How to Make a Startup Website Quickly & Cheaply

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Ben Sibley

“Follow the plan outlined here and you can create your own website from scratch without writing any code for less than $300.”

Let’s face it.

Starting a new business is hectic.

You’ve got a million things to do already, so creating a website can’t take another million steps.

In this guide, you’ll learn the fastest way to make a startup website with WordPress. Plus, you’ll get the whole thing built for less than $100.

And I know what you’re thinking now.

If the website is quick to build and cheap, won’t it look cheap?

The answer is a resounding, “No!”

Your website will be modern, responsive, and beautiful. It can have sliders, sales pages, anything you want.

The truth is, there are so many great WordPress themes & plugins available, and the market is so competitive, you can find awesome products totally for free.

But that’s enough of the build up. Let’s dive into the site creation process.

How to create a site for your startup

Here’s a quick overview of the process:

  1. Get a domain name
  2. Signup for hosting
  3. Learn how to use WordPress
  4. Install a new theme
  5. Add your content
  6. Customize your site

I think you’ll be surprised how fast the first two steps go, so let’s start there.

Get your domain

You probably know this already, but just to make sure we’re on the same page…

A domain name is the web address people visit to reach your site, like or

If you already have a domain name, you can skip to the next step, but if not, check out this handy guide:

How to Find a Great Available Domain Name

That post will walk you through some steps to find an available domain name. The first tip, in particular, is very useful.

When you find a good name, don’t register it just yet because you can get it for free in the next step.

Signup for hosting

This is the only thing you have to buy to create your website.

In order to get a site online, you need a web host. Without hosting, your website won’t load, so there’s no getting around this.

While there are thousands of hosts to choose from, Nexcess is a perfect choice for WordPress beginners.

Nexcess WordPress Hosting

Their hosting is affordable and much faster than the cheap shared hosting providers.

Nexcess also includes free services that make it easier to run a WP site as a beginner, like automated daily backups and plugin updates.

The other benefit when you signup with Nexcess is that they create a new WordPress site for you. In other words, once you complete this step, you’ll have a live WordPress site at your domain.

Learn WordPress

The natural urge is to start customizing your site. Don’t do that just yet.

If you start installing themes and plugins before you learn how to use WordPress, you’ll end up totally confused about what settings are coming from which products. Your site can quickly become a mess this way.

Instead, watch this virtual walkthrough of the WordPress dashboard:

Once you complete that video, you’ll have a good idea of everything available in WordPress by default.

By the way, if you enjoyed that video, you can keep watching the whole series. That video is only #5 in a 17-part video course I created to teach people how to create their first WordPress website.

Install a new theme

With a basic understanding of how WordPress works, you’re prepared to make the site your own.

While creating your content is important, it’s too hard to visualize without even selecting a theme, so that’s the next step.

If your startup is tech or business-oriented, check out our Startup Blog theme.

Startup Blog

It’s completely free and has a slick, modern design.

Startup Blog is fully responsive so it works great on mobile devices and laptops, and there’s a nice variety of customization options included.

If you enjoy the minimalist aesthetic, you can find 18 more free themes here.

Compete Themes Templates

Once you get the theme installed, you’ll have an easier time visualizing your site and how the end product will look. While it’s not time to get too far into customizing yet, this will help you create a startup website faster.

Create your content

Before you dive too deep into customization, it’s a good idea to create your foundational content.

The most basic pages you need are:

  • Homepage
  • About
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

You might be surprised to know this, but a huge number of visitors will click your About link. And it might seem like a boring page to you at first, but the secret is that it’s actually a sales page. Instead of selling your product, you sell your brand’s vision.

This tutorial will help you write your About page:

Once that page is done, you’ll want to make a Contact page.

To create your Contact page, you’ll need to install a contact form plugin, and this tutorial will teach you how to do that:

For your Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, you can either hire a lawyer to write one for you, or use a free online generator if you’re feeling scrappy.

And that brings us to the homepage.

Your homepage has a lot of jobs to do, but mainly, it needs to introduce your product and explain to people why they need it.

While you can create some nice designs with the WordPress editor, you’ll likely want something a little more advanced.

Elementor is a free page builder plugin, and it will allow you to create an entirely custom homepage.

Elementor Website

In fact, Elementor even has finished sales pages that you can simply insert into your homepage. Then you can swap out the images and text to make it your own. It’s pretty amazing.

You can follow this Elementor tutorial to learn how it works.

All of our themes are fully compatible with Elementor as well, so there’s no problem there.

Customize your site

Once you’ve got your main pages created, you’re almost done with your site. The final steps will be to tweak the design and finish branding everything.

Most modern WordPress themes place their customization settings into the Live Customizer. This is an interface in WordPress that allows you to customize your site with a live preview of how the updates will look.

This video will show you exactly how it works:

Make sure to:

  • Add your logo
  • Customize your menu(s)
  • Add icons for your social profiles
  • Customize the layout
  • Add widgets
  • Publish your first blog post

If you need a little help with that last one, this tutorial has some tips for what to write about in your first post:

Add analytics

Right now, you’re 100% focused on launching your site, so you may not have thought about analytics yet. However, the moment you launch you’re going to wonder, “How many people visited my site!?”

That’s why I recommend installing the Independent Analytics plugin early on so that you capture all of the visitor data from your launch.

Analytics dashboard

Independent Analytics is GDPR compliant and doesn’t use cookies, so you don’t have to add a cookie consent form to your site to use it. It’s also lightning-fast, so it won’t slow down your site, and it’s easy enough for a total analytics beginner to enjoy using.

Launch your new site!

While there’s a lot to learn for a WordPress newbie, none of these steps are overly technical. With a dedicated weekend, you can knock this out and have an awesome website for your new business.

The next step will be to unveil your site and share it with the world. There are two different approaches you can take.

First, you could do a soft launch and begin blogging right away. This will help you to get email subscribers and gain traction before your product is available.

Or, you can put up a coming soon page and collect emails while you prepare for a big public launch.

Either way, you’ll have a gorgeous website fully prepared to sell your product or service.

If this tutorial helped you make a startup website, then make sure to share it with someone else before you go.

Thanks for reading!

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
This article was written by Ben Sibley. He is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.