Self-Hosting with WordPress.org – Host it at your own!
We will show you how to dig into the guts of WordPress.org and how to get your own domain name and web host. The first time is always the harder , but don’t worry we are always here to support your! Keep reading to learn How to host your own WordPress blog !
Before you can start blogging with WordPress.org, you have to set up your base camp. Doing so involves more than simply downloading and installing the WordPress software. You also need to establish your domain (your blog address) and your web-hosting service (the place that houses your blog). Although you initially download your WordPress software onto your hard drive, your web host is where you install it.
Obtaining a web server and installing software on it are much more involved projects than simply obtaining an account with the hosted version of WordPress that’s available at WordPress.com your blog
through a hosting service involves using some technologies that you may not feel comfortable with at first. This chapter takes you through the basics of those technologies, and by the last page of this chapter, you’ll have WordPress successfully installed on a web server with your own domain name.
Establishing Your Domain
You’ve read all the hype. You’ve heard all the rumors. You’ve seen the flashy blogs on the web powered by WordPress. But where do you start?
The first steps toward installing and setting up a WordPress blog are making a decision about a domain name and then purchasing the registration of that name through a domain registrar. A domain name is the unique web address that you type in a web browser’s address bar to visit a website. Some examples of domain names are WordPress.org and Google.com.
Domain names: Do you own or rent?
In reality, when you “buy” a domain name, you don’t really own it. Rather, you’re purchasing the right to use that domain name for the period of time specified in your order. You can register a domain name for one year or up to ten years. Be aware, however, if you don’t renew the domain name when your registration period ends, you lose it — and most often, you lose it right away to someone who preys on abandoned or expired domain names. Some people keep a close watch on expiring domain names, and as soon as the buying window opens, they snap up the names and start using them for their own websites in the hope of taking full advantage of the popularity that the previous owners worked so hard to attain for those domains.
Weemphasize the word unique because no two domain names can be the same. If someone else has registered the domain name you want, you can’t have it. With that in mind, it sometimes takes a bit of time to find a domain that isn’t already in use and is available for you to use.
Understanding domain name extensions
When registering a domain name, be aware of the extension that you want. The
.biz extension that you see tacked onto the end of any domain name is the top-level domain extension. When you register your domain name, you’re asked to choose the extension you want for your domain (as long as it’s available, that is).
A word to the wise here: Just because you have registered your domain as a
.com doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t, or can’t, own the very same domain name with a
.net. So if you register MyDogHasFleas.com, and it becomes a hugely popular site among readers with dogs that have fleas, someone else can come along and register MyDogHasFleas.net and run a similar site to yours in the hope of riding the coattails of your website’s popularity and readership.
You can register your domain name with all available extensions if you want to avert this problem.
Considering the cost of a domain name
Registering a domain costs you anywhere from $3 to $30 per year depending on what service you use for a registrar and what options (such as privacy options and search-engine submission services) you apply to your domain name during the registration process.
When you pay the domain registration fee today, you need to pay another registration fee when the renewal date comes up again in a year, or two, or five — however many years you chose to register your domain name for. (See the “Domain names: Do you own or rent?” sidebar.) Most registrars give you the option of signing up for a service called Auto Renew to automatically renew your domain name and bill the charges to the credit card you set up on that account. The registrar sends you a reminder a few months in advance, telling you it’s time to renew. If you don’t have Auto Renew set up, you need to log in to your registrar account before it expires and manually renew your domain name.
Registering your domain name
Domain registrars are certified and approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Although hundreds of domain registrars exist today, the ones in the following list are popular because of their longevity in the industry, competitive pricing, and variety of services they offer in addition to domain name registration (such as web hosting and website traffic builders):
No matter where you choose to register your domain name, here are the steps you can take to accomplish this task:
1. Decide on a domain name.
Doing a little planning and forethought here is necessary. Many people think of a domain name as a brand — a way of identifying their websites or blogs. Think of potential names for your site; then you can proceed with your plan.
2. Verify the domain name’s availability.
In your web browser, enter the URL of the domain registrar of your choice. Look for the section on the registrar’s website that lets you enter the domain name (typically, a short text field) to see whether it’s available. If the domain name isn’t available as a
3. Purchase the domain name.
Follow the domain registrar’s steps to purchase the name using your credit card. After you complete the checkout process, you receive an e-mail confirming your purchase, so use a valid e-mail address during the registration process.
The next step is obtaining a hosting account, which I cover in the next section.
Finding a Home for Your Blog
When you have registered your domain, you need to find a place for it to live: a web host. Web hosting is the second piece of the puzzle that you need before you begin working with WordPress.org.
A web host is a business, group, or individual that provides web server space and bandwidth for file transfer to website owners who don’t have it. Usually, web hosting services charge a monthly or annual fee — unless you’re fortunate enough to know someone who’s willing to give you server space and bandwidth for free. The cost varies from host to host, but you can obtain quality web hosting services for $3 to $10 per month to start.
Web hosts consider WordPress to be a third-party application. What this means to you is that the host typically won’t provide technical support on the use of WordPress (or any other software application) because support isn’t included in your hosting package. To find out whether your chosen host supports WordPress, always ask first. As a WordPress user, you can find WordPress support in the official forums at
Web-hosting providers generally provide (at least) these services with your account:
Hard drive space
Domain e-mail with web mail access
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) access
Comprehensive website statistics
Because you intend to run WordPress on your web server, you need to look for a host that provides the minimum requirements needed to run the software on your hosting account, which are
PHP version 5.2.4 (or greater)
MySQL version 5.0 (or greater)
Getting help with hosting WordPress
The popularity of WordPress has given birth to services on the web that emphasize the use of the software. These services include WordPress designers, WordPress consultants, and — yes — web hosts that specialize in using WordPress.
Many of these hosts offer a full array of WordPress features, such as an automatic WordPress installation included with your account, a library of WordPress themes, and a staff of support technicians who are very experienced in using WordPress.
Here is a list of some of those providers:
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Dealing with disk space and bandwidth
Web hosting services provide two very important things with your account:
Think of your web host as a garage that you pay to park your car in. The garage gives you the place to store your car (disk space). It even gives you the driveway so that you, and others, can get to and from your car (bandwidth). It won’t, however, fix your rockin’ stereo system (WordPress or any other third-party software application) that you’ve installed — unless you’re willing to pay a few extra bucks for that service.
Managing disk space
Disk space is nothing more complicated than the hard drive on your own computer. Each hard drive has the capacity, or space, for a certain amount of files. An 80GB (gigabyte) hard drive can hold 80 GB of data — no more. Your hosting account provides you a limited amount of disk space, and the same concept applies. If your web host provides you 10GB of disk space, that’s the limit on the file size that you’re allowed to have. If you want more disk space, you need to upgrade your space limitations.
Most web hosts have a mechanism in place for you to upgrade your allotment.
Starting out with a self-hosted WordPress blog doesn’t take much disk space at all. A good starting point for disk space is between 3 and 5GB of storage space. If you find that you need additional space, contact your hosting provider for an upgrade.
Choosing the size of your bandwidth pipe
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that is carried from point A to point B within a specific period (usually, only a second or two). I live out in the country — pretty much the middle of nowhere. The water that comes to my house is provided by a private well that lies buried in the backyard somewhere. Between my house and the well are pipes that bring the water to my house. The pipes provide a free flow of water to our home so that everyone can enjoy their long, hot showers while I labor over dishes and laundry, all at the same time. Lucky me!
The very same concept applies to the bandwidth available with your hosting account. Every web-hosting provider offers a variety of bandwidth limits on the accounts it offers. When I want to view your website in my browser window, the bandwidth is essentially the “pipe” that lets your data flow from your “well” to my computer and appear on my monitor. The bandwidth limit is kind of like the pipe connected to my well: It can hold only a certain amount of water before it reaches maximum capacity and won’t bring the water from the well any longer. Your bandwidth pipe size is determined by how much bandwidth your web host allows for your account — the larger the number, the bigger the pipe. A 50MB bandwidth limit makes for a smaller pipe than does a 100MB limit.
Web hosts are pretty generous with the amount of bandwidth they provide in their packages. Like disk space, bandwidth is measured in gigabytes (GB). Bandwidth provision of 10–50GB is generally a respectable amount to run a website with a blog.