I've just launched my guide to succeeding with niche websites, and it occurred to me that some of you might not actually know how to get a WordPress site set up.
I don't want you stumbling at the first hurdle, so I've put this post together to show you a couple of ways you can go about setting up a WordPress site.
It's pretty easy once you know how.
By the way, I'm talking about using WordPress software to make a site on your own domain. Not about making a free wordpress subdomain site over at wordpress.com.
There are a few things you'll need to get started. I'm going to walk you through setting them up individually, and I'll also show you a place where you can get it all done for you. Have a read of both methods, and see which one works out better for you.
What You'll Need
- A Domain Name (www.yourdomain.com)
- Hosting (this is where your site *lives* online
- Web Support
- Optional: Premium theme
- Optional: Training
The theme is optional, and I cover that a little in this page here. Essentially all you need to get started is a name, and a place to store your website files. Most hosting companies offer a “one click” installation of WordPress, and have pretty good 24hour support, so you needn't worry about that.
Choosing a Domain name
The “domain” is just the name of your website. Another way of describing it would be “web address”.
I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time dwelling on what makes a good domain name. It really depends on your niche.
Don't worry about choosing an exact match domain (EMD), like “howtomakemoneyonline.com” or something similar. Go for a catchy name or something people will remember. Try to get a dot com as well. Failing that, get a dot net or dot org.
When it comes to buying a domain, you don't want to spend more than $10 for a year.
If you do a quick Google search for Namecheap coupon, you'll probably find one that you can enter to get $1 off.
Choosing And Setting Up Hosting
My recommended host is Bluehost. I recently switched allegiance from Hostgator to Bluehost, although you won't go wrong with Hostgator really either; I just think Bluehost is more beginner friendly.
The reason I recommend Bluehost is because their support is excellent, their pricing very competitive, their interface easy to figure out, and most importantly, they are reliable.
They'll walk you through the whole set up process and you'll have WordPress installed on your domain in no time. You CAN sign up for hosting before choosing your domain name, but you might as well get the domain done first and click the “I already own a domain” option when signing up.
If you've already got hosting elsewhere, it's fine. This tutorial will still help you get set up.
Every host has a slightly different interface, but the general thing you'll want to do is log-in to your cpanel, click the “Install WordPress” icon, and go from there.
You'll generally just need to choose a site name, assign the admin email address, and create a password. Make sure it's not an easy password to hack (WordPress will tell you how strong or weak it is).
Once that's done, you're good to go and are able to log in to WordPress.
Understanding how to use WordPress goes beyond the scope of this article. Below are a few resources that should come in handy for you:
- For a list of essential plugins to install.
- Business community with plenty of WP tutorials and videos.
Choosing A Theme
Premium themes are generally the way to go. They look better, they run more smoothly, they often rank better, and they make your site so much more professional in every way.
You don't necessarily need to break the bank on a premium theme, but a decent one will cost you from $50-100. This is not a mandatory expense and you can still find some great free themes. I definitely recommend that you upgrade to premium theme as soon as you can afford it.
All the sites I build for myself and customers use premium themes.
Recommended Premium Themes:
You'll need training not only on WordPress itself, but on every aspect of owning and running a successful website. I've got some great tutorials for you here and here, but you might find you need something more hands-on. If this is the case, I recommend you join this affiliate marketing community.
The perks of joining WA are that you'll get all the training and support you need, and live chat and forum-style discussions that will allow you to directly ask questions and get help from other members.
Additionally, if you sign up for the paid membership level, you'll get unlimited hosting and tech support included, which takes away the need for hosting at Bluehost. It really depends how you prefer to do it.
To hear about my own story with affiliate marketing and the community, read this.
Is Anything Else Needed?
You'll probably find while on your Internet Marketing journey that there ARE some other things you'll need, but what's been included in this post is enough to get you set up and moving. I've got plenty of other guides and case studies on this site to keep you moving forwards from here, and you can keep up to date by subscribing as well.
If you've got any questions or additional recommendations, feel free to write in the comments below.