How to Start a WordPress Website
In Just 5 Easy Steps
Have you been putting off the decision to start a personal blog or website for your business because you feel it’ll be too complicated and time-consuming?
TRUST ME – I’VE BEEN THERE!
I’m happy to tell you that creating a website or blog isn’t a tedious task that takes up months of your time or requires you to spend thousands of dollars on professional developers and web designers anymore.
Now more than ever, whether it be a blog, business website, or eCommerce store, it’s super easy to DIY (no coding or development skills required). My easy 5-step guide will help you create your first WordPress website.
LET’S DO THIS!
Before we get started…
You may not know that there are actually two versions of WordPress, which can be confusing! Let me explain the differences:
AKA “self-hosted” WordPress, or a self-hosted website. You won’t actually go to the WordPress.org website to create your website (confusing, I know). What you’ll do is: sign up for hosting from somewhere like Siteground, grab a domain name, and then install WordPress.org onto your site through your hosting service. WordPress will always be free– you’ll only need to pay for hosting + domain name. This guide is going to teach you how to create a self-hosted website!
This is a free and very limited service. WordPress.com places a lot of limitations on users and doesn’t allow you to upload themes & plugins. The new “business account” paid plan on WordPress.com allows you to upload custom themes, however, you may find yourself running into one or more of these issues:
- unable to troubleshoot any issues or errors you may have because you can’t edit website files
- some popular plugins are not compatible or supported with WordPress.com
- you might have trouble following my support guides & tutorial videos because the platform and editor look different
These are some of the reasons why I recommend a self-hosted website instead, which is what we’ll go over in this guide.
Here are a couple of important terms you should know:
DOMAIN NAME: A domain or domain name is your unique address on the internet. It’s your website’s URL (e.g., heartenmade.com).
HOSTING: Hosting consists of all your website files, server and data and allows you to publish your website on the internet.
You can Google “website hosting” to find a website host that you like, but I personally love and recommend Siteground to everyone I know who is starting a website. Siteground’s support team is top-notch, and they have great optimization + security plugins, and a new free CDN to boost website performance.
Reasons why I use Siteground:
Although this guide will show you how to build a website with Siteground, you can use whatever hosting you’d like. Just please keep in mind that if you go with a cheap host, you WILL get what you pay for (slow server + website, website downtime, unhelpful customer service, etc). It’s important to do research on the hosting company you choose.
Step One: Choosing a Domain Name
Choosing a domain that fits you and/or your brand, and choosing one that isn’t already taken by someone else, is probably the hardest part of this process. Before getting your heart totally set on a name, you’ll want to research to 1) search to see if the domain name you want is available, and 2) see if the name or a variation of the name is available on social media.
Step Two: Purchase Domain & Hosting
The next steps are to secure your domain name and purchase hosting. I recommend buying your hosting and domain name from the same place to make things easier. If you’ve already bought your domain name somewhere else, that’s okay – we’ll cover that too!
When you go to purchase Siteground hosting, you’re first going to be asked which hosting service you’d like to select. Since we’re going to be using WordPress, I recommend the Managed WordPress Hosting package.
Differences in the Plans:
- The StartUp plan is the most basic plan. It’s perfect for someone with one small website, or blog who is just starting out!
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer. The main difference between GrowBig and StartUp is that you have more website storage, faster PHP, on-demand website backups, and can create an unlimited amount of websites.
- The GoGeek plan includes everything above, plus even more site storage, advanced priority support, and more. This is perfect for larger websites and businesses that generate more than 100k website visits a month.
After you select the plan you want, hit Get Plan, and you’ll be taken to this screen:
Choose whether you already own your domain, or register a new one. Domain prices vary.
If you selected “I already have a domain”, we’ll cover that soon.
Review & Complete:
In the Review & Complete tab, you will fill in your personal information and payment information.
Under Purchase Information, you can select your payment period. You can choose to pay month to month, but paying annually will save you a lot of $$ in the long run.
Under Extra Services, I highly recommend the Domain Privacy add-on. When you register a domain name, your personal information becomes publicly available through the “whois” services. Your name, address, and sometimes your phone number will be public. To protect your personal info, purchase the Domain Privacy!
Click Pay Now.
Now you have reserved your domain name, paid for your hosting account, and WordPress was automatically installed onto your site!
* What if I have a domain name already that I purchased from somewhere else?
If you selected “I already have a domain” and purchased a domain name from somewhere other than where you purchased hosting, you can easily transfer an existing domain to your hosting provider. For example, if you purchased a domain at GoDaddy, and then purchased hosting through SiteGround, we just need to tell GoDaddy where our hosting is. This process is called “changing nameservers”. Changing nameservers will point your domain to the servers at SiteGround.
When you selected “I already have a domain” and entered in your domain name, you should have received an email from Siteground that has your nameservers inside it. You will use these nameservers with your domain registrar (where you bought your domain name) to point that domain to your new hosting. You’ll simply copy and paste these nameservers to replace your old nameservers.
Here are the instructions for a few popular domain registrars where you might have purchased your domain name:
If you don’t see your domain registrar on this list, you can simply Google the name of your domain registrar + change nameserver”.
If you’re having trouble pointing nameservers, contact your domain registrar and they should be able to assist you. Also please keep in mind that when you update your nameservers, the process could take up to 12-48 hours to propagate. You won’t be able to work on your website until it’s completed unless your hosting provider gives you a temporary domain in the meantime.
Step Three: Login to your New WordPress Site
After you’ve purchased & completed your order, you’ll receive an email with the link to log in to your new WordPress site. It will look like this: https://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin
This link takes you to your “WordPress dashboard”! You will use the same login credentials you used when signing up above unless you chose a different username and password.
The WordPress dashboard, sometimes called “dashboard” or “WP Admin”, is essentially the control panel for your entire WordPress website. It’s where you write posts, create pages, add plugins, upload themes, and lots more. Just about everything can be done through your WordPress dashboard when you log in throughhttps://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin
Step Four: Choosing a WordPress Theme
Now for the fun part!
It’s time to learn about our Kadence Child Themes and then browse the shop to choose a theme that you love + best fits your website goals. Once you’ve purchased your theme, you’ll immediately have access to the theme files.
Step Five: Install, Customize & Launch!
The last step is to visit the Support Docs to learn how to install, set up, customize, and add content to your website. If you need any help, you can submit a support ticket. I’m happy to help you if you run into any issues, and normally respond to support tickets within 24 hours.
Once everything looks good, it’s time to launch your dream site and show it off to the world!
This page contains some affiliate links. This means that I may receive a commission if you click on the link and decide to purchase. I promise everything I write here is my own, honest opinion. I will never recommend anything I don’t trust. I am so grateful for your support!