This is a guide to help you understand what you need to build your own self hosted website. I am a huge advocate for this because you want to own your files and have full control to customize and later on monetize your site. I will teach you how to do this using wordpress and bluehost hosting in the most cost effective and easy to use way.
Everything lives on social media now a days but the truth is it’s still smart to have a website. A website allows for your content, services, and more information about you to live in one place that can be easily found. You can and should have a website for any of your projects, businesses, and your personal website.
If you want a custom website it can cost you thousands of dollars, you can hire someone to set up you a simple website for a bit less, or you can set it up yourself using wordpress.org and have full ownership over everything on it (unlike most “free” websites).
The truth is for something super simple you can just do it yourself if you’re willing to set aside the time. So I’m here to break it down for you and explain what you need and how do it yourself.
The main things you need to are the following
- Domain Name
- Web Hosting
- WordPress.org Content Management System
What do these mean? I’ll break these down…
1 . Domain and WTF does that mean?
What you see in the address bar is the URL and that is made up of the Second Level Domain (SLD) and Top Level Domain .
In simple terms the Domain is the name you choose to pull up and call your website. Each website actually has a series of numbers called an IP address ie: 22.214.171.124 .
Let’s be real we wouldn’t be able to remember everyone’s IP addresses -we can barely remember phone numbers. On that note – think of a domain name like saving someone’s phone number with a name.
555-272-9290 turns into “Hot Guy from Bar Tuesday” in your contacts
So 126.96.36.199 turns into Builtwithjoy.co on the internet
But why do you want to buy and register your domain? Because once you do – no one else can take it! So it’s all yours and you can build as well as make your own custom email.
Depending on the TLD and SLD it can cost you anywhere from $.99 to $15 a year on average a domain that is available.
2. Hosting and WTF does that mean?
Okay so you have a domain does it mean you have a website? No, not yet first you need a host. Hosting is space on a server, aka a computer remotely, where you can save the files that make up your website. You know in movies where there are rows of servers? Yup, those are reals and they store files everything on the internet, spreading it around the world.
The hosting is essentially internet space that you are renting out – think of it as renting an apartment at a house. You live there, have all your things there, and your address let’s people know this is where they find you.
Once you can your hosting you can start building because the URL people enter now has somewhere it can go.
3. WordPress.org and WTF is a Content Management System?
So there is WordPress.com and WordPress.org – just to clear this up off the bat and make sure you understand. WordPress.com hosts the site for you and is a paid plan. However, this does not give you full control of the website and to be frank will cost you more in the long run than investing in hosting and doing it yourself.
WordPress.org is free it is the content management system. What is that you ask? Well the content management system is a tool where you can upload your content ie: posts, images, videos, ect. and makes it easy to upload into posts and web pages. All you need to is link it to the domain and the host. WordPress.org is the software that makes managing your website simple.
So you have your domain you got from Bluehost when you signed up, you now have your hosting, and you have decided to build your site using wordpress so selected to quick install! Now you have a site – but it’s BLEH, bare bones and to be frank kind of ugly. How do you make it LOOK pretty if you don’t know any code (php) well that’s where templates come in on step four your final step.
4. Templates and WTF are those?
So congrats, you have a website and understand the basics of what makes it up! Now it’s time to make it pretty, but you don’t know any php (the language wordpress uses) – not to worry that is why there are wordpress templates.
Essentially it is preset code that someone else has made and allows you to build your site of it by just editing the parts you do or don’t want. WordPress comes with multiple free templates that you can use and edit as you like. The more customization that you want the more likely you will have to purchase a paid template and can do a quick google search for “wordpress template” + “style you want” + “free”.
You got this!
So that wasn’t that complicated right? CONGRATS you got through it and now are ready to leave your digital footprint on the world wide web. Be sure to tag me on social media @buildwithjoy.co to share what you’ve built!
If you wan’t help with webdesign , plugins, and step by step tutorials + support sign up for my How to Build a WordPress Blog Mini CourseStarting a WordPress Blog 101