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You want to start your own professional blog for a side income or hobby. The problem is, you don’t understand HTML or CSS coding and you’re afraid to get in over your head. Well, I hear you. The good news is, you can install WordPress to take the guess work out coding of a website. This post will help you install WordPress on your new website to create a beautiful website that looks professional.
If you want to know which software the professionals use, it is almost certainly WordPress. Big names like TechCrunch, The New Yorker, ESPN, Fortune, and Time ALL use WordPress. WordPress is a free, stable software program that allows you to create beautiful, professional websites and blogs without learning a ton of code. To install WordPress on your website, please continue reading.
Before You Begin: Avoid My Confusion
Before you begin working with WordPress, it is important to know one thing; there are two versions of WordPress. Don’t worry, this confused me too. When I first became interested in using WordPress, I was looking at several writing jobs available online. Almost all of them required knowing WordPress.
I had also come across WordPress’s name several times while viewing awesome blogs. My decision was made to move my blogging from Blogger and get started with WordPress. I have never looked back! It is simple, beautiful, and awesome.
I went to WordPress.com and signed up for a free blog, hosted by WordPress and loved it. As I progressed with the software, I started looking for ways to improve my blog. I wanted to add a sign up form and maybe sign up Google Adsense and other affiliate programs. I quickly found out that you need to install plug-ins to do this.
When I tried to add a plugin, I discovered I couldn’t do it on my blog. Why not? All of the professionals used WordPress plugins, but I couldn’t. Curiouser and curioser. Of course, I investigated the problem.
It turned out there was another version of WordPress out there! It was a software program you can install to your own self-hosted website. WordPress.org was WordPress version I was after. After more research, I discovered that in order to do the things I wanted to do with my blog, I would need to host my own website.
Self-Hosting Your Blog
After months of research and reviewing several web hosting services, I signed up for Hostgator, as mentioned in my previous post. It ended up costing well under $30 to register my domain, pay for domain privacy for a year, and pay for my first month of web hosting. Thereafter, each month was under $12 for the “baby plan.”
These amounts are also tax deductible, since I was use the website for my business. When you are self-employed, you take every tax deduction you can get! Am I right? Any who, I went with the “Baby Plan” because it offered more features and didn’t cost much more.
Like other hosting services, you have the option to pay for a year or more at a time and can purchase web hosting as low as $3.95/mo (without my 20 percent off coupon). This is comparable all of the other web hosting services. The selling point for me was that I didn’t have an extra $300 sitting around. With HostGator, I was able to get started for less than 10% of what I needed for other services.
If you want to sign up for HostGator, which I highly recommend, click on the link below. It will give you an additional 20 percent off. If you go to the website, you won’t get the 20 percent.
I have loved being with HostGator. In fact, when asked by others for web hosting suggestion, I recommended HostGator prior to my affiliate partnership with them. Meaning, I would recommend them whether I earned a commission or not.
If you want to, you can always sign up with another web hosting service on your own. I can’t vouch for another service, simply because I have always used HostGator.
Once you sign up for your hosting service and have a domain that is ready to go (propagation can take a couple days, but you can usually bypass this wait to get started), it is time to install WordPress!
Most major services use a one-click install. HostGator will list this at the top of your cPanel when you login. A cPanel is your website’s control panel. You will receive an email, which you need to save, with your login credentials and a link to the cPanel. Just copy and paste the info and you’re good to go.
It will look like the picture below. You will notice that I have circled the WordPress Install button in red so you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Go ahead and click on the button. The next screen will show your domain followed by a box that says “directory.” Go ahead and type in the name of the folder in which you wish to install WordPress. The name you create isn’t important. It will simply help you find the file in your directory, if needed.
You will receive a notification saying WordPress was successfully installed! Congrats, you are the master of the universe! I am such a nerd, I know. Make note of your new username and password. You will need it for the next step.
Login to WordPress
This is a pretty easy task. All you need to do is go to your web browser and type in your domain followed by “/wp-admin/” and click enter on your keyboard. When you get to the sign-in page, enter the username and password that you were given. You may be prompted or choose to set up a new password. Go ahead and do this.
Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress and are ready to go with your new website. Now you can get started with WordPress and choose a theme, install plug-ins, and write your first post. You can follow the WordPress prompts or skip them and use the menu items in your left side bar to navigate.
I will go over adding plugins in the next post in this series, 6 WordPress Plugins that are the Key to Your Blog’s Success. You can also view the previous post, How to Start a Blog: Webhosting for Beginners.
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