To start with the basics, WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS). It is based on open-source software, so it’s free. In addition most of the plugins (added software for added functionality) are free too.
You can get a free WordPress blog at WordPress.com but it will be on their domain, not yours. It’s one way to get started, but since you can get a dot info domain of your own for less than $2, it makes sense to have your very own website.
A WordPress hoster is usually called a website hosting company. True, some have backend software that is conducive to WordPress. We’ll cover that shortly. You can be confident that the hosting company’s that we allow to advertise on the left margins of this site are excellent WordPress hosters.
Of course, if you have your own domain, that means you need website hosting. That is, you need some big computer called a server to store your website’s files. Then, when someone types your domain name into the address bar or clicks on your URL in a search engine result, the company you registered your domain with will direct their browser to your hosting company’s server with your files on it.
You can do it all with one company but experience has shown it’s best to have your domain with one and your hosting with another. It’s one way we keep the businesses honest and competitive. Suppose your website host isn’t looking after you: if you have your domain name registered with another company you can just tell your domain registrar who your new website host is.
Best WordPress Hosters
Wordpress hosting is really the same as any other website hosting, though there are a few minumum requirements. Your host should have PHP 4.3 and MySQL 4.1.2. My SQL handles the databases that store all your WordPress data.
A Cpanel is also a real plus. Cpanel is a backend program that gives excellent user-functionality. It will usually come with Fantastico which will automate the installation of WordPress for you. Some also have software called Quickinstall which allows you to install WordPress with just one button. Specialist WordPress hosters will usually have Quickinstall, making it very easy for you to get started.
You can get a free WordPress blog at WordPress.com but it won’t have a domain with it. I recommend Hostgator as the best WordPress hoster. We have over 100 domains on one shared account and have to rave about their service. They have 24/7 live chat support who will solve your hosting problems quickly and knowledgeably. There is a link to their site in the left margin of this page if you want more information. You are also welcome to fill in the form below to talk to David at no charge about your website hosting needs, or about any other WordPress or website issue.