WordPress blog setup series: Buying domain name & hosting.
This is a complete guide to setting up a WordPress based blog for beginners. Since we know how daunting this task can be for anyone new to blogging or WordPress we have broken down the process into a number of easy posts. Each post is a self contain stage so you can have a break between each stage if needed.
What you will need to start a blog.
The only things you need at this point is a domain name which can be purchased from any domain register like Godaddy or Name Cheap and a web hosting account from a hosting provider like Hostgator or Bluehost. We will go through the process of registering a domain and setting up a hosting account below.
On a related note before we get started we recommend you register your domain name with a different company from the one you choose for hosting. Often hosting providers also act as domain registers and vice versa. Keeping your domain register and hosting account separate makes life easier should you ever have to move to a different hosting provider at any point in the future.
Table of Content
Domains & Hosting
Buying a domain
Pointing your domain name to your hosting account
Installing WordPress & Configuring Settings
Configuring blog settings
Posts & pages
- Adding Google analytics to wordpress
- Other analytic solutions for wordpress
Step: 1 Buying A Domain Name.
If you already own a domain name then you can skip this step.
First some general tips when choosing a domain name:
Choose a domain name that is as short and simple as possible. Ideally it will be short and snappy enough to be memorable to your future visitors.
If possible use readable words or names. Something easy to pronounce and remember.
Try to avoid really long domains with many words or hyphens. While it may be tempting to register a highly descriptive domain name it tends to take away from the creditability and authority of the website in the eyes of passing visitors.
Avoid registering names already used or trademarked by other companies. This can cause confusion for web users and at worst can lead to legal ramifications especially if you intend to compete with the similar named website in the same market.
Try to register a higher level suffix like a .com, .net, or .org. Other suffixes such as .info or .biz do not carry the same level of trust and credibility with visitors.
Once you have found the domain you want to register, do so straight away. Third party companies often monitor the search queries of domain registers and may grab your domain before you do. Leaving it a few days may mean having to choose another domain name or having to buy it at a much higher price from the third party who registered it.
Now It’s time to buy the domain:
First, go to a domain register and type in the domain name you’re looking for.
If your chosen domain name is available then you should see a screen like the one below.
If the domain you choose is not available you will see a message like the one below and will have to choose another domain name or another extension. The best extension to have is .com but .net is also fine. Once you have chosen a domain click add to cart and then go to the checkout. (Try to ignore all the tedious add-ons and up sells you don’t really need them)
Before checking out make sure to choose how long you wish to register the domain for. If you’re not sure how long your new blog will be around then choose the minimum registration of 1 year.
Fill out your billing information and then place the order.
Now log into your domain register account with the your details and make sure your domain is ‘locked’ for now. You should see a padlock icon or a link for this in your domain setting panel. Locking is needed to secure your domain from being moved or taken over.
Now log out of your domain register account and make sure to keep your login and password safe. You will need to login again later in step three.
Step 2: Choosing A Hosting Account
If you already have a hosting account you can skip this step.
First you will need to choose a hosting company. Blogington uses and recommends Hostgator, but for a full selection check out our WordPress hosting providers pages.
The first step is to choose a hosting plan. For beginners we recommend a shared hosting account like the Hostgator baby plan starting at $6 a month. You can also host as many domains and blogs as you want with this account. If your new blog grows into a large site you can always upgrade later to a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server or a scalable cloud hosting solution if you’re a really fast grower.
Next input the domain name you just purchased from your domain register.
Next choose your billing cycle. You can pay for your hosting monthly or in larger chunks like 6 months, 12 month or 24 months.
Now just add your billing information and submit order/create account.
You should have all the details for your new hosting account sent to you via email. Make sure to save your emails and make a note of your login info.
Now all you need to do is point your domain to your new hosting account. We show you how in step 3.
Step 3: Pointing Your Domain Name To Your Hosting Account
If you have already done this you can skip this step.
In order for your website to be found on the internet, you must link your domain name to your web hosting name servers. This is always true if your domain is registered with a different company than your hosting account. (Which we recommend)
Pointing your domain to your hosting account is easy so we’re going to outline a short easy to follow process below on how to do just that.
First, you need to find your web hosts name servers.
This information will often be sent in your welcome email when you sign up for a web host. If it isn’t, or you’ve already deleted the email, don’t worry you can still find them in your hosting account cpanel. If not, then ask your web host and they should be able to help you locate that information.
Your name servers in your new hosting account should look something like this:
Your web host will probably give you two or more name servers so make sure to copy them all down or save the email containing them.
Next, enter the hosting name servers in your domain registers settings for your specific domain. To complete this step, log into your domain register account and find the domain you want to point to your hosting account. Go into domain details or settings and find the settings to change domain name servers: It should look something like this:
Clicking on set nameservers should take you to a page like the one below where you can copy & paste or type in your web hosting name servers. Note: You will have to ‘unlock’ your domain first using the domain ‘locking settings’ before you can change the nameservers. You will also have to lock the domain again afterwards.
Once you’ve set your name servers, you’re all done. That’s all there is to it. Now all you have to do is wait for your domain to ‘propagate’ to it’s new home in your hosting account. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. Then you should be able to access your domain from the internet and you can start the process of building a blog.