How to Host Your WordPress Site – A Step-By-Step Guide
WordPress is one of the most popular and successful content management systems (CMS) on the web. It’s a great choice for beginner webmasters who are looking to create a professional-looking site without needing to worry about coding or hosting (the two most common barriers to entry for new website owners). In this article, we’ll talk you through the process of setting up and launching a WordPress website without breaking the bank.
Choose The Right Hosting Plan
A popular misconception about WordPress is that you need to buy lots of expensive hosting to run it effectively on your own site. Nothing could be further from the truth! You can use a free version of WordPress with an unrestricted number of domains, and you can even use a reputable hosting company to get started. The best web hosts for WordPress make it easy to get up and running with a professional-looking site in no time, and they usually offer very affordable plans as well.
It’s important to choose a host that suits your needs, and you should go for the one that provides you with the best value for your money. There are some great web hosts out there that are free (e.g. GitHub), but you should consider the pros and cons of each plan before making your decision. The better the value, the better the deal, and we’ve listed some of the best WordPress hosts below.
Secure And Private
Even if you decide on a paid host, you should still want to protect your WordPress site from potential hackers and intruders. You can do this with a free SSL certificate from LetsEncrypt (in the event that you decide to go this route). You should also consider using a VPN to secure your connection to keep your personal data private while you’re online. Installing a VPN plugin (like ProtonVPN) to your WordPress site is extremely easy and takes just a few moments of your time. Doing this prevents third parties from snooping on your data while you’re on untrusted networks (like public Wi-Fi). Using a VPN is also a great way to bypass restrictions when you’re abroad.
Choose A Suitable Domain Name
If you’re new to the world of blogging, you might want to consider buying a domain that’s related to your niche. You can use Bluehost’s awesome one-click install to get a professionally-looking WordPress site up and running in no time on any of their domains. Just choose the one that best suits your needs (in terms of both price and availability), and you’re good to go!
Pick A Suitable Username
Creating a user account on your WordPress site is very simple — all you need to do is enter a username and a password. This can be something creative that represents you (e.g. “johnsmith”) or a professional-sounding moniker that’s relevant to your niche (e.g. “brandmanager”). If you decide to go the route of the former, make sure to keep it relatively short (no more than six characters) and use a mixture of alphanumeric characters and special characters. It’s also a good idea to use a password manager like Dashlane to generate and store strong, memorable passwords.
The first step in setting up a WordPress site is to visit the WordPress website and click on the Install button. This will guide you through the very easy setup process where you’re prompted to choose a domain to install WordPress on. Once installed, you can log in to your newly created WordPress account and begin designing your website.
Curate Your Content
The most important thing to get right when you’re launching a new site is content. The better the content, the better the website. You can’t run a successful blog without good content. Luckily for you, we’re curating this article series where we’re going to walk you through the steps to efficiently and effectively curate content for your blog. Stay tuned for part two where we’re going to teach you the ins and outs of creating content for your blog.
Use The Right Tools
No, we don’t mean Pinterest or Instagram — we mean the tools that you’re already using to communicate and engage with your audience. If you’re new to the blogosphere, you might want to consider using tools like Hootsuite, which can help you find Instagrammers and Pinterest users who fit your target audience. Don’t forget — your customers will also be your audience, so make sure that you’re engaging with them using the right tools as well.
Launch A Blog
Blogs are one of the most popular content types on the web. They allow anyone to easily publish content on a variety of subjects, and many people use blogs as a way to establish their authority in a niche. Having your own blog on your site is a great way to show off your expertise and allow potential customers to navigate to you instead of a paid associate or affiliate program.
If you’re looking to create a personal blog on the side or use it as a place to publish your research, you can use Bluehost’s one-click install to get a professionally-looking WordPress blog up and running in no time on any of their domains. Just choose the one that best suits your needs (in terms of both price and availability), and you’re good to go!
Use The Right Software
If you’re a webmaster or freelancer, you might want to consider using tools like Google Analytics to track the traffic that comes to your blog. With the right software, you can easily find out the demographics and the traffic sources (e.g. social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).
We’d also recommend using a CRM tool like Pipedrive to keep track of your past clients and communicate with them on a regular basis.
Set Up Email Marketing
Giving your audience email addresses is a great way to keep in touch with them and allow you to send relevant content that might pique their interest. There are plenty of companies like MailChimp that can help you set up automated email campaigns that blast out newsletters to your audience on a weekly basis.
The great thing about this option is that you can choose the content that your audience receives based on their interactions with you and your brand. That way, you can ensure that you’re providing them with useful information that will further their understanding of your niche.
Create More With Plugins
WordPress is an incredibly versatile tool, and it provides you with tons of great (free) plugins that can enhance the functionality and user experience of your blog. Some examples of plugins that you might want to look into are:
- Shopping plugins that integrate with major eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce and others
- Social media plugins that let you connect your blog to various social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and others
- Content analysis tools that can tell you the demographics and psychographics of your audience
- Email marketing plugins that can help you set up automated email campaigns
- Security plugins that let you protect your site from hackers and intruders
Make sure to keep your plugins updated to ensure that they work with the latest version of WordPress. Updating plugins can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re not sure about what you’re doing. If you’re looking to take your WordPress site to the next level, it’s a good idea to hire a programmer to build you a custom plugin that does exactly what you want it to do.
Keeping your audience engaged with content that’s regularly updated is incredibly important in order to retain their interest and drive more traffic to your site. Content that is regularly updated provides your audience with fresh new material that they can relate to and connects them to a broader conversation about your niche.
For example, let’s say that you’re a health and fitness blogger — you might decide to write about topics like nutrition, food prep, workouts and health issues related to those topics. If you’ve been blogging for a while and haven’t updated your content in a while, you run the risk of losing your audience and going back to square one. But if you keep updating your content with fresh material, you’re likely to retain your audience and grow your blog progressively over time.
Frequency is key here — make sure to update your content at least once a week, if not more frequently. Consistent, frequent updates will keep your audience interested and allow you to grow your blog as you see fit.