WordPress is the backbone of countless affiliate sites, if not most of them. A couple of reasons for such a situation. First of all, it’s a free platform. Secondly, it’s fairly easy to use. And lastly, you can get thousands of plugins that will let you adjust your site to your personal requirements, and equal number of themes that will make your site stand out from the crowd.
That being said, like every piece of software, even WordPress can be a little intimidating. Especially for those affiliate marketers who are not that savvy in terms of technical aspects of building and launching new websites.
For those of you who prefer to avoid dealing with the installation, you can always get it installed for you for free when you sign up for hosting at Hostgator.
This can be discouraging, but luckily, WordPress is a lot easier to grasp than it seems. For instance, there’s the famous 5 minute install. The creators of WordPress brag that their platform can be set up from the ground up (starting with nothing and finishing with a completely functional website) in less than 5 minutes.
In this tutorial we’re going to explain how to get it done even if you don’t have any web development background whatsoever.
The starting point
First of all, if you visit the official guide on wordpress.org you must know that the instructions there are not entirely optimal. Of course, you can install WordPress following those exact steps, but there’s an even quicker way – the one we’re going to describe here.
Before you can do anything you have to get a domain and sign up for a hosting account. For domains you can go to GoDaddy. When it comes to hosting there are tons of possibilities. Two of the most reliable ones are: HostGator, and Bluehost.
A domain will cost you about $10 a year. With hosting accounts it all depends on the plan you choose. If you just need to host a single WordPress site then the cheapest plans are sufficient. This will cost you anything between $4 and $30 a month.
Setting up your domain and hosting is not the topic here, so contacting your hosting provider’s support is probably the best way of getting this done. These days, professional support teams can assist you with this, and get you set up in no time.
Before you can start the actual installation of WordPress you need to somehow get it to your hosting account. Both HostGator and Bluehost use a platform called cPanel that lets you administrate your hosting account yourself. This cPanel has a feature that enables you to download WordPress automatically and have it uploaded to the correct directory, so it’s ready to be installed. The support team at your hosting provider can do this for you as well.
If you want to do it manually you can go to wordpress.org, download the latest version of WordPress, extract the ZIP archive, connect to your hosting account via FTP and upload all the files to the proper locations. As you can see, this takes more time than using the 1-click install feature in cPanel.
Finally, there’s one more thing you have to do before you can go to your site and start the actual online installation process. In your cPanel you have a section called Databases, and in it there’s a MySQL Database Wizard. Use this wizard to create a new database (this is where everything you publish on your WordPress site is stored) and a new user account for that database. The wizard makes it fairly easy to do. Once you have your new database and user account make sure to jot down the access details somewhere (username, password, database host/address, database name). You’ll need this information in just a minute.
At this point you’re done with all the preliminaries. Just to summarize this part of the installation, here are all the things you need to do before starting the actual online installation of WordPress:
- Get a domain.
- Get a hosting account.
- Get a copy of WordPress and have it put into your hosting account.
- Create a new database and a new user account.
The online installation of WordPress
Start your web browser and go to your new domain name. This is what you are most likely to see:
The fact that there’s no wp-config.php file is nothing to be afraid of. Simply click the “Create a Configuration File” button an you’re going to be taken to the next step right away.
In this step, you only get some information on what you’ll need in order to go forward with the installation. You can see this on the image above. Essentially, you’ll need the things we told you to jot down a minute ago when you were setting up the database. These are: username, password, database host/address, database name. Simply press the “Let’s go!” button and proceed to the next step.
This is the point where you have to input your database details. Hint: the “Table Prefix” field can be left unaltered; “wp_” is fine. But all the other fields need to be filled with your database details. Once you’re done press “Submit.”
If everything goes well you should see the screen presented below. The only thing to do now is press the “Run the install” button.
This install takes only a while, so after just a couple of seconds you should be presented with yet another screen (image below).
Taking it from the top:
- Site Title. It’s the title of your site. It’s going to be displayed on the title bar (web browsers), in the header of your theme, and in many other places. It is an important factor for SEO, but it can be changed later from the admin panel, so you can postpone the site title decision to some other time.
- Username. This is the username of the admin account for your site. It’s highly NOT recommended to use “admin” here. This is the easiest username to guess, so you’re making the job easier for every hacker who wants to take over your site. Go with something less obvious.
- Password. No explanation needed. Only make sure that it’s long and uses many different characters (numbers, special characters, small and big letters, hyphens, etc.).
- Your E-mail. It’s the main email for your admin account. This email is going to be used to let you know about all the important things happening on your site (when you get a new comment, for example).
- Privacy. This is one of the most important elements here. If you want your affiliate site to appear in Google and other search engines then make sure that this checkbox is checked. This is essential! If the checkbox is not checked then your site won’t appear in Google.
This is the last step. Nothing more to do here except logging in to your site and taking care of setting various plugins, selecting a theme, and so on.
So essentially, the work is far from over. There are still many steps you need to take before you can fully enjoy your new affiliate site and consider it launched. However, it is the end of the 5 minute install.
This is the final message you’ll see:
Can it truly be done in 5 minutes? Probably not on the first go. But after you’ve launched 3 or 4 sites you can probably launch the next one in even 3 minutes or less.”
Feel free to let us know what you think about WordPress and its potential in terms of affiliate marketing and launching new sites. Also, don’t hesitate to ask if you’re experiencing any problems when going through this 5 minute install.