Step 1: Get a home

Step by Step Directions for those who like to read 
(AKA for those who don’t want to hear my whiny voice):

NOTE: DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY ALL THE STEPS AND PICTURES! This is super easy. You can have your site up and running in a matter of minutes.

You gotta start somewhere. This is step one. The big step. The plunge. The trigger you will pull for getting a home for your precious site. Clicking here (opens to a new window) will take you to our hosting provider of choice, Dreamhost. 

02-Dreamhost-homepage

Once at the Dreamhost homepage, we are going to get started with the choosing of a hosting plan. The easiest way to get this rolling is to “Learn More about Our Website Hosting” so go ahead and click on the link to get started. Seriously click that link. I cannot move your mouse for you. It’s all up to you!

03-Dreamhost-signup

It’s not glamorous, but you will have to go through the usual signing up and registering for an account. It’s not too terribly painful, but make sure you get your info right. Your sign-up process is going to be much less blurry than mine was in the screencast above that you chose NOT to watch.

04-Dreamhost-Account-Signup

Put in your email address and make a SECURE password. It will nag you if it’s weak, so do yourself a SOLID and put something in that won’t be easy for criminals to figure out, also make it something that you will remember. WRITE IT DOWN.

05-Dreamhost-Domain-Choose

A great benefit to setting up hosting with Dreamhost is that they are kind enough to include a free domain name to go along with your plan. I recommend doing some homework and finding a cool name before you get to this point. Hover.com is a great domain name service (It’s called a registrar, and yes, I AM an affiliate) that can help you figure out a great name. It’s better to take the time to find a good name now or risk the fate of a crummy name like makeagreatwebsite.com (yup, see what I did there?).

06-Dreamhost-Payment-Plan

Once you have your name chosen, you will need to go through the painful step of paying for your site. You can save some cash by paying for a few years at once, or go month to month and pay a bit more. This choice is completely up to you. 

07-Mysql-NO-Upsell

This next step is definitely up to you. I won’t go as far as to call the MySQL VPS an upsell, but I have had good luck not spending the extra money on this option. If you find your site getting tons of traffic and things come to a grinding halt on your site, this could be an easy fix to speed things up (you can always sign up for this option later). 08-Dreamhost-Payment-Setup

Yep, now is the money part. Make this happen and you are on your way. I can’t help you here dear reader, you are going to have to come up with your own name, address, and credit card information.

09-Dreamhost-Continue-to-Web-Panel

Sweet! The hard part is done. Now the magic happens! This link will take you to the maintenance section of your brand-spankin’-new Dreamhost account. Once you are there, it’s not a bad idea to bookmark this page. However, you can always get back to it by going to Dreamhost.com where there’s a prominent link for your login information.

11-Dreamhost-1-click-Wordpress-Install

Welcome to the Dreamhost site control panel. I have taken the luxury of clicking the Goodies link on the left and then clicking the One-Click Installs below that. I highly suggest that you do the same. This page shows you all the cool things that you can install on your new site.

We are installing WordPress, so go ahead and click on the WordPress image that is so very prominently displayed and lets get going!

12-Dreamhost-Select-Wordpress-Install

That fateful click will open up this window to get started on your install of WordPress. You should be safe to leave all the options as-is and let the mighty-fine default settings do their thing. Okay. Really. One. Click. Install. C’mon, click already.

13-Dreamhost-Site-Creation-DONE

You clicked right? This is a similar dialog window you should see when the deed is done. Unfortunately, now comes the painful part. The 10 minute wait for the robots at Dreamhost to get everything set up on their servers to make your site actually happen. Once this process is complete, you should get an email and a link to get started on the hoops you need to jump through to fine-tune your new WordPress website.

You didn’t think that was it did you? Oh no no no. We still have work to do!

14-Wordpress-Install-Language

You will receive an email confirmation letting you know when your new 1-click install is up and running. Included in that email is a link to start the wizard for configuring your new site. Look above, I am there right now. I am choosing English as my site’s language. I suggest you do likewise as I cannot vouch for the awesomeness in doing this in one of the other language options.

15-Wordpress-Site-Info

You are going to need to set up your site and give yourself an administrator account to manage your WordPress site. Give your site a sweet title. I gave my site the great title of “Make a Great Website”. Don’t copy me. Be original and choose your own. Really.

Your Username and Password also need to be set up. DON’T MAKE THIS THE SAME AS YOUR DREAMHOST ACCOUNT INFORMATION. Be original and use something else. Again, practice caution and use language that won’t make it easy for somebody to hack your site. $tudMAN4eva is already taken. Use something else. Use something more classy. Our sites should be classy.

17-Wordpress-DONE---Now-Login

BOOM. We now have a fully functional battlestation website. Click the Login box and let’s check out your new site!

18-Site-Login-from-Backend

This is the login screen for your fancy new WordPress site. You may want to bookmark this. Believe it or not, it’s tricky business remembering where these login screens show up. As a general rule you can get here by following my phony example of a login address: http://www.putyoursitenamehere.com/wp-admin.php or http://www.putyoursitenamehere.com/wp-login.php both sample links will take you to the same place to get started. However if you honestly typed in “putyoursitenamehere” in the address instead of your ACTUAL SITE NAME, we can no longer be friends and this tutorial is over. FOREVER.

21-Site-Dashboard

Welcome to the WordPress Dashboard! This is where you will do all the cool stuff to your site. Take a good gander at all this. I will wait… Take that gander. Good. Let’s move on.

It’s from this portion of the site that you will be adding your content and changing much of the look and theme options for your site. We will briefly go over adding some quick content and theme changes, but we will dive deeper into adding content and tricking things out in other tutorials.

PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK! HOLD A LOVED ONE! HIGH FIVES FOR ALL!

You have completed STEP 1! GET A HOME. Good work!

Still it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There’s more effort to be made. Welcome to STEP 2: ADD CONTENT.