In this post I share how to quickly setup your own professional website, by buying hosting, a domain name, and installing WordPress. Because I will be using Versio.nl as the hosting provider, this post is particularly relevant if you live in the Netherlands. However, their website is available in English as well, so don’t let your location stop you!
Disclaimer 1: This post only covers the “how to” steps – not why you should have your own professional website, or why you should pay money for it. Yes, this is not a “how to quickly setup your own website for free” post, but don’t worry, it is only around 15 euros per year. Also, this is not THE only way to setup a website, but this is the way I have done it for several websites in the past, including this one. So, I’m assuming you already decided already you want your own professional website, and you think the website I have is decent 😉
Disclaimer 2: If you register your website through this post, Versio will give me a discount on my next invoice. However, I’ve been a customer since 2010 and currently have seven domains there, so I definitely recommend them! Since they don’t pay me, but give me a discount, you would be helping me out in supporting this website 🙂
Step 1: Decide on a domain name
Since you are going for a professional website, the best bet is probably some-variation-of-your-name.com. You can check if the domain name you want is available on the front page of Versio. For the name, try your first name (like Felienne at felienne.com), or your whole name, if it is easy to remember (like Noeska at noeskasmit.com). If neither option is possible, you have to be a bit more creative. My last name is Cheplygina, and whenever I say it out loud, I add that “it starts with C-H” in an attempt to remove some confusion. So, that’s why you are now on veronikach.com.
Why .com, you ask, if you are not a company? Yes, .nl is cheaper, and .net is prettier, and you can even get lots of cool alternatives, like .science. But the people who will want to go to your website, will probably type “.com” anyway, so just help them out. You can always register additional domains later 🙂
Step 2: Buy domain name and hosting
Once you have decided on the domain name, add it to your shopping cart. Since I’m assuming this is your first own website, you will want hosting as well. Go to the “Webhosting” tab and select the “Starter” package, which costs less than 1 euro per month! This is the package I have, and which hosts several websites (so not only this one). Unless you will be hosting very large files, it should be sufficient for you as well.
Versio will offer you the option to anonymize yourself as the owner of the domain. I did not do this, since it is clear that the website is about myself. But, I do think this can lead to a bit of spam (this is not due to Versio, and would happen with other hosting providers as well). So I’d recommend either choosing the option, or using a different email address. For example, if you have a Gmail address, you can use firstname.lastname@example.org for your hosting account.
Now, go ahead and proceed with the checkout. After a few steps, you should be the owner of your very own website. Congratulations!
Step 3: Log into DirectAdmin
Go to your inbox, and find the email from Versio that has your DirectAdmin login details. DirectAdmin manages the hosting of your website, and comes with preinstalled software, that lets you install other types of software (like WordPress) with just a few clicks.
Click on the DirectAdmin login URL (this should be similar to https://111.22.333.333:2222/) and login with the username and password. You should now see the domain name you just registered. Click on it, and you should see something like this:
The feature we will use next is the App Installer on the bottom of the DirectAdmin page, which will let you install WordPress with a few clicks.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Select WordPress from the App Installer, and on the next page click “Install now”. You should now see a couple of settings, with some defaults filled in:
I recommend changing three settings in particular:
- The directory where your WordPress is installed – I prefer to leave this blank, so it’s installed in the top directory. In other words, when you go to veronikach.com, you get to the WordPress website straight away.
- The username “admin”. Do not use that username at all. Because everybody (including hackers) knows that “admin” might be a standard username, it becomes easier to gain access to your website. Of course, change the password too, to a password that you don’t use anywhere else.
- In Advanced settings (not in screenshot), enable the backup feature.
You can leave the other settings at their defaults and click “ïnstall”!
Step 5: Add some content!
Now your WordPress website should be ready! Login with the username/password you just created and explore the dashboard. Edit the pages/posts that are already created by default, and you have just setup your very own professional website!
Maybe your website is a bit basic now, but that can change very soon, as WordPress is easy to customize and there are a lot of themes and plugins available that you can install with a few clicks. I will share my favorite plugins in an upcoming post!