Have you been wanting to start a Wordpress website? Or, maybe you just know that you want to start blogging, but don't know what that actually means…
The process of starting a website or blog can be very overwhelming to most people. But, don't fret, I'm here to walk you through the process 🙂
This entire process is going to take you a few hours.
Some people are going to tell you that you can have a new website set up in just a few minutes, well, to be honest, if this is your first time, it's going to take a while longer than that!
But, I am confident that you will be able to have a working structure within 24 hours.
Then you can work on tweaking your new website and making it just how you want it, over the next few weeks.
What You Need To Start A WordPress Website Today
Below are the steps that we are going to cover today:
- How to Register Your Domain Name
- How to Choose The Best Web Hosting Company (the place where your site ‘lives')
- How To Install WordPress To Your Site (the program that makes building a website much easier!)
- How To Customize Your Site by Using A Theme (what makes your site ‘look good')
Alright, let's step back just a second.
If this is your first time even thinking about starting your own website, whether it be a blog to share updates with your family, a place to create and sell digital courses or a place to share important information about your business, this may already seem overwhelming.
Trust me, I've been exactly where you are right now!
I remember the point when I very first started my own website and I was looking all over on Google trying to piece together all of the steps for just getting that simple website up and running.
The terms above didn't make much sense to me (and they most likely don't make sense to you either at this point).
I will take you step by step through the process of starting a WordPress website today, and you can implement the steps as you read along! I do recommend reading through the process in whole first, and then come back and go through the steps.
1. How To Register Your Domain Name & Set Up Website Hosting
A domain name is the URL of your new website. For example, you are currently at JessicaLarrew.com. So my domain name is JessicaLarrew.com.
The domain name that you choose, will be the address you give to people so they can find you online.
It's important to choose a good domain name. Unlike our street addresses, we get to fully customize our domain name and should put some thought into what we want the domain name to be.
I wrote a blog post about things to think about before choosing a domain name. Check it out and then when you are ready to go, we will start the process of registering your domain name.
Alright, ready to register your domain name?
The following steps are also covered in video step by step instructions in my 30 Day Website Building Challenge!
Here is a preview of one of the videos so you can see the style of teaching I have. There are 30 days and 30 steps I will walk you through to build your new WordPress website!
In the challenge, we will also be covering what to do BEFORE signing up for hostingWordpresss…To get those days and 28 more, make sure to sign up for my 30 day website building challenge here.
Website Hosting Step By Step Instructions For Siteground
Website hosting is what powers your website. We will be using WordPress as the software program that you work in, but the hosting is what keeps the site up and running! I'm not going to try and make this super techy, so how's that for an explanation?
When you first start a website, most people can use a very basic hosting plan.
As your website grows in content size and number of visitors, you will want to upgrade to a more powerful host.
Think of it like learning to drive with a Hyundai in High School (my first car) and then when heading off to college and feeling more comfortable behind the wheel, buying a Mercedes.
Everything about the Mercedes works better and runs faster!
You can get speed up much quicker and the customer support blows everyone else out of the water.
Oh, and it costs WAY more right?
That's like hosting.
Start with what inexpensive and reliable. Then once you are making money from your site, and need the bells and whistles, add a better (more expensive) hosting package.
I was with my “starter” hosting package for about 3 years. Once I got to the point of having over 100,000 visitors to the site every month, and was hosting many training programs, I needed to upgrade.
I moved from a “shared account” (meaning I was on the same server as hundreds of other people) to a dedicated server (it's just me). I'm now paying around $75/month for my hosting package.
You can start with a really good Siteground Hosting Package for just $3.95/month. And when you purchase this hosting, you also get that domain name you chose in the first step absolutely free for the first year!
There are a few different hosting options, but you really only need the first tier when getting started.
The main difference is the number of email addresses you are allowed, and # of domains names you can park and host in the package. Since this is your first WordPress website, I say start with the $3.95 package and then if you start needing more, upgrade the plan as needed.
Once you choose the hosting package that you want, you will also purchase you domain name.
This is the fun part.
You will enter the domain name that you want into the first box, if that domain is taken, it will let you know and display some alternatives.
I highly recommend choosing a .com and not getting another domain extension just because the .com is taken.
The next part of setting up your hosting and domain name purchase is confirming your Siteground Account.
By default, they will add a few extra options to your hosting package.
The one I recommend keeping is the “domain privacy”. This makes it so that your name, address and phone number are not all easily found when someone searches your domain name in the whois registry.
Trust me, if you don't choose domain privacy, you will start getting a lot of spam calls/emails because your information goes into a public registry where all website registrations go.
The other options can be handled outside of wordpress and don't need to be locked in with your hosting.
Once you have paid for your hosting account, you will receive an email with the links to login to your cpanel. This is where you control the backend / hosting side of your website.
You can do everything from setting up your website email addresses, contact customer support and view the stats of your new website.
What we are going to focus on next is installing WordPress to your site.
A lot of posts about starting your new WordPress website will leave you right there. At the point of owning a domain and hosting. I don't want to do that to you, though!
Let's keep moving forward and get you a working website today…
2. How To Install WordPress Through Your Siteground Cpanel
This step is also covered in video step by step instructions in my 30 Day Website Building Challenge!
Here is another preview of one of the videos so you can see the style of teaching I have. There are 30 days and 30 steps I will walk you through to build your new WordPress website!
In the challenge, we will also be covering what to do BEFORE signing up for hosting/wordpress…To get those days and 28 more, make sure to sign up for my 30 day website building challenge here.
WordPress is what we use to make our website work. Without having to know coding or deal with complicated scripts (yeah, that's techy)…Basically, WordPress is what makes having a website “easy” for the everyday person like you and I.
One of the reasons I like Siteground is they have one click integration with WordPress.
So, go find that email from Siteground (or go to Siteground and login) and then login to your Cpanel.
Scroll down to the “Autoinstallers” section and then click on the blue icon that says “Install WordPress.”
Then click Install:
In the next screen, choose the domain name that you just purchased from the drop down menu. And fill out your sites name and tagline in the highlighted spots Your site Name is what shows in search results on Google and also shows in the top section of your website when someone is viewing it. Depending on the theme you choose, this may not be visible on the home page, like on this site, we use a logo instead of displaying the site name. This can be changed later on if needed, right from the WordPress panel.:
A lot of this part will probably not make much sense, and you will just be doing it the one time, so don't let it stress you out.
The next part is to set your admin Username & Password. Make sure to use something secure and hard to guess for both your password and username. Then fill in an email address you have current access to.
If you get any offers or suggestions, you can ignore them while you wait for the install to complete.
Once you get confirmation that your WordPress Installation is complete, click on the provided link to login to your new wordpress dashboard!.
Make sure to keep this information and link safe and secure, so you will remember it.
The default domain to login to your wordpress control panel should be: https://yournewdomain.com/wp-admin
You now officially have a WordPress website! Whoo-hoo.
3. Customize Your New WordPress Website
Out of the box, your new site will be pretty plain and boring.
There are things called “Themes” that control how your site looks.
You can choose to completely customize the default theme if you want…I just don't recommend it!
If you are truly a beginner with websites and WordPress, you will want something that is intuitive and user friendly.
I recommend getting a new theme at the very least, and then possibly a child theme as well (an even more custom version of a theme).
On this site, we use the main theme Divi.
I really love the Divi theme because it is so easy to customize your site and make it look like a web designer did the work, even if it was all DIY.
Everything you see here on my site is done by me. If I need something custom, I can pay someone to do it, but most everything I can figure out with the help of Google!
I'm a big believer in just getting your work out into the world. Once you are seeing success, then really up your game.
Then, instead of worrying about design, you can focus on the content of your new WordPress website.
Ready to add your new theme to your new website?
I'll continue on and show you how to install Divi, if you go with a different theme, the process will be very similar.
4. How To Install The Divi Theme To A New WordPress Site
Head on over to Elegant Themes (the creator of Divi) and check out the Divi Theme.
You can play with the page builder for free, right on their site.
When you are ready to purchase, you will choose a membership level. (Members of my 30 Day Website Building Challenge get access to the Divi theme for Free)
With Elegant Themes, you actually get access to ALL of their themes (but really, who needs more than just Divi?).
There is a yearly fee to keep getting new updates (highly recommended for security purposes!). Or, you can do a lifetime plan.
I did the yearly plan for 3 years and then just recently went for the lifetime plan. So, just choose what feels right for you.
Once you purchase the membership that suits you best, you can instal the Divi Theme to your new wordpress site.
You will need to login to the Elegant Themes website to access the Theme download file.
After logging in, you will be taken to the Themes member area.
Scroll down and find Divi under the Themes section.
Click where it says “Download”.
You will receive a .ZIP file with the theme. You will need to leave it as a ZIP file.
Now login to your website using the wordpress URL you saved. (https://yournewdomain.com/wp-admin) and click Appearance > Themes
Now click to Add New Theme
On the next screen, click Upload Theme and then find the file you just downloaded from Elegant Themes. Then click Install Now.
After the file downloads, you will need to activate the new theme.
You should be prompted by WordPress to do so.
If not, go to Appearance > Themes again and hover on the bottom of the Divi box and click the “Activate” button.
If you are ready to start building your site, you can start now.
Using this Divi theme will make the process so much easier than doing it without!
You Now Have A New WordPress Website!
You have gone through the process of starting a new wordpress website.
Now you “just” need to add your voice and style to the site.
Keep browsing my site for more information about what to do with your website and how you can monetize it.
Leave a comment below, or send me a note so I can check out your new site when you are ready to share it with the world.