If you’re looking to create a WordPress website then you’re going to need to set up domain and hosting for WordPress and I’m here to tell you exactly what you need to do. This can often seem like a really daunting process before it already seems super technical before you’ve even started, but fear not, there are several ways to do this that are easy, affordable and take a matter of minutes.
So let’s walk through how to set up domain and hosting for WordPress.
But first, a little housekeeping…
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
Before we go any further, this is for WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. I can not tell you the amount of times someone using WordPress.com has asked me why they can’t do XYZ. This is because WordPress.com is the hosted version of WordPress and is incredibly limited in comparison to WordPress.org. WordPress.org is a free, open source website platform which means you need a domain name and hosting for your WordPress website to live on. For more info on the difference between the two, click here.
Can you get a free WordPress domain?
If you want yourwebsite.com then no, you can’t get a free WordPress domain. If you’re happy to stick with WordPress.com (and it’s limitations) then you can have a free yourwebsite.wordpress.com domain. If you want to use WordPress.org, then no, you can’t get a free WordPress domain.
What is the cheapest WordPress hosting?
On the whole, most WordPress hosting is cheap. You can find deals for as little as £1 per month if you crawl Google for different providers, however if you’re looking for managed WordPress hosting with automatic updates, backups and so on, you’re best off aiming for under £5 per month. Which, if we’re honest, is still crazy cheap compared to other providers.
In my experience, I’ve found SiteGround to be the cheapest managed WordPress hosting and their support team are incredibly responsive. Their plans start at £2.99 per month and are more than suitable for a small business website.
How to Set Up Domain and Hosting for WordPress
Fortunately domain names and WordPress hosting are cheap (often still cheaper than paying for platforms like Squarespace and Wix!) meaning WordPress is one of the cheapest platforms for your website. Not only that, but it’s considered the best platform for design flexibility and SEO capabilities, so it’s a total win in my book.
Here’s a quick break down so you’re clued up on everything we’re covering in this post on how to set up domain and hosting for WordPress.
What is a domain?
A domain name is yourwebsite.com and it is unique to you, so if someone else is already using yourwebsite.com then you’ll need to get a bit creative with what to use instead! You could try abbreviations, adding ‘agency’, ‘business’ or ‘co’ to the end, adding hyphens (i.e. your-company-name.com) or including your location (great for SEO!) . That being said, it’s less than ideal when someone has already taken yourwebsite.com.
If you’re just starting your business, this may be the time to reconsider your name if there’s a similar name with availability, and if you haven’t named your business yet then use Namecheap‘s domain search tool to check your options before you decide.
Note: It’s important that yourwebsite.COM is available. This is the most credible version of your domain you can have and will serve you better in the long run, particularly with SEO.
What is hosting?
Web hosting is the server space needed for your WordPress website. Your domain is just your website name, so without hosting your domain won’t actually point to anything.
Psst…I handle all of this for my web design clients, so if you want to work together on a beautiful WordPress website for your business, click here!
If you’re looking to DIY your website then you can purchase your domain and hosting from the same company for the simplest way to connect the two. Namecheap are my favourite company for purchasing domain names and they currently offer a 30 day free trial on managed WordPress hosting.
If you’re looking for a better option for your WordPress hosting, then I recommend SiteGround. Plans start from under £3 per month and they are the best fully managed WordPress hosting option on a budget.
Ok, now let’s get to the good stuff.
How To Set Up Domain Name
You shouldn’t pay more than £10 for your domain name and that should cover you for 1 year’s worth of registration. After that the company you’ve purchased your domain from will e-mail you to remind you to renew, or you can turn on auto renew (I recommend doing this for ease).
If you’re not based in the USA then I recommend purchasing yourwebsite.COM as well as yourwebsite.*insert your country here*, for example, I own webhivedigital.co.uk and webhivedigital.com.
If you’ve purchased more than one domain name for your website then you need to set up web forwarding so that all of your domains point to the same place.
This means someone can type in webhivedigital.co.uk and be redirected to webhivedigital.com rather than going nowhere or someone else using my business name and potentially poaching clients!
How To Set Up WordPress Hosting
The reason why it’s easier to set up your domain and hosting with the same company is because you don’t need to perform any additional steps to connect the two. That being said, it’s not always a good enough reason to use the same company and if you’ve gone with the cheaper option above, then you’ll need to connect your domain and hosting for WordPress.
If you decide to buy them from separate companies you will need to get the nameservers from your hosting and apply them in your domain settings. This takes 24-48 hours to update, however it’s usually instant. Most hosting providers will advise you on how to set this up in their knowledge-base but if you’re in any doubt, reach out to their support and have them help you.
When looking for the best hosting package for WordPress, make sure it includes the following:
- One-click install WordPress (SiteGround and Namecheap both offer this)
- E-mail accounts (this is good to have later if you decide to set up a business e-mail)
- Free SSL certificate
- A nice extra but not essential – regular site back-ups
After you’re set up domain and hosting for WordPress you’re well on your way to creating your WordPress website! With one-click install you should have your WordPress website set up in a matter of minutes, but if your hosting company doesn’t offer that, navigate to your cPanel and search for WordPress to get started.
Takeaway: When you’re working to set up domain and hosting for WordPress, it’s important to do your research and not just choose the cheapest provider for your needs. While free domains and hosting may be tempting, they’re often limited in features and won’t serve you ell in the long run. It’s more important to have ease of use, decent customer support and all the functionality you need.