I discovered a free website hosting offering and wanted to test whether it would support a WordPress install (which it does).
You can use your own domain name as well (e.g. yourname.com). I registered a new one for this example to demonstrate how someone could get up and running from scratch. In this example, the domain registration does cost however the website hosting is free. You could use any domain registrar out there as long as you can modify the nameservers on your domain per the example below.
I setup this website to be an example for my web design company so we can show it to our clients (www.MicrotekCorporation.com)
In this example I used EasyDNS.com for the domain registration.
I went with the very basic package they have. Even this would be considered expensive for our example where we are using a free hosting package.
Now that you have paid for your new domain in this example, you need to go to the domain management page so you can change the nameservers.
We need to change the default nameservers (easydns) to the following:
SETTING UP YOUR FREE WEB HOSTING
Open in your web browser:
Refresh the page or come back in a few minutes to have the status change from Building to Active.
You will see a lot of important information (especially for those of you who are technical).
They are quite generous with the disk space and bandwidth usage for this free package.
You can FTP to your website using the Server Name and Username above with the password you registered the account with. Need to FTP website files into public_html folder. Same info listed under View FTP Details menu option.
FTP is File Transfer Protocol and how you can transfer files to your new website if required.
They have a 1-Click installer which was broken when I tried it. Therefore I had to resort to a more technical approach to install WordPress on this free website hosting package.
If you are manually installing WordPress, you need to create a MySQL database.
MySQL database will be created in 1 minute. Use these details for your PHP scripts:
$mysql_host = “mysql##.000webhost.com”;
$mysql_database = “a8######_wp”;
$mysql_user = “a8######_wp”;
$mysql_password = “abc123”;
You will need the information above during your wordpress installation.
Now download the latest WordPress package from:
Unzip/Uncompress it into a directory
Now at this point you need an FTP client program.
FileZilla is a good free FTP program https://filezilla-project.org/download.php
** You need to delete the “default.php” file that is in your free website hosting directory (under public_html). Also you need to transfer ALL files and directories exactly as is into the public_html folder. These are the ones you uncompressed from the WordPress package you downloaded.
If you are comfortable with a unix command line, a very easy program is lftp.
cd wordpress (go into the directory you unzipped wordpress in)
lftp -u a8##### server##.000webhost.com
mirror –R .
“mirror –R .” is a great command which mirrors everything from your local computer folder to the FTP host and does so recursively (copies the contents and directory structure as well).
Go to your new website with a web browser now.
You should see the WordPress installation page.
Create a new config file.
Fill in all the fields regarding the MySQL database per the one you created above.
** Record this username/password! Super important!
This is how you will administrate your WordPress website.
Go to website with web browser. Should see:
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE DONE.
WordPress is now installed on your free website hosting package.
I realize some of you may have issues with the FTP portion if you are not technical and if the 1-click install is not working. You can engage the help of one of your friends if you are really stuck. Provide them with the FTP information (username, password, server name).
LET US CONFIGURE OUR NEW WORDPRESS WEBSITE
Now go to http://yourwebsite/wp-admin to access the WordPress administration of your new site
and click on Proceed.
Add new webpages:
I like to change the links in my website to be search engine friendly. I feel by Post name is the best one.
If you are using this as a website and not a blog, you can get rid of the side bar.
Here is how you add another page to be your About webpage. The order is also important to order your menu items (from left to right). Make 0 the home welcome page.
Continue to add 2 more pages and you can ensure they get displayed in the order you want.
Services (or Products) = Order 2
Contact = Order 3
I would delete the default Hello world! post which is part of WordPress installation.
Select “Hello world!” sample blog post, then Bulk Actions -> Move to Trash -> Apply
Fill in your website specific information under general settings:
Settings -> General
Now you decide whether your website will support blog posts or is just a “brochure” website. If you want to support blog posts and that is your main focus, then you will keep it the way it is and your Home page is actually your latest blog posts. Otherwise you will change it to be a static Page and the one you created above as “Home“.
Settings -> Reading -> Static Page -> Front page = Home -> Save Changes
If you decided you are just creating a brochure website, you will want to disable the “Leave a reply” feature on the Pages you created.
Do this for all the Pages you created (Home, About, Services, Contact):
Go to “All Pages” -> “Edit”
You need to show the hidden area “Discussion” by clicking on “Screen Options” in the top right
Then uncheck “Allow comments”. Do this for every Page in your website.
Don’t forget to click the Update button in the Publish section as you are done each page.
You can now visit your new website and you should see this:
Let’s add an image to the home page.
Go to Edit your Home page then click on the Add Media button.
Click on the “Media Library” option instead of Upload Files. You should see the image you uploaded. Then click on the image to select it.
You can decide how you want to display the image in your page before you click on the Insert into page button in the bottom right corner.
Now click on the Update button and you can view what your webpage looks like. You will get a feeling for pixel sizes. I chose 225×225 as a nice square size for my example.
If you want to apply some quick effects to your image or resize it, a great free and simple website is http://www.picresize.com
A NOTE ABOUT WORDPRESS THEMES
The next step would be to give your website some character and style it. There are many ready-made and excellent themes available.
There is one included in the WordPress default installation called Twenty Twelve. You can “Activate” to see what effect it has on your website.
You can go to “Install Themes” and search for new themes or you can view some free ones by going to www.wordpress.org/themes/
One popular theme (free) to try out is “Responsive”. Also Twenty Eleven by WordPress is quite good. If you go to Manage Themes, it should already be installed and you just need to Activate it.
One paid theme I really like is by Avada. You can purchase great themes are www.themeforest.net However it is a 9.6 MB upload and is too large for this free website hosting service. They appear to have an 8 MB limit. Be aware of this!
Here is the error you will get if the theme you are trying to upload is too large for this free website hosting package:
Also they have a 64 MB PHP memory limit on the free website hosting service. This means that large theme packages will not work. Ensure you stick with the simple free ones.
I have observed also that their service is not always available. Sometimes my free example website is not accessible. It has not been often, however I guess you get what you pay for. Haha.
If you are concerned about uptime, reliability, you don’t like the restrictions they have based on the theme sizes, or you really want a 1-click install for WordPress, then I would recommend you seriously consider going with either BlueHost or HostGator for your website hosting package.
I hope the above provides you a lot of helpful information to point you in the right direction if you would like to try setting up your own free website hosting package.
Playing with WordPress is a lot of fun. Check out the bonus material in my previous blog post where you can very easily make blog posts on your WordPress website using Microsoft Word. This assumes you are setting up your WordPress website for blogs and not as a brochure website (per the examples above). Setting up a brochure website (i.e. a company website with information only such as Welcome, About, Services, Products, Contact Us) is very easily done using the example above.