Introduction to WordPress, Domains and Hosting

CatherineTrainings, Website Design, WordPress

Day 1: Introduction to WordPress, Domains and Hosting

Hi. Welcome to Beginners’ guide to WordPress Blogging: 12-day challenge. Today we will be reviewing “Introduction to WordPress, Domains and Hosting”.

My name is Catherine M. Egwali and I will be your instructor for the next few days. I work at Switem Technology Solutions and I am one of the co-founders of the company.

Switems Technology Solutions is an ICT company that helps startups and SMEs grow their business, income, achieve set goals and solve problems by using technology solutions.

Some of the services we provide include domain registration, Hosting, WordPress Website Designs, E-commerce Website Designs, WordPress Hosting, Managed E-commerce Hosting, Payment Acceptance Solutions as well as other technology solution services.

Over the next few days, I will be taking you on a journey to understanding how to use WordPress to start a website or a blog.

Catherine Mayokun Egwali

Have You Ask Any of These WordPress, Domain or Hosting Questions Before?

1. What is a WordPress CMS?
2. What is the use of WordPress?
3. What are the benefits of using WordPress?
4. WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org — What’s the Difference?
5. What is the difference between Self Hosted WordPress.org vs. Free WordPress.com?
6. What is a domain name?
7. What is web hosting?

If you have, get set for knowing the answers after going through today’s lesson.

What is WordPress?

Wordpress is a popular Content Management System (CMS) that enables a user to design and manage a website/blog without having advanced knowledge of coding or technicalities behind website design.

Due to its ease of use, cost, and extensibility, many have chosen and recommended WordPress as the go-to-CMS for website design projects.

Organisations that use WordPress

Some notable organisations that use WordPress include CNN, Walt Disney, Sony, IBM, SamSung, The White House and even Switem Technology Solutions.

At Switem, we have mastered the art of using WordPress Hosting and Website design for helping bloggers and businesses achieve their goals. It is our desire to share part of our successful experiences with you so you can go off to building a successful WordPress blog for your business or hobby.

Did you know that WordPress can be used for building website?


Benefits of using WordPress

1. Ability for a non-technical person to easily create and maintain a website

2. You can easily and quickly enhance your site/blog by adding plugins to your site

3. There is a huge community of supporting users as WordPress is open source. Hence, you are very likely to get solutions to issues you may encounter on your site.

4. The platform is search engine friendly. This means you can easily create contents that rank well on search engine result pages

5. You can easily increase your online visibility and authority by blogging frequently on WordPress.

6. You can easily sell your products and services to global audience thus earning more quickly

7. You can quickly grow your business via content marketing when using WordPress

WordPress.com versus WordPress.org

WordPress.com versus WordPress.org

To use WordPress, you will have to decide if you should go for the managed hosting version by providers like Automattic (e.g. WordPress.com) or for the self hosted version (WordPress.org).

A. WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a managed hosting service for mainly blogging and other services like e-commerce. The service is provided by Automattic, one of the major contributors to WordPress (software). The WordPress service is provided from WordPress multisite installation.

With WordPress multisite, you can have one WordPress installation which would be used to build/maintain multiple sites.

Learning about WordPress multisite is however beyond the scope of this training.

Features of WordPress.com

1. Ability to focus on your business and core competencies: WordPress.com handles the technicalities of managing a WordPress site such as security, software updates, backups, etc thus allowing you focus on how to run your business and content management.

2. Superb technical support at your disposal as the hosting service is provided by WordPress experts

3. This service is usually best for those who require little or no customisation for their blogging service.

4. A free plan exists which may contain ads. However, higher plans with higher storage, features and with the ability to remove ads are available at different prices.

5. The hosting service is optimised for performance and scalability

6. Some of the plans cost relatively more than the average shared hosting plans. This is usually because you are paying for VIP benefits such as security, website speed optimisation, expert technical support, website uptime, improved performance, automated updates and more.

7. Third party plugins and themes accessed from elsewhere are not allowed on the platform.

8. If your desired plugin/themes is unavailable on the platform, there would not be much you can do about it. Most times there may be other alternatives that have been provided and are capable of performing similar functions (perhaps even in a better way) to what you hope to achieve.

However, if it is crucial to use certain tools that are unavailable on a provider’s platform, it might be best to request for the right to use them or simply move on to a self hosted WordPress platform.

9. You won’t be able to run other applications with the hosting purchased.

Switem also runs a managed hosting service, similar to that of WordPress.com, for bloggers. If interested in setting up an account on our managed blog hosting , do get in touch.

B. WordPress.org

WordPress.org

WordPress.org gives you the flexibility of owning and managing the WordPress software by yourself.

It usually requires you get a domain name and hosting to make your website/blog accessible on the internet.

With a self hosted version, you can build a news blog like BBC America, Portfolio site like MikeUS, fashion store like Trendnation, grocery online store like Vivagrocery, multivendor site like Jumia, church site like RCCG Ireland and much more.

Features of WordPress.org

1. Very affordable: With a little as $12/N4500 per year hosting, you can setup WordPress and build your website by yourself. This option is very good if you are technically inclined and have a flair for design or are willing to learn.

2. Freedom to do as you please: You are free to install any plugin (used for extending your website’s features/ functionalities) or theme (used for determining the look of your website) that you like. You may also source for themes and plugins from anywhere on the internet and use the purchased versions of your preferred premium themes and plugins.

3. Ability to install non-WordPress related applications with the hosting you purchased for your self-hosted WordPress install: Most times you are able to use your hosting to install as many WordPress sites as your hosting plan can take. You would also be able to use your hosting to install other applications not related to WordPress. This is because you obtained normal hosting (not specialised hosting) limited only by the features provided in your hosting plan. Hence, you may be able to get more websites up with little cost.

4. If you are unable to devote the time or develop the expertise required for updating WordPress as well as the themes and plugins installed, you would become vulnerable to hackers and attackers.

Microsoft once had their website hacked in 2015 (digitalconstitution) due to the use of an old WordPress installation.

A hacked site can be damaging to one’s brand as pornographic or other irrelevant information may be displayed to your website visitors. It can even lead to the spread of malware on the devices of your’s website visitors. To avoid being easy prey for hackers, we will be reviewing how to secure a WordPress blog/site on day 8.

5. If you do not keep up to date with what goes on in the WordPress space, you may end up using a plugin/theme that may be available in the official WordPress repository but is outdated and have not been maintained for years. Such plugins may still be relevant and good for use, but may contain vulnerabilities that are yet to be patched. Such vulnerabilities can leave you open to attackers and hackers and damage your online reputation thus making you lose money and respect. Most Managed WordPress Hosting Providers keep note of such plugins and remove/ban them from being used to ensure the security of their client’s websites.

6. It would require that you learn or outsource certain technical skills. For example, if you are unwilling to learn how to optimise your website for speed or outsource the task, you may end up with a slow loading website thus potentially losing prospects and money. According to research, the average website’s visitor has a very short attention span and would move on if the site is slow in loading.

Switem provides domain registration and hosting services so you can easily make a purchase for your next website/blog design project. If interested in getting a discounted hosting package (N2500 only) with free .com.ng or .xyz domain name for the purpose of learning how to set up WordPress, you can get one here.

Getting a domain and hosting package for your self hosted WordPress installation

domain name extensions

How to register a domain name


A typical domain name registration process goes thus:

1. You visit the website of a business that registers domain names

2. You search for your desired domain name

3. If it is available, you add the domain name to your shopping cart

4. If you want hosting or other web related services, you add them to your shopping cart.

5. You accept the default nameservers given by the domain service provider or you change it if you have a different set of nameservers you intend to use.

A nameserver is a specialised server responsible for handling queries about a domain name’s various services. It usually acts like a phone book and provides details of a domain name’s resources to their corresponding IP addresses.

6. You checkout and make payment

Hosting


To own a website on the internet, you would require a hosting service from a web hosting service provider.

The web host will place your website contents on a specialised computer (called a web server) and make it accessible on the internet by providing internet connectivity, cooling for the servers, hardware maintenance, physical datacentre security, server security as other hosting needs. By hosting your website and making the necessary DNS changes, your website becomes accessible via your desired domain name.

How to obtain a shared hosting service


A typical hosting purchase process goes thus:

1. You visit the website of a web hosting company

2. You select a hosting plan based on your budget, required storage, bandwidth as well as other requirements you may have

3. You follow whatever steps the hosting provider has put in place, checkout and make payment

4. You would be sent an email containing your hosting details and how to get started with your hosting plan.

Are you excited about today’s lesson but looking for an affordable hosting plan to practice with?

Not to worry, we have a discounted baby hosting plan plus FREE domain name for you.

You can purchase this plan with a free domain name here for just N2500 only.

Do you have questions pertaining to TODAY’S lesson?

Join us in our Facebook Group where we will be answering questions to each lesson’s post. To ask and get your questions answered, ensure that you post your question as a comment under the Lesson Question Post Of The Day. Each day’s lesson questions must also be asked during the training period.

Thank you for participating. See you tomorrow.

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Catherine Egwali is the co-founder and COO of Switem Technology Solutions. She is a #1 international best selling author of the book The Competent Entrepreneur, an ICT Business Consultant, WordPress designer, SEO & and technology solutions enthusiast. She helps start-ups and SMEs grow their business, solve problems, increase sales and achieve their goals through technology solutions. View her other posts or find her on LinkedIn. You can also connect with her on FB messenger via https://m.me/catherineegwali