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How To: The Complete Guide to Launching a Blog, Part Two

Written by Ryan H

Salutations! And welcome back! If you’re just joining us, we’re in the midst of a multi part series on the technical aspects of starting a blog. If you’d like to start at the beginning, please go back to Part One, where we talk about hosting, content management software, and DNS. In this article, we’re going to talk about actually purchasing your hosting package, and how to get your WordPress software installed using cPanel.

In my last post, I told you about our hosting provider, Hostek. Hostek has been gracious in providing you, our readers, with a discount code! This code is good for your first 3 months of hosting, free, using the cPanel Personal or Business hosting. The code is WH3free and will be valid for 1 year. I will again highly recommend them- in the process of writing this article, I came across a couple of problems in my cPanel, submitted at ticket at around 8pm, and had a response inside of 2 hours (and a partial fix in that time as well), and full resolution within 14 hours. Thanks Hostek!

Remember, we suggested using the Linux/cPanel hosting in our first article– take a look at the picture below, and be sure you pick either the Personal or Business- NOT the VPS. Just head on over using this link, find Products at the top, go the the Shared section, and click cPanel/Linux. Then, check out and put in the coupon code. Be sure to follow all the prompts, and be sure to get your domain name correctly input and purchased if you don’t already have one.

 Hosting Options

Great! After you have purchased your hosting, you should be able to log in to the client area. If you selected a provider other than Hostek, you should still be able to find similar links to get your way to the cPanel, but the pictures shown here will show screens specific to Hostek’s interface. Once you find the cPanel with your host, you will be able to follow along screen by screen again.

So, if you’ve chosen Hostek, once you log in the client area, you will be presented with a screen that looks something like this:

Hostek Client Area

From here, you can contact support, manage your billing, purchase additional services, add a new domain, or any number of other things. What we want to do at this point is gain access to our cPanel. That can be found by clicking the Services button- you’ll see under the “Welcome Back, Ryan”, 3 big boxes that say SERVICES, DOMAINS, and INVOICES. You want to click on Services. That’s going to bring up a list of your services- go ahead and click on your site:

Services list

Now, on the left, you will see a menu titled “Actions”. In that menu, click on “Login to cPanel”.

Actions Menu

Here’s where those of you who have a different host can jump back in and follow along again. You will now be presented with the default cPanel screen. The most familiar and common screen seems to be (in my limited experience) the retro theme, so that’s what I’m going to work with here. If your host presents you with a different theme, don’t fret- the icons are still there, you’ll just have to look for them.

From here, we’re going to actually install WordPress. Woohoo! On the right hand side of cPanel you will see all your options. If you scroll towards the bottom of the screen, you’re going to come to a section titled “Softaculous Apps Installer”. On my cPanel, it’s the last section. In that box you will see a button titled “WordPress”. Go ahead and click on that icon, highlighted in yellow below:

You will come to a screen that should look something like this:

Now click that Install Now button! You will get a screen with a bunch of choices to make. First- whether your site is secure (Choose Protocol). I will, at this point, recommend selecting http://, as I don’t have time to explain SSL in this article- we will cover that soon, and we can change it later! No worries! The second choice is “Choose Domain”. This should match the domain you purchased during the checkout process when you purchased your hosting. The third option is “In Directory”. This is the folder you’re going to install WordPress into. You can make it whatever you want, but keep in mind if you put something here, you will need to add it to your domain to see your site. For example, if you put “mysite” there, you would need to go to yourdomain.com/mysite to get to your blog. If you leave it empty, you will get to your blog just by going to yourdomain.com. Once that is done, name your site, give it a description, choose an admin username and password (don’t lose it! [check here for my view on password security. Please don’t use CorrectHorseBatteryStaple as your password :-p]), and select your language. I don’t recommend selecting either the “Enable Multisite” or “Limit Login Attempts” checkboxes. Finally, you come to themes- at this point, I don’t recommend installing one- you’ll get the default, and we will look at themes in the next post. Alright- here we go! Click on Install!

The install should only take a few seconds. Once it’s finished, you will get a confirmation screen:

Congratulations! WordPress is installed! Go visit your brand new blog!

In order to get into the back end, you will need to visit yourdomain.com/wp-admin

That should redirect you to the login page, where you will be able to log in using the credentials you created and I told you not to lose. 😉 Feel free to poke around and start playing with your new blog- most learning is done by just trying things. No worries- if you break something, most hosts will help you out with some support or a restore of your site to an earlier time.

Next week, we’ll look at a few steps you can take to help secure your blog against the bad people, choosing and installing a theme, and maybe even creating your first post!

Thanks for following along, I hope you’ve learned something thus far- and especially hope the next couple weeks will be helpful to some of you who are already blogging! See you all soon!

About the author

Ryan H

Husband to the Wholesome Housewife. Father to 2 beautiful children. IT guy by trade, worker with hands by hobby. Above all, follower of Jesus.

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