So you’ve either decided that someone else out there may be interested in what you have to say and it’s time to start blogging, or maybe you’ve came up with the next billion dollar idea and you need to build the brand. Maybe it’s somewhere in between.
Either way, it doesn’t matter, I got you.
Let me teach you quickly how to go from nothing, to having a website up and running within about 20 minutes. It’s super simple. Let’s get going.
Grab Your Domain Name
The first thing you’ve gotta do is grab your domain name. Domain names are also called website addresses or URL’s. For example our domain name is www.getsitego.com. This is a huge deal so spend a lot of time on figuring out the best domain name that fits whatever you’re doing. Don’t stress too much though, you can always get a new domain and if you’ve already got a website set up, it’s easy to switch over.
The best route is just going over to GoDaddy and start searching away. If you’re looking for something general, or a shorter domain, you might get a bit frustrated. There’s been a lot of companies who have purchased many domains in attempts to resell them to people like us. It’s alright though, get creative! Once you have a domain name purchased, remember your login info, we’ll come back here later.
Set Up a Hosting Account
A hosting account is where your website will be stored. You need somewhere to house all of your website’s info, images, videos and so on. I’ve been using HostGator for about 10 years now and I’m a huge fan. I recommend going with them and it’ll make this tutorial a lot easier. It’ll also make life easier after this. They have great support, and you can use a live online chat with them. They’ll usually fix anything themselves too. You’ll see when we install WordPress, they have a “1-click” option that we will use.
Check out How To Choose a HostGator Plan, then come back.
Pro Tip: Never host your sites through WordPress.com. They offer a free version, but then your domain name will have "wordpress" in it. For example: getsitego.wordpress.com and that never looks great. Then they also offer a paid version, but you're left with a website that cannot be customized as much as hosting it yourself, and they're still charging you month after month. Check out more about this at WordPress.com vs WordPress.org and Why You Should Self Hosting WordPress
Point Your Domain To Your New Hosting Account
Ok, we’re off to a great start! We have our domain name and our hosting account. We’re also done spending money so put your credit card away! This next part is very simple and you can easily do it yourself, just follow carefully.
If you’re not already, log into your GoDaddy account, click your name in the upper right corner, then click on “Manage My Domains”. You can see what the dropdown shoud look like and where to click below.
Once your there, you’ll see a list of your domains. In your case it’s most likely just that one domain you recently purchased. One time I ran into a situation where one of my domains wasn’t showing up in the list for up to about 30 minutes after purchasing, but it’s usually there immediately. If not just give it a few mins.
Find your domain and click on it.
This is where you can manage your domain. Go ahead and scroll to the bottom where “Additional Settings” are and you should see a link in that section labeled “Manage DNS”, click that.
Now that you’re managing your DNS, you’ll see a section called “Nameservers”. Change the Nameserver Type to “Custom”, then to get the two nameservers, you’ll need to head over to your HostGator account.
More specifically, you’ll want to go into your “cPanel”. This is your hosting control panel. To get there, simply check the email that HostGator sent you; they’ve provided a link and your login information.
Pro Tip: After you set this all up, it's super easy to get back to your cPanel. With HostGator you simply go to your domain and append /cpanel at the end. For example, my cPanel is at www.getsitego.com/cpanel. HostGator already sets this up for you.
There’s a lot there, but don’t worry, you only need to become familiar with a few items in your cPanel to become an expert. Right now we actually don’t need to click any further, the information we need is on this main cPanel landing page.
Once you have your two nameserver’s, just head on back over to GoDaddy and enter them in the two boxes. I’ve included a picture below of what it should look like after you’ve entered your name servers. Then click Save.
After that you’re all set pointing your domain over to your hosting account. You can pretty much never touch GoDaddy ever again, unless you’re renewing your domain.
If you thought any of that was difficult, that’s fine, that’s as technical as it gets. The rest is downhill from here. HostGator makes it super simple to install WordPress on your site! Let’s go!
Alright, go back to your cPanel. Right at the top there is a shortcut to “WordPress – 1 Click Installation”. If you don’t see it there just type in WordPress in the search box and you’ll see it.
Once you click that, you’ll see the next screen where you just select your domain. Don’t add anything in the “directory” box. Click Next
Now you’ll just enter in all your info:
- Blog Title: This is what your site will be called. Mine would be “Get Site Go”.
- Admin User: This is for your user name you want to log in with, I went with “Zack”.
- Admin Email: Self explanatory. Keep in mind this is where all your WordPress related emails we be sent.
You’ve just installed WordPress on your own hosting account! Good job!
Don’t worry I wont leave you there. Next, you’ll see the following screen:
You now can simply just click that link they give you. This is the login to your WordPress admin panel. They also provide you with a password that they have generated. All you’ve gotta do is just use that info and log in!
Pro Tip: If you get any errors when clicking on that link, don't worry! You're fine! Pointing the nameservers is something that can take anywhere from a 2 seconds to 2 days! I know it stinks. It usually doesn't take that long, but go ahead and grab something to eat and come back. You should be set.
You’re a pro now! You just did what some developers charge over 100 dollars for! Easy money, right?
So what’s next though? Next Steps After Installing WordPress, Pro Tips, and Installing Your First Theme