how to setup hosted wordpress website

The Step By Step Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a Hosted WordPress Blog

There are two versions of WordPress. One is where you download the platform for free from WordPress.org and the other one is where WordPress.com hosts your blog for a monthly plan.

This post contains a recipe and instructions on how to start your very own WordPress blog. However, if you haven’t done so already, we recommend reading the following two topics, which could help you decide on the WordPress platform that will fit your blogging needs and/or website goals:

What You Need

You need 3 very important ingredients to get your hosted WordPress blog started:

  1. Domain Name
  2. A domain name is the web address of your blog. It’s typically the special name you picked out followed by an extension that’s either a .com, .org, .net or whatever your preference is.

    Our company name is Social Media Panel. However, the domain name, socialmediapanel.com was taken so we chose an alternative name that’s easy to remember – mysmpanel.com.

    There are a few recommendations you might want to consider, but keep in mind that it must be something that’s appropriate for your target audience, relevant to your topic, and easy enough to remember.

    10 Highly Recommended Places to Buy Domain Names

    Check out these well known, highly recommended domain name registrars:

    3 Important Considerations to Make for Your Registered Domain

    Whenever you purchase a domain, the company will try to sell you a bunch of other programs and services. Don’t let this overwhelm you. There are only 3 very important considerations to make besides simply registering your domain:

    1. Domain Lock
    2. Locking your domain will avoid the chance of it “getting stolen” or any unauthorized transfers from happening. All your registrars should have this option. So be sure to add it to your web development checklist!

    3. Domain Privacy Protection
    4. Once you’ve purchased your domain from your chosen registrar, the information you used to purchase your domain will be publicly visible on a website called who.is. According to the rules of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit organization that regulates IP addresses and domain names) all registered domain names must have a contact information available for public viewing.

      Contact your registrar to find out how to get privacy protection for your domain. It shouldn’t cost much at all and it’s worth every penny! After the purchase of a domain privacy protection, your registrar’s information should be publicly viewable instead of your personal information.

    5. Set Your Registration to Auto-Renew
    6. The domain period is often registered anywhere from 1 to 5 years. The longer the registration period, the more likely the registrant is to forget to renew it. The registrant must set the proper notification or reminder to renew the registration. Otherwise, a broker, a domain hoarder or an aggressive individual who could just be on the lookout for any open window to purchase your domain might just get it from under you!

  3. Hosting Service
  4. In layman’s terms, a hosting service is provided by a business or organization that hosts websites on servers so that it can be seen on the internet. In other words, you have a domain, now you need that domain name to show up on the world wide web.

    The chart below lists some popular hosting companies with great packages to help you get started. Note that some of these companies also have options available so you can purchase domains from them. Just keep in mind, however, that if you ever decide to transfer your website to a different hosting company, you would need to make the domain transfer as well.

    Hosting Company Service Types and Servers Lowest Price Domains
    HostGator Cloud, WordPress, VPS and Dedicated Hosting $4.95/mo
    Bluehost Shared, Cloud, WordPress, WooCommerce, VPS, Dedicated $2.95/mo
    DreamHost Cloud, WordPress, VPS and Dedicated Hosting $11.95/mo
    InMotion Business, VPS, Dedicated, WordPress and Reseller Hosting $5.99/mo
    SiteGround Shared, Cloud, Dedicated, Linux and WordPress Hosting $3.95/mo
    Liquid Shared, Cloud, VPS, Dedicated, Linux, Windows and WordPress Hosting $69/mo
    GoDaddy Shared, Cloud, VPS, Dedicated, Linux, Windows and WordPress Hosting $7.99/mo
    A2 Hosting Shared, Cloud, VPS, Dedicated, Linux, and Windows Hosting $3.92/mo
    1&1 Shared, Cloud, VPS, Dedicated, Linux, Windows and WordPress Hosting $7.99/mo

    Don’t be afraid to ask your hosting provider’s customer service as many questions as you’d like. There are really no stupid questions, because I promise you that most people who start blogs really don’t have a clue what is going on. So if you feel this way, just know that you’re not alone. The customer service people are more than likely familiar with this and will typically be as helpful as possible.

  5. WordPress Platform
  6. Now that you’ve purchased your domain and selected a program with a hosting provider, you will need to get your website up and running.

    If you Selected the WordPress Hosting Package

    First and foremost, you have to consider the package you purchased from your hosting service provider. If the company has a WordPress hosting service, they will most likely already have WordPress setup for you. More often than not, the customer service line of your hosting service provider will most likely be happy to help you if you’re having trouble logging in.

    If all is well with the setup of your WordPress website, a link to get to your website should be provided to you. All you would have to do is create a username and password in order to get into the dashboard, where you’ll have items on the left sidebar like the following image:

    wordpress org dashboard

    If this is the case, feel free to test as many of the options as you’d like. Most of the commands and features are similar to what’s found on the WordPress.com dashboard.

    If you Selected a Non-WordPress Hosting Package

    This is any other hosting service package that’s NOT a WordPress hosting package, which means you will have to download and install the WordPress.org package yourself. If you’re a newbie and need help with this, please stay tuned for our next post, where we will show you How to Install WordPress.org Using a cPanel.

Now that your WordPress site is good and ready to go, we recommend playing with some of the features found on the dashboard. However, to help you get started the right right way, please stay tuned for our upcoming post on the most essential WordPress plugins available for the smoothest blogging journey possible.

About the Author Karlyn Bishop