In this post I review what a hosting server is, why you need one and how to install a WordPress blog on it. If you learn better with a play-by-play video, checkout the screencast below. If you would rather read through the steps, skip to the steps below the video.
Step One: What is a hosting server and why do I need one?
A hosting server is where the files that make up your website live. I like to use the analogy of a book. A book holds pages which then hold words. Similar a server holds files that hold code. In both cases the complete package allows for mass communication. The files need to be located on this hosting server so the server can then project them out over the internet. Most of this will be transparent to you, but it is helpful to understand the process.
Step Two: Purchase your Hosting with Bluehost.
In order to put your files up on a hosting server you have to purchase the space. I recommend Bluehost because they are inexpensive and they make it very simple to install and start a WordPress blog (see the video above for play-by-play). Their C-Panel (Dashboard area) is fairly straight forward and the can cover a host of issues you may need address in the future.
*note the link above to Bluehost is an affiliate link, I will get a small cut, but I would recommend them regardless.
When you choose to sign up with Bluehost you will see two options. The first option, you don’t have a domain name and want to get one. Or the second option, you do have a domain name purchased. Either way it is pretty simple. You can purchase a domain name through Bluehost (I recommend this for simplicity purposes), or put the name you already own into the second box and Bluehost will walk you through the remain steps.
Step Three: Choose a Plan
The next screen is going to ask you for your address, offer you a “pro” package (not necessary to get started) and require you choose a price package. I recommend the package that is for the shortest period of time. When starting out with a business you don’t want to over commit yourself.
Step Four: Going Through the Up-Sale
(If you bought a domain name read below, if not, go to Step Five)
After purchasing a domain name you will be sent to the screen below. Basically there is not much you need to expand on to get started. Just avoid adding a bunch of extra stuff. You can always go back and do that later.
Step Six: Sign into C-Panel and Install WordPress
When you sign back into your Bluehost account you will be directed to your C-Panel. This is basically a dashboard where you can access all aspects of your account. It is very overwhelming as there are a lot of sections. Don’t worry about all the other things you see right now. Simply scroll down to the “Site Builders” section and click on the icon that says “WordPress”.
The below screenshot shows the screen you will come to after installing. To answer the question, “Where would you like your wordpress installed?” just choose the domain you want your site to be on. There is no need to right anything after the “/” unless you want your blog to run under “www.pickledpinkjars.com/blog” or something like that.
The other options are themes/plugins, while it will not hurt to install any of those you can always choose to do it later. I recommend you do your research when picking and choosing plugins. For example, if you want a commerce plugin be sure to look into the different options before pick one. Pay close attention to the features.
The next screen you will come across the “Advanced Options”. Just give the site a name and leave the other two boxes checked.
After the install your site URL and your admin side URL should be available. Congrats! You are in business! You have a lot of work left to do, but you are up and running.