How to Install WordPress on a Hosting Service with Shopping Cart
WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in the world, holding the record for the most installations with over 250 million downloads and counting.. It’s easy to see why. Whether you want to create a simple blog or a corporate website, WordPress offers the perfect solution. It’s highly customizable and gives you complete control over the content you create.
But, if you don’t have the technical know-how or the time to learn WordPress, there’s another solution. Hosting services provide the foundation of a WordPress installation, giving you access to a team of experts – even if you don’t have a clue about code or design. In this article, we’ll outline the steps to install WordPress on a hosting service so you can take control of your content and grow your business.
Step One: Select A Hosting Service
There are many reasons why you might want to install WordPress on a hosting service. Maybe you already have a blog and want to expand into creating a corporate website. Perhaps you want to take advantage of the massive ecosystem of third-party developers who create themes and plugins for WordPress. Or maybe you want to just run a standard WordPress site and don’t need any additional features.
No matter why you want WordPress installed on a hosting service, you need to start by selecting a reputable host that offers the functionality you need and has an excellent reputair.
When selecting a host for WordPress, make sure to look for some of the following attributes:
- Uptime: The faster your website loads, the better. Slow speeds impact your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) negatively and can cause your site to lose ranking in the search engines. This, in turn, can damage your business. To avoid this, make sure that your host offers world-class speeds or, at least, promises fast load times.
- Support: The more support you get, the less likely you are to run into any major issues. This is especially important if you’re new to web design or development. If you’re looking for a web host that offers 24/7 technical support, be sure to check out their services before making a decision.
- Feature-rich: Every web host is going to boast of how much they offer. It’s easy for them to say and it doesn’t mean much. The true test is how much value do they bring to you as a customer. Things like geo-redirects, free backups, etcetera are all great features to have but, if they don’t allow you to run a WordPress site, it might not be the best choice for your business.
- Reliability: Nothing is worse than getting stuck with a host that is down when you most need them. Always take into consideration the uptime guarantee and try to look for hosts that consistently provide excellent service.
- Scalability: This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re starting a blog or using WordPress as a way to advertise your business, you need to look for a web host that can accommodate all of your growth needs. Not every host is designed to serve hundreds or thousands of sites so be sure to check out their services before making a decision.
- Cost: Although this isn’t always the case, it’s usually cheaper to have your web host manage your site’s content instead of you paying someone out of your own pocket. Plus, you can always sign up for a free trial or use their money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with their service.
Step Two: Install WordPress
Now that you have your hosting service selected, it’s time to install WordPress. The first step is to visit the WordPress website and click the Install button to start the installation process. Alternatively, you can install WordPress manually by downloading and installing the WordPress.org binary. The.org version is completely free and can be downloaded from the WordPress website. After you’ve installed WordPress, take a few minutes to log in as a superuser and configure the site as needed.
As a superuser, you have total control of the site’s content and can add, edit, and remove any posts or pages you want. If you’re new to web design or development, this is a great place to start, learning how to code and make changes to the website as you learn.
Step Three: Activate The Plugin
After you’ve installed WordPress and are logged in as a superuser, it’s time to activate the WordPress plugin. Simply go to Plugins in the dashboard and click the Activate link next to the plugin you want to install. For this example, we’ll use the Gravity Forms plugin to create a contact form for your site. Once activated, visit Gravtiy Forms in your dashboard to customize the form.
From the very beginning, you’ll notice that Gravity Forms handles the technical parts of setup for you, leaving you with just the fun part – designing the form. To create a form in Gravity Forms, first you’ll need to select the plugin that you want to use to collect the data. For this example, we’ll use the Contact Form 7 plugin (free version).
After you’ve chosen the plugin, you can click the Add form button to create a blank form.
You can then start adding the elements you want to include on the form – like a title, company name, email address, etc. When you’re done adding elements, click the Preview button to see how the form looks.
Finally, when you’re happy with how the form looks, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page to create the form and move on to the next step.
Step Four: Configure The Plugin
Now that you have your contact form, it’s time to configure the plugin. Go back to the dashboard and click the Plugins link. In the search bar, type in the name of the plugin you used and click the Install button to install the latest available version. For this example, we’ll use Gravity Forms again but this time we’ll use the Contact Form 7 (free version) plugin to create a simple contact form.
After you’ve installed the plugin, go back to the Dashboard and click the Settings link next to the plugin. In the settings page, you’ll see the name of the plugin and an option to Activate. To create a contact form in the form of a list, click the Live preview button to the left of the toggle switch. This will display the form in a dropdown menu, as a typical select box would.
With the select box active, click the Add another element button to create a second element – like a text area or a checkbox – which will be displayed in a select box.
Once you’ve added the desired number of elements, click the Update button to save the settings.
To create a contact form using the Gravity Forms plugin, simply follow the steps outlined above. You’ll have a form pop up with all the contact details you need.
Step Five: Test The Form
Now that your contact details are securely stored on a remote server, it’s time to test the form. To do this, click the Preview button at the top of the form to launch the preview mode. Once the form is activated, you can click the Contact link at the top of the page to send a test message to the author of the plugin. For this example, we’ll use the Contact Form 7 (free version) plugin but you can use the same process to test any form you created using the Gravity Forms plugin.
Now that you have a working contact form, you can continue to develop your website and learn new things. If you have any questions or need assistance with anything, feel free to reach out to us via our Support Ticket system or through one of our community sites. We’d be happy to help out.
And, as a final word of advice, if you’re looking for a new web host, make sure to perform due diligence before making any commitments. Selecting the right web host is an essential step to the successful operation of your WordPress site.