Day 1 – Setting Up WordPress
What do I need to build a website?
You’ll need the following three things to start a WordPress site:
- A domain name – This is the name of your website like Google.com
- WordPress hosting – This is where your website is stored
- WordPress theme – This is what gives the appearance and layout of your website
How much does a WordPress website cost?
Companies like GoDaddy can sell .com domains for as little as $0.99/year and website hosts like HostGator can host your WordPress blog at a starting price of $2.75/month.
Starting a WordPress site can cost less than $5.
If you can spare a few cups of coffee, you can start your blogging dream without noticing much if any dent in your wallet.
I recommend starting small. A basic hosting plan, a free WordPresss theme.
As your blog grows you can upgrade your hosting and buy a fancy theme. For now, start small so you can start now.
Step 1 – Buying a domain
I recommend GoDaddy for purchasing your domain if they have a $0.99 .com special on. If they’re not running a promotion at the moment, NameSilo offers some of the best domain prices available.
When choosing a domain name there are a few best practices you should follow:
- Keep your domain name to under 20 characters
- Don’t add dashes – or numbers 123 to your domain name
- .com is king – Choose it over .net or other domain endings
- Try to keep a domain name to two words
- Make it memorable – Try for alliteration or two words that naturally fit together
Step 2 – Choosing a WordPress host
If you want to follow my advice and start small, HostGator offers very competitive prices and also offers benefits like 1 click WordPress installation.
BlueHost are another great option and offer the same.
After you’ve completed your purchase, you’ll receive an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel).
This is your hosting dashboard where you can install WordPress, get support, setup email, etc.
Step 3 – Installing WordPress
You will find a tonne of icons in your hosting dashboard, but the only one you need to care about right now says something along the lines of “Install WordPress”. A lot of the other icons you won’t ever touch.
To run through installing WordPress:
- Select the domain to install WordPress on
- Give your new site a title
- Choose an admin username and password
Quick install will now start installing WordPress on your new website.
When installation is done, click on the link provided and you’ll be takin to your WordPress login window.
Congratulations! You have just created your very own WordPress website.
Step 4 – Choosing a Theme
The visual appearance of your WordPress site is controlled by a WordPress theme.
There are 1000’s to choose from, free and premium, but when you’re just starting out free is a great option until you see some initial success.
By default you’ll have a few basic themes already installed, but if you click on Add New under Appearance > Themes you’ll find many other themes to choose from.
Find one you like and click Install to add the Theme as an option.
Then click on Activate and your website will change to look like the theme.
Step 5 – Initial Customization
Creating a Homepage
Let’s start by creating a homepage for your new site. By default WordPress just shows a list of your latest posts.
Head over to Pages > Add New to create your first page.
Start by giving your site the title “Home” by typing over where it says Add title.
Below this you can then add anything you want to your new homepage. In the editor you can add text, links, images, embedded videos and more.
Once you’re finished click on the publish button to make your new homepage live.
Then go to Settings > Reading and change Front page displays from Your latest Posts to the new homepage you just created.
Creating a Tagline
When you create a website the installer helps you create a site title. but you didn’t get the option of customizing your tagline.
By default WordPress automatically gives your site the tagline “Just another WordPress site”. But this isn’t the most appealing. Let’s change it.
You can change either your site title or tagline at anytime by visiting Settings > General.
The tagline is below the title and don’t forget to save your changes once you’ve come up with something catchy.
Creating a Menu
Navigation menu’s are how your visitors will browse to the different pages on your website.
To create one visit Appearance > Menus.
Enter a name for your navigation menu and then click the Create Menu button.
On the left you’ll find a list of your pages, posts, and also the option to create custom links.
To add menu items select the pages and posts you want to display on your menu and then click Add to Menu.
You can move them up and down to arrange your menu however you’d like and at the bottom you’ll find checkboxes to choose where you want your menu to be displayed.
Once you’ve finished click Save Menu to finish creating your menu and set it as the new menu displayed on your website.
And congratulations, you’ve just finished setting up your first WordPress website.