If you are like many of us, you may have been toying with the idea…
How to start a Blog from scratch: (Part 2)
In part 1 of this article we considered the primary needs to get a blog up and running. You will recall that we considered a domain name, a server and WordPress.
In this part of the tutorial we will see how to register a server and domain in your name and how to install a fully functioning WordPress installation on your server.
As mentioned in part 1, we advise using SiteGround for both the domain registration as well as the hosting server. In this tutorial we will walk you through the process of registering your domain, registering your hosting server and installing WordPress on your new server.
Registering your domain name and hosting server:
With SiteGround the process of registering your domain and hosting server is merged into one quick process.
- Once you have accessed the SiteGround Website you can follow one of two processes to commence with the registration process. You can either hover over the Web Hosting menu link and then click on Shared Hosting or simply click on the signup link as per the below image.
2. Irrespective which option you followed in the previous step, SiteGround will open up a new page which will give you the option to select between 3 different Linux shared servers. We recommend the “startup package” for now. You can always upgrade to a bigger package if there is a need to do so. On this page you can click on the “Get Started” button underneath the package of your choice in order to proceed to the next step.
3. Once you have clicked on the relevant “Get Started button” you will be afforded the opportunity to register your new domain. As can be seen in the below image, it is simply a matter of selecting “Register a New Domain” and type in the name of your domain after “www” and select a relevant top-level domain (tld) to the right of your domain name. We recommend you select .com if your blog will be aimed at a global audience. Should you wish to only direct your blog at your country you can select the tld relevant to your country. You can now click on the “Proceed” button.
If the domain, you wish to use is already registered by another person the following message will be displayed “The domain name you have chosen is not available. Please try a new domain name search in the domain name box above.” Once you have an alternative domain name which is available for registration you can click on the “Proceed” button again.
4. Once you have clicked on the “Proceed” button you will be taken to a new page (as can be seen below) where you will be required to furnish the required details to register a new account with SiteGround, furnish your payment details, confirm the hosting server you have selected and make the actual payment.
5. Once the payment has been finalised and your account has been created you will have access to your new account. This will give you access to a dashboard from where you can manage your account. See below example.
In order to gain access to your newly registered server, you simply click on the “My Accounts” tab. Kindly note that although you will have access to your server, it may take up to 8 hours for your domain name to be processed and linked to your server. This process is referred to as a propagation process. During this process your domain is registered with a name server (DNS). In this automated process your domain name is linked with an IP address for example 18.403.45.609. This process ensures that if a person types your domain name in his/ her browser s/he will be directed to the relevant Linux server where your blog is hosted.
6. Once your domain has been propagated you will receive an email to confirm this fact. You will then also be given all the relevant details of your server, such as its URL, its ftp access URL as well as your email server’s details.
7. After propagation of your domain it is time to install WordPress on your server. In order to start this installation process you need to access your server via software titled “cPanel”. This is software developed to help you perform functions on your server. In order to access “cPanel” you simply click on the “My Accounts” tab as can be seen in the below image and then click on “Go to cPanel”.
8. Once you have clicked on the “Go to cPanel” you will be taken to the cPanel dashboard as can be seen in the below image. In the cPanel dashboard/interface you can access the WordPress installation process from any one of the two areas marked with the red arrow as can be seen below.
9. When you double click on any of the two WordPress icons or buttons you will be redirected to the WordPress Installation page. In order to proceed and kick off the installation process you simply click on “Install Now” as indicated below.
10. This will open a new page where you will be required to select some options and furnish information. See below image
- If you have purchased a ssl certificate or if SiteGround furnished you with a free ssl certificate you can select https:// or https://www as the protocol. If you do not have a ssl certificate, you can select either http:// or http://www as your protocol.
- Under “Choose Domain” you will be able to select the domain that you have registered earlier.
- You can leave the “In Directory” blank.
- Under “Site Settings” you can select a name for your website. If your domain is fancypants.com you can make the Site Name Fancypants. The site description can be a very brief description e.g. “Fancy Pants for Fancy People”.
- Under “Admin Account” you should select a Username that is not easy to guess. The default Admin Username is “Admin” and should be avoided at all costs as hackers will always try to use this username when they attempt to hack a WordPress website.
- Make sure that the password is also very difficult to guess and contain capped and uncapped letters, numbers and symbols. You should store these details in a safe place as you will need it to enter your WordPress website after it has been installed.
- The admin email will be the email address to which you would want WordPress to send you notifications.
The rest can be left as is and you can click on “Install”
11. During the installation of WordPress you will see a screen similar to the below image which will show the progress of the installation.
12. Once WordPress has been installed successfully you will be notified as can be seen in the below image. Be sure to take note of and keep Administrative URL as this will be the URL you will need to access your WordPress website’s Administration Area. From the Administration Area you will create posts, create pages and style your blog the way you like.
13. If you type Administrative URL into your browser, you will be directed to your WordPress Administration sign-in page as can be seen below.
14. After typing in your username and password created in step 10 above you will be given access to your WordPress Administration Area which will look as follow:
From your WordPress Administration Area you will be able to perform all the functions to manage your website/blog. In the next part of our tutorial we will have a look at the Administrator’s Area and the plugins needed to secure your website, get a theme to style your website and get it off the ground and on its way to reflect your unique ideas.
About the Author
Eitel is the owner and Lead Website Designer at WebScripto Pty Ltd. When not working on a website he loves to write blog articles covering various aspects of Website Design and Maintenance. He is also the co-owner and Blogger of The Freelance Writing Blog.