This sponsored post is brought to you by HostGator.
Ha! You want to join the dark side? Better get those Instagram pictures ready.
But don’t jump into the deep end without understanding the technical side of things: a domain and a hosting package is needed for every blog. Before freaking out about what those two things mean, here’s a quick breakdown.
Domain: It’s like a forwarding address that tells the mailman where the mail gets sent.
Hosting package: The actual house the website sits on.
Luckily, there are many services that offer both without having to set up both. There are plenty of providers out there, but HostGator has several affordable plans perfect for starting out small, including the Baby plan that allows for unlimited domains. (Meaning you can own NomadicLindsey.com AND HowToTravelOnOneDollarADay.com. No need to freak out over the blog name. Do decide on that before quitting the day job.)
There’s even a Hatchling Plan that’s even cheaper for those who are barely want to test the waters. Got to know the domain, though.
Note: The best deals start with the 12-month plans and there are deeper discounts the longer you sign up. Obviously, the best deals are with the 36-month plans. If we’re using the Hatchling Plan as comparison, a 12-month plan would cost $71.40 in total (taking 6.5 months to break even at the regular, non-discounted price). The 36-month plan would cost $124.20 (taking 11.4 months to break even!). That’s without the promo code, too.
There’s a couple of additional benefits that come with every HostGator plan, including unlimited storage and email addresses, unless other providers such as GoDaddy. A Weebly website builder and up to $100 in both Google Adwords and Bing credit is also included.
To get started, click the Get Started Now! button to add the hosting package to the shopping cart.
Picking a domain is the first step
Check to see what domains are available using HostGator’s Domain Registration tool. During the checkout process, it’s possible to register a new domain name, or click the second tab “I Already Own This Domain” if you are only buying hosting.
Make sure to keep Domain Privacy Protection checked. This will maintain your privacy and cloak your own personal details.
After that, you’ll need to enter a user name and password that you’ll use to manage your hosting account with HostGator. Once billing information and any additional add-on services are selected, enter the coupon code maphappy25 for 25% off.
Installing WordPress, the most important part
The next step is installing WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging platform, so you can, like, write.
Here’s a video for the illiterate:
Once purchase is completed, an email confirmation will come from HostGator with a cPanel username and password. cPanel is the portal you’ll use to manage your web hosting. The cPanel link is unique to you, so be sure to bookmark it for future reference!
Log into cPanel and click on the Quick Install icon. From there, you’ll see an option to Install WordPress for free. Complete the form accordingly.
- The Base Domain for your installation.
- The sub directory you would like the site to load from, if desired. You can leave this blank. Example: Should you wish your WordPress URL to be mydomain.com/site instead of just mydomain.com. Your site will always display this extension if you enter one.
- For Admin Email, enter an email address where you want the admin password emailed to. Make sure this is a working email address.
- For Blog Title, enter the name of the website. This is what will appear in the header as the name of your site.
- For Admin Username, enter your preferred user name.
- Your first name.
- Your last name.
- Click Install WordPress when you’re ready to proceed.
A progress bar at the top of the page will let you know when installation is complete. Once complete, you will be able to start working on your WordPress site. Check your email for your WordPress username and password as well as a link to your WordPress dashboard.
Good night and good luck! 😝
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