How to set up web hosting for your WordPress website
8 min read
Setting up web hosting for your own website sounds intimidating to a lot of people, but does it have to be?
In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how it works and how you can do it too with simple, easy-to-follow steps. Let's get started right away!
What is web hosting?
In its essence, web hosting is the service that makes your website available on the internet. In fact, you wouldn't be reading this text right now if I didn't have web hosting for my website. You can think of web hosting providers as computers that are running 24/7, displaying your website to anybody that wants to see it.
That makes it an essential part of your website, because the hosting provider has to make sure that your website is actually available. That's why we'll take a look at some of the most important criteria for web hosting providers in the next section.
What makes a good web hosting provider?
There are a couple of essential things you'll want to look out for when choosing the hosting provider for your website. Since hosting is basically the foundation of your entire website, making a bad choice here can cause lots of problems down the line.
Let's go through the most critical aspects:
Performance is essential for any website. Bad performance can cause your website visitors to leave your website before it has even loaded. Have you ever been on a website that didn't load for ages? That's exactly what you DON'T want to happen on your own website.
Not only do your website to load fast, but you'll also want it to be available at any time during the day. This is what is called "uptime" in web hosting. The more uptime your website has, the better it is. If your hosting provider does a poor job, your website might be unavailable for hours.
Every day, thousands of websites are getting hacked all around the globe. Website security is a very multi-faceted topic and a good web hosting provider won't solve it, but having a bad website hosting provider drastically increases the risk of your site getting hacked. Again, web hosting is the foundation of your website and if the foundation is bad, it doesn't matter what you build on top of it: You will always have a higher risk of getting hacked.
Web hosting services offer secure storage spaces on the internet which are used to maintain your website data. For a website to be up and running, it must be hosted by a web hosting service provider.
The hosting provider we'll be using in this tutorial is called SiteGround. It's my absolute favorite WordPress hosting provider that I've been using non-stop since 2017. It's also one of the most popular WordPress hosting providers overall, and one of only 3 that is directly recommended by WordPress itself.
They also offer outstanding customer support and have a very beginner-friendly interface which makes even the “non-techies” have an easy time using and setting up.
If you want to purchase WordPress hosting, I would really appreciate if you used my SiteGround affiliate link. This means I get a small commission that helps support the creation of these articles at no additional cost to you 😊
How to set up hosting with SiteGround
Choose the right plan for your needs
SiteGround offers a couple of different plans for WordPress hosting, called:
Let's see which plan would be right for you!
If you are a beginner, I would recommend you take up the StartUp plan, which is limited to only one website. If you are planning on having multiple websites, you can take up the GrowBig plan, which hosts unlimited websites. The GoGeek plan only makes sense, if you already have a big website, or you're planning to create an ecommerce store using WordPress.
Choose your domain
After choosing the plan you want to go with, the next stage is setting up your domain. If you have registered your domain already, you can either go with the “I already have a domain” option. Otherwise, you can register a domain with SiteGround or using an external domain registrar.
Since we have already registered our domain, we're going to go with "I already have a domain". If you haven't done that yet, you can check out my tutorial on how to register your domain with Hover. It's recommended that use separate services for domain registration & web hosting, because that allows you to be more flexible and you're not as bound to one platform.
Once you input the domain name you registered, click on proceed, and you will be directed to the account registration page. Fill in your contact and billing information and move to the purchase information section.
In the purchase information section, there are a couple of options I want to talk about.
First, you can click on the little icon next to the data center region in order to change it. I would recommend you choose a datacenter that's close to where most of your potential website visitors will come from. This will make sure that your website loads quicker for your users.
Next, you can choose how long you want the contract period to be. If you choose a longer time period, you can get a significantly higher discount, so if you're sure that your website will be live for a while, you can save a bit of money this way.
The extra services SiteGround offers are not necessary, so you can just skip them. Once you confirm the total cost and agree to the terms of service, you can proceed to the payment.
Once you are done, you will receive two emails, one with your sales receipt and the other with information about your hosting plan. Click on the email about your hosting plan information and use the login URL provided. Use the username and password you used during signup to log in to your account.
How to install WordPress for your website.
Now that you've purchased your hosting, it's time to install WordPress, so that you can start creating the actual website.
Step 1: To install WordPress, log into your SiteGround hosting service, go to the "Websites" tab. Select the website you want to work on under “My websites”.
Step 2: Here, select the “Start New Website” option and a drop-down menu pops up where you can choose the application you want to start with. Select WordPress to start the installation process.
Step 4: Now you have to choose your login credentials for WordPress. Enter your email and choose a strong password. This login combination will grant access to your entire website, so be sure to keep them safely.
Step 5: Now just click on "Continue". SiteGround will take a few minutes to install WordPress on your website. Once that's done, we can move onto the next step, which is to connect your domain to your website.
Connect your domain name to your hosting provider
So we've now created the hosting account and installed WordPress on it, but we haven't created a connection between our domain and our hosting account yet. Basically, we need to point our domain to our web hosting account. When a visitor (a browser) asks our domain, where they can find our website, we need to tell them to go to SiteGround.
And that's exactly what we'll do now.
Step 2: Meanwhile, also open up your SiteGround account and navigate to "Site Tools"
Step 3: In the dashboard, under the site information section, you will see IP and name servers. Now copy the name server address into our Hover account, in order to point the domain to our web hosting account.
Step 4: In your Hover account, go to nameservers and paste in what you copied. Do the same for the nameserver 2, copy from the SiteGround page and paste on the Hover page, and then click on save these changes.
That's it! For these changes to reflect on your website, it may take a few hours to a maximum of 48 hours. You can check if your website is live/active by inputting your domain name into your browser and checking if the website is live. You will also receive a domain verification email from Hover, so click on verify and that’s it.
If you got stuck with this process, feel free to check out my new coaching service, where I help you fix technical problems, so tha you can use your tools with confidence 😊