This tutorial is part of a series of tutorials on How to Start a WordPress Blog in 5 Easy Steps.
In this tutorial, we will look at the ways to install a self-hosted WordPress.
However, before we move further, we need two most important things. A domain name and a web hosting environment.
1. Get a Domain Name
This is the step which would decide how fast you will create your blog.
Whenever I start working towards creating a new blog. This step takes away my most precious time.
A domain name is the technical name of the web address we write in the browser to visit a website. Some of the very common examples of domain names are google.com, facebook.com, amazon.com, birlasunlife.com, easyengine.io, wordpress.org, speedtest.net, etc. As you can see domain names has various extensions such as .com, .io, .net, .us, .co.uk, etc. These extensions are called Top Level Domains.
A domain name needs to be purchased from a domain name registrar. Some of the popular domain name registrars are GoDaddy, NameCheap, and NameSilo.
I would without a doubt suggest buying the domain name from Namesilo. They are the cheapest not just for new domain name. But, also for renewal price. They offer free privacy which others charge heavily. They don’t give you flashy discounts like others. They sell without hidden costs.
There are over 1 billion domain names in use on the internet. However, almost 4 out of every 5 domain are just purchased and kept idle without any working website on it.
There is a group of people or organization, who block the domain name to sell it at a premium price. So, finding a suitable domain name is not so easy. A domain name should be good to pronounce and affordable too.
I had written an article about Finding a Perfect Domain Name at Perfect Price some years ago. This article may still be useful. You may have a look at it. But, no need to read it whole. Read the details till fresh domains. It will give you an idea what type of domain name you can look for.
Domain name and name of your website is two different thing. Like the domain name for this blog is startablog.us, whereas the name of this blog is Start A Blog.
As finding a suitable domain name is not so easy, decide about the name of your blog based on the domain name you get. If your name is quite peculiar, you may also look at a domain name with your own name something like syedbalkhi.com, neilpatel.com or melyssagriffin.com
Let me guide you a bit on how to search a domain name on NameSilo.
Suppose I’m looking to create a website for giving tips on babysitting. So, the name I would be looking for would be obviously babysitting.com. However, without even searching I ‘m certain that the name won’t be available for purchase. It would already be registered. Click on the link below to go to NameSilo. It would open the NmaeSilo domain search page in new tab.
Now, enter the name of the domain name you would like to search for availability. You can see in the above image, I am searching for babysitting.com. The result given by the search is given below.
As you can see, NameSilo searched for the availability of the domain name not just for babysitting.com. But, for several other TLDs such as .net, .org, .biz, .info etc. However, all of these are registered already. Only babysitting.store is available.
Now, you need to decide, whether you would like to register babysitting.store or would like to search more with some other names.
I register a .com domain, if possible. So, as I’m searching the domain name to create a website for giving tips on babysitting. The domain name such as babysittingtips.com or learnbabysitting.com would also serve the purpose for me.
So, you can see learnbabysitting.com is available at a reasonable price. Here, based on my requirement I can also look at some new TLDs such as .tips, .guru, etc. Interestingly, babysitting.tips is available.
In the image above, there is a banner next to the domain search box, displaying “Looking for more extensions?”. It would take you to a page such as below. You may see you can search from hundreds of TLD. You can look at the availability for all these TLDs by clicking on the link highlighted by me.
Now, I’m having a result page for all these TLDs for babysitting. I’m showing this just to give you an idea about other options. For me, I’ll select learnbabysitting.com and click Register Checked Domain at the bottom.
It will take me to the cart page as below.
Here, I change Auto-Renew to No (I don’t want to renew the domain name automatically). I keep Privacy Setting to WHOIS Privacy (It hides my ownership details and personal info from the public). Now, let’s move to next page by clicking Continue.
The next page will ask to create an account on NameSilo. It will also ask to fill your address. You should fill genuine detail in this form.
After registration, It will take you to the billing page as below.
Once you complete the payment, you would receive a confirmation mail about your purchase.
2. Get a Hosting
Now, once you have purchased the domain name. Let’s move towards getting a web hosting.
There are five types of WordPress hosting environment possible. I’ve used all Five of them.
See Also: Types of WordPress Hosting
I would suggest two options either to host it on a VPS or host it on a managed hosting such as Site Ground.
If you can handle little bit technical work then I would suggest hosting the website on a Virtual Private Server. I would guide you throughout the process, how to set it up. My wife having an average technical skill for the computer was able to setup the VPS using the tutorial. The choice is yours.
Otherwise, Managed WordPress hosting of SiteGround is the best option for you. The technical aspect would be handled by the web host. You need to just do the blogging.
Price wise both would be same. But, VPS can handle even 20 blogs with ease.
If you would like to choose the easy part, continue reading ahead. Otherwise, for VPS hosting click on the link below, it will take you to another page.
Managed WordPress hosting at SiteGround is regarded as best for the price it is offered. The website hosted on it gives a load time of almost 0.4 sec. The hosting at SiteGround uses various layers of caching for fast loading of the websites. Now, move ahead setting things up at SiteGround.
Above link will take you to a page like below.
As of writing this post, there are three different plans for hosting WordPress hosting. StartUp, GrowBig and Go Geek. The features on GrowBig are little more than StartUp. The most important of these is supercacher feature. It will help in improving the load time for the website by caching. Priority support is a good feature that would be useful. Other features such as 30 backups or 1-year free wild card SSL is not of a much-required feature. We will setup the backup anyways. We will be using free SSL provided by Let’s Encrypt.
GoGeek has some advanced features such as WordPress Staging, Git Support, and PCI Compliance. The important one is fewer accounts on a server. Means the resources are being shared between fewer people. It would impact the speed of your website’s loading time.
An important difference between the plans are StartUp plan and others are multiple websites hosting feature in other plans. I would recommend GrowBig plan. You can also look at StartUp plan till you are in the learning phase and the site is in the development phase. Afterward, upgrading the plan.
Once you select the plan, the next page will ask whether you want to register a new domain or would like to use an already registered domain name. As you have already registered the domain name at NameSilo, select I already have a domain name and enter the name of the domain name you registered. You may compare the price SiteGround is charging for the .com domain and the price NameSilo is charging.
The next page will ask credentials required to create your account. It will also your payment processing details.
After completing the payment, you will be greeted with the confirmation mail. Use the login information provided by you during signup to go to My Account section of Site Ground.
As you can see above, I marked three portions of My Account as 1, 2 and 3. We will be using these for setting up the website. First, we need to configure the Account DNS marked as 1 above at NameSilo. Whenever a browser will look for your website, they will be pointed towards SiteGround server using the DNS information. So, let’s go to NameSilo. Use your account information to login into your NameSilo account.
As marked in the image above, go to Domain Manager.
Now, first select your domain name by clicking on the checkbox as in the image above. Afterward, you may see Change Nameserver link being active. Click on it to change the Domain Name Server (DNS).
You may now see various nameservers, some filled, some blank. Delete all. Use the two Account DNS information given at SiteGround My Account page to fill both the boxes (leave others blank) and click Submit.
Usually, any change in the DNS information takes almost 24 hours to update. However, as the domain is newly purchased and DNS information is filled for the first time. It would update within few minutes. So, let’s go again to My Account page of SiteGround.
In the image given above of SiteGround’s My Account page, the portion marked as 3 gives provision to setup CloudFlare. CloudFlare gives a layer of security to your website along with various optimizations. Click on the Access link of CloudFlare CDN.
Now, on the CloudFlare CDN page, as shown in the above image, click on Activate Free. This will activate CloudFlare for your domain with optimal settings.
We will now go to the cPanel section. You can go to cPanel by either clicking cPanel Home from the CloudFlare CDN page on the upper right side. Otherwise, you may go to My Account of SiteGround and click Access cPanel. I marked this link as 2 in the image of My Account of SiteGround above.
You can see in the image above, I’ve minimized several sub-sections of cPanel page. We will be concentrating on WordPress Installer, SuperCacher (if you purchased GrowBig plan) and Let’s Encrypt. The first thing you need to do is to get a free SSL certificate for your domain. Click on Let’s Encrypt.
In the image above, you can see I’ve already installed the SSL certificate for my domain. You need to just select your domain name from the drop down, enter Email id and click on Install. It will take a minute to install the certificate. Once, it is successfully installed, go to cPanel again by clicking cPanel Home from upper right side of the screen.
Now, from the cPanel page, click on WordPress Installer.
It will take you to a page giving details about WordPress. Just click on Install Now as shown above.
In the next page, as shown above, leave most of the field as it is. Just enter appropriate admin username and password. These are the backend credentials for the blog you are creating. Once ready, click Install. You will see the progress of the installation. Once completed you will be greeted by the following page.
You may see there are two links given on the page such as above. First one will give your web address of your blog. The second one is the back-end or administrative section of your blog. Bookmark both the locations for easy access.
Let’s go to your blog by typing the domain name in the web browser.
You may see a page such as above. Congratulation for installing WordPress. Now, your blog is ready for blogging. But, we need to do some preliminary setup, before you can start blogging.
If you are facing problem at any steps as given above, just send me an email. You may also ask me by sharing your thoughts below.
In the next step, we will first get familiarized with the administrative (admin) section of WordPress. Afterward, we will do some initial setup based on the core features of WordPress.