How to Setup a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog

Video Transcription

Hey there, this is Brad from Firstsiteguide.com. And in this video, I’ll be walking you through the process of launching your own blog. I’ll be covering the costs, what you’ll need to get online, and I’ll go through the easy set-up process with you step by step on my screen. This process doesn’t require any technical skills and it’ll take just a few minutes. To get your blog online, we’re going to use WordPress, which is one of the most popular and simple to use blogging platforms that are available today. It’s recommended by 99% of the top bloggers and many popular sites on the web. And with the help of this video, we guarantee that you’ll be able to start your blog in minutes or we’ll help you do it for free. You can contact us with the contact form on our website or you can reach out to our social channels. We’d be happy to help you out. All right, let’s get started…

So first things first, let’s talk about the costs of starting your own blog. You’re going to need three primary things. A domain name, which costs about $12 a year; a good hosting provider, which is also called a web hosting plan and that could cost between $4 and $20 a month depending on the company that you choose; and a blogging system to easily maintain your new blog, which is free if you stick with WordPress which is our recommended choice.

Okay, let’s talk about choosing a domain name. The domain name, which is also called the URL, is the name of your website that visitors will enter in to gain access to your new blog. For example, www.yournewblog.com. Choosing a domain name is really simple but it’s an important step and there are a few things that you should keep in mind when making your decision. First and foremost, keeping it simple and memorable is the best way to go. Three to four words…that tends to work the best. Choosing the .com before anything else is also a great idea, and if you can try to make it brandable to your specific subject or topic. It’s also a good idea to not use any numbers or hyphens in your domain name because that can confuse visitors when they’re typing it in. And also do your best to avoid any copyright or trademarked names or terms. It isn’t a good idea to include a company name or a product name in your domain. If it’s going to be a personal blog, your first and last name or a pen name would work great in this case. Or if you’re starting a blog for a specific subject, like food, travel, or fashion, it would be a good idea to include a keyword or two that fits for that unique topic. So take a moment now and decide what works best for your new blog. All right, let’s go on to the next step…

Next, we’ll need to choose a web hosting company to get our new blog online. A web hosting company provides us with a space on a server to store our blog files. It’s kinda like your personal computer files at home, except your blog files are always available online. So your visitors will be able to access your blog at all times by entering your domain name or finding your blog in a search engine. You have a number of choices when it comes to picking a web host provider. We’ve tested a number of different companies over the years, and for the past few years, we’ve been using Webhostinghub.com. It’s a reliable and affordable U.S. based company with great services and support that’s available 24-7. We’ve negotiated a special price for Firstsiteguide visitors on your first web hosting account. And to claim this deal, you can use the link provided on our website or type www.firstsiteguide.com/hub into your browser. It’ll pull up this special page with the discount already applied. And on this page, you’ll see three different plans: The Spark Plan, The Nitro, and the Dynamo. You can pick any plan but both Spark and Nitro are a great choice for your new blog. The Dynamo package is a good option if your blog grows over time and you need the extra resources. For demonstration purposes, I’ll be going with the Spark hosting plan.

So let’s go ahead and go through the process of getting your own blog online with the unique one-click setup option that I’ll walk you through now. By the way, if you choose to go with a different hosting provider, the blog setup process might be slightly different but the main steps should all be the same. Okay, so let’s go ahead and click on “Get started” underneath the Spark section and it’ll take you to the secure order process page. You’ll see two sections here, one on the left that says “I want to register a new domain for my first year of hosting” and the “I already have a domain name to use” section on the right. If you’re registering a new domain name, you’ll use the new registration section on the left. And otherwise, if you have a domain name already, you’ll use the section on the right. Since I’m registering a new domain name, I’ll go ahead and use the section on the left and type in the domain name that I’ve decided to register. I’m going to put in Brad’s First Blog and then I’m going to make sure that the dot com is selected. And then I’m going to click the “Search domain” button down below. Okay great, bradsfirstblog.com is available. We’ll be registering this name with Web Hosting Hub. So keep the checkbox checked here.

And you’ll see this second checkbox is checked. I’d like to take a moment to explain what Whois privacy means. When you register your domain name, there’s a public directory online called whois where anyone can check who owns a domain name. Whois privacy protects your information from being publically available online. So if that’s important to you, you can go ahead and leave this checkbox checked. I don’t mind having my info available for this domain, so I’m going to go ahead and uncheck it. Then scroll down a bit and click on the “Continue” button.

Next, we’ll be filling in our account information, starting with your first name, last name, your street address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email. Take a moment to make sure that this information is correct and then scroll down to the package options section down below that. Here’s something that you’ll want to take a look at. Just like on your home computer it’s important to make backups of your new blog to keep your important files safe. You can keep this selected or you can select “No thanks” if you’re not going to need it. I’m going to add this option to make sure I have a backup copy of my new blog. Web Hosting Hub also offers extra email virus protection and scanning if you’ll be sending and receiving emails with your new blog. I don’t plan to send that many at this time, so I’m going to leave it as “No thanks” and continue on down.

Under the “Payment details” section, make sure you’ve selected your desired hosting plan. Select your payment type. Enter your card number, the card’s expiration date, and the security code from the back. So for the hosting services with the domain name and the backups for the year, you’re looking at roughly $70. You can read through the terms of service and then check the “I agree” box down here. Then, all you have to do is click the “Purchase” button and wait for the page to load. So we’ve now successfully purchased the domain name and the web hosting. The next step is something I found unique and useful, especially if you’re getting it done for the first time. Web Hosting Hub takes you through something they call the on-boarding process. It’s simple, you can either wait for the account support to give you a call or you can call the toll free number yourself. They’ll ask for a few details, find out if you need any help to get started, and then activate your account right away. I’ll go ahead and take care of that now in just a second.

Now that our account is activated, we will have received an email in our inbox with information on our domain name, any additional help that you’ve requested, and how to access AMP, the account management panel. Scroll down just slightly and find “Get started” in your account management panel. Down below that is the “To get started set your password here” button which is where you’ll click. And since this is our first time, we’ll be setting a password. So go ahead and do that now, and then click “Submit”.

All right, great. And then click the “Login” link right here. And then go ahead and log in with the email address that you signed up with and the password that we just set. And then click “Login”. All right, nice. Now we’re inside the account management panel. Here you will find a few different sections, including the account notification section, additional services, your billing information, and more. You can check out all these different sections later. Right now, we’ll go ahead and scroll down just slightly and look towards the middle of the page for the “Install popular software” icon. Click there and this page will pop up. We’re going to be installing WordPress, so click on the “Install WordPress” link right here.

All right, now here’s the installation settings page for your new blog. For the “Choose protocol” section, you’ll see four options: HTTP, HTTP with the WWW, HTTPS, and HTTPS with the WWW. The first two options are basically the same. The only difference being personal preference of whether you want your domain name to appear with the www or without it. The HTTPS and the HTTPS with the WWW is only for if your site has something called SSL, which stands for special secured protocol. Ninety-nine percent of the time you won’t use it for you blog. So I’ll go ahead and select the protocol – the “HTTP protocol” that includes the WWW. For choose domain, I’m going to make sure that my domain is already selected. You can leave “In directory” and “Database name” the same as well as “Table prefix”.

Go ahead and give your new blog a quick site name. I’m going to enter Brad’s New Blog and then add a description for your blog. I’ll use My first blog where I talk about my life. There’s no need to make this perfect right now since you can change it later at any time. Next, include an admin username that you’ll easily remember and a strong password. All right, go ahead and enter your email address and then go ahead and make sure to enter it again down here so the WordPress installation sends you your username and password directly. And then click the gray “Install” button right here and WordPress will begin to install. It usually takes just a few seconds but it may take as long as a few minutes to finish installing.

So there you go. With just a few clicks your new blog has been installed and is ready to rock. Also, your username and password have been sent to your email. If you click on your domain name here, you’ll see a default theme has been installed. Your new blog is live and you’re ready to start blogging. This is done from inside the WordPress dashboard area. To login to this area add “Wp-admin” onto your domain name and the “Login” section will pop up. Enter the username and password that you just set during the installation process and click “Login”. This is called the WordPress dashboard. This section is for managing your blog. There’s a lot to get familiar with in here but I’ll run you through the basics in the next videos. All right, we’re done walking through your blog’s setup process.

Again, my name’s Brad, and it’s been a pleasure taking you through this setup process. If you have any questions or need some help, feel free to reach out to us via our website, Firstsiteguide.com, or on our YouTube channel. We’d be happy to help get you set on the right path. Until we meet again, so long and enjoy your new blog.

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