Want to create a stunning personal website in WordPress?
I’ll show you how to build a personal website using Astra Ready Websites. These are pre-built WordPress sites you can import in 1-click using the Astra Starter Sites plugin. This has become the newest, easiest, and most efficient way to create websites. All you have to do is choose a host, setup WordPress, import a theme, and customize! Building a personal website is so easy.
We’ll be using NameHero since they use LiteSpeed servers and are much than faster typical hosting like SiteGround and Bluehost. This is where we’ll get your domain name and hosting.
Here’s how to create an awesome personal website in WordPress:
How To Create A Personal Website
- Get Domain & Hosting
- Install WordPress
- Login To Your WordPress Admin
- Download A Personal WordPress Theme
- Customize Your Website’s Design
- Create Your Pages
- Change The Navigation Menu
- Name Your Personal Website
- Control How Your Website Appears In Google
- Make Your Website Format Nicely On Facebook
- Customize Your Personal Mobile Site
- Setup Your Blog
- Install Essential WordPress Plugins
- Speed Optimize Your Personal Website
- Setup Google Analytics + Search Console
- Get A Custom Personal Website Design
1. Get Domain & Hosting
I recommend getting both of these through NameHero.
They’re cheap and have excellent speed with US-based support (check their TrustPilot reviews). NameHero uses LiteSpeed servers which are currently the faster type of server. Then you will use the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin with QUIC.cloud CDN which makes your site even faster. Stay away from SiteGround, EIG brands (Bluehost/HostGator), and GoDaddy which are all bad.
Step 1: Choose A WordPress Hosting Plan
I recommend NameHero’s Turbo Cloud plan which includes more RAM and NVMe storage which both make your site load faster. It lets you host unlimited websites and all plans come with a free domain name, SSL, and website migration if you’re already hosting somewhere else.
Step 2: Choose A Domain Name And Sign Up With Your Details
During the sign up process, you will be asked if you already have an existing domain name or if you want to register a new one. Otherwise, enter your details to sign up for domain + hosting.
2. Install WordPress
Once you’re signed up, go to your NameHero dashboard, click your hosting package, and login to your cPanel account. Search for “WordPress” and click WordPress Manager by Softaculous.
You will be prompted to install WordPress (just make sure you leave the “in directory” field blank and use https). Fill out your website details and click “install” at the bottom of the screen.
3. Login To Your WordPress Admin
Once WordPress is installed, you’ll see a button to login to your website, or use your login details which you filled out in the previous step. The URL will be: yourwebsite.com/wp-admin
Yay, you’re here!
Since you used HTTPS, you should the lock icon in your browser.
4. Download A Personal WordPress Theme
It’s time to choose a theme for your personal website!
The Astra Starter Sites plugin lets you import any of their pre-built websites in 1-click. These are all very nicely designed, mobile responsive, and fast loading WordPress themes. Astra Theme were also rated #1 in numerous Facebook polls because of how user-friendly they are.
Step 1: In your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins → Add New → search for “Astra Starter Sites.” Install and activate the plugin, then you will be prompted to activate the Astra theme.
Step 2: Go to Appearance → Astra Starter Sites and select Elementor as your page builder. Elementor is the fastest, most user-friendly page builder for WordPress and makes designing pages easy. They have a few additional themes under Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, and Brizy (see below). But those page builders aren’t as popular as Elementor – the one recommend.
Step 3: Find a theme you like. Themes labeled “Free” are free while themes labeled “Agency” require a premium Astra account. There are plenty of themes to create a personal website.
I will be using the Coach Theme in this example, but nearly all steps in this tutorial will be identical no matter which theme you choose. Just choose the theme you like best!
Step 4: Import your theme by clicking “Import Site.” When you do this, Astra will import the pre-built website including all the required plugins, customizer settings, widgets, and content.
Now you have a beautiful, pre-built WordPress site installed which you can start customizing!
5. Customize Your Website’s Design
You can customize your website’s design under Appearance → Astra Options.
This lets you do everything from uploading your logo, changing fonts, colors, and customizing the header and footer can be done here. The WordPress Customizer has many other settings that make it easy to design your personal website. LogoMakr makes it simple to create a logo.
- Upload logo + favicon
- Change footer layout/copyright area
- Change font family, size, weight, line height
- Change navigation menu layout
- Change layout of pages/posts (fullwidth, sidebar)
- Change color of text, theme, link, link hover, header, background
- Customize info shown on blog (author, publish dates, category, etc)
- Customize the sidebar on your blog (if you have one) and it’s width
6. Create Your Pages
In WordPress, go to Pages. Here you can add, delete, and edit pages on your website.
You will want to edit your pages in Elementor to change their design. I’m not going to explain how to do everything in Elementor, but for the most part, it’s as easy as point, click, and edit.
Here’s a video tutorial on using Elementor to customize pages:
Need A Different Design Than The Ones In Your Theme? Use Elementor Templates!
If you want a different design than the pre-built ones in your theme, Elementor has a ton of templates. When editing with Elementor, click the folder button and you will see blocks, pages, and my templates. Blocks are individual block templates, pages are full page templates, and my templates lets you save your own unique templates so you can use them throughout your site.
Elementor has tons of templates for all different types of layouts:
Here’s the about page:
Here’s the portfolio page:
Here’s the contact page:
7. Change The Navigation Menu
You can change your navigation menu under Appearance → Menus.
Keep in mind that pages will need to be published in order for them to show up here. To add pages to your menu, drag them from the left to the right. To create a dropdown menu, drag a page under another page while creating an indent. You can also add blog posts or custom links.
The design of your navigation menu can be changed in Astra Options → Header.
8. Name Your Personal Website
Name your personal website in WordPress under Settings → General (usually your name).
9. Control How Your Website Appears In Google
You will need to install and activate the Rank Math SEO plugin under Plugins → Add New.
Once activated, edit your homepage and scroll down to the Rank Math section. You can control how SEO titles + meta descriptions appear in Google’s desktop and mobile results. For personal websites, your SEO title should usually be your name followed by a few words about yourself (around 55 characters). The meta description is longer (around 155 characters). Make sure the Rank Math Bar is green which means you’re following Google’s character limits. If it’s too long, your snippet may get cut off. You can customize the title + meta description for each page/post.
It will take Google several days to crawl your website and show the new SEO title + meta description, but give it time and it will eventually update. To speed up this process, you can Google’s URL Inspection Tool in Search Console (instructions on how to set this up in step 16).
10. Make Your Website Format Nicely On Facebook
If you share your website on Facebook, it won’t format nicely.
To customize how your personal website’s image and text appears when shared on Facebook, edit a page and scroll down to the Rank Math section. Click the Social tab and you will see an option to upload custom images to Facebook (1200×630 pixels) and Twitter (1024×512 pixels).
Yes, this means you need to create a custom graphic for each.
But when you do, it makes your website look a lot nicer. Ideally, you should be uploading a custom graphic for each page so your entire WordPress site formats nicely on social media.
11. Customize Your Personal Mobile Site
Elementor lets you view and customize how your personal website looks on mobile.
All Astra Themes are mobile responsive, so your website should format nicely by itself. But if you want to change certain elements on your mobile site, you can do this when editing a page with Elementor. Look for the responsive mode at the bottom of Elementor’s editing screen. Just like you would edit any page with Elementor, you can do the same for your mobile site.
12. Setup Your Blog
This of course, is if you want a blog.
Step 1: Go to your Pages and add a page called “Blog.”
Step 2: Go to Appearance → Customize → Homepage Settings → Posts Page, and select “Blog.”
Step 3: Write your first blog post under Posts → Add New. Make sure you use a nice image!
Step 4: Design your blog sidebar under Appearance → Widgets. You can create different widgets to use on specific pages/posts to show different sidebar content throughout your site. You will need to make your blog a “right sidebar” layout in the Astra Options if you want one.
Step 5: Create blog categories to organize your posts into broader topics.
Here’s an example of how it looks:
13. Install Essential WordPress Plugins
Plugins add functionality to your site, but too many (or the wrong ones) can cause a slow WordPress site or even compatibility issues if the plugin isn’t maintained well. Bottom line: you have to be careful on which plugins you install, and how many you use. Make sure to only use fast, lightweight, and well-maintained plugins that have good reviews on the plugin page.
- Anti-Spam – prevents spam comments on your blog (if you have one).
- Duplicate Page – duplicate any page if you want to use it as a template.
- Elementor Pro – more pre-built templates and widgets for better design.
- LiteSpeed Cache – optimizes your website to load faster with great ratings.
- iTheme Security – 1-click security plugin to prevent your site from attacks.
- Rank Math – great SEO plugin that is far superior than Yoast and others.
- Redirection – if you change URLs, redirect the old URL to the new URL.
- ShortPixel – losslessly compress images to load faster in tools like GTmetrix.
- Slow Plugins To Avoid – full listed of slow plugins curated by myself.
- Updraft Plus – free, lightweight plugin to take backups of your website.
- WordPress SEO Plugins – full list of SEO plugins curated by myself.
- WordPress Speed Plugins – full list of speed plugins curated by myself.
14. Speed Optimize Your Personal Website
Just by using NameHero and Astra Themes, you should already have a fast personal WordPress website. But let’s make it faster.
Install LiteSpeed Cache – install the LiteSpeed Cache plugin and see my recommended settings. This is a great cache plugin especially when setup with the free QUIC.cloud CDN.
Avoid Third Party Requests – anything that generates requests from outside websites will slow down your personal website (eg. Google AdSense, embedded Google Maps, Google Fonts, embedded YouTube videos, embedded Facebook posts and widgets, or even social media like counts on your blog. While you can optimize some third party requests, avoid them if you can.
Test Your Website In GTmetrix – the tool I recommend which can be used to find slow plugins, unoptimized images, and other speed items that need to be fixed. Mainly focus on load times!
15. Setup Google Analytics + Search Console
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are powerful tools that not only tell you about your website visitors, but Search Console actually helps you improve SEO by checking for mobile, security, and sitemap errors, as well as tell you about rankings and click-through rates.
Setup Google Analytics – sign up for Google Analytics (free), add your website and fill out your info. You’ll then find your tracking ID in the Admin section of your Google Analytics dashboard.
Setup Google Search Console – sign up for a free Google Search Console account, add your website, and you will be instructed to verify domain ownership. Copy the TXT record from Google Search Console and paste it into your DNS configuration in your NameHero account.
16. Get A Custom Personal Website Design
Need something more custom than Astra Starter Sites?
Our team creates beautiful, themeless WordPress sites that are completely custom to each project. To inquire about a design and get a quote, please reach out to us on our contact page.
Otherwise, I hope this tutorial was super helpful in building your personal site!
If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.