Worried that a professional website for your restaurant is too expensive to buy, and that building one yourself is too complex? You’re in the right place. Following this guide you won’t need any previous website building experience. I’ll show you exactly how to make a beautiful website using a WordPress restaurant theme.
You’ll learn how to get a WordPress website online, how to customize its look and functionality, and how to add your content – all without any need to code.
Before we get into all that, first up, let’s check out everything you’ll need your restaurant website to do.
The most important features of every restaurant website
In this guide we’ll focus on making a restaurant website using WordPress. WordPress is open source software. This means it’s free to use and modify in any way you see fit, giving you freedom to create the exact website you need for your restaurant.
People who use your website tend to want the same questions answered or to carry out similar tasks. So while each restaurant is different, there are some key features all restaurant websites should share.
Ideally your WordPress restaurant theme will include (or be compatible) with the following:
- Images: Give customers a feel for the experience they’ll get when they come to your restaurant – and all the mouthwatering food they can eat – by including vibrant images.
- Food and drinks menu: Diners will be eager to see what you have on offer, so displaying an up-to-date menu is vital for every restaurant website.
- Map: You’ll definitely need to include your full address so it’s clear where you’re located. A map makes it even easier for new customers (and forgetful ones) to find you.
- Reservations: Simplify your processes and make it easy for your customers to book a table by allowing them to make a reservation right there on your website.
- Branding: Your website should reflect your restaurant branding so you’ll need the ability to customize colors, typography and include your logo.
You may also want to sell products directly from your restaurant website, either now or in future. If this is the case, you’ll need to choose a theme that’s compatible with the eCommerce plugin, WooCommerce.
That’s quite a list! Don’t worry – I have a WordPress restaurant theme in mind that does all this and more…
Step 1: Find the best WordPress restaurant theme
Your website theme dictates what your website looks like and its most important functions. So deciding which theme to use is fundamental to creating a successful restaurant website.
There are many themes out there, but unfortunately many aren’t of a high quality. So choosing the right one for you can be tricky. I recommend opting for a WordPress restaurant theme that allows for all of the features listed above: one that’s specifically designed for restaurants.
Deciding which theme to use is fundamental to creating a successful restaurant website.
The alternative is to choose a theme you like the look of and spend a lot of time modifying the code – not exactly ideal, especially if you aren’t a developer by trade.
Beware of going too far the other way though: you don’t want a theme that’s bloated as this will slow down your website and put off customers.
With all this in mind, I think you’ll love WPZOOM’s WordPress restaurant theme Delicio:
This theme comes with everything you need to create a successful website for your restaurant. It’s beautifully designed and super slick. It also allows for all the must-have website features we discussed above. So we’ll install this theme as our gold standard example later in the guide.
Before we get to that though, we’ll need to choose a domain name and get your website online, so let’s do that now.
Step 2: Choose a domain name and WordPress hosting
Opting for WordPress over other platforms such as Wix and Squarespace, means you maintain full control and ownership of your content, and gives you limitless opportunity to customize your website in exactly the way you want.
You’ll only need to pay for a domain name, website hosting and a theme. By following this guide, I’ll show you how to create a stunning restaurant website for around $150/year all in. A simple website with lesser features would cost you anywhere between $100 to $500 if you prefer to do everything on your own. However, when hiring a professional or an agency to built a full featured website, the cost can go as high as $30,000.
The first thing to consider is a domain name. This is the address people type into a browser to view your restaurant website. For example, our domain name is wpzoom.com.
Your domain name should be easy to spell, as short as possible, memorable and preferably contain only letters (no hyphens). Ideally, use a .com extension, rather than any other variation, as this is extension will be easiest for customers to recognise and remember.
Your domain name must also be unique. Most of the time, it’s best to use the name of your restaurant as your domain name. However, it’s possible someone else has already claimed that domain name. To check if it’s available use the tool NameMesh. This tool also shows variations, so if your ideal domain is already used, you can find something similar to use instead.
Once you’ve chosen a domain name, you can purchase it at the same time as your WordPress hosting. So let’s find a suitable WordPress host.
A quick Google search will show you there are lots and lots of hosting companies out there. By opting specifically for a WordPress host, you’ll ensure you’re getting a setup best suited to your WordPress website.
WordPress hosting companies are also staffed by specialist customer service representatives who’ll offer more tailored support than if you opt for a generic hosting company.
To save you time weighing up the various options, l recommend choosing SiteGround hosting. They offer premium quality WordPress hosting at affordable prices.
At present, you can get 60% off the regular price of SiteGround hosting. SiteGround offer three different WordPress hosting plans: StartUp ($3.95/mo), GrowBig ($5.95/mo), and GoGeek ($11.95/mo). StartUp comes with hosting for one website and 10GB space, which is fine if you’re trying to keep costs as low as possible. Or you could opt for one of the more generous plans, which aren’t too much more. GrowBig gives you double the storage space, faster speeds, and backup restore, for just a couple of extra dollars a month.
Now you’ve chosen a domain name and hosting company, it’s time to get online!
Step 3: Set up a WordPress installation
As I mentioned above, you can buy your domain name and hosting from the same company. We’re going to do that now using SiteGround hosting as our example.
Buy hosting and a domain name
Head to the SiteGround website, and choose WordPress Services from the menu. Scroll down to find the plan you want, then click Get Started:
You’ll then be prompted to enter your chosen domain name. Enter the domain name you picked earlier, and click Proceed.
On the next screen you’ll be prompted to create an account and enter payment information. Once you’ve done that, scroll down and you’ll see Hosting Services and Extra Services.
Under Hosting Service choose the data center located closest to your restaurant as this will be closest to where your website visitors will be located. This ensures your website loads as fast as possible for the majority of people using your site. Here you can also select the period of hosting you’d like to pay for:
Once you’ve completed the information on this page, click Pay Now. We now just need to install WordPress before we get onto the exciting part of adding our theme!
You can install WordPress in a couple of clicks using SiteGround’s Website Setup Wizard. After payment, click the Proceed To Customer Area button. Then click the big button in the top right of your screen, Set up in 2 min!.
You’ll then be taken through the Setup Wizard. The default option Get WordPress preinstalled on this account will already be selected so click Proceed.
You then need to choose your login details – you’ll need these each time you log in to your WordPress website to make changes or add new content.
Enter an email address which will be used if you lose your password, along with a username, and a password. Your username won’t be public so it can be anything you like, however you won’t be able to change it later if you change your mind so choose wisely. Make sure your password is secure and take note of both your username and password as you’ll need these to log in to your new website in the next step.
Don’t worry about the section, “Choose a web design template to be installed along with your WordPress theme”, as we’re going to install our chosen Delicio WordPress restaurant theme instead. Scroll down and click Submit.
SiteGround will install WordPress for you in a few seconds. Once this is done, you can visit your WordPress site by typing the domain name you purchased earlier into your browser.
At this stage, your website will look very plain. Let’s change that now by installing our special WordPress restaurant theme.
Step 4: Install your WordPress restaurant theme
Your website is online, so not only can you view it, you can also log in to the WordPress admin and make changes.
To access the WordPress admin, add /wp-admin to the end of your domain name. For example, if your website domain name is myrestaurant.com, you would log in to the WordPress admin by typing myrestaurant.com/wp-admin into the browser.
This takes you to the WordPress admin login page. Enter the username and password you created in the previous step and click Log in. You’re now logged in to the WordPress admin:
Go back to your site’s WordPress admin area (e.g. myrestaurant.com/wp-admin). In the sidebar, go to Appearance → Themes, click Add new and Upload Theme:
Click Choose file. Select the downloaded Delicio file from your computer, click Open and Install now.
This will install the theme onto your new website. Click Activate.
WordPress uses pieces of code called Plugins to add extra functionality. You’ll be prompted by Delicio to install two required plugins: Jetpack and Unyson, along with two recommended plugins: Instagram Widget by WPZOOM and Restaurant Reservations:
Let’s look at how to install these now.
Install and activate plugins
Delicio’s required and recommended plugins are all really useful, so we’ll install all four. To do this, click Begin installing plugins which will take you to the Install Plugins screen. This is also accessible via WPZOOM → Install Plugins.
Select all the plugins using the check box at the top. In the dropdown Bulk Actions menu, choose Install then click Apply:
This will install the plugins on your site. You’ll then need to activate these plugins in the same way: check the box at the top of the Install Plugins screen, in the dropdown Bulk Actions menu, choose Activate and click Apply.
There’s all sorts of further useful documentation and tips to accompany Delicio that you can access directly from your WordPress admin. Just head to WPZOOM → Getting Started and browse the information at your own pace, or anytime you get stuck:
For now, we’re going to move on to adding content and then I’ll point you in the direction of further customizations you can do.
Step 5: Add content to your restaurant website
To make adding content a lot easier, Delicio (and all WPZOOM themes) comes with demo content. This demo content gives a professionally designed structure to your content, setting you up with an ideal starting point.
To add the demo content, click WPZOOM in the sidebar then click Import/Export → Demo Content:
Click the button Load Demo Content and confirm in the next window by clicking Load Demo Content.
Then, just follow the cues to finish setting up the demo content to suit:
Once you’ve made it through these cues, why not take a look at your website now? Just click View your website. You’ll see spaces to add your images, directions, opening times, social icons and more.
Now it’s time to add your own content. Some pages you’re likely to need include:
To add a new Page, simply head to Pages → Add New. You can then add a title, text, images, videos or any other content to content area. When you’re done, click Publish.
Let’s take a closer look at creating a reservations page to show you how easy it is to create really useful website pages.
Create a reservations page
It’s likely you’ll want to take reservations via your website – this is simple to set up using the Delicio theme and free Restaurant Reservations plugin you installed earlier.
First, create a new page and give it a title, for example ‘Make a reservation’ then click Publish:
We now need to add this new page to our website menu (not to be confused with a food menu!) so it’s easy to access. To do this, go to Appearance → Menu.
Give your menu a name, e.g. “Primary menu” and click Create Menu. Select the reservation page and click Add to Menu. Under the Menu Settings heading set the menu location as Main Menu then click Save Menu:
Now we just need to tell the Restaurant Reservations plugin which page we want to take booking on. To do that, go to Bookings → Settings. Next to Booking Page, choose the page you just created (e.g. Make a reservation) and then edit the remaining settings as you like:
Scroll down and click Save Changes. On your website, you’ll now be able to navigate via the menu to your reservations page and customers will be able to make a booking!
The process for adding all your pages is much the same:
- Give your page a title
- Add any content you need
- Publish the page
- Add the page to your website menu
- Add extra functionality such as a map or food and drinks menu as required
You can also edit existing pages anytime by going to Pages → All pages, click on the page you want to edit, make any changes and then click Update.
Add blog posts
As well as pages, you can add blog posts. To add new blog posts: in the WordPress admin, head to Posts → Add New. Just as you did with your pages, you can add any content you like before publishing.
You’ll need to assign a page for your blog posts to display on too. To do this first create and publish a page, calling it something like “Blog” or “News”. Then head to Settings → Reading and next to Posts page select the page you’ve just created.
Any blog posts will then display on your chosen page. Don’t forget to add your blog page to your menu too so it’s easy to access!
Now we’ve covered adding content, let’s take a look at how you can also customize lots of other visual aspects of your site.
Step 6: Customize your WordPress restaurant theme
The Customizer is the place to make any other customizations to your WordPress restaurant theme. You can access it by heading to Appearance and clicking Customize.
Delicio makes it easy to customize many different parts of your site via the live customizer:
- Site identity: Write your restaurant name here and add a short tagline.
- Logo: Brand your website with your logo so people recognise your restaurant when they come to visit.
- Menus: Add your pages to your site menu so they’re accessible to your audience.
- Header layout: customize where the different menus display, including the sidebar or the header.
- Homepage slider: Change the size, color and fade of the slider along with other settings.
- Typography: Choose font and colors for different areas of your website to align with your branding.
- Color scheme: Your website colors are also a big part of your branding so you can easily edit those here.
- Footer: Add menus, social media icons, and widgets to the bottom of your website.
A professional restaurant website made easy (and affordable)
With this guide, you’re ready to go out and build your ideal restaurant website. It really doesn’t take long to set up and as you’ve seen, you won’t need any prior experience.
Let’s do a quick rundown of everything we covered:
- How to decide on the best WordPress restaurant theme
- Choosing a domain name and WordPress hosting
- Setting up a WordPress installation with SiteGround
- Installing the Delicio WordPress restaurant theme and recommended plugins
- Adding content to your restaurant website, including a fully functional reservations page
- Customizing your WordPress restaurant theme
I hope you enjoy setting up your brand new website! We’d love to see what you create, so do get in touch or share your website with us in the comments below.