You want to create a website? WordPress is one of the leading blogging platforms available. Most people interested in blogging stumble across WordPress.com at some point and maybe register their own free blog. The lack of control over WordPress themes may be frustrating and you want to create a website that reflects your brand.
WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.
Ultimately, if you’re serious about blogging you are ready to install WordPress on your own server and create a website that offers more flexibility and control. It’s time to launch a self-hosted blog from WordPress.org.
A few benefits of a self-hosted WordPress blog are:
- WordPress itself is still free (though you’ll need to purchase a domain & hosting package to install WordPress)
- Full access to & control over all the files that support WordPress
- Full access to & control over the MySQL database that manages your WordPress content
- Ability to add any theme & customize WordPress themes as needed
- Ability to add & customize unlimited WordPress plugins
On the surface these reasons alone should be enough to convince you that self-hosted WordPress is the way to go over the long run. There are other more technical, privacy and security related reasons as well, but we’ll leave that for another day.
How to Install WordPress and Create a Website from your New Blog
Step 1: WordPress Blog Domain Registration
First thing you’ll need to do is register you domain name or URL. This is the web address where your new WordPress blog will live. I recommend Bluehost to register your domain. Specifically, because they offer great products, support and uptime. Furthermore, their Control Panel is very intuitive vs. other registrars and you’ll thank me later for this!
Step2: WordPress Hosting
A website host provides server space for you to store all your WordPress blog files.
This includes the php and css files that drive WordPress plus the MySQL database and other applications required to actually make WordPress operate.
Again, I recommend Bluehost for WordPress hosting because the service and products are top of the line for the price. When you register, sign up for a 2-year hosting package and you’ll get tons of extra products that other hosting companies try to charge extra for such as email account and extra storage space.
Step 3: WordPress Self-Hosted Application Files
Next you need to install WordPress. The simplest way to do this is to use the self-install scripts that come with Bluehost. From your control panel just click on the WordPress Icon in the SimpleScripts section and follow the step-by-step instructions. It’s really pretty straightforward.
Step 4: WordPress Themes
WordPress themes give you a more custom look and feel to your blog. It could be something fancy or maybe you prefer something more minimalist. In any case there are 1,000 of themes to choose from – both free and premium.
My favorite theme right now for someone who has limited programming skills but wants a theme that is dynamic and easy to customize is the Catalyst WordPress Theme Framework. It is, in my opinion, the best theme available for WordPress today.
Otherwise there are plenty of WordPress themes available to choose from for free directly within the WordPress Admin section in the Appearance > Themes tab.
So, that’s it really – this is initial requirements to create a website with WordPress. The process to install WordPress first time is a bit daunting but you’ll make it. If you get stuck or feel unsure call the folks at Bluehost and they’ll walk you through it.