How To Create a Self Hosted WordPress Blog for Free

Prior to moving AnotherWindowsBlog from the Blogger platform to a self-hosted WordPress installation, I knew I had to exercise caution. I was headed into unfamiliar territory and as always, I knew I had to perform a dry run before moving on to the real deal. With that being said though, WordPress has definitely made it easier for bloggers to set up their own site. Everything is very easy to follow (as I’ll show you here) and it’s not really scary as some would like to think. The process may take some time but the steps are incredibly simple as long as you follow my instructions. By following the steps detailed here, you’ll end up with your very own WordPress blog. You can either continue to use this blog and maintain it at your own leisure or you can use it as just a training platform. With the latter, once you are comfortable enough with WordPress and the installation routine, you can reinstall your blog elsewhere with your own domain name. Although I’m using two specific online services here, the process should be quite the same elsewhere as well.

Notes to Consider Before Proceeding:

– This tutorial is only going to detail how to install and host your very own WordPress site for free. This is not an article teaching you how to pick the right domain name, how to manage your blog to get the most visitors or even what your blog should be about.

– There is absolutely no hidden fees or cost by following the tutorial here step for step. You will not be asked in any of the steps to enter your credit card information to either prove your age or for any other charges.

– I am not responsible for any of the online services I use here to help get your Wordpess site up and running. If one day the services stop running or the companies decide to cut off their free offerings, your site will no longer work unless you either pay (if the service is still available) or choose another hosting service.

Registering your Own Domain Name

The very first thing we need is to register for our very own domain name. This domain name is the Internet address your WordPress site can be reached at. This is the most important piece of information you want to get right if you have decided to permanently manage your site or blog via the tutorial here. If you are only following this tutorial to get a practice run at installing a self-hosted WordPress installation, then the domain name you pick can be anything you want just as long as it’s not already taken. When you register a domain name for a site, you usually have to pay an annual fee. For example, I’ve registered the domain name of Anotherwindowsblog.com from GoDaddy and I must pay an annual fee of about $10. If not, then it will get release back to the pool of public domain names for other users to register. Luckily for us, there is a Internet registrar out there that allows anyone to register their own domain name for absolutely no cost whatsoever.

CO.CC

CO.CC has been around since 2007 and allows just about anyone to register for a domain name. There is a big gotcha, however. The domain name you register with them will automatically be appended the co.cc domain at the end. So, instead of your domain being “mysite.com” or “mysite.info”, it will now be “mysite.co.cc”. Some users will acknowledge that this is a small price to pay for being able to register a domain name for free but others will view it as unprofessional as anyone visiting your site will immediately know how you got your domain name. If you are only performing a test run of a WordPress installation, then this domain name will not matter as it’s only temporary.

OK, so first we need to head over to www.co.cc to pick our domain name. Simply type in your domain name of choice and CO.CC will tell you whether it’s available or not. In my case, I’m going to register for Anotherwindowsblog.co.cc. You’ll have to create a new account if this is your first time so go ahead and enter in your information. Once you have registered and logged in, you should see a message stating that your new domain is registered and that you will need to configure it within 48 hours or else it will be terminated. For now, you can leave CO.CC alone. We will return very shortly once we register our webhost account.

Domain NameAvailableRegisterNotice

Register your Own Webhost

By registering for our very own domain name, we have our very own address on the Internet. However, we don’t really have a home yet! Without a home, we don’t have a storage area for our WordPress installation. This “home” I am referring to is what is known as a webhost. There many webhost services out there on the Internet. A webhost provides your website a place to store and place their files. Every time a visitor lands on your page by typing in your domain name (created earlier), it is actually the webhost provider that serves your website files to the visitor. As you can see, choosing a reliable webhost is very important. You do not want to choose a webhost that is known for constant downtime because your visitors will not be able to load your site during such outages. A webhost service usually charges a monthly fee and the rates vary depending on the package you have selected.

000webhost

000webhost is a free web hosting service. Because the service is provided absolutely free of charge, there will be limitations. Two such limitations is a 1500MB (1.5GB) disk storage limit. WordPress itself doesn’t take a lot of space. Even if you write very long posts like me, the disk space used is very small. However, if you plan to upload a lot of high definition pictures and/or videos to 000webhost, you’ll need to think of a different strategy. The other limitation is the 100GB data transfer per month. For a small time blog, this is not a concern at all. Once you begin to build followers and as your blog starts to gain momentum, then you might hit that limit one day. Basically, 000webhost will help you transfer 100GB of data per month. For example, if a blog post of yours takes about 2MB to load, then having 5 visitors land on that post will cost you about 10MB of data transfer. This isn’t exactly how it’s done but I hope you get the point.

So first, we’ll need to create an account with 000webhost. At the signup page, type in the domain you have registered with CO.CC. In my case, it will be Anotherwindowsblog.co.cc. After confirmation, you’ll receive an email from 000webhost detailing your account information. Within the emails, you’ll receive your password to log in to your 00webhost account along with the name servers needed for the next step. Our domain name registrar (CO.CC) at this point doesn’t actually know that we choose 000webhost as our webhost provider. Therefore, we need to manually tell them this information. We do this by entering 000webhost’s name servers into our CO.CC account.

Take a look at your email from 000webhost and you should easily spot the two name servers provided. Head back into your CO.CC account and on the left panel, click on the Name Server link. Simply copy and paste each name server provided by 000webhost into the field boxes and hit the Setup button to complete the task. As noted, it may take up to 48 hours for the information to populate across the Internet. At this point, you’ll just have to wait a bit. In many cases though, it takes way less than 48 hours. Check by typing in your domain name into your browser. Once you see the default site, you’re good to go!

Sign UpSign Up 2Name Server 1Name Servers 2Name Servers 3Default

Creating our Database

OK, so now it’s time to create our SQL database and user account within our webhost. This database is where I’m guessing your blog’s data will be stored. It’s a pretty complicated thing but trust me, you don’t have to understand every single detail. How we manage our webhost is through a feature called cPanel. You can think of it as just a bunch of icons that relates to different aspects of your account. cPanel is very popular as almost every webhost uses it. The main reason is due to user friendliness.

Once you are in the cPanel interface within your 000webhost account, select the icon that says MySQL. You’ll need to create a name for your database, a username to link to that database and of course, a password. You can pretty much name your database whatever you want so long as it doesn’t go over the character limits. Your username can be anything as well. Be absolutely sure that you do create a strong password to protect this account though. At this point, you’ll want to jot down these three piece of information in Notepad because we’ll need them soon enough. Besides copying the database name, user account and password, you’ll also want to copy your MySQL Host address URL as well.

MySQLAccountAccount Info

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Comments

  1. Nice and in depth tutorial, still on Blogger, but will give WordPress a try keeping this tutorial in mind. Thanks :)

    • No problem. WordPress is awesome simply because of the plugin support. I checked out your site and it’s a good a lot of good tips and tricks! I had no idea you can use Word 2007 to publish a post until I saw it on your site. Anyways, nothing beats being able to try something for free to see if you like it or not. If you’re not familiar with WordPress at all, I definitely would recommend you to try the tutorial I’ve written above. That way you’ll be prepared for the real thing.

      If you still want to stick with Blogger in the end, I would definitely recommend getting your own domain name at the very least. For $10 a year, I think it’s totally worth it. I’ve written how to do that with GoDaddy as the domain registrar here: http://bit.ly/oxTTBN.

  2. Clear and perfect guide for beginners. One can purchase a domain too as its not very costly 

    • You’re absolutely right. I’m going to list some paid alternatives just in case the user wants to move away from the free model at a later date.

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