How To Purchase A Domain Name, Hosting Server & Install WordPress
If you haven’t seen the other episodes, click the tabs below to get started.
Welcome To The First Episode Of The Blog Development Series!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the overview, where we talked about what a blog is really all about and why it can be such a lucrative online business, if (and only if) you actually take it seriously and put in the work.
If you haven’t already gone through the overview, I suggest you do that first before moving on, because the steps I’ll walk you through will build up on knowledge you’ve gained previously.
In this 1st episode, I want to take you step-by-step through the basics of building a website properly.
In This Episode, You’ll Discover:
- What A Domain Is And Why You Need It
- What A Hosting Server Is And Why You Need One
- How To Set Up Your Domain Name
- How To Set Up Your Hosting Server
- How To Point Your Domain Name To Your Hosting Server
- How To Install WordPress On Your Blog
- Advantages Of WordPress Over HTML Coding
What Is A Domain And Why Do You Need It?
Think of a domain like a name for your website similar to a street address for your house. So for example, the domain of our blog is ChucknAndy.com. Without a domain name, your readers won’t be able to visit your blog. Period.
What Is A Hosting Server And Why Do You Need It?
Let’s go back to the previous example. If your domain is like your street address for your house, then the hosting server is your actual house that contains all your belongings.
Similarly, the hosting server is a ‘parking spot’ for all the data from your website. So, you can’t have a domain without a hosting server to go with it and vice versa.
How To Set Up Your Domain Name
The domain registrar I recommend is namecheap.com, because it makes the process very straightforward. First, you need to come up with a domain name. This will depend on whether you want to brand your own name or set up a niche-related domain name. Bottom line is, it all depends on you.
However, because the internet is so vast, you need to check that your chosen domain name is available and hasn’t already been bought by someone else. To do this, use the search bar and type in your chosen domain name.
In the screenshots below, you’ll see that I’ve chosen to use the domain name ‘andysdemosite’ as an example and sure enough it is available. This domain name would cost me A$13.72/year.
As you scroll down the page, you’ll see different extensions that you can choose. Generally, I recommend sticking with the ‘.com’ extension, because it is more widely used and so much easier to remember for your readers.
However, if the domain name of your choice has already been taken, you can choose to have a different extension and make it work for you. Keep in mind also that the prices for the different extensions can vary.
Once you have found a suitable domain name, simply click the ‘add to cart’ button to proceed to check out.
On the next page, you can see that the default registration is for 1 year. However, you can also register for multiple years when you click on the drop down arrow.
With the domain registration on namecheap.com, you’ll also get a free 1-year Whoisguard, which is privacy protection for your personal details, for free.
If you scroll down further, you’ll see further add-on offers, which you can purchase, such as hosting services. However, I recommend not putting all your eggs in one basket and purchase hosting services with a different company.
To move on to the next step, click on ‘Confirm Your Order’.
On the next page you can either sign in with an existing account with NameCheap, or sign up for a new account. Simply follow the prompts and fill out the form.
You’ll be asked to confirm your Account Contact Information and personal details to continue. Next, you can add a new Contact (e.g. if you are creating a new domain for a client) or just keep the existing contact.
Tick the box at the bottom of the page to save the configuration above to your default checkout settings. This will speed things up the next time you register a domain name.
On the checkout page you’ll have the option of paying with Visa, MasterCard or AmericanExpress, as well as with Paypal or Account Funds, if you wish.
You can also choose to have your domain registration and Whoisguard automatically renewed, when they expire at the end of 12 months.
Review your order and make the payment.
What Makes A Good Hosting Server?
Now we have to purchase a hosting server to combine with your new domain name, so that we can make your website go live.
Here is a checklist that you can use when considering, which hosting server to use:
- Is the server reliable?
- Is the server accessible from all around the world?
- Is the customer service excellent?
- What is the speed of the hosting server?
While the first three points speak for themselves, I just want to emphasize that speed is extremely important not only for search engine optimization purposes, but also for good reader experience.
If your website takes too long to load, you may lose potential readers. So even if you can cut the load time down by a few seconds, this will make a world of difference.
How To Set Up Your Hosting Server With TrafficPlanet
The hosting server of my choice is TrafficPlanetHosting.com, because they really emphasize on speed by limiting the amount of users using the server to optimize speed.
The hosting plan that I recommend you go with is the ‘Business’ Plan, which allows you to host up to 5 websites. Again, the limitation on the number of websites you can host is to optimize the speed of your pages.
If you have any inquiries at all you can either use the live chat box on the bottom right to contact support or you can head over to the Knowledge Base for answers to frequently asked questions.
Click on ‘Get Started’ under the plan you want to purchase and proceed with checkout.
How To Point Your Domain Name Over To Your Hosting Server
For the next step you need to login to both your domain name account and your hosting server account.
In TrafficPlanet, your dashboard will look something like the screenshot below. Simply click on ‘Manage’ or ‘My Services’ and then click on ‘WordPress Hosting’.
Then you need to click on ‘Manage all sites on this account’ for the server you just purchased.
When you click on ‘Servers Details’, you’ll find all the sever information you need, in particular Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2.
Next, head over to your Namecheap account and look for the domain you have just purchased. Then click on ‘Domain Name Server Setup’ from the tabs on the left.
This will lead you to a page, where you can specify custom DNS servers. Even though you can add up to 5 servers, you only need to populate the first two.
So head back to your TrafficPlanet and copy Nameserver 1 and paste that into the first box on Namecheap. Then repeat the same for Nameserver 2 and paste that into the second box on Namecheap and hit ‘Save Changes’.
It will take up to 48 hours for your domain name to connect to your hosting server. Once this has been successful, you’ll receive an email from Namecheap to notify you of this.
Once your hosting has been pointed over to your domain, you’ll see a blank page, if you visit your domain. This tells you that your website is actually live, but that there is no content on it yet.
How To Install WordPress On Your Blog
Head back to your dashboard for TrafficPlanet and again click on WordPress Hosting and then on the server you want to install WordPress on.
Next, click on ‘Manage Websites’. Enter your domain name and click on ‘Add Website’.
Once you do that you’ll see your domain added on the bottom of the page under Existing Websites. Then click on ‘One Click WordPress Install’.
On the next page, click on the drop down arrow to select your domain and then on ‘Install WordPress’.
This will lead you to the WordPress welcome-page, where you can set up your login details (i.e. username and password).
And you’re done! 🙂
Advantages Of WordPress Over HTML Coding
The main reason why I like using WordPress over HTML coding is because it was designed as a blogging platform and it removes all the technicality of it.
This means that WordPress is so user-friendly, even beginners can quickly learn how to use it to build their own websites from scratch.
If you haven’t used WordPress before, check out the WordPress tutorial that will show you the basic functions of WordPress and what you can do with it.
HTML is a headache to work with and unless you actually know how to use it very well, I suggest you don’t waste your time trying. 🙂
That’s all for episode 1 and I hope you’ve gained a lot of knowledge and that you are now confident enough to go out there and set up your own blog.
In the next episode, I’ll show you how to really vamp up your website and make it look professional, including how to install a theme and important plugins.
Stay focused and take massive action.