Getting a website of any shape or size used to take a professional and used to cost BIG BUCKS. Now a decent site is so easy ANYONE can do it! Here is the fastest way to get a WordPress based website / blog up and running with the best hosting available in under one hour! Let’s go!
Your website already live? Click here for Step 2: Get Google Analytics Running on WordPress. Simple.
Why WordPress? Simple takes the cake. We’re not all super geeks and now we don’t have to be to own and operate a website. 50 Million people agree and are making WordPress the fastest growing blogging / website interface on the planet. Oh and did we mention its FREE?!?! Visit http://www.wordpress.org to learn more.
Have the following items ready
- Valid email address you want to associate with EVERYTHING going forward with this website, including billing, notifications etc. If you don’t have one. www.gmail.com has them for free.
- Valid credit/debit card for billing purposes
- Valid address for your credit/debit card
LET’S GET STARTED! (Start the timer!)
Getting your domain:
- Go to GoDaddy.com
- Use the search feature to find a domain name that is available. INSERT TIPS FOR SELECTING A DOMAIN NAME
- We highly recommend only looking for available .com’s . These are still what the world thinks of when they think web. Anything else is bound to get lost in translation. If you have the cash it is wise to buy all four major extensions so that some competitor or other entity you don’t want doesn’t snatch up the major extensions and get traffic that should have gone to you because they have better search engine prowess. Just take our word for it. Its worth the $26 bucks if you can at all spare it. After all you’re going to work really hard to build your site and make it amazing, aren’t you? Would be such a tragedy if some shady nobody were to come steal all your traffic away. DON’T LET THEM!
- Once you find one that is short and appropriate, purchase the domain(s). DO NOT BUY ANY ADDONS! These are just a rip off. YOU DO NOT NEED THEM. Only buy the domains and pay attention. Usually the best rate is when only paying for the 1st year. Pay attention as they are sneaky and will try to sell you a million addons if you’re gullible enough. DON’T BUY HOSTING! We’ll do that in the next step from a MUCH better provider. Trust us here, having a good domain is pointless if you have AWEFUL hosting. It’s like building a mansion, but no roads to get there. If you don’t have an account already, go ahead and set up one. Once you’ve completed the purchase leave your account open. We’ll come back here in a minute.
Setting up your hosting
- Next go to WPEngine.com and purchase a Personal hosting account. They are $30/month for one site, which is money WELL SPENT! If you want to hear us rant about why, send us an email and we’ll share the details.
- After your account is set up, go to my.wpengine.com and log into your new account.
- Click on the username in the upper left corner. In the upper menu select “Wordpress Installs”
- Under “New WordPress Installation” type a short/abbreviated version of your domain/company name. Ensure “Multisite” is NOT checked
- Click “Activate New WordPress Install”
- It will take a few minutes to get your site loaded.
- You can either A) Check your email (they will notify you) for notice when the site is live or you can go to a browser tab and type in the following address “xyz.wpengine.com” (xyz = the abbreviated name you chose earlier) and use the refresh button until it shows live. Be sure there are periods between the name and wpengine and com (even if you bought a .org/.net/.mobi etc. extension, your site will run from wpengine.com as your domain will simply redirect when a visitor comes to your domain and will end up landing on your wpengine site).
Getting your domain pointing to your site
- Now you need to figure out what the IP address of your site is so you can tell Godaddy where to direct your visitors when the come to your new domain name. (once your site is loaded and you can log in, which will happen later on in this tutorial, you can also find this information on your WP Dashboard under WPEngine, for now we’ll have to use another tool)
- Go here http://www.site24x7.com/find-ip-address-of-web-site.html
- In the “Enter domain field” enter the full WPEngine domain from just a moment ago. For Example xyz.wpengine.com (leave off the Http:// for now) and type in the Captcha and press Find IP. If will generate an IP for you like this “220.127.116.11”
- Highlight and copy this IP address in full.
- Now go back to Godaddy.com and be sure you are logged in. Go to your account and click on Domains. Find the domain your new domain in the list and to the far right click the green “Launch” button. This will open the Domain Manager service. If you have several domains you may need to scroll through the list to find the one you want.
- Once the Domain Manger is open, at the top there is a tool bar with a “Tools” menu. Hover over this menu and select DNS Manager. This should take you to the Dashboard for the DNS Manager, All we are going to do here is redirect traffic when it comes to your domain so that it lands on your site which is on WPEngine.
- Scroll through the list of Domains and locate the first of the domains you just purchased (If you purchased multiple extensions like .net/.org etc you will want to repeat this process for all extensions so that they all direct to your single website in case someone incorrectly types the domain).
- Click the “Edit Zone” link just below the first domain. You will see two sections to this next page. One called “A” and the other “CNAME”. You will be working in the “A” section only.
- You will see a line in the table that has an “@” symbol and to the right has an IP Address. Once you have copied the IP address you found earlier, click once on the IP address to the right of the “@” in the Zone File Editor. This will unlock that row for editing. Delete the IP address that is in the IP address field and paste the new IP address in its place.
- Now click “Save Zone File” in the upper right corner of the editor.
- When prompted to save your changes click “Yes”
- When notified your changes have been submitted click “OK”
Letting WPEngine know whats coming!
- Heading back over to our my.wpengine.com account, we need to tell WPEngine that traffic is headed our way and where it needs to end up!
- On the left navigation bar of your my.wpengine.com account, select the WordPress Installation we set up earlier. It should be the “XYZ” in xyz.wpengine.com.
- On the upper menu select “Domains”
- Toward the bottom you will see an input box that allows you to tell WPEngine what sites you will be redirecting. In this text box, enter each of the domains you purchased earlier one at a time (BE VERY CERTAIN OF SPELLING!) and press “Add New Redirect”. After you have completed this step for each domain you should see each new redirect listed above the text box. They should look something like this “www.3dprintinggeeks.com » printgeeks.wpengine.com”.
- GOOD JOB! In a few mintutes/hours your domain will now start directing correctly and visitors will be able to find your new site.
Buy more domain extensions? Don’t forget them!
- Did you buy more than one domain extension? (.net/.org etc)
- If yes, tets be sure all of the domains get corrected.
- From the Zone File Editor click in the Tool Bar on “Dashboard”. This will take you back to the DNS Manager dashboard. Simply locate the next domain extension and click the “Edit Zone” link. Repeat Steps 9-13 in the previous section.
Logging into your NEW site
- Now we need to get you logged into your new site. Go to xyz.wpengine.com where xyz is the shortened version of your company/domain (or if you wait a few minutes, your domains may already be redirecting and you can simply go to your domain which will take you to your site. This can take a few minutes so if you don’t want to wait, just go straight to xyz.wpengine.com).
- In your browser address bar you need to add “wp-admin” AFTER the “/” at the end of the domain like this http://xyz.wpengine.com/wp-admin or you can simply browse around your new site for the “META” area which should have a “Log in” link. Whichever is easier.
- You will be taken to the login page for your dashboard. The user name is the shortened version of your domain you used earlier. The “xyz” in xyz.wpengine.com. Then press “Forgot Password” and you will be sent a link to your email address you used when setting up your WPEngine account. Go to your email and click the link to reset your password.
- You can now set a password you can remember, but don’t worry, we’ll also add a more relevant user to your site so you don’t have to remember this odd abbreviated username.
- Now that you’ve reset your password, go ahead and log into your site using the abbreviated username and the new password
- AWESOME! Almost ready to start making a website!
- Finally lets set up a user you can actually remember!
Set up a user you can actually use!
- On the left tool bar, hover over “USERS” and select “Add new”.
- Fill in AT LEAST the required information. Don’t worry about the “Website” field. This isn’t critical for now, but is handy when you have collaborators working on your site later on. Finally in the “Role” drop down menu select “Adminstrator”. This will give your new user full access to your site. When all done, click “Add New User”.
- You can now log out and log back in as the new user. In the upper right hover over the user name showing in the black bar. Click “Log Out”. This will take you to the log in page again. Now log in as your new user name and you’re all set. If you forgot your new password already, just go through the lost password process.
CONGRATS! Your new site is ALIVE!
Tips for what to do next
- Now you can start getting the core plug-ins installed so you have all the right functionality, adding content to give your site life, installing themes to make your site look good and start giving Google and the other search engines something to share with the world!
- We recommend installing Google Analytics RIGHT AWAY. (STEP 2: Setting up Google Analytics) This will ensure you are able to tell when people are finally making their way to your new site. You don’t want to build an amazing site and not know if anyone is even coming to see it do you? We didn’t think so!
Remember, you are what you eat, so Eat Success for Breakfast!
Ready to install Google Analytics? Click here for Step 2: Get Google Analytics Running on WordPress. Simple.
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