How to setup your first WordPress website


  • Applies to: Managed WordPress
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 30-60
    • Tools Required: Account Center access
  • Applies to: Grid
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 30-60
    • Tools Required: Account Center access, wp-admin access
  • Applies to: DV
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 30-60
    • Tools Required: Account Center access, Plesk or cPanel access, wp-admin access

Overview

Welcome! If you're reading this, you are likely looking to build your very first WordPress site. With advancements in hosting and website building, the process has never been easier. And as we are well aware, maintaining an online presence has become increasingly important.

But if you're totally new to website building, all of the available options and technical jargon can feel intimidating at first. This guide will provide a model of steps you can follow to set up your very first website.

STATEMENT OF SUPPORT:
Please keep in mind that troubleshooting the configuration/functionality of third-party applications is not covered by our statement of support. These resources were provided as a courtesy to assist you to the extent of our abilities. For more information on our statement of support, feel free to click here.

Picking a hosting plan that fits your needs

Hosting is a service where a provider will allocate space on a server for a user to store files, code, pictures, videos, etc.

In everyday terms, hosting can be compared to renting space on the internet. If you were to build a business in real life, you'd want to rent some office space.

Like when picking an office space to rent, you will want to consider your needs. If you get a giant space beyond your needs, you could end up overwhelmed and wasting valuable resources. If you get too small of a space, you may end up having to move everything to a bigger space very shortly after moving in.

Try out Media Temple Hosting for 30-Days risk free!
Of course, you may not always know from the beginning what type of hosting you'll need. So at Media Temple, you have 30 days to try out your hosting. If it's too big, too small, or you just change your mind for any reason, let us know and you'll receive a full refund! If you'd like more information on Media Temple's Money-Back Guarantee policies, feel free to click here.

Hosting Options

There are a variety of hosting options you can choose from, but unless you're planning to run an enterprise, you'll likely be choosing one of the following:

Managed WordPress

  • Are you looking for an affordable option?
  • Do you only plan to use WordPress? (One of the most popular website builders)
  • Are you relatively new to website hosting?
  • Do you only plan to host a few websites?
  • Then we recommend the Managed WordPress for you!

Grid (Shared Hosting)

  • Are you looking for an affordable option?
  • Do you plan to host multiple websites?
  • Do you want basic email hosting?
  • Do you want some flexibility with making changes to your server, but nothing too crazy?
  • Then we recommend the Grid for you!

DV & VPS Hosting

  • Do you need power and performance?
  • Do you have someone on your team who is comfortable with web hosting?
  • Do you plan to host multiple websites?
  • Do you need email hosting?
  • Do you need flexibility to make high level changes to your server?
  • Then we recommend the DV & VPS for you!

Picking a name for your website

A fun part of the website building process is picking your "domain name." This will be the (.com, .org, .net, etc) name that users will search in order to view your website.

You can have plenty of options to register a domain name, as long as it hasn't been registered by someone else already. We recommend picking a name that reflects your business/brand/personality to make it easy for users to find you. Media Temple also has a WHOIS search tool that will let you type in the name of a website, and see if it's available to register.

Once you've decided on your domain name, you can register it through our website here, or click on the article below for information on how to register a domain from your Media Temple Account Center:

Does someone already have the domain name you want?

This is a common occurrence when it comes to picking a domain name. There are creative ways you can try to work around this. For example, if you are trying to register pizzashop.com and find it's unavailable, you can try:

  • Adding to the domain name: pizza-shop.com, superpizzashop.com
  • Changing the suffix: pizzashop.me
  • Contact the current owner of pizzashop.com and see if they would be willing to sell it to you.
    • Note: Media Temple does not provide domain brokering services. If you wish to pursue this option, it would need to be done at your own discretion.

Not sure about your domain name yet? Or worried your might change your mind? 

No worries! Even if you don't know your domain name yet, you can build your website first, then add the domain name later.

If you change your mind on your domain name, you can also change that later. Just keep in mind, you may need to pay the registration fee for another domain.

Let's make a website!

Great! Now that you have your hosting and your domain registration, it's time to build your website!

There are a variety methods and tools available to build a website. In this example, we will be using WordPress, one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS).

Before continuing, click on the hosting option that applies to you to ensure you are provided the correct instructions:

Plesk

Log into your Media Temple account

Once you've purchased your hosting and domain name, log into your Media Temple account.

ac-0.5.png

Add the domain to your server

Click the ADD DOMAIN button, and follow the instructions that appear, to add your domain registration to your server. If you'd like a detailed guide on this process, feel free to view the article below:

ac-1.png

Setup Plesk

If this is your first time opening Plesk, you will need to go through some initial setup steps. We have provided an article below to help guide you through the Plesk setup process:

ac-1.5.png

Add the domain to Plesk

In addition to adding the domain to your server, within your Media Temple Account Center, you will need to add the domain within Plesk. This can be done fairly quickly by following the guide below:

p-2.png

Install WordPress

You will now want to install WordPress. Plesk has an Applications option that allows you to install WordPress with just a few clicks. If you'd like information on how to use this tool, feel free to check out our article below:

p-3.png

Log into your WordPress Dashboard

You can log into the WordPress Dashboard through your site URL, or through the Plesk control panel (if you installed WordPress through Plesk). For more information on logging into WordPress, feel free to check out our article below:

wp-1.png

Next Steps

Click the link below for instructions on how some intial WordPress steps you can make to your website:

cPanel

Log into your Media Temple account

Once you've purchased your hosting and domain name, log into your Media Temple account.
 
ac-1.png

Add the domain to your server

Click the ADD DOMAIN button, and follow the instructions that appear, to add your domain registration to your server. If you'd like a detailed guide on this process, feel free to view the article below:

ac-2.png

Setup cPanel

If this is your first time opening cPanel, you will need to go through some initial setup steps. We have provided an article below to help guide you through the cPanel setup process:

CP-1.png

Add the domain to cPanel

In addition to adding the domain to your server,  within the Media Temple Account Center, you will need to add the domain into cPanel. This can be done fairly quickly following the guide below:

cp-2.png

Install WordPress

You will now want to install WordPress. cPanel has a Site Software feature that allows you to install WordPress with just a few clicks. If you'd like information on how to use this tool, feel free to check out the article below:

cp-2.png

Log into your WordPress Dashboard

  1. Open your preferred web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc).
  2. Navigate to example.com/wp-admin
    • Replace example.com with your domain name.

wp-1.png

Grid

Log into your Media Temple account

Once you've purchased your hosting and domain name, log into your Media Temple account.

 ac-1.png

Add the domain to your server

Click the ADD DOMAIN button and follow the instructions that appear to add your domain registration to your server. If you'd like a detailed guide on this process, feel free to view the article below:

 ac-2.png

Install WordPress

After you've added your domain to your server, you will want to install WordPress. The Grid comes with Managed Apps that allows you to install WordPress with just a few clicks. For a step-by-step guide on how to access and use this tool, check out the article below:

ac-3.png

Log into your WordPress Dashboard

  1. Open your preferred web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc).
  2. Navigate to example.com/wp-admin
    • Replace example.com with your domain name.
  3. Enter the username and password you've setup using Managed Apps.

wp-1.png

Managed WordPress

Log into your WordPress Dashboard

  1. Log into your Media Temple Account.
  2. Click on the blue ADMIN button associated to your server.

    mwp-2.png
  3. If this is your first time using your Managed WordPress server, a slot should have been added for you, or you can add a site. Hover your cursor over the desired site, then click MANAGE SITE.

    mwp-3.png
  4. In the upper-right corner, click on the blue WP-ADMIN button.

    mwp-4.png
  5. You should now be logged in as the WordPress administrator. If you are not sent to the WordPress Dashboard, click on the wpadmin icon in the upper right corner.

    mwp-5.png

WordPress

Update your Site Title

WordPress may give your site a default site title. If this is the case, we will want to update the Site Title to your desired name.

  1. On the left-hand menu, click on Settings >> General.

    mwp-11.png

  2. You can update your Site Title and Tagline.

    mwp-11.5.png

Select your Theme

WordPress has a fairly extensive bank of theme templates you can choose from to quickly create a site.

  1. In the left-menu, click on Appearance >> Theme.

    mwp-6.png

  2. WordPress includes default themes. You can also select ADD NEW to download/install additional themes. There are a variety of free and premium options to choose from.

    mwp-10.png

  3. In this example, we've selected a theme designed for restaurants.
  4. You can make changes to your theme by selecting the Customize option.

    mwp-9.png

Add Plugins

Plugins are third-party applications that allow for additional features to be added to your WordPress site.

  1. In the left-menu, click on Plugins.
    • This will allow you to view, activiate, or deactivite your plugins.
  2. You can click Add New to search/install new plugins.

mwp-14.png

The Managed WordPress comes with built-in features that would normally need to be achieved through third-party plugins. This will save you the time of having to search, install, and maintain extra plugins. Therefore for redundancy and compatibility purposes, there are some plugins and activities that are not permitted on the Managed WordPress. For a list of those, we recommend viewing the article below:

Add Pages

 By clicking the Pages menu on the left-hand side, you will have the option to add pages to your website. The type of pages you have will vary depending on your site, but some basic options can include:

  • Homepage
  • About Us
  • Contact
  • Store
  • Blog

mpw-13.png

You may need to use third-party plugins or your theme's customize option to link your pages to various parts of your website.

WordPress' latest page editor, Gutenberg, uses a "block" system to help make the page building process more intuitive for non-technical users. For information on the basics of using Gutenberg, feel free to check out the article below:

Customize Widgets

Widgets are sub-menus on your WordPress site. These are typically located at the bottom or corner of your website, but can be located elsewhere, depending on your theme.

12.5.png

You can add, edit, or remove widgets by clicking on Appearance >> Widgets in the left-menu.

12.png

Add the domain to your server

Click the ADD DOMAIN button, and follow the instructions that appear, to add your domain registration to your server. If you'd like a detailed guide on this process, feel free to view the article below:

mwp-117.png

Making your site live

By default the Managed WordPress will provide you with a generic URL from which you can edit and design your website until you are ready to use your domain registration. To do this, you will want to add your domain to your server, and change the primary domain name. For step-by-step instructions on this process, feel free to check out the article below:

mpw-16.png

Congratulations!

You should now have your first website setup! If you still have questions about the general workings of your server, feel free to contact our 24/7 Support Team by opening a support request, starting a chat, or by calling us at 1.310.841.5500.