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This article is for those who want to know about the best (and easiest) way to setup a WordPress website from scratch. You will be learning about working with domains, hosting, installing WordPress, building content, using themes and plugins to manage your website and make it shine.
If you don’t fully understand everything here, don’t worry. The good news is that doing self-hosted WordPress website setup is pretty easy, and running it afterwards is easier still. All you need to do are follow this article, step-by-step.
1 – Domain: Domain name indentify your website to customers, so it’s really important. I’ll show you where and how to purchase a domain name, and point it in the direction of your website.
2 – Hosting: a place for your website to live. I’ll give you some options that are for huge websites, or been used by many people. Switching hosts is easy too, so you can change it at any time.
3 – WordPress: WordPress is a beast nowadays. I’ll show you how easy to setup a WordPress site on your host.
4 – Themes: WordPress makes it easy to have a professional looking website using Themes, so it is the most important part of WordPress.
5 – Plugins: Plugins offer all kinds of customization for your site. With more than 40.000options to choose from the WordPress Plugin Directory (not all the Premium products available), you can do whatever you want.<
Note: if you already own a domain name, you can skip down to the Hosting part.
A domain name is simply what people type into their browser to get to your website (ie, www.thinhknowscode.com). Keep it short and simply is the key. You can find all sorts of tips on choosing a domain name, but it almost always boils down to keeping it short and memorable. This is definitely good advice, but always have a brand strategy in mind as well.
Most of the places where you can buy a domain name also allow you to grab their hosting (and at a good price). It depends on your choice. But if this is your first project, just buying the domain name with the hosting provider you’ll be using. That will make everything easier.
Tips: If you’re serious about branding and you have the funds, you might want to buy a number of TLDs with the same name. That is, if you are registering
mydomain.com, then you might want to buy the
.infoand the local version as well (such as
Namecheap and Godaddy are good places for purchasing your domain name. Go to either Namecheap or Godaddy and search for the domain name you want and follow the on-screen instructions (you do not need any upsells). They both have good interface and excellent services (cheaper long-terms prices at Namecheap and good short-term promos at Godaddy).
The choosing depends on your website’s needs and your funds. If you have money, Managed WordPress hosting is the best choice. You can start doing content and focus on what really matters without worry about installing WordPress, making it safe, secure, …..
The only reason to use shared hosting is if you are on a tight budget and every dollar counts.
There’re 3 ways to choose a hosting package:
>If you don’t know what is Shared hosting, see my post about this here.
+ Great price to get started (for around 5$ a month).
– Low security.
– Numerous downsides.
Below is some options for you:
- Hostgator ($3.95 per month)
- Bluehost ($3.95 per month)
- SiteGround ($3.95 per month)
- StableHost ($4.95 per month)
- MediaTemple ($20 per month)
VPS hosting ($15 -$20 per month)>If you don’t know what is VPS hosting, see my post about this here.
+ VPS gives you the most flexibility out of the bunch.
– Knowledges on hosting are required.
Below are some options for you:
- WiredTree ($49 per month)
- Vultr ($5 per month)
- MediaTemple ($30 per month)
- A Small Orange ($20 per month)
- Linode ($10 per month)
- SiteGround ($80 per month)
Managed WordPress hosting>If you don’t know what is Managed WordPress hosting, see my post about this here.
+ Automatic updates, server-level caching and truly professional WordPress-specific support
The best-known and best-rated ones are these:
- WPEngine ($14.50 per month for the first 3 months)
- Siteground ($3.95 per month)
- Dreamhost ($7.95 per month)
- Pagely (99$ per month)
- Godaddy (3.99$ per month)
SETTING UP A DOMAIN>By now, you should have a domain name and a hosting package. Next step is setting up a domain.
The domain needs to be pointed to the hosting provider so that when someone accesses it through their browser, they are directed to the appropriate server. This is most often done using nameservers, sometimes referred to as account DNS.
If you’ve bought a domain through your hosting provider, then you can probably skip this step because it is taken care of automatically.
You’ll need to log into the website that you registered your domain with and change the nameservers for the domain. Your host will tell you what nameservers to specify. My StableHost account has the following information:
Whenever you change your nameservers, you will have to wait up to 72 hours (max) for them to take effect. The lag will also depend on where you are relative to the server.
I’ve found that if the server is in the US and I’m in Europe, the website will work fine within a couple of hours when viewed from within the US. The changes usually take more time to propagate overseas.
INSTALLING WORDPRESSave managed WordPress host, you’ll be able to do this by filling out a simple form. Depending on your account type, you might be able to add any number of WordPress installations to your account.
If you use Godaddy, you can see my instructions here.
If you have a Shared or VPS hosting, there’re 2 options: One-click installation & Manual installation.
Nowadays, many hosts support WordPress (& a number of platforms too) setup tools to minimize the work in this step.
The WordPress Codex has a complete installation guide here. If you’re stuck somewhere, just leave a comment to this post, I’ll try to help you asap.
CHOOSING THEMESref="https://www.thinhknowscode.com/how-to-install-a-wordpress-theme/" target="_blank">How to install a WordPress theme
CHOOSING PLUGINSref="https://www.thinhknowscode.com/top-10-must-wordpress-plugins-2016/">Top 10 must have WordPress plugins (11/2016)