Today you will learn how to set up a WordPress Site with Dreamhost. If you do not know what DreamHost is, it’s a domain and hosting service provider. The steps used to set up a website with it are the same as the ones used in other hosting platforms such as Bluehost, site ground, HostGator, hostinger, and the rest.
Before we begin, if you don’t have a hosting account on Dreamhost, you can get one with a discount here. Now let’s start. Before you continue, subscribe to our YouTube Channel here for more video tutorials on these topics.
What Is Dreamhost?
Dreamhost is a web hosting provider and domain name registrar based in Los Angeles. It is owned by New Dream Network, LLC, founded in 1996 by Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez, and Seige Well, undergraduate students at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.
If you are a newbie on WordPress or you are looking for an affordable web hosting platform, you should use Dreamhost. Below are some reasons why you should use Dreamhost;
- It’s compatible with Latest WordPress
- It’s a cheap and affordable web hosting company.
- It offers a free Domain name for new customers.
- You will get a free SSL Certificate with any of their hosting packages. (Even with the lowest monthly plan).
- They have a one-click website migration plugin. ( You can just move your existing websites to Dreamhost with one click of a button).
- They offer 24/7 live chat and supports.
- High top industry security and protection which make your hosted applications more secure and protected.
- Flexible hosting plans which you can start with a monthly plan.
Steps To Set Up A WordPress Site With Dreamhost
STEP 1: Researching a Domain Name
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Domain Name
- You should remember it will be the name of your website, for example, “softechreview.com” is my domain name for this website. Choose something that is meaningful and users can guess at the content of the website.
- It may be the name of your email address, so keeping it short is a good idea. Imagine if my domain URL was “everythingyouneedtoknowaboutdigitalmarketing.com”? People may mistakenly type in that domain when sending an email to me.
- Choose “.com” if possible. The main reason being that most people are used to typing .com and one of the most used domain extensions on the internet.
- Purchase other Top Level Domain (TLD’s) to protect your brand. For example, purchase the .com, .net, and .org if you have the budget to do so.
So you have your potential domain names and you are ready to go. Let’s get to the next step so that you can register a domain name and purchase website hosting together. If you already have a domain name that you purchased from a different domain registrar then we can move to the next step.
STEP 2: Register a Domain Name and Purchase Your Hosting
The first thing you’ll need to do is go to Dreamhost here and start the process of registering your domain name and web hosting account. Scroll down and you will see hosting plans.
The one I can recommend for you is website hosting. But you are free to select anyone you decide to choose. Select it and click on Learn More as you can see in the image below.
Once you click the button you will be directed to another page, which will show the benefits of hosting with Dreamhost. But let us look at the two plans. We have the Basic Starter and Shared Unlimited plans as shown in the image below. When you look at them, you can clearly see the differences between them.
One most important key feature between them is the number of websites you can host with each plan. With the basic starter plan, you can only host one website whiles with the shared unlimited plan, you can host unlimited websites.
So look between the features and justify yourself. But we recommend the Shared unlimited plan to choose in other to enjoy unlimited features.
Some Of The Main Take-Away:
- You will get a Free Domain Name as long as you host with DreamHost (approximately a $15 discount)
- Domain privacy, which means if someone looks up the owner’s information of your domain name it will have Dreamhost’s information. Not your personal information. This is very cool.
- You can purchase as many additional domain names as you want and host them with the same account.
Once you have clicked-through the benefits page you will then land on a registration page. Things can go pretty quickly here since there are only four parts to registering: Register a Domain Name, Create an Account, Purchase Hosting, and then complete by paying with your payment method.
Choose Your Domain
After creating an account, you are then directed to the Domain name page. Remember those 3-5 domain names you picked earlier? Well, now we get to see which ones are available.
You will see a page that looks like the image below, even if you already have one domain you have purchased someplace else, you can still get another domain on DreamHost. I recommend you do it. So in the image below you will select the one with Register a new domain and proceed.
In the box below the text that reads “Domain name” you will want to enter your domain name without the www (since it’s already there in the dark grey area).
Enter the most desired domain name that you want. After you type in the name click on the search button with arrow 4. You just need to have a little patience, because it takes a few seconds or so to determine if the domain name is available.
If it is, you’ll see a faint green highlight around the box and the pop-up message that reads something to the effect, “Congrats, the domain is available.” as shown with arrow 5. After that, head over to Arrow 6 and click on the ADD FOR $0.00 button.
Like I previously mentioned before, if you already own the domain name you want, just type it in and select the second radio button. Keep in mind you are foregoing your FREE domain name (there are some red flags I won’t mention here, but just go ahead and your free domain name).
Once you are sure everything is complete and you have read all the text on the page, click the continue button to move onto the next section.
Create an Account
This is pretty straight forward, you only need to do three things: enter your email address, your full name, and a password. Make sure you have complete access to this email address and that you don’t plan on getting rid of it anytime soon.
DreamHost will send all of your important information to this address, plus you will log in with these credentials to view your account.
Choose Your Hosting Plan
When you look at the image below, Arrow 1 is the icon you will have to click on in other to view the hosting plans. I recommend the 1– year plan as seen in the image with Arrow 2, but if you have the budget to go ahead and purchase the 3–year plan, you will be saving up to $12 dollars a year.
There are no many issues with DreamHost so I think you will be fine with either the 1 –a year or the 3–year plans. After you are done choosing your hosting plan, you will then head on to the payment part. Whether you will pay with PayPal or a credit card, it’s a choice you have to make yourself.
SET UP HOSTING ON DREAMHOST
At this point, we want to set up hosting on Dreamhost. Log onto the DreamHost website. Click Sign Up Now! Button: On the Create an Account Pagfillsll in your email and password and security questions.
The next page is the Configure a Domain Page. When you sign up for hosting you are given the opportunity to register a new domain for free.
If you already have a domain name you can point it to DreamHost or get an authentication info code to transfer your registration to DreamHost. I like you to keep everything as simple as possible so I keep all of my registrations and hosting with DreamHost. Fewer bills fewer things to remember.
You can also set this up later and build your site online using the DreamHosters subdomain. Learn how to set up a temporary website development space with DreamHost on their blog.
The next page will give you the option to purchase a one-year or two years of hosting. If you are new to the web just know that it usually takes a minimum of 6 months to start building any sort of traffic to your site.
So a one year plan makes a lot of sense. The Next Page, Review and Finalize, you will enter in your billing information and be given the opportunity to enter a coupon code if you have one.
After the sign up you may see an offer for private servers. If you are just starting out, you do not need this. You will only need to worry about this after your site has been up for a while and you have started to get a lot of traffic. So keep this offer.
Next is log into your DreamHost web panel. You will be taken to the Dashboard when you first log in. This has information about what is new with DreamHost, but we want to get started building our site! So let us get started. Look at the top left for the “Toolbox”. Select Manage Domains. If you registered a new domain when you signed up continue on with this tutorial.
If you are looking for a temporary place to build your site while you transfer your domain, or decide on a name. After you verify the domain you registered says “Fully Hosted”, head on to the first section “Domain Name” it gives you options on how you want your domain to show up. You are given The option of http://www.yourdomain.com, or to leave the way that it was entered by the user.
By default, it should be set to add www. This is the setting we usually use. The next important thing to look for is under “Web Option” you want to make sure that Page Speed Optimization is TURNED OFF. It is by default. This feature is great once your site is build and ready for the r the audience.
It caches your site and helps it to load faster for your viewers. However, when you are building your site it creates a lot of problems. This caching is slow to refresh so changes you make to your site can take a very long time to show up. While you are building your site, this can be very frustrating!
Also under “Web Options” Cloudflare. We also want to make sure that this is turned offCloudflarere is a caching, load balancing, with a dash of security service. The basic version comes with your DreamHost account.
It can be really helpful, but it’s not helpful when you are building your site, so make sure it is turned off. If you made any changes then click the “Change settings” button under “Google Analytics” otherwise let’s load WordPress!
Step 3: Log into DreamHost and Domain Setup
You have successfully completed payment and you are closer to launching a new website. It shouldn’t take DreamHost more time to verify your account and for the team to send you your login credentials.
You will probably receive an email stating your purchase has been processed. But the one we are looking for is the one that says your account has been approved. Once you get the account approval you are ready to login to DreamHost and create your WordPress site.
Login to DreamHost
You can go to www.dreamhost.com and then click the “Login Button,” or copy and paste https://panel.dreamhost.com/ to go directly to the login page. Once you get the other credentials that you used to create your account when you were initially signing up.
Once you are logged in, you will see DreamHost Dashboard that looks similar to the image below. You will want to click on the “Domains” link in the left sidebar.
Once you click the Domains link you will see the sidebar expand and a link for “Manage Domains” will appear (see the image below), you’ll want to click on it.
After clicking on the Manage Domains link you’ll see that the middle of the content area of the page refreshes. It will have the domain name you purchased under the Domain column.
The image below has the red text that reads “yourdomain.com,” this is where your domain will be. You’ll also see a “Web Hosting” column that has the text “DNS Only.” You’ll want to click “Add” to begin the setup of this domain (see the image below).
After you click “Add” you will be directed to a Fully Hosted page. This page is to set up your Domain details. Here are the sections to this page you will need to fill out:
- Domain to Host (if it is not already registered, put in your domain that you registered): Yourdomain.com
- Do you want the www in your URL? More than likely you’ll check the second radio button That begins with “Add WWW…” There may be some of you that prefer the third radio button that begins with “Remove WWW…” In either case, I recommend only those two options.
- Users, Files, and Paths: this is up to you, but if you plan to have multiple websites, I’d recommend that you “Create a New User (Recommended)” each time you create a website.
- I recommend you leave the “Web directory” and “Logs directory” alone, unless you know what you are doing.
- PHP Mode: I recommend you leave this part too alone.
- Automatically Upgrade PHP: more than likely you want to leave this checked.
- Extra Web Security? Sure, we could all use more security on our websites.
- Leave everything else unchecked unless you know what you are doing specifically.
- Click the button that reads “Fully host this domain.” This means that you’ll now have a fully hosted website. You’ll see a green “success message” appear on your screen if you’ve done everything correctly.
STEP 4: WordPress Setup and Login
After buying the hosting and the domain, the next step is to set up your website and get it up and running. What you have to do next is to install WordPress because it’s the CMS we are using to build our website.
There are two ways of installing WordPress;
Now, login to your DreamHost Web panel. On the homepage click on One-click installs”
After that, you will see concrete5, MediaWiki, WordPress, like options at the bottom of the page. Click on WordPress and a new popup box will be opened with Dreamhost’s one-click installs.
There will be two options there, custom installation and simple installation. Here we have to select custom installation. There will be an option, install to, select your domain on which you want to install, for example, softechreview.com.
Select automatically create a database and press install it for me now! Button. It will automatically install WordPress on your DreamHost account on the selected domain.
After some time you will receive an email on your registered email address stating that successfully installed WordPress on your account.
Now go to https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php page. You will see a WordPress setup screen where you have to enter site Title, your WP admin dashboard, password, and your email address. When you click on install WordPress, your WordPress site will be configured and setup.
- Site Title will appear by default in the header area (you can always change it from the WordPress dashboard)
- Default DreamHost Admin username will be an admin, but you should rename your default username from admin to your name. This is harder to change later, though it can be done, so we really recommend changing it now.
- Choose a very strong password. The username and password combination is the first-line defense against internet Bad guys, so both parts need to be strong.
- Enter your email address so WordPress can send a confirmation email containing your username and password to it.
- If you are just starting your first site, we recommend Unchecking the “Allow my site to appear in Search Engines…” checkbox. You can easily let search engines back in once your site is ready for prime time.
- Click “Install WordPress”
- You should see a success message at this point.
You will see a success message at this juncture, and you can always log in to your WordPress site from http://yoursitename.com/wp-admin
How to Log into Your WordPress Site
After you have installed WordPress, you will receive an email to the primary email address on your DreamHost account. This email lists further steps to take to complete the installation.
WheWordPressss is finally running on your site, you can log into https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin
The Deluxe install
The free Deluxe install features several important customizations to make it easy for beginners to get started, including free and opensource themes from Automatic, a standard selection of plugins, and a security enhancement.
Deluxe installs include the following selection of free open source themes from Automatic:
- dynamic illustrator
- sketch twenty fifteen (also present in regular install twenty seventeen (also present in regular install twenty sixteen (also present in regular installs)
DreamHost’One-Clickck install includes the following popular plugins:
- Akismet (also present in regular installs)
- Hello Dolly
- WP Super Cache (automatically enabled by default)
- WPForms Lite (automatically enabled by default)
Though these plugins are installed by default for Deluxe installations, you may need to activate them in your WordPress dashboard by going to ‘Plugins’ > ‘installed Plugins’.
Additionally, the One-Click Deluxe install adds protection against the execution of scripts within your uploads directory. If your site is compromised through the placing of malicious scripts in your uploads directory, the script is returned as a download when accessed.
This keeps the scripts from running and helps to prevent further damage. DreamHost will continue to add additional security enhancements as they become available.
If the One-Click installation does not complete within 20 minutes or fails with an error, please contact support. Additionally, if the installation completes but you do not receive the email with the instructions on how to access your new WordPress install, you can always check “Recent Messages” on the Contact Support page for an archived copy of that email.
Install link does not work
A 404 or “Site Not Found” error can appear on new WordPress setups when you attempt to view the site after changing it over from another hosting option (such as mirroring or redirection).
In these cases, the site is still resolving the old Mirror or Redirection A records, rather than the new “Fully Hosted” A records. Fortunately, this will resolve once DNS propagation completes, assuming that the site is using DreamHost’s nameservers. See the following article for further information on DNS propagation:
- DNS propagation overview
Step 5: Design Your Website
After installing WordPress and followed all the procedures, you will now have a new basic website. Now, this is just the default WordPress theme installed on your website. Now to start designing your website, we need to change this ugly theme and install our own theme.
Log In To Your Website
Now pay attention. We are going to log into our website back office. This is the link you will be using anytime you want to log into the back office of your website to design your site.
Go to https://yoursite.com/wp-admin [Replace ”yoursite” with your domain name]
Once you log in, this will be your WordPress Dashboard where you can start editing your site.
A theme in web development means the design and appearance of your website. The theme changes the appearance and design of your website. Is an important element to focus on when designing a website.
A good theme makes your website look nice to your visitors. In this tutorial, we are going to use the generatepress theme which is one of the fastest loading themes in the WordPress default themes.
Steps to install A theme.
- Hover your mouse to appearance
- Click on the theme from the drop-down menu.
- On the theme page, click on add new.
- On the search bar, search for generate press.
- Click on install and last click on activate.
Look at the picture below.
Set the Title And Tagline of your Website
Site titles briefly explain what your website is about in short words. And it tells the search engine what your site is about which helps in your site indexing on search engines.
Site Tagline is added at the end of the title across every page.
How to change the Title and Tagline
- Go to Settings
- Select General
- Fill in your title and tagline in the form below.
Basic Website Settings
Now we are going to do some little settings to beautify our website and make it strong.
Below are the following things we are going to set up.
- Static Page And Home Page
Permalinks are an important part of your website as both search engines and visitors use these URLs to index and visit your site.
A URL with a load of incomprehensible gibberish permalink will ruin your SEO and search engine indexing. An example of permalink is: https://www.softechreview.com/how-to-create-website
This is the best way to give the title of your blog post as far as permalink is a concern.
How To Set Your Permalink
- Go to Settings
- Select Permalink
- Now on the permalink page, select Post Name as shown in the picture below.
Profile Set Up
On this page, you can edit your Profile Information like name, email, etc. here.
Steps To set It Up
- Hover over users
- Select Your Profile
Static Page ( Home Page ) Set-Up
This is the place where you can specify which page should be your home page and your blog post page. For the Home page tab, select Home based on the name you gave it when you were creating the page. Select Blog on the Posts Page Part.
How to set it up
- Hover over setting
- Select Reading
How To Create A Page
Steps To Create A Page
- Click on Page
- Click on Add New
- Give A title to your Page
- Click On Publish
That is it. Repeat the process and create the pages I have mentioned above.
How To Create Menu
After creating a page, we need to have them visible on our website. That is why we are going to create a menu and group these pages on the menu to make them visible on our website. Without creating a menu your pages will not be visible on your website.
Steps To create Menu
- Hover over appearance
- Select Menu
- Click on manage location and select the location of your menu.
- Give a Name to your Menu
- Select your pages you want to be on the menu from the left side box.
- Arrange them in order
- Click on Save Menu
Great. Your menu is created. All your pages will now be visible on your website.
How To Install A Plugin
Another great element you need on your website is a Plugin. Is like the theme we discussed above.
What Is A Plugin?
A plugin is an element or application that give more functionality to your website. For example like if you want to sell on your website, you need to install woocommerce plugin which will give that functionality to be able to sell on your website.
Important Plugins You Need To Get Going.
- Yoast SEO Or Rank Math
- Google Analytics
- Contact Form 7
Steps To Install A Plugin
- Click On Plugin
- Click on Add New
- On the search bar, type in the name of the plugin
- Click on install
- Click on Activate
Once you click on activate, your plugin will be activated and it will start working right away.
How To Create A Blog Posts Category
Now we are set up. Our last step is to create our first post. But before that, we need to have a category for all of our posts so that we can align our blog post to their various categories.
Steps To Create A Blog Posts Category
- Hover over Post and click on Categories
- Give a name to your category ( like Education )
- Click on the Add New Category Button
Well done! That’s how you can create a blog post category.
How To Create Your First Blog Post.
We have created our post category. Now we are set to create our first blog post. Let’s follow the steps below on how to create our first blog post.
Steps To Create A Blog Post
- Click on Post from the dashboard
- Click on the Add New
- Give A Title to your Post ( example like ” How To Create A Website” )
- In the editor, you can start writing about the topic. You can see an example from the picture below
- After you finish writing, click on Publish.
Voila! You have published your first blog post. Now you can create more blog posts and publish. You have just finished creating your website and publish your first blog post.
FURTHER WORDPRESS READING AND HELP
First off, if you run into anything in particular and have a quick question you can email us. But here are some places you will be able to find help:
- https://wordpress.org/search/support – this is a good place to go ahead and register even if you do not need help immediately. The support forum has tons of answers to questions you will probably be looking to resolve. So, when you get a moment you should check it out.
- https://central.wordcamp.org/ – if you live in an area that puts on a WordCamp conference it is a great place to learn. You will be able to attend all types of training sessions and it is usually very cheap.
- http://wiki.dreamhost.com/MainPage and https://discussion.dreamhost.com/ – now that you are a DreamHoster get in the know and ask some questions on the forum boards or search for answers on Wiki they have.
- http://wordpress.meetup.com/ – another place where you can find local WordPress people that get together to teach and help each other.
Congratulations! You have now set up your WordPress site with Dreamhost. There is more to learn as you move along with the development of your new website with Dreamhost. Check the resources that I have shared above to help you with your development journey.
Also, I recommend you choose the automatic method when setting up the site with Dreamhost or any other Hosting platform. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel here for more video tutorials on these topics.