How to Host a Website on WPEngine – Step by Step Guide
Many businesses and organizations use WordPress as their main content management system, and for good reason. WordPress is a free and open-source software that can be used to build completely custom websites with relative ease. Perhaps its biggest “selling point” is how easy it is to use once you’ve gone through the initial setup process. Even in its most basic form, WordPress can be rather intimidating to those who haven’t used it previously. That’s why we’ve put together this detailed guide on how to host a website on WPEngine. It’ll take you step by step through the setup process, and even give you some helpful hints along the way. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Register A Domain Name
The first step is to register a domain name for your website. You can use one of the many free domain registrars like 1&1, GoDaddy, or Bluehost to get started. Once you’ve registered the domain name, use the contact information provided by the domain registrar to create an account with WPEngine. You’ll need to input some basic information, but after that its pretty much just like installing any other WordPress application.
HINT: If you use Bluehost, they’ll take care of all of the technical aspects of getting your website up and running for you. So you’ll just need to focus on getting content published. Once you’ve launched your website, you can contact them directly via chat or phone to get assistance.
Step 2: Install WordPress To Your Server
The second step is to install WordPress to your server. This is the part that can be a bit daunting for programmers and tech-savvy individuals who aren’t necessarily familiar with setting up web servers. Fortunately, installing WordPress to a server is a fairly straightforward process. The best way to go about this step is to use a tool like WPEngine’s web installer. Installing WordPress with the web installer is a seamless process that will walk you through the configuration of your web server (e.g. Apache 2.4) in a few simple steps. You’ll only need to login to your WPEngine account and follow the prompts.
HINT: When installing WordPress to a server, it’s essential that you select the proper database. If you use the default settings, WordPress will install a “demo” database that doesn’t have sufficient space to store your entire content. You’ll either need to choose a different database or upgrade the demo one to a full version.
Step 3: Configure WordPress To Suit Your Needs
The third step is to configure WordPress to suit your needs. There are thousands of plugins and themes available for WordPress, and the developers behind them are constantly updating the software to fit the ever-changing needs of the blogging community. After you’ve launched your WordPress blog, you’ll quickly notice that it’s a far cry from the extremely basic setup most people use to get started. Even if you’ve used WordPress in the past, it’s likely that your needs will surpass the features offered by the default setup. Luckily, WordPress is fairly configurable, and with a bit of research and effort, you can have a blog that’s perfect for your specific needs.
To get started, take a few moments to go through the WordPress admin panel and set up your blog as you see fit. The most essential thing to do is to set the default page to be your Blog Index page. From there, you can navigate to any other page you’d like to see appear on your blog’s front end. If you’re looking for something a little less conventional, you can install a plugin that will turn your blog into a portfolio. With a creative enough plugin, you can even have a full-blown photo blog that features your work along with the descriptive text you provide for each image. With so much customization available to you, its essential to do some research before you start using plugins that could potentially conflict with one another.
Step 4: Install And Configure Geofilters
The fourth step is to install and configure Geofilters for your blog. This is a free tool that will allow you to filter posts and comments by location. For example, if you’ve got a blog about food, and you’re located in Austria, you’ll want to utilize geofilters to limit the amount of restaurant-related content that appears on your blog’s front page. You can also use this feature to block specific words or phrases from being posted to your site. To get started, navigate to www.geofilters.com and click the Install button to get the free version. After that, you can simply follow the prompts to get the filters configured correctly.
HINT: There are several different ways to accomplish what you want to do with filters. You can either use the search bar on the homepage to seek out locations or food establishments that you want to avoid, or you can opt to have a map appear on the blog’s front page with various markers representing locations you’ve chosen to exclude from your blog’s content.
Step 5: Install And Configure Akismet
The fifth step is to install and configure Akismet. This is an excellent free tool that will help prevent comment spam on your blog. What is spam, you ask? Its an unwanted message (often with a link or a request to buy some product) that appears in your comment section. Spam is frequently reported by users as the worst type of comment, and it’ll be the last thing you need to focus on if you want to keep your blog free of advertisements and unwanted content. You can either choose to activate the free version, or you can opt to upgrade and take advantage of the tool’s features. To get started, go to www.akismet.com and click the Install button to get the free version. Then, click the Options button to get to the settings page. Here, you can choose to have the tool block some common words or phrases that are used in spam messages, and decide how often you’d like to be notified when a comment is made on your site. Finally, click the Save Changes button at the bottom to get back to the main settings page.
HINT: If you decide to go the route of the free version, you can limit the amount of spam that appears on your blog by tweaking some of the settings in the dashboard. Some of the things you can do to reduce the amount of spam include turning off the ability to leave anonymous comments, changing your comment moderation settings, and choosing a different password to login with. You can also choose to have your blog emailed to you when a new comment is posted (something you’ll want to do if you get a lot of spam). You can read more about all of these settings on the Akismet FAQ page.
Step 6: Create Your Blog’s Post Schedule
The last step is to create your blog’s post schedule. Your post schedule will dictate when you publish new blog posts, and it can seriously affect your SEO if you don’t keep your posts regularly. There are plenty of free and low-cost tools that can help you automate this process, which is why we’ve included this step. To begin, use a tool like WP Planning to set up a calendar and plan out when you’ll publish each blog post. You can also use this tool to set up weekly or monthly alerts so you’re always notified when a new blog post is published. You can get started with this tool by going to blogger.com and clicking the Get Started button to get to the WP Planning homepage.
You made it all the way to the end. Now that you’ve got a new and shiny WordPress blog, its time to celebrate. You can either opt to use one of the many free WordPress themes available, or you can use a tool like Go Daddy’s Website Wizard to build a custom theme. If you opted for a pre-made theme, be sure to activate the featured content option so you can start blogging immediately.
Hang out in the comments below, and let us know how it went!