You will find hundreds of dishonest blogs who are affiliates of Bluehost, Hostgator, Namecheap (to name a few) who has guides with titles like How To Create Your WordPress Blog with ABC Hosting. They are selling you overpriced shared server with less control. With time, using cloud server, virtual server has been just easy and cheap. Here is how to create WordPress blog at low budget using cloud services for the users who are not used with SEO, SSH, Web Hosting, CDN, HTTPS. We have no affiliation with anyone.
How To Create WordPress Blog At Low Budget Using Cloud Services
First, you need a credit card and Paypal account.
Second you need a domain. Usually .com, .net, .org are preferred. Why dot COM is preferred that is a long discussed matter, you can read elsewhere.
thecustomizewindows.com is a long name but you can force to remember — The Customize Windows. With time, visitors remembers the name for good content, not the extension, dash or other things.
customize-windows.com is likely to wrongly make recall
customizewindows.com. As because we upgraded from a free blog (that is 7 years back), we needed the name “customize windows”. You should buy from the domain sellers (domain registers) who supports DNSSEC. We use Tucows via old Rackspace. Do not look at cost saving – who charges $12 per year for .com has additional things like domain privacy (probably you’ll not use), sometimes a basic DNS service and transfer lock. We have a list of free domains, they are good enough to test.
Third need is a DNS service. Host almost always provides a free DNS but that is not that good. Among free, you may use Hurricane Electric Free DNS. Among paid, you can use Rage4, Dyn etc with a pay as you go model of pricing. Rage4 DNS costs 2 Euro per month at basic plan (which is sufficient). You should choose a DNS service who provides DNSSEC, CAA record.
Forth is host. We have comparison of common cloud server providers like DigitalOcean, Linode, Rackspace etc. They are popular but not cheap. They are not bad too, but slightly costly. Among cheap options there is Aruba Cloud (we discussed before – Aruba Cloud costs 1 Euro plus tax per month for 1 GB RAM VMWare server). 1 GB RAM should be enough for a new website running WordPress. However, if you want more RAM at cheap rate, there is VPSDime (VPSDime costs $7 per month for 6GB RAM for OpenVZ instance). We will discuss the matter of installing and managing WordPress later on this guide.
Fifth is email service for domain named email with anti-spoofing features like DMARC, DKIM, SFP. You can use Zoho like service for one free domain named email with a free tier of transactional email service like SendGrid. We have a guide on transactional email services.
Most CDNs are paid and charge is higher. We talked about cheapest CDNs. This CDN option is fully optional. You can add later.
How I Will Install WordPress Blog On Server?
The hosts we talked about provide a blank server with an IP address. The way to access them is using SSH. Another way is using FTP client like FileZilla. First one is for server setup, second one is for ordinary file uploading or visually checking contents of a directory. Shared service providers offers a web hosting panel like cPanel. cPanel is paid and meaningless for own server – yes you can install cPanel on your server, there are free web hosting panels too. We discourage to use cPanel or free web hosting panel for one server, one site setup. SSH is difficult to a newbie but not a rocket science. You need to learn basics about Linux server setup. We normally use Apache, PHP, MySQL – that is LAMP for WordPress. We normally use CentOS or Ubuntu as server operating system. For CentOS there is bash script named CentMinMod for Nginx, PHP, MySQL – that is LEMP for WordPress. At this moment, it is practical to use Apache over Nginx. You’ll need SSL – Let’s Encrypt provides free SSL. You’ll need to activate HTTP/2 on Apache. You need guide on how to install WordPress on Ubuntu server with Apache. You’ll find lot of step by step guide on web to do that job via SSH. Obviously there are YouTube videos. Our website has highest possible guides for all optimisations.
You can hire someone to do the work on server. After installing WordPress, you need some plugins – there is official WordPress repository for free WordPress plugins. For our this guide, you need a plugin to integrate SendGrid and a plugin for contact us page. Visitors can contact you via that form (like we have). Commonly used other plugins are Header & Footer, Yoast’s WordPress SEO, W3 Total Cache, WP Statistics, Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. Do not install many plugins on live website to test. Create a subdomain for development, install WordPress on it and test.
Total Cost of Running WordPress Blog At Using Cloud Services
From our list, minimum :
1.2 Euro – Server from Aruba
0.0 Euro – DNS service from Hurricane electric
0.0 Euro – SMTP mail service by Zoho
0.0 Euro – Transactional mail service by Sendgrid
1.2 Euro per month
All others – like guides to WordPress, WordPress plugins are free. You can not include cost of domain per annum as it is an obvious common cost. What you are getting – a website with all possible highest technical features. The required knowledge or time to learn is huge but what we described is standard.
You can ask sysadmins showing our this guide – to make sure that we told you technically correct way. Never forget to take everyday backup. You can use some WordPress Plugin with DropBox like free cloud storage services.