Okay, you have no domain, no webserver, no wordpress install, maybe not even an idea of what exactly you need to get your own blog up and running.
So first of all: Don’t stress about this. Its actually easier than you think.
I wont go to much into details, just focus on the pure essentials to get you set up as fast as possible.
The most important thing is getting started, you can always go back later and correct the course.
Not sure what web host to take? It doesn’t really matter in the beginning.
Not sure which domain name to pick? You can always change it later.
(Especially as we only need a domain for our landing page right now)
Your most valuable asset and the one of any business is the customer list. Or in our case our readers and subscribers.
Even if you change your Wordpress theme, your hosting, your domain name, email service provider or anything else, you will never loose the relationship with your list. As long as we move in the same range of topics, everything will be fine.
So for now just pick an available name for your domain and move on.
Step 1: Search for an available domain name
There are thousands of articles online that talk about this. I would recommend getting a .com domain, although it could be hard nowadays to find one available. (.net, .io or the TLD of your country for non-english speaking blogs can be a viable alternative as well) But we are talking about blogs, and if Ramit Sethi or Tim Ferriss have over half a million readers with domains and names like IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com and FourHourWorkWeek.com you shouldn’t freak out about this.
Something that describes and makes it immediately clear what your blog topic is about works usually very well. (Think "DriveBlogTraffic.com")
So for now just go to namecheap.com and search a while for an available domain name.
Don’t register it with namecheap. Just look for an available one.
Once you have it move on to the next step. The same is true if you already have a domain name, but no hosting.
Step 2: Sign up with a reliable host
In order to get wordpress up and running you need a webserver. A lot of people loose days, reading hundreds of webhosting reviews before deciding on a single one.
But there are actually just three things we have to take in mind:
It’s easy to use: You can install wordpress in a minute with just a single click
It’s reliable: It backups your website automatically and your support request get answered in a couple of hours if you need help
It’s scalable: Once you have 50.000 visitors per month a 5,99$ per month hosting account won’t cut it anymore. So it should give you the option to easily scale up.
The last point is actually something a lot of people forget about. But you should be prepared for your success. Having to change your Host when you already have a massive amount of traffic on your blog is really painful. (Trust me, I’ve done it).
When you are just starting out a shared hosting account is fine and common practice. That means you share your webserver with several other websites. Its cheap and fast to set up. But later you may want to change to a "Virtual Private Webhost" or "Dedicated Server". These are more advanced and more costly hosting solutions, that reserve a specific amount of resources to your blog. Your webhost should make that process as easy as possible.
My recommendation is Bluehost*. It scores fabulous in all three points.
Click here to go to bluehost.com*
Click on the green Button "Get started now"
Select the "basic" package
Enter your Domain Name from Step 1 and click on "next"
Enter your personal Details:
Make sure that you entered the right Domain Name
In the Area "Package Information" you can review your package choice (Should be set to Basic) and set the billing cycle. Bluehost offers a huge discount if you decide for 36 months, but you can choose a smaller time period if you prefer.
Further more you can add and remove some extras. I would recommend the following ones:
Check "Domain Privacy Protection"
This prevents that anyone can see your private details and domain registry information just by looking up your domain name.
Check "Site Backup Pro"
This is worth to add, as it gives you peace of mind that your site will always be backed up in case something is wrong.
Remove "SiteLock Security"
This doesn’t really do anything worthwhile, so if it's pre-selected by default just remove the checkbox.
Enter your Credit Card Details
As your monthly cable bill, hosting as well costs some money. But taking in mind the earning potential your blog has with a huge email list in the future, its really a bargain and nothing to worry about. Additionally bluehost offers a 30 days money back guarantee (you can consult their conditions on bluehost.com*)
Check that you’ve read and accept the Terms and Conditions
Click on "Submit"
On the "Congratulations" Screen skip the extras by clicking on "No thanks"
Now you can review your order details. The next step is to create a password for your account, so you can login to your hosting control panel (Called "cPanel") and install wordpress.
Click on the blue "create your password" button
Create a secure password
Bluehost requires you to create a almost "ridiculous" secure password. But this is actually a good thing. If you build a large blog, you will be a target for spammers and hackers. The saver your password, the harder it will be for them.
So make sure that your password is at least 8 characters long, includes a lowercase letter, an uppercase letter, a number and a symbol. If you struggle to remember this password, think about signing up with a password manager like lastpass. This has been a huge time saver for me.
Login to your Control Panel
Once you've set your password you will be forwarded to the login. Just enter your domain name and the password you've just set.
Click on "Skip this" in the Welcome Popup
Scroll down to the "website" section and click on "Install Wordpress"
In the free "Do It Yourself" Package click on the green "Install" button
Choose your Wordpress Directory
If this is a new domain you generally want to install wordpress right in the root directory. That means your blog will be available when you visit the domain (e.G. www.yourdomain.com instead of www.yourdomain.com/blog/). Just leave the second field blank and click on "Check Domain".
Choose your Blog Name (you can change it later), Username, Password and accept the GPLv2 Terms and Conditions of Wordpress
You can access this options by clicking on "Show advanced options". Leave the option to "Automatically create a new database for this installation" checked as it is. Before you continue with the install you need to accept the "terms and conditions" of Wordpress. Than click on the green "Install now" button.
Wait until the installation is finished, than click on "View credentials"
The status of the installation will be shown in a blue banner at the top of the page. Ignore everything else and just wait until it is finished. The color of the banner will change to orange and a button with "View credentials" appears.
You are finished!
When you click the button you will see your Login Information. Thats it! With just a few simple clicks you've successfully installed wordpress on your brand new webserver. You can now click the first link to see your new blog and use the second link (ending with /wp-admin/) to login to your Wordpress Admin Panel.
Click here to go to bluehost.com*
After you've successfully installed wordpress, click here to follow the steps outlined in Lesson 3.
– Jascha Brinkmann // Founder growtheme.com
* Disclosure: If you sign up with Bluehost through one of my affiliate links, I earn a small commission. This makes sure this course and its materials stays free for you, while Bluehost pays for it instead. I use it as well to see how many people of this course haven't set up a wordpress blog yet.