In this post I will try to explain how to set up a WordPress blog using goddady.com hosting services. The assumption here is that you have decided on a domain name(s) and have a reasonable idea of what your theme will be. There are many hosting providers that offer similar services, but I will focus on godaddy.com because they offer low cost hosting and domain registration with everything a serious blogger needs. Godaddy.com has WordPress prepackaged so you don’t need to pre-configure MySQL or FTP upload WordPress (their support site doesn’t mention this!). Here’s what you need to do:
1. Create a hosting account
To start off you will need to sign up for a hosting account and choose a domain name for your blog. Go to the Hosting Plans page on the Go Daddy site. The Economy Plan is usually suitable and currently costs $3.59/month for 12 month. You need to choose between Linux and Windows hosting solutions and I’d recommend Linux because it works nicer with WordPress (particularly permalinks). You typically do not need any of the optional services that they offer, but you may consider the Private domain registration ($4.99 per year) to hide your personal info from public whois. You can add a domain name for $1.99 (+ $0.25 ICANN fee). The total charge, for 1 year, will be around $50.32. That will be your only cost for this setup. Once you have paid you may have to wait a few of hours for your hosting set up to complete.
2. Install WordPress
Next you need to install WordPress into your site. To do this, browse to godaddy.com, log in to your account and then go to Hosting & Servers and go to My Hosting Plans. Select Open next to the hosting account that you would like to add WorPress. In the Hosting Manager look for click on Value Applications, locate WordPress and click on install. You need to enter basic WordPress administration info, submit, wait a couple of minutes and it’s installed. Besides WordPress, you will also see many other applications that are readily available, including Coppermine image gallery, SiteBar, AdvancedPoll and PmWiki wiki.
After installing WordPress, Go Daddy will show a link to launch the application. By default WordPress will be installed into the
/wordpress folder. To change that could be tricky, but you could do it by using an FTP client to connect to your site (create an FTP account by going to Manage FTP Users in the Host Manager) and renaming the wordpress folder to the name of your choice, then you need to browse to the admin page in the new folder (i.e. http://yourdomain.com/new_wordpress_folder/wp-admin/index.php) and update the path info in the Options | General section. If you want to run WordPress as your root application, you will need to move the files to your root folder – possibly by downloading and then re-uploading the files to root (make sure you know what you’re doing!).
3. Familiarize yourself with WordPress
This is where the fun starts! After you get WordPress working you need to familiarize yourself with the Web application by checking out the admin tool and reading the documentation. You will want to create a theme or choose one from the many available on-line (mostly free) and enhance it by installing plugins and adding Web analytics, RSS feeds, etc..
4. Useful resources
Emily Robnins, How to blog – a comprehensive list of themes.