There are only two things you need before you can set up a WordPress blog: a domain and hosting. Essentially, if your website was a house, the hosting is the piece of land you need to purchase to build your house on. The domain (eg. www.meynewebsites.com), then is the address people need to find your house.
So if your website is your house, and hosting is the land it’s built on, what about companies like Blogger and Squarespace where you don’t have to buy your own hosting?
Think of them like apartments. They are the hosts (they own the property) and you just rent a space on that property that’s shared with lots of other people. There are pros and cons to both, but many bloggers outgrow the limitations and are ready to upgrade from the apartment to the house that is WordPress.
Now for the technical side:
Both domains and hosting are generally sold in one-year increments.
You can buy your both from your hosting company, or you can buy your domain separately from a business like NameCheap. NameCheap offers very low prices for domains and they are an honest and up-front company, which makes buying from them stress free.
The hosting company I work with and use most regularly now is Host With Love. I’ve never any major incidents, and every time I’ve had questions, they have been amazingly fast to respond, and always answer the question that I actually asked. You can purchase your domain straight from Host With Love as well, which keeps everything nice and simple. And the best part: you can get started with a year of hosting for only $40 (plus about $10 for your domain) I recommend their S1 shared hosting plan, because it’s almost always enough room for a blog or biz that’s just starting, and you can upgrade at any time.*
Of course, you don’t have to use Host With Love, but here is why I don’t link to any of the well known companies:
As a developer, I have used and worked with most of the big companies out there (you know, ones that sound like GoFaddy, HostTator, BlueSchmost, etc.). And I really am sorry to say that I don’t recommend any of them. Once there is a problem (and trust me, there will be) working with them is beyond frustrating. In fact, a large percentage of the bloggers who purchase my support packages, do so so I can solve problems that are caused by their websites being hosted by those companies.
What do you do after you purchase a hosting package?
If you click the Host With Love link above and select shared hosting, you’ll be walked through the whole process of getting your hosting and domain set up.
Once you have your hosting and domain in place, you’re ready to install WordPress. (I created a video and a blog post showing you how to install WordPress on your domain in under 4 minutes, click here to see it!)
If you need help or have any questions, I’m always here! Just leave a comment, or send me a message.
* The Host With Love link is an affiliate link. Everything I’ve said about them is completely true and I love them. I also hold affiliate accounts with some of the big companies, but I won’t share those links because I don’t actually recommend them. Just FYI: if I gave you my affiliate link to the most popular host above, I would get a $65(!) commission for every one of you that signed up ($90+ during “affiliate challenges”), if you sign up with Host With Love, I will get less than $6. Literally. And it’s totally worth it for me if you have a reliable, stable website and can get real help when you need it. So if you were thinking that you might go with one of the big hosts because everybody and their sister recommends them, well now you know why they all do.
P.S. I have heard great things about SiteGround from other developers, but I’ve haven’t used them myself.