WordPress is a powerful blogging platform. Google love its, users love it, developers love it, and the readers love it. If you plan on blogging or utilizing a blog to make money, WordPress is the way to go. If you are new, then don’t let terminology like server and WordPress installation scare you. I am going to make this so easy that in one hour from now, your WordPress will be fully installed, optimized, and ready for you to post your first article. If not you can email me and I will personally setup your WordPress installation and optimize it for you. You need to focus your time and energy on producing and promoting high-quality content.
Before you can install WordPress, you will need two things. First you will need to choose a domain name, and second, you will need hosting. I have partnered with HostGator to provide you with both of these, and they gave me a coupon code for my readers that will automatically apply at checkout if you click my HostGator link. The reason I chose HostGator is that they have everything you need all in one place, and their support is top notch. They offer:
- Domain name registration
- Lots of hosting options for as low as $3.95 / month
- 1 click installs of WordPress
With these features alone we can get you up and running in no time, and it won’t break the bank. The full cost including a years domain registration should be less than $25, and then only $3.95 / month unless you choose upgrades like automatic backups.
The domain is what you probably are already familiar with such as www.themillionairemastery.com or www.google.com. Domain names, in a nutshell, are an address for your website.
Hosting is a place for your website files to sit and wait for users to come and view. If you hosted your website on your computer at home then every time you shut your computer down your site would go offline. That would be a bad idea. You absolutely will need a domain name and hosting to have a website.
Choosing a Domain Name and Hosting
Choosing the right domain name can be tricky, especially if you considering paying top dollar for it. Here are some tips for selecting a domain.
- In most cases the shorter the name the better.
- Choose something that is easy to remember.
- Don’t try to be too creative with the name by using numbers and weird spellings. Real people will type it in and if they forget a “z” instead of an “s” you lost them.
- Avoid numbers in the domain name unless it is relevant.
- Don’t spend very much money on your very first domain. Some domains can go for more than $10,000 when a slight variation may be only $10.
- Consider building a brand when thinking about the name.
- If it is possible to include your main keywords in the domain name, but never sacrifice a quality brand for keyword stuffed domains.
HostGator has awesome service, support, and pricing. I 100% recommend you go with them. The link below will automatically apply our coupon to your order. Remember to uncheck all of the features and add-ons you don’t want, so you don’t get charged any extra. Once you have secured your hosting and domain name, you will be ready to move on to the WordPress installation.
Setting Up WordPress Using The 1 Click Install
The first thing we need to do is install WordPress on the server. Another great reason why I love HostGator is that they have an easy 1 click install of WordPress. Here is the video and a transcript of exactly how to do it.
The first thing you need to do after setting up your new account is get logged into your Cpanel. This information is in your account at HostGator, and they will also email you the information. Once you get logged into Cpanel, you will be looking for a quick install icon.
When you click this icon, it will take you to the following screen for WordPress installation. If you want to, they have paid options to finish all of these steps and setup a theme. If you choose that, then you won’t need to follow the steps outlined in this article. Just follow their instructions and let them finish the setup.
To install WordPress on your new domain for free click the button like in the example below that says install WordPress.
On the installation screen, it will ask you if you want to put WordPress in the root folder or as a subdomain. You should always put WordPress in the root folder unless you have a particular reason for putting it in a subdomain. An example would be if you already had a website and you wanted to add a blog to the existing site. Then you would put WordPress in the subdomain of that existing site.
Input this information
- The Base Domain for your installation.
- The sub directory you would like the site to load from if desired.
Example: Should you wish your WordPress URL to be mydomain.com/site instead of just mydomain.com. Your site will always display this extension if you enter one.
- For Admin Email, enter an email address where you want the admin password emailed to. Make sure this is a working email address.
- For Blog Title, enter the name of the website. This is what will appear in the header as the name of your site.
- For Admin Username, enter your preferred user name.
- Your first name.
- Your last name.
- Click Install WordPress when you’re ready to proceed.
A progress bar at the top of the page will let you know when installation is complete. Once complete, you will be able to start working on your WordPress site. Check your email for your WordPress username and password as well as a link to your WordPress dashboard.
You may also find your credentials by clicking View Credentials in the bar at the top of the page:
You should now be able to log into your backend of WordPress by typing www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin and inputting the admin name and password you setup. Your website is also live, and you can view it by typing www.yoursite.com and replace “yoursite” with the domain you chose.
From the backend of WordPress, we have a few things to setup. I will walk you through this step by step. At this point everything else is optional. You can click posts and add new, to start writing immediately but I recommend you first install the following plugins. You may also want to install a theme.
My Recommended Plugins
Now that you have the basic installation of WordPress up and running, you can focus on optimization. These plugins are optional, but they will significantly improve your chance of success.
To install plugins just click the Plugins button on the left side of your website admin backend and click the add new button. From there you will be able to search.
All In One SEO
Out of the box, this plugin does a fantastic job of SEO. I would recommend you just install, activate it, and leave it with default settings. If you want to change specific things like the title of your home page the settings can be found in the new menu that appears in your admin backend labeled “All in One SEO.” They have a full guide on configuring it on their website.
This one is arguable by some people if it’s necessary. I have personally had blogs hacked and injected with viruses. Since then I started using Wordfrence and I have never had a site taking down that has Wordfence installed. The version you download from the WordPress backend is free, and I recommend just using it until your blog starts getting traffic and making money. After that, you can get premium support and features for about $60 / year with the paid version.
W3 Total Cache
Caching speeds up your website. By serving a static version of your web pages, it puts a much smaller load on the server and increases the website load time. This creates a great user experience. This one is not necessary but depending on your content and theme can make a huge difference.
Akismet or Disable Comments
Akismet is protection from spam. Once you install it and setup your free account, it will monitor all of your incoming comments and defer the spam ones. You still have the choice to look at them or not, it’s really up to you. Spam will blast websites that have commenting enabled and good search engine traffic on a daily basis. If you don’t plan on interacting with the community, I recommend you install disable comments. It turns off commenting on WordPress.
After The Deadline
Great spell checking, grammar checking, and style checking.
Installing a Theme
Installing a theme is easy. First, you click the Appearance tab on the left side of your WordPress admin backend. Then click themes.
Next, you click where it says add new. This will take you to the built in WordPress repository of themes. You can go also go to places like Theme Forest and find great themes there as well, in case you don’t find one in the WordPress repository.
In the WordPress theme repository, you will find 1000s of great themes that are either free or a have a free version available. The difference between the free and paid version is most of the time features. The free ones work great but for a small fee, you can get some extra options for customizing your WordPress installation. I like buying themes from theme forest and using the upload button to install it on my website.
Once you search and find the theme you like, click the install button under the themes description. This will download the theme and install it into your WordPress site automatically for you. You can always change themes later if you want.
After the theme is installed navigate back to appearance > themes and click either activate or live preview. The live preview will show you what it will look like before you make it the new active theme. Once you activate it, you are ready to go. In an upcoming post, I will teach you how to configure widgets for maximum effectiveness and deep customizing your theme. Subscribe to my site to stay updated with the latest content.
Start Producing Content
Now that you have your blog up and running it’s time to start producing the content and promoting it. I recommend that you read my post on How To Target Low Competition Keywords. If you target low competition keywords, you will be able to get significant traffic in a much shorter time. If you have any comments leave them below and thanks for reading.