This post is a 3-step guide that easily and quickly shows non-technical users how to install WordPress.
Let’s face it. WordPress is becoming the preferred content management system on the web. Sure there are other solutions out there, but more and more people are turning to WordPress for its ease of use, frequent updates, best WordPress themes and numerous plugins.
If you are a web designer or developer you already have your preferred methods for installing and hosting WordPress, however, if you are a non-technical user (mom, little league coach, casual blogger, baby boomer, teacher) it can be a little daunting. “Where do I start?” “What do I need?” Those may be questions you’re asking yourself. This post is intended to help you – the non-technical user – get WordPress installed and hosted on your own domain name, in as little effort as possible.* If you get stuck along the way, or run into questions, please post them in the comments and I’ll respond as soon as I am able.
How to Install WordPress, Step 1: Buy your domain name
The first step in how to install WordPress is purchasing your own domain name. These typically run $10-$30 per year (depending on the extension you choose – .com, .net, .org, .co, etc).
I have used GoDaddy for all my domain name purchases dating all the way back to 2002 (the first full year after Network Solutions ceased to be the sole domain name provider) and have never had a problem with them. Their technical support is great and their connectivity has been fantastic. Also, I haven’t found a place that can beat their pricing. Granted, you can find cheaper domains at places like 1And1.com but typically those prices are good for the 1st year only and then their rates spike pretty significantly after the initial year has expired. GoDaddy’s domain registry pricing and service is so good, several clients have hired me specifically to help them transfer their domains from places like 1And1 to GoDaddy.
How to Install WordPress, Step 2: Pick a host that offers 1-click installation of WordPress
The second step in how to install WordPress, is to pick a hosting provider that offers 1-click installation of WordPress. Some of the more popular hosts that offer 1-click WordPress installation are iPage, BlueHost, GoDaddy and Media Temple. Personally, although I love GoDaddy for registering domains, I do not particularly like their hosting. I find their control panel to be clunky and when I’ve tried to install WordPress (twice for clients) via their 1-click app builder it failed both times.
In my opinion, the two best places for the average non-technical user to install WordPress are iPage and BlueHost. Their pricing is great and their support is designed for non-technical people (although it’s worked fine for more technical people too). I have clients who use both iPage and BlueHost and I have not heard any of them complain about either.**
How to Install WordPress, Step 3: Pick and install a theme
The third step in how to install WordPress, is to pick a theme. (This step is completely optional, however, it is highly recommended you complete it as picking a custom WordPress theme will help distinguish your site and give it a unique design.) There are numerous free WordPress themes to choose from, however, if you don’t mind spending a few bucks (typically between $30-$80), you can get a professionally designed WordPress theme to further set your new site apart from the crowd.
WordPress is a popular and fast growing blogging and content management solution which powers some of the web’s most popular sites. Web design professionals have their own methods for installing and hosting WordPress. However, non-technical users don’t have to miss out on the powerful features offered by WordPress. By following the 3 steps above, you can harness the incredible power of WordPress to launch your new site and turn your blogging or website dream into a reality. Happy blogging and if you have questions please post in the comments below. Together we can get your site up and running!
*You can always go to WordPress.com and create a blog for free, however, your web address will default to YourBlogName.wordpress.com. More and more clients I work with want to brand their site and not have “wordpress” as part of the web address. There are ways around this but most non-technical people I try to explain it to glaze over and zone out within the first 60 seconds so just follow the 3 steps above and you’ll be more than fine.
**Personally, I host all my sites with Media Temple. I have been with them for over 12 years and, in my opinion, they represent one of the best hosting solutions for web design professionals. The main reason I don’t recommend them for non-technical users is pricing. Their lowest plan starts at $20/month which is 3 to 4 times iPage and BlueHost. Most non-technical users can’t justify the extra cost and, understandably, they pick iPage or BlueHost as a result.