Starting your blog can be quite overwhelming when you are a complete beginner. I know how tricky it can be to understand simplest of the things. That is why I have prepared this post to guide you on “how you can start your blog with Hostgator”.
Actually, getting started with your blog does not have to be that tough when you know exactly what to do to get started.
So, how to start your blog with HostGator?
Follow me here.
In this post I will tell you exactly how you can:
- Purchase hosting from HostGator.
- Install WordPress.
- Get a domain name: Either from a third party like Namecheap or from HostGator.
- Getting Started with your very first Blog.
So let’s Begin……
Purchasing Hosting from HostGator
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Head over to the HostGator.com and click on “Get Started Now!“
Once you click on that button you will be taken to a new page where you get to see the different types of shared hosting plan that HostGator offers.
HostGator offers 3 types of shared hosting plans:
- Hatchling Plan @ $3.95/month
- Baby Plan @ $5.95/month ; and
- Business Plan @ $5.95/month.
If you have plans of hosting more than one domains then the baby plan is a suitable option otherwise the hatchling plan is best suited for the newbies who only want to host one domain through HostGator.
Assuming that you have chosen hatchling plan being a newbie, the process of purchasing this shared hosting plan is as follows.
- Click on “Sign Up Now!”
- After clicking that you will be taken to a page that looks something like this.
This is your HostGator order form where you will have to fill in your details like email, first name, last name, address etc.
Also, if you have already purchased a domain name from a domain name registrar then put that domain in the section where it says enter your domain by selecting “I Already Own This Domain”.
If not then you can carry on with “Register a New Domain”.
When you have purchased a domain from a domain name registrar like (GoDaddy or NameCheap) then you are required to change your nameservers settings otherwise you will not be able to see your site. Below I have covered how you can change your nameservers settings with Namecheap.
HostGator charge around $12.95/yr for domains that are registered with .com as domain extension.
- Choose a Hosting Plan
It is better to change your billing cycle from 36 months to 12 months because that will be cheaper. And if you want you can change this billing cycle afterward.
After that, you will have to create a username and a security pin to verify your account ownership for getting support whenever you need one from their customer support team.
This is not mandatory but it is important for your WP blog, so it is a wise thing to do.
- Your Billing Information
Fill in all your details in the billing information section.
If you want to continue payment from a credit card you can do that or if you have a PayPal account you can pay from there.
- Additional Services
When you scroll down, you will see that there is a section that will be about adding additional services.
Now here the choice is completely yours whether to buy any additional service(s) or not. But I will say that that you keep two services checked.
Those two are: Protecting your site from Hackers (powered by SiteLock) and Site Backup (by CodeGuard).
These are very important services as they will help in securing your site from outside threats and also create a periodic backup.
These services won’t cost you that much.
- Coupon Code and Order Details
HostGator already applies a coupon code FREEUPGRADE3 to your purchase giving you a 43% discount.
Also, you can review your order details here and check if everything is right or not.
- Checking Out
Once done with your reviewing your order details you can check out with your purchase by clicking on “Checkout Now!”.
That is it, you are done with your purchase.
Now you will be taken to a secured payment gateway where you have to continue with your payment.
The most popular shared hosting plans for newbies are the Hatchling plan and the Baby plan. With Hatchling plan you get to host only one domain whereas with Baby plan you can host as many domains you like. I Purchased the Baby plan because with this plan I can host as many domains I like. If you're just starting out with your blog then I will suggest you buy the hatchling plan (for hosting only one domain) or you can buy the baby plan (for hosting more than one domains). You can purchase either the hacthling plan or the baby plan from HostGator by "clicking on this".
There are many ways of installing WordPress but the most popular and easy process is the 1-click Installation.
Most of the hosting providers will provide you with this facility and you can install WP on your domain through the cPanel.
You will receive a link to your cPanel on your registered email id.
Your registered email is the email that you provided in the billing information section.
The 1-click installation takes at most of 5 minutes to install WordPress, that is why it is easy and a simple process.
Below mentioned are the exact steps for installing WordPress, so hang on!
- As soon as you purchase a hosting plan you will receive 2 emails from your hosting provider in your registered email id.
One will be about your billing information and the other will be your account information.
The mail containing your account information will take some time to come to your inbox, hardly 5 to 10 minutes, so be patient.
Both of these emails are very important so it would be better if you make a separate folder for these two emails.
The mail that contains your billing information will be something like this.
And the mail that contains your account information will look something like this.
The 2nd email that you receive which is about your account, you will get a link to your cPanel. You can log in to your cPanel by clicking the link given to in this email.
As you click on the cPanel link you will be taken to a page where you’d have to log in to our cPanel dashboard by entering your username and your password.
Just copy-paste the username where it says “enter your username” and copy-paste the password where it says “enter your account password” that you have received in the 2nd email.
After that, you will be taken to your cPanel Dashboard area, which will look something like this.
When you’re there all you have to do is look for WordPress – 1 Click Installation.
Once you find it then you click on it. After that, you will be taken to a page where you will be asked to select a domain in which you want to install WordPress.
That page will be something like this.
Select the domain where you want to install WordPress and then hit “Next”. Do not write anything in the directory section.
Once you hit “Next” you will be taken to a page where you will be asked to fill in your blog’s title or name (it can be changed later on).
After filling in all the required details click on “Install now”. This will take at most of 5 minutes to install WP on your domain.
After the installation is complete you will see a notification on top of your screen saying “installation complete”. Just next to this notification you will see “installation details”.
This “Installation Details” is giving you details about WordPress admin login area. This contains your admin username and your login password.
Also, you will receive an email confirming your WordPress installation on your registered email id. You can also use this email to log in to your WP admin area.
You can use the admin URL along with username and password to login to your WP dashboard.
These are the exact installation details that you will see next to the “installation complete” notification.
Voila!! You have successfully installed WP on your domain name and now you are a proud owner of your very own WP site.
Nameserver Setting with NameCheap
When it comes to purchasing domain names I will always prefer Namecheap.
The primary reason behind this is that they offer comparatively cheaper domain names than compared to Godaddy.
Also, their interface is very simple and clean with very little to no upsells.
Godaddy, however, has quite a lot of upsells and also their interface is quite tricky to understand for the first timers.
Buy a cheap domain name from NameCheap by "clicking on this".
If you have purchased your domain name from NameCheap then follow the below-mentioned steps to change nameservers.
- Log in to your NameCheap Dashboard and take your cursor over the “home” icon beside your domain name.
- Click the manage button and you will be taken to a new screen. When you’re in there scroll down till you see “NAMESERVERS”.
- Select the drop-down and then select “Custom DNS”.
- After that, you fill in the nameservers that you have received in that email which was about your account information.
You can also find your nameservers in your cPanel Dasboard area below where it says "General Information".
You must receive nameservers like ns1.yourhosting.com and ns2.yourhosting.com. The number after ns (i.e. 1&2) may vary from hosting to hosting so need not worry. Also, you have received your nameservers in your email that is registered with your hosting provider.
- After you fill in your nameservers click on the tick mark to save your new settings.
From here on it will at most take 48 hours (2 days) for DNS propagation and then you would be able to login to your WP admin area.
Below are few links that you must refer to:
Starting your blog for the first time does not have to be that much tough but definitely, it can be quite overwhelming.
It will be overwhelming because you either see a lot of information about “how to do a particular thing” that also in many different ways or you see no information at all.
I bet that when you typed in this query “how to start a blog”, you must have found a ton of information telling how to do it differently.
With so many ways of getting things done and with so many platforms out there, getting confused and overwhelmed is inevitable.
I did get confused when I looked for ways to start my blog, wondering which way should I proceed.
But, finally, I made a decision and started following my first instincts (dramatic!).
But by doing this I feel more enthusiastic about the work that I put in this blog and much more work to come ahead.
As I was saying that there are tons of information and with all that information all you have to do is to take that first step.
I will be writing such posts more frequently to help you out with your blog and to make money from it.
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