This is the most technical part of the process, but it really is quite simple these days… if you take you time and work through it step by step. Here’s what we’re going to do…
Register A Domain Name
If you’ve never registered a domain before, I’d suggest you take a couple of minutes to read the following primer, to make sure you start right with a domain that’s going to work properly for your requirements.
Once you’ve got a few ideas, you can test them out using the form below… type them in an see if they are available. You won’t always find your first choice is available, so try a few variations until you find one that ‘works’ for you. If there’s others that could work, make a note of those for later.
Create A Hosting Account
Lots of options…but basically either Standard CPanel Hosting or Managed WordPress Hosting.
Managed WordPress Hosting: More expensive, but they’ll take care of all the back-end tasks, so you just focus on your published content. You can change themes, add plugins and make day to day changes to your settings, and the hosting company will do the rest.
Realistically there isn’t lot that needs doing… installing updates and running backups… so MW Hosts add in a number of additional ‘optimization’ services to make it worth your while. So not essential, but could be a useful way to get started if you are unsure of your technical abilities… or you just don’t want to have to bother with it!
WPEngine is the leader when it comes to managed WordPress hosting… it’s a little more expensive, but they take care of everything, and offer a range of training and optimizations to help you make your website more effective. It would be overkill for a personal website, but if you are building a website for your photography business, then it could be work checking out if you feel you need that level of assistance.
CPanel Hosting: This is fairly standard… CPanel being the software used to manage your hosting account, then we install WordPress on top of that. Very little to do in CPanel… we’ll walk you through it… and once it’s done no need to go back. I have WP sites where I haven’t logged into CPanel for years, but it can be handy to have the option when things go wrong.
Main one with Standard Hosting is to watch out for resellers. They buyer space with the Parent Hosting Company and resell that to other users… so the prices might look marginally better than you’d get from the Parent, but these days hosting is super cheap anyway, so you are talking at most a dollar or so a month.
Much more important is the support and service… if you need support you will be dealing with the Host anyway, so you may as well deal direct with the parent company from the start.
Even if the deal looks particularly good, you should remember the reseller will be packing as many users as possible into their allocated space… so there’s not a lot of control over what those other users are doing… and you could find your site is slow or even unavailable if the space isn’t well managed.
For the sake of a dollar or two a month, save yourself the stress and go with the parent company!
Bluehost is one I use and recommend… very competitive prices and packages, reliable, fast and great support. The basic one site option is going to be plenty for most users. You can always upgrade as your needs dictate, either to add additional websites, or to take advantage of the Pro site features.
Set Up Email on your Domain
Email Forwarders vs Email Account
Other CPanel Options
Separate Walk Through… lots of screenshots, or video?
Logins etc. RoboForm?
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