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When it comes to how to start a blog or website, nothing can really beat the ease-of-use of WordPress. There are many reasons why this blogging platform has become so popular in recent years.
One of those reasons is because it is so simple and easy for even a novice to install. Previously, many people felt like they had to hire an expensive website programmer in order to have a nice-looking blog online. In fact, many folks gave up after trying to figure out all of the technical jargon such as HTML and CSS.
Prepare Installing WordPress
Before you install WordPress on your site, you do want to make sure that you have purchased a domain name and input the proper name server information into your domain account.
This tells the domain registrar where to forward people when they want to come to your website. Otherwise, the domain will point to a parked web page hosted by your domain registrar. Obviously, this is not what you want to have happen.
Not only is WordPress easy to use, it is also free and easy to install. But you will need to purchase web hosting and a domain name in order to make this site your own. In other words, you’re not going to be using the free (but very limited) WordPress.com hosting service.
Instead, you will be using the free WordPress blogging platform and your own web hosting account (just like we do!).
As mentioned previously, we recommend HostGator (read our review here) for your hosting account because of their great reputation and really low-cost (plus no long-term commitment like most others – you can start month-to-month). Plus that’s who we started with so we can personally vouch for them.
Installing WordPress on HostGator
Another reason why we recommend HostGator is because they have a particular software called Fantastico located within their control panels – which makes it super easy to install WordPress for your site. When you sign up for hosting, you will get access to your own control panel which is commonly called your CPANEL.
When you login to your cPanel for the first time, you might be overwhelmed at all of the options available. Rest assured that you will probably never use most of the options that you see on the page. For now, the main thing that we are interested in making use of is Fantastico.
Once you login to your cPanel, you will want to scroll all the way down the page and look for the heading “software/services”. This is where you will find the Fantastico software.
Click on that button and it will take you to the first screen that will allow you to set up your WordPress blog. Next, click on WordPress in the left sidebar.
Now click “New Installation.”
At this point, you will be required to enter some very important information. The first thing you will need to decide is where you are installing WordPress. There is a drop-down menu that says “install on domain” beside it. Use this drop-down menu to choose where you are installing this instance.
If you have any questions about that, contact your hosting company to get clarification. It will also ask you which directory you want to install WordPress. Most of the time, you’re going to leave that blank.
The next blank is for your admin access data. First, you need to choose a username that you can easily remember which will help you to log into your dashboard.
Make sure that you choose a username that other people can’t guess. Also, if you’re going to build multiple WordPress sites, make sure that you don’t use the exact username for each site as it can make your blog much more prone to being hacked.
Next, you’ll need to choose a password. Again, it’s important to choose a password that no one else can guess. Many people use passwords that have letters and numbers to make it a lot harder for anyone to hack into your account.
The next blank starts your base configuration section. Where it asks for an “admin nickname”, this is the name that you want to show up on your site when you make a post.
For instance, if you make a post then this name is what will show up as the author of that post. Many people choose “admin”, but if you’re trying to have a more personalized site then you might want to use your first name or even a nickname.
The next blank asks for your admin e-mail. Normally, you will set up your e-mails in the CPANEL. You can see the option to add e-mail accounts at the top of your CPANEL screen. You can also forward these e-mail accounts so that you get them in one central location if you wish.
This particular e-mail box is specifically for your administrator. This is the e-mail that you would want people to contact if they have a question or problem with your website. It’s very important to have contact information on your site, so make sure that this e-mail is actually working.
The next blank is site name. This is very self-explanatory as you will want to put the name of your site or even be URL address. This is not a necessary blank so you don’t have to fill it out if you don’t wish to.
Keep in mind that sometimes certain themes will show this name in the header. Therefore, if you don’t want these words to show up in the header of your website then you may not want to put any information here. The same can be said for the description which typically shows up as the tagline in the header of your website.
Once you have all of the information filled out, click on “install WordPress”.
The next page will ask you to confirm your installation, email your installation info, and then you are finished! Now, all that is left is for you to login to your brand-new WordPress website. This can be done by putting in your URL followed by /wp-admin/. For example, “your_website.com/wp-admin/”
You will then need to login with the username and password that you choose. As you can see, installing WordPress on your website using HostGator is extremely simple and easy to do.