This article will walk you through the three main things you need to publish a self hosted WordPress.org site on the internet.
The three elements
Whether you’re starting a blog or making an e-commerce site with WordPress, in order to publish it online for all to see you have to have these three elements. The first is a domain name (it can be a subdomain as well), the second a web server and the third a WordPress installation.
Element 1: Domain name
The first element you need is a domain name. That’s basically an address in the internet where people can find you. Your domain name will usually have “www.” + your domain name + the extensions or top level domains “.com/.net/.org”.
Domains can be gotten for free with some web hosting companies but I suggest you buy it through a domain registrar so that your domain name is not tied to your hosting. That way if you don’t like your hosting or get a better deal somewhere else you can switch without any problems.
There are a lot of domain registrars but some of the three most used right now are: Namecheap, Go Daddy and Google Domains.
I find Namecheap more affordable than GoDaddy. Google domains is not available in my country so I can’t tell you what that experience is like but I’ve been hearing a lot of positive chatter about them.
Element 2: Web server/Web Hosting
A web server is a computer that is connected to the internet 24/7 and allows you to connect to it and read information from it. I won’t go into the whole explanation of how a domain name translates to an IP from the server, just know that when you type the domain name, the browser looks for that address and the numbers behind it and connects to that specific computer.
The easiest way to get a web server is to rent it by acquiring a web hosting package. Depending on the package you might be able to have from 1 up to unlimited websites hosted (saved) in that company’s server. That is called shared hosting.
There are more complex types of web hosting packages that offer more speed more bandwidth and more everything, but if you’re just starting out shared hosting is a great place to start.
The list of possible hosting companies is HUGE, so I will tell you about a few I know and use: DreamHost, SiteGround and FlyWheel.
I’ve had my site hosted with Dreamhost for more than 15 years with no regrets. True, my site is low traffic, a small personal business site so I did not need large quantities of bandwidth. What I love about it is the unlimited websites part. I can make test sites for my clients as subdomains (clientx.solybarr.com) and present my work professionally. I let them go once around 2016 but it was because I thought I was through with Web development and did not need a website anymore, but I came crawling back to them two months later. I recommend you buy their shared unlimited plan.
Dreamhost – Affiliate link – https://www.solybarr.com/dreamhost
I only tested SiteGround briefly many years ago for a client site, so I don’t have much experience with them but they are highly regarded in WordPress circles. From time to time you might read someone saying the support is bad but the plans are good. They have this thing, though, that you should know about and that is the discounts they offer are only for the FIRST year, the second year is much more expensive. But a lot of people keep their sites there because of their reliability. I suggest the GrowBig plan which has unlimited sites, staging capabilities and backups on demand.
Siteground – Affiliate link – https://www.solybarr.com/siteground
I haven’t tested this hosting but the one thing that draws me to them is that they have this Server called Local (https://www.localwp.com) that will let you create your WordPress sites locally in your computer (Learn how to set that up in this article). Then you can publish your site directly to FlyWheel’s hosting through that software with a click of a button. That will save you a lot of headaches. If you are just starting out get their Tiny package since you won’t have that many visitors yet.
Flywheel – https://getflywheel.com/
Element 3: WordPress Installation
The last piece of the puzzle is, of course, having WordPress installed in your hosting account. A WordPress installation is made up of a bunch of files and a database. Most hosting providers have a “Quick Install” type of button where the installation is all done for you. If you had to do it manually you would have to upload the files (from wordpress.org) to your new site and create a database to be used with the installation.
WordPress – https://wordpress.org/
Local WP (server) – https://localwp.com/
So, once you have all these elements, your site will be online. Now all you have to do is design the site if its not already done using a page builder like Divi or Elementor.
I have several articles in here about using the Divi Theme and page builder. Click here to view them.
Thank you for reading.