Ok, so you’ve decided to setup a WordPress website from scratch without hiring a professional. Great decision for bloggers, small businesses that just launched or individuals who want to create their portfolio or CV. But here’s the problem: the idea of messing with computer code, databases, or software sounds a bit scary.
The good news is that doing self-hosted WordPress website setup is not that complicated. But first things first. Let’s talk about WordPress a bit.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
When you choose WordPress as a website/blogging platform there’s something you should know. There are 2 WordPress options out there: WordPress.org & WordPress.com. The most common mistake occurs when people go to WordPress.com to launch a self-hosted site.
In this guide I’ll show you how to setup a self-hosted WordPress site. And the first thing you should know is: don’t start building your site on WordPress.com if you want a self-hosted site.
What’s is the difference between WP .org & .com? It’s simple. WordPress.org is a place where you can grab your own copy of the WordPress software for free. You’ll also have full control over the WordPress.org software and your site. Yet WordPress.com is a commercial site where you can host your own site for free, but with some limitations.
Generally speaking, there are less costs and more control associated with WordPress.org over WordPress.com.
Hosting & Domain
Now that we know what WordPress is, we can proceed. To build a WordPress site we basically need 2 more things: a hosting & a domain name.
Domain name is basically a combination of words/numbers that people type into their browser to get to your website. I’ll show you exactly where and how to purchase it.
Hosting is a place (simply a computer server) where you website files will live. I’ll show you exactly how and where to purchase it and how to set it up.
Buying a domain name
So, the first thing you have to do is to register a domain name. I use Namecheap.com for my sites. So I’ll use it in my example below. Note – if you already own a domain name, you can skip down to the How To Setup Hosting section of this article.
Step 1. Go to Namecheap.com
Step 2. Type in a desired name for your site into the search box & click “Search”.
Step 3. Choose a domain extension (it can be either .com or .net or what not!). I suggest you use .com as it’s known as the most common extension for websites out there.
Step 4. Add the domain to cart (I suggest you don’t delete the WhoIsGuard option from your cart) & confirm order. You’ll be asked to create a Namecheap login/password while checking out.
That’s it! Now you have a domain name for your site. Note that you’ll have to pay for it monthly or annualy.
Now it’s time to buy hosting. I use InmotionHosting for a couple of years now & it’s really good (yet you can use other hosting providers, I’ll mention them below) . Since I use InmotionHosting, I’ll use it in my tutorial. Ok, let’s begin:
Step 2. Choose a Shared Business Hosting option
Step 3. Choose between Launch, Power & Pro plans. I suggest you use either Launch or Power if you are a blogger, individual or a small business owner who needs a blog/company site/portfolio, CV, etc.
Step 4. Click “Order Now”, choose any 12 or 24 month shared plan & click “Continue”.
On the next page, under Domain Name Options choose “I already own this domain or will handle the registration separately”. And write down your domain name in the box. Click “Continue”…
…and then again, click “Continue”.
Step 5. Fill out your details & make a payment. The hosting representatives will connect with you shortly to confirm details.
..and more details:
Hooray! Now you have a home for your site!
Linking Domain, Hosting & WordPress
And we are finally here! The last few steps will allow you to launch your first website.
Step 1. Login to your domain provider account (in this tutorial we use Namecheap). When your dashboard appears, click a “Manage” button in front of your domain name.
Step 2. Scroll to the Nameservers section. Choose “Custom”…
..and put the following data:
Step 3. Now login to your InMotionHosting admin panel, and click on a CPanel icon.
Step 4. Once you are in, scroll down to the Software & Services section and click on the Softaculous icon.
Step 5. Hover on a WordPress icon (or, click on the Blog section in the menu on the left) & click “Install”.
Step 6. Fill out the details as shown on the screenshot below. You’ll need to check the domain name is ok, fill out your site name & description (it can be changed later), type in your desired username & click on a key button to generate password (write them down somewhere before you proceed), type in your email in the Admin Email section (that’s where all notifications about your site will go), tick some options as shown below & type in your email once again. Click the Install button.
Note: If you experience any issues or something is not working you can contact the InMotionHosting support team. They are really friendly and always find a way thru.
You website is online!
Now you can login to your site Admin panel (the login page usually looks like: http://yoursitename.com/wp-admin) & start posting articles, add menus, images and what not. You can use the pre-installed theme (design) or choose any free or commercial template.
But still, there’s much work to be done. Tuning and managing a WordPress site requires certain skills. Though you can learn lots of useful thing on a WordPress Forum. Another option is to hire a professional who will take care of everything while you manage your business. You might want to check my Website building services as well as Website + Content Management services.