How to Host a WordPress Site on a Shared Server
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) now. According to statics from GoDaddy, 69% of their customers use WordPress! This makes it the perfect platform to build your next site or portfolio. Even if you have never done so, it’s quite easy to set up a WordPress site. You just need to know a few things and follow a few simple steps to get started.
The Things You’ll Need
Before you begin, you’ll need the following things:
- A computer
- A broadband Internet connection
- A steady Internet connection
- A free domain name
- Suffixes for the domain name (i.e..com,.net,.org)
- A free hosting account from a reputable provider (e.g. Bluehost)
It’s also a good idea to purchase a dedicated IP from a reputable provider (e.g. Private Internet Access). This will help ensure your site is always available when you’re conducting business online.
Setting Up Your Own Server
To set up your own server, you’ll need to make a few purchases from reputable vendors (e.g. Linode, Vesta). Then, you’ll follow the instructions closely to get the equipment set up correctly. This will take some time to figure out and set up correctly. Remember, this is a professional setup and you’re dealing with very expensive equipment here so make sure you do this correctly the first time! Once you’re done, you’ll have a dedicated server that you can use to deploy your WordPress site.
Step One: Install WordPress
With your dedicated server set up, you’re ready to install WordPress. Download the WordPress installer from the WordPress website, install it on your server, and activate it. Next, you’ll need to input a few pieces of information about your site. For the domain name, you can use the exact same value you used for the dedicated IP address. For the site’s name, enter a meaningful name for your site. You can use your own name or a pseudonym if you choose. Then, you’ll want to select a hosting plan that fits your needs. You can choose either a free hosting plan from WordPress or a premium hosting plan if you wish (e.g. Bluehost).
Once everything is set up correctly, you can visit your site using the address provided (e.g. yourdomain.com). If you’d like, you can also set up a landing page with a short introductory guide to get people to subscribe to your newsletter (e.g. a guide to choosing a luxury hotel to visit or a luxury lifestyle blog). This will help drive more traffic to your site. If you’d like to, you can even monetize your site using a virtual wallet (e.g. Stripe).
Step Two: Configure WordPress
After you install and activate WordPress, you’ll need to configure it using the provided defaults or the guidelines in the WordPress documentation. To set the domain name for your site, visit the wp-config.php file and change the value of the $config[‘domain’] variable to reflect your preferred domain (e.g. mydomain.com). Then, for the site’s URL, you can use the standard WordPress address (e.g. yourdomain.com) or a subdomain of your preferred domain (e.g. mydomain.com).
Once you’re done making these changes, visit the Dashboard to ensure everything is set up correctly. You can always go back and review changes you’ve made using the My Sites section on the left-hand navigation bar.
Step Three: Install WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are small programs that extend the functionality of WordPress. They can be quite useful and sometimes even necessary. Installing plugins on your site can be quite simple. You can do this using the WordPress Plugins page on the WordPress website. Simply follow the instructions and choose the plugins you’ll need.
Step Four: Create Your User Account
You’ll need to create an account on the WordPress site so you can access its features. However, you don’t have to use a formal email address to create this account. You can use the site’s contact form to create a username and password and then email them to yourself. You can take this opportunity to setup a password reminder as well. You can then log in using these credentials.
Step Five: Set Up Your Navigation Bar
As mentioned before, the My Sites area on the left-hand navigation bar in WordPress is a great place to keep track of all your sites. To set this up, visit the Appearance section of the WordPress dashboard and change the value of the $menu to point to a WordPress menu you’ve created. Then, add the menu item for My Sites and hit Save to display your sites in the navigation bar.
That’s it! You now have a working WordPress site with a navigation bar. You can continue adding content to this site using the built-in WP editor or by hiring someone to create content for you.
If you’d like, you can add a footer widget area to the WordPress site using the Widgets page on the WordPress dashboard. This will add a small area at the bottom of each page that shows the latest posts from your blog or site. You can also choose to display your social media profiles in the widget or hide them if you don’t want to expose your social media accounts.
Depending on how much activity you have on your site, you might want to consider purchasing a premium plan from a reputable provider (e.g. Bluehost). With a premium plan, you won’t need to worry about storage space as much as you will with a free plan. Simply go back to the WordPress dashboard and click on the Settings button next to the Additional Benefits heading.
Where Can I Go From Here?
So, you’ve got a working WordPress site. Where can you go from here? There are actually a lot more places you can go with WordPress than the five steps described here. You can add more content to your site using the WordPress editor. You can also take this opportunity to make your site mobile-friendly by installing a WordPress plugin (e.g. Mobile Checker by Yoast).
WordPress is a versatile platform and can be used to create any type of site you might want. If you’re looking to create a simple blog or portfolio, you can use WordPress to easily get started. Plus, it’s free!