FREEBIE: How to Build a Simple WordPress Website

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Do you need to build a simple website for yourself, your social enterprise, your charity or your business? Are you self-hosting your WordPress site? (not sure what this means? read our post on the difference between and here).

Here are 13 simple steps you can follow to get started. This plan was built in September 2015, but much of the content and videos are still relevant and useful today and we’ve now released it free to anyone who would like to use it. When you’ve built your site, don’t forget to send us a link on Twitter @madewjoy.

If you’d like to suggest edits or updates to these steps, please email 


An overview of a starter Dashboard and how to toggle between the Dashboard and your website.

You want to delete unused themes because having unused themes means you are vulnerable to theme updates and needing updates is where you have security vulnerabilities.

This is a brief overview of Jetpack, a product that works with Installing it the first time is a bit confusing and requires the user to set up a username even though the user might not want a website. This video shows you how to do it. We also talk about the difference between and and cover what plugins are.

The key link you need to set up a username WITHOUT setting up a free blog is:

When creating a website, you want to have key pages like: home, about, services, blog (or updates), and contact.

TREND ALERT: a lot of websites have their about information on their homepage now to avoid users having to click through too many pages, so you don’t necessarily need an ‘about’ page anymore.

The other thing that you should consider when building your website is your audience. Often, you’ll have more than one user, even if you are selling a service. In this example, I am building a website for a programme to get women back into work, but I’m also looking for businesses who want to hire the women, so I have two audiences, the women and the businesses. I therefore need to create two service pages, one for the women and one for the businesses.

When you are copying and pasting copy (text) from a Word Doc or a Google Doc to WordPress, you have to be aware of extra ‘stuff’ that comes along with it. This video shows you how to check for extra ‘stuff’ and how to get rid of it.

This example is with Twitter, but it can be used for any social media.

MailPoet is an easy way to create really good newsletters directly in WordPress (vs. MailChimp which is an external software). This video shows you how to add the MailPoet plugin and how to configure it to help you capture email addresses of people who visit your site.