My friend and co-worker Ashpak Shaikh asked me to put together a how-to on a personal website like mine, so I figured I’d write it up as a blog post, just in case anyone else wants to do something similar. It’s super simple, cheap, and easy to maintain.
1) Buy a domain name.
I’ve been using nameCheap.com for a few years now with no problems. I’ve been advised to avoid GoDaddy for numerous reasons, so I can’t really speak to the pros and cons of each service. I can say that NameCheap has everything I need at a cheap price. It’s just a domain name, don’t go crazy with it.
Also – if you find a domain name you like that’s open, snatch it up as soon as you can. People have written scripts that buy up domain names after they’ve been searched, then they sell the name for a profit. They’re assholes.
2) Find some hosting.
I use Amazon EC2, which was free for my first year, and has been averaging around $13-15 per month since. It gives you full terminal access for any imaginable kind of server – Ubuntu, Red Hat, CentOS, even Windows. It also scales automatically if more people visit the site, with the ability to limit the scaling to a dollar amount.
There are cheaper services, namely DigitalOcean. I haven’t used them. Again, whatever floats your boat is fine here.
3) Point your domain name toward your new host.
4) Set up your server. I use a LAMP setup.
5) Install WordPress.
This tutorial is fucking thorough. It actually covers a lot of what I’ve said here already.
6) Add plugins.
Plugins are a fun and useful part of WordPress. My favorites are Jetpack for monitoring site statistics and social media broadcasting, as well as SyntaxHighlighter for showing my pretty code. There are so many out there. You can even write your own!
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading.