How To Install WordPress on SiteGround

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Feature image of how to install wordpress on siteground by GradSimple.

What is Web Hosting? 

Web hosting is a service that allows you to “rent” space on the world wide web. A web host houses your site on a server, which allows your site to be found online. 

Choosing the right web hosting provider is important, as it affects your site’s speed and performance.

A good web hosting service is not something you should penny pinch on because moving from one web hosting provider to another can get very messy (and technical). 

Choosing a Web hosting provider

While there are many web hosting providers you can choose from, the one I use and recommend is SiteGround. Why, you ask? I’ve found it to be the best option for non technical folks like myself who value high performance, security, and access to great, responsive customer support. 

Being non-technical, I value being able to get technical help fast whenever I need it. In my experience SiteGround gets back to you within 24 hours. Plus, it helps a lot that I’m able to find answers to most of my questions through their knowledge base. 

Regardless of what web hosting provider you pick, just make sure that it is reliable, is secure, and has good support. The last thing you want is to be left on read when your website breaks. 

How To Set Up Your WordPress Site on SiteGround

Installing WordPress On Your SiteGround Dashboard

Login to your SiteGround dashboard, and click on WEBSITES on the navigation menu. 

Note that since you just joined, your personal dashboard will be empty. Once you connect your website, it will show up here. 

Website tab of siteground by GradSimple

Click on NEW WEBSITE. This will take you to the Website Creation Wizard which will guide you through the steps of creating your new website. 

If you don’t have a domain yet, you will need to buy one first. If you already have one, you can skip this step. 

For those who aren’t familiar, a domain is the URL of your website name such as www.yourdomainname.com (or .net, .blog, etc).

You can buy your domain directly from SiteGround by clicking on New Domain

You can also buy a domain from other providers such as Namecheap.com, Name.com, or SquareSpace. Why you might want to do so is because different providers may charge differently for domain names. 

Screenshot of adding a new website on SiteGround by GradSimple.

If you’ve already bought a domain, you can select Existing Domain.

Then, a drop-down-box will appear where you need to input your domain name. Once done, press CONTINUE.

You’ll be given two options. One to Start New Website, and the other to Migrate Website. Select Start New Website

Once clicked, three options will appear. You’ll be asked to pick between installing a WordPress website, a WordPress website with WooCommerce, or Weebly. 

Select Installing a WordPress Website.

You will then be asked to insert a username and password which will be used for the Administration Area of your website (make sure you write this down somewhere). 

Once done, click Continue. Ignore the upsell notice and select FINISH.

SiteGround will take a couple of minutes to create an empty WordPress site for your domain name. 

How To Point Your Domain Name System (DNS) Servers to SiteGround

If you bought your domain name from SiteGround, please ignore this section

If you did not buy your domain name from SiteGround, you need to point your domain name to the Domain Name System (DNS) Servers of SiteGround. 

A DNS Server is the server that matches a website’s hostnames to the hosting provider’s IP address. 

For example, if I bought the domain name www.GradSimple.com from Namecheap.com (a domain provider), I would need to match it to the IP address of SiteGround’s servers. 

Complicated? Don’t worry, because you don’t really need to know how it works, and the process is very simple. 

As an example, I will show you how to do this through Namecheap.com. 

Login to Namecheap.com, find your domain name for the WordPress site you’re creating, and click on MANAGE.

Then, go down to NAMESERVERS, click on the dropdown menu, and select Custom DNS.

Screenshot of NameCheap Domain List dashboard by GradSimple.

Now, you will see two empty slots called Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2. This is where you’ll need to insert the SiteGround nameservers. 

To find SiteGround’s nameservers, simply go back to SiteGround, go to Websites, and click on SITE TOOLS.

Screenshot of website details on SiteGround by GradSimple.

Once you’re in, you can see SiteGround’s nameserver details. 

Screenshot of how to find SiteGround name servers by GradSimple.

Go back to Namecheap.com and copy and paste the exact name server names into Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2 in Namecheap.com. When complete, click on the correct sign on the right of the nameservers section. 

And that’s it! You will probably need to wait for a few hours until the DNS you added are pointed to the right address. 

When the changes to the DNS are complete and pointing correctly, your website will be available on the internet. So simply type your website’s URL address on a web browser such as Google Chrome and you should see your WordPress site. 

How To Set Up SSL On Your WordPress Site

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and its purpose is to keep an internet connection secure and to safeguard sensitive data being sent over the internet. 

You’ll need an SSL certificate in order for your website to be shown as secure to visitors. 

Why should you care? If you want to rank on Google, this is required. It’s considered to be an important SEO ranking factor and has an impact on the amount of traffic your site receives. 

Without it, your website’s domain URL will be accompanied by the label “Not secure.”

When your site has an SSL certificate installed, your website domain address changes from http:// to https://

How to Install An SSL Certificate on SiteGround

Login to your SiteGround dashboard, and click on Websites on the navigation menu. 

Then, go to the website you’re working on and click SITE TOOLS, which will take you to that website’s tools dashboard. 

Click on Security on the left hand menu, and click on SSL Manager

Screenshot of where to install SSL certificate on SiteGround by GradSimple.

In the first tab under INSTALL, your correct domain should already be shown. If not, click on the dropdown menu and select your domain. 

Under Select SSL, click on Let’s Encrypt Wildcard from the dropdown menu. Then, click on GET.

Note: If you’ve just updated your domain to point to SiteGround, the SSL certificate might not install right away due to DNS changes still taking place. This update can take up to 3 days to fully process. 

If this is your case, I recommend you wait for a few hours before trying again. In my experience, it typically takes no more than 3 hours to complete. 

Screenshot of SSL manager on SiteGround by GradSimple.

Once the SSL is installed, you will need to apply it to your site. To do so, go to Security, and under the dropdown menu, click on HTTPS Enforce. There, all you’ll need to do is turn on the HTTPS Enforce option for your domain. 

When switched on, it will turn blue, which means that your website now works through an encrypted connection and has a secure HTTPS connection. A SUCCESS message will also pop-up, letting you know that you’ve successfully enabled HTTPS Enforce for your domain. 

To check, go to your website on any browser such as Google Chrome, and click on the View Site Information button, located in between the refresh button and your URL. When you click in, you should see a padlock icon and it should say Connection is secure.

Screenshot of a secure domain url such as GradSimple.

Now that you’ve done this, you don’t have to worry about it anymore! If you ever see a notice from SiteGround that your SSL certificate has expired or isn’t working, you just need to go back to HTTPS Enforce, and switch it on again. 

How To Set Up CDN For Your WordPress Website

Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a service that speeds up your website. Although it’s not a requirement, if you plan to target an audience from different parts of the world, it’s highly recommended because it helps to speed up your site for users who are not based in the country of the server. 

The good news is setting up a CDN through SiteGround is a one time thing. You don’t need to worry about it once it’s done. 

How To Set Up CDN For Your WordPress Site

Login to your SiteGround dashboard, and click on WEBSITES on the navigation menu.

Then, go to the website you’re working on and click SITE TOOLS, which will take you to that website’s tools dashboard. 

Go to the left list of services and click on Speed, where a dropdown will appear. Click on CDN

You’ll be greeted with the option to activate a free CDN or a premium one. For now, the free version is more than enough to get you started. Click SELECT, then click ACTIVATE FREE.

Screenshot on how to setup CDN on SiteGround by GradSimple.

Once activated, a pop-up will appear, notifying you that you’ve successfully enabled CDN. You can ignore Manage CDN Settings. I recommend that you leave everything as is here. 

What’s Next?

That’s it for how to how to install WordPress on SiteGround. Next up, we’ll walkthrough how to setup your WordPress settings.

Psst! We’re cooking up something special. EVERYONE is saying it’s going to be an epic community for people who want to challenge the status quo, find meaning in their work, and find their ikigai. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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The human who runs the ship. Occasional writer, occasional web developer. Yes, this is the guy who hired a raccoon (if you know, you know).

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