So I’ve created a little video series on how to set up your own free website in WordPress (self-hosted, as opposed to on WordPress.com), cos I get asked this all the time and I thought it would be best to just put all my info in one place for you here, as well as on my YouTube channel.
It walks you through everything from choosing a good domain name, to registering your domain, adding it to a hosting company, installing WordPress script on your site and seeing it go live.
If this all sounds complicated or time consuming, worry not! It’s pretty easy and should take you no more than a few hours max to get your site up and looking great.
No expensive web designer needed 🙂
Watch the videos in sequence, take notes if needed and then, most importantly, take action. Get this done. If you’re anything like some of my old clients and people I meet at business events, this is something that they procrastinate over. So if you’re currently website-less, or WordPress website-less, go set it up.
In the first video, I talk about how to choose your best domain name for your website, what factors to consider and why it’s so important to get this right in the beginning.
You need to factor in things like whether you want to be location-specific or global, a brand name or something that is more descriptive and includes your niche keyword(s).
Avoid the common domain-choosing mistakes that some people make. Remember, your domain name could potentially be with you and your business for 10 years or more. It needs to be easy to say and for people to understand and serve your needs, in terms of conveying the right message and positioning in your marketplace.
Video 2 – Registering Your Domain
In this second video I show you how to register your domain with GoDaddy – quite simple really but I just wanted to highlight how NOT to get caught up in their upsell system – they will try and sell you hosting, additional domains – .net, .info, .biz, .uk. .everythingelse.
You want to move swiftly through, make your domain purchase and then leave. You should not buy hosting with them, they’re not the best value for money and try and get you to pay extra for things that are free with other hosting companies.
Their sales funnel, from a marketer’s point of view, is awesome BTW – just not what you want to get caught up in or confused by lol.
Video 3 – Installing WordPress With Hosting
I recommend using Hostgator – it’s cheap, robust, good customer service. I have been using them for years and am very happy.You get unlimited bandwidth, disk space, domains (i.e. you can host lots of websites for one flat fee) and e-mails.
Shared hosting is fine (the cheapest, simplest package) but if and when your site gets much more traffic, it is easy to move to a dedicated server type hosting, to ensure your site’s continued speed and functionality. Anyway, not something you have to worry about now, but good to know for the future.
Hostgator has an easy to use ‘c-panel’ in the backend admin section, which makes installing WordPress super-easy. It has ‘1-click installation’ – it installs in one click and takes about 1 seconds. It doesn’t get any easier.
In this third video I show you how to add your new domain to your host, change the DNS (domain name servers) and install WordPress in 1 click. BTW, I am an affiliate for Hostgator and would appreciate you going through my link here, it sponsors me creating free tutorials for you like these. 🙂
Video 4 – WordPress Admin Dashboard Tour
In this video I show you around the backend admin dashboard of your new WordPress site. It’s easy to navigate with the simple menus. I give an overview of things like settings, plugins, themes, comments, setting up new pages and posts. You can add different users to your site, with different permissions – which is great for your staff or team members to be able to add new pages without being given full admin rights.
Video 5 – WordPress Themes I Recommend
Let’s explore some themes for your new site. A theme determines the the look and feel and functionality of your WordPress site. There are thousands of free themes which are good. But I would recommend a premium theme such as Optimizepress for much greater functionality and customisation. This is especially important for running your online business, other ‘hobby’ blogs can get away with a free theme.
I show you how to install a theme on your site.
Themes mentioned – Notepad theme, various Woo Themes, Thesis, Optimizepress – which most of my sites are built on (including this one). Watch my review post and video on the benefits of the Optimizepress theme for more info on that and why I love it so much.
Video 6 – WordPress Plugins for Improved Functionality
Plugins open up a world of additional functionality and styling to your website, without hiring a webmaster.
Here’s the ones I use and recommend: Akismet – for comments anti-spam, Digg Digg – for social sharing, Google XML Sitemaps – for SEO, Pretty Link – for forwarding/tracking/cloaking affiliate links, Ultimate Google Analytics – for tracking stats on your site, SEOpressor (premium plugin) – for SEO.
Video 7 – Configuring Permalinks
In this final video, I show you how to change ‘permalinks’ – which is the way your pages and posts structure the URL name. You want your URLs to be the title of your pages and posts, not a generic number as is the default setting.
I hope you’ve enjoyed and found the videos useful!
Please let me know of you’ve found these WordPress tutorials helpful in setting up your website – leave a comment below.
As this is a free series, I am not offering technical support of any kind for WordPress site set up. But you can find someone pretty easily and cheaply online to help you out – check out Fiverr. Put it this way – it’s wayyyyy cheaper to do this simple set up yourself and pay someone to do one or two things that you might get stuck on, rather than paying a web designer to do it all!