I have been setting up self hosted wordpress blog websites for about three years now. I’ve created about three different ones for my own businesses and I have also created several others for clients too, everything from a basic blog to a full blown woo commerce shop for one of the biggest wedding blogs in the UK. I don’t code from scratch but I do know my way around a bit of wordpress HTML and creating a great looking website easily.
This is quite a bumper post for you, with pretty much everything you’ll need to get started with a self hosted wordpress blog, in a few easy steps.
CHOOSING A BLOG OR BUSINESS NAME
When choosing your name for your blog, you’ll need to chose a name ideally that’s available as a .com and .co.uk domain URL (although you could just buy one but it’s better to own a domain which no one else has the same), a handle fitting on twitter (15 characters) and instagram (30 characters). It’s also worth googling your name choice to see if any similar blog or businesses that obviously come up high on the search results. You can check whether your domain is free, I like to use 123-reg.com as I find their dashboard really user friendly. Once you’ve bought your domain, and claimed your available social media handles, you’ll also need to buy a hosting package.
BUYING YOUR DOMAIN & HOSTING PACKAGE
I use Catalyst2.com. You’ll need a Linux package to set up self hosted WordPress and their basic package (Mega Deal @ £11.99 for the year) would be enough for a simple blog. It should be easy enough to purchase your package against your newly purchased domain by following the instructions on screen.
You could purchase the domain via Catalyst2 but they would serve as a third party and I like to keep all my domains in one place personally. These instructions are how to set up your hosting on a domain purchased via an external provider such as 123-reg.com. Select this option when asked as per the image below.
Now close your catalyst2 browser sit back and wait for your confirmation emails from Catalyst2 with all your log in details on.
You’ll now need to change your nameservers on your domain. You basically need to point your domain to your hosting package where your website will be so you can set up your simple wordpress install.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR NAMESERVER
Go to your 123-reg control panel, where you have just bought your domain. (if you bought your domain through another provider the dashboard will look slightly different but the process should be the same)
Half way down the page, you’ll see a drop down box with your domain, with a ‘manage’ button to the right.
Select your domain and click ‘manage’.
Under ‘Advanced Domain Settings’, click ‘Change Nameservers (DNS).’
You’ll need to input ‘ns5.catalyst2.net’ in Nameserver 1 and ‘ns6.catalyst2.net’ in Nameserver 2 and leave 3&4 blank.
It can take 48hours for your nameservers to update the change, so for now you can do no more. Go and grab a cuppa tea and come back to it in a couple of days.
HOW TO INSTALL WORDPRESS ON YOUR HOSTING PACKAGE
After 48hours have passed your domain will now be pointing at your hosting package ready to set up your self hosted wordpress blog.
Click the Control Panel link from your email.
Use your login details (from email) to login to your control panel.
Once logged in, scroll down to click the ‘Softalicious App Installer’ link towards the bottom of the page.
Click on WordPress and then Install.
You’ll need to go through the instructions.
Chose whether you want http:// or http://www. (This is to chose whether you want “www.” to show up in the URL bar as part of the domain, I went without as I just think it looks tidier.)
Remove ‘wp’ from ‘In Directory’.
Enter Site Name and Site Description as applicable.
Change the Admin and Password to something more applicable.
At this point you can chose a theme to auto install on set up if you know which theme you’d like to go for. This will just be a choice of one of the main free ones available on the database. I always opt for Vantage as it has plenty of customisation options already built in to the theme. Some themes will be more restrictive than others with what you’ll be able to change as standard with out knowing and custom CSS.
You can change this later if you just want to set it up now and then browse and trial other themes to see which works best. You can buy ready branded themes from Etsy and other sellers if you just want to install and go with a predesigned them. I will be take you through how to set up features which relate to the Vantage theme in a later post. All the sites I currently own are set up using Vantage. It’s a fully mobile responsive and heavily customisable theme.
Click Install and then go to [insertdomainhere.com]/wp-login.php and log in to your dashboard area.
YOU NOW HAVE A BASIC SELF HOSTED WORDPRESS BLOG
I will go through how to set up your pages and start to customise you blog roll using the Vantage theme in the next instalment of this series. If you’re moving over from Blogger and want to import you previous blog posts then you can (within the Worpress dashboard) go to Tools and Import and follow the steps from Blogger. Please note, you may need to resize old images to fit your new theme. I’m not an expert when it comes to Blogger so please do some more research on how to make sure your images also import successfully.
I hope you have found this part one “How To Set Up Self Hosted WordPress Blog” helpful, why not pin it for others to find helpful too.
If you think this is all too much for you and you’d rather just have someone do it for you, why not check out my design services for more info.