We’ve received many emails about how to setup a website similar to ours. I thought it would be good to refresh the post I wrote on how to setup a self hosted WordPress site. I hope you find this to be a good start to get you on your way! Several of you have also asked us for a detailed walk through of setting up your own website. We wish we had the time to help each and everyone of you who reach out, but there just aren’t enough hours in a day. If you’d like to pick our brains, you can book an hour of our time for a fee and we can speak over the phone. We wish you all the best in the launch of your new website!
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
Setting up a new WordPress site is simple once you figure out the type of site you want. Most people are familiar with WordPress. Not everyone knows there’s a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In short, .com is fully hosted and .org is self hosted. This post will focus on the self hosted version since that’s how this site is setup.
The process is fairly simple and should take about 15 minutes without any issues. Below is a step by step of how I setup our self hosted WordPress site.
How to Setup a Self Hosted WordPress Site
Register Your Domain
Find a web hosting service
There are many web hosting providers out there including GoDaddy. After extensive research, one hosting company that kept coming up with good reviews was Bluehost. The introductory price also seemed like a good deal. The services included unlimited storage, automated backups and free domain name. They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee, which made it an even easier choice.
Our introductory price was $4.95/month for Plus Hosting and our current rate is $11.99/month renewed on an annual basis. Bluehost has been good and we are looking at upgrading to Cloud Business Pro which is $25.99/month. My one complaint so far is the wait time for customer support during peak hours. The usual wait time is about a minute, but there have been a few times where I had to wait close to 10 minutes. Another popular option you should look into is WPEngine.
Update: We upgraded from Plus to Cloud Business Pro and have not noticed a significant difference in overall performance.
Another Update: We have moved to Managed WordPress Hosting.
Sign up for a hosting service
Since we went with Bluehost, the instructions that follow will focus on the process through this specific hosting service. If you go with another hosting service, be sure to carefully read the instructions on how to setup your site.
1. Choose the type of hosting service: shared, VPS (Virtual Private Server) or dedicated. Check out this helpful infographic on the different types of web hosting.
2. Type in a new domain or existing domain. Since we registered our domain with GoDaddy.com, we had to update the Name servers. If for any reason the Bluehost help link does not work or become out of date, search for “How to Modify Your DNS Nameservers” for step by step instructions.
3. Fill out account information, select additional add ons and payment information.
4. Once the order is complete, login to your Bluehost account.
5. Under the “Home” tab, look for “Install WordPress”
6. Click on “Install” for a brand new instance. If you already have an existing installation, choose the “Import” option. It will take a few minutes for the install to complete. There is a paid option available starting at $99.
7. Once completed, your site will appear under “My Installs”.
8. Click on “Admin Login” to get started on building your WordPress site.
If you want more information, a good place to start is http://www.wpbeginner.com/.
9. Choose a theme.
There are many free themes to choose from along with paid options. When we first started, we used the Twenty Eleven theme by WordPress. Now we use a premium theme by MyThemeShop. Once we updated to the new theme, we noticed a significant increase in site speed. This was one of the main reasons for the switch and money well spent.
Disclosure: The Bluehost link and ad, GoDaddy link and ad, MyThemeShop link and Flywheel ad in this post are affiliate links. If you sign up for Bluehost, GoDaddy, MyThemeShop or Flywheel using our affiliate link, we receive a commission.