The first step to getting started with your own WordPress website is to set up a WordPress hosting account. This section includes detailed instructions for you to follow to install WordPress like a pro.
What does hosting do for a website?
If the domain name is the virtual address of your site, and the database is the “brain”, the hosting is the “house”. Simply, hosting is the virtual place where you will store your website information (website database, website content, e-mails, etc).
The first thing we need to do is get our hosting account ready. You have several options regarding a web hosting account, which we cover in detail on this page.
We recommend you use Hawk Host for your web hosting, but you are completely free to use any web host you like. If you have not set up a web hosting account yet, keep in mind, all of our instructions are from the perspective of a Hawk Host web hosting account holder (we had to pick one web host for all of our examples, and as far as we can tell, they are pretty much the cheapest and most reliable on the Internet, so Hawk Host is what we use), so if you intend to use our tutorial to set up your WordPress site, your best bet is to follow our ‘Shortcut Recommendation’ below which includes opening a web hosting account at Hawk Host.
If you are considering using a different web host or would like to explore other considerations regarding your options for picking a web host, please scroll down and read our other considerations below.
If you prefer to move ahead quickly, below is our ‘Shortcut Recommendation’:
Fast Start Hosting Account Setup Cheat Sheet
- Go to Hawk Host, click on ‘GET STARTED’, select ‘Professional’ (You can choose whatever hosting plan you want, but we recommend this one).
- If you have a domain name, check “I will use my existing domain and update my nameservers”. You can also transfer your domain name from another registrar to Hawk Host. Otherwise, check “New domain name”. Press “Connect To Hosting”.
- Press “Add to Cart”.
- There is no need to purchase anything else, however, if you’d like to make additional purchases, you certainly can. You can buy the hosting for 1 month, 1 year, or 2 years.
- After you review your order, complete the checkout process.
If you don’t already have a hosting account, we recommend you go to Hawk Host and open one there before proceeding any further. Hawk Host offers professional web hosting plans with excellent customer service at deeply discounted prices. We use Hawk Host for our own websites and have been extremely happy with them. All of our setup instructions and screenshots are written from the perspective of a Hawk Host hosting customer, so it will be easier to follow our tutorial if your hosting account is at Hawk Host.
If you are still deciding on a web host, feel free to glance through the pages on this website to get a better sense of how our instructions are written from the perspective of a Hawk Host user. You will also see that the Hawk Host interface is intuitive, professional, and user-friendly. Using Hawk Host as the companion web host to our tutorial will provide the easiest path to launching your WordPress sites.
Using a different hosting
If you want to use a different web host, that’s fine – don’t be alarmed – you should be able to follow along just fine, but a lot of the screenshots and images won’t match what you see and so it might take you a little longer to complete your site and you may have to consult with your own web hosts help pages from time to time.
The only thing to be aware of is that all of our solutions have already been tested to be fully compatible with Hawk Host hosting. We have heard reports, for example, that some of the themes we recommend require special configurations at some web hosts.
There are a dizzying array of Apache, PHP, CloudLinux, and MySQL database configurations and settings that must be set ‘just right’ for everything to work properly with websites. We know all of our applications and themes work well at Hawk Host because that is where they were developed and tested. This difference matters most at the beginning when we describe the hosting account setup.
What hosting plan to choose: Simple hosting or Cloud hosting?
Regardless of which host you use, we definitely recommend using a CloudLinux Hosting Account. Some people use Windows Hosting Accounts successfully, but this is not recommended. CloudLinux is a hosting-oriented Linux distribution based on CentOS. It uses the LVE (Lightweight virtual environment) kernel technology that is similar to OpenVZ in some aspects or to other OS-based virtualization technologies.
If you have never used a web host before, Hawk Host will be the smoothest setup
If you are deciding which host to use, we recommend you browse through the following pages to get a feel for the Hawk Host interface and for how tightly it’s integrated with the rest of the tutorial. In the interest of full disclosure, we are affiliated with Hawk Host. We specifically partnered with them to make our tutorial simpler and easier to follow.
If you decide to go with Hawk Host, and you only want to launch one blog or website, or you’re just testing the waters, just go month to month with the “Primary” plan ($2.99 per month). Click on ‘Hosting’ and choose between “Primary” and “Professional” plans.