How To Create A WordPress Site In 1 Hour

I’m going to show you how to create a WordPress site for your business within an hour, and for less money than it takes to fill the tank in your Toyota Prius.

This tutorial is perfect for new WordPress users creating their first website. It’s also useful for seasoned developers and freelancers who want to produce sites for their clients faster, saving themselves time and earning more money.


As an example, I have built a website for a fictional pet sitting and boarding company called “Patches’ Pets.” I will show you how to create a similar WordPress site using the same set of tools.

I’m going to assume you already have a domain, hosting provider, and WordPress installed on your server. However, if you’re interested in those details, check out our 5 Steps To Creating A WordPress Site.

I’m going to be using and recommending the Natural Lite theme for this tutorial. It’s the same theme that is used on our example site. However, you may use any Organic Theme of your choosing.

Natural Lite is a completely FREE WordPress theme that I created after years of experience designing and developing WordPress themes for Organic Themes and It’s among the best free business themes available today, and currently available for download on our site or within WordPress theme directory.

Now that you have the basic tools, let’s create a WordPress site!

Step 1: Installing And Activating Your Theme


There are a couple ways to install a theme from the WordPress dashboard. You can upload a theme that you have previously downloaded, or choose a free theme from the WordPress directory within the dashboard.

Uploading A Theme

First, I’ll explain how to upload a downloaded WordPress theme. There are several reasons you may have a downloaded copy of a theme. Possibly because it’s a premium theme, not available in the free directory, or maybe it was a theme provided to you by a client. Whatever the reason, a downloaded theme should be in the form of a .zip file.

Make sure you know where the theme is located on your computer. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Appearance > Themes within the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Click the Add New button next to the “Themes” title in the top left.
  3. Within the same location, click the Upload Theme button.
  4. Click the Browse… button, and locate the theme .zip file on your computer.
  5. Click the Install Now button.
  6. Once the installation has completed, click the link to Activate the theme.

Choosing A Free Theme

For the purposes of this tutorial, we will be using the free Natural Lite theme, available within the WordPress directory. So, I’ll explain how to install and activate the theme from within your WordPress dashboard:

  1. Navigate to Appearance > Themes within the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Click the Add New button next to the “Themes” title in the top left.
  3. Search for “Natural Lite” within the search field.
  4. It should be the first theme. However over the theme, and click the blue Install button.
  5. Once the installation is complete, click the Activate button.

The Natural Lite theme should now be installed and activated on your WordPress website. Now, you’ll need to add your content.

Step 2: Adding Your Content

Content can be added to your site in the form of pages and posts when using WordPress. Pages are for static content, such as a “Services” or “Contact” page. Pages are usually added to your main navigation menu. Posts are used for dated content, such as news articles or blog posts.

Adding Pages

For our example site I have created the 6 pages seen in the menu below:

The page editor screen.

Let’s create your first Page:

  1. Navigate to Pages > Add New within the WordPress admin.
  2. Enter a title for the Page.
  3. Add content within the content editor field beneath the title.
  4. Optionally apply a Template within the “Page Attributes” section.
  5. Click the blue Publish button.

I recommend clicking the “Toolbar Toggle” button for more options to format your content. In addition, you may “Add Media” such as images, audio, video, PDF files and more, simply by dragging the files on top of the content editor.

Click the Toggle Toolbar button for more options.

Templates can be used to change the layout of a page. A template can be set within the “Page Attributes” section to the right of the content editor when editing a page. Natural Lite includes 3 page templates in addition to the Default Template:

  • Full Width — Displays a page with no sidebar.
  • Blog — Displays blog posts of a category selected within the Appearance > Customizer.
  • Archives — Displays all pages, posts and categories on your site, similar to a sitemap.

Page templates vary considerably per theme. Our premium version of the Natural Theme has additional templates for displaying slideshows, portfolios and pages with multiple column layouts.

Go ahead and add pages as necessary to suit the needs of your business. When creating a blog page, apply the “Blog” template in the “Page Attributes.”

Adding Posts


Creating a post is similar to creating a page with a few minor differences — namely categories, tags and the excerpt field.

Categories and Tags allow you to organize posts through the use of taxonomies. Categories are hierarchical. For instance, you may use categories to organize posts relating to specific dog breeds and sizes. Tags are non-hierarchical, and may be used as keywords for your post. You can learn more about using categories and tags here.

In the case of the Natural Lite theme, categories are used to display posts within specific locations of the theme. For instance, the featured slideshow on the home page displays posts from a particular category selected within the theme options of the Customizer.

The Excerpt field is used for displaying optional summaries of your post content, like an introduction.

Okay, let’s create your first blog Post:

  1. Navigate to Posts -> Add New within the WordPress admin.
  2. Enter a title for the Post.
  3. Add content within the content editor field beneath the title.
  4. Add a new Category titled “Blog” within the “Categories” section and apply it to the Post.
  5. Click the blue Publish button.

Next, let’s create another Post for the featured slideshow on the home page:

  1. Navigate to Posts > Add New within the WordPress admin.
  2. Enter a title for the Post.
  3. Add content within the content editor field beneath the title.
  4. Add a brief Excerpt in the field beneath the content editor.
  5. Add a new Category titled “Slide” within the “Categories” section and apply it to the Post.
  6. Add a Featured Image to the Post (See below).
  7. Click the blue Publish button.

Featured Images can be applied to posts or pages. A single featured image can be applied per post or page, and it will display a prominent featured image for the post or page. In the Natural Lite theme, the featured image will be displayed on the slide for posts applied to the slideshow.

The Excerpt field can be found just beneath the content editor. If for some reason you don’t see the excerpt field, make sure the box is displayed by checking your “Screen Options” at the top of the post edit page as seen in the screenshot below:


Within the Natural Lite theme, the excerpt content will be displayed across the featured image of the slideshow, so keep it short. It’s a great tool for making announcements for your business within your slideshow.

Continue adding new posts as you see fit, applying the proper categories to each post.

Adding Widgets


Widgets provide another option for adding content to your site. There are a variety of widgets that can be added to any widgetized area of your theme. The Jetpack plugin provides several additional widgets such as a profile, image, gallery, Facebook Like widgets and more. With the Natural Lite theme, widgets may be added to the footer and sidebars of your site.

Navigate to Appearance > Widgets to begin adding widgets. For example, add a “Text” widget to the “Footer Widgets” section that contains information about your hours of operation. Text widgets also allow for HTML code that can be used to enhance the content within the widget.

Continue adding widgets as you see fit. It’s easy to get carried away with widgets, so try only adding widgets that are useful or helpful to the navigation of your site.

Installing Example Content

The content for our example site is available for download here. After downloading and unzipping the demo content file, you may optionally install the content within the Tools > Import section of the WordPress admin to be used as a guide.

We only recommend doing this if you are not planning to add the content for your business at this time.

Step 3: Theme Setup

Once your content has been added, it’s time to make sure that content is displayed within the appropriate locations within your theme. Setting up the Natural Lite theme will be a breeze using the WordPress Customizer.

The WordPress Customizer provides the ability to set and save theme options and change the appearance of your theme while allowing you to see those changes in real time.

Navigate to Appearance > Customize within the WordPress admin.


The Customizer should look similar to the example image above, with a preview of the site on the right and a list of options on the left.

Theme Options

Within the Customizer, select the “Theme Options” panel.


Within the panel you will be presented with all the necessary options to setup your theme. Since your pages, posts and categories have already been created, just go down the list of options — setting the categories and pages for the home page sections and your blog page template. Your options should look similar to the example image on the left. Click the blue “Save & Publish” button at the top of the Customizer to save your changes.

We have kept the options minimal with the Natural Lite theme to reduce the setup time. The theme setup process should only take a couple minutes, assuming content has already been published on your site.

Custom Menus

Your pages should already be displayed within the navigation menu on your site. However, they may not be in the order you desire. So let’s create a custom menu!

Similar to widgets, you can create custom menus that can be applied to various locations in your theme. The Natural Lite theme has 2 menu locations:

  • Header Menu — For displaying your main site navigation.
  • Social Menu — For adding links in the footer to your social networks.

Menus can be created under Appearance > Menus, or within the Customizer. Since you should still be within the Customizer after saving your theme options, let’s create the menu there. Navigate to the top level of options by clicking the back arrow within the Customizer (Not the back arrow of your browser!):

  1. Select the “Menus” panel.
  2. Click the “Add a Menu” button.
  3. Add a name for the custom menu, like “Main Menu.”
  4. Click the “Create Menu” button.
  5. Click the “Add Items” button.
  6. Add Pages to your menu.
  7. Drag the Pages into the order you desire.
  8. Check the “Header Menu” location.
  9. Click the blue “Save & Publish” button.

In addition to pages, you can add other items to you menu such as Categories and Custom Links. Your menu should look similar to the example image above.


The “Social Menu” in the footer displays links with icons to your social media profiles. The menu is created similarly to the main navigation menu. However, instead of adding pages to the menu, you will be adding Custom Links. Custom links in the social menu should look similar to the example image on the left. The Natural Lite theme will automatically detect which link has been added to the menu and apply the appropriate icon. In addition to social media icons, adding a link to Google Maps will display a location icon, and an email link will display a mail icon.

Step 4: Customizing The Design

Natural Lite has a few helpful options for customizing the design of the theme. Not too many, since we don’t want to spend all day working on the appearance of the site.

For some basic customization to the site, we’re going to add a Logo, and change the Header Image and remove the Background image. If you’re not already in the Customizer from our previous step, navigate to Appearance > Customize within the WordPress admin.

The Logo


Let’s add a Logo within the Customizer:

  1. Select the “Site Identity” panel.
  2. Select the “Change Image” button.
  3. Upload your Logo image, and click the “Choose Image” button.
  4. Click the blue “Save & Publish” button.

For the example site, I used the logo I designed to the left.

We recommend uploading a logo as a transparent .PNG file, but a .JPG or .GIF may be used as well. The maximum dimensions for a logo in the Natural Lite theme is 640 x 640 pixels. Keep in mind the logo may be placed on top of a dark background image. So I recommend uploading a light colored logo, or a logo with a solid background color.

If you don’t have a logo, remove the default logo and the Site Title and Tagline will be displayed in its place.

Within the “Site Identity” section of the Customizer, you can also change the Site Title and Tagline of your site. I recommend making this change, regardless of adding a logo.

The Header Image

By default, the Natural Lite theme will display an image within the header. Adding or removing a Header Image is similar to adding or removing a logo within the Customizer:

  1. Select the “Header Image” panel.
  2. Select the “Add new image” button.
  3. Upload your Header Image, and click the “Select and Crop” button.
  4. Choose to “Crop Image” or “Skip Cropping” to leave the image as-is.
  5. Click the blue “Save & Publish” button.
Crop your Header Image.

We recommend Header Image dimensions of 1600 x 480 pixels. If your image is larger than the suggested dimensions, WordPress will give you the option to crop the image. We don’t recommend images smaller than 1200 pixels wide, or the image may appear blurry on some devices.

Any images included with the Natural Lite theme are public licensed, and free to use on your site. In addition, we highly recommend Unsplash as a resource for finding high quality images that are free to use on your site.

Below, I’ve provided the image used for our example site:


The Header Image may also be removed by clicking the “Hide image” button, in which case your Logo or Site Title and Tagline will be displayed on top of the Background.

The Background


Natural Lite will display the seamless wood pattern on the left as the default background for the site. For our example, we’re going to remove the default image, and change the background color.

Let’s remove the image in the Customizer:

  1. Select the “Background Image” panel.
  2. Click the “Remove” button.
  3. Click the blue “Save & Publish” button.

Next, change the background color by navigating to the top level of Customizer:

  1. Select the “Colors” panel.
  2. Click the “Select Color” button for the Background Color.
  3. Choose your color.
  4. Click the blue “Save & Publish” button.

Optionally, you may replace the background image with another tiled image or single large image of your choosing. If you plan to use a pattern for you background, we recommend something that isn’t distracting from your website content. Subtle Patterns is an excellent resource for finding beautiful patterns for your site.

Step 5: Plugins

You’re almost there! Adding plugins to WordPress increases the functionality of your site. Having a self-hosted WordPress site allows you to easily install plugins for added features such as eCommerce, custom forms, social media feeds and much more!


The setup of each plugin varies considerably, and you may need to consult the plugin developer regarding its usage. For our example, we’re going to install and activate the Jetpack plugin:

  1. Navigate to Plugins > Add New within the WordPress admin.
  2. Search for “Jetpack” in the search field.
  3. Click “Install Now” for the Jetpack by plugin.
  4. After the plugin installs, click the “Activate Plugin” link.
  5. Navigate to the new Jetpack menu item in the WordPress admin.
  6. If necessary, sign up for a account to connect Jetpack to your site. (You only need this account to connect Jetpack to your site.)
  7. After connected, navigate to Jetpack > Settings in the WordPress admin.
  8. Configure and activate the desired added features for Jetpack.

Clicking on each feature will give you a description of the functionality it will add to your site. Personally, I usually activate the following features: Carousel, Contact Form, Custom CSS, Extra Sidebar Widgets, Gravatar Hovercards, Tiled Galleries and Widget Visibility.

Install and activate more plugins as needed for your site. However, manage your plugins closely. Delete plugins you are not using, and don’t add too many or it will considerably slow your site down and consume space on your server.

The WordPress plugin directory provides thousands of plugins available for download. That’s one of the many reasons a self-hosted WordPress site can be such powerful solution for your business’ website.

A few plugins I can’t live without on my sites are:


You should now have a professional website for your business, and a basic understanding of the WordPress platform. For more information regarding WordPress, there are endless resources available. I’ve listed a few to get you started:

Here are some excellent resources for finding images for your site:

In addition, we have provided a legend of the home page from our example site below for a visual reference:


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David Morgan is the co-founder, designer, and developer of Organic Themes. He founded the company with Jeff Milone in 2009 on the Hawaiian island of Maui. David enjoys surfing, swimming, golfing and creating new web applications and products. Personal Site: