How to Create a Conversion Focused Website From Scratch – In Under an Hour
When it comes to creating a conversion focused website for your online business, you need to do more than make it look nice.
That's because, if your website can't convert new visitors into fans, subscribers, customers or clients... who cares how good it looks?
So to make sure your website keeps conversion focus prioritized from the beginning, we created a Website from Scratch tutorial video to help you rapidly build a WordPress site that turns heads AND converts — using nothing but Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect.
That's right, Thrive Theme Builder is included as part of our insanely valuable Thrive Suite.
Watch the video above to see how you can create a professional looking, conversion focused WordPress website, in less than 55 minutes.
Let’s get started by first discussing the 4 benchmarks of conversion focus you'll need to know if you want to build successful business websites.
The 4 Conversion Focus Checkpoints (01:16)
Your website needs to hit 4 important conversion focus checkpoints if you want it to grow a mailing list and make sales for your online business. They include:
- Clarity, Readability and Structure
- Site Speed Optimization
- Explicit Calls to Action
- Conversion Pages
By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to achieve all four of these conversion focus benchmarks when creating your own WordPress website with Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect.
Basic Settings & Plugins You'll Need for Your WordPress Website (02:34)
If you’re brand new to WordPress, this section of the tutorial will help you get started by explaining which basic WordPress settings you'll need to specify as well as which plugins we recommend you install.
On the other hand, if you already have a WordPress website up and running with content published, skip ahead to (08:22) in the video.
Key Settings To Specify in Your WordPress Dashboard (02:34)
Watch this section of the tutorial video to make sure you establish all key initial settings on your site after installing WordPress.
Recommended Plugins (03:21)
We recommend downloading and installing the following plugins on your new WordPress site:
- Thrive Product Manager >> use this plugin to download & activate Thrive Theme Builder (a WordPress theme) and Thrive Architect (a WordPress plugin)… as well as any other Thrive Themes products.
- Askismet Anti-Spam >> if you want to enable comments on your blog
- Either Yoast SEO or SEOPress >> to help you with Search Engine Optimization
- FakerPress >> use to generate dummy content on a brand new site with no content yet (to help in your theme design and setup)
Note: Don’t forget to activate each plugin after you install them!
Create Your Basic Structural Pages (06:09)
Next, you will create a structural framework for your website by creating place holders for important pages you'll later populate with content. This includes your:
- About Page
- Lead Generation Page
- Sales Page
- Any other mission critical page (Start Here Page, Recommended Resources Page, Contact Page, etc.)
Getting Started with Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect (08:22)
Make sure to download and activate the Thrive Product Manager plugin if you haven’t done so already.
You’ll need it to access any Thrive Themes product from your Thrive Customer Dashboard. Once you Install and Activate the Thrive Product Manager plugin, you can then use it to install and activate Shapeshift which will install Thrive Theme Builder (a WordPress theme) and Thrive Architect (a WordPress plugin).
Complete the Thrive Theme Builder Setup Wizard (09:15)
Follow each of the steps in the Setup Wizard to get the nuts and bolts of your new theme designed fast:
- Logo (10:02)
- Main Brand Color (10:23)
- Header (10:46)
- Footer (11:44)
- Homepage (12:15)
- Single Blog Post (14:32)
- Blog Post List (14:58)
- Page (16:10)
- Menu (16:30)
Basic Branding Setup (17:02)
Here’s where you’ll make some overall branding design choices for your site.
The most important of which are your brand colors. In fact, our Smart Color Technology makes that usually frustrating step one-click simple.
Other important details you’ll get sorted in this tutorial section include setting up your dark instance logo design as well as your favicon design (the little icon that appears in browser tabs).
Logo & Favicon Customization (17:18)
In Thrive Theme Builder, you get to specify logos that look good on both light and dark backgrounds. How cool is that?!
The awesomeness doesn't stop there though because you can also upload a square favicon image to serve as the little icon that appears in your website's browser tab.
Basic Typography Setup (18:31)
In this step, you’ll establish your site-wide typography settings.
These font settings include choosing font types, font colors, font sizes, font spacing, etc. to populate the following types of text:
- Paragraph text
- List text
- Hyperlink text
- Plain text
- Blockquote text
- Preformatted text
Remember that once you get these settings saved in Thrive Theme Builder, they will apply automatically across your theme templates and designs.
Thrive Theme Builder's Site Speed Optimization Tool (20:10)
Thrive Theme Builder also comes packed with a Site Speed Optimization tool that makes establishing your site's performance settings one-click simple!
Finally, Thrive Theme Builder currently offers a Beta version of our Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) feature now in development. Try it out on a test site and give us your feedback to we can move it out of Beta as soon as possible.
Set up your WordPress Menus (23:39)
Now that the basic pages of your site have been crafted, it's time to create some additional menus you can use within your theme designs.
This tutorial section will teach you how to set up your default menus so they can be used dynamically inside your Header and Footer templates.
Integrating Your Email Marketing Service Tool (25:47)
Typically this is done with an email marketing tool like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign.
This section will show you how to connect your email marketing tool of choice to the Thrive Themes Dashboard so it can then be used within the different Thrive Themes products.
How to add Tracking Scripts & Analytics Scripts (26:59)
Yup, this is where you can add important scripts to your site to use tracking tools like:
Specify Your Smart Site Global Fields (28:22)
Using this Thrive Dashboard feature allows you to set up global information fields about your business.
Once established, these global fields can be used to dynamically populate content on your site, including:
- Important links related to your business
- Social Media links
- Physical Addresses
- Contact Information (email addresses, phone numbers, etc.)
- and more...
Setup Your Core Post & Page Templates (29:27)
Now you’ll learn how to manage the design of all your different Core Page Templates.
Core Page Templates are those page designs that get saved as a single template, but then apply across the multiple dynamically populated pages of your site.
The initial Core Page Templates you’ll design in Thrive Theme Builder are your:
- 404 Error Page
- Standard Blog Post
- Default Page
- Blog List Page
- Blog Archive Page
You can also create and manage as many extra page templates as you need from the templates area of Thrive Theme Builder.
How To Use WordPress Categories and Tags
When it comes to conversion focus for your blog posts, make sure your template design follows the Readability, Clarity and Structure principles.
Always make sure these principles are followed as you start designing your new theme.
Also, if you make a big design mistake as you work, you can always go back into the Thrive Theme Builder Setup Wizard, reselect a template for the step you are working on and simply restart customizing that design.
Customize Your List Templates (39:35)
Watch this part of the video to learn how you can customize your Post List element's display rules to help with strategic efforts like Search Engine Optimization.
Bottom Section Customization
Bottom sections provide opportunities for you to add clever Call to Actions like “Sign Up for My Newsletter”.
This section of the tutorial will explain how you can either hide your bottom sections or select from a variety of conversion focused templates to get this designed fast.
How To Create & Customize Specific Conversion Pages (42:58)
This section of our Website from Scratch tutorial video is going to walk you through how to create and customize your most important single-instance pages. These include your:
- Sales Page
- Lead Generation Page
Let's get started by completing the design of your Homepage.
Finalize Your Homepage Template (43:06)
When you were working through the Thrive Theme Builder Setup Wizard, you got started creating your Homepage template...
...but here is where you'll make your final tweaks to that initial design to get it done and published on the front page of your website.
Rapidly Customize Your Landing Page Designs with Page Block Templates (45:55)
Page Block templates are one of the most powerful features inside Thrive Architect that you can use to quickly customize and expand your landing page templates.
Watch Shane show you how to use them in this section of the tutorial video.
How To Build a Conversion Focused Sales Page (48:15)
It's true, you can't have an operational online business until you start selling something.
Follow this step of the tutorial to learn how easy it is to craft your first conversion focused sales page with the Thrive Architect page builder.
Create Your Lead Generation Page to Start Growing Your List (51:08)
Conversion focused landing pages must compel your visitors to take one — and only one — action.
In the case of your Lead Generation Page, that's signing up to your mailing list and this section shows you how to get that done right.
Don’t Be Intimidated… It's Easier than Ever to Just Get Started (53:19)
Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to go from zero to an operational website using Thrive Architect and Thrive Theme Builder, what are you waiting for?
If you’re new to using WordPress and Thrive Themes tools, don’t let the learning curve intimidate you. You have everything you need to get started and build a site you'll iteratively improve upon over time.
As you get more comfortable with the tools, you'll start refining every detail to achieve both conversion focused effectiveness as well as jaw-dropping design.
And even as a beginner, the Thrive Theme Builder Setup Wizard and all of the tips you learned in this video tutorial are all you need to create a great looking website — all by yourself.
But most of all, make sure to have fun and we can’t wait to see what you build!
Finally, if you have any questions about building a conversion focused website from scratch using Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect, make sure to leave us a comment below.