Many startuppers who come from the business world, wonder how to set up their first website landing page, especially if they don’t know about coding. Here is a simple guide to get your first website up and running. It will take less than 15 minutes!Before we begin, lets start with the basics for the ones that are not familiar with launching websites:
To launch a website with no coding, you need 3 things:
A. A place where your website is going to live (or hosted as we call it). In our case, the good friend who hosts your website is Windows Azure.
B. A way to communicate with your website and make changes to it. E.g., choose the design, upload fotos, input texts, create new pages etc. In the old days, we had to write everything with code. Now, there are some frameworks, like WordPress, which allow a non-technical person to make all the changes just with clicks.
C. A design of your website (or “Theme” as WordPress calls it).
So, let’s get started and create our first website, that we can later use to test our startup idea, host our blog or whatever else we’d like a website for. As described above, we are going to A. Setup our Windows Azure Account, B. Setup our WordPress Account and C. Choose a Theme for our Website.
Step 1: Go to http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/ and start a free trial of Azure. It will ask for your credit card but you are not being charged (I think it makes a trial charge of 1E which is then recalled). If you feel unsafe about the renewal process, go to https://account.windowsazure.com/Subscriptions and cancel your subscription after this tutorial.
Step 2: Click on “Portal” (the blue label on the up&right corner) and then click on the left bar on “WEBSITES” and then on “CREATE A WEBSITE”
Step 3: Click on “From Gallery”
Step 4: Click on “All” and scroll down until you find “Wordpress”. Click on “Wordpress”.
Step 5: Choose a name for your website. For example, I chose “toneomousite”. You will see that the web address will be “toneomousite.azurrewebsites.net” and not “tonemousite.com”. If you want the second option, you will need to buy the domain name e.g. from godaddy.com or from bluehost.com and there are some more modifications needed, so let’s skip it for the moment. Choose a region (e.g. West Europe).
Step 6: WordPress needs a database to store the information and you will need to give a name. Don’t worry about the technical terms. Just give a name and forget the database issue for the moment.
Step 7: You will see a new screen, saying that Azure is creating your website…have some patience for one minute..
Step 8: Congratulations! You just installed wordpress on Azure. And you just got your new website! Ok – where is it?
Step 9: Open a browser tab and go to “toneomousite.azurewebsites.net”. Here it is! Ok, it doesn’t look that nice at the moment but we’ll make it look prettier.
Step 10: Go again at the Azure portal an click on the URL of your website as you can see in the following screen. It will open a new window that will allow you to modify wordpress.
Step 11: Choose the language of WordPress. E.g. Greek.
Step 12: Create an account at WordPress. This will allow you to interact with your new website.
Step 13: Click “Connect”
Step 14: Login to WordPress with the account you created
Step 15: You will see a new control panel. This is the control panel of WordPress. In the left bar you will find a menu that will allow you to interact with your new website. Let’s choose a nice design for our website!
Step 16: Go to “Appearance” and then to “Add New Themes”. Choose the “Most popular” Themes. You will see a lot of different designs for your website. Let’s choose one!
Step 17: I will choose the “Customizr” Theme. Click on it and choose “Install”.
Step 18: Click “Activate” to activate it.
Step 19: If you want to customize the logos, fotos, text etc, go tto “Appearance”, select the “Customizr” theme and click on “Customize”.
Step 20: This will open a new interface in which you can change the website according to your taste.
Congratulations! You just got a new fancy website. Go to the address you chose (e.g. toneomousite.azurewebsites.net) and have a look at it! It wasn’t that difficult, was it?
Ok, now that you have your new website, you will have a ton of questions: How can I put a sign up box to collect emails? How can I change some elements that I cannot find a way to do it? This is all part of the wordpress world and out of the scope of this post. I’ll try in the future to create a similar guide for more advanced landing pages with more functionality. There are also many sites that sell bootstrap wordpress themes for startup launches with 20USD to 50USD (e.g. http://bootstrapbay.com/ ). You just buy them, download them as a .zip file and upload them to wordpress with the same process we used for Customizr theme.
For the moment, have fun with your new website!