Disclosure: this post is sponsored by HostGator. All opinions are mine — Stacy Jackson.
A lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners take steps to develop a digital footprint for their business by getting profiles established on social media. That’s a great start and a smart idea! BUT . . . You can’t stop there. It’s important that you set up a home base — your website or blog. Why? Because people are fickle, and tastes change. The hot social media platform today will be the loser tomorrow. Anyone remember MySpace?
I know — it can be daunting to think about building a website if you don’t have money to hire a developer or if you don’t feel like you have the skills to do it yourself. Thankfully, there is an awesome solution called WordPress. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. When you opt to build your site or blog on a self-hosted WordPress site, you open up a lot of possibilities for yourself to create a professional-looking, easy-to-manage, low-cost site.
Purchase Hosting from a Provider like HostGator
Before you can get a website, you need to buy a domain name and a hosting package.
- The domain name is the URL people visit to get to your site. Without a domain name, you’ll have to direct people to a weird-looking temporary URL).
- A web hosting service allows you to make your site accessible. A web hosting service provider gives you space on a server and internet connectivity so that people can visit your website.
HostGator is a hosting provider with several affordable plans for entrepreneurs and business owners. You can view these shared hosting plans on the HostGator site. You can also get your domain name from Host Gator, too.
The most popular HostGator package is the Baby plan. It allows for unlimited domains. Maybe you are wondering, “why would I need multiple domains?” You may not need them, but there are ways you could use them. If you develop different brands or services, you may like a dedicated site for each. If you serve different buyer personas or industry verticals, you could create informational sites for each. With a hosting package like the Baby plan, you can purchase multiple URLs, and you don’t have to change your hosting package. This plan gives you the flexibility to support multiple brands or change the name of your site later on.
Other Reasons to Consider HostGator for Hosting:
- Packed with more benefits and more features, for a lower cost than other providers
- Unlimited storage and email addresses, unlike other vendors such as GoDaddy.
- Includes a Weebly website builder, so you can get the same functionality you would get with a provider like Squarespace, but with unlimited pages and email addresses.
- Offers a Google Adwords and Yahoo/Bing credit, which sets us apart as a great option for bloggers hoping to make money from their blogging venture.
Once you select a HostGator plan, click the bright yellow “Get Started Now!” Button to add the hosting package to your cart.
Get Your Domain Name
As mentioned above, you can buy your domain name from HostGator along with your hosting. Here are the steps to getting your domain through HostGator.
You can check to see what domains are available using HostGator’s Domain Registration tool.
Shopping Cart Step 1: Choose a Domain
From here you can register a new domain name, or click the second tab “I Already Own This Domain” if you are only buying hosting.
Make sure you keep Domain Privacy Protection checked. Explain how this masks the domain owner’s information in ICANN and replaces it with HostGator’s, so the domain owner can maintain their privacy online.
Scroll down to step 2. Here you’ll need to enter a username and password that you’ll use to manage your hosting account with HostGator.
Enter your billing information in step 3.
Choose any additional add-on services you’d like to purchase in step 4.
When you reach step 5, make sure to enter coupon code “[your affiliate code]”. If you go to HostGator by clicking my affiliate link here, you’ll receive an extra 20% off.
Finally, click that you agree to the Terms and Conditions, then the big yellow Checkout Now! button.
Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of your very own website.
The next step is installing WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging platform, so you can get to work writing.
You can follow along with this video, or follow the steps I outline below:
When you completed your purchase, you should have received an email from HostGator with your cPanel username and password. cPanel is the portal you’ll use to manage your web hosting. The cPanel link is unique to you, so be sure to bookmark it for future reference.
Log into cPanel and click on the Quick Install icon.
From there, you’ll see an option to Install WordPress for free.
Click the Install WordPress button and then complete the form accordingly.
- The Base Domain for your installation.
- The subdirectory you would like the site to load from if desired. You can leave this blank. Example: Should you wish your WordPress URL to be mydomain.com/site instead of just mydomain.com. Your site will always display this extension if you enter one.
- For Admin Email, enter an email address where you want the admin password emailed to. Make sure this is a working email address.
- For Blog Title, enter the name of the website. This is what will appear in the header as the name of your site.
- For Admin Username, enter your preferred username.
- Your first name.
- Your last name.
- Click Install WordPress when you’re ready to proceed.
A progress bar at the top of the page will let you know when installation is complete. Once complete, you will be able to start working on your WordPress site. Check your email for your WordPress username and password as well as a link to your WordPress dashboard.
Get Started with HostGator Today
Don’t put off your creating your company website or blog. Check out what HostGator can offer you. There are affordable plans that can grow with you.