How To Set Up A Personal Domain in 10 Minutes or Less
Obtaining and setting up your personal domain is a great way to begin or take control of your online persona. Below are click-by-click steps to purchase and set up a personal domain in less than 10 minutes.
(Affiliate Disclosure: I earn a commission for customers I send to SiteGround. However, I am a SiteGround customer myself and am quite happy with their service.)
Step 1 – Select Hosting Plan
Click this link to go to SiteGround’s web hosting product page. We’re going to use the “StartUp” plan, which is about $4 per month. You’ll get plenty of space and enough bandwidth for up to 10,000 monthly visits. That’s more than enough for most beginning websites. If you’re site takes off, you can always upgrade.
Click “GET STARTED”
Step 2 – Choose Domain Name
You’ll be taken to the “Choose Domain” screen. The “Register a New Domain” option should be selected.
Enter the domain name you want.
Then click “PROCEED”.
Step 3 – Enter Account and Hosting Information
If your domain is available, you’ll be prompted with a payment screen. If not, you’ll have to try another domain until you find one that’s available.
Enter your information into the “Account Information”, “Client Information”, and “Payment Information” sections.
In the “Purchase Information” section, the first set of options concern the webhosting service. Under the “Period” options, I recommend that you select at least 12 months. You only get the promotional monthly rate for the initial term. So, if you select the “Trial: 1 month” option, you’ll begin paying the full monthly rate at the end of that month. If you are invested for the long haul, selecting 24 or 36 month is a good way to save about $70 a year.
Under “Extra Services”, I recommend you deselect “Domain Privacy” and “SG Site Scanner”.
ICANN, the international governing body of the internet, requires that all domain registrations include the contact information of the domain owner, including a physical address, email address, and phone number. Purchasing domain privacy allows a proxy to use their information instead.
The reason that I do not recommend you buy domain privacy is that your blog is written by you, i.e., you’re already disclosing the owner. I update the domain owner contact information with my business address and phone number to maintain a degree of privacy. Since these are already listed on my law firm’s website, I’m not disclosing anything that can’t be found on the first page of Google results for my name.
There are good enough free option for site security that paying $20 a year is not worth it. If you end up really needing a higher level of security, there are better paid options out there.
Once you’ve reviewed everything, go ahead and click “PAY NOW”.
Congrats!!! You just purchased your domain. Now, let’s get it set up so you can start blogging.
Step 4 – Install WordPress
If you’re not already logged into SiteGround’s user area, do so now. (You should have selected a username and password during the previous step.)
Click on the “My Accounts” tab. Under the “MY ACCOUNTS” section, click the “Launch Setup Wizard” button for the domain you just purchased.
In the setup wizard, select “Start a new website.” That will then open up the advanced options.
WordPress is a content management system. It allows you to easily manage your website. I recommend WordPress because it’s the most popular CMS out there. In fact, about 25% of all websites are built on WordPress!
Choose and enter your WordPress login details. These will be used to log into your website, so don’t forget what you select.
Again, I recommend you skip the SG Site Scanner.
Click “Confirm” again, and then click “Complete Setup.”
It’s going to take a few moments for SiteGround to build your WordPress installation. Once it’s complete, click “Proceed to Customer Area”. That will take you back to SiteGround’s user area.
Step 5 – Log Into WordPress
Go back to the “My Accounts” tab. Click on “Manage Account” for your domain.
Then click on “Go to Admin Panel”. This will take you to the WordPress login page for your website. Bookmark this page, trust me.
Log in WordPress. You’ll be taken to your WordPress Dashboard. This is the command center for your website.
Step 6 – Publish Your First Post
The WordPress installation that SiteGround installed for us come pre-populated with some content that we’ll want to get rid of. Thankfully, the process is a good introduction to WordPress.
Start by clicking “Posts” on the left side. You’ll be taken your posts page.
There should be a single post titled “WordPress Resources at Site Ground”. Hover your mouse over the Title. This will reveal shortcut options for the post. Select “Trash” to delete this post.
Click “Add New” to write and publish your first post. Your first post can be anything you like. Most people introduce themselves, provide some biographical details, and explain what their goals and/or expectation for the blog are.
Step 7 – To Infinity, and Beyond
WordPress has quite a few built in options that you’ll probably want to tweak. And, there are thousands of plugins, both free and paid, that you can use to add different functions to your site. It’s way too much to even begin to get into here.
I learned WordPress via trial and error, using Google as my guide. That said, my site were pretty crummy to start. If that’s not your thing, I recommend taking a WordPress course to speed things along. I can’t personally vouch for it, but this Udemy course appears to be a good one. It has 4.5/5 stars with nearly 3,500 ratings and over 20,000 students enrolled.
I really hope you found this how-to guide extremely useful and informative.
If so, the best way to say thanks is to give me a shout out in your first blog post by linking back to this page. You can copy and paste the link below directly into your WordPress post editor, or follow the instruction below for creating hyperlinks.
How to create a hyperlink in WordPress
- Highlight the text you want to change to a hyperlink
- Click the “Insert/edit link” button
- Copy and Paste your link into the pop-up field
- Click “Apply”