In this article, I will show you how to setup your first website in less than 1 hour, with WordPress.
Feel free to explore.
aaPanel Demo – This is the demo for the server management panel that we’ll talk about later. The login info is already loaded.
WordPress Demo – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Password: 9HG1^fTW)i)%2P2A(@0jGZjF
The first thing you’ll need is a domain. I assume you already did your research on what a domain is.
There are a lot of domain registrars out there, like GoDaddy, Domain.com or Namecheap. GoDaddy is currently the largest and most trusted brand, and it is my choice of domain registrar. So I will be using GoDaddy as an example here.
I have two suggestions for you when you are choosing a domain.
First, if you don’t know which top-level domain you should use, go with .com. Do not use the wired ones like .xyz or .info, because they would make your website look unprofessional. However, if you can’t pick the right name for .com, then .net, .org or your country codes like .ca, .jp, .cn and so on, are also good choices.
Second, keep it short and easy to remember. No one is going to visit a website called sakdvbsiudcbshdvbaysvdskjdvbudsivfds.com. And no numbers, unless you can come up with a good name with it, like cash4you.com.
Shared Hosting or a VPS
If you choose a shared hosting service like Bluehost, they will set up everything for you, just follow their instructions. However, since you are sharing the server with other people, you will not have too much control of it.
As for the VPS, think of it as a computer just for you, but it is in a remote location. You don’t need to share with others, and you have total control of it. However, it will be rather difficult to set up, and you do need knowledge related to Linux and servers, but don’t worry, we’ll make this process a lot easier by installing aaPanel.
My personal choice is a VPS from Vultr. It is cheaper compared to its competitors because it offers a $2.5/mo deal at some locations. And Almost all the other service providers start at $5/mo.
Read the article on How to Setup Your Own VPS.
Map the Domain
Now that you have got a domain and a server. It’s time to connect them together.
Sign in to GoDaddy, this is what you should see:
Under domains, click on DNS. You should see a Type “A” record with the name “@”.
Change its value to your server IP, and that’s it. It may take up to 24 hrs for the record to refresh.
If you are using a different service other than GoDaddy, you may see more than one “A” record. Change all of its values to your server IP. If you want to find out what different record means, read this post on Types of DNS Records.
Install a Control Panel For Your Server
There is a lot you can choose from. Here I’ll use aaPanel as an example.
Connect to your server using SSH. If you don’t know how to do that, read the post on How to Setup Your Own VPS. Run the shellcode on the official site of aaPanel. Remember, if you choose to use aaPanel, make sure CentOS 7 is installed on your VPS. aaPanel is developed based on CentOS, using other systems may cause errors.
After the installation process is finished. Follow the instructions on the screen and log into the panel.
From now on, everything should be straightforward. Just install the latest version of Apache or Ngnix (Not necessary, but highly recommended), MySQL and PHP. You can install other tools if you want, but for now, these are all we need.
Setup a New Website
After you’ve installed all the necessary components, go to “Website”, and click on “Add Site”.
Type in the domain you mapped to this server, and create a database. Remember the login information for the database, you’ll need it later on.
Download WordPress from WordPress.org
Upload the .tar.gz file to the website’s root folder, and decompress. After it is done, you should see a “wordpress” folder. Move everything that is in the folder to the root directory. And now you should be able to access your new WordPress site from your domain.
If you can’t, it may be because the DNS records haven’t refreshed yet. There is nothing you can do, just wait for a while and try again.
First, choose your language.
Second, type in the database information. If you forgot, you can find it from the “Database” page of aaPanel. Do not change the “Database Host” and “Table Prefix”.
Run the installation.
Type in the site name and other information. Do not lose the password!
Click on Install WordPress, and now you should be able to log in with your email and password.
Here is a demo site for WordPress, feel free to explore.
WordPress Themes and Plugins
Now all you need to do is to pick a theme that you like and install plugins that you find useful. Here are some plugins that I’m using.
WP Mail SMTP – Making Email Deliverability Easy for WordPress.
WPForms – Drag & Drop WordPress Form Builder.
Ninja Forms – Another beautifully designed form builder for WordPress
MonsterInsights – easily connects your site with Google Analytics.
MC4WP – Integrates Sign up forms with MailChimp, a great tool for mail marketing.
WP Super Cache – Accelerates your entire site.
MailOptin – Create your email list and send newsletters to your costumers.
There are so many more plugins that you can choose. With WordPress, you can customize any part of your site without writing a single line of code.