So, you want to start a website / blog but don’t know what to do or how to do it? We’re here to help you get going! We will take you through the process of buying your first domain name, getting setup with your web hosting account and installing and configuring WordPress.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to do the following:
- Pick a Domain Name
- Get setup with our super fast, super reliable web hosting service
- Why you should choose WordPress to build your website or blog
- Install WordPress
- Configure the platform
- Getting a theme installed
- Making your first page
- Setting a Featured Image
- Assigning a homepage
1. Pick a Domain Name
When picking a domain name, there’s a few things that you want to take into account:
- How easy is it to search for – make sure it’s easy to spell or pronounce.
- How easy is it for my visitors to remember – you want to make their experience with you memorable.
A lot of this comes down to your branding, if you have a super cool, extravagant name then you obviously want a domain name to reflect that. However, for the likes of our company ‘BuySharedHosting’ it’s primarily branded on the basis of someone typing these keywords into a search engine and finding us.
Make sure when you buy a domain name, you also cover some of the other extensions, so not just .co.uk but also .com, .net etc. This helps you future-proof your website from your competition and maybe even phishing scammers.
Note: Scammers tend to jump on the back of legitimate websites in order to appear authentic to their victims. By owning multiple versions of your domain name you eliminate the possibility of them targeting your company or website.
To purchase a domain name Click Here type your desired domain name and we’ll let you know if it’s available.
If your domain isn’t available to purchase, try another alternative. For example, instead of suesbarbers.co.uk, try putting your area in it instead. So try suesbarberslondon.co.uk etc. It may take a few tries, but you will get one that’s right for you!
Once you’ve got the domain you want, add it to your basket, checkout and continue to the next step below.
2. Get your Hosting
In order for a website to run, you need something called Web Hosting. This is essentially a little piece of the internet belonging to you and your website. We’ve bought the space and we rent it to you.
Web Hosting is like the petrol to your car, without it, it won’t run.
We have three packages on our website, if you’re just starting out you will need the £4.99 a month package. If you’re wanting your website to sell products online or host a lot of content, you are probably going to need either the £9.99 package or the £12.99 package. Our last two packages also give you a free domain name too! Contact our sales department for more information if you are not sure.
So, for a small website like a blog or information website, click here and checkout with your web hosting package.
If you’ve followed the steps on our website to get setup with the hosting, you should now have web hosting purchased and a domain name attached to the web hosting.
We can now go ahead and start to login and build our website.
3. Choosing a Platform
For the purpose of this tutorial, we are going to be using the blogging software called WordPress. WordPress is one of the biggest platforms used by websites due to it’s massive community support online, how friendly it is for search engines and how easy it is to use.
To get setup, login to our website and go to your client area. Click ‘Services’ via the tab at the top of the page, on the drop-down menu click ‘My Services’ and this will take you to another page. You should now see a panel that looks like the image below. You want to click the service.
On the new page, you want to click the ‘Log in to Control Panel’ button which is under the domain name.
Once you’ve clicked the button it will take you to your main control panel where you can control all the settings of your website and hosting package such as email addresses and databases.
Now, to install WordPress, we actually have an automatic installer for you, scroll down to the bottom of your control panel and you will see a section that says ‘One-Click Installs‘. This is a section with over 70+ pieces of website software which you can install completely free!
Find the WordPress installer and click it.
4. Installing WordPress
Once you’ve clicked the WordPress logo, it will take you to a new page that looks like the image below. This is where our system will automatically install WordPress in your selected directory (if you have a specific directory).
Don’t let this page confuse you, all that it’s asking you is if you want the website to be installed in the main directory (which is otherwise known as ‘root‘) or another directory. For everyone making a brand new website, you will just want to leave the ‘Directory’ box empty.
Go ahead and click ‘Install WordPress‘. This may take a few seconds.
Once it’s completed, you should be greeted with this screen which shows you your website domain & the offline test domain if you haven’t hooked a domain up yet.
5. Configure WordPress
Click on one of the links, if it’s configured properly you will see the WordPress Installation Screen where it will ask for your website title, username, password and email address. The site title is the name of your website, this will be seen by your readers when they search for your website via Google or if they save the website in to their favorites. The username and password is for your account as an administrator – make sure you keep remember these details.
As you can see from the above, we have kept it simple. You can change the password to one of your choice however we do recommend that you use the automatically generated one for security purposes.
The ‘Discourage Search Engines’ checkbox is to stop Search Engines like Google, Bing etc from listing your website. You’ll probably want to click it to prevent them from listing an in-development website. Just don’t forget to un-tick it when you go live!
Once you’ve entered your details and clicked install. You’ll then be asked to login using the details you’ve just provided. These details are for your WordPress admin back-office. Enter your details and once inside in the back-office you will have a few options.
The first thing you will most likely want to do is view the website as a reader, to do that click your site name in the top-left hand corner of the website. So for example, ours says ‘BuySharedHosting’.
You will have a default WordPress theme on the main page. You will need to change this to a more customisable theme of your choice.
6. Getting a theme installed
Now that you’ve got WordPress setup you want to apply a bit of style to it and get it looking nice for your customers. This means you will need a theme. A theme is a term WordPress use for website templates that you can build or what people have already built. If you go to your Dashboard, go to “Appearance” on the sidebar and select “Themes”.
Click the “Add New” button at the top of the page and this will come up with a list of themes which have already been built and you can use. Hover over a theme if you like the look of one and you will see a “Preview” button, this will show you what the website will look like for you.
If you like the look of the theme, you can select “Install” in the sidebar and that theme will be installed on your website. Once installed, you can then click “Activate” and that theme you’ve chosen will be displayed to your readers on the website.
7. Making your first page
To make your first page, you will want to go to the dashboard, click the “Pages” link on the left hand side. This will give you a list of the pages currently on your website. Sample Page should be the first and only page there at the moment. This page isn’t really needed, you can keep it if you want but I recommend just deleting it to keep your site clean.
You want to click “Add New” at the top of the page, this will take you to a page which looks like the image below:
Enter the title of the page, in this scenario I’ll be calling it “Home”. Once you’ve added the title, you can go to the content and add some text. You can see on the page that there is a visual editor there for you. You can add images to your content by pressing “Add Media” which will prompt you to upload images or select from your media library.
Once you’ve added some content to your page you can either save the page as a draft, or publish the page. I’ll just go ahead and publish the page. If you wanted to you could publish the page at a certain date which really helps with scheduling when your site gets bigger.
8. Setting a featured image
You may also want to add a featured image to this particular page. To do this, look to the column on the right hand side of the page and under “Page Attributes” you can see the featured image selection.
If you don’t have the featured image, you’ll need to enable it via the Featured Image section at the top of the website.
Click update on the page.
9. Assigning a homepage
Now, when customers land on your website you will want them to land straight on the homepage (in most cases). To do this, we need to edit the screen options of the website.
Go go settings on your sidebar via the dashboard and go to “Reading”. You will notice that it is probably set to Latest Posts by default. Go ahead and click “A Static Page”. Make sure the page you want as the homepage has been published. Select your page from the first drop down option.
For the blog, you will just need to replicate the process of creating a page but call it Blog and then assign the blog in this section too.
Click update and you then have a homepage!
Congratulations! You now have a fully-installed and ready WordPress website for you to customize and develop for your business!