In my first “Quick and Dirty Website Creation” installment, I provided a broad overview of the website creation process, sharing WHY I think it’s so valuable to at least learn the fundamentals (while emphasizing the fact that it’s not nearly as challenging as most people think), and touched on the three MAIN components needed to make it happen: 1) domain name, 2) web hosting and 3) website building platform/program.
In this post we’ll look at actually getting the ball rolling – covering the following topics:
– How to order domains & hosting (something that can actually be done at the same time in most cases)
– How to connect a domain name to a webhosting account
– How to install WordPress (ultimate open-source website creation platform)
It’s important to note that this will also essentially be the start of my “follow-along” demonstrating how I am helping Larry “Garbage Guru” Duke get his new vermicomposting site up and running.
An additional (important) word or two about domains and webhosting…
Since I own quite a few different domain names, and like to have them ALL organized in one place, I prefer to use one provider for my domains and another one for hosting. As mentioned in my the first website creation post, these companies are 1&1 and hostgator, respectively.
I want to make it clear, though, that if you have no immediate plans to start up more than one website, purchasing your domain at the same time you purchase your hosting plan (and from the same company, obviously) can make things a LOT easier, since you won’t have to worry about “nameservers” etc (will talk more about this in a minute) – the hosting company will do all of this for you.
The trade-off is that you MAY have to pay a little more for your domain registration – but I suspect most people won’t mind paying an extra buck or two for the sake of avoiding these set-up hassles.
OK – let’s get things rolling here…
Ordering Domains & Hosting
This section assumes that you’ve already decided on a domain name – if you need a quick overview/refresher on this topic, just refer back to the domain name section in my first post.
In Larry’s case, he settled on the name BlueWormComposting.com for his website. He has been impressed with the composting power of Blue Worms (Perionyx excavatus), and thought it might be fun to build a site dedicated entirely to the topic of vermicomposting with these worms. I thought it was a great idea (even though Blue Worms give me the “Willies” – haha) since there really aren’t that many people extolling the virtues of this worm (quite the opposite in fact). Apart from that – Larry just has a unique & FUN way of sharing interesting information, so I think this could end up developing into a really cool online resource over time.
Here is a video I made, taking you through the process of ordering a domain with 1&1…
…and a video walking you through the process of getting signed up with Hostgator
Don’t mean to beat a dead horse here (lol) but, again, I use 1&1 and Hostgator as examples because I am very familiar with them and highly recommend them for domain names and hosting, respectively. You can absolutely use whatever companies you feel most comfortable with. As I’ll explain in the next video, I DO really recommend a hosting company that uses the cPanel admin interface, though, since this makes installing WordPress a LOT easier!
Connecting Nameservers & Installing WordPress
Once you’ve registered your domain and signed up for hosting successfully, assuming you did so separately, it will be time to connect the two using the “nameservers” associated with the hosting account. Don’t worry if you have no clue what nameservers are. To this day, I can honestly say that I myself still don’t really fully understand all the nitty gritty details. All I know is that your domain name needs to be using the same nameservers as your hosting account if you want your website to actually show up when you visit your website address/URL (again, the domain name with something like “http://www.” in front of it).
This video walks you through the process of connecting nameservers and installing WordPress:
In our next “Quick and Dirty” installment, we will start to look in more detail at WordPress, and how we can get the ball rolling with Larry’s website.