Hello everyone, today we have a guest writer, Collin from Red Surge Technology. He’s going to tell us how to start a WordPress site.
How to Start Your Very Own WordPress Website
When starting a WordPress website or blog, there are many different aspects that you need to consider. The first thing is that if you are serious about starting a website or blog you should be using wordpress.org and not wordpress.com. WordPress.com, although it still is WordPress, will add your domain as a subdomain to wordpress.com. In other words, say you were to start a blog with the domain name “coolthings.com”, with wordpress.com your domain name would actually be “coolthings.wordpress.com”. There are many tasks that you must do in order to complete a WordPress website that may take time to figure out at first but once you get the hang of it, you will be building websites in no time.
The first thing you need to do when starting a WordPress blog or website is to buy the domain name. I would highly suggest going to GoDaddy to purchase the domain name but there are also many other sites that sell domain names.
A domain name, believe it or not, actually does affect the SEO of your website which can be very important in the long run. Back in 2012and before, it was a great idea to purchase an exact-match domain name but now Google has changed things around and it is no longer encouraged to do so. An exact-match domain name is exactly as it sounds, a domain name that matches your keyword. Say you wanted to start a website based on the keyword “best running shoes”. Before 2012, it would be great to buy the domain “bestrunningshoes.com” and rank on the first page of Google much easier. This is no longer the case.
It is now more encouraged to use your brand name as your domain name. Google does a great job of associating your brand name with the keyword. So in the long run, I would suggest getting a domain with your brand name rather than an exact-match domain.
(A side note from Dan, I use GoDaddy and highly recommend them. Their customer service is second to none!)
When starting a WordPress website (again, notwordpress.com), web hosting is essential. There are many different web hosts out there all doing essentially the same thing. I personally use HostGator for all the WordPress websites that I create.
The web host is where all of the files are stored. Once you have all the files in place, the web host then “broadcasts” those files to the domain name. Before you see any changes on the domain, you will have to make sure the web host is pointed to the correct domain. This brings me to the next step in the process of starting your own WordPress website; DNS.
DNS or Domain Name Systems are what translates the domain names into IP addresses. Without going too off topic, basically what happens is that all domains are technically IP addresses and the DNS translates those for you so you don’t have to memorize an IP address and rather can just remember the domain name.
The reason I went off on a tangent about DNS is that you have to make sure your domain name’s DNS is “pointed” towards the web host soothe host can “broadcast” the website. I know in GoDaddy, all you have to do is go to “Manage DNS” for the domain and change the DNS to the primary and secondary nameservers that your web host will have for you.
On your web hosts side, you will need to find the primary and secondary nameserver information in order to change those DNS settings in GoDaddy. You will also need to make sure you add the domain to your web host so it knows which domain it is looking for. In HostGator, there is an option on the customer portal that says “Addon Domain” which is where you will add the domain name. Once this is complete, it may take some time to update but the files in your host will be “broadcasting” to your domain name. You can check this by uploading a test HTML file to your web host for your domain and going to that domain in a browser and seeing if that web page shows up.
Upload WordPress Files to Web Host
Once you have everything working and the web host and domain are connected, you have to add the WordPress files to the site files. The files are all free and are on wordpress.org. Once you have downloaded the files fromwordpress.org, you are going to have to load the files to your web host.
My suggestion when loading your files onto your web host would be to use an FTP account. You can set up an FTP account in just about any web host and will make this process much quicker and easier. Once you create the FTP account you need something such as FileZilla in order to connect the FTP account and load the files. On FileZilla, you are asked to log in to the FTP account and can literally drag and drop the WordPress download files from your computer to your web hosts files. This may take some time because there are a lot of files in the WordPress download.
Create Database and Privileged User
While your WordPress files are transferring over to your web host, it is the perfect time to create the database and user for WordPress. This is done on the web host and on Host Gator it is under the Databases section.
There are 3 things that you need to do to get it setup and they are as follows.
- Create a Database on the web host and write down the name of the database you are using because you will need this later.
- Create a user and write down the username and also the password because you will need those later on as well.
- You then need to give that user all privileged access to the new database that you created.
At this time, if your files have finished uploading to the host from the FTP client and you have also taken all the steps for creating the database and user, you are almost all set.
Link WordPress Files to Database
The last step when starting your own WordPress website or blog is to link WordPress to the database on the host. This is done by going to “yourdomain.com/wp-admin”, where “your domain” is the name of your specific domain. Once you go to this website, WordPress will run you through an installation. This is where you will need the name of the database, user, and password. This is so WordPress can link to that database.
Once you have completed all this and created a login for your website and finished the whole installation, you are done. You can now log in to the dashboard of your own personal WordPress website. In order to log in, you need to go to “yourdomain.com/wp-admin”. This will always be the link to your login page. Once in the Dashboard of your website, there are countless things you can do with the design and content of your website. You’re now set up with your site and the rest is all up to your imagination.
About the Author: Collin Stewart started Red Surge Technology after graduating with a Bachelors in Computer Science and a minor in Information Technology from Monmouth University in Long Branch, NJ. Red Surge Technology is a web design and development company that donates 5% of all proceeds to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.
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