By now you should have already read part 1 of this Website Building Guide which covered how to start a website, the planning stages of it. I recommend you read that part 1 first before you continue to this one.
So far you should have already chosen your niche, created your keyword list, and registered you domain name with GoDaddy.
Now it's time get into setting up your website, so grab a drink, turn off all distractions and pay attention because we're getting into the good stuff. Lets cover how to setup a website using WordPress.
Ah yes the ever pain in the ass topic of web hosting, ask any Internet entrepreneur that runs his own website what's the one thing that will always be an issue when running a busy and successful website. It's web hosting, the more popular your website becomes the more problems arrive, most popular websites run into at least one problem per month with their web host.
All web hosts are not created equally, and to minimize your site running into problems you have to start off with the right web hosting company. Here is one thing you should never do; don't ever use a web host that only offers shared hosting.
A shared web hosting service refers to a web hosting service where many websites reside on one web server connected to the Internet. Each site “sits” on it's own partition, or section/place on the server, to keep it separate from other sites. With this type of hosting you are at the mercy of many other sites, so if another site has problems it could affect your site and vice versa. The only way to solve this problem is upgrade to Virtual Hosting or Dedicated Hosting. The problem with upgrading from a web hosting company that only offers shared hosting only is that you will have to transfer your site to another web host. A list problems can and most likely will arrive when transferring a website to another host, so why bother with going through those problems.
Instead of this method, you should go with a web hosting company that offers multiple web hosting services. this way whenever your site has surpassed the limitations of shared hosting, then you can simply upgrade your site to a more powerful server without having to move your site to another web host.
The web hosting service I use to host many of my more popular blogs and websites is HostGator, they offer everything from shared hosting to virtual and dedicated web hosting. These guys are great, no hidden fees, clear and precise pricing and they offer many upgrades. The best thing about them is that they are much cheaper and affordable than most of the competition.
Choosing A CMS (Content Management System), Just Use WordPress
A CMS is designed to simplify the publication of web content to web sites and mobile devices-in particular, allowing content creators to submit content without requiring technical knowledge of HTML or the uploading of files. In other words a CMS makes it easy for you to publish a website and it's content.
They are few very popular and powerful CMS out there such as Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress. The best thing about these platforms is that they are well documented, fully supported and best of all FREE. For this guide I'll cover WordPress, Why? Because it's the most popular CMS today, used by over 13% of the 1,000,000 biggest websites.
The great thing about WordPress is that most web hosting companies including HostGator offer a 1-click installation for WordPress which makes it easy for people with no technical skills to install and setup WordPress.
How to Install WordPress on Hostgator Using Fantastico
- Log into your Hostgator cPanel (control panel).
- Scroll down until you're near the bottom of the page.
- Locate the section entitled “Software/Services.”
- Click on the Fantastico icon. It's the one with the blue smiley face.
- On the Fantasico page, click the “WordPress” text link on the left sidebar.
- Click on “New Instillation.”
- Choose which domain you want this WordPress install to be on. If you've got an individual site hosting plan, this will default to your one domain. If you have a shared hosting plan, choose which domain you want this WordPress install to be on.
- In the section that says, “Admin access data,” is where you'll put the login name and password you want to use to log into your WordPress blog dashboard.
- Fill in the “Base Configuration” fields with the name you want to be associated with all the posts you write in your new blog. Also, add in your email address and the website's domain name for your new blog.
- Click “Install WordPress.”
- You will be given the domain information, to make sure that it's being installed on the correct domain. If it looks good, click “Finish Instillation.”
- You're done. You've just installed WordPress on your new website. Make a note of your login information and/or print out the information on the screen so that you can remember how/where to log in so that you can access your new blog.
After you've successfully installed WordPress, it's time to give your WordPress site it's own unique look and feel. WordPress has a template system that makes it easy for you to change the look and feel of your website. You can actually find thousands of free themes in the WordPress theme directory. If your really strapped for money this is a great resource to find a theme and not spend any cash.
If your looking for a more original and professional look then a premium theme is the way to go. They're hundreds of sites out there that sell premium themes for WordPress, some of the better ones include WooThemes, StudioPress, ElegantThemes and my favourite SoloStream which is the one I use the most. You will spend allot of time using your theme and it will be a major part of your so spending a little cash to make it as professional as possible is well worth it. Another good option for finding a WordPress theme is to check out our theme directory which is updated frequently with new themes.
To learn how to install a WordPress check out How To Install A WordPress Theme
WordPress has a plug-in architecture that allows you to enhance and add functionality to WordPress, so pretty much whatever it is that you want to do that the default WordPress install doesn't provide can be done with a plugin. Below are some plugins that are essential to your WordPress blog or website.
Akismet – comes installed with your WordPress by default. All you have to do is get an API Key to activate it. It prevents your blog from comment spam.
All-in-One SEO – This is an ultimate necessity for your blog if you want to have any chance of ranking high in search engines. All-in-One-SEO Pack allows you to add unique meta description, keywords, and titles to each page of your blog and blog posts.
Contact Form 7 – When running a blog you need to allow your users to contact you. This is the best free contact form plugin to this date. It makes everything easy.
W3 Total Cache – This plugin makes a copy of your web page on the server and by doing so it increases site performance and reduces the resource consumption. It is essential that you have this plugin just incase if your site hits the Front Page of a social media network such as digg or stumbleupon, without this plugin, your server will most likely crash.
WordPress Database Backup – This plugin lets you make backup for your blog’s database as often as you need. You can set this process to be automated and have it deliver to your email or a safe spot in your webhost. By having this plugin, you can always stay on the safe side because if anything goes wrong, you have the latest backup in your possession.
Simple:Press – The feature rich, completely integrated and fully scalable forum plugin for WordPress. This is one of the best message board software I've ever come across, WordPress or otherwise. It's hard to believe it's free.
To learn more about installing plugins check out Installing Plugins
This concludes setting up your website or blog. At this point you should have already purchased your web hosting from HostGator, installed WordPress, chosen a WordPress Theme, Installed the plugins mentioned and ready to publish your content. In the next guide we will be covering publishing your content to the world.
Part 1: How To Start A Website Or Blog
Part 3: Publishing Your Content To World