Running WordPress on shared hosting – what does it take? What are the key things you need to run the self-hosted version of WordPress – as a blog or website?
Well that is the question I am going to answer in this post.
Specifically I am going to talk about the setup I have here – what Niabusiness.com is built on. If you are looking for the post about the WordPress plugins I use, go here instead.
Note that Niabusiness has linked to some of the resources on this page using affiliate links. When you click on something and purchase it, Niabusiness will receive a commission from every successful sale / referral, at no extra cost to you.
Step by step, here’s what you’ll need.
A domain name for your WordPress site
This will be the name for your site. Most people prefer registering a .com – but choosing an entirely different domain name extension is fine too.
For this site, I registered the name Niabusiness.com. That is what users type directly when they want to access the content I have published on my blog.
Of course to register a domain name, you will have to choose a domain registrar to help you get the domain you desire (if it is available).
Most web hosting companies double up as domain registrars, so you can get both hosting and domain from the same company if you like.
And most people do this.
But I read an article several years ago where the writer, having gone through some trouble with his web hosting provider, recommended this to his readers: ‘Get your domain name registered with another company. Don’t use your web hosting company to register your domain as well.’
Of course it all comes down to choice.
You can use separate companies for your hosting & domain – or purchase both from the same company.
My favourite domain registrar is Namesilo.com. I use it for some of my domain names.
I pay 8.99 US Dollars every year for domain renewal. Initially I registered the domain for $7.99 / yr. And you can do the same, get a dollar off, using the Namesilo coupon code: BP on the checkout page.
Next step is to get …
This is where your site’s files will be stored. Your hosting account will make the following possible:
- House the CMS – Content Management System – that is WordPress.
- House the blog posts and pages you will eventually publish on your site.
- House your WordPress site databases.
- House your email – if you want to create an email with your domain name in it.
- House the images you add to your site, backups and more.
To get a hosting account, you will to pay an annual or monthly fee to a web hosting company for access to their server facilities. What they do is they give you space on their servers / data centers where you site’s files are stored.
I chose it because it is big enough and it can be used to host multiple sites. So, if you have several domains, you can run them all on the same hosting account.
HostGator Baby plan goes for US$ 11.95 / month or 114.50 US Dollars per year – payable via PayPal, credit card or debit card.
There are other alternatives in the market – other hosting providers you can use if you don’t want to go with HostGator – and I list about 20 of them in this article.
Next, you will need …
The WordPress script to power your site
Once you have your domain and hosting, it is time to set everything up and install WordPress.
You will point your domain to your hosting account (using the nameservers provided by your hosting company). The nameservers are usually sent in an email once you buy a hosting plan.
To point your domain to your hosting, you will log into your domain registrar’s dashboard, select the domain and add the nameservers from your hosting provider.
Once this is done, log in to cPanel, select where you want to install WordPress (root / subfolder or subdomain) and click install.
It is actually not that hard. And I can help if you are stuck. Just log into cPanel, use the script installer made available to you (Quick Installer for example if you are using HostGator or other script installation app like Softaculous / Fantastico Deluxe if using other hosts) and install WordPress on your domain name.
SSL for WordPress blogs and websites
One more thing: Before you reach the installation stage, you might want to have an SSL certificate added to your site (to be able to have your site shown as Secure / https on most web browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Edge, Opera and Mozilla Firefox).
Some hosts have AutoSSL, so the moment you point your domain to your hosting account, that is all you need to have SSL added to your domain.
Some have a Let’s Encrypt SSL menu in their clients’ cPanel admin dashboards.
For others like HostGator, you will have to talk to customer support, so they can install SSL for you. It’s actually fast – getting the SSL certificate installed for free.
If you’ve purchased a plan from them (Hatchling, Baby or Business), use the chat feature on their website to get in touch with their tech department. Once they install SSL for you, you can go back to your cPanel dashboard to install WordPress.
These are some of the things I use to make running my blog possible. These are the key components any blogger, freelancer or business owner will actually need in order to run WordPress smoothly on a shared hosting account.
Once WordPress is installed, one can go ahead and customize their site by adding the themes and plugins they so desire.
And then they can start publishing and promoting their content.
That is all.
Any experiences, tips or questions you’d like to share? Use the comments section below. Let me know what you think.
To read my other articles about WordPress, go here.
To use my WordPress services, check my Hire Me page.
To read my most recent articles, go to the Niabusiness.com homepage.