I suppose that by the time you searched for how to Design A Website Without Writing A Single Line Of Code, you are in one way or the other interested in designing a website yourself. To be honest, website designing is a very wide field of practice involving a lot of new and old technologies.
This article on how to design a website without writing a single line of code in Uganda is intended for someone with prior knowledge of computers like simple sending of email and browsing the internet. Even when I have specified it for Ugandan audience, this article can still be full of use for anyone else around the world. If that’s NOT who you are, then this guide is not for you however, it may be relevant also to advanced computer users who are simply looking for simpler ideas on how to design a website without writing a single line of code.
Table of Contents
- 1 Website Design Without Writing Code and The Trends
- 2 Most Popular Site Building Platforms in 2018
- 3 Starting With WordPress CMS
- 4 Congratulations upon Designing Your First Website Without Writing A Single Line Of Code
Website Design Without Writing Code and The Trends
Let’s face it like I mentioned earlier, website design has changed trends from the way back since the invention of the internet. I have witnessed a change in use of centralized systems to the adoption of decentralized systems. Adoption to the use of Content Management Systems to the way it was done back in the days.
Since you’re on the hang out on how to design a website without writing a single line of code in Uganda or elsewhere and moreover the easiest and simplest way, I am going to base this guide on that. Of recent, there have emerged website design systems like the use of website builders (WYSIWYG), use of content management system CMS among others.
There have been mixed reactions on which are the easiest ways no how you can design your first website easily and fast. From experience, It is easier to use a website builder which is an already hosted platform from a provider, grab a web template, drag and drop here and there, then you’re done. Next step is choosing your hosting platform and a domain name provider.
However, I consider the use of website builders as the easiest way to design a website, but NOT in the long run. The establishment of website design platforms like content management systems )CMSs) has completely replaced the use of website builders. The reason here is very simple. They are open source.
In simple terms, opens source systems are those that have a number of contributors in terms of architectural and system development. Anyone including you can contribute to development and betterment of the platform. And this has enabled open source content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla to skyrocket hence powering millions of websites on the internet.
Most Popular Site Building Platforms in 2018
Today, WordPress is considered to be empowering 27% of the websites on the internet according to codeinwp and hence making it the most used website design platform in the world. So for that reason, today I will take you through how to design your first website with WordPress content management system (CMS). WordPress is not only considered to be the world’s largest website design platform but also the easiest way to build, run and maintain any kind of website. At first, it was considered to be only for weblogs or a platform for bloggers but today, it has taken a twist hosting websites of some of the largest marketing firms, news agencies, corporate bodies (New York Observer, New York Post, TED, Thought Catalog, Williams, USA Today, CNN, Fortune.com, BBC America, TIME.com, National Post, Spotify, TechCrunch, CBS Local, NBC to mention but a few.
Starting With WordPress CMS
WordPress is a free platform. With WordPress, there are two options. If you’re looking at designing your first website or blog without spending any penny, then you ought to go for WordPress.com where you can design your blog and host it on the same platform plus getting a domain name all for FREE. Even where I wouldn’t advise because of the limitations and the funny domain you will get. For resistance, your domain will look like, myfristwebsite.wordpress.com which may look a bit unprofessional to any user or visitor.
And that’s why I recommend using WordPress.org where you will have a self-hosted website but still using WordPress features like thousands of FREE websites themes/templates, thousands of FREE plugins to enhance the performance of your website and plus all other awesome features you never have to take care of. Ie, platform updates, theme updates, plugin updates, security among others.
If you choose to go for a self-hosted WordPress website, which I am going to take you through, you will have to cater for your website hosting and domain needs. Of course, there are a number of website hosting and domain name providers in Uganda like Hostaai being one of the cheapest and most reliable.
Since this guide is based how to design your first website, we will design our website using the CMS WordPress (open source software downloaded from wordpress.org). We will then set up our website from Localhost. Even when there is a possibility to design after hosting your website, I advise using localhost at the start as it will give you base on the different tweaks during this process.
My First WordPress Website Using Localhost
Localhost is a way of designing/developing your website with no need of registering a domain name and choosing a website hosting provider. Everything is done from the comfort of your computer. Ie, being your website host/server. There are dozens of applications that enable you to turn your computer or laptop into a server like environment. The most commonly used are Wamp and Xamp to mention but a few. Both these applications can be download for FREE.
I already introduced you to client-server environments like Wamp and Xamp. For now, I will recommend you download and install Wamp server on your computer.
After installation you, under your c drive, you will locate a folder called, Wamp and that’s where every other work is going to happen. All your sites will be saved under the www folder in the wamp folders. You will also have to create a database using phpmyadmin. To do this, you have to run wamp server from the start menu. Then check the notification area on the taskbar for the green icon showing wamp server online.
Select it and then choose phpmyadmin, login in and the create a database for your site.
Downloading WordPress – Installation and Set Up
Next, you will have to download WordPress CMS which you will copy to the folder name (your site name) under www folder in the wamp server installation in your c-drive. You may download WordPress CMS from here https://wordpress.org/download/
Next, you will have to make a copy of your wp-config-sample.php file and rename the new one as wp-config.php. Upon doing that, you’ll have to configure the database name, database user and database password to match those you set earlier in using phpmyadmin while creating a database.
Go to your browser (chrome, safari, or Firefox), and type in your website address, http://localhost/myfirstwebsite.
A WordPress installation screen will appear and prompt you to register your username and password which you will later on use to log into your website.
After registration, you will have to use this url to login into your website http://localhost/myfirstwebsite/wp-login.php/. Kindly feed in your credentials as set in the step before.
Now, when all is well, your dashboard should look like this.
A theme is a predesigned template that will look similar to your dream website. Themes are customizable and you can tweak them to your liking. There are free, paid and custom themes.
With a theme, you just have to in download and install it in theme area under appearance [No. 2 in image] in your WordPress website installation.
Once you’re in the dashboard, you’ve got access to thousands of themes from many WordPress contributors and developers. Or you may simply do a google search for a specific theme name of your choice.
If you want a custom made theme or a bit more professional then you may hop onto themeforests.net or you may contact African Art Innovations Ltd for a quote on a developing you a custom one perhaps even helping you with your new website.
However, before you hoping into designing or purchasing, I really suggest you at least try spending some time browsing the free themes. Many of them are actually really professional and well made.
After getting a theme, installing it is very simple. Under Appearance > themes > Install theme > Install > Browse for theme > then Activate.
IMPORTANT: Changing themes won’t delete your previous posts, pages, and content. You can change themes as often as you want without having to worry about losing what you’ve created.
Log into your WordPress dashboard navigate to plugins section [No. 1 in image].
If you’re not sure how, type in: http://myfirstwebsite.com/wp-admin (myfirstwebsite.com represents you actual ‘website’ name).
A Plugins is an extension that is built to enhance WordPress functionalities by adding features and functions to your site that doesn’t come built-in or with your theme.
You can use plugins to do almost everything like adding forms, mega menus, sliders etc.
How to Add a New Plugin
In your WordPress dashboard sidebar, navigate Plugins > Add New and search. But since we are working offline using the local host, you will not be in position to use this feature. Therefore, you simply use wordpress.org/plugin to download an install your desired one.
There are thousands of plugins both FREE and paid ones to choose from.
Once you get a plugin of your choice, Installation is easy, browse for it from your download folder then, just click “Install”.
Everything is easily labeled. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t sweat it – I’m going to show you where to go next.
From this step, I will recommend watching this step by step video.
If not, then proceed with the steps below.
Adding Content and Pages
So let’s dive into some of the basics: To add an About us page, or Contact page,
In the WordPress Dashboard sidebar, locate Pages > Add New. Then follow the procedures. See in image [No. 3 in image]
Creating a MENU and adding PAGES
- To save changes on the created pages, simply hit “Update”
- Then, navigate to Appearance > Menus in the WordPress sidebar. See in image [No. 2 in image]
- Locate your desired page and add it to the list by clicking the checkbox next to it and then “Add to Menu”.
Setting Up a Static Front / Home Page
A static page is always known as the home page. This page doesn’t change very often.
To set up a static front page:
- Go to Settings > Reading See in image [No. 5 in image]
- Choose a static page that you have created. “Front Page” denotes your home page, “Posts page” is the front page of your blog (if your entire site isn’t a blog).
If you don’t choose a static page on your own, WordPress will take your latest posts and start showing them on your homepage.
Congratulations upon Designing Your First Website Without Writing A Single Line Of Code
I hope this guide came in handy. Let me know about the difficulties you meet on your way. I will be available to help. I would wish also to recommend a good resource for WordPress beginners. I have a strong belief that you’ll find WpBeginner a valuable resource during your WordPress journey.
Welcome and enjoy the WordPress moments 🙂