Want to start a website like WikiHow? You‘ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll show you how to launch your own how-to site from start to finish.
With the right tools and strategy, anyone can create a thriving how-to website even with no coding skills. This step-by-step walkthrough will take you from picking a domain name all the way to monetizing your content.
Let‘s get started!
Why Build a DIY How-To Website?
Before we dive in, let‘s look at why how-to sites have become so popular:
- They help people solve problems and learn new skills
- The niche has exploded in recent years – traffic to WikiHow grew over 300% from 2016 to 2021 
- How-to content ranks well in search engines because it targets informational keywords
- Guides provide ongoing value as references for readers
- Easy to monetize through ads, affiliates, and premium subscriptions
- Lower barrier to entry than tutorial videos or ecommerce sites
For individuals, a how-to site allows you to share your specialized knowledge while potentially earning income. It‘s a scalable model perfect for bootstrapping online businesses.
Now let‘s go through how to create your own WikiHow-style website from the ground up.
Step 1: Get Reliable Hosting
The first component you need is web hosting. Hosting provides the server space to store your site‘s files and data.
Without reliable hosting, your website will be painfully slow or frequently offline. That‘s why it‘s worth investing in a quality provider from the start.
I recommend using SiteGround based on their stellar customer support, uptime record, and WordPress expertise. Their GrowBig shared hosting plan provides all the power you need at an affordable price.
Some key benefits of SiteGround‘s GrowBig plan:
- Supports up to 25,000 visits per month
- Ultra-fast page loads – average response time under 600ms 
- Integrated CDN for delivering content quickly across the globe
- Automatic daily backups to safeguard your site
- Free transfers if you switch from another host
- 24/7 expert support available via chat, phone, and tickets
SiteGround consistently ranks as one of the best and most secure hosting providers. Click here to get their GrowBig plan at the best price.
Step 2: Register Your Domain Name
The next step is choosing and registering a domain name for your how-to site.
Your domain is your website‘s unique address on the web (for example, wikipedia.org or wikihow.com).
Follow these tips when selecting your ideal domain name:
Keep it short – Brandable domains with fewer than 15 characters score better with search engines. Easy to remember names have higher rates of return visits.
Use target keywords – Incorporate your site‘s focus into the domain name. For example, DIYGuide.com or HomeTutorials.com work well for a general how-to site. You can even use your own name.
Get the .com version – Opt for the .com extension if available. Other endings like .net and .info are fine, but .com is the most recognizable.
Check availability – Search on platforms like Namecheap and GoDaddy to see if your desired domain is available for registration.
Avoid hyphens – Domain names with hyphens tend to be harder to remember. Use hyphens only if you can‘t get the .com version of your preferred name.
Once you‘ve found an available domain that aligns with your brand, purchase and register it for approximately $15/year.
Pro Tip: Register your domain for multiple years upfront to save money. You‘ll also want to set up automatic renewals to avoid forgetting and losing ownership of your domain.
Step 3: Install WordPress on Your Hosting
Now it‘s time to install WordPress and get your site online. As a content management system (CMS), WordPress makes it easy to build websites without coding knowledge.
Here are some amazing stats about WordPress:
- Powers over 43% of all websites as of 2022 
- Used by major brands like Microsoft, Samsung, NBC, and Sony
- Manages over 20 billion web pages worldwide 
- 91 million new posts and over 500 million comments per month 
With WordPress handling all the backend and technical work, you‘re free to focus on creating high-quality guides.
The installation process through SiteGround takes just a few clicks:
Log into SiteGround and visit the "Welcome" page
Select the "Create New Website" option
Enter a site name and choose WordPress as your CMS
Confirm any additional services you want like domain privacy
Click through the prompts to complete the installation
That‘s all it takes to get your how-to website set up on a managed hosting plan like SiteGround. Their team is available 24/7 to help with any questions during the process.
Step 4: Pick an SEO-Friendly Theme
Now it‘s time to choose a theme – this controls the design and layout of your WordPress site.
With millions of free and paid themes available, focus on finding one that suits the goals of an informative how-to site. Look for themes that allow you to:
- Optimize for readability – Use white space, clear headers, spacious text formatting
- Showcase visuals – Feature images, infographics, embedded video
- Highlight numbered lists – Step-by-step directions are key
- Enhance navigation – Menus, categories, tag system
- Stand out – Unique, professional design aligned with your brand
I recommend choosing a versatile premium theme like GeneratePress, Astra, or OceanWP. The one-time cost provides access to extra customization options, speed optimizations, and dedicated support.
GeneratePress is one of the fastest WordPress themes optimized for search engines. Click here to get GeneratePress at the best price.
Once installed, you can customize colors, fonts, layouts, and add your logo through the WordPress dashboard. Take time to get the design just right.
Step 5: Install Essential How-To Plugins
One of the best parts of using WordPress is the ability to extend functionality through plugins. With over 55,000+ free and paid plugins, you can add just about any feature imaginable to your site.
Here are some must-have plugins I recommend installing for a how-to site:
Yoast SEO – The #1 WordPress SEO plugin. It lets you optimize pages and content for search rankings with readability analysis, XML sitemaps, and more.
Rank Math SEO – A powerful alternative to Yoast with schema markup support. Lets you preview what your listings will look like in search engines.
Wordfence Security – Blocks hackers, finds malware, stops brute force attacks. Essential for keeping your site secure.
iThemes Security – Works to fix vulnerabilities, adds two-factor authentication, and masks your WordPress login.
Google Analytics – Connects your site to Google Analytics to see visitors, top pages, traffic sources and more with real-time data.
MonsterInsights – The most popular Google Analytics plugin tailored specifically for WordPress sites. Comes with useful reports and tracking options out of the box.
In the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New to search for and install plugins directly. Avoid going overboard with too many plugins that can slow down your site.
Step 6: Start Creating Helpful How-To Content
Now for the fun part: publishing guide content!
Start by creating a list of potential topics to cover. Look for questions people ask about problems they need help with or skills they want to learn.
Use these content research tools to find and validate ideas:
- Google Suggest – See autocomplete results for "how to" searches
- AnswerThePublic – Reveals commonly asked questions around broad topics
- Google Trends – Identify rising search interests and seasonality
Assess competing search results to ensure there‘s demand but not too much saturation. Aim to target keywords with under 100,000 monthly searches and low difficulty scores.
Here‘s a six-step process for creating excellent guides:
Pick a focused topic – Choose a specific problem to solve or skill to teach. Don‘t pick anything too broad.
Create an outline – Map out sections, step-by-step structure, and visuals.
Research thoroughly – Gather enough details, examples, and data to demonstrate expertise.
Write conversationally – Use conversational headers, subheads, and an active voice. Speak directly to the reader as a friend.
Insert visuals – Break up text with images, infographics, and videos for each step.
Optimize content – Include target keyword, meta description, alt text. Publish and promote your guide.
Pro Tip: Pay close attention to SEO details like meta titles and H2 headers. Write long-form content over 1,500 words with in-depth information, data, resources, and related guides. Value should be the top priority.
Step 7: Monetize Your How-To Site
Once you‘ve built up a library of high-quality guides, it‘s time to start monetizing your website. Here are some of the top options to earn income from a how-to site:
Join an ad network like Google AdSense, Media.net, or Ezoic to serve text, image, and video ads on your site. As traffic increases, so will your earnings.
On average, websites make $5 to $20 per 1,000 visitors through display ads. Top-tier sites can earn over $100 RPM with premium ad placements.
Promote helpful products within your guides and earn commissions when visitors purchase through your links.
Amazon Associates is the largest affiliate program with over 1 million members. Their WordPress plugin makes it easy to link to millions of products. ShareASale and Rakuten Marketing also offer great affiliate programs tailored to the how-to niche.
Sell Ad Space
Once you have at least 50,000 monthly visitors, you can sell premium ad space directly to brands looking to reach your audience. Set packages with various placements, lengths, and targeting options.
Provide access to exclusive how-to content and resources through paid monthly or yearly memberships. Offer additional benefits like ebooks, private Q&A calls, discounts, and more.
Expand into creating online courses that go much more in-depth to teach various skills related to your niche. Sell each course for $100+ based on their value.
Building a great how-to site takes time and consistency. Focus on quality over quantity at first and be patient. Once you have an audience, there are plenty of ways to generate income from your expertise.
Launch Your Own How-To Website
You have all the tools needed to create your own how-to website like WikiHow. The key steps are:
- Get managed WordPress hosting
- Register a brandable domain
- Install WordPress
- Customize an SEO-optimized theme
- Add essential plugins
- Research and publish helpful guides
- Monetize with ads, affiliates, and premium offerings
Stay focused on providing immense value through your content above all else. Be helpful, not salesy.
The how-to niche offers huge potential with evergreen traffic and income. With this guide, you can launch your own thriving DIY website.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help fellow creators start successful online businesses.