Running your own website with your own domain name is really quite easy, but when you don’t know what you’re doing it can be a bit puzzling working through all the steps, even if you have a BSc in Computer Science. So I have written down here all I have done to get this site up running. It really was very simple.
My domain name is registered with www.123-reg.co.uk. I don’t know if they are the cheapest domain registration service anymore, but they are very cheap and I have never had any trouble with them.
This site is hosted by 5quidhost.co.uk for free. I get 35mb of data and 200mb of bandwidth a month. I’m not a superstar or even very interesting, so I’m pretty sure that’s all I need. But if I were suddenly to get popular, I suppose I would upgrade on 5quidhost. They really are very good and if you would like a site to call your own, I would check them out.
Once you sign up for your website host, they should send you information on what your nameservers are. There should be a space to enter this into your domain registration account. Do this, and within a couple of days whatever domain name you registered should point to the website you are about to create!
This site is built using a content management system (CMS)*. That system is WordPress, but I didn’t do any complicated installation processes. When you sign up with 5quidhost for webhosting, they give you a cPanel** login. If you don’t know cPanel, it is just a site management tool. When you log into cPanel, you are faced with what is probably firstly an overwhelming array of stuff you can do with regards to your website. If you scroll to the bottom though, you will find a section for Softaculous, which is an easy way to install CMSs. I clicked on WordPress, filled in a short form, and Softaculous installed WordPress for me, and gave me a URL to login from.
Then I logged into my WordPress account, and changed the theme by clicking on the ‘Appearance’ part of the left hand menu and clicking on ‘install themes’. I had a nice rummage through and found this theme which I liked, installed it, and applied it. And voila, I was done***!
*also known as a CMS. It just means that it is a system that helps you publish, update and maintain your website without much work after the initial setup. For instance all I am doing right now to create this page is typing in a textbox, and then I hit publish and I’m done. In the old days, I would write (or copy and paste) all the html around this text, and the html in the text, and once I’ve saved and uploaded this page to my website, I would have to go to all the existing pages and insert a link to this page in their html. I much prefer this way of doing things.
**I link for information purposes only, I have never used the actual cPanel website or been there until now to get the link
***Okay, not quite done as I still had to create content for this website, but that should be relatively straightforward – have a play and don’t be afraid to break things! You probably won’t, but even if you do all you need to do is uninstall WordPress from Softaculous on your cPanel and reinstall it.