How to Host a WordPress Site with Hostgator
Have a blog that you’ve been thinking about hosting? Or maybe you just want to write a quick blog post and need a place to publish it? You can host your own WordPress blog with the help of Hostgator. Follow this tutorial to launch your own blog in no time.
Step one: Choose a unique domain name
Whether you’re experienced or new to the blogging world, you’ll need a unique domain name to publish your blog. Luckily, you can find a reputable domain name registrar like Hostgator that makes it simple to register a new domain name. For this tutorial, I’ll be using Hostgator’s simple shared hosting plan named The Standard plan (you can also choose the Plus plan or Essie plan, which provide more resources).
If you decide to go with the standard plan, you’ll need to pay just $2.95/mo plus the cost of the domain name itself. To get started, visit Hostgator‘s website and click on the GET STARTED button to begin the registration process.
Step two: Install WordPress to host your blog
Once you have a unique domain name, you can proceed to the next step and install WordPress to host your blog. To do so, visit WordPress.org and download the WordPress installer. After installing the WordPress software, log in to your dashboard and click on the Settings button in the top-right corner.
You’ll then be greeted with a large settings panel. From here you can choose your blog’s theme, edit the site’s content, install plugins, and more. To launch your WordPress blog, click on the Build Blog button.
Once the blog is launched, you can begin inserting content into it. For this tutorial, I’ll be using the free WordPress plugin named Visual Composer to easily create a blog post with some graphics.
Step three: Choose a suitable hosting plan from Hostgator
As I mentioned above, you can choose either the Plus plan or the Standard plan from Hostgator’s website. If you decide to go with the Plus plan, you’ll need to pay $5.45/mo plus the cost of the domain name itself. To get started, visit Hostgator‘s website and click on the GET STARTED button to begin the registration process.
The Standard plan is the cheapest option from Hostgator and bundles together a free domain with basic hosting features. For this guide, I’ll be using the Standard plan since it provides everything you need to get started. To continue with the tutorial, click on the GET STARTED button to proceed to the next step.
Step four: Fill out the site’s content
Once you have a launched WordPress blog with a unique domain name, you can begin to populate it with blog posts and other content such as graphics and videos. To do so, visit WordPress.org and click on the Add New button to begin the content creation process.
You’ll then see a page filled with a variety of short-codes that you can use to quickly add content to your site. For this tutorial, I’ll be using the Visual Composer short-code to create a basic blog post with some graphics.
Step five: Customize your site with CSS
With your blog now populated with content, you can begin to customize it with some stylish templates and premium-quality graphics.
To do so, simply sign in to your dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Customize. From here you can choose from a wide array of free themes and premium WordPress templates to transform your blog’s design. If you decide to go with a free theme, you can download it and install it through WordPress’ dashboard. Alternatively, you can purchase a premium theme from a third-party store with reliable and secure checkout.
Step six: Activate WordPress SEO features
WordPress comes with a built-in SEO (search engine optimization) tool that makes it easy to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Simply follow these easy steps to enable WordPress’ SEO features.
Visit WordPress.org and click on the Settings gear icon in the upper-right corner. Once you’re on the Settings page, click on the Search Traffic button to begin the process. You can also create a free SEO audit report to diagnose your site’s weaknesses and make necessary changes to improve SEO.
Step seven: Install WordPress to your hosting plan
If for some reason you decide that you don’t want to use WordPress to host your site, you can deactivate it through the Settings screen. However, if you decide to keep WordPress installed on your hosting plan, simply follow these steps to register the domain name and set the blog up for remote editing:
In your WordPress dashboard, click on the Tools button and select the Remote Settings option. You’ll then be presented with a modal box that allows you to access your blog’s settings from anywhere.
To set up remote administrative access to your blog’s dashboard, you’ll need to create a username and password. To continue with the tutorial, click on the Create New User button to proceed to the next step.
Step eight: Manage your site’s security
As a self-hosted blog owner, you have complete control over the security of your site. To keep your blog safe from hackers and third-party attacks, you can use any of the free security plugins that extend WordPress’ capability to protect your site. For this tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to install the popular WordPress Security plugin which offers much more than basic hosting security features.
To continue with the tutorial, visit WordPress.org and click on the Plugins button to begin the plugin search process. Once on the Plugins page, search for WordPress Security and click on the Install button to begin the plugin installation process. After installing the WordPress Security plugin, you’ll see a notice at the top of the dashboard notifying you that your site is now protected.
Step nine: Start writing
If you follow the above steps, you will have successfully launched a WordPress blog with a unique domain name. From here, you can begin to write your first blog post and share it with the world.
To do so, visit WordPress.org and click on the Posts button to begin the post creation process. From here you can simply begin typing and using the rich text editor to create your blog post. Once you’re finished, click on the Publish button.
Step ten: Promote your blog
You now have a fully functioning WordPress blog that you can promote to help grow your business or brand. For this step, I’ll be using the free tool from Rankr.com which offers easy, free SEO for bloggers and businesses.
First, log in to your dashboard and click on the Settings button to enter the admin area. Once you’re on the Settings page, click on the SEO button to begin the process. Once on the SEO screen, click on the Install button to begin installing the tool on your blog.
To set up free SEO for your blog, you’ll need to create a free SEO account with Rankr.com. To continue with the tutorial, click on the Create New Account button to register your blog for free SEO.
Step eleven: Use Linkedin to grow your network
To begin building your blog’s audience, you can use one of the free tools from LinkedIn to create a group of interested parties for your blog to gain credibility with. For this tutorial I’ll be using the Leadlinker tool to create a lead list on LinkedIn.
After creating a free LinkedIn account, visit LinkedIn.com and click on the Plus icon in the upper-right corner to create a group named Bloggers. Once you’re on the Group screen, click on the Create button to begin creating your group.
To add a resource such as a link, infographic, or video to your group, you can use the Group Content tool.
To continue with the tutorial, click on the Bloggers group and you’ll see a list of members. Simply scroll down until you see a member named Michelle Mone and click on the blue button next to their name to begin sharing content with them.