Build a simple WordPress website

You want to offer paid memberships to your audience and you recognize that WordPress is the best option. The problem is that you've never used WordPress before and you don’t know where to start. Luckily, with one-click hosting and a great theme, it's easier than you think!

In this doc, we'll show you how to create a simple WordPress website. Once you’ve set up a strong foundation, you can add Memberful to the mix to sell memberships to your audience and restrict content for members only.

In this help doc:

Some terms you should be familiar with:

Choose reliable, managed WordPress hosting is a free website building platform. It’s the house for all your content. Once you build your website, you need to make it available for people to access on the web; this is accomplished through hosting providers. Hosting is the street where your website lives.

Having reliable, managed hosting is important. If you’re running a business, you can’t afford for your site to go down for a few hours or for pages to load slowly.

Choose a hosting provider who offers one-click WordPress installation. Siteground is a good option for smaller sites. After you sign up for a hosting plan, your host will take you through a few steps to set up your website.

Register your domain name

Your domain name is like your site’s home address (e.g. You need a domain name so people can access your website by typing your address into their browser’s URL bar. Choosing the right name is important so give it some thought.

To keep it simple, choose a host that includes domain names with their plans or sells domain names for an annual fee. Alternatively, you can buy a domain name from a company such as or, and then transfer it to your host. Just don’t forget to renew your name before the end of your term (yearly or other) so your domain name registrar doesn’t put it back up for sale!

Install an SSL certificate on your site

SSL establishes an encrypted link between your website and a web browser to ensure data passed between them remains private. You’ll know a website has an SSL certificate when the web address starts with https:// instead of http:// (“s” stands for secure).

Think of SSL as an alarm system for your website: When a customer makes a purchase through your site, SSL keeps their personal information protected.

Let's Encrypt is a free, high-quality SSL certificate. All our recommended WordPress hosting providers support easy SSL certificate installation.

Install a theme on your site

A WordPress theme is a template you add to your website to set the design and layout. Themes are the decorative aspects of your website akin to the paint color in your living room. There are many free and paid themes to choose from.

To install your theme, navigate to Appearance → Themes from the sidebar in your WordPress dashboard, and click Add New. Search for your theme and click Install.

Install a theme

Just like the paint color on your living room walls—themes aren’t permanent. You can change your theme without impacting the pages, posts, and content on your site.

Set up your pages, posts, and menu

With WordPress, you can create pages and posts for all your content. Pages and posts are like the rooms in your house.

To add a page, navigate to Pages from your WordPress dashboard, and click Add New. This will open a WordPress editor, where you can build your page with text, images, and more. Click Update to save your work.

Edit a page

To add a post, navigate to Posts from your WordPress dashboard, and click Add New. Add your content, categorize your post, and then click Update to save your work.

To add your pages or categorized posts to the navigation bar, navigate to Appearance → Menus from your WordPress dashboard. Click the checkbox next to the pages and categories you want to add to your menu, and then click Add to Menu. Rearrange the menu items if required and click Save Menu.

Create a menu

Customize and tweak your site

There are a few settings you’ll want to tweak to further customize your site. It’s like adding a welcome mat and a few potted plants to your house.

You’ll want to:

Install key plugins

Now it’s time to install a few key plugins to enhance your site's functionality. Plugins let you add features and functions to your WordPress site that don’t come built in. This is like adding a surround sound system to your home.

To add a plugin to your site, navigate to Plugins from your WordPress dashboard, and click Add New.

Keep in mind that WordPress and the third-party plugin developers will make bug fixes, add new features, and release security updates periodically. You must update your WordPress site and plugins as soon as the updates are released so that you’re running the latest, safest versions. Please note that many managed WordPress hosts automatically update WordPress for you.

Add a plugin

You now have a simple, yet powerful, WordPress website up and running. The next step is to integrate Memberful so you can start selling memberships to your audience.

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