Before we get started, let me first point out a few definitions you’ll need to know.
- Domain Name: This is the website URL that you use such as www.yourdomainname.com.
- Hosting: Every domain name must be hosted somewhere. The the hosting company will own the servers that your website will take up space on.
Okay, those are the main definitions, now let’s move forward.
Determining Where to Host Your Blog
So you have decided to blog and you want to start your blog on a self-hosted blogging platform that can grow with you and your blog. Now you need to know how to set all of this up so you can start blogging. The truth is it is not that hard, and companies like Media Temple & GoDaddy offer great support and 1-click applications to allow you to install WordPress, Joomla, and a host of other blogging platforms, CMS’s, etc. GoDaddy and Media Temple are not the only places that offer these services, however you need to keep a few things in mind for your hosting company.
What Your Hosting Company Should Provide
First, your hosting company’s offering should be compatible with WordPress. Second, your Hosting company should offer 24/7 support so you can get back up and running when the problem is discovered, not just during the hosting companies business hours. Finally, make sure that the 24/7 support answers the phone when you call, you don’t need an account to check this either, just call the support number listed on their website and see how long it takes to speak to a human. You shouldn’t have to wait more than 5 to 10 minutes to speak to the right person.
Step 1 - Buy A Domain Name
Most websites including GoDaddy have an input on their homepage that allows you to type in your domain name ideas and see if they are available. Before settling on a domain name there are a few things to consider. Read this article “How To Choose a Domain Name” before you make your final decision.
Once you decide on the domain name proceed with the checkout process. You do not need to buy all the different versions of your domain name either, in most cases this is just a waste of money. Also, purchasing services such as “private registrations” cost extra money. If you are moonlighting with your blog and want to hide your activities from your current employer, this might be an option. Still, in most cases, the money it costs for a private registration can be better spent in other areas of your blog.
Step 2 – Choose the Company to Host Your WordPress Site
Although hosting is a commodity, good hosting isn’t. In the same way that a liter bottle will only hold 1 liter of fluid, a standard hosting account, like GoDaddy, will only work for a certain amount of traffic to your site.
At Orangecast, we run our blogs on a variety of setups: GoDaddy, Media Temple and our own hosting. GoDaddy offers a lot of different hosting options that are WordPress compatible. GoDaddy is a great place to get your domain name and hosting taken care of all at once, but when your blog’s traffic increases you may need to upgrade from their shared hosting to a dedicated virtual server or move to grid service such as the one offered by Media Temple. That said, create the problem of having too much traffic first and upgrade your hosting later.
Step 3 – Setup Your Hosting and Install Your WordPress Blog
Log in to the Hosting account you have chosen and find their automated installation process. In GoDaddy’s case, this process is integrated into the hosting setup process. Use this installation process you found on your hosting website to setup a WordPress blog or whatever other blog platform you wish to use. After this you will be prompted to fill in some information and then click install and you are ready to go (note: in WordPress make sure to change your password).
If you get stuck in any of these processes call the hosting company’s customer service phone Number and they will walk you through the process of buying a domain and setting up a WordPress blog. They are there to answer any questions you may have along the way. You can also see above screencast video on this post as a reference. In it we buy a domain at GoDaddy and setup a WordPress blog via their WordPress hosting offering.
GoDaddy: (480) 505-8877
Media Temple: (877)-578-4000