This week’s blog is all about how to set up a WordPress Website from scratch for under $50.

Artists and Creatives – are you wondering if you should have a website for your art? If so, what about how to set up a WordPress website? With so many options of selling your art product or service online these days, websites seem to have taken second place. Will they even feature in our future I wonder? What do you think?

If you are going to set up a website, then I definitely recommend doing so on the WordPress platform. You will have all the stability and flexibility you could dream of. You can find a web builder to set it all up for you. Best of all, with a bit of time invested, you can easily learn to do this yourself.

Now this is going to come down to your level of patience, technical ability and motivation. Luckily many years ago now I had all three and taught myself the basics. Which has been extremely useful to help my clients to get set up and running. Not to mention the endless sites I’ve been able to put up myself of course.

Artists: How To Set Up A WordPress Website

Let’s Look At What You Need To Do To Set Up A WordPress Website In 5 Simple Steps:

Step One: Domain Purchase.

The first step to set up a WordPress website is to buy your ‘Domain Name’. I recommend building your own Personal Brand site. So just buy your own name if you can and with the ‘Dot Com’ ending. You can always add a ‘Business Name’ website further down the track. If you find your name is taken, try adding a ‘hyphen’ in between your names, like this: www.my-name.com. If that fails, then add a keyword like ‘art’ or other relevant word for you, on the end.

*I personally use SiteGround for all my domain and hosting*, but you can also get a good deal through GoDaddy or NameCheap.

I also recommend protecting your identity and adding some site security, as you don’t want to be hacked. Not a great experience.

Step Two: Buy Your Hosting.

Next you will need some web hosting (that’s what keeps your website live on the internet). As previously mentioned I like to keep things altogether, so have this also with SiteGround. But you can of course go elsewhere; I started out with Hostgator, which are good for a small site. I would also recommend not skimping on your hosting, as this is your online property. You may save a few dollars, but further down the track you can come un-stuck, so if you can go with the best from the off-set.

Step Three: (ONLY if you have your Domain and Hosting through different companies). Otherwise jump to Step Four below.

Now because you’ve bought your domain and hosting through different companies, you’ll need to change something called your ‘Nameservers’.  I wouldn’t worry too much about what these are. When you signed up for your Hosting, on the welcome email you should have been given two ‘Nameservers’. Leave this open as you log into where you bought your domain.

Log back into GoDaddy or NameCheap, or where you purchased your domain. Here you go to ‘Manage Domains’, and find ‘Change Nameservers’, then paste in the new ones you’ve just been given. This means the two things are now talking to each other.

**Please note: you may need some help to do this the first time. It can also take 24 hours for the change to take place as well; mostly it’s instant though.

Step Four: Install WordPress

The next thing you need to do is to install the WordPress platform. Now for some hosting it’ll be as simple as clicking on your ‘Cpanel’ (Control panel), and selecting ‘WordPress’. For example, in the Hostagor C-Panel, scroll down to Software/Services – Click on Quick Install, then on ‘Wordpress’ – and install for free. (Don’t be tempted with paying for Themes etc.). You’ll need to choose a Login and password to access your website from then onwards directly. Make both super secure. You’ll be emailed once you’ve done this.

From now onwards you’ll get to your website on this url: www.yourname.com/wp-admin – then you’ll need to log in.

Step Five: Install A Theme

Now your basic site is ready to be made into something fabulous looking. You’ll want to get creative and explore the Themes that are available for free initially. In your website Dashboard under ‘Themes’, click on ‘Add New’ and explore the popular, recent or whole collection.

You can click on one to preview it and there will be a summary of what you can do with each template theme. Remember here, if you are sticking with Free ones, then there will be limited features, so just choose something simple to start with.

Or you can pay a bit more to get something where you can drag and drop design exactly what you want. I recommend the Divi theme for this. You can find out more here: Elegant Themes.

Now you can simply follow the ‘Customize’ list of tabs, starting from the top and working your way down. On the right you have the preview, so you can keep a track of how your site will look. Press Save and then toggle to view it live.

These are the VERY basics of how to set up a WordPress Website.

From there on you will need to set up your Layout, Pages, Blog, Menu, etc. Ideally you’ll also have your Content, Images and Graphics ready. You’ll also need to use some Plugins (a bit like the good old ‘Lego’. The website is the basic kit, and you need some extra sets to make it so much more).

I will be blogging more on Website Content, Layout, Blogging, Graphics and choosing the right Plug-ins for your WordPress Website. So watch this space…:)

A word of warning here – if you are a COMPLETE beginner then allow plenty of time, energy and patience. You can find some useful free videos on YouTube.

This is how to set up a WordPress website in about 15 minutes and (depending on your domain and hosting choices), for under $50 as well.

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