1. Purchase your domain name.
What to do: You can do this through a local hosting company, like RDCSShosting.com, or any number of companies. It will be the same name and system no matter who you use. I choose the smaller, local company because of the customer service that comes with it.
What to know: The domain name is not really “yours.” You are renting the domain name and will need to pay for it every year or so, depending on the plan that you use in the beginning. The domain name is also known as the “URL.” It is the information the internet uses to find you and your business or information.
2. Find a hosting company.
What to do: Find a company to use for hosting your domain (which will become your website or blog). Again you can choose a larger company or a smaller company – the end result will be the same.
What to know: A hosting company will give you a location on the World Wide Web that will allow you to settle your domain name. Finding a host is like looking for a storefront in a mall – there will be many other businesses in that mall and you will be your own unique store front in that mall. The “hosting” company is the mall owner and keeps the mall secure and protected and also monitors who else can have a storefront in that mall. You will have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to have your domain hosted.
Now things begin to get a bit tricky.
3. Download WordPress.org to your computer.
What to do: Go to the WordPress.org website and click the download button next to the question “Ready to get started?”
What to know: This is the first step that you are taking towards your new blog or website. The WordPress.org software is the “skin” of your endeavor. Think of it as the shell of the shop (in the mall of our earlier example) and you will use the tools available to decorate and design the shop of your choice.
4. Upload the WordPress software into your FTP.
What to do: First you need to extract the files from the zipped download. All this requires is right clicking on the file and then clicking on the option to unzip. This makes it possible for your computer to access all the files. Companies zip up files to make the more compact and easier for you to download. Next you need to upload all these files into the FTP folder for your domain.
What to know: WordPress.org gives you detailed instructions for making this happen. Some hosting companies can help you with this (another reason I prefer the smaller hosting companies). The most important thing to know is that WordPress is an OpenSource community so they are always willing AND EAGER to help you out if you get stuck.
5. Set up a theme for your site.
What to do: Go into the WordPress Admin and click on the Appearance button. This should bring up a place to “Add New” Themes or to activate themes. There are hundreds of free WordPress themes available to add to your site. Use the “Advance Search” feature to find specific elements (like having a responsive or mobile friendly theme).
What to know: The free themes and the “paid” themes have benefits and limitations. You may want to start on a free theme and switch to a “paid” theme if you find you have specific needs that are not being met.
6. Set up your sit with all the bells and whistles to make it work for you.
What to do: Highlight the “Appearance” listing in the left side of your WordPress CPanel. Use the customizing option and the widget option to begin getting things to look the way that you desire. Also use the “Plugins” listing to add tools to your site (including security systems). Always be sure that what you add is compatible with the WordPress system that you are using.
What to know: Each plugin and widget that you add can cause your website to be weight down. Research the options and choose the ones that will do more of what you need so that you will only have to upload a few. Also, keep in mind that the WordPress software and all of the plugins and widgets will need to be kept updated for security purposes.
That is it. Six steps to bring you closer to the website that you desire. Hope it helps, but let us know if there is more that we can do to help.