In the previous post we had a look at 34 essential plugins your blog needs ranging from plugins for security to those for enhancing the blog functionality and much more. In this part we will be looking at the technical aspects of making your blog live. Most new bloggers find these aspects to be daunting, as they fear they might not understand the process, or inadvertently cause some mix-up. However installation of your blog and making it live is a fairly easy process. In order to guide you easily through it I have created a video tutorial explaining the process of installing WordPress.org, as well as Premium theme onto your blog.
In case you would prefer to read through the process, underneath the video you can read through the transcript of the video.
So lets get going.
Welcome to this Video Tutorial. In this we will be looking at 4 different processes of a blog, namely:
How to book a Domain
How to buy Hosting for your blog
How to Install WordPress on your blog
How to install WordPress theme on your blog
Let’s see how to implement these things.
1st thing you need for your blog is domain and hosting. I have written a post on choosing domain and hosting for your blog. You can go through this post to understand this process better and book your domain and hosting. In this video I will be showing you how you can use BigRock & HostGator to book your domain and hosting respectively.
Another post that may wish to go through before installation is theme selection. I have written a post on how to select the perfect WordPress theme for your blog. This contains pointers on the theme selection process and a list of tools to help you make the right theme choice. In this video I will be showing you how to install your chosen theme on your blog.
1. How to Book a Domain
To begin with let's look at how to book your domain. For booking domain you can use BigRock or HostGator. I use them personally and find them to be excellent in terms of pricing as well as service. BigRock is currently providing .net domain at just Rs 299/-, and .com domain at Rs 639/- . To buy a domain you will first need to create a account with BigRock or alternatively you can add your domain to the basket and account creation will be done before checkout. Once you have purchased the domain, you will receive all the domain details on the email ID provided by you at time of checkout. Similarly you can book domain with HostGator.
2. How to Buy Hosting for your blog
Next let's move on to Hosting. I use HostGator for all my hosting needs. I have been using them for past 6 years, and never faced any complaint. Service is good, uptime is excellent and customer support is available 24×7. You will need to choose Web hosting for your blog. Under this HostGator offers 3 different plans. Hatchling plan, which allows for 1 domain only. This plan is good enough for you if you have a single domain. In case you have more than one domains then you need to look at Baby plan which offers unlimited domain options. Business Plan also offers unlimited domains, but it offers additional features too in form of dedicated IP & SSL Certificate. Both these features are not essential for new blog, and if required can be purchased separately too. For most new bloggers Hatchling Plan is good place to start. Currently HostGator is offering 20% discount on all its plans. So you can get the Hatchling plan at only Rs 400 p.m/- And in case you choose to book your hosting for an entire year, you will get further 12% discount and your monthly charges will work out to be Rs 355/- only.
Once you have chosen your plan, click on the Sign Up now button.
This will bring up a new box asking you ‘If you already have a domain’.
In case you have not yet booked your domain, click on No and it will take you to the next screen and through the domain selection process.
For those of you who have already purchased their domain, simply click Yes and it will take you ahead to the checkout process.
Once you have completed the process and purchased your hosting, you will receive CPanel [Control Panel] information in the email ID provided by you at checkout.
This is very critical information keep it safe and save it onto your hard drive as well for safekeeping.
Using these details logon to the CPanel of your hosting. Once you have logged in, next step will be installation of your WordPress blog.
3. How to Install WordPress on your Blog
Using the CPanel details log into the CPanel of your HostGator account.
Scroll down the page and reach the Software/Services section.
Here click on Quick Install. Through this you will be able to install WordPress in one click.
On the next screen, notice the left side panel. Here you have different blog options like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etc. Click on WordPress.
Right hand side panel will change to display WordPress details. Scroll down and click on Install WordPress.
Scrolling down you can view the WordPress installation form. Here you will need to input the required details.
1st you need to input the domain name you have purchased for your blog. After this you can specify the path (place) where you want to install WordPress. You can choose to leave this empty, in which case WordPress will directly be installed onto your domain. Or you can choose to specify a path like ‘blog’. When a path is specified, WordPress will be installed by creating this specific folder within your domain.
Next up you will need to enter the Admin Email. This is email ID of the person who will have admin rights to this blog. You can choose to use any email ID here, it is in no way related to any other email ID specified by you at any time before.
Blog Title is the name of your blog as it will be displayed on Google, and other places. This can be same as your domain name or you can choose to create some tagline for your blog which you can specify here.
Next you need to specify the username Admin would like to use when logging into the blog. Generally ‘Admin’ is used as username. However you are free to specify any username you feel like using. And finally enter the first and last name of Admin.
With all details in place, now click on Install WordPress button.
Installation will start immediately, and will take some time. You will be able to monitor the progress of the installation process on the bar at the top of the screen.
Once installation is completed, the bar will display appropriate message, and invite you to click on it to view the notifications.
Once you click you will be able to view your blog credentials. Specified here will be the URL through which you will be able to access the admin login page – Admin Area. The Username you had specified for blog admin. And finally the password using which you can log into your blog. This password is randomly generated for security purposes. You can change it once you log into the admin area.
Copy this data and save it onto a Notepad file for quick reference, and save it onto your computer.
This completes the process of Installing WordPress onto your domain.
Next up we will look at how to install your chosen WordPress theme onto your blog.
4. How To Install WordPress Theme on your blog
Open the notepad file on which you had saved the blog credentials.
Now open the Admin area URL specified in the file, onto a new browser window. Here you will be able to view the login screen. Enter the relevant username and password details by copying them from the notepad. Click on login button.
This will take you to the DashBoard of your blog. This is the command module of your blog. From here you will be able to control, edit, manage and make changes to your blog as per your preference and requirements.
From the Dashboard you can:
Create and edit posts
Manage media on your blog including pictures, video’s and audio’s as well
Create & Edit pages on your blog
Manage comments made on your blog
Manage and edit the appearance of your blog, including theme, widgets, menu bar, header, background etc. All this will help make your blog stand out from the crowd and also create a seamless branding for your blog.
Add and manage plugins you choose to install on your blog
Edit & Manage User settings of your blog & much more.
So lets get started:
1st up we will be changing the admin password used to login. To do this click on Users in the left side menu, click on All users. This will take you to the Users section. Here you can add new users if you wish to give access of your blog to other users. Currently you can view only one user here, the one through which you logged into the dashboard. Click on edit button under the username.
This will take you to the profile page of the user. Here you will find lot of personalization options for the specified user. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on New Password. Here specify the password of your choice, and click on Update Profile button.
Now we will move on to installation of your chosen WordPress theme onto your blog.
Click on Appearances in the left side menu, and then click on Themes.
This will display the themes section for you. You can choose to install from the free themes provided by WordPress.org, for doing so click on the ‘WordPress.org Theme’ button at the top of the page. This will display for you the different free theme options you can choose from. Free themes are generic, offer limited scope for optimization and are often repeated across blog, so they don’t lend a unique feel to your blog.
I prefer working with Premium themes, which will cost some money, but they offers lot of scope for customization using which I can lend a more personalized and unique feel to my blog. This helps in making my blog stand out from the crowd. You can read more about How to Select the Perfect WordPress Theme for your blog and make your own choice. I buy my themes from ‘MyThemeshop.com’ which has a huge collection of high quality premium WordPress themes at very attractive pricing. I am currently using the Nominal Blog Theme from My Theme Shop for my blog.
In case you don’t find anything you like on MyThemeshop, you can choose something from Themeforest.com They too have very good theme collection. Both these places have good theme collection, and I have used themes from here in past, the customer support and features vary from theme to theme, hence make sure to read the documentation before making any purchase decision.
I have already purchased a Premium theme for my blog, and will be installing the same here. So lets get back to the Theme section of your blog. Here click on the ‘Add New’ button. This will take you to next page specifying to browse and upload your theme in .zip format. Browse your theme, and click on open. Now you need to click on the Install Now button. Installation process will begin itself, and you will be able to view the progress on screen.
Once installed successfully, 3 options will be displayed to you. ‘ Live Preview’ which will allow you to preview the theme on your blog, before you make it live for the world to view. You can use this option to view the theme and tweak it as per your requirements before you make it live. Next option is ‘Activate’, which will make the theme live on your blog. And the last option is ‘Return to Theme Pages’. Click on Activate so that the theme can be made live on your blog. You can edit your theme, and its different elements anytime, before or after activating it.
Now open your blog URL, and you should be able to view the new theme live on your blog.
Awesome! Your Theme is installed on your new blog, and is ready to go. You can customize the theme elements based on your preference, and depending on the options offered in your chosen theme. Most theme’s offer couple of color, layout, font, menu bar etc options. Play around with the different theme elements to create something that reflects your style and personality and brings your blog alive.
This concludes this tutorial. So finally your blog is live and ready to go. In next post we will be looking at Structure and Layout elements of your blog, and how best to utilize them in order to make your blog stand out from the crowd. Until then Happy Blogging 🙂