Following our simple no nonsense guide will show you how to setup a WordPress blog the easy way, so let’s go ahead and begin!
The two initial components you’ll need right now are the following:-
- A Domain (e.g. www.wpsetup.org)
- Hosting provider – which is the service that ‘hosts’ your website and servers it up on the world wide inter webs.
Step 1. Let’s choose and register a domain name
Domains are your address on the webs and people make a snap decision when they see a domain as to whether it’s decent or not. You want a decent, memorable one of course so keep the following in mind.
‘Hey, what’s in a domain name?’
A good domain name should be:-
-Short and concise
-Easy to spell and remember
-.com is preferable if you’re going for the global reach or a country specific domain if your business is local
-.org if you are a company or organisation
-.co or .io or other newer domain endings if your ideal .com isn’t available
How to come up with a good domain
If you want to create a website for a business the domain name should reflect your business name. For example ‘First Point Realty’ could be ‘firstpointrealty.com.
If you are starting a blog or website about a specific interest or area write down words that relate to your idea. For example if you’re making a travel blog start with words like ‘travel, wanderlust, adventure’ and write a list of domains down.
To check that your domain is available simple go to https://www.namecheap.com/domains/domain-name-search.aspx and see what domains are available.
If you’re struggling for ideas try using a thesaurus or a domain name generator like Panabee.
Once you’ve got a domain chosen it’s time to register it with a provider such as Namecheap, which you can do so here. We’ll need your domain in step 2, below.
Step 2. Setup WordPress hosting
There are a bunch of hosting providers on the web, but there are only a handful that are WordPress hosting specialists. Why would you want to host your new website on a sub optimal provider? We have gone through and carefully tested and compared a bunch of hosting providers and we only recommend the following as they are optimised for WordPress and allow you to easily set up and install WordPress.
They are as follows:-
For the purpose of this exercise we’ll stick with Kinsta as they are the easiest to setup, offer the best value for money and have a super fast, highly optimised and robust hosting service for WordPress.
Let’s sign up for Kinsta and create your account:-
Then choose your plan type:-
Enter your payment details:-
Once you’ve paid for your plan and completed the sign up you’ll be taken to the Kinsta dashboard page.Here we want to configure your DNS settings, so click on the Kinsta DNS and then ‘Add Your First Domain’. Then enter in your domain name.
Configure DNS settings
You’ll get this page which shows your specific DNS server settings which you need to copy and paste into your domain registry settings.
So now you need to access your domain registry provider (where you registered your domain) and change the name servers there to point to Kinsta. If you registered your domain via Namecheap you need to firstly login to your Namecheap account.
Once you’re inside, click the ‘domains’ tab and then click on your domain.
Scroll down to NAMESERVERS, click on the dropdown and select ‘Custom DNS’.
Paste in the domains servers from Kinsta we found above, one by one into Namecheap
If you registered via Godaddy follow our guide here.
Step 3. Install WordPress via a one click install
On the Kinsta dashboard page click the ‘Add new site now’
You’ll then need to enter in the following:-
Location (server) – The physical location of the server that will host your site. If you think most of your visitors will come from the US choose a US based server, if most of your traffic will come from Europe choose a server in the EU, etc.
Name of this site – The name of your website (admin purposes only)
Custom Domain – Make sure to check the ‘I’ll use my own domain’ box and select the domain who’s DNS servers we configured earlier
Add a brand new WordPress install – Make sure you select this from the dropdown !!
Site Title – The public facing title of your site
Admin user name – Your user name for login into WordPress
Admin password – Your password, shhh keep it secret!
Admin e-mail – Your e-mail address in case you need to reset your password
Now scroll down and click ‘ADD’
It will take a few minutes for WordPress to be installed on your Kinsta server and the page will remain blank and in a loading state, but don’t stress, give it time and have a matcha tea.
When the installation is complete you will get the sites page, showing your recently installed website.
Now click on the site name to open the site page.
You’ll now enter a page showing all the specific page info.
Copy the IP address highlighted, we’ll need that in a second.
We have blocked out our info for privacy purposes.
Go back to the Kinsta DNS tab and click on ‘Manage’.
Click on ‘Add The First DNS Record’
I know this is boring but we’re almost done, so hang in there!
We’re now going to create the A-Record for your domain.
Paste in the IP address you copied earlier and click ‘Add DNS Record’.
You can now see the A-Record you have created outlined by the green rectangle. Finally we need to create the CNAME record which will point www.yourdomain.com -> yourdomain.com
Click ‘ADD a DNS Record’
Select CNAME from the first drop down, enter www into the first field and then finally your domain name without ‘www’.
It might take a couple of hours for your DNS settings to propagate (worst case) but it might be much faster.
Step 4. Access your newly installed WordPress site!
Now that you have successfully setup your Kinsta hosting and installed WordPress, congrats! You can hope on into your WordPress site.
Navigate to your domain name /admin e.g. www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin and you’ll get the WordPress login page. Enter in your e-mail and password, those that you created earlier in the process.
Welcome to WordPress! You’re in!
Step 5. How to Install a WordPress theme
After you’ve got WordPress installed on Kinsta, it’s time to customise the site and make it look the way you’d like. The beauty about WordPress is that there are a bunch of Themes that are available and some that are free, but the downside of free themes is that they are very basic and aren’t great in all areas so we recommend getting a paid theme. You get what you pay for after all.
So what’s a good theme?
A good theme should fulfil the following criteria:-
-Fully Responsive (mobile, tablet, desktop)
-Optimised for speed
-Easy to use
-Suits your aesthetic
-Multi lingual (optional)
We recommend going to MyThemeShop to find yourself a professional looking theme. Themes cost anywhere from 30-70 dollars, the sweet spot being around $50 and the functionality and look you get from a paid theme is well worth your investment.
So once you’ve chosen a theme, paid and downloaded it, let’s get it installed!
NB: You most likely will have to increase the WP Memory size as the default is only 16mb and a lot of these are over this file size. Our guide on increasing WP memory size here will help.
Upload a new Theme
Firstly you need to navigate to the ‘Appearance’ section of WP and then to ‘Themes’ then click ‘Add New’ which will then become ‘Upload Theme’.
Secondly click on ‘Upload Theme’
Now you’ll get a file window that will popup where you need to select the .zip file containing the theme you just purchased.
Once that has uploaded it should appear in a new window on this page as we outline below in the friendly green box.
Click on ‘Activate’ to bring this new theme into your website, pimp zee website!
Step 6. Start adding content to your WordPress site
After you have installed WordPress you probably want to go ahead and start turning adding pages and posts to it.
Add your first Page
To create a page click on ‘Pages’-> ‘Add New’ and you’ll get a new page where you can add a title (3) and page content (4).
Once you’re happy with your page content, you can choose to save it as a draft, preview the content in a new window or if it’s ready for the world wide web hit the ‘Publish’ button.
Add your first post
This is more or less identical to adding a Page. However, a page is where Posts can be found, think of a Page as the host for a post. So jump in and add a title and body to flesh it out a bit.
Time to give your site some structure and play with the menu situation
On the left hand sidebar click on “Appearance” then “Menus” in the sidebar, here you can see the current overlay of your site menu.
You can create a new menu for a specific page by clicking ‘create a new menu’
Any new page you created can be added to a menu of your choosing simply by ticking the checkbox beside it and then “Add to Menu”, job done.
To reorder the position of items in your menus, just drag and drop items as you wish.
When you’re done Click ‘Save Menu’
Step 7. Customising your freshly installed WordPress site
It’s great that you have installed WordPress and now it’s time to give it that extra polish. Everyone has different tastes, desires and needs, so here you can fulfil your wildest WordPress fantasies…seriously!
On the left hand side of the WordPress dashboard you’ll see ‘Themes’, click on that and then ‘Customise’
You’ll then get a panel on the left, which shows all the customisations available to you. Each theme will offer different customisations.
From that panel you can play around with several aspects of your WordPress site look and feel.
So that’s it!
Congratulations on installing WordPress and getting setup!
From all of us at WP Setup to you,
Cheers and all the best with your WordPress blog!