Do you want to start a WordPress blog on HostGator? If yes, this detailed article is going to guide you step by step. I have created numerous websites for myself and my clients using WordPress and HostGator. In fact, this website itself is hosted on HostGator.
HostGator is one of the oldest players in the field of web hosting. It has been there for a very long time. Once the go-to web hosting service of most bloggers and internet marketers, HostGator still enjoys the same amount of popularity among newbie bloggers, if not more.
It is the perfect web hosting for all those people who want to start a new blog and don’t want to spend a load of money on hosting fees every month. If you are one of those newbie bloggers who want to start a WordPress blog on Hostgator you are at the right place. Now, without further ado, let’s get started.
Things You Need Before You Start a WordPress Blog On HostGator
If you are a newbie, there are a few things you need to understand and acquire if you want to start a WordPress blog on HostGator. Let me tell you what you need to know and have before starting a blog.
A domain name is the address of your upcoming website or blog. It is the name of your blog. For example, my website’s domain name is vishicastle.com. Similarly, Google’s domain name is google.com, FaceBooks is FaceBook.com and so on.
In the domain names mentioned above the first part is the actual domain name and the .com is the extension. For example, in the name vishicastle.com, vishicastle is the domain name and .com is the extension.
A domain name can have any extension at the end and having a .com extension is not compulsory. You can also get domain extensions like .net, .org,.co etc. You can also go for country-specific domain extensions like .in,.us,.fr, etc.
But the .com extension is the oldest domain extension on the web and is a very popular one. People tend to type .com at the end of every web site name they come across almost automatically.
So it is preferable to choose a .com extension for your new website or blog. I suggest you choose a .com. If the domain name of your choice isn’t available, try to be creative.
If internetmarketing.com is not available try to get internetmarketingblog.com or internetmarketingguide.com. These were just examples and both of these domain names are already taken. So don’t try to go after them:-)
You can use a third party domain registrar like namecheap.com to register your domain name or can register a domain name on HostGator itself. I personally use namecheap.com to register my domain names and then connect them to my hosting service. They offer free privacy protection as well.
[BTW if you don’t understand some of the steps in this tutorial or if you want us to handle the process of setting up your WordPress blog on HostGator please feel free to get in touch with me using the email/form given on the contact page.]
The hosting service contains these big powerful servers where your website will be located. It is that place where your files and all the content of your blog/website/online property will be stored.
The hosting service helps you to keep your website online 24×7 so that it is accessible to people around the world anytime they wish to access it. If the domain is the name or the address of your house, the hosting is the plot or the piece of land where your house is located.
I hope you get my point here. There are many companies in the world which provide hosting services. And HostGator is one of the most popular hosting service providers on the web.
Now, to start a WordPress blog on HostGator you need to have two things. A domain name and a hosting account.
For registering a domain name, you have two options. You can register a domain name on HostGator itself, which is the first option. The second option is to visit NameCheap.com or any other third party domain registrar and register the domain name there and later point it to HostGator hosting nameservers.
For the time being, we will just move forward with the first option and buy the domain through HostGator itself.
Registering The Domain Name and Buying The Hosting Package on HostGator
In this tutorial, we are going to start a WordPress blog on HostGator using their shared hosting plan.
To get started click the button below and visit the HostGator website.
You will be greeted by a web page which looks similar to the one shown in the image below.
Now, click on the ‘get started’ button or the ‘web hosting’ tab to get started.
Now on the next page, you will have three shared hosting plans to choose from.
The most popular plan is the ‘Baby Plan’. The baby plan allows you to host an unlimited number of websites for a tiny fee. But the ‘Baby Plan’ doesn’t have a dedicated IP.
If you want extra added features like a free upgrade to the positive SSL, a dedicated IP, etc, choose the Business Plan.
I am currently on the Business plan and you can choose the same too. It isn’t that costly and you can get a HostGator business plan for $5.95/month if you sign up for three years at once. Click on the ‘buy now’ button to proceed.
Now, on the next page, you get to register your domain name and enter the billing details for the hosting service.
Enter your chosen domain name as shown in the picture below. If the domain name isn’t available, the HostGator platform will alert you by turning the search box red and you then need to choose an alternative domain name. The HostGator will also show you the same domain name with different extensions. But as we discussed earlier, you are better off with a .com domain name.
As my chosen domain name wasn’t available I just got a bit creative and added a phrase to the domain name of my choice. Luckily this time the domain name was available. Similarly, you choose the domain name and continue downwards to fill the remaining details.
Also don’t forget to choose the domain privacy protection, to protect your identity online. Privacy Protection hides your personal contact information from public view. I personally use this feature and I suggest you to do the same. It costs you $14.95 per year. (Surprisingly this is free on NameCheap).If you don’t want this feature please don’t tick the box as shown in the image below.
Next, choose the billing cycle for your hosting plan. If you don’t want to pay for 36 months at once, choose the billing cycle according to your convenience. But please remember that the smaller the cycle, the higher the price.
Now, enter a username for your hosting account and a unique pin.
After that, enter your billing details and the address. You can use a credit card or a PayPal account to pay the fees.
Now, as you scroll down, even more, there is a section titled ‘add additional services’ as shown below. These are special services which protect your site from hackers and provide an extra layer of security to your websites. There is a service for backing up your website too. I usually don’t use these special services from HostGator. You can choose them if you want. But they will cost you extra.
Now when you scroll down below you will see a box where the coupon code is already entered. Leave it as it is. Move downwards and review your order details. You may be added a few extra bucks for the taxes depending on your country of residence.
Once everything is perfect tick the box below. By doing this you will be agreeing to HostGator’s terms, conditions and policies.
Now click the check out now button and finish the process.
And that’s it.
All your hosting details will be emailed to the mailing address you entered in the billing details section.
HostGator CPanel and Billing Portal PassWords
HostGator will email you the billing receipt almost instantly. When I signed up for the HostGator shared hosting plan, I received two more emails giving me the details about my billing portal access details and my CPanel access details. It also had my name server details and the server IP address.
Verifying Your Address for HostGator Hosting
In rare occasions, the HostGator team may ask you to verify your identity before completely activating your hosting account. This doesn’t happen always. But it is better to be prepared because it happened to me.
I got the following email from HostGator asking to verify my identity.
That wasn’t anything complicated BTW. I just sent them a copy of my driving license and my account was activated almost instantly.
You can use a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport to verify your account.
Btw I currently use WPX hosting for my main sites. From here you can read all about hostgator vs WPX hosting.
Installing WordPress on Your Domain Using HostGator cPanel
Once you have got the access to your cPanel and the billing portal it is time to install WordPress on your domain name.
If you don’t know what WordPress is, it is a content management system. It allows you to build websites and blogs, without needing to know to code.
Once you install WordPress on your domain name, you will be able to easily add, edit and publish text, images, and videos to your website without any external help.
It is perfect for beginners with limited technical knowledge although even the veterans these days use WordPress for their projects. And the best of all, it is FREE.
Now let’s see how to install WordPress on your domain name using cPanel in Hostgator.
To get started, use the cPanel login details that have been emailed to you by HostGator.
Use the username and password credentials to enter the cPanel dashboard.
Once you login inside cPanel, you will be looking at a screen that appears similar to the image shown below. All you have to do is click on the ‘software’ tab to continue.
Now click on ‘QuickInstall’.
Now choose the ‘One Click Installs’ option. On the next page, choose ‘WordPress’ as shown in the image below.
Now on the next page choose the domain name where you want to install WordPress and click next. You can leave the directory section blank.
Now the final step.
On this page enter some important details like the blog title, your desired admin username, password, and email address.
Once everything is satisfactory check the terms and agreement box and then click install.
And that’s it.
Once the installation is complete you can note your WordPress login credentials.
Your login credentials will also be emailed to you by HostGator.
Your WordPress website should be ready within minutes. However, in rare cases, it may take up to an hour or two.
Use the login credentials that are sent to your email address, to login to your new WordPress website.
And that’s how you start a WordPress blog on HostGator.
How to customize a WordPress blog for the first time? Well, we will include a separate tutorial about that in detail in another article.