to look dated. I wanted to revamp the styling, incorporate some social media elements and also optimise it for the search engines (SEO). All these needs led in one direction only: WordPress.

I’m quite proficient in HTML and CSS, skills I gained when working at an internet consultancy during the dotcom boom (and then bust!). But things have moved on since then. Before I rebuilt this website in June 2010, I went on a WordPress training course, which was great. It taught me the basics of setting up a site and adding pages and posts. Since then, I’ve learned even more and I can now create a new website in just one day. Of course, this isn’t always the case for many businesses, but I already had all the images and text I needed. Both needed tweaks here and there, of course – reformatting the image sizes, changing some of the copy – but that didn’t take too long at all.

What took the time was getting the layout how I wanted it and choosing colours and styles. But I was amazed that I could manage to do it all in one day.

Here’s the steps to follow if you want to do the same:

  1. Set up your domain name and hosting – preferably do this before you launch a new site as it can take up to 24 hours for the domain name to resolve.
  2. Load WordPress onto your server and set up the database. This is easily done on most hosts, as they have a one-click install process. My own host has just introduced one-click install, but as I’d moved my domain to them less thatn 24 hours before I wanted to load WordPress, it wasn’t possible and I had to manually install it. It took a little longer than their fêted “5 minutes” !
  3. Choose, purchase, download and add a theme. I chose Theme Blvd’s Barely Corporate.
  4. Set up the structure of your site by adding pages and building the menu. Make sure permalinks are optimised for SEO.
  5. Format the footer and add in your widgets for things like a Twitter feed, social media links or your contact details.
  6. Format the look of your different pages. My own site has three page styles – one for the front page; a page with a right hand sidebar; and a full-width page. This took me the longest, trying to decide how my homepage would look, whether to use a slider or not, what to include on the slider, what colours to use, and so on.
  7. Add all your content: your images and text. Make sure to proofread it all very carefully.
  8. Add any plugins you want. I added things like: Mailchimp (I want to add a sign-up box later); Google and Mailchimp Analytics; duplicate post creation; and Googlecards to add my Google+ details. But you may want to add some social sharing widgets, SEO-boosting plugins, and others.
  9. Test your site. Make sure all the links work, that the site renders well in different browsers and also on different devices. I deliberately chose a “responsive” theme for my site, because it’s already optimised for viewing on computers, tablets and mobiles and doesn’t need me to change anything at all.
  10. Promote the site. Using Google and Bing’s webmaster tools, verify your site and upload a sitemap.
  11. Backup the site and make sure you have future backup plans in place.
  12. Put your site live – the exciting bit!

Well, that’s it. Never mind Marketing in One Day – this was WordPress in one day! Here are the before and after shots:





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