Back for Part 3 of our How to Start a Blog or Website Series? Excellent.
We’re chatting about WordPress installation today since we spent our last visit, figuring out and registering your domain name and choosing your hosting company. Now that the big decisions have been made, you’re ready to install your platform or CMS, which stands for Content Management System.
In this case, and in every case, it’s got to be WordPress. Why am I such a fan? Because they’re free and easy to use once you get familiar with the platform. The nice thing about WordPress is that it’s an open source software program which means there are tons of developers, users, and creators continually improving the platform and sharing their knowledge with the rest of us. This means there is always someone to help when you get stuck. You’ve got to love that.
Now, just as a reminder, I’m talking about WordPress.org here, not WordPress.com. You don’t want the WP.com. Trust me. We resolved this already in Part 1 of the series.
If you lived through my entire verbal overshare of hosting reviews, then you are my people all the way. That last post was a bit long and technical, so a big fat high five to you if you’re still with me. I could talk about how awesome WordPress is all day because it’s become my favorite way to build websites and it’s simply the easiest as far as I can figure out.
So you’ve got yourself some hosting and a domain and you’re ready to WP it all the way. Which means we’re ready to get WordPress installed and we’re getting closer to having your site ready to roll.
WordPress Installation and Set Up
Most hosting companies have made things easy for you to set up WordPress from their site once you’ve purchased hosting. Some companies, like Bluehost and Hostgator, make things beyond easy with just 1 click from their cpanel. Which is why I highly recommend these two hosting companies for new bloggers and website owners. PS. Those are affiliate links, y’all, so if you purchase your hosting through these links I get a small commission which makes me able to buy and cook the food that none of my children will want to eat anyway. But seriously, thank you, for at least making it an option for us!
I can’t walk you through the process of every hosting company that exists, so I went with how to install WordPress from your Bluehost cPanel since this is largely the company that most new bloggers choose to host with for lots of good reasons that we covered in Part 2 of this series.
If you haven’t signed up for hosting or registered your domain name yet, I’ll grab a coffee and meet you back here in a few.
All done? Good. Okay, let’s do this.
First, you need to log in to your Bluehost account, using the information you provided when you signed up and then go to your cpanel (control panel). From there you’ll click “website” at the top of the page.
Once you click through, you’ll be taken to a new page with a few options. Click on WordPress.
That will take you over to the next window where you have a few more options.
You can choose to install your website yourself which is free and not that complicated. Or you can have them do it for you starting at $99. If you really don’t want to get into it and you’ve got the cash, this is a good option because Bluehost will then give you a credit towards purchasing a WordPress Theme (more about that in Part 4) and you skip the tech stuff. But it really only takes a few minutes to do it yourself.
Also, you can work with free themes or find more inexpensive ones from places like Etsy or Creative Market. (Save these links for later or, even better, Pin them.) Browsing through themes is fun and gives you great ideas for how you’d like your site to look. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a little addicted to themes. They’re like geek porn to me.
So let’s assume you’re still with me and you’re not asking Bluehost to install WordPress for you because you’ve got this. You really do.
Once you click on install now right under the wordpress logo, you’ll be asked which domain you’d like to install. Choose the site you registered earlier (obviously!) and click check domain. If this is your first site, you can happily ignore any warning you get about overwriting your files. If this isn’t your first site, choose carefully so you don’t erase a site like someone I know.
In case you’re wondering, the someone is actually me. Shout out and a wine toast to Bluehost for getting my sites back online that time I blew everything up. #truestory
Next you want to click on advanced options so that you can change your site name, admin user name, and password information so that you actually know what it is. I keep a Google doc for every site I have which includes the log in and password I’ve set up.
Because you will forget. You is tired, you is stressed, you is a single mother.
I often use my email address but you can use your first name as your admin user name if you’d like and it’s easier to remember. Heck, you can use “Admin” if that floats your boat. Or consider using “Captain Awesome” as your user name. You’ll get a little reminder of your fabulousness every time you log in. Make your password complicated enough that hackers won’t guess it but simple enough that you remember it. And then write it down!!! Next, check the box that you’ve read the terms and conditions and click install now.
Don’t close the page or wander too far away! It takes a few minutes to install and a Mojo Marketplace pop up will probably appear. You can close the pop up if you like. The install is complete when you see the view credentials button at the top of the page. Click on it and you’re off to your new WordPress site.
Just a quick note about Mojo Marketplace. They are a great source for plugins and some really good themes that are well priced but you really don’t need the actual Mojo Marketplace plugin on your new WordPress dashboard or all of the upselling, either. We’ll be deleting that plugin asap when we get to learning about WordPress, themes, and plugins. So don’t feel compelled to buy a theme just yet when the upselling starts.
Go ahead and click view credentials in the top right corner and you’ll be taken to your new WordPress dashboard.
You’ll also get a confirmation from Bluehost confirming you’ve installed your new site that looks something like this. I like to save them in case I do something dumb like lose my log in details.
On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 6:48 PM, <firstname.lastname@example.org
Your new WordPress site has been successfully set up at:
You can log in to the administrator account with the following information:
Username: Captain Awesome
Log in here: https://www.yourwebsite.com/wp-login.php
We hope you enjoy your new site. Thanks!
–The WordPress Team
And there’s your new dashboard!
Now go pour yourself a glass of something because you did it, girl!
Take some time to poke around your new dashboard and start figuring out how things work. Just be careful not to actually post anything while consuming all the wine that you might be celebrating with. #imcertainthatsneverhappenedtome #exceptthatonetime #maybetwice
See you next time with everything you need to know about WordPress Themes, Plugins, and how to get your site up and actually running. In the meantime, if you’re dying to know more, pop over to WordPress.org and read along. They have free tutorials for pretty much everything. See? I told you they’re awesome!FIND THE ENTIRE SERIES HERE