How to Install Your WordPress Blog

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Once you’ve registered the best domain name for the blog niche you chose, you have a website! Now it’s time to install WordPress and get ready to start blogging.

Hands typing on laptop in front of window

Why WordPress?

There are other platforms for beginner bloggers, like SquareSpace. There are also some very expensive systems and custom systems used by some of the top websites grossing millions of dollars a month.

WordPress has become the most popular content management system (CMS), and it’s installed on millions of websites and blogs worldwide. Because it’s so popular, it has a ton of options and thousands of places to get help with anything you want to do.

That’s why I use it. It’s easy to get started, and easy to take to the next level, and the next.

Choose Your Hosting Provider

In my previous post in the series, I recommended registering your domain with Tigertech and also hosting with them. They’re not the cheapest, but they are fast, rarely have downtime. And you get the domain free with the hosting.

And they can handle massive traffic spikes and don’t bill you enormous sums for them. If you get a traffic spike, the worst that could happen is they’ll politely email you and ask you to upgrade your plan, at least for the month. Which would be well worth it, if your traffic is monetized.

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If you registered with them, then you’ve got hosting, and you don’t need to figure anything else out on your own.

For a cheaper hosting option, there’s BlueHost. They’re not as robust, but if you’re just getting started, they’re a fine choice.

Installing WordPress

Most hosts have a fairly simple way to install WordPress. TigerTech’s is one-click. See the highlighted option:

Screenshot of Tigertech hosting control panel

Click that option, and you’ll see this screen. I’ve blurred the name of my domain here.

Screenshot of WordPress installation panel

The correct answer here is the one that’s already selected (unless you know what you’re doing and have a reason to do one of the others, but then you probably wouldn’t be reading this post). Just click “continue” at the bottom.

The next page will ask you to confirm the installation, and once you do that, you’re done with the installation. This is what you’ll see:

Screenshot of page confirming you have installed WordPress

Configuring WordPress Settings

With the WordPress installation complete, now it’s time to configure your new blog. Don’t worry: all of these settings can be changed later!

Click the link shown above to begin, and you’ll see this.

Screenshot of page where you choose language for WordPress

Choose the language you intend to blog in, and click Continue.

Final installation screenshot

Site Title: Typically the same as your domain title.

WordPress Username: I recommend picking something nonsense and using a password memorizer like Bitwarden. Bots are constantly trying to hack into WordPress installs, and by using a hard-to-guess username, you make it slightly tougher for them.

WordPress Password: the system automatically picks a good strong password, or you can choose your own.

Email: whatever email you want. It doesn’t need to be from this domain.

Search Engine Visibility: do NOT click this option. It’s good for search engines to index your site.

General Settings

Now you’ll find yourself in the WordPress dashboard. Click “Settings” in the sidebar and click on the “General” tab. Here, you will need to configure some essential settings:

  • Tagline: You already set the title in a previous screen, but you may want to customize a tagline for your website, which will be displayed in the browser’s title bar and on your site’s homepage. Taglines aren’t necessary, and you may never use it.
  • WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL): Check to make sure these match the domain you’re using for your website. That includes whether you’re using the www or not.
  • Time Zone and Date Format: Check your time zone and date format for your location and preferences. Otherwise, you can end up scheduling posts for the wrong time.

Permalink Settings

Click into “Permalinks” under settings. These are the permanent URLs used to access individual pages and posts on your WordPress site. By default, WordPress uses a generic URL structure that isn’t ideal for SEO.

Never, ever use a permalink structure that includes a date. There’s no upside, and you’ll regret it if you ever want to update and republish posts – and after a few years, that’s very likely.

I use the “Post Name” setting, shown here:

Permalinks control panel in WordPress

It gives you the best SEO value because it includes the name of the post, which should have your keywords. Some people prefer a custom structure that includes the category, but if you ever change a category name, it would break all your links.

Discussion Settings

Do you want to allow comments or not? There are good reasons for and against, and it depends on the site. Most people start out allowing them and later sometimes change their minds.

Comments can slow down sites. They can also get way more spam than useful comments. But they can also lead to good discussions that are helpful to both users and your on-page SEO.

I allow comments on this site because people leave useful ones sometimes. But I have another site that never got comments more insightful than “Good post”, so I turned them off.

The “Discussion” settings section allows you to control how users can interact with your WordPress site. Here, you can configure options such as:

If you enable them, I strongly suggest checking “Comment must be manually approved” or at least “Comment author must have a previously approved comment”.

The first one means manually approving all comments, but you’ll avoid spam and trolls completely too. The second means you always manually approve someone’s first comment, but after that their comments will appear immediately.

Securing Your WordPress Site

WordPress is a popular platform, which also makes it a target for hackers and bots. To protect your site and its content, you need security.

If you signed up with Tigertech, congratulations! They do a great job keeping WordPress installations secure. All you need to do is avoid making mistakes that let hackers in. Do the following:

Keep WordPress, Plugins, and Themes Up-to-Date: Regularly update your WordPress core, plugins, and themes to the latest versions. These updates often include security patches and bug fixes that help protect your site.

Use Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for your WordPress admin account and any other user accounts on your site. Avoid using common words or phrases that are easy to guess.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication: I’ve never bothered with it, but you can use a plugin to add two-factor authentication to your WordPress login process for an extra layer of security. (We’ll be looking into plugins in an upcoming article.)

Implement SSL/HTTPS: This is basically default with all reputable hosts anymore, but make sure your website is using a secure HTTPS connection by installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. This protects your site’s data and visitor information from being intercepted.

Limit Login Attempts: You can configure your WordPress settings to limit the number of failed login attempts before locking out a user. This can help prevent brute-force attacks.

Regularly Backup Your Site: Regularly backup your WordPress site’s content, database, and files. This will ensure you can quickly restore your site in the event of a security breach or other issue. (Many hosts do this for you. Just make sure you understand the procedure for getting a backup installed and how long it takes.)

Use a Reputable Security Plugin? Some people recommend this, but they can cause a lot of problems with just one wrong setting somewhere. These are an option, as long as you know what you’re doing.

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Last Updated:

July 1, 2024

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