Installing your own professionally hosted blog has many benefits over using a free blogging service and is really not as hard as it sounds to do.
Here are a few fairly simple steps you need to take and you’ll be blogging before you know it!
- Before you do anything else, you have to start by registering a domain name.
- You’ll have to seek out one for yourself, but GoDaddy.com is pretty good and quite good value. There is a search bar where you can find out what domains are available. Once you find a domain name you like that is available, you just click on the “Buy” button and they take you through a few panels. Be on your guard as they’ll try to sell you other stuff, so try to avoid the hype. When you make it to the checkout and have gone through PayPal, the domain is yours.
- Once you have your domain name, you’ll need a hosting company – Hostgator are very good and they’re who I personally use. It’ll cost you $9.95 a month for their “baby croc” hosting and it’s all you’ll probably ever need – unless you’re blog starts attracting visitors in their millions every day!
- With your account set up with the provider of your choice, you’ll need to tell them the domain name you will be hosting with them.
- You’ll also have to go back to GoDaddy and change the nameservers to point to your HostGator account (or which ever hosting company you decide to settle with). Simply log in, click the tab for “My Account” and then “Domains” and then “Nameservers”. Check the checkbox for your domain and then enter the new nameservers that your hosting company will have given you via email.
- HostGator will also give you a login and password for FTP access to your site (something you won’t need just yet) as well as something called cPanel (control panel). When you log in to cPanel, you’ll be presented with a page of icons that all have specific functions, like add email accounts, check your site stats etc. What you need to find is the icon for “Fantastico” somewhere near the bottom of the page.
- Click Fantastico and it comes up with a list of services that it will install for you down the left hand side of the page.
- Select WordPress (under Blogs) and click.
- In the panel that opens on the right, click “New Installation”
- In the next panel that opens it’ll ask you for your domain name and which directory you want to install your blog. Leave it blank if you are using the domain solely for a blog and it will install all the files you need in your root directory, or else tell it a different folder (ie “/diary/”) and it will create your blog in there.
- That’s it – your blog now exists!
You’ll be given a link to the login panel for your blog where you can log in and start posting!
Avoid using the folder name “/blog/”. If you should want to monetize your blog at a later stage by writing paid reviews, some of these sites will not accept your blog if it lives in a folder called “/blog/”. Don’t ask me why that is, as it simply makes no sense, but it exists nonetheless! I know from first hand experience, but it’s too late for me to change the URL of this blog now!
I hope you found this mini-tutorial helpful. I probably haven’t accounted for every eventuality here, but the main points are covered to the best of my knowledge and (sketchy at best) memory!
Now that’s done, it won’t be long before you’ll want to start messing around with blog themes, creating “blogrolls” and all sorts of time consuming blogginess! I might be persuaded to post more information on other aspects or a WordPress blog if enough people ask me!
Here’s to your success
PS: This post is an entry for The Wrtiers Manifesto’s Tutorial Group Writing Project.
The Honest Way