Build a WordPress Website: Self Hosted

How to Build a Website Using WordPress Series:


Web Hosting is a service where your web files are stored on the hosting company’s remote server.

For the sake of this example, I’m going to use Hostgator. I have been with them for about 7 years. I have used many other hosting companies in the past and they all promise the bells and whistles and then somewhere down the line, their customer service starts lacking, you get frustrated, move all your stuff to a new hosting company that promises the same newer bells and whistles and then somewhere down the line, their customer service starts lacking… you get the idea. Even though I’ve had my fair share of drama with Hostgator, I haven’t had any issue with them within the past year (knock on wood!).

What is an information website?
An information website is essentially, a website with information. It does not have ecommerce functionality as in you are not selling anything where it requires the user to do an online transaction (we will talk about ecommerce in a later post). You have your typical top navigation tabs, Home, About, Services, Testimonials, Contact. This post will explore how to set up a self hosted website through a hosting company.

Do not put your Hosting and Domain in one basket!
Don’t buy the domain and hosting from the same company. Putting all your eggs in one basket is not good, especially if something screwy happens with your hosting, and you start despising them, you are now stuck with them for the domain as well. Moving your domain to another registrar is a complete can of other worms.

WordPress Hosting Plan vs Shared Hosting Plan
Recently, there has been the emergence of “WordPress Hosting” among hosting providers. This is a managed service by the hosting company. This works great for businesses that are already up and running and don’t have time to dedicate to managing WordPress stuff like updates, security hacks etc. Rather, they can concentrate on running their business.

There are great benefits to this service such as dedicated teams to assist you, WordPress knowledgable technical support, and the managed service aspect such as doing updates, monitoring security hacks and daily back ups to name a few. However, there are draw backs, such as the hefty price tag and limitations such as specific plugins you are not allowed to install on your site. Each plan will only allow for 1 domain to be stored.

With a Shared Hosting Plan, this is perfect for beginners who are just starting. I recommend the Baby Plan from Hostgator. This gives you unlimited hosting for multiple domains. Meaning, if you own 5 domains for example, they can all be stored here. I will continue the rest of this post with the Shared Hosting Plan.


Step 1: Purchase the Shared Hosting Plan
If you are ready to sign up for hosting, and you have already purchased your domain from Godaddy, select your hosting term with Hostgator’s Baby Plan (the longer the term, the cheaper per month you pay) and follow the instructions. If you own multiple domains, select the main one you will be using and click on the tab that says “I already own this domain”, and enter that in. Fill in the rest of the billing information. You should get a welcome email when you have completed the transaction with usernames and passwords to your cPanel.

Step 2: Pointing your DNS
This is the way of “connecting” your domain name (GoDaddy) to your hosting server (Hostgator), so they see each other. This means that when someone types in www.marinalovescooking.com, they will be pointed to your website. Until then, they will either see a GoDaddy landing page.

To point the DNS, login to the cPanel of your website (iewww.marinalovescooking.com/cpanel) with the username and password you received from Hostgator in your welcome message. On the left, go to Servers. Then on the main information page on the right, you will see DNS INFO. You will see primary and secondary numbers like this nsxxxx.hostgator.com. Write these 2 numbers down.

Now login to your GoDaddy account. Under your account name near the top right, go to Quick Links / Manage My Domains then click on your domain name. Scroll down to Nameservers. Click Manage. And copy those 2 numbers you wrote down (nsxxxx.hostgator.com). It can take between 4 hours – 48 hours for it to take into effect. You will know if it has worked once the Hostgator landing page appears, replacing the GoDaddy one.

If you own multiple domains, repeat this step for each domain.