If you’ve been blogging or have done your research about blogging, you’ve probably heard of WordPress by now. It’s one of the most popular platforms to blog on and offers tons of features and customization options to create the blog of your dreams. I get asked this question a lot, and I have decided to put together a quick and simple express guide to get you started and set up your first WordPress blog in under 15 minutes.
What I will be covering:
- Purchasing your domain name & hosting
- Using cPanel to install WordPress
- Logging in and setting your WordPress blog up
Purchasing Your Domain Name & Hosting
I am going to show you how to purchase both your domain name and hosting at the same time in HostGator.
Choose Your Hosting Plan
Once you’re at the HostGator website, scroll down just a bit to see their hosting plans they offer. If you’re just doing one domain, and plan to keep it that way, I would suggest going with the Hatchling Plan. If you plan to be addicted (like myself) and buy multiple domains down the road – I would suggest going with either of the other 2 plans, whichever fits your needs.
Choose Your Domain Name
Click on “Sign Up Now!” and it will take you to where you choose your domain and enter your account details. If you’re a blogger newbie, I would suggest going with 1-3 years of hosting. You can always upgrade and add more later.
Under additional services, I highly recommend to purchase the Secure and Accelerate Your Site option. This will protect your website from fraud and malware – which is everywhere nowadays.
You also have 45 days from your purchase to receive a refund if you decide its not for you. This is great for someone just getting started and wants to try it out.
Once you have completed your purchase, use your credentials which were set up to log into your account.
Using Your cPanel to Install WordPress
Once your account is confirmed, click on the link that HostGator creates for you to log in to your account, cPanel.
Once you’re logged into your account. Scroll down until you get to the “Software/Services” section almost all the way down the page. Then choose “QuickInstall.”
Once you get into QuickInstall, you will want to scroll about halfway down the page and select “Install WordPress” and it’ll take you to your Type of Installment screen. You want to choose “Install WordPress for FREE” which will then take you to the installation form.
- From here you will want to select the arrow and choose the new domain you purchased from HostGator.
- Leave the install/path/here blank.
- Admin Email is where a current email you use.
- Blog Title is where you put the name of your new website in. This can always be changed later.
- Admin User – Put your first name.
- First Name – Last Name, self-explanatory.
Click “Install WordPress”
Your login details
Once installation’s complete, check your email. WordPress will email you your login URL which looks a bit like http://yourname.com/wp-admin.
Logging In and Setting Your WordPress Blog Up
Go to your WordPress login URL (which is http://yourname.com/wp-admin) in your browser. This is where you will be able to log into your website every time you want to post, comment, or create your site. Your username is the WordPress Admin User which we had put your first name in on the last step.
Once you’re logged in, you’re at your main hub called the “The Dashboard”
WordPress: basic settings
Welcome to your new site! Your new login profile is for the “admin” user role, which means you’ve got access to all WordPress features. You’ll see many options down the left-hand side of your screen. At minimum, scroll down to Settings > General and update “Site title” with your blog’s name, and “Tagline” with your tagline. Also, go to “Permalinks” and select the “post name” option.
You are officially the owner of your own website. I would advise taking a look around WordPress to familiarize yourself with it. Sign up for my newsletter to receive tons of WordPress tips to create the site you’ve always imagined. Please contact me with any questions you may have, or if you would like some help designing your new blog.
Now, start exploring!
(Side note: If you’d prefer to learn WordPress in a more in-depth way I will be offering a free class on the basics of WordPress. Please contact me for sign up information. Limited seats.)