I would plan about an hour or so if you are going to follow along and setup your site. Feel free to skim if you’re just interested in a quick overview of the process.
We’re going to use a combination of Namecheap and Greengeeks. If you don’t want to separate your domain name from your hosting, you can skip the first step and go straight to hosting. You can purchase your domain with your host if you’d like to make the process easier. I prefer to separate them in case I want to move hosts. Either way, I wouldn’t worry much about it now. You can always transfer it later.
1 – Get a Domain
Getting Your Domain
They wont be able to Google ‘Joe’s new site’ and find you. You’ll need to get creative and come up with something like ‘joesnewsite.com’ for this to work.
Head over to Namecheap, and search for the domain name you want.
Since there are millions of websites, there’s a good chance that you won’t get the first domain you thought of – unless you use your actual name (like I do). If you don’t get the first name you want, try searching for alternatives. You can also try adding a dash to your domain, like ‘joes-newsite.com’. Or you can change it up, such as ‘newsiteforjoe.com’.
You’ll have to get creative, but if you’re drawing a blank you might want to try a domain generator like namemesh.
Take your time to find the right domain name, I’ll wait.
After you find and purchase your domain name, login to your Namecheap account. You’ll want to keep that open because we’ll have to come back and change a setting.
Great, now that your domain is sorted, let’s get your hosting account setup.
2 – Sign up for hosting
Setting up Hosting
The basic shared hosting plan is $10/month. You can get a refund within 30 days, or cancel the monthly plan if you want. Don’t believe the discounted rate ($3), that’s only if you sign up for 3 years at a time. It’s a good deal if you are sure you’re going to keep your site for a long time.
Head on over and click ‘Get Started Now’- Greengeeks
They are going to ask you to either create a new domain name, or add one of your own. If you already bought your domain at Namecheap, go ahead and add it here. If you haven’t purchased it yet you can create your domain now. This is only to identify your account at this point.
Fill out the rest of the form, and complete your payment. You’re good to go with hosting!
If you purchased your domain at Namecheap, we’ll have to do a couple of things to make sure your domain and host talk to each other, so let’s take care of that now.
What we’re going to do is update our DNS (Domain Name Server) setting to make sure the domain points to your host.
You’ll have to login to your Greengeeks hosting account to take care of this. So once you’re logged in, find and click the ‘manage’ button. See the screenshot below:
From there you’ll want to find and take a note of your nameserver. See below:
Copy that info and open a text file (or just keep the greengeeks tab open).
Go back to your Namecheap account. We’ll need to paste that info there.
In your Namecheap account – find your domain, and click ‘manage’. You’ll see a few different settings, which you can ignore. You’re looking for the ‘nameservers’ section. In that section, you’ll paste your nameserver info. You’ll need to paste one on each line. Like so:
At this point your domain should recognize the host. However, if for some reason you run into issues, try reaching out to Greengeeks support. You can also try searching for your issue (just google “setup domain name on Greengeeks”). Checkout a few articles (like this one) and with a bit of patience you will be able solve the issue.
Once you’re all set with your hosting and domain, let’s move on to setting up WordPress. You’re almost there!
3 – Install WordPress
So how do you install it? You find the installer and click the button. I’ll show you where to find it below.
First you have to open cPanel from your hosting account. Click ‘Launch cPanel’ here:
Now that you have cPanel open, locate the WordPress install script. You can search for it, or scroll down to find the button.
The button will take you to the install start page. Once you click ‘install’ you will see another page of options. Take your time going through this page. Double check your info, make a note of it somewhere and keep it secure.
The most important items on this page are your domain and admin account info
Once you’ve entered the info, and you’re sure it’s correct, press the install button. That’s it! You have WordPress now and are almost ready to start adding content.
The last thing we need to do is install a theme to make your site look more professional. So when you’re ready, let’s move on to the last step.
4 – Add a Theme
Cost: Free (paid themes approx. $60)
Adding a Theme
You can use a free theme if you want to get started with no investment. If you want a professional result you can purchase a theme. I personally use the Divi them and would recommend it. Divi provides pre-made website layouts that will simplify creating your website.
To get started with Divi, click the image below. I’ll write up another article about using Divi. If you want to use a free theme for now, feel free to skip ahead.
I’ll show you quickly how to install a free theme, then we’ll come back to your paid options another time. First thing you’ll need to do is login to your WordPress site.
Use the admin user info that you entered during the install process. You’ll have to go to your login url – it’s whatever your domain is followed by ‘/wp-admin/’. ie. https://example.com/wp-admin/
You should see a form that looks like this:
Enter your info; then login. You should see your WordPress dashboard. This is where you manage everything on your new website.
Now that you’re here you’ll be able to install a theme. On the left side, you’ll see a menu item named ‘Appearance’, hover over that and click ‘Themes’. On that page, you’ll need to click ‘Add New’.
From there, you’ll be able to search for free themes. You can also upload your own themes if you’ve purchased one. Go ahead and search for the ‘Albar’ theme.
Awesome, now you’ve got a theme, and can start making changes. The first thing you’ll probably want to do is change the address and contact information. You do that in the ‘ALBAR Settings’ – it’s in the ‘Appearance’ menu on the left. See below:
After you make the changes, be sure to scroll down and click ‘Save Changes’.
To see your new site, click the ‘visit site’ button on the top left of the dashboard menu.
That’s it for now. You’re off to a great start with your new website. We’ll follow up with more advanced topics later.
I hope you learned something in the process, and appreciate your commitment to getting it done!