Hello, reader, this is a guide to help you setup your self-hosted WordPress blogsite in 10 minutes. If you have been using the free wordpress.com or the free google blogspot.com, you must have noticed some limitations. Or differences between your website and others you see out there, the secret is not far-fetched. WordPress.com and blogspot.com are free but with limitations.
To break free and experience the unlimited power of blogging with WordPress, come along with me to wordpress.org also referred to as self-hosted WordPress. If you have not started a blog before we recommend you read:
WordPress.com and WordPress.org what is the difference?
WordPress.com is a paid hosting version of WordPress, it comes with different plans, which range from the free to basic and premium. The free comes with limitations and the basic plan also comes with some limitation. Whereas the premium plan offers all the features that can make your business succeed online, the cost is not affordable for most people. Most newbie bloggers do not have such amount of money to kick-start their online business. This is why many look up to wordpress.org or self-hosted WordPress. With the self-hosted WordPress, you get all the features of wordpress.com plus other custom features you can add depending on your ability to manipulate the web. So if you want to know how to setup this all amazing feature WordPress, read on.
Purchase a Hosting Account
You are going to need a hosting account to host your wordpress.org site. Click here to purchase Hosting from Bluehost. Or if you already have one, skip to the next step. Before you purchase hosting, click here to read all you need to know about hosting and hosting companies.
Login into you Hosting CPanel – Hosting support for WordPress
Ensure you purchase hosting from a hosting provider that supports WordPress installation. Login to your hosting account, look for where you can install the WordPress software it usually carries the WordPress icon, follow the installation process till it is successfully installed.
After the installation, you will need the username you provided and the password that was displayed to you before you can log in. Don’t forget to copy and keep them safe. You will need them for the next step and always when you need to work on your site.
Login to you admin WP Dashboard
Congratulations, you have just installed WordPress, that means your site is up and running. But if you enter your site address on your web browser and view your site, you will not appreciate what shows up. To make your site attractive and discoverable on the internet, you have to do a couple of settings and installations.
Let’s begin with the basic settings like; Installing and activating a theme, setting your site logo, placing a header and a tagline, and setting the appearance of your URL.
On your Dashboard, click on settings on the left-side corner, go to General (see images) on Site Title, enter the name of your site as you want in to appear on your browser, just below it is the Tagline. Go ahead to set your Site Address (URL) and your WordPress (URL), I will advise that you set both your site URL and WordPress URL to the same address.
Although there are others settings you will have to figure out yourself, we only want to guide you through the most important settings you need to kick-off.
Permalinks Settings: Still on the Settings tab, choose permalinks Settings, this settings will determine how your links appear on the internet, for instance, if you choose ‘Month and name’, your URL will appear as such; that is “yoursitename.com/month/post-name”, I recommend you choose ‘post name’ so that your URL will be short and simple i.e. yoursitename.com/post-name. The above settings are very important because they determine how easily people can find you on the internet.
To make your site attractive, you will need to work on the appearance, on the sidebar of your Dashboard, Click on Appearance, Theme to install or choose a theme. The theme on your site determines how it looks and feels. On WordPress.org, there are numerous themes for you to choose from, select a theme that you will like and click install and after installation is complete, click on activate to make your site appear the way the theme is. Then click on customize to further change the appearance to suit your desire.
When customizing, you can add or remove widgets, on the widget tab. Just as you can create and remove menus on the menu tab(see images).
Plugins you should install to enable some important functions
After setting your appearance, you will need some important functions on your site, these functions are the beauty of a self-hosted WordPress. To enable the functions you want, you will install the plugin for each function, listed below are some of the plugins and a brief summary of their functions and why you should install them.
Jetpack: This plugin is a must, it connects your self-hosted WordPress with WordPress.com. It allows you to share your post automatically with social media, it helps in monitoring your server uptime, the features are numerous, ensure you install and activate it.
Google Analytics: It allows you to connect your site with your google analytics account and monitor the traffic on your site.
Askimet: Askimet protects your site against Spam.
Yoast-SEO: This is your all in one SEO engine, if you care about the SEO of your site, Install and configure Yoast SEO.
WP Super Cache: This will leverage on your server speed and enable your site to load faster.
Broken Link Checker: At times some links can go wrong, and visitors coming to your site through that link with hit a brick wall, this plugin will alert you when a link is broken, so that no visitor gets stranded on the way.
Redirection: When your Broken Link Checker alerts you about a broken link, you will need this plugin to redirect visitors coming through that link to the right place you want them to arrive.
The plugins above are just a few major ones you need to start off with. You definitely will more, the WordPress.org plugin community is large, such that there is hardly a thing you want on your site that you will not find a plugin for it. Why some plugins are completely free, some are free to some extent, while others require payment.
Go ahead to customize your wp-site to the best of your taste.