Web hosting, WordPress, and so much more
Welcome back! If you’re here I’m going to assume you’ve already read the first installment of my Build-A-Blog series, but if not you can find it here. The first part of the series details what you need before this post; choosing your blog name, niche, and logo. If you haven’t gotten that far yet I’d suggest taking a look back. If you’ve already got that all figured out then you’re in the right place. This post is dedicated to all things techy for your blog. Specifically, I will cover how to connect your domain name to your web host and how to connect your web host to WordPress. Before we jump in, make sure to sign up below to receive updates when another Build-A-Blog post is up so we can work through this together!
Web hosting with Siteground
If you’ve wanted to start a blog for a while now or just have a general knowledge of creating a website, you’ve probably heard of Word Press. Typically when it comes to blogs, WordPress is used as an extension added to a self-hosted site. This is the ideal situation that will give you more flexibility in building a site that is truly your own. WordPress, when used with your chosen host, will allow you to choose exactly how you’d like your site to look. Using WordPress is common practice for blogs simply due to it’s simplicity ( I use that word VERY loosely). Considering this, in order to use WordPress to create your blog site, we must first get you self-hosted.
Although there are plenty of self-hosting options such as Blue Host, Namecheap, or GoDaddy, I decided on Siteground. After doing some research on all my hosting options I was between Blue Host and Siteground. These were the two hosting options that I continued to see other bloggers use but I ultimately decided on Siteground due to candid reviews on online forums. Although there were more people hosting through Blue Host, Siteground was rated as most-reliable. I was confident I made the right choice with Siteground when building my site with absolutely no experience and getting TONS of help from the customer support team. They are available by phone 24/7 which was invaluable to me as a new blogger.
Just like your domain name, you will have to purchase your web hosting. You can get started with Siteground here. Usually, you purchase a plan that can be for whatever length you choose, I’d recommend starting with the start-up plan. Usually, depending on the plan, it will run you about $12 a month but with any of the links here in the post, you’ll automatically get a sizeable discount (only $4/month – I got your back!).
Let’s Take this Step-by-Step
Step 1: Choose your “type” of hosting
Once you navigate through any of the links you will be brought to a page that gives you three options: “Web Hosting”, “WordPress Hosting”, and “WooCommerce Hosting”. We want to go with WordPress hosting, choosing this option from the start will make connecting WordPress much easier later.
Step 2: Choose a Hosting Plan
Choosing your plan should be fairly easy. As mentioned above, you should be starting off with the start-up plan. This plan allows for about 10,000 monthly visitors, which should be enough when just starting out. It also includes free email accounts, hence; firstname.lastname@example.org which I have connected to my Gmail account.
Step 2: Enter Your Domain Name
If you followed along with my last post you likely have a domain name purchased already. This step will give you an option to either enter in the domain name you have already or buy one through Siteground. If you have already purchased your domain name through Namecheap as suggested, enter the domain name at this step. If not, you can decide whether to purchase it from Siteground or Namecheap but the domain is not included in Siteground’s price. Siteground is about $5-$6 more than Namecheap. You will need to do additional steps later to ensure your domain is connected if purchased elsewhere, but we’ll get to that later!
Step 3: Complete Purchase
Next, you’ll be shown a preview of your order with an option to choose the length of your plan. This is where the Siteground difference shows up. Unlike many other hosting providers, the discount through my links applies to any of the initial plan-lengths chosen during the sign-up process. With other providers, the lowest monthly price applies only for the longest period (usually 15 months). Signing up for the start-up plan cost me about $48 for 12 months and it should be the same for you! (The plan pictured below is one of the other plans hence the higher price)
Boom. You’re hosted. One step closer to your dream blog!
Installing and Connecting to WordPress
Once you have purchased your hosting plan you will be brought to a page stating if your order went through. On that page the next option is to visit your customer area, this is where we will get started. In your customer area, you will see the option to create your website with the button “setup site”
This will lead you to a page where you have the option to start your website or migrate it. Assuming your site doesn’t already exist, you will select “start new website” and scroll to select which application you will be using; WordPress.
After selecting WordPress as the application a box will appear for you to set up your WordPress login with your email and whatever password you choose. These credentials will allow you to access your site so make sure it’s something you can remember!
Once you continue the next page will be a review page where you can select finish to move forward. Siteground may offer you something extra to add to your site and you can opt-in or not. After that, you should be all set! You’ll have the option to log in to your Admin with WordPress and run through a quick tutorial wizard. If you have purchased your domain through Siteground you can begin to explore what WordPress has to offer. Visiting your site with your Siteground domain will now actually pull up a page. If you have a domain through another service, follow the steps below!
Connecting Your Domain to Your New Site
This step is only for those of you who have purchased a domain name on a different site than your web hosting. Although you’ve already put in your existing domain name while purchasing your web host there are some extra steps that will ensure their connection. My directions below are for the two sites I’ve suggested; Namecheap for your domain and Siteground for web hosting.
First, go to your new Siteground account and navigate to the “Websites” option at the top of the page. Once there, there should be an option for “site tools”. There, directly on the dashboard page is the information you need, the name servers. Scroll down past “Pinned tools” to “Site Information” there you will see both the IP Adress and Name Servers.
You will need the name servers to input back into your account in name cheap in order to point your domain name to your new site. Once signed into your name cheap account navigate to your “domain list” where you will find your recently purchased domain. There select “manage” next to your domain name. Scroll down to the “name servers” section where there will likely be a dropdown reading “Namecheap BasicDNS”. Click the drop-down and change it to “custom DNS” and input the name servers you found in your Siteground account. There should be two, so make sure to input both.
That should cover it! Be sure to input your domain name into your browser to see if the basic WordPress site comes up. It should say something like: “Just Another WordPress Site”. Note that this domain connection may not be automatic but you are still able to work on your site through WordPress in the meantime! I would give it at most 48 hours for the connection. If you are having trouble feel free to contact me or the 24/7 customer support through Siteground.
Next Post – Working With WordPress
In an effort not to overwhelm you with so much information at once, I will save the WordPress guide for my next post! We will go over how to find cute and aesthetically pleasing themes that match your blog, how to navigate WordPress as a beginner, and much more. Find that post here and all other Build-A-Blog posts here. If there is a specific topic you’d like for me to cover in the coming posts let me know in the comments below! Also if you have any specific questions you can dm me on any of my socials or reach me through my contact page for quick responses.