If you’re here, it means you’re ready to start building your first website. Whether it’s a blog, a niche site, a homepage for your business, or just a site for you to mess around with, I want to assure you you’ve made a great choice with Siteground. These guys are the best in the business.
Getting set up with Siteground shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.
1. Set up an account
The first thing you need to do is head to their homepage and set up an account. If you click here you’ll get taken to their different hosting plans, which should look like this:
If this is your first site, you will only need the “Startup plan”.
This is the cheapest plan and all new customers get a 60% discount which works out to $3.95/month – less than $50 a year. You’ll get 10GB of storage space, one-click WordPress install, free daily backups and bandwidth suited for 10,000 visits per month. To be hosted on Siteground quality servers, that’s very good value and if this is your first site I’m sure you won’t need anything more than that.
Choose your domain
After you choose your plan you’ll get taken to the next step which is domain registration:
Simply enter the domain you want and check it’s available.
If you already have a domain name, just select that option and enter your registered domain.
Enter your details and extra services
Next you’ll be asked to fill in your personal details, such as name and address, and your payment details. You’ll notice that you can get the discounted rates for 1 year, 2 year or 3 year signups. This is quite different to most hosts who only offer their discount rates for their longest terms. Paying 3 years up front with any service is quite a commitment, so it’s cool that Siteground lets you get the best price even for a one-year signup.
You’ll also get asked if you want to purchase extra services. None of these are really necessary, but of course you can get them if you want.
Finally, click the Pay Now button to confirm everything.
That’s it! You’ve got a website hosted on Siteground. Congrats.
2. Installing WordPress
WordPress is the most popular website software in the world. If you want a fast, secure, nicely designed website, use WordPress. If you have a friend who owns a blog or website, chances are they’re using WordPress.
Best of all, it’s 100% free.
The other great thing about WordPress is it’s super simple to use. No nerdy stuff, no weird programming or coding. Just install and go.
If you’re hosting with Siteground installing WordPress is as simple as 2 clicks.
First, log in to your control panel with the details Siteground should have emailed to you. You should get shown this screen (if not, just search the WordPress icon – it should be there!)
Select the option “Get WordPress preinstalled on this account.”
You’ll then get asked to enter some details for your WordPress backend, which will look like this:
Nothing fancy here. Just enter your email and choose a username and password. These will be the details you use every time you log in to work on your site (write them down!) Following that you’ll get asked to select a WordPress theme:
Just choose whichever one you want (you can always change it later, it’s super easy).
Then hit submit and you’re done! You now have a WordPress site ready to rumble.
3. Log in to your WordPress site
Once you’ve gone through the steps above, Siteground will present you with the URL to log in to your WordPress site. It will probably look something like www.yourblog.com/wp-admin (obviously you’ll replace yourblog.com with whatever your domain name is).
The login page should look something like this:
Simply log in with the username and password you chose during the setup process above, and you should be taken to the Dashboard. You’re now in the backend of your own WordPress site. Cool.
4. Installing a theme
Now, about your WordPress theme: A theme is like a pre-made design for your website. Instead of paying a web designer thousands of dollars to design a pretty website for you, you can just install a WordPress theme with one click and your site will look great. This is perfect for dummies like you and me and another reason WordPress is so great.
In Step 2 you chose one of the free WordPress themes, and if you want to stick with that for now, that’s totally fine!
However, eventually you’re going to want to customise the look of your site and probably will want something different.
I’m going to recommend two places to buy a theme.
My first recommendation would be to get one of the Genesis themes from Studiopress. Genesis is an excellent WordPress framework that build super fast and secure websites. It works like this – you install the main Genesis theme (also called a framework) and then you install a child them on top of that. It sounds a bit tricky but is very easy to do and Studiopress will give you all the instructions. I have websites using both the Foodie Pro and Pretty Chic themes and they’re both great.
My second recommendation would be to buy a theme from Themeforest. This is a developer marketplace and there are so many original and affordable themes on here. You should definitely be able to find something you like.
To change your theme is simple. In the left hand side of your Dashboard you’ll see your WordPress menu. Go to Appearance > Themes.
There you’ll be able to search through a library of themes, and many of them will be free. Just try them out and see which one you like! If you’re going to install a new theme, simply click “Add new” at the top of the page, and upload your theme. If you’ve bought a theme, the seller should have given you all the instructions you need.
5. Set up your pages
Your blog is going to have several different pages. By default your theme should already have a home page, but you’re also going to want to set up an About page and a Contact page (and any other page you can think of).
This is easy – just go to Pages > Add New:
Then, write your page content and click Publish.
After that you’ll need to add the page to your menu. To do this, go to Appearance > Menus.
Select the menu you want to add it to from the dropdown box at the top. Then select your newly created page from the left hand side and click “Add to Menu”. Easy, right?
6. Write your first post
You’ll now be ready to finally write your first post. Just go to Posts > Add new and start writing!
You’re ready to go!
By now you might be feeling a little overwhelmed, but relax. You’ve already set up your own website, chosen a theme, created some pages, and written your first post.
Everything else in WordPress is pretty easy to figure out and after a couple of weeks of messing around inside the dashboard you’ll know your way around. Honestly, the best way to become a WordPress pro is to just play around. If there’s something you really can’t figure out – just Google it, or even send me an email. I’ll help you out. But otherwise, just have a tinker – don’t be afraid to click things, it won’t break!
Congrats, and good luck!