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How To Setup Up A New WordPress Blog

How To Install WordPress With One Click

You gotta start somewhere and when it comes to blogging and internet marketing, you’ll need a blog. In this tutorial, I show you how to setup your own WordPress blog with no technical skills required.

There’s many ways one could start a new website.

Blogs are the easiest to setup.

You could go to WordPress.com and just sign up for a hosted blog, meaning they will host the site for you, but I strongly advise against that for a number of reasons:

  • You don’t control 100% of your blog – They maintain a lot of control
  • You can’t monetize the blog in certain ways, limiting your earnings potential
  • You can’t transfer the site to another host easily. You’re pretty much stuck with WordPress.com
  • You are limited by their terms of service

For many, this might not be a big issue, but seeing as that you can setup your own blog on your own webhosting for less than $10 a month, why go that route? If you have shied away from it because you thought you might have to have web developer skills, think again.

Many bloggers have set up very successful blogs without any coding or web development knowledge. Sure, as the blog gets bigger and those bloggers start earning money from the blog, most of them hire a developer to make specific changes, but in the beginning that’s not as important as just getting a site started and creating consumable content that people want to read and share.

Do You Already Have A Domain Name, Or Do You Need One?

At this point, I’m assuming that you’ve done a lot of thinking about what you will be blogging about. You probably have a lot of great ideas and are chomping at the bit to get started.

If you haven’t already purchased a domain name, then you should do it now. 

There are some web hosting companies that offer a free domain name when you buy web hosting, but you probably don’t want to do this. More often than not, when you use an offer like this, they actually own the domain name, locking you in to using their web hosting service for that domain.

You want a domain name that you can use with any web hosting company.

The reason is that at some point, you might not like your existing web hosting company anymore. Your site might have outgrown their services, or the quality of service might have tanked. It could be any number of reasons, but in all cases, you want to know that if you switch web hosting companies, you can “point” the domain at any one you choose.

Choosing The Right Domain

There’s a few schools of thought when it comes to choosing the right domain name for your blog.

One group of people tend to lean towards “Memorable Domain Names”.

Memorable domain names are ones that people can easily remember, but don’t necessarily have anything to do with with the blog topic. For example, many Dad and Mombloggers pick out domain names that sound cool, but just looking at the domain name, you’d have no clue as to what the blog was about. An example of this would be Momblogger Heather Armstrong and her blog “Dooce” or Kim’s Bullet Journaling Blog, “Tiny Ray Of Sunshine“. In both cases, if you didn’t actually know about the blog’s overarching topic, you wouldn’t know what the blog is about necessarily. The point is that both of these examples (and many others around the internet) are memorable names. Things that stick out in one’s mind when it comes to that topic.

Another Group leans towards “Exact Match” names

Exact match domain names try to match a target search query that people might use to try and find information on that topic. For example, people search “how to get a job fast” a lot. millions of times a year, in fact. An exact match domain would be www.howtogetajobfast.com where the search query is the domain name.

Again, pulling from the Dad and Mom Blogger field, Charlie Capen and Andy Herald are the owners of “How To Be A Dad“, a blog on… how to be a dad, of course. They’re trying to capture people that use search engines to look up “how to be a dad”.

The reason for doing this is a bit dated, and not as effective as it used to be: Exact match domains, at one time, were a very widely used search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Often, Google used to give priority to exact match domains where the content on the blog was closely related to the domain name and title. Again, that was in the past. Alot of the sites that were setup back then with exact match domains are still in existence today, and the changes haven’t affected them in the same way as if you were to try and get an exact match domain now.

Domains That Contain Target Keywords Work Best

The third group is the group that I fall into (with the exception of this personal blog).

The idea of a keyword oriented domain name is that the primary keyword that you want to rank your blog for is contained in the domain name. For example, if you wanted to have a blog all about Ford Mustangs, for example, you might consider a domain name that has “Ford Mustang” as part of the name since it’s the primary keyword. You might look up www.fordmustangjournal.com or www.fordmustangenthusiasts.com to see if they’re available.

Keyword-oriented domain names are probably the most effective for both humans and search engines because they give your readers and search engines a clue as to the overall topic of your blog.

Choosing Web Hosting For Your Blog

Now that the domain is out of the way, you’ll need to choose web hosting for the blog. There’s thousands of webhosting providers out there. Some are better than others, but since we’re looking at running a WordPress Blog, there are some that stand out.

WP Engine

WP Engine is a web hosting provider that only does WordPress websites. They’re very good at what they do, and your blog will be in good hands with them. WP Engine employs WordPress professionals that know the blogging platform inside and out, and they’re there to help you with troubleshooting and issues you might have. WP Engine offers good prices, but isn’t the least expensive option out there. You do pay a bit for their specialized platform and technical knowledge, but on the other hand, when you need help, they’re able to help you with things most other providers wouldn’t assist with. I run four sites on WP Engine right now and am pretty impressed. None of the sites have ever had issues running, getting hacked or otherwise being inaccessible somehow. WP Engine offers plans starting at $29 and have a 60 day risk free guarantee. | See All Plans

Cloud Access

CloudAccess.net is another web hosting provider that offers WordPress specific web hosting. While that’s not all they do, like WP Engine above, they employ WordPress professionals to assist with issues and problems should they arise. One the bright side, their plans aren’t as expensive as WP Engine, with the starter plan that includes support for just $10 per month. I use CloudAccess.net for many of my own sites and client sites as well. CloudAccess has great support and can help with most issues, WordPress or not.

Bluehost

Bluehost isn’t WordPress specific, but many bloggers that are just starting out go with them. They have decent support and answer trouble tickets fast, but they only provide support on the web hosting, not WordPress specifically, so if your theme borks up your site, they will not help. You’ll have to reach out to the theme’s developer or a web developer for help there. As such, it comes in at a much lower price, with plans starting at $3.95 per month. I use Bluehost for the passive income (money generating) blogs that have less than 200 visitors a day, and the ones that I’m just building.

HostMantis

I use HostMantis to run this blog. Since it’s my personal blog, and not designed to make money like the other ones I have, it doesn’t need much. HostMantis has an automatic WordPress installer that can be found in the dashboard of your web hosting panel, which will install WordPress for you automatically. Like Bluehost, they do not provide WordPress support, but will help you if you’re having issues with hosting. Plans start at $1.95/month which is perfect for just a personal blog such as this one.

Installing WordPress

There’s a few ways to install WordPress if your hosting provider doesn’t install it for you (WP Engine and Cloud Access both install WordPress when you purchase hosting).

  • Using a “One Click Installer”
  • Downloading WordPress files and uploading to the server
  • Remotely connecting to the web server via SSH and running commands to install

Since this tutorial is for non- web developers, I’ll be sticking with the most common method of installing WordPress.

Most hosting companies use some kind of version of CPanel. CPanel is simply a web hosting control panel (not to be mistaken for the WordPress dashboard). CPanel lets you modify setting within your hosting environment, such as adding email addresses, databases and installing applications. WordPress is an application, and most control panels have an installer that allows you to install WordPress by just filling in a bit of information and clicking the “Install” button.

This is the fastest and easiest way to install WordPress. It’s also one that you don’t have to mess with anything to set up. In this fashion, it’s the best way for beginners, non web developers (and those who just want to get the blog online fast) to do it.

Note: Both Bluehost and HostMantis which were mentioned above have a “one click install” button.

Logging In To CPanel To Install WordPress

Preparing to install WordPress through CPanel [via Softaculous] doesn’t take much work. Just log into your CPanel with the link, username and password that came in a welcome email from your hosting provider. Once in your hosting control panel, you will have to scroll down and look for either:

  • The Softaculous icon – Red arrow/box
  • WordPress Icon – Green arrow/box

Note: Both the Software and Softaculous Apps Installer sections might be further down the page than shown here. You might have to scroll down to find them.

You can use either way to install WordPress. I will take you through the Softaculous App Installer (red arrow/box method) way of installing as some CPanels don’t have a separate section that show the WordPress icon below.

Click on the Softaculous App Icon (Red Arrow/box) to get to the main Softaculous screen. Your view might differ a bit from what mine is, but notice the menu on the left. Click on Blogs and you’ll see WordPress in the list.

Alternately, If you do see the WordPress logo as shown here, hover over it. It will darken and you’ll see an install button show up here:


When you click the install button, you’ll be taken to a form to fill out the site information.

Software Setup Section

  • Choose Protocol – If you know what you’re doing, and you have SSL setup on your hosting account, then switch this to HTTPS. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, or don’t have SSL, leave this alone.
  • Choose Domain – The domain that you used when you signed up with your hosting company will show here.
  • In Directory – Let’s say you don’t want to install the Blog at www.yourdomainhere.com, but would rather install it at www.yourdomainhere.com/blog. Enter “blog” (no quotes) into this field, otherwise leave it blank.

Site Settings Section

  • Site Name – Simply, the name of your website/blog. IMPORTANT: This title shows up in Google and Bing search results for the name of your blog. Use less than 55 characters here.
  • Site Description – Insert a short, meaningful description of your site. IMPORTANT: This Description shows up in the search engines as the site description. Use less than 160 characters.
  • Enable Multisite (WPMU) – This enables a WordPress Network. If this is just a blog for you, don’t check this box. If you plan to setup a multi-site, then go ahead and check the box.

Notice that in my Google Search Engine Result display, you see the title and description fields as filled out in Softaculous. You can change these later in the WordPress dashboard under Settings > General.


Admin Account Section

  • Admin Username – Give yourself a username. This admin has full access to everything in WordPress dashboard.
  • Admin Password – Enter a password for the admin user. Best to make it 8 characters or more, including UPPERCASE, Numbers and Symbols.
  • Admin email – Enter the email address for the admin user. Best to make this a free Gmail or Outlook email so you always have access for password resets.

Note: The Admin username is going to be the username that shows up when you write blog posts!

Writing your blog posts as the Admin user is not the most secure way of doing things.

The best way to protect the admin user is to create a second account in the WordPress Dashboard (Users > Add New) with only Contributor, Author or Editor role, NOT administrator.

Choose Language Section

  • Select Language – Select the native language to be use for the site (not necessarily your native language). If you’re creating a site for Spanish speaking people, you might want to select Spanish here.

Select Plugins Section

If available, you might see the “limit login attempts (Loginizer)” checkbox here. This plugin limits the number of times someone can try to guess the password for a user. If it’s available, it’s a good idea to install it to stop people from trying to “bruteforce” a password. If not, you can always install it later through the Plugins > Add New menu.

Note: there are a lot of good security plugins for WordPress. The Loginizer plugin can help to mitigate brute force attacks on your passwords, but you should really have a full security suite (such as Securi) that monitors and protects the blog from other types of hacking (malware, intrusion detections, file changes, etc…).

Advanced Options Section

If this section is available, then open it up.

This section should NOT be messed with except for the two last lines.

  • Automated Backups – You can set the site to back itself up at scheduled intervals (day, week, month, and custom schedule).
  • Backup rotation – the number of backups you want to save and cycle through. Some hosts only allow one, while others can set up to 10 or more. I recommend having three if that’s an option.

Select Theme Section

If available, you will see a theme selection section. Personally, I don’t use this at all. This selector has a very limited selection of themes. You can find a lot of nice, free themes through the WordPress dashboard (Appearance > Themes ) instead.

Install Button and Email Installation Details Field

You’re done. If you wish to be emailed the installation details including your username and password, fill out the email you want that notification to be sent to in the field (Green Arrow) BEFORE hitting install (red arrow).

WordPress will now install automatically.

 

  • Green Arrow – The main domain of your website
  • Red Arrow – The administrator login URL for your WordPress Dashboard

At this point, your WordPress installation is now finished.

As a Post Script, you will want to log into your blog’s dashboard now and begin customizing the site the way you want it.

I’ll be writing about how to do customizations in the future, but for now, log in and get familiar with the dashboard and were everything is.

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