Chapter 1: Getting Started 1-2hours

This first chapter will show you everything you’ll need in order to have a fully functional wordpress website. This includes buying your Domain, choosing your hosting and picking your WordPress theme.

Part 1 : Buying a Domain

First things first; what’s a domain?

You domain is your website’s address. The website that you type into your search bar at the top of the page.

Setting up hosting

Whereas the domain is the location someone types in to find your website, the host is where your website will actually be physically stored.

To function, your website needs to be stored on a physical server somewhere in the world. Yes, you can personally host your own website, but you’d need to store it on a server capable of running 247/365, with multiple backups and high speeds. This would require spending thousands on gear and set up.

The easiest solution therefore is to pay someone to host your website elsewhere. This generally means a monthly or annual hosting package that would entitle you to a certain amount of bandwidth and storage space.

This is generally sold as a starter pack, which would comfortably allow you to hit a few thousand people per month, and which will be your cheapest option.

The next level is usually a “growth” pack, that would allow you to reliably serve tens of thousands of visitors per month.

If you’re just starting out, the basic package generally works really well, and most hosting services will allow you to upgrade as and when necessary.

Hosting services?

When you’re looking for a hosting service, there are a few things you’ll want to check out before you invest. The main things to research are the following:

  • Price – you want to get the best value for money
  • Downtime – Most servers will guarantee you a certain amount of uptime (99% of the time etc). Look for the best stats here
  • Number of servers and their locations – Do they work with a content delivery network (CDN) – more on this below.
  • Support – how much support do they offer you when things go wrong?
  • Speed – how much faster this hosting service will make your website. Every hosting service will day it’s the fastest, but some are measurably or at least, anecdotally faster. From our personal experience, Bluehost was significantly slower that Siteground.

Once you’ve weighed all those options, you’ll be ready to make a buying decision. We wholeheartedly recommend site ground as a hosting service. I’ve lost count of how many times their support team has saved my bacon with a coding issue, fatal error or issue that seems to be beyond their scope of responsibility.

Aside from that, they significantly improved our website speed when we moved over from Bluehost, and they were significantly cheaper. I also have way leS down time with Siteground than Bluehost.

Siteground also has a very easy interface that allows a quick and easy WordPress installation.

For the purposes of this course, we’ll assume you opted to go with Siteground, but for all intents and purposes, the general principal of hosting is all the same.

CDN’s

A content delivery network is basically a server network that hosts a copy of your website in various places around the world.

Imagine if you’re sitting at home in say, New York, and you type in my website’s address.

Typing in my web address essentially sends a request out to my website which is stored on my servers. Say my hosting service is based out of some servers in Delhi, that’s quite a significant distance for the information to travel. Sure it might actually take only seconds for the information to travel, but it might be enough of a lag to put you off.

Now imagine if I have a web server system  all around the world, each one containing a copy of my website. hey whadya know, I have a copy stored on a server in New York!

Now instead of calling the Delhi copy, your computer will get a copy from New York. That’s a geographical difference of thousands of miles, and that could easily shave off seconds of website load time. A CDN system is designed to reduce website load time by delivering a website that is geographically closer to the requester. Simple right?

Siteground partners with Cloudflare and has it in built into its system (all you have to do is turn it on), one of the most reputable and best CDN networks out there. Yet another reason to go for Siteground.

My personal recommendation is to opt for the Siteground basic hosting package to begin with, and then as your site grows you can grow to a bigger plan.

So once you’ve signed up to Siteground, you’ll need to connect your domain that you (hopefully) bought in the last lesson.

This is actually extremely straightforward. In simple terms, all you have to do is point your domain to your servers.

Or in even simpler terms, when someone types in your website address, the computer needs to know where that website lives, so you have to leave directions (or point the domain to the hosting company’s nameservers).

Head to the DNS manager in Siteground (or whatever hosting package you bought), and look for a section titled “name servers”

Head to your domain host and look for the DNS information relating to the Domain you just purchased. Look down the list and find “name servers”.

All you have to do now is replace the current information with the information you found on Siteground. Click save and you’re done!

Now all you have to do is wait for it to populate. Usually this takes a few hours, so go and grab a coffee and come back in a bit!

If you really can’t figure this out, the Siteground support should do it for you if you navigate to the chat area and ask them. When I first started out this was a regular request from me!

Easier still would be purchasing your domain from Siteground, but it’s not always that easy as different companies own different domains.

If you haven’t realised this by now, we absolutely love Siteground and strongly recommend you use them.

Congratulations; let’s recap on what you’ve learnt so far!

    ◦    Buying a domain

    ◦    Buying and setting up a hosting plan

    ◦    Connecting your hosting to your domain

With me so far?

If you’ve done all three steps above. You now have a web address that points to a blank website (hosted on a remote server!)

The next step is installing WordPress on your website.

Installing WORDPRESS via Siteground

Once you’ve set up your domain and hosting, installing WordPress is an absolute breeze and takes less than 5 minutes.

    0.    Enter Siteground CPanel area.

    0.    Navigate to section called Softaculous, click

    0.    Click WordPress installations

    0.    Choose your new hosted domain as the website you want to install it on

    0.    Create login credentials (and write down – you’ll need these in a minute)

    0.    Create admin email address (for email address you currently have access to)

    0.    Check limit login attempts.

    0.    Install.

Wait for it to load and hey presto! You now have the default WordPress theme installed on your website.

Wait a few minutes and type your web address in. You’ll see a website now loads.

Ok now how do you access the back end of your website (this is the non-public facing side of your website where you make changes on your site).

It’s super easy!

Type in

Www.yourwebsite.com/WP-admin

The /wp-Admin will take you directly to login page for your website.

Now enter your login details and hey! You’re in your website!

Now you have a fully functioning website at your web address, hosted and ready to be accessed by the public!

Next, let’s choose a website theme!

45min.

Part 2 : Setting up website Hosting

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45min.

Part 3 : Buying a WordPress Theme

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45min.

Part 4 : Connecting them all together

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45min.

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