Create your own WordPress site in 10 steps: from domain to website

by Guidebook

Whether it's a travel diary, a food blog or a company website - many people dream of having their own website. With WordPress, this dream can easily be fulfilled. The popular Content Management System convinces with a high level of user-friendliness and a professional appearance. But those who do not yet have a website may ask themselves the question: "How the hell do I even get my stories on the internet?" resp. "How do I create a WordPress site?". If that applies to you, you've come to the right place.

What at first seems insurmountable for laymen is actually not that difficult at all. In this article you will receive step-by-step instructions on how to create your own WordPress site: From the domain to the finished website.

A small note at the beginning: Many hosting providers (see step 2) now offer the option of a "1-click installation" of WordPress. This really does take just one click, but it also has some disadvantages, as problems can arise later, for example, due to automated updates etc. It is therefore better to do the WordPress setup manually - and that is exactly what is explained here. That's a few clicks more, but you'll learn a few important basics that you'll need for the future of your WordPress career.

So, here we go!

01

Step 1: Choose domain

Before you get to grips with WordPress, you need to decide on a domain.

This is your address where your website can be found later (www.beispielseite.de). This should be as concise as possible and represent your company or project. If possible, avoid hyphens (they are awkward to type) and umlauts, which are not found on English keyboards.

02

Step 2: Choose hosting provider

Next, you need a web space for your future gem.

 You get this from a hosting providerwho provides you with server space. You order your domain from the provider, install WordPress and the contents of your website are also stored on a database here.

Don't be too hasty in choosing a host, because switching to another provider at a later date is possible, but it does involve some effort. In addition, there are sometimes long contract periods. Basically, it's just like your mobile phone contract: a little more research at the beginning saves trouble in the end.

Shared vs. private hosting

I don't want to go too deep into the topic of hosting here, but I do want to point out the basic differences:

  • Shared Hosting: Here you share a server with other websites and thus also all the resources linked to it. A kind of "web commune", so to speak.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) HostingYou get your own room on a server. That would be the condominium, so to speak.

VPS hosting has several advantages, including the speed of your website. If you are targeting a large website that will generate a lot of traffic, it is worth considering VPS directly. However, for a small blog or a simple business site, shared hosting is usually perfectly adequate. Here you book a package including domain(s), webspace, database and email. Recommendable is e.g. All-inkl. The price-performance ratio and the user interface is very good here and there is no minimum contract period!

A small note on storage space

Many hosting providers advertise in their packages with lots of storage space, by now 50 GB ascending. That sounds all well and good, but remember: it's like too many free SMS on mobile phone tariffs. In most cases, you don't need that much leeway at all and a smaller package of 50 GB of storage or less is perfectly adequate. You can still upgrade!

03

Step 3: Create database for WordPress installation

Now - if you do not already have one - create a MySQL database in the customer menu (menu item "Database") of your hosting provider.

Make a note of the access data: Database name, user name and password. You will need these in a few minutes for the WordPress installation.

04

Step 4: Create FTP access

You also need a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) programme to transfer files from your PC (such as WordPress) to the host server..

I use FileZillawhich you can download free of charge for Windows or Mac.

Get FTP access to your web space from the hoster's customer menu (menu item "FTP access") and create a user name and password for it. Open the FTP programme and set it up using your access data. You can find out exactly how to do this here.

05

Step 5: Download WordPress

If you haven't done it yet, now load WordPress on https://de.WordPress.org/ down. The software is absolutely free of charge. You receive zip files that you have to unpack on the PC.

A little info on the side: WordPress.org is not to be confused with WordPress.com. With the former, it is the free software of the CMS, which you can then use for a self-hosted website. With WordPress.com, you can create a free blog directly and, after registering, receive a subdomain (examplepage.WordPress.com) and a small web space. However, this variant is really only suitable for hobby purposes. The sites are not particularly flexible, you always have the word "WordPress" on your domain and there are no plugins (extensions). If you want to set up a professional site, this is not for you.

06

Step 6: Prepare WordPress file

Before you can start the installation, you need to make a few small changes in the WordPress file:

  • Copy the file "wp-config-sample.php" and name it "wp-config.php".
  • Open this file with a text editor and enter the previously noted access data of your database in the corresponding places:
    • Your database name instead of "database_name_here".
    • Your user name instead of "username_here".
    • Your password instead of "password_here
    • and the database server address instead of "localhost" (sometimes "localhost" is already sufficient here. With some providers, however, a different URL must be entered, e.g. with Strato. You can find this at the respective provider).
    • Now you need a security key. You can either think up a combination of numbers yourself or have a key generated via the link https://api.WordPress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/. Copy this key and place it in the corresponding placeholder in the wp-config.php file. Copy this key and place it in the corresponding placeholder in the wp-config.php file.
  • Save the changed file

07

Step 7: Upload WordPress to your web space via FTP

Now open the FTP programme and log in with the FTP access data. 

If the connection is established, the FTP programme displays two windows: the "Server Window" and a "PC Window". Upload the contents of the unzipped WordPress folder to your web space via FTP. This works by right-clicking on the downloaded WordPress folder in the "PC window" and selecting "Upload".

08

Step 8: Install WordPress

The actual installation of WordPress runs completely automatically:

Simply call up your domain (www.beispielseite.de) or, if this does not work, "www.beispielseite.de/wp-admin/install.php" and follow the instructions that appear in the window. Here you also set your username and password for your WordPress site. And that's it. From now on you can access the backend via www.beispielseite.de/wp-admin/.

09

Step 9: Select and upload theme

Be a little proud of yourself for now that you managed to install WordPress manually on your own! 

Then you can start designing the website according to your wishes.

First of all, you need the right theme - that's what WordPress design templates are called. You can definitely allow a few hours for this, because the choice of themes is huge! For me it even took days, but I also have a chronic decision-making weakness...

Basically, there are free and paid themes. Some of the free ones can be selected directly in the WordPress backend. Some of them are already very pretty, but they are often not flexible enough to be customised. If you are planning a professional website, you should therefore rather browse directly through the paid premium themes, e.g. at Themeforest.

10

Step 10: Design page and insert content - a never ending story...

Now it's down to the nitty gritty: you design your page and fill with Unique Content. In addition, you will certainly install one or the other plugin.

You will never get out of this step, by the way. Because as long as you have your website, there will always be something to improve and add. I can assure you: you will never be finished. But that would be boring, wouldn't it? Have fun designing your first WordPress site!

And should you get stuck? Then there's us 😉

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