Since I have decided to create my own WordPress site which was in itself quite a process, I have decided to make some notes along the way so that I could write the very first article of my site about how to set it up. I know, not a novel idea, but I need to start somewhere. 🙂
What you will need:
- Hosting account and domain
- WordPress site files
- FTP solution
- Some ideas for what you want to post about
Let’s discuss each of those things in a little more detail. Almost everything that you will need won’t cost you any money except for the hosting plan and whatever you need to do to find inspiration. Your time is free of course.
Hosting account and domain
Perhaps the most fundamental part to publishing your own website, it having somewhere to place in on the internet. While it is true that as you are reading this you are most likely connected to the internet, it is quite tricky for the average person to share any content over the internet without uploading it to some third-party. The reason is that the average internet “consumer” is not set up to “serve” data on the internet. There are ways around this, but the drawbacks are many.
So here enters the web host. These are servers that are permanently connected to the internet and have fixed addresses so that other internet users know where to find them. These servers offer different capabilities depending on what you want to use them for. Let’s say that you are Facebook and you want to host facebook.com then you would need extremely fast servers with an extremely fast internet connection (read: multiple connections to the internet) as well as mountains of storage for all those holiday pics of over a billion people (not to mention some cat videos).
In my case (and yours), we want only a little bit of space with a decent internet connection. Together with this, I want the server to come preloaded with some back-end software so that I can run my WordPress site on it. Therefore, I can buy a shared hosting package. One server that hosts multiple sites and other things. This is by far the cheapest option and most hosting companies will offer you far more than what you need even on their lowest offerings. The real differentiator is the customer service that these companies offer.
Many hosting packages needs a domain name during the account registration. You can offer to transfer one of from a different account or create a new domain name. Domain names are like real estate or the “shop front” if you will. If you like a particular domain name like www.infintecurious.com then you should buy it. Now. If you wait to see whether it will still sound attractive to you in the future, then it might no longer be available. There is only one www.infinitecurious.com in the entire world and I already own it. Remember this when you’re thinking about buying www.pieternieuwoudt.com. Buying domains that are unclaimed can be done from any hosting company (watch out for the dodgy ones) at a reasonable fee of around $15 per annum. If you want to buy www.infinitecurious.com from me, I could charge you whatever I wanted once off after which you would then pay the $15 per annum.
Simply go to www.wordpress.org and download the latest version of WordPress, completely free. Do not try to find these on www.wordpress.com. The .com site is where you can create a simple page with one of their domains, but if you want your own domain you need to sign up for a hosting package from them.
I’m sure there are many FTP programs out there, but the only one you will ever need is FileZilla which is completely free and simple to use.
Puling it all together!
Now that you have all the tools, we’ll need to place the site in the internet. This will be done in part 2 of this guide.
Before we put anything online, it’s worthwhile giving some more thought about what content you want on your wordpress site.
This is perhaps the most difficult part. Some people start with an idea and then learn to blog, I did it the other way around. This blog will be about some of the things I discover around the internet and random things that interest me. My only advice is find something that you like to talk to other people about even if you don’t know anyone who likes to talk about those same things with you! The internet is an amazing place where you are very likely to find an audience even if you just want to talk about your cat!