WordPress Tutorial for Beginners | Twenty Fourteen Theme | Properly Make a Website with WordPress

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In this WordPress Tutorial for Beginners, you will learn not only how to PROPERLY build a website with WordPress, step-by-step, START TO FINISH – you will also learn how to correctly optimize your WordPress website for the search engines AND your site visitors/potential customers, which will help increase your site’s online presence and bring more traffic & customers to your site!

We will use the free Twenty Fourteen theme to build a responsive WordPress website–but this WP tutorial can be used for any WordPress theme.

Free Download: WP Website Creation & Promotion MindMap: http://www.wphow2s.com/properly-make-website-wordpress-mindmap/

Total beginner or more advanced, follow along and build your own mobile-friendly, responsive, optimized website with the free WordPress Twenty Fourteen theme, in 2014.

Enjoy and please leave your questions and comments below!


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Video Chapters Index – Click on the time stamp links below to go the topic of your choice

0:08 Intro
1:07 Mindmap/video overview
4:29 Mindmap info
5:31 Instant Domain Search
6:42 Hosting
10:04 Connect hosting & domain
11:40 Cpanel – install WordPress
14:13 WordPress profile
16:53 Choosing a WordPress Theme
18:20 Child theme
23:51 Basic setup & settings
27:12 Plugins
39:50 Twenty Fourteen tweaks
41:28 Site content planning
45:50 Related keyword pages/categories
49:36 Home page tweaks
51:08 Create & install header image
1:02:10 Remove comments – bulk edit
1:03:39 Add home page content
1:06:02 Images: find,resize,optimize,edit
1:12:07 Sidebar/Widgets
1:24:11 Contact form
1:31:41 More home page tweaks
1:33:35 Image slider
1:39:45 Custom navigation menus
1:43:45 Left sidebar – widgets
1:51:31 Media library/Featured images
1:57:12 Blog/Featured grid
2:06:06 Changing WordPress themes


Learn how to make your very own website with WordPress which is optimized and will be a foundation of your business’ online presence. No matter if you are a total WordPress beginner and know absolutely nothing about HTML, etc, you can make a WordPress website!

Make a website with the Twenty Twelve theme, watch my WordPress Tutorial for Beginners: http://youtu.be/9gIpEgDP3i0


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Thank you…keep smiling, and keep on keepin’ on! 🙂


Mike Simmons says:

Please leave your comments or questions here and I’ll do my best to help
you out…..Have fun making your WordPress website! :)

AngelStarCreations says:

Hi, Mike, now that I deleted the left side bar. I am at the part of the
video where you put it back on, but used the plugin that no longer exists.
Is there a way to add the left side bar without the plugin? Thanks!

Great Wizoo says:

I have been trying to follow your tutorial. Problem is the WP software
often does not show the same screens/options as your examples, e.g. I
cannot change themes, I have no Plugin option and the Widget option looks
completely different to the what I assume as plugins. I am using the 2012
template but at times it looks like a different system!! Any thoughts
thank you

Blessing Jibromah says:

Thanks a lot Mike. My website has been up and running for a while now, but
I keep reinventing it and exploring ways to improve on it… And this
excellent tutorial has been very helpful, thanks to you! For plugin, I got
this notification “EWWW Image Optimizer requires exec(). Your system
administrator has disabled this function.” And couldn’t find the Fourteen
Extended. What do you reckon?? Would there be any similar to the Fourteen
Recommendations will be highly appreciated.

Very truly yours.

Mike Zeccarias says:

Mike, what I see on your video on 39:00, to be exact, on the Customize
Screen, on the down arrow that displays like “Twenty fourteen general
options”, I don’t see it on mine. Where did I go wrong?

Ricky billy says:

Great video you do things like I do…. I bet this was a five hour video
you chopped what wasnt needed leaving leaving just the relevant good stuff
: )

Mike Zeccarias says:

What a great Video!!! Thank you so much Mike. I am new to wordPress but you
made it easy for beginners like me to get a grasp of it.

John Hollis says:

A BIG “Thank You” from me Mike Simmons. Your WP Tutorial gave me a lot of
joy while working with it. Thanks again.

Judith Macdonald says:

Hi Mike,

Getting on grand till I came to the child theme at 22:36. I have different
hosting, but went into public_html where all the WP files are, not as neat
as your picture. Anyway, created a new folder, from your website chose the
‘centre’ version of the css and uploaded it to the new folder. Not seeing
any option in Themes for the ‘new’ child theme, tried putting the style.css
file direct into public_html, still nothing – now stuck 🙁 Can you help,
suggestion welcome. I’m a Joomla girl, but trying WP for a change.

Darran Petty says:

Hi Mike, Im getting this message when attempting to install ‘Google XML
Sitemaps’ can you please advise what i should do?

>>Installing Plugin: Google XML Sitemaps
Downloading install package from

Unpacking the package…

Could not create directory.

Nina Martinek says:

Great help! thanks Mike. I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while
and you video makes it so much easier. After activating Fourteen Colors, I
did not have more option in the Appearance – Customizing options. Not sure
why. I deactivated Jetpack, but still there are no additional options.
Suggestions would be appreciated! 

Donna Paul says:

Mike, Thanks for your time in presenting this video. It is great. I do
have one problem though I am at the point where you are starting to make
modification to the site. When I click on Appearance- Customize, my left
panel does not contain the same items as yours does. My contain– Site
Title and Tag — Colors — Header Image –Background Image–Widgets–Static
Front Page–Featured Content. I believe I followed your video to the
Tee.. Apparently something happened, and I may have missed something.
Could you help? Thank you

Leah Taylor says:

Hi Mike. Thank you so much for your help! Your video has given me a ton of
information! I am having some trouble with a couple of things, though. When
I installed Easy Social Icons and pasted the command in my post it didn’t
turn into icons like yours did, it just had the script. Also, my TinyMCE
Advanced widget didn’t show up on the left side bar when activated and I
can’t seem to get to my cpanel to center the twentyfourteen theme. I did my
hosting through dreamhost. I tried to follow the instructions of using
http://www.mydomain/cpanel but it said nothing was found there. Help please? :)

Erica Cubicle Buster Vincent says:

I’ve tried several times but just not able to view this very interesting
video any suggestions?

Great Wizoo says:

Hi Mike
I have signed up with hostgator and been through the WordPress
installation. When I follow the link to access the site (sent by
Wordpress) I get the message

Not Found

The requested URL /wp-admin was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an
ErrorDocument to handle the request

I waited some time before trying to access the site, which shows it
‘exists’ through HostGator but I must have messed up somewhere. I used the
quick install which went through fine. Technical stuff> any lead you can
help with. Thanks

Mike Heyns says:

I’m a newbie…I followed your video but am confused about the child theme
you used. I added everything you did on the child theme. Is the child theme
now my real site or do I copy the child theme to a real twentyfourteen

ronald flap says:

Great video mike! it really helped me, i was REALLY confused when i got

mrscnwallis says:

When I installed the Easy Social Icons, nothing happens when I put the
shortcode into the page. After continuing on anyhow and going to Manage on
my Easy Social Icons, I can see there are no icons to manage. I am so green
at this I have no clue what to do about that.

Mike Zeccarias says:

Mike, is there a way to manipulate the size of the header? when I insert
image on the header, the header almost occupies half of the webpage.

Pauline Tudor says:

What would l do without you Mike very easy to understand even for a novice
like myself the fourteen extended plugin is no longer available do you have
an alternative ?Regards Paula London UK

Linda Foote says:

What does one do since the TinyMCE Advanced does not have a line break
selection that I can see.? Would the horizontal line work as well?

Tammy Finch says:

Thank you so much, Mike. This was a very comprehensive video. I
appreciate the time and effort. Nice job. 

manisha inamdar says:

Also please let me know how to install or how to use colorzilla. Thanks a

viraj parikh says:

hieee mike !! great video !!..

can you make some videos on how to customize a wordpress theme ..
thanks in advance

Kristy Parisi says:

Fantastic video! I truly appreciate your work. We now have a functional
website that I am not afraid to send potential customers to 🙂 THANK

Lesley Smith says:

This is a really excellent video. Thank you. I have a question about
setting the featured image to the correct width. Because the 14 extended
plugin doesn’t exist anymore, I can’t get the featured image at the top of
my page to span 100%. I wonder if you could advise. Many thanks. 

Steven Schnedler says:

This video was truly amazing. Took me two days to get through it as I was
implementing what was being taught. So jam-packed full of information.
Thanks so much for taking the time to produce this.

I would appreciate either a link to your site or information regarding
placing audio or video plugins on the site. Thanks.

Dwight Turner says:

I want to build a business website that has a store. I do not want any of
my products to show up on my home page. Should I use a store theme? Or
business theme and integrate the store into that theme? I see store themes
where product images, descriptions, and prices are shown, and has the
ability to add to a cart, place orders using PayPal, etc. But it looks like
the home page always has product images. My business involved more than
selling products. I want to show projects I am involved such as helping the
homeless, Native American activities in the Salt Lake City area, etc. Is
there a single theme template that allows me to do all that plus have a
store where merchandise can be ordered? Thanks a bunch.

Gene Gilding says:

The shortcode from Easy Social Icons does not seem to work. I plug in the
shortcode as it says, update, but when I go to my post there are no icons.
Thought the code is still there on the post

H. von Prondzinski says:

Great video. I am following every step of the way. When I come to the page
WRITING setting, the drop menu only shows me – Sample Page –
I do have a Home page Sample Page and Blog page.
The Blog and Home has the word DRAFT behind it?

Thanks Mike

Rita Hewitson Cowan says:

I could not waste time going thru stages. However when I cllicked stage 5
to progress nothing happenned. Which Utube should I watch to IMPROVE MY
Kind Regards Rita Cowan President of New Ventures Art group Inc

Pastor William T. Grajeda says:

Mike, thank you for your teaching. I’m stuck right now with the “paste from
word” section. I don’t have it and I’ve followed you to a tee. Is it my
fault? I have much content to paste from “word”

Jei Panerselvam says:

thank you mike, great information

Arnulf Schircks says:

I found the cause: In your script for style.css the “=” in front of “Theme”
is missing as it is correctly in your video :-)

Renee Harvey says:

I’m a real newbie at WordPress as in just started today.

Ed Burns says:

Wow, my head is spinning. I will have to watch this video several time to
take it in.

Joseph Harris says:

Hey mike great 

Josh Davis says:

The fourteen extended plugin stopped working.
(I posted this problem on the fourteen forum. I am awaiting an answer)

Mike if you have any answers or if you know anyone who can help me
fix this problem, I will absolutely appreciate it.

I want to continue using fourteen because you have made it very
easy to use in your video.

Your video is exceptional.


I am using it on a singles site and I am using the fourteen child theme.

I was using my laptop that is running Windows 8. The plugin worked for a
short while. As I was going through my WordPress video training, I went
back to my WP admin area to use the plugin. The options appeared. When I
clicked on one of the options, there was no response. I tried all of the

None of the windows will open now. The SAVE and the CANCEL buttons work.
I shut the computer down several times and tried to use it again. I get
the same problem.

I then went to my desktop that is running Windows XP. It worked at first,
but then the plugin stopped working on that computer within minutes.

I also tried two different browsers. I cleared the cache and the plugin
still does not respond.

Please, please let me know if anyone else has experienced this problem. I
need to have this resolved so. I really do not want to be forced to
abandon the fourteen theme.

If anyone out there can help me figure out why this plugin will not work,
please let me know.

sajjad ramay says:


Thomas Kobzda says:

Thank you Mike for the very informative video. You sure know how to help
people create their own website covering every detail from start to finish.
Anyone wanting to build a website can learn so much from watching all your
videos. I will be using your coupon code to get hosting. I feel it is the
least I can do for the free education.

Arnulf Schircks says:

Problem: Video time 22:15 “24/13 -child” after all the steps including
Styles.css I am back in /Appearence/Thems… message says: ” Broken Themes
… installed themes incomplete … must have stylesheet + template…
Name: twentyfourteen-child Description: Stylesheet missing”

Renee Harvey says:

Hi Mike, so glad I found your videos. You are a Godsend! Having a problem
though. My twentyfourteen-child theme that I created is not showing up in
my themes. I can see it in my HostGator control panel, but it doesn’t show
up in my themes. Any ideas what is wrong? I followed your instructions

Alin George says:

Great Tutorial! Thanks
Mike, can you help to make a navigation menu with details (on mouse over)
like http://www.businessinsider.com/

Appreciating your time in advance

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