How to Setup a Domain and WordPress Blog Using Cpanel Hosting

on August 25, 2009 in Blogging
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Kathleen Roberts (a QFF reader) recently asked for tips on setting up an add-on domain name through Cpanel (a popular control panel used by hosting companies), setting up a WordPress installation on that domain, and then uploading and installing the Depeche WordPress theme I'm giving away free here to members (you have to be a member and be logged in to view that link's content -- if you're not a member yet go ahead and register; it's free!).

EDIT: I just remembered the Depeche WordPress theme can't be installed directly through the WordPress admin interface, so I removed that section of this post. Tomorrow, or soon, I'll do a separate post explaining that since it involves some special steps.

Today I'm going to walk you through the process using Kathleen's domain registrar (GoDaddy) and host (HostGator-- affiliate link) -- convenient because I just happen to use them both. I'm going to setup the Depeche theme on an unused domain of mine -- cWriter.com. Let's get right to it:

Setting Your Domain's DNS Settings

In order to have your domain pull your site files from your host, you need to add the DNS (domain name server) address from your hosting account (you should contact your host for these DNS settings if you didn't get them in a welcome email or something). To super-simplify, the DNS settings simply tell your domain registrar "hey, my site files are over here on this server!"

When you have the number, login to your registrar's account (GoDaddy shown below). Go to your domain management area (Domains > My Domains in GoDaddy) and click the domain name you want to use. You'll get a screen that looks like this. You're interested in the area I've circled.

GoDaddy Domain Administration

Click the "Manage" link in that Nameservers section. You'll get a pop-up that looks like this:

GoDaddy set nameservers

Click on the bottom radio button (round button) that says "I host my domains with another provider." Now enter the two nameservers your hosting company gave you in the format shown above (note: the 01 and 02 will vary in addition to the host name). Click "OK."

Not too hard so far, right? Let's move on.

Setting Up An Add-On Domain Using Cpanel

Kathleen uses HostGator, which uses Cpanel (personally I'll only use Cpanel hosts). Now that your nameservers are set to point to your host, it's time to tell the host about the domain name. This is being done as an add-on domain (meaning you already have another domain setup as the primary domain name on your hosting account).

First log into Cpanel. Your login URL will look like this if you're using HostGator: . You'll get a popup asking you to login. Once you're logged in, scroll down to the domains section. It looks something like this (might vary depending on the version of Cpanel you have installed):

domains

Just click on the icon for "Addon Domains." You'll see the following form on your screen:

addon domains

Type your domain name into the first field. The next two fields should automatically fill themselves in. (Note: The third field usually adds the TLD -- the ".com" part -- but I always remove it. Cpanel didn't used to do that, and I don't like them in my folder names. I do that for consistency's sake with my older add-on domains.) Choose a password and enter it twice. Click the "Add Domain" button.

Again, not too bad. You've now setup your domain name with your hosting account. Yay!

Installing WordPress With Fantastico (The "Easy" Way)

Installing WordPress manually isn't difficult at all. You can get full instructions for their 5-minute installation at WordPress.org. But since Kathleen has Fantastico through HostGator's hosting account, I'm going to show you how to do it that way, because it's even easier (you won't have to manually setup a database for example). Here's how to do it:

First go back to your Cpanel homepage (there's a little home icon at the top left of the page). Once there, scroll down until you see the Fantastico De Luxe icon. It's in the "Software / Services" group and is just a smiley face. Click it and look in the left column. Click the "Wordpress" link under the blogs heading. You'll get this form:

wordpress setup

In the first field, it's just a drop-down. Click it and find your new add-on domain (not the subdomain version, but the full regular domain name - YourSite.com).

If you want WordPress installed on your main domain (you want http://www.YourSite.com to go directly to your WordPress installation), leave this blank. In the majority of cases, you'll leave this blank, so let's do that for the example.

Choose your login information for the WordPress admin area (you don't have to use "admin" like I did here -- you can use your name or whatever you want). Choose a good password.

You can fill in an admin nickname if you want (it's blank on the image above, but I ended up entering "Jenn"). The nickname is what will show up on your posts as the author. You can change that later from the WordPress admin area after it's installed.

Then just enter your email address (where any admin emails will go for you), the site name and a slogan or tagline if you want to. The email address is required, but you can also change that later from the WordPress admin area.

Hit the "Install WordPress" button.

You'll go to the next screen that just tells you that it setup a database for your WordPress installation. If you have a bunch of databases on your hosting account, write that database name down so you can more easily find it later if you need to.

Click "Finish Installation.

Wheeeeeee! We have WordPress!

You can install and activate many themes easily by going to "Appearance" in the left column. Click it and then click "Add new themes" to search for some and install them.

You can't install the Depeche theme through your WordPress admin though, so tomorrow I'll put together another post specifically on how to set up a Depeche theme installation (since it requires some special steps anyway -- which you can find in the theme's Readme file if you don't want to wait).

Congratulations on getting your domain setup and your WordPress installation ready to go in a relatively quick and painless manner. :)

Thanks for sharing!
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6 Comments

  1. Kathleen Roberts August 26, 2009 Reply

    This is great! Thanks Jenn. I’ll bookmark this so I can refer to it as I work on my blog.

    You rock! :)

  2. Zabrina August 28, 2009 Reply

    Is this the free WordPress or the paid one? The two confuse me constantly. :(

  3. Sephi February 25, 2010 Reply

    Gah! What if I don’t have a that fantastico thing? I’m so confused : (

    • Jennifer Mattern February 25, 2010 Reply

      If you don’t have that option, then just go to WordPress.org and follow their “5-minute installation” instructions, like I mentioned in the post. ;)

  4. Jennifer Mattern August 28, 2009 Reply

    There is no paid version of WordPress. But this is for the self-hosted WordPress – WordPress.org. The other is a free blog that WordPress will host for you (but which I don’t recommend for anyone serious about setting up a professional blog or site using the WP platform). With this version you have to have a hosting account and domain name (those you’ll pay for). With the hosted version, there are more limits on you but you don’t need your own host or domain – your blog will be yourblog.wordpress.com instead.

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