Ready to start a website or blog for your church? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ll step you through the process of setting up your first website, from start to finish.
Now if you’ve going to be creating your own blog from scratch, you need to understand that this will take a couple of hours.
You should also bookmark this page for future reference. Some of these steps can get pretty technical.
1) Get your domain and hosting plan
First up, head over to HostGator.com to buy yourself a domain and web-hosting.
Why HostGator? They’re the best. Hands down, pants down.
I’ve used other web providers in the past, and none of them come even close to the level of service I’ve gotten from the peeps at HostGator.
Their 24/7 live chat customer support is pretty damn amazing, should you run into any problems.
Chances are you won’t even need customer support from them because I’m going to be walking you through everything, but it’s great to know they’ve got your back.
Plus, they have some of the cheapest prices around. Enough said.
Now, click on the ‘Domain’ tab on the menu bar. Key in your ideal domain name to check if it’s available.
Time to do some brainstorming. Don’t proceed until you are happy with the domain name as this is pretty permanent.
Got your domain ready? Don’t add it to your cart yet! We’re only checking to see if our domain is available.
Go back to the menu bar and click web-hosting. Click on the ‘Baby’ plan, as it allows you to add an unlimited number of domains later, should you need it.
Type in your domain in the box right at the top. (If you’ve already bought a domain previously, click ‘I already own a domain’ and key it in anyway. Your domain will take a couple of hours to ‘propagate’ to your new hosting account, so be patient.)
Fill up the form and your payment details, and pick your billing cycle. You get a bigger discount if you pay for more up front.
Done? You should receive two emails shortly, one of which is your receipt and the other your account details. You’ll be needing this really soon.
2) Install WordPress & Email Accounts
Open the email from Hostgator and click the link to your control panel. Log in using the username and password provided. Note: your billing account password isn’t the same as your CPanel details!
Welcome to the back office of your new website.
Looks overwhelming, huh?
Don’t worry, you’ll only be using a couple of these functions.
First of all, it’s a good idea to change your password to something you can remember easier.
You can do that by clicking on ‘Change Password’ under the Preferences heading.
Next you should also set up an email account for your website.
This will be important for authenticating certain features in the future, and make your website seem more professional.
Click on the ‘Email Accounts’ icon under the Mail heading.
Fill up the form exactly as shown below.
Obviously your passwords have to match.
You can replace ‘support’ with whatever you want, by the way. You can create as many emails as you like ending with any of your purchased domains, but one is more than enough.
Once you’ve created your email account, you can access it by click on the ‘Access Webmail’ button next to the appropriate email address at the bottom of the screen.
Note: you should bookmark this page as well for easier access in the future.
I also want to show you the traffic tracker function along the side bar.
You can click on the ‘View All Traffic Button’ for more details.
Pretty neat eh? Kind of like a mini Google Analytics tool.
Right. That’s enough with the detours, time to actually install WordPress.
Click on the ‘Quick Install’ button under the Software/Services tab.
Select WordPress from the side bar on the right, and fill up the form as show below.
Remember your log in details, this is important for later!
Click ‘Install’, and the software should do its thing. Done.
You probably won’t need to come back to your CPanel anytime soon. Time to set up your WordPress blog.
3) Configure WordPress
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of your very own WordPress blog.
Next, you’d want to log into your WordPress back office. Click the link below and log in using the details given.
For future reference, your log in screen from now on will be Your-Website-Domain/wp-admin.
Bookmark accordingly. You’ll be back here every day.
Now it’s time to setup your WordPress options.
Everything is pretty self explanatory since they step you through the process. If you get stuck, Google will help.
Now, I’m pretty sure I referenced the Thesis theme a couple of times within the video.
If you want your blog to look (and perform as well on the search engines!) like mine, you need to think about purchasing a paid theme. Optional, but highly recommended.
Thesis 2.0 remains my number one choice.
It’s fast, super light weight and 100% optimized for SEO and internet marketing. If you thought Thesis 1.0 was bad-ass, version 2.0 is bananas.
I’m aware that there are plenty of WordPress themes optimized for SEO out there, but Thesis is the one I’m using and it hasn’t let me down so far. Love it.
Done. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
That’s the end of this guide, thanks for reading.
You have now managed to set up your very own church WordPress blog from scratch. Virtual fist bump.
Did I miss anything? Do you need additional help? Leave a comment below: