if you aren’t sure which hosting company to use, i set up a guide just for you. but if you have a shared hosting account already and aren’t sure how to get WordPress up + running on it, let’s dive into the steps right now.
connect your domain
you can skip this step if you purchased your domain with your hosting company + it shows up in your domain list as add-on or primary. (if it says unassigned, you’ll need to follow these steps too.)
while not every hosting company is the same, if you are using shared hosting, these steps will be pretty spot on.
head to the domains area of your hosting account (usually a tab at the top of the page) + click the option to assign a new domain.
if you bought the domain from your hosting company, you’ll select the domain from the dropdown they provide. otherwise, check the option to use a domain registered elsewhere + type the URL in the box provided.
to verify that you own the domain + to get the URL set up with your hosting company, you need to set the nameservers to your hosting company’s details.
nerd break: what this step does is tell your domain where to look for your website files.
your hosting company will provide the nameservers right in this step. so take those to your domain registrar + update the settings for the domain. (typical nameservers look like ns1.hostmonster.com + ns2.hostmonster.com) you will need to set all of the nameservers provided, not just one.
after saving your changes, go back to your hosting account to make sure that ownership has been verified. this step can take a couple hours while the settings update, don’t assume that you did things incorrectly.
you’ll then want to set your domain as an add-on domain. if you set it to parked, your domain will redirect to your primary domain on the account + not let you set up a brand new website for yourself.
the final step in connecting your domain is to create a directory (geek speak for “folder”) on your account where your files will live. i typically use the domain name without an extension — so tinyblueorange.com’s directory would be tinyblueorange — but it’s really up to you. as long as there aren’t any spaces or special characters (hyphens are allowed) you are good to go.
then click the save/assign button to finish connecting your domain to your hosting account!
set up your database
small disclaimer: this might start to feel overwhelmingly nerdy. but i promise you that it’s easy to do + as long as you follow the steps, you will crush this task.
still within your hosting account, head to the cPanel area — Hosting > CPanel is where it usually lives. then you’ll need to look for something called MySQL Wizard. (i use the search box to make finding it easy.)
nerd break: wtf is this step? WordPress operates based on a database. you will be using the database wizard (a helper) to create the database that your site will function based on.
as you create the database, save a copy of the names + password so that you can use them on your WordPress install.
first, you need to name your database. your hosting company will give you a prefix + you’ll add on the ending. i like to give names that relate to the website so that i know which is which when i have multiple sites on my server. so this site might get a database name of tborangedb. (tiny blue orange database)
the next step is to create a database user. i base it off of the database name, so per the example above, the username might be tborangeun (tiny blue orange username) this is not your WordPress login, it’s strictly for your hosting company.
some servers have character limits on the database name or username. just follow the instructions if they limitations.
once you’ve created the database name + user, you need a password. i like to use the password generator my hosting company provides because it ramps up security for my site. and since this password is one you’ll need to know only once in your life (so save it for a second), using something really secure isn’t a pain in your butt in the long run.
from here, create the user + the database.
the final step is to assign All Privileges to the user you created. that way your database can have data added to it as you create new pages, posts or get comments on your site.
save your changes + know that you just successfully created your first database + database user within your shared hosting account. #nerdalert
when you set up your WordPress installation, you’ll add those details in place to make your site function like a dream.