Step 1 – Creating Your WordPress Site
In order to carve out your own internet real estate, you're going to need to do two things: reserve your site and find a place to store your site's files. These are respectively referred to as domain registration and hosting.
There are countless domain registration farms where you can go to quickly and easily reserve your own little web address, however, my goal here is to make building a web portfolio simple, so go with the simple domain registration choice: simply get your domain from whoever hosts your site.
There are three ways you can host your new Web Portfolio.
- Self Hosting is another way of saying BYOS--bring your own server. If you are a particularly savvy user, you may know how to set up your own server at home. However, that also means you have to maintain it. And if your server shuts down (because of hardware issues or power outage) your website disappears from the internet. It also means you get to install WordPress manually, so be prepared for some tinkering. And you will need to register your domain separately from your host (yourself) and ensure that they connect to each other. Make sure you are comfortable with and ready for that before diving into a self-hosting solution. There is certainly no lack of forums, how-tos, and tutorials to help you if you choose to undertake this task.
- Web Hosting Services are a plenty in today's internet, and most if not all will have simplescripts for WordPress. What this means, is that you pay to host your site on their server, you log in to their control panel, you follow a quick installation wizard--much like installing software on your computer, and then you're in action. This is a great way to get everything taken care of in one place without much hassle, while still having the flexibility to do more with your domain than just hosting your WordPress site. WordPress.org has a list of recommended web hosts if you are not quite sure where to start.
- WordPress.com offers a quick and easy way to set up and host your blog for free (with the option to purchase a domain name rather than using the wordpress.com domain). So why use web hosting when WordPress.com is free? You don't get anything but a WordPress site on WordPress.com. Web hosts give you access to a plethora of more tools: email accounts, exchange servers, multiple domain names, FTP access, and more. Additionally, WordPress.com comes with 3GB of storage. Likely this will be plenty for most web portfolios, but can add up if you plan to host a lot of graphics, animation, video, or audio on your site. If you are clever, much of this can be hosted elsewhere (like YouTube or Vimeo) and embedded into your pages so you can avoid the heavy space usage. If you are looking for a full web solution, WordPress.com is not your site. But, if you don't ever plan on doing more than putting up a web portfolio and keeping it current, this is a great, cheap way to go. Below, I've included a video for how to set up your very own WordPress blog at WordPress.com.