Step 3 – Build Your Website

First of all, what is WordPress and why should you install it on your website?

WordPress is a free platform that has been commonly used by bloggers for many years. It basically allows you to build websites with very little effort on your side. It is a highly customizable, user-friendly and above all – very powerful tool when it comes to the website creation process.

WordPress allows you to use free pre-designed themes so you don’t have to spend a nickel on hiring expensive web designers to make your site look professional. It is also very friendly in terms of search engine optimization. You can install various 3rd party plugins such as the famous ‘All in one SEO’, which greatly increases the search visibility of your website, and so forth.

However, manually installing WordPress can be a hard and time-consuming work, especially if you’re new to this concept…

This is one more reason why we recommend Hostgator!

Hostgator has a built-in, automatic WordPress installer. All it takes is one click, and it is set and ready for use! It’s really that simple.

This is a free feature that comes included with every Hostgator hosting plan.

Steps for installing WordPress via Hostgator auto-installer:

1) Assuming your Godaddy domain is already pointing to the Hostgator nameservers (as covered in the step 3 of this tutorial), go and type in this URL:

2) Use the login information for Hostgator cpanel provided in the e-mail received upon purchasing the Hostgator web hosting plan.

Once you’re successfully logged in, you should be able to see the Hostgator cpanel. This is definitely a place worth exploring, as it offers tons of great features…

3) Scroll down, under the Software/Services category, click on Fantastico De Luxe (the blue smiley guy).

4) Pay attention to the left sidebar, under the Blogs column, there should be a WordPress link:

5) Click on New Installation and follow the instructions provided.

You will be asked to fill in certain information such as your e-mail address, desired wordpress username & password, and some other base configuration stuff.

Warning! – There will also be a field called Install in Directory – Make sure you leave this field blank!

Once you’re done, click Install WordPress!

On the next page, you will provided with the Mysql user name and an access URL. You typically won’t need this stuff at the moment, but you can save it for future reference if you wish.

Click Finish Installation

6) Voilà – You’re done!

WordPress is now successfully installed on your website, along with the default ‘twenty-ten’ theme which you’ll be able change easily, as soon as you regain access to the site (due to the WP installation process).

Once you can access your site and you can see the default theme, just add /wp-login to your main URL and log in using the information you’ve just set up. Another option is to simply follow the login link located in the right sidebar of your homepage.

You should come up with a page that looks like this:

This page is called the WordPress (WP) Dashboard.

Get familiar with this interface – you will be using it a lot. It is the matrix of your website. Every single change on your website will be made using this dashboard.

The first thing you will notice are the quick-links to posts, pages, category, tags and comments, as well as a quick link that you can use to change your WP theme.

On the left hand side, you can see a lot of sub-menus that all serve their purpose, but for now let’s only focus on the most important ones:

1) Posts – These most commonly used when you are running your website as a blog. When you create posts within WP, you can decide what page they will show up on, along with the exact date of publishing, the publishers name and an option for visitors to comment on each post. You can also set up different post categories.

2) Media – This menu is used for managing pictures and videos you add to your website.

3) Links – Here you can create different links and link categories that you can later use to form customized sidebar widgets!

4) Pages – Used for adding new, fresh pages to your website. You can also browse the options for choosing the page slug, enabling/disabling comments, changing the page order, modifying the page template, etc.

5) Appearance – Allows you to completely customize your website’s appearance, starting from the theme you’re using, all the way to sidebar widgets and menus. There are a million ways to customize your website. Knock yourself out!

6) Plugins – These can be a very useful tool if applied properly. There are tons of 3rd party plugins that enable you to speed up your website’s performance, enhance the search engine visibility, improve visual styling & appearance and much more!

7) Users – This section is for adding new or modifying existing user settings, such as user passwords, profiles, e-mails, etc.

8) Settings – A place where you can set up stuff like your blog’s name, description, date format, front page display, monitor comments and media settings, etc. You will also be able to access and re-configure your 3rd party plugins from this menu.