How To Make a WordPress.com Site: A Step-by-Step Guide

WordPress.com™ is a highly popular content management system (CMS) that serves as a solid foundation on which small and large businesses can build their company’s website. If you already read our Wordpress.com Review and are ready to start building your WordPress.com website, look no further. This step-by-step guide will provide all the information you need to build a website for your business. 

We’ll show you how to sign up with WordPress.com, how to choose and install WordPress.com themes and templates, how to add and edit pages, and how to customize your WordPress.com homepage.


WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

WordPress.org is a fully open-source CMS that gives website owners complete control over the content, customization, and more. WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a website hosting service that includes a CMS bloggers and businesses can use to build their websites. WordPress.com is not open-source, meaning website owners don’t have as many customization options as they would with WordPress.org.

Although we typically recommend WordPress.org for all small business owners, some may find they prefer the WordPress.com platform. This step-by-step guide will show you how to successfully build a WordPress.com website. Any time we use the term WordPress® from this point forward, we mean WordPress.com.

Looking for information on building a WordPress.org website? Check out our guide on How To Make a WordPress.org Site.

Building your business’s WordPress website isn’t as difficult as you might think — especially if you feel relatively comfortable learning and using new technology. By following these simple steps, you can successfully build your WordPress website within a day.

Step 1: Sign Up for WordPress.com

The first thing you need to do when building your WordPress website is to create an account, select your domain name, and purchase your WordPress hosting package. 

If you aren’t quite sure if WordPress is the right platform for you, sign up for a free account so you can play around with the platform before purchasing a hosting package.

To purchase a domain name and WordPress.com package:

1. Visit WordPress.com.

2. Click on the “Get Started” or “Start your website” button.

3. Enter your email address, username, and password in the appropriate fields. Click on the “Create your account” button.

4. Enter the domain name you’d like to use for your business. If you aren’t sure what domain name you want to use for your business, check out our Domain Name Generator

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Note: If you already purchased a domain name and want to use it on the WordPress.com platform, click on the “Use a domain I own” link.

5. After entering your chosen domain name, click on the “Select” button next to the full URL (web address) you wish to use for your website.

6. After selecting your domain name, WordPress will prompt you to select a hosting package. Among the four available packages, the Business and eCommerce packages are the most popular with small business owners.

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7. Complete your payment details and checkout.

Step 2: Learn To Use the WordPress.com Dashboard

After creating a WordPress.com login, you can begin to learn how to use the WordPress.com platform to build your business’s website. It’s essential that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard, its various menus, and the themes and plug-ins available to you as a user.

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The Top Menu Bar

Along the top of your screen, you’ll see these options:

  • WordPress Icon: If you want to view a list of your WordPress.com websites (if you have multiple sites), you can do so by clicking on this icon. 
  • WordPress Reader: Click on this icon to view a list of WordPress.com websites that you follow and wish to read.
  • Write: If you want to quickly create a new blog post, click on the “Write” button.
  • Profile: To manage your WordPress.com profile, click on the profile icon in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  • Notifications: Click on the notifications icon to access any WordPress.com notifications regarding your website.

The Left Menu Bar

Along the left side of your screen — also called the WordPress dashboard or admin panel — you’ll find a menu bar with the following submenus:

  • My Home: The “My Home” submenu provides you with an overview of your website, links to frequently used settings, links to useful, how-to articles, and more.  
  • Stats: The “Stats” submenu delivers basic information about your website’s traffic. Although most users will install a third-party plug-in to gather site traffic information, this section will give you an idea of what type of data you can expect WordPress.com to provide.
  • Upgrades: If you want to upgrade your WordPress.com package at any point, you may do so via this submenu.
  • Posts: Use the “Posts” submenu to create, edit, and delete blog posts. It also allows you to manage post categories and post tags, which will help you classify blog posts into various groups. For example, a beauty salon may have categories that include nail care, hair care, and skin care. Then, the site owner may break down those main categories into topics that include skin care products, hair masks, acrylic nail care, etc.
  • Media: Website owners can use the “Media” submenu to view their entire media library, manage media files, and upload new media files. 
  • Pages: Use this submenu to create, edit, and delete your website’s pages. 
  • Comments: Use the “Comments” submenu to read and respond to comments on your blog posts and pages. If you wish to disable the comments feature, you can do so via the “Settings” menu.
  • Feedback: Use the “Feedback” submenu to create and manage forms and surveys on your website.
  • Jetpack: WordPress automatically installs the Jetpack® plug-in on all of its websites. Although it’s known for slowing down larger websites, many new site owners view this plug-in as extremely valuable. The “Jetpack” plug-in includes several helpful features, including security, search engine optimization (SEO), customization, and performance tools that can help you manage and design your website. 
  • Appearance: Select the “Appearance” submenu to manage your website’s theme, customize its homepage, and more. 
  • Plug-Ins: From this submenu, you can add, manage, and delete plug-ins on your website.
  • Users: The “Users” submenu gives site owners the ability to add additional users to their website. You also can set various permission levels to ensure users have the exact level of editing rights they need.
  • Tools: The “Tools” submenu gives site owners the ability to perform a variety of management tasks, including managing marketing integrations and importing and/or exporting content from another CMS.
  • Settings: Use the “Settings” submenu to manage your website’s:
    • General Settings (e.g., its title, date format, and footer credits)
    • Performance Settings (e.g., the Jetpack plug-in and Cloudflare® content delivery network [CDN] that can improve your site’s performance)
    • Writing Settings (e.g., the default settings used when you post new content to your site)
    • Discussion Settings (e.g., the settings used to manage your site’s comments capabilities)
    • Reading Settings (e.g., settings that dictate what content appears on your homepage, blog follow settings, and more).
    • Media Settings (e.g., settings that dictate standard photo sizes)
    • Hosting Configuration – *only for Business packages* (e.g., settings for uploading content via file transfer protocol [FTP] and more).
  • Add New Site: If you want to create another WordPress.com website, you can do so by accessing this item in the left-hand menu bar.
  • Collapse Menu: If you want to hide the WordPress dashboard, click on this item in the left-hand menu bar.

Step 3: Select a WordPress.com Theme

Most website owners will find selecting and installing a theme extremely beneficial. Themes often take a lot of guesswork out of building a new WordPress website — especially because many include premade pages you can simply update and publish. 

To select a theme, click on the “Appearance” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar followed by the “Themes” option. From here, you can browse, select, and install the theme you’d like to use on your website. 

If you choose the WordPress.com Free or Personal hosting package, you’ll have a limited number of free and premium themes available to you. If you instead select the Business hosting package, you’ll gain the ability to upload themes from external marketplaces. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll upload the “Astra” theme you can download (for free) from here.

To use the “Astra” theme:

  1. Download the “Astra” theme and save it to your desktop.
  2. Click on the “Appearance” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar followed by the “Themes” option.
  3. Select “Install Theme.”
  4. Click on the “Upload Theme” button.
  5. Click on the “Choose File” button.
  6. Locate the “Astra” theme file saved on your desktop, and then click on the “Open” button.
  7. Click on the “Install Now” button.
  8. When the installation process ends, click on the “Activate” link.
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Need help choosing the best theme for your business website? Read our How To Choose a WordPress Theme and Best WordPress Themes articles for more information.

After installing the “Astra” theme, you’ll also want to install the “Astra” page templates. 

To install “Astra” page templates:  

  1. Click on the “Plug-Ins” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar followed by the “Add New” option.
  2. Enter “Astra” in the search field.
  3. Look for “Starter Templates – Elementor, Beaver Builder, Gutenberg & Brizy Templates.”           How to make a <a href=
  4. Click on the “Install Now” button.
  5. When the installation process ends, click on the “Activate” link.
  6. When the plug-in activates, you’ll arrive at the “Plug-Ins” submenu of the WordPress dashboard.
  7. Look for the “Starter Templates” plug-in and click on the “See Library” option. 
  8. On the next screen, WordPress will prompt you to select the page builder you want to use on your website. We’ll use WordPress’s own page builder and click on the “Gutenberg” option. 
  9. On the next screen, you’ll find several premade site templates from which to choose. Locate a template that aligns with your needs and goals. For this tutorial, we’ll choose the “Salon & Spa” template.
  10. To install all the pages included with the template, click on the “Import Complete Site” link. To install the homepage only (and create your other pages from scratch), click on the “Import ‘Home’ Template” link. For this tutorial, we’ll import the complete site. 
  11. Click on the “Import” link, enter your contact details, and then click on the “Submit and Start Importing” link.
  12. When the import process ends, click on the “View Site” link.
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Note: If you choose another theme that includes page templates, follow its instructions for adding the templates to your website.

Step 4: Add Content to Your WordPress.com Website

The next step in building a WordPress.com website for your business involves adding content. Because you already know how to find the purpose of your website, structure a website, and leverage SEO, you should have a good understanding of the pages, content, and structure your site needs. 

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a small business website using the “Astra” theme and then add the four most commonly used pages: “Home,” “Services,” “About Us,” and “Contact.”

Design a WordPress.com Homepage

After you install the “Astra” theme, you can customize it to suit your business needs. 

To edit your site’s homepage:

  1. Click on the “Pages” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar followed by the “Home” link.
  2. From this point forward, you can use WordPress’s Gutenberg editor to add, modify, and delete content from your homepage. Learn more about using WordPress’s Gutenberg editor through this helpful documentation. We’ll now update the homepage — one section at a time.
  3. In the first section, you’ll want to update the page title and introductory paragraph. To do so, click on the text box you want to edit and simply start typing.             How to make a <a href=
  4. If you want to update the button text, color, etc., click on the button. A “Block Editing” tab will then appear on the right side of your screen.
    1. To edit the button’s text, highlight the text you wish to change and simply start typing. 
    2. Use this same tab to make any other changes you’d like, such as adjusting the button’s shape and color.
    3. To change the hyperlink associated with the button, click on the “Edit” button in the “Block Editing” tab. If you don’t see the “Edit” button, simply click on the button again.                How to make a <a href=
  5. In the next section, update the list of services your business offers. To change the text, simply select the text you wish to update and then start typing.
  6. To change a photo:
    1. Click on the photo you want to change.
    2. Click on the “Pencil” icon.
    3. Choose whether to upload a photo from your computer, select an image you already uploaded, or insert a photo by entering a URL.
  7. To add a button to link to your “Services” page, click on the plus sign (“+”) icon and then select “Buttons” from the available options. Click on your new button and type in a call-to-action (CTA) phrase like “View more services.” 
    1. Click outside the button, and then click on the button again to open the text editing menu. 
    2. Click on the “Link” icon in that menu. 
    3. Enter the URL of your future “Services” page. 
    4. Use the “Block Editing” tab to make additional changes, including editing the button’s shape, color, etc.
  8. Because we don’t want to include the customer reviews section on our website, we’ll select each individual section and delete them.
    1. Click on the “Customer Reviews” heading.
    2. Click on the three dots (“”) icon and select “Remove Block” from the available options.
    3. Continue deleting the rest of the “Customer Reviews” sections.
  9. To add content to your homepage, place your cursor where you want to add new content. 
    1. Click on the plus sign (“+”) icon.
    2. Choose from the extensive list of options, including “Paragraph,” “Heading,” “List,” “Image,” “Button,” and “Video.”
    3. Edit your page’s new content block by using the “Block Editing” tab that will then appear on the right side of the screen.
  10. To edit the map section at the bottom of the homepage:
    1. Visit maps.google.com.
    2. Locate your business by entering its address.
    3. Click on your business to open a “Details” section on the left side of the screen.
    4. Click on the “Share” icon.
    5. Click on the “Embed a map” tab.
    6. Click on the “COPY HTML” link.
    7. Return to your website.
    8. Delete the “iFrame” text.                         How to make a <a href=
    9. Paste your copied HTML link in that box.
  11. Continue editing your homepage’s content, as desired.
  12. When you finish, click on the “Update” button in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  13. To return to the WordPress dashboard, click the WordPress icon in the top-left corner of your screen and then click “View Pages”.

Edit The “About” Page

Next, you’ll want to update your website’s “About” page.

To edit the “About” page:

  1. Click on the “Pages” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar.
  2. Find the “About” page in the list of pages and click on the title.
  3. To change an image on this page:
    1. Click on the photo you want to change.
    2. Click on the “Pencil” icon.
    3. Choose whether to upload a photo from your computer, select an image you already uploaded, or insert a photo by entering a URL.
  4. To add content to your “About” page, place your cursor where you want to add new content. 
    1. Click on the plus sign (“+”) icon.
    2. Choose from the extensive list of options, including “Paragraph,” “Heading,” “List,” “Image,” “Button,” and “Video.”
    3. Edit your page’s new content block by using the “Block Editing” tab that will then appear on the right side of the screen.
  5. To remove a section from your “About” page, select and delete each individual section.
    1. Select a section to delete.
    2. Click on the three dots (“”) icon and select “Remove Block” from the available options.
    3. Continue deleting each additional section you don’t want to appear on your “About” page.
  6. Continue editing your “About” page’s content, as desired.
  7. When you finish, click on the “Update” button in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  8. To return to the WordPress dashboard, click the WordPress icon in the top-left corner of your screen and then click “View Pages”.

Edit the “Services” Page

You’ll likely also want to update your “Services” page to align with your business’s specific offerings.

To edit the “Services” page:

  1. Click on the “Pages” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar.
  2. Find the “Services” page in the list of pages that then appears and click on the title.
  3. Use WordPress’s Gutenberg editor to add, modify, and delete content from this page. Learn more about using WordPress’s Gutenberg editor through this helpful documentation
  4. When you finish, click on the “Update” button in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  5. To return to the WordPress dashboard, click the WordPress icon in the top-left corner of your screen and then click “View Pages”.

Edit the “Contact” Page

Next, you should make any necessary changes to your site’s “Contact” page.

To edit the “Contact” page:

  1. Click on the “Pages” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar.
  2. Find the “Contact” page in the list of pages that then appears and click on the title.
  3. Use WordPress’s Gutenberg editor to add, modify, and delete content from this page. Learn more about using WordPress’s Gutenberg editor through this helpful documentation
  4. To edit the map section at the bottom of this page:
    1. Visit maps.google.com.
    2. Locate your business by entering its address.
    3. Click on your business to open a “Details” section on the left side of the screen.
    4. Click on the “Share” icon.
    5. Click on the “Embed a map” tab.
    6. Click on the “COPY HTML” link.
    7. Return to your website.
    8. Delete the “iFrame” text.                     How to make a <a href=
    9. Paste your copied HTML link in that box.
  5. When you finish, click on the “Update” button in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  6. To return to the WordPress dashboard, click the WordPress icon in the top-left corner of your screen and then click “View Pages”.

Step 5: Customize Your WordPress.com Website

The next step involves further customizing your website’s homepage and other elements. To begin, click on the “Appearance” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar followed by the “Customize” link. The “WordPress Customizer” will then appear. Use it to make additional changes to your homepage, such as adding more elements and modifying the look and feel of your site. Follow the steps below to further customize your WordPress.com website.

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Update Your Website’s Fonts and Colors

The WordPress Customizer options will vary based on your chosen theme selection. That means some of the options below may only be available with different themes or an “Astra Pro” subscription.

To edit site fonts and colors:

  1. Click on the “Global” menu item in the WordPress Customizer.
  2. To update the default fonts for your website, choose the “Typography” option.
    1. To update the main font your site uses for normal text on pages and blog posts, choose “Base Typography” and then update the font settings.
    2. To change the fonts your site uses for its headers, choose “Headings” and then update the font settings.
  3. To update your site’s default colors, choose “Colors” and then update the color settings.
  4. To update the default colors for all the buttons on your website, choose “Buttons” and then update the color settings.
  5. Click on the open-angle bracket (“<”) icon to return to the main WordPress Customizer menu.

Update Your Website’s Header

Next, you should customize your site’s header to align with your business’s branding.

To update your site header:

  1. Choose the “Header Builder” menu item in the WordPress Customizer.
  2. To update your logo, title, and tagline, click on the “Site Identity & Logo” option.
    1. Click on the “Change Logo” button to upload your business’s logo. Portable network graphics (PNG) files are the best file type for logos. If you don’t have a logo for your business yet, check out our Free Logo Generator.
  3. Update your site’s title, tagline, icon, and additional header settings, as needed.
  4. Click on the open-angle bracket (“<”) icon to return to the main WordPress Customizer menu.

Update Your Website’s Footer

Finally, you’ll need to customize your site’s footer area to highlight key information about your business. 

To update the footer: 

  1. Choose the “Footer Builder” menu item in the WordPress Customizer.               How to make a <a href=
  2. Use the “Footer Builder” menu to add, edit, and move content and widgets around to create a custom footer for your website.
  3. Click on the open-angle bracket (“<”) icon to return to the main WordPress Customizer menu.

When you finish using the WordPress Customizer, click on the “Save Changes” button. This’ll save your changes and return you to the WordPress dashboard.

Step 6: Install WordPress Plug-Ins

One of the last things you must do before launching your website is to install and activate any plug-ins you want to run on your WordPress.com website. If you haven’t done so already, check out our Best Plug-Ins for a WordPress Site article to learn which WordPress plug-ins we recommend to small business owners. 

Ecommerce business owners should pay special attention to this step because they’ll most likely need to leverage plug-ins to install ecommerce functionality on their websites.

To manage your plug-ins, click on the “Plug-Ins” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar. Use this submenu to add, install, activate, and delete plug-ins from your website.

Step 7: Preview Your WordPress.com Website

Before publishing your website, it’s essential that you preview it to ensure it looks and functions as expected. This also is a great time to ask trusted colleagues and/or friends to test your website and provide feedback. 

To preview your website without publishing it, click on your website’s title in the upper-left corner of your screen.

Step 8: Publish Your WordPress.com Website

If you’re ready to publish your WordPress.com website, click on the “My Home” submenu in the WordPress dashboard’s left-hand menu bar. Under the “Site Setup” section, click on the “Launch Your Site” link. Then, click on the “Launch Your Site” button in the middle of your screen. Finally, review your website thoroughly to make sure everything looks good and functions properly.

Final Thoughts

Now that you built a WordPress.com website for your business, it’s time to take your website to the next level. Access these helpful articles to make your website even better.

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