Here is the basic list. The steps are described in more detail below with links to the videos that show you what to do. If this is your first site remember you can call the free support lines at the domain registrar or at the web host if you need someone to walk you through the steps over the phone. So have fun creating the site and don’t stress out.
See further down the post for these steps described in detail.
1. Register a Domain name for your site,
2. Register at a web host, where the site files are stored online,
3. Change the Nameservers for your domain name from the domain registrar to the web host (copy and paste to point the domain name to the web host),
4. Install WordPress (one click using Fantastico at the web host, and
5. Choose the Settings and Design for your site
Steps to Setup WordPress.org Software and Start Building Your Site
Steps – Remember, if this is your first time setting up a site and you run into issues don’t panic. You can get help by calling the free telephone help lines at the domain registrar or the webhost. They can walk you through the steps over the phone or help fix your issue.
1. How to Setup a Domain, easy steps to see if anyone else is using the name and then registering so it is yours.
- a. Doing a basic domain registration may cost between $10 – $15 a year but there are many special offers where you can do it for less. First you can type your domain name into the domain search box to see if anyone else is using it.
- b. The next screen will tell you if it is available or not. Variations of your domain name will be suggested below. If the domain is available there will be a place to click Add and to register for an account.
- c. The next screens will offer the “upsells” where they try to sell you a variety of extras but to get started you can keep clicking No Thanks until you get to the screen where you can finish registering. The domain registrar has free telephone support in case you need someone to walk you through the steps.
2 .Setup a Webhost, just a simple registration to create an account.
- a. The cost of a web host runs under $10 a month for a basic type of plan. An internet search for web hosts will bring you a list and you can read reviews to get recommendations.
- b. Registering at a web host is a matter of filling in your name and information. This video gives you a tour of the cpanel, a screen you will login to with your username and password. There is free telephone support at the web host and they have video tutorials as well.
- The web host will send you a confirmation email that will have your login name, the link for you to login to your account at the “cpanel” screen, along and the password to login. Just click on the password to highlight it, then right click and choose Copy, click once on a blank space in the email to remove the highlight, then click on the link to your account at the webhost. A login box will appear. Type your login name without any extra spaces around it, paste in the password without any spaces around it, and click to login. If you get an error then you might have added space before or after the name or password.
- Note: You are not alone. If you run into problems call the free telephone help line at the webhost and they can take you through the steps over the phone or most likely fix the issue for you.
3. Nameservers, just a copy and paste job.
- a. This sounds a little bit techie but Nameservers are just where the domain at your domain registrar gets sent to your web host. It’s a copy and paste job.
- b. In the cpanel at your web host (a fancy name for your account screen) you’ll see a place that says Nameservers, usually in the lower left. The namerservers are just a few words and numbers to indicate your account. There are two nameservers and you can copy and paste them one at a time. Copy the first one.
- c. Then go to your Domain Registrar account to the screen where you Manage Domains. Click on the domain. In the menu across the top you’ll see icons and a place where it says Nameservers, click to open. Choose “I have specific Nameservers” by putting a dot in the radio button.
- d. Paste the first Nameserver into the box. The default is there will be Nameservers listed but these are the domain registrar’s Nameservers. You are changing these to get your domain name sent over to the web host where your website files will be stored. The nameservers tell the domain registrar where to send the domain name.
- Note: If you have any trouble don’t get stressed. Just call the free telephone help line at your domaine registrar and they will walk you through the steps.
4. Fantastico, where you click once to install the WordPress software for your site at the web host.
- a. With a few clicks on the icon for Fantastico at the Web Host and by entering your domain name, a username and a password you will install WordPress at your web host. Go to the screen called the cpanel at the webhost. The link to it and your password to login will be in the email that the web host sends you when you register. Look for an icon that says Fantastico and click.
- b. In the box that opens up you’ll see a list of choices of software to install on your account at the web host. Click on WordPress to choose it and choose New Install. You’ll be asked for the domain name and some information. Then you’re done.
- Note: As always, there is free telephone support in case you need help from the telephone techs.
5. Dashboard Introduction.
- a. The web host will send you an email with your login name, and the password for your wordpress site. You can login to the dashboard at your new WordPress website by using the domain name followed by /wp-admin. For example, it will look like http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin. A login box will appear asking for your username and password.
- b. Be sure not to leave any extra spaces or the login will fail. In the dashboard, also called the back-end or admin area, you’ll see a menu down the left.
- c. You can start with Settings and take a tour. Some important menu items to browse through first include Settings, Appearance, Pages, Posts, Widgets and Plugins. But you don’t need to worry about all of that right at first. It’s ok to just use the default theme that comes with the install and just add a few pages. It this is all new to you it is better to tackle it in smaller bite sized pieces. You can sculpt your site into a masterpiece bit by bit.
- d. For starters you might go to Settings and General. Type in your website name, which is usually the same as your domain and a tag line. Under Settings, Reading you can choose whether to make your website a static site with a front page that stays the same or a blog with a front page that changes. Later you can also make further customizations to have a “sticky post” that stays the same at the top of the blog. You can have also choose a static front page with a blog listed in a custom menu. Once you are set up the custom design options are countless.
- e. Under Appearance, Headers you can upload an image for your header. Under Pages and Posts you’ll see they have text boxes with places for titles similar to email screens.
- f. The widgets are the features you can add to the sidebar on the website. You’ll see them grouped in the center of the widgets screen. Drag the ones you would like to use over to the the sidebar.
- g. Plugins add more features and actions to the website. Some add widgets and others add SEO, stats or other useful features.
- h. You can browse the popular and featured plugins to get ideas. Click Install and Activate to add them to the site.