So you have made the decision to have a web presence, and you have decided on a self-hosted WordPress site. (Why do that instead of a free web builder/host? There are reasons that depend on your skill level and how much flexibility you want, but that’s a whole other post.)
What’s your domain name?
No shame if you don’t know what a domain is. I always try to word things as if I am explaining to beginners. A domain is your unique name—what someone will type into the top of the browser to get to your site. Your “whatever.com.” Give some real thought as to what that should be. Make it easy to remember, not too long, and do a little research to make sure it’s not already taken. Have a few choices ready in case your first choice isn’t available. Know what it will be? If you haven’t already purchased the name, I recommend doing that during the hosting purchasing in the next step. If you HAVE already purchased the name, no worries. Either way, keep going.
You’ll need hosting.
Think of it this way: When you visit a friend, you go to their home and knock on the door, right? Well, your site has a home too—a server somewhere—that stores all of the data and opens the “front door” to welcome your site’s visitors. With a self-hosted WordPress site, I personally recommend a company called SiteGround. Full disclosure: I am a SiteGround affiliate and I receive a small commission (and YOU receive a discount) if you use this link to purchase hosting. (Which I appreciate as a full-time freelancer!) But rest assured, I would NEVER be an affiliate for a service I have not used and enjoyed. I have launched several sites hosted through them, and am very pleased with the price, the “up time,” and the customer service. Of course, there are others; I just settled on SiteGround after a lot of research and found it was best for the way I design websites.
First, choose your plan:
When you get to their site, choose the “wordpress hosting” option, then, you’ll see the different hosting levels and the price of each. If you are just starting out, the “StartUp” level will work just fine. You can always upgrade later as you grow. When you decide which plan you want, click the “get plan” button.
Choose your domain:
At this point, you will register a new domain name if you haven’t already done so. If you already have a domain name, choose that option. If you do already have one, you will need to log in to whatever service you used to buy the domain name and point it to your server, so that it can direct visitors to your site’s “home.” Go ahead and click “proceed.”
Review and Complete:
Follow the steps on the screen and check out, making sure to write down or store your user name and password. By the way, if you are using me to design or maintain your website, I will need this information in order to install WordPress and a theme.
And that’s pretty much it! Once you have reached this point, your site’s “home” is ready to be “decorated.” 🙂 I would LOVE to help you with that part! I can login to your new hosting account and install WordPress (along with the theme) and get started designing your custom website and show you how to update the basic info. Contact me here for a quote!