Starting a Blog Step Four – Installing WordPress
We’ve come a long way in this series on how to start a blog – from choosing a name, to what to look for in a hosting company, and then on to selecting a web host. This article walks you through installing the software that you use to actually create your blog – WordPress.
WordPress Installation the Easy Way
While there are other programs you could use, WordPress is the number one choice of bloggers, with over 50% of the market – and for good reason. It is easy to set up and use, yet it is powerful enough to grow with you. It also has hundreds of plug-ins to make it even more useful, something we’ll get into in a later post.
In a previous post, we recommended four hosts. One of the reasons we suggest them is that installing WordPress is either done for you when you purchase a hosting plan (comes pre-installed), or it is a simple matter of a one-click installation.
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Pointing Your Domain
If you have purchased your domain from either SiteGround or InMotion Hosting, you don’t have much else to do to before you can get started blogging. You can skip this next part, because the domain will be set to go.
However, if you registered your domain from a third-party like GoDaddy, you will need to be sure your domain is pointed to whichever company you have chosen as your host. When you purchase your plan, tell the host company that you need the name servers for your host. They are usually in the form of “name server name 1.DNS” and “name server name 2.DNS”. Then, log in where you registered your domain.
Using GoDaddy as an example:
1. Sign in to your account and click on domains. That will show you the domains you have with them. If you just have one, click on the Manage button to the right of “Domains.”
2. Click on Manage DNS for the domain you need to change.
3. That opens a window, and you need to scroll down to the Name Servers section.
4. GoDaddy will have its name servers listed as the default. Click on “add name server.”
5. There will be two boxes to enter the two name servers your web host gave you.
6. Save and exit.
That’s it, you are done. It may take as long as 48 hours for the change to take effect. It usually takes much less time than that. Regardless, it won’t matter for the next step. If you’ve registered somewhere besides GoDaddy, the steps will be similar.
Now, you can go back to your web host and take the steps needed to install WordPress.
SiteGround Installation Wizard
If you bought a plan from SiteGround, they will give you the information you need to sign into your account.
• When you sign into your customer area for the first time, there will be a popup asking if you want to have WordPress preinstalled (it is selected by default).
• Click Proceed.
• You will be taken to a page where you enter a username and password for your WordPress administrator. *Hint: Make it more difficult for hackers by avoiding the default “admin” or “administrator.”
• Next, pick one of the free WordPress themes available from the wizard, and click submit. If none of these really appeal to you, don’t worry. You can just pick one to get started. Our next tutorial discusses themes and where to find them – free and paid.
• You will be shown a summary of your actions as the final step.
• An important piece of information is the database name. This is where all the information about your website is stored. The SiteGround wizard takes care of this for you.
Congratulations! WordPress is installed, and you can start personalizing it for your needs.
InMotion Hosting Installation Using the Account Management Panel (AMP)
• When you purchased your hosting plan from InMotion, you were sent an email with your login information and the link to set a password to AMP. You log on by clicking on the AMP Login button in the upper right hand side of InMotion’s home page.
• When you are signed in, you will see a Manage My Account box and a box below that with your site name. The name in parenthesis after your site name is your username; you will need that username later in the installation.
• In the box below your username, find and click on “Install Popular Software.”
• Click on Install WordPress
• When you are prompted for your cPanel username and password, enter the username you saw in parenthesis. The password is the same as the one for AMP.
• You’ll be taken to a screen where you enter some information for WordPress. It will ask for a Site Name and Site Description. Anything you enter here can be changed later in WordPress, so don’t worry if you haven’t finalized a description yet.
• Choose where to install WordPress. If this is your only domain, then just enter your website domain name, e.g., mysite.com. If you have more than one, point the WordPress installation to the folder with the domain you want set up.
• Unlike the SiteGround Wizard, you will need to input a database name with InMotion. You are restricted in how many characters you can use, so pick something short, but that you will know goes to this website. This really only becomes an issue when you have multiple domains.
• Enter an email in the “Email installation details” box. That way, if anything goes wrong, you will have a record to send to support.
And, speaking of support
Both SiteGround and InMotion Hosting are well known for their excellent customer support. If you have any problems at all, do not hesitate to use Chat to ask questions. From personal experience, we can say that InMotion has the best tech and customer support you will find anywhere. They are quick to answer, and are always friendly and helpful. Users of SiteGround say the same for SiteGround’s support.
Next Up – Pick a Theme and Start Blogging!
There are other web hosts that offer fairly easy installations of WordPress. You will need to ask the hosting company when you purchase your hosting plan. However, if they don’t have an easy install, you may have to do a manual installation of WordPress – but that is a topic for a future post. Our next installment in this series will discuss how to choose a theme and get your website live.