There’s loads of information available about what’s required to run WordPress. But how do you know which info is right for you?
Start with the basics.
It’s too easy to get caught up in shiny object syndrome + decision overwhelm. I know, I’ve been there. Which is why I wrote this guide of the only things you need to start using WordPress.
The time required to run WordPress
Most posts + resources that break down WordPress requirements don’t discuss this key component. I think it’s because it’s hard to put a number to how much time you need to spend on setting up your WordPress site.
Your website work will never be done.
I don’t think you want it to be. Your goals + passions will evolve with time, so will your website. But since we are starting with the basics, I know that the average solopreneur can go from zero website to functional WordPress website in 4 hours or less.
Could you spend 40 hours? Without a doubt. And I’ve set up WordPress websites in 30 minutes. But 4 hours is a realistic expectation for gathering what you need to work with WordPress, prepping, installing + doing basic configuration.
Plus, 4 hours is usually how long domain changes take before they go into effect. So it’s a good number to use.
Your site domain
There are 2 technical things that you need in order to use WordPress — one of them is a domain name. If you’re not familiar, you might have heard it called a URL too. Those terms are fairly interchangeable. (A URL describes the whole link and a domain is the first portion. I.e. tinyblueorange.com is a domain + tinyblueorange.com/wordpress-requirements/ is a URL.)
Think of your WordPress website like your dream home. Go ahead + picture it, including the details that make it yours. If your website is the physical home, your domain is the street address. It’s how leads + clients know where to find you on the world wide web.
Which is why you need a domain if you are going to use WordPress.org.
One domain is all that’s required to run WordPress
Domain names typically cost $15 a year. You can buy them for a year at a time or a decade at a time, that’s your choice. You might also want to buy additional extensions (think .com, .biz, .co, .net) or misspellings if your business name could be confusing.
Let this post be your guide when you’re ready to buy a domain for your WordPress site.
A simple hosting account
Remember the dream home that you were picturing? Your domain is the street address, which makes the plot of land it was built on your hosting account.
Website file storage.
A common misconception that many bloggers + business owners have is that they can store their website files on their computer. Unfortunately, that’s not how the internet works.
Instead, you need a hosting account so that you can save your website files to a server — a more complicated version of your laptop that is on 24×7 + able to handle hundreds or thousands of site visitors. At once.
Which means you need to set aside some funds for your WordPress hosting account. If you’re testing the waters with a new idea, you can start with cheap shared hosting for a ballpark of $60/year for the first year. But don’t forget the old adage that you get what you pay for.
When you’re ready to upgrade to managed hosting — to keep your site safe + speedy — expect to pay $25/month or more.
The content required to run WordPress
This is the biggest gray area around what’s required to run WordPress. Not that some would say you don’t need any content, but how much content does one business owner need?
If you’re anything like me, you have a long list of content to create that feels like Mount Everest. Stop putting that off until you’re caught up with the Bachelorette! Here’s a specific list of what you need on any website. You’re welcome.
- Homepage content
- Contact details
Could your content list be longer? 100% yes it could. Does having a giant to do list help you launch a new website? Not even a little bit. Build momentum by focusing on what’s required to run WordPress!
There’s not much you need to run WordPress
The number of WordPress requirements is a short list of only 4 things — including time, which you’ll need for any website platform.
Notice that I didn’t say you needed a theme/template, months of content, etc? It’s because you don’t need that stuff! WordPress comes with mobile-friendly themes pre-installed that you can use to get started. Additional features, like plugins + content, can always be added.
Focus on the basics + getting your WordPress website out into the world. From there, you can spend as much time as you want to make it match your dream.