In this guide, we are going to set up the back end of your WordPress website with Elementor Pro. This is the ultimate beginner’s guide to building your website for online coaches, consultants, and content creators.
You can watch the YouTube tutorial, or read through the steps below. In the video tutorial, I set up a brand new website with you so you can see this built-in real-time from start to finish.
This is a really technical part of the website build. This is a part that can throw people off right away from the beginning.
If you haven’t watched my video on understanding website basics, make sure that watch that video now (linked below) because it will explain a lot of these technical things and make it a lot easier to know what you’re doing and why you need it.
The video also compares WordPress vs Wix vs Squarespace so you can make sure you are choosing the best website platform for you and your business.
There are 5 steps to make a WordPress website with Elementor:
- Hosting & Domain Registration
- Install WordPress.org
- Optimize your speed & security
- Install your plugins and theme
- Install Elementor Pro
Throughout this series, I’m going to use a lot of checklists. Sign up below and you’ll get all the checklists I use as well as some free templates to get you started!
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100% Free Tutorial, Checklists, & Templates!
I find it really helpful to use checklists as we go, especially when we’re talking about all these technical parts and pieces!
Step 1: Hosting & domain registration
Choose a Hosting Package
First, you need to secure hosting with SiteGround. I recommend SiteGround because they are secure, fast, and easy. They’re also upfront and you get a lot for a low price.
When you first land on their website these are your choices:
There’s basic web hosting (if you’re not on WordPress) or WordPress hosting, WooCommerce, and Cloud hosting.
Make sure you choose the WordPress Hosting option.
Next, you’ll see their StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plans.
You just need the StartUp plan.
And you get all of this goodness included for free with a SiteGround StartUp account: SSL certificate, daily backup of your entire site, CloudFare CDN, and webmail email. There is also there is free WordPress installation and free WordPress Migrator.
Those are the ones that I think matter the most to you as a business owner. A lot of the rest is just tech stuff.
I also want to show you a quick comparison of SiteGround vs BlueHost because BlueHost is another popular option out there that you might be considering.
BlueHost vs. SiteGround
At first, BlueHost seems like a cheaper option. BlueHost looks cheaper because they say “starting at $2.95 a month” vs SiteGround at $4.99 per month.
But it’s deceiving. You do get a free domain name for the first year and that is a good deal. And a free SSL certificate (most hosts are providing that these days) and automatic WordPress installation.
SiteGround gives you everything BlueHost gives you (except a free domain) and much, much more.
You’ll also notice that they recommend that you go with the Choice Plus which is already $5.45 for a 36-month term.
The ChoicePlus is the only plan with an automated backup of your website. You will need to purchase a separate plugin or service to backup your site if you go with their Basic or Plus plans.
So their basic plan gets you on the internet, but it’s not that secure and it doesn’t give you a lot. There’s a lot of things you don’t know you need until you need them that are missing from their basic hosting package!
Another thing I want you to notice is that you get a Microsoft 365 mailbox free for 30 days. And you only get that with the Plus or the Choice Plus plan.
This is where they get you!
You do not get a webmail mailbox with BlueHost – you’re going to have to pay extra for that each month.
I’ve helped a lot of my clients who went with BlueHost and then didn’t know how to get their business email configured. And it becomes a really big production when you’re with BlueHost because they want you to go with Microsoft 365 (which I don’t suggest).
Their email pricing, even just with email essentials, is $4.99 per license per month.
Now you’re up to $5.45 for the hosting and then $4.99 for email for a total of $10.44 per month.
So you’re well over the price of SiteGround’s $4.99 per month package and you’re locked in for 3-years. (You get a free webmail account with SiteGround for as many email addresses as you want too.)
Even if you went with their lowest package at $2.95 per month plus the $4.99 for email you’re up to $7.94. But you also need to pay for 3-years of hosting to secure that “monthly” price. (and you’ll still need a separate backup service or plugin)
So don’t let BlueHost fool you!
Having worked with the two of them, SiteGround is much more seamless and transparent. When it comes to all of the technical stuff, they’re just really high quality and easy to work with. It’s not something that you think matters until something technical goes wrong with your site, and then it really matters!
Complete Hosting & Domain Registration
Go ahead and complete the hosting & domain registration with SiteGround.
Choose the StartUp Plan and make sure you’re in WordPress Hosting.
If you have an existing domain, you can move it over to SiteGround and have your hosting and your domain registration all in the same place.
If you are already somewhere like GoDaddy or NameCheap, you’ll click on “I already have a domain” and enter it to proceed with your hosting plan.
Otherwise, you want to register a new domain and it’s going to be $17.99 a year for a .com domain.
You want a .com domain extension because it’s the most widely recognized. Even though a lot more extensions are being used these days, most people assume .com is the most trustworthy.
I also suggest going with your name if you’re a coach, consultant, or content creator. Your brand, your business, it changes and evolves all the time. And when you choose your name, you give yourself the freedom to evolve without needing to overhaul your business.
If your name is John Smith, or something really common, try using a middle initial. You can also use a dash: John-Smith.com. Or you can use “mr” or the word “the” at the beginning: MrJohnSmith.com or TheJohnSmith.com.
If you have an extension, like John Smith Sr. or John Smith Jr., you can add that to your domain name. If you’re a John Robert Smith, you can use initials for JRSmith.com.
Find ways to use your name so that it’s branded to you. That is my suggestion!
If you’re not sure what’s available, SiteGround will tell you if a domain is not available as you try them. They will also suggest other ones that are available, but you don’t want those.
Remember we’re going for the best .com option you can find!
Once you’ve found an available domain, you’re going to enter your email address and password to create your SiteGround account. Then you can enter the rest of your client information, your credit card information, and choose your hosting package.
The plan you want is the StartUp for $4.99. If you’re in the USA, it’s already going to recognize your data center and pull it in.
You can choose a longer timeframe if you want but I would choose the 12-month best deal.
This special initial price applies to the first invoice only because your invoice is for the entire year. SiteGround will send you offers to renew for the next year at a discounted rate again as well.
Now you can choose from their extra services, domain privacy, and SG site scanner. You do not need the SG Site Scanner.
Domain privacy is going to hide your private information from the Whois Directory. The Whois directory is where you can go and find information about the owner of any domain out there on the internet.
I think it’s always good to try to keep your information as secure and private as possible online, but it’s nearly impossible. Especially as you become a business owner doing business online, your info is already out there.
So if you want this added layer of protection then go ahead, it’s only $12 per year. I’ve done it both ways and I haven’t noticed a lot of spam or anything crazy happening because my information was out there in this Whois database.
You’re total should be about $78 USD for one year of hosting and domain registration. You’ll need to confirm and pay and then you’ll be all set up!
Step 2: Install WordPress.org on your site
Now that you have your hosting package and your domain registered, you are ready to move on to installing WordPress.org on your site. In order to install WordPress, you should be on this screen where it says, “Add a new website”.
If not, you’re going to want to go to the “Websites” menu option and click the “Add New” button and it should bring you into the above screen.
Once you’re in here, you’re going to actually select an existing domain. And you’re going to select this, whether you have a domain registered with somebody else, like GoDaddy or NameCheap, or if you’ve registered it with SiteGround.
You don’t need to purchase a new domain. You already have that! Enter your domain name and you should see your available domains for use.
And like I said, if your domain is registered somewhere else, you can just enter it in here. You’ll then see a message that says “This domain is not registered with SiteGround, are you sure you’re the owner?”. Click Yes to continue.
Choose “Start New Website” next.
(If you already have a WordPress website hosted somewhere else and you just want to come over to SiteGround, this is the step you would come to do that. You would simply choose “Migrate Website” to take your existing website and transfer it over to SiteGround hosting.)
You’re going to choose your application next and, of course, we want WordPress.
Then you’ll set up your login with your email address and a password.
One little tip here is you don’t ever want to set up an account called admin. It’s the number one account name that I have seen hackers try to use to hack into a site.
So don’t ever use “admin” as your login ID!
Your email address is perfect for this, and then you can generate a password here or you can come up with your own strong password.
Now it will take less than two minutes to complete your new WordPress.org site. If for whatever reason, this takes a really long time on your end, you’ll see a message that says “It’s taking longer than expected. We’re going to go ahead and back out of this now and you’ll get an email when it’s done”.
Once you’re all set it’ll tell you your website’s been created and you’re ready for the next step!
Step 3: Optimize your speed & security
Before you log into your new website, you need to configure and optimize your speed & security settings. From your website menu in SiteGround, select the “Site Tools” button.
Then choose “SSL manager”. You get a free SSL certificate with all SiteGround hosting packages. In order to install it select the “Let’s Encrypt Free SSL”.
An SSL certificate is important because it’s going to force your website to go through HTTPS instead of HTTP.
And that just adds a layer of protection as a security check for your website. It makes everybody’s information more secure on your site.
Most website browsers will give warning messages these days if you’re not using HTTPS. It’ll say, “this site is not secure” or something like that.
Using an SSL certificate and having an SSL manager is a really important step for your website!
The next thing we want to do is enforce it to go through HTTPS. This will take anybody who may enter the HTTP address of your domain and it’ll force that to redirect to HTTPS. So we definitely want that.
There are two places you can come to set that up. You don’t want to click on the configure HTTPS button. That’ll just take you to some basic information, but you can come here to the actions menu and click on “Enforce HTTPS”.
Or you can go to the left-hand menu and choose “HTTPS Enforce” and toggle the button to the on position.
One quick step before we get into Cloudfare is actually to come in here to Caching under the Speed menu options.
When you come into caching, you’re going to be on this NGINX Direct Delivery screen. Go ahead and toggle this to On.
Then come over here to the Memcached and toggle this on too.
Next we will setup your CDN. Cloudfare CDN essentially allows your site to be faster, and that’s what you want.
You can see here that, it improves the connection between your application and database, improves the loading speed of dynamic pages, and a lot more.
You want a really fast site because Google checks your site speed. So the speed of your site matters because if your site’s not fast enough, Google won’t send as much traffic to it.
You need to first create an account, then activate it and configure it. So let’s set this up.
Select the “Cloudfare” menu from the left-hand side. Then click on “Activate Free”.
Next, you’ll see this important message “If you have an active SSL make sure that your CloudFare SSL is set on full strict”.
So we’re going to scroll down and change this to full strict.
You might see these messages at this point, “DNS check failed” and “Redirect check failed”.
This is normal. I see this every single time. Click on refresh to run this check again.
You might have to log out, come back in the next day, and see if it’s still there.
If it doesn’t go away on its own, I would reach out to SiteGround support and they can walk you through making sure that this is set up properly on its own from there.
But this normally resolves itself within 24 hours.
Step 4: Install Theme & Plugins
The next thing we’re going to do is log in to WordPress and do some configurations in the backend.
First, we’re going to log in configure HTTPS, install our hello theme, and we’re going to delete some WordPress themes.
In order to do that, we’re going to come to our menu over here on the left, and we’re going to come into WordPress.
Go here to “install and manage” and go all the way over to the right here to the actions menu and this little box with the arrow is the login to the admin panel option. Go ahead and click on that and it will automatically log you in.
SiteGround installs this thing called WordPress starter kit and it’s meant to help you get your site off the ground. But we’re not going to use any of it because we’re using Elementor and not WordPress as the main builder of our site.
So we’re going to go ahead and exit out of the starter kit.
And now you should be in your WordPress dashboard.
This is where you will always land whenever you come into WordPress.
In the next video in this series, we will configure your dashboard and we’re going to also configure Elementor Pro.
For right now, we’re just going to leave our dashboard as it is, but you can customize this later to show different reports and things that you want to see.
Let me give you a quick rundown inside WordPress.
We’re starting out on your dashboard where you’ll see 2 menus, one across the top and one going down the left-hand side.
You can get support and feedback in the left-hand corner where it says My WordPress. You can visit your actual site online just by clicking “visit site” under the My WordPress menu.
If you’re collecting comments on any of your content you can access them by clicking the comment icon. Then you’ll see a number for any themes that need updating. There’s another quick feature menu with the plus sign to create a new post, add new media, a new page, or a new user.
You can also purge your cache with SiteGround. Anytime you have any kind of glitch on your site you might want to come here and purge the cache to clear it out. It’s a perfectly normal thing to do it and it doesn’t hurt your site to do this.
Under your dashboard menu on the left, you’ll see home and updates. The updates menu will tell you any time you have a plugin or something that needs updating on your site. You’ll see a little red number next to the updates menu.
Plugins are like apps on your cell phone and they constantly have updates, so that’s perfectly normal.
Moving on, your main menu items are all down the left-hand side.
You have posts, media, and pages that are really the main content sections of your site.
Posts are for a podcast post, a YouTube video post, or a blog post.
Your media is going to be all of your images and videos and things like that.
Your pages are your main website pages, your homepage, your about page, your services page, etc.
Comments are here again if you collect comments on your content.
And then we get into some of the customizations, settings, and plugin functions as you move further down the menu.
Now we’re ready to install a theme.
So we’re going to go to “appearance” and go to “themes”. WordPress comes with some default themes already installed.
We are going to use the Hello theme for Elementor. Hello is like an empty theme for your site. We only use it because WordPress is looking for a theme otherwise your site won’t operate properly.
The Hello theme is a very lightweight theme. It doesn’t do a whole lot for you and that’s exactly what we want. We’re going to do the majority of all the building and things that we need for your site inside of Elementor and Elementor Pro.
Go to “add new” and we’re going to search for our Hello theme. Hover over it to install it and then activate it.
Once it’s installed and activated we can go in and delete the other themes. I delete them because they constantly need updating and they’re just taking up space on the website.
Hover over each theme and select “theme details”. Then choose “delete” and “okay” to confirm the deletion for each of the WordPress default themes.
Next, we’re going to move on to installing our plugins.
Let’s go to the installed plugins first. Here you can see SG Optimizer and WordPress Starter are already installed. We’re not using the WordPress Starter so you can go ahead and deactivate and then delete that one.
Now you can go to the top and select “Add New”.
One thing I look for with plugins is that they get a lot of good reviews. Anything close to five stars is definitely what you want and you want to see that there’s a lot of active installations and that they’re updated relatively recently.
Before you put any plugins on your site, look for these things because plugins can conflict with each other. Each plugin might be built to work with WordPress and with Elementor, but then you start adding in other plugins from other people, and they’re not always tested to see if they’re compatible.
A good rule of thumb with plugins is just that less is better. And you want to go with trusted ones that are well known, that a lot of people are using and having success with, and they’re being updated to keep up with everything that’s changing all the time in the online world.
Go to the “search plugins” box and type in each of the following plugins and install them (wait to activate them in the next step):
- Wordfence Security
- Insert Headers and Footers
- Yoast SEO
- Google Analytics by MonsterInsights
- Pretty Links
Now you can go to your “Plugins-> Installed Plugins” menu and activate each of them.
To do this even faster, click the box next to the word “Plugin” to select all your plugins. Then go to your “Bulk Actions” menu and select “Activate” to activate all your plugins at once.
(You can also choose to “Enable auto-updates” here as well)
Wordfence is going to require a few things to activate. It wants to send you security notifications about your site. You’ve got to enter an email address to get those updates, and then it says, would you like to join our mailing list?
I don’t suggest this. If you want to stay in the know about all things security online, then go ahead. But otherwise, it can just clutter your inbox.
Then it’s going to ask you to enter your premium key, but we’re going to stick with the free version.
You’ll also see a message asking you to optimize Wordfence. We’re going to do that in the next video/tutorial where we will complete the final WordPress and Elementor configurations before you start building your site. Go ahead and dismiss this for now.
You’ll connect Google to your site later as well.
The last thing that you need to do is to get Elementor Pro and then the whole backend of your website, all the technical stuff is all set.
Step 5: Install Elementor Pro
Elementor Pro is actually a plugin as well. I highly recommend it for your site. It’s only another $49 per year. So we’re at a little under $130 for your site at this point, but a really good investment for your online business.
If you’re not sure about making the investment into Elementor Pro, watch this video review on the Free vs. Pro versions:
On the Elementor site, click on “Get Started”. Make sure you get the Pro option for $49 per year for one site on your own hosting (do NOT choose the cloud option!).
Enter your billing information and your credit card and checkout. Once you purchase your license, you’ll need to download your plugin. You’ll get a zip file that downloads to your computer.
They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee so if for whatever reason you decide you don’t like elementor you have 30 days to get a refund.
Come back into WordPress and make sure you’re in your plugins menu and select, “add new”. Then choose “upload a plugin” and drag your file in here and click “install now”.
Next, we’re going to activate it. You’ll see a message that says “Welcome to Elementor Pro, please activate your license to get feature updates, premium support, etc.”
Select “connect and activate” and go back into your Elementor Pro window and copy your license key.
Go back into WordPress and enter your license key and then say activate.
And that is everything you need to make a WordPress website with Elementor Pro! Make sure that you download the checklists and templates to help you through all of the steps you need to get your website 100% finished and ready to go!
Check Out These Tutorials Next:
- Complete Elementor Pro + WordPress Setup (before you start creating pages!)
- 10 Elementor Design Tips, Tricks, and Editing Tools That You Must Know
- WordPress Custom Homepage, Header & Footer with Elementor Pro
- Design Professional Website Pages for Online Business with WordPress + Elementor Pro (About, Contact, & Offers)
- What To Do Before Launching your WordPress Website (Email, Google Analytics, Legal)
- How To Make A WordPress Blog with Elementor Pro
- Elementor Pro vs Free (An Honest Review for Online Business Owners)
Hi, I'm Stephanie
I’m an online business strategist for digital content creators. It’s my mission to help you implement the right foundations, systems, and strategies needed to build a successful & profitable online business.