Question: How can I set up a self-hosted WordPress blog?
Answer: In short; a domain name, web hosting and the WordPress.org software
In terms of hosting, we can break down websites into two categories.
Door #1. Websites hosted by 3rd party hosting services (Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com)
Door #2. Websites that are self-hosted (WordPress.org)
Note: Check out the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
If you want to host your very own WordPress site, then you want to choose Door#2. Wpresstic is a self-hosted website using the WordPress.org platform. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 5 new blogs/websites being created these days use the WordPress platform. It’s popular for very good reason.
An in-depth explanation of the difference between 3rd party hosted and self hosted websites is beyond the scope of this post. Besides, I already wrote a post that covers this – WordPress web hosting
3 Things You Need For a Self Hosted WordPress
1. Domain Name
The first thing you need to get is a domain name (www.yourawesomeblog.com)
You have to purchase a domain name thru a domain registrar like GoDaddy. I purchase all of my domains via GD and it is, in my completely biased opinion, the best solution.
Think of your domain name as the address of your future digital “home”. Nobody will ever find where you “live” if they don’t have your address.
2. Web Hosting
Every website needs hosting. Without it, your website cannot be found. Even if you buy yourself a domain name, you still need web hosting. Web hosting is like a virtual plot of “land”. Your soon-to-be website needs some “land” to be built upon. When you get web hosting, what you are actually getting is “space” on a web hosting company’s servers so you can store digital files (posts, pages and other digital documents), and by digital files I mean everything that will make up your website.
If you are tight on budget and need a cost-effective solution, then I would recommend Hostgator for your hosting. You can get a plan for as little as $4 per month. Hosting does not come any cheaper than this. You can even get your first month of hosting for free if you just want to give them a 30 day trial. Use code: wpresstic1
If money is less of a concern and you want to get higher performing hosting, then you can get one of Hostgator’s VPS packages (virtual private servers) or go with a managed WordPress hosting company (if you’re a WordPress user of course). Wpresstic is hosted with WP Engine and I absolutely love their service. You can read our WP Engine review for more details.
Note: Hostgator can host any site for you regardless of your platform. They have quick installation services for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and about 20 others website platforms. This quick install service is a simple five minute process that requires you to have absolutely no knowledge of hosting, servers or coding. You just need to fill out some fields and click a few buttons.
3. WordPress.org Software
You can download the software here for free. However, most of the popular hosting providers provide an easy installation option for WordPress, so you do not necessarily have to download the software, depending upon your hosting provider.
Example process for you to take:
1. Buy your domain name at GoDaddy.
2. Purchase a hosting plan at HostGator.
3. Login into your cPanel that you will get with HostGator (they will provide you this information in an email once you sign up).
4. Find the “Quick Installation” icon, click on it and then look for the WordPress option. Go through the steps and within 5 minutes you will have it installed on your servers.
5. Transfer Your DNS (domain name servers). Hostgator will provide you the DNS for your new web hosting servers in an email. You will need to add these to your GoDaddy account. Get your DNS from the Hostgator email, then login into GoDaddy and find your domain name. Click on the domain name and then go to the ‘nameservers’ tab. Here you can paste in your DNS. This is a crucial step as it points your domain name to your new servers, which allows your website to appear when you type in your domain name.