Easily Building A Website Using WordPress
You might wonder why we’re talking about web development on an email marketing site. That is because email and web development go hand-in-hand. You’ll want a website to embed your opt-in forms on. Depending on your business, you might also be using email marketing to direct traffic to the website where they can make the purchases.
Regardless of how interconnected your web-development and email marketing is, a website is still an insanely good idea. It makes your brand appear more established and allows you to tap into valuable search engine traffic.
WordPress Is A Leading CMS (Website Builder)
WordPress is a leading open-source “Content Management System” (CMS). Without getting too techy, that means once you install it onto a server, it’s insanely simple to build and manage your website with knowing minimal (sometimes zero) HTML or other types of coding.
Installation might sound somewhat technical, but it’s really quite simple. This guide will go over the installation process in great detail. If there’s any confusion, feel free to contact us and we’d love to help you.
Registering A Domain (Website Name)
The first step is to register a domain name. This is your website name. If you can find ‘yourbrandname.com’, that is the website name you should go with. If not, try to do the best you can or consider purchasing that name off whoever has it registered.
You’ve got two options; you can either register the domain name through the web host, or a 3rd party registrar. Registering the domain directly through the web host will save you some time when setting the nameservers. Setting nameservers is by no means complicated, even though it sounds a little technical.
If you decide to go with a 3rd party registrar, GoDaddy is a popular pick. The registrar doesn’t matter too much. The pricing may vary, but it’s only around $10-$15 per year anyway, so it’s not a very big investment to begin with.
Registering A Hosting Plan
Now it’s time to register for a hosting plan. This is much more important than finding a registrar. You’ll want a fast and reliable web host. I personally suggest A2 Hosting. It’s what I use for all my projects and has a great reputation. If you don’t go with A2, Siteground is another solid company.
For most businesses, a simple shared hosting plan is more than adaquate. For A2 Hosting, you can get started with a single domain website for under $4 per month. Very, very affordable and totally worth it.
(Optional) Setting The Nameservers
If you registered the domain name through a different company than your hosting provider, you’ll need to set the nameservers. What this means; the nameservers tell the domain which hosting company the website is being hosted on. Each hosting company will assign their clients different nameservers.
To do this, you’ll have to go to the DNS area (navigation is different for every registrar) and find the nameserver section. There’s going to be some default values. Replace them with the nameservers provided by the hosting company when signing up. Hit save and the nameservers are set.
Keep in mind it takes time for the nameservers to “propagate”. It might be instant with some internet service providers, might take up to 48 hours with others. If you register the domain directly through the hosting provider (opposed to a 3rd party registrar) you’ll be able to avoid this entire process.
Downloading and Installing WordPress
Now it’s time to download and install WordPress. The actual WordPress software is 100% free. Gotta love open-source. You can download WordPress here.
WordPress will come as a zip file. Inside that zip file are all the php files required for WordPress to run. Installation is covered in the next step.
Uploading WordPress To Web Host
Now it’s time to upload WordPress to the web host. I usually do this directly through CPanel, as you’ll have to get in there to setup a couple other things anyway. Within CPanel, you’ll see “File Manager”.
Once in file manager, you’ll see the upload icon on the top navigation. Click on it and either drag-and-drop the WordPress zip, or select it using file explorer.
Once WordPress is uploaded, you’ll need to unzip it. The video below goes over that:
To test and see if WordPress is installed, punch your website name into the browser and see if an installation screen pops up (see below photo). If it doesn’t, the files are either in the wrong location or the nameservers haven’t propagated yet.
Setting Up The Database
Now it’s time to setup a database. Going back into CPanel, you’ll be looking for the database wizard (see below)
Follow the steps to create a new database. Make sure to copy down the database name, username and password. At the last screen, give the users all permissions.
Now, remember that install screen you got when you punched in the website name in the browser? Notice there’s a place to enter the database name, username and password? Do that and hit ‘Submit’. WordPress can now finish installing itself. The platform will prompt you for login information, site name and other information. Once your past this screen, WordPress is officially installed and you can start configuring it.
Configuring Your WordPress Site
WordPress is a fairly intuitive platform. It’s theme driven and there’s tons of 3rd party plugins that can be used to add increased functionality to your site. There’s tons of resources across the internet on how to properly configure your WordPress site.
I will write more resources on this in the future, and they’ll be linked-to here. For the moment, I just wanted to write a quick and basic tutorial on installation. If you’ve got any questions about building in WordPress, shoot me an email and I’ll gladly answer them.