You have a growing interest in starting your own website. Perhaps you want to see if you can venture into an online business. Or maybe you want to start your own blog and share your insights with the world. If you’ve never done it before, starting your own blog or website might seem intimidating, but it’s much easier than you think.
When I first started out, I didn’t know anything about wordpress, self hosting or any kind of html programming. However, I found the best way to learn is to jump in and start getting some practical experience. Of course, I also had the help of online guides and the benefit of some of my friends who knew about this stuff helping me out. Today, I want to share some of my experience with a short guide on how to set up a wordpress site on Hostgator.
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First off, why do I choose Hostgator? I’ve tried out several self hosted platforms and I’ve found that there is a large range of quality. Virtually all of them tout stability, service and pricing, but in reality I’ve found that there are only a few quality hosts out there. Hostgator is one of those quality hosts.
I used Hostgator on this blog for about a year before upgrading to VPS hosting. I still currently run my wife’s animal beanie hat ecommerce store on Hostgator. It’s fast, reliable, stable and if you have questions, their customer service is very responsive. If I were starting new today, they would be my shared hosting of choice and I’d recommend them to others as well.
Disclaimer: I am a Hostgator affiliate, so when you sign up through our links, it helps support this site. Nonetheless, I don’t recommend products that I don’t personally support. In this case, I could choose to link to a variety of hosting affiliates, but I personally use and recommend Hostgator.
How to Sign Up and Start Your First Website with Hostgator
First off, you’ll need to sign up with Hostgator. This is a simple 3 step process.
Step 1. Choose Your Hosting Plan
If you follow my links over to Hostgator, you will start at the web plans offering page.
They have several shared hosting plans as well as more advanced options. I’d suggest sticking with the Hatchling plan, which is their most economical offering.
You’ll notice that they have several prices depending on the length of your contract. This is typical of many hosting providers. If you sign up for a longer term contract, then they give you a discount and the cost breaks down lower.
The length of your contract is a personal choice. I’ve pulled the drop down menu on the Hatchling plan to show you the monthly price, so you can see that it’s not overly expensive even if you opt to go month to month.
Be aware that the initial price shown here includes a 20% discount, so after the first month it will go up to the normal price. (They should be more clear about that on their website)
I have two coupon codes for you:
$9.95 off coupon: richescorner
25% off coupon: richescorner25
My suggestion to get the best deal is to use the 25% off coupon if you choose to purchase a long term plan (say a year or more). However, if you choose to go month to month, then use the $9.95 off coupon.
Step 2. Register Your Domain
Once you make your decision and click order now, you’ll be taken to the first step in the ordering process, picking your domain.
If you are starting a brand new website, use the form on the left. If you already have a domain registered, then use the form on the right.
Keep in mind that when you are registering a new domain, there is a domain registration fee of $15. (This is average pricing for domain registration)
After you choose your domain name, continue to the next step.
Step 3. Fill Out Your Billing Information
This is the final step in the process for signing up with hostgator. You just need to fill out your billing information for them and finalize your account information:
You’ll see that I used the $9.95 off in this above sample, so the first month is free. (You can cancel at any time on the monthly contract, so this is a free trial if you decide to cancel after the first month.)
You’ll also notice that they give you the option to pay by paypal. I like this because many of my blogging proceeds go into my paypal account, so it makes it easier to track this as a blogging expense.
Once you’ve completed the sign up process, you will receive a confirmation email that contains your information for signing into your control panel. Save this email as it has your login information that you will need later on.
Now you are ready to log on to your control panel and set up wordpress.
Using Hostgator Control Panel to Set Up WordPress
It’s very simple using the built in control panel to set up wordpress for your website. I recommend wordpress as it’s one of the most popular and easiest to use platforms for running your blog or website. You’ll get plenty of help if you ever have questions or run into any issues.
Setting up wordpress using the built in installer on Hostgator just takes a few steps:
Step. 1 Use Fantastico De Luxe
Click on the link to go to the control panel and sign in. Hostgator provides a standard control panel for setting up various aspects of your account. Scroll down until you see the software and services section. You will see an icon for Fantastico Deluxe:
Click on that icon and you will be taken to the first step in setting up your wordpress installation.
Step 2. Select WordPress Installation
When you click on fantastico, you will be taken to the set up screen. Over to the left side of the screen you will see the various options that you can select.
Just click on the WordPress option. You’ll be shown an option to select a new installation. Click on new installation.
Step. 3. Set Up Your Basic WordPress Information and Install WordPress
This will take you to the install wordpress screen:
In this step, you will need to fill in the information requested by WordPress.
You can leave the directory information blank if you choose and select an administrator username and password.
This is your wordpress administrator account, so make sure you write down the login information. Your admin nickname is the name that is displayed to the general public on your posts. You should select a name that is different from your login name for security purposes.
Once you are done filling out all the information, click install wordpress.
From here on out, the process is basically automated. You will get an information screen telling you your mysql database login information. Just write that information down and continue on by clicking to finish the installation.
When it’s all done, you will have a final screen to email yourself your installation information. You should go ahead and send yourself an email.
That’s it. You’re done!
Now, when you visit your site, you will see the default wordpress screen and first post. You can log into the wordpress admin section using your administrator login information and play around with the back end.
You’re all set up and ready to start blogging, set up landing pages, or even an ecommerce site.
Stay tuned for future blog posts about how to customize your wordpress installation further.
Good luck with your new website!
If you went through this process, please share your experience with a comment.