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When talking about choosing a blogging platform, I recommend Self Hosted WordPress as the way to go. Because of its flexibility and power, a self hosted WordPress blog help you achieve your blogging goals and can give you room for growth and change with a relatively small investment.
Recently I've talked a lot about how to choose a blogging platform (things like what a blogging platform is, what you need to think about before choosing a blogging platform, the ins and outs of Tumblr and Blogger, and WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).
This post is a quick start guide of how to get your Self Hosted WordPress blog up and running in a matter of minutes.
I'll walk you through the technical details step by step so you can follow along, get set up, and move on with more fun blogging endeavors.
While there are multiple ways to get your WordPress blog up and running, these are the steps that I use whenever I set up a blog for a client. I choose to use services like GoDaddy and HostGator because of their unparalleled customer service and helpful documentation.
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Follow along with my video below or with the step by step guide below. The tutorial below may look long but as evidenced by my 10 minute walkthrough video, getting set up with your own self hosted WordPress blog won't take long at all.
Register for a domain with GoDaddy
I choose to register for domains with GoDaddy because of their great customer service and simply because they're an industry standard.
- Search for your desired domain name.
- If it's available, add it to your cart.
- I recommend signing up for Privacy Protection so your name, address and phone number will be protected.
- Enter your billing information and sign up.
Sign Up for Web Hosting with HostGator
I use HostGator for all of my WordPress blogs and have been using them since 2010. I highly recommend HostGator to anyone signing up for web hosting for WordPress. **Update - I personally am using Blogger now to save money, but still build all client sites on WordPress**
- Go to HostGator.
- Click on the “View Web Hosting Plans” button.
- Choose your plan. I recommend Hatchling if you're only going to have one domain name, and Baby if you plan on having multiple websites.
- In the Order Wizard, choose “I already own this domain” since you registered for a domain with GoDaddy.
- Enter in your domain name.
- Choose your hosting package information and Billing Cycle.
- Enter your preferred username and password.
- Enter your billing information and credit card or Paypal info.
- Uncheck the Hosting Addons if you choose.
- Check Accept terms and conditions and then click Create Account.
Within a few minutes you'll get your welcome email from HostGator. This email contains a lot of important information, like your logins and passwords for HostGator billing and HostGator Control Panel (aka CPanel). This email also contains your Nameservers, which is pertinent for the next step.
Point Your Domain to HostGator by Changing Settings in GoDaddy
Now you just need to make a small change to your domain in GoDaddy so that your domain name points to your HostGator web hosting plan.
- Log into GoDaddy.
- Click on Visit Your Account and navigate to your domains. Next to the domain you wish to edit, click Launch.
- Under the Settings tab, find Nameservers. Click on Manage.
- Click on Custom nameservers, then click Enter Custom Nameservers.
- Paste in the two nameservers from the HostGator welcome email in each row. They look like this: nsXXXX.hostgator.com
- Click OK.
This is the last step! You'll need to go back to your HostGator welcome email and click on the Control Panel link. Log in with the username and password provided in the HostGator welcome email.
Once you're logged into HostGator's Control Panel:
- Locate and open QuickInstall (under Software/Services or by using the Find search bar.
- In QuickInstall, click WordPress under Blog Software.
- Click Continue.
- Choose where you want your WordPress installation to occur. If you want it at the top level of your domain, leave the first field blank. If you want it under “blog”, enter blog after the domain.
- Enter your admin email, blog title, admin username (choose something other than “admin” for security purposes), and your first and last name.
- Click Install Now.
WordPress will install instantly. When it's finished, the QuickInstall page will refresh and you'll get your WordPress login URL (something like http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin) as well as your login username and password.
From here, I recommend that you bookmark your wp-admin login page, log into WordPress and immediately change your password under Users as shown in the video above.
That's it! You've now installed your self hosted WordPress blog. Now get blogging!
I hope this tutorial was helpful - as always, please leave questions in the comments.
Cover photo by Olu Eletu