Today I am going to show you how you can set up a WordPress website from scratch. And you won’t believe how easy it is to do.

We will go step by step.

In order to get started, we will need 4 things:

  1. Domain – Domain is the name of the site which you type in the browser address bar. “www.HostingPill.com”  is the domain of this site.
  2. Hosting – Hosting is the “home” of your site where it will “stay”. Its usually a server at a web hosting company.
  3. WordPress – WordPress is the “software” that will power your website.
  4. Design & Themes – To make your site attractive design-wise you will need to install WordPress themes.

To learn about various jargons of website and webhosting, click here.

Disclosure – I receive referral fees from companies including the ones I am mentioning in this article. My recommendations are based on my experience as independent paying customer.  I have reviewed most of them on my website.

There are two ways you can buy domains and hosting:

  1. You buy domains and hosting from the same web host
  2. Or you buy both separately

If you ask me, I would recommend going for Option 2 (buying separately) for two reasons:

  1. You get better deals when you shop domains and hosting separately.
  2. You reduce risk by buying it from separate companies.

I recommend www.Namecheap.com for getting your domains and www.Bluehost.com for web hosting.

Namecheap, as the name implies sells domain names for a good price, there is no need to purchase your domain and hosting from the same supplier so I have shopped around.

BlueHost – I am using Bluehost for around 8 years now for some of my sites and have found them to be pretty reliable.

Now, I’m going to buy a domain, setup web hosting, install WordPress, configure WordPress and then talk about monetisation techniques.

Step 1. Register Your Domain Name

NOTE: If you already own a domain, you can skip this and directly go to How to Setup Hosting for WordPress section.

First things first, it’s time to purchase the domain. You’ll want to think about what domain you want and what it says about your WordPress blog.

Believe me, choosing the right domain name is a difficult task nowadays since all the “good ones are already gone”.

You might want to checkout these 7 Domain Name Tips to get the right name for your website.

Once you have listed some of the domain name options, its time to check its availability.

And for that, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Go to www.Namecheap.com  and type the domain you want into the domain search box.

1 - Type your domain

 

Step 2. If your domain is available add it to the cart, consider also purchasing other TLD (Top level domains) of your name, for example if your domain is ‘mytestdomain.com’ you might also want to pick up ‘mytestdomain.net’ and ‘mytestdomain.org’. If your domain isn’t available, you’ll have to think of something else!

2- click add to cart

 

Step 3. Click on ‘View Cart’. Make sure everything is as you expect and double check your domain name is spelt correctly. If you are buying a .com domain, you will notice that you also must pay a small ICANN fee. This is expected and goes to the organisation that manages domain names.

3 - View cart

 

Step 4. Confirm your order, I would recommend setting the domain to Auto-Renew.

4 - confirm order

 

 

Step 5. It will now ask you to create an account, fill in all the details and make sure you remember the password!

5 - Login Signup

 

Step 6. On the next page, it asks you to fill in your account contact information. If you haven’t opted for domain privacy, then this information is public for anyone to see. Click ‘Continue’

6 - fill the form

 

Step 7. Pay for your domain, you can choose from credit card or PayPal. Click ‘Continue’ and that’s it, you are now the proud owner of your new domain.

7 - Payment Option

Step 2. Set Up Hosting For WordPress

Choosing the right web hosting company is very important factor in setting up your website.

The market is flooded with hundreds of web hosting companies and they employ all tactics to get your business.

I have listed & answered few questions that most first time site owners have about hosting.

You can see them here.

Now, that you are ready, let’s get our hosting.

Step 1. Go to www.Bluehost.com and click on Get Started Button.

1- To get started

 

Step 2. Select the plan you want to purchase. For this demo, we will go with their Basic Plan.

2- Choose your plan

 

Step 3. On this page, depending on whether you have domain or want to get a new one, you can make your selection.

3-Sign-Up Now

 

Step 4. Once you have the domain, its time to enter your contact details.

4-Create Your Account

 

Step 5. Now select the plan that you want to go for. The longer the term you select, the more discount you get.

5 Package Information-bluehost

 

Step 6. Enter your credit card details and make the payment.

6-Payment Information

 

Step 7. Once that is done, create your password on this screen (don’t forget it store your password somewhere for future reference)

7-Create Your Password copy

 

Step 8.  Now that you have created the password, its time to login!

8-Congratulations copy

Step 3. Connect your Domain to Hosting

So, once you have purchased your WordPress hosting from Bluehost you will need to set your Namecheap domain to point to this hosting.

Step 1. Login to your BlueHost account

Step 2. Click on domain settings

bluehost_nameservers

Step 3. Click on ‘Nameservers’ tab

Here are default Nameservers of Bluehost:

NS1.Bluehost.com
NS2.Bluehost.com

bluehost_nameservers (1)

Step 5. Go to Namecheap and Login.

Step 6. Once you logged in go Domain List ==> Domains ==> Select Domain ==> Select Manage ==> Under NameServers, select Custom and place your Bluehost‘s nameservers there

NameCheap-DNS-Setup

Step 7. Click Save changes.

It can take up to 24 hours for this change to be completed so don’t worry if it doesn’t work right away.

Step 4. Install a WordPress within Minutes

Next, we need to get the WordPress software installed on the Bluehost hosting.

Thankfully Bluehost have an automated install so I will show you just that.

Step 1. Login to Bluehost

1 - Login BlueHost

 

Step 2. In the website section click on ‘Install WordPress’

2 - Bluehost CPanel copy

 

Step 3. Select the domain you want to use for this WordPress installation, you will likely only have one domain. Leave the directory field blank.

3 -Select Domain for Installation copy

Step 4. Now enter your site name (can be changed later), username, email address and password. Make sure to keep a note of these details. Make sure your password is secure, use an online password randomizer if possible, people will try to breach your WordPress site.

4 -WordPress Admin Info copy

 

Step 5. You can keep track of the installation progress at the top of the page, though typically installation takes 5 minutes.

5-WordPress Installing copy

6 - Installation Was Successful! copy

 

As you can see it’s straight-forward to get WordPress installed.

Now you can browse to http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin to login.

Step 5. Create the Website in WordPress

First things first, let’s get logged into the new WordPress site.

1. Go to http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin and enter your username and password.

1 - Login for WordPress copy

2. You should now be able to see the admin dashboard.

2 -Welcome to WordPress copy
Once logged in it’s worthwhile getting a few things sorted before we move onto themes, plugins and adding content.

To Customize Title and Set Front page of your Website

There are a few things I always like to set right after installing WordPress

Settings -> General Settings. Here you can set your site title, tagline, main email address, time zone, date format & Language. Make sure you set all of these things correctly now, as it may come back to haunt you if you don’t!

General Settings

 

Settings -> Reading. Here you can decide what function you want your WordPress site to take. You can set your front page to take people straight into the blog or you can set which static page you want to be your home page.

Reading Settings

That’s all we really need to set for now. We can move onto the more interesting stuff!

How do I create new Pages and Posts?

To add new pages, go to Pages -> Add new, fill in your title, add some content and click publish. If you aren’t ready to publish the page, click draft.

Add newpage

 

To add a new post go to Posts -> Add New, its then the same procedure as above.

Add newpost

How to Add Pages/Posts to the Menu

To add these pages to the menu, go to Appearance -> Menu. Select your menu and select ‘add to menu’, you can then drag and drop to arrange it.

Adding pages to the menu

Themes & Design

With WordPress its really easy to create any design you can imagine without writing a single piece of code. And that is made possible only by WordPress themes.

WordPress has lot of free theme designs to choose from.

How to find the perfect WordPress theme

If you can’t find what you are looking for here, you can go for more choices here:

Themeforest – One of the oldest and the largest marketplace for themes.  You get tons of high quality themes at reasonable prices.

2017's Newest Premium themes from Themeforest

 

Creativemarket – Newer marketplace with quite variety of themes. The themes on this site are quite different in terms of design than what you get on Themeforest.

Search the theme on Creative Market

 

How do I Install Theme in WordPress

In order to install new theme for your wordpress site, follow these steps:

Step 1. When logged into the admin dashboard select ‘Appearance’ and then themes from the left-hand menu.

3. Add-new to install theme

 

Step 2. Click the ‘Add New’ button

Step 3. Search for your theme using the search bar at the top right. If you have been provided a theme file you can select upload theme from the top of the page.

5. search the theme

 

Step 4. Click Install

Step 5. After a minute or so the theme will finish installing. Now you can click customize and see what options you can change. This will vary a lot from theme to theme but usually you can edit things like your logo, the rough layout of the page and some colours.

6. customize theme wordpress on your blog

7. changes in theme

Install Plugins

What is a plugin?

Plugins – as the name suggest are tools that adds functionality to your WordPress site.  The best thing which I like about WordPress is – these plugins.

Plugins can turn your website from a simple blog to a fully-featured e-commerce store, a user forum, a video streaming site, a member’s only website and much more. Of course, you can combine most of these plugins together to add huge functionality to your website.

For example, if you are using your WordPress site to sell products online it may be beneficial to add a forum for support.

Whenever you want to add functionality to a WordPress site, look to plugins before looking at creating something yourself / paying a developer to do it for you.

Installing plugins is easy, the hard part is deciding what plugins you want to install. There are thousands of plugins available for free, there are also many premium plugins available.

Where I can find more WordPress Plugins?

The two best resources on the internet for WordPress Plugins are:

1. WordPress.org – Tons of free plugins! But beware – some of the plugins are demo version of the paid ones. Still its a good place to find what you are looking for.

Wordpress.org

2. CodeCanyon – Home of some of the best plugins on the internet. Although they are paid, they offer really good value for money. I usually get my plugins from here.

codecenyon

 

And there are few advantages of going for paid plugins from CodeCanyon:

  1. You get 6 months free support from the plugin developer. So, if something is not working, you can approach the plugin developer via CodeCanyon and they will fix it for you. What’s more, you can extend warranty support for 12 months by paying a nominal fees.
  2. The plugins are high quality, thoroughly checked by CodeCanyon guys. So, there are no chances of any malware in them. I had bad experience in the past when I bought some free plugin from some random site.

Once you have decided on a plugin here’s how you install it.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin

Step 1. From the Admin Dashboard select Plugins -> Add New

Step 2. Search for the plugin you want, or upload it if you have the files

plugin install

 

Step 3. Click Install, and give it a few minutes to install, the bigger the plugin the longer it will take to install.

Step 4. From the Plugins -> Plugins page activate your plugin, depending on the plugin you are using you may then be prompted to fill in some additional settings.

Here are some of my favourite Plugins:

Free Plugins:

  • Contact form 7 (Free)– This is a simple free email contact form for your site. It’s easy to setup, always works and doesn’t take up much space!
  • Askimet (Free) – If you are even considering allowing comments on your WordPress blog you need the Askimet comment spam plugin. This plugin massively reduces the number of spam comments you will get.
  • Yoast SEO (Free) – Download this plugin before you download any. Its a MUST HAVE plugin for SEO.

Paid Plugins:

  • Visual Composer (Paid) – It’s THE BEST Page Builder for WordPress. Just drag and drop and you can create stunning page layouts in minutes. Love it!
  • Ninja Popups (Paid) – If you ever want to have the ability for the user to signup for your email newsletter from your site, this is the plugin to have. Few clicks and you get beautiful popup done.
  • BackupGuard (Paid) – It’s too easy to accidentally break your WordPress website when installing a 3rd Party Plugin or theme, make sure you always have backups. And this plugin does just that. Its a life saver!

How to make Money from your Website

Now that you have your WordPress site nicely setup, with some content, a slick theme and some great functionality added by Plugins it’s time to get the site earning money! There are two core methods to earning money from your site, and everything boils down to these

Affiliate:

Affiliate marketing is where you promote other company’s products directly and get a cut of any sales made.

For example, say you are a football blog, you could add links to football boots in your posts and make a commission of any boots sold, typically this would be 5 – 15%.

There are hundreds of affiliate marketing schemes out there, you should research this further depending on your niche, you’d be surprised how many companies have schemes. Amazon offer one of the most popular ones, it’s easy too!

Add a special link to ANY product on the amazon website and make a commission of 4 – 10%. Amazon may not be the best paying site (this will vary wildly depending on the niche of your blog), but they do offer a HUGE range of products.

Adverts

Adverts are simple, got spare space on your site, place an advert, often you will find these placed in the side bar and within the content of any articles. Adverts can generate anything from $0.05 to $5 per click depending on the niche of your site.

Google AdSense is the de facto online advertising company, simply fill in a 2 page sign up form and you can start serving adverts to all your visitors. You don’t have to talk directly to companies to sell your advertising space.

Googles advertising pay-outs differ massively from niche to niche, a highly competitive niche like, credit cards, insurance, loans etc.. will pay higher than less competitive ones.

This is due to the nature of advertisers bidding to get their advert placed, in this same vain the more ‘popular’ your website the more you can stand to earn.

Typically, you might expect something like a 0.5 – 3% click through rate, i.e. the number of your visitors who actually click on the adverts.

A good combination of both strategies is usually recommended.

Next Steps

Now that your WordPress site has been setup and you’ve monetised it it’s time to start expanding and really pushing your site.

Here are my top tips going forward;

  • Schedule regular content, you won’t always be in the mood to write content, use the built-in post scheduler so you can write multiple posts when you feel like it while still allowing regular content to flow. Articles every few days is better than 5 on the same day.
  • Learn everything about SEO (search engine optimisation) that you can, this is a huge topic, you will never fully learn it, but the more you know the more successful your website will be.
  • Keep positive, your site will unlikely blossom overnight, it takes months of hard work, but in the end dedication and good content pays off.

Good luck!

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Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner has 7 years of experience as Network Administrator. His areas of interest includes Servers, Network Management and Cloud Computing.