WordPress Installation Tutorial Step 3: Decide Where To Install Your WordPress SiteStep 3 – Decide Where To Install WordPress

Once you have registered your domain name and set up your webhosting, the next step is to decide where to install your WordPress site or blog on your domain.

The tutorial below will help you make the right strategic decision for your new WordPress installation.

Self-Hosted vs Hosted WordPress Site

In terms of setting up a WordPress site or blog, WordPress offers both a “self-hosted” and a “hosted” option.

The “self-hosted” option means you can download the full-featured WordPress application for free from WordPress.org and host a WordPress site or blog under your own domain name.

In the “hosted option”, WordPress will host your blog for free at WordPress.com. There are, however, some limitations on what you can and can’t do with your blog when it is hosted for free at WordPress.com (see the illustration below for a comparison of both options).

One way of understanding the difference between choosing the hosted vs self-hosted option, is to think of it as the difference between having the freedom of owning your own computer (WordPress.org self-hosted option) and the limitations of using a computer in a controlled environment like a public library (WordPress.com hosted option).

The illustration below shows a summary of both WordPress options compared …

WordPress Options

As you can see from the above diagram, if you are planning to build a professional business presence online using WordPress, then the benefits of choosing the “self-hosted” option (WordPress.org) far outweigh those of hosting a free blog at WordPress.com. You get to have full control over your web presence and avoid the limitations of the hosted option. Keep in mind that the free hosting limitations can be overcome by upgrading to a paid option, but then why not just start off with a WordPress site hosted on your domain and avoid the hassles of upgrading later?

Just to be clear, then, if your plan is to use WordPress to grow your business online, then you are better off choosing the self-hosted option.

The next step, then, is to decide exactly where to install the WordPress application in your domain. Use the  chart below to help you decide …

WordPress Blog Installation Decision


a) To use WordPress as your main website (e.g. www.mydomainname.com), install it in the “root” folder of your domain.

b) If you already have an existing website, then you will want to install WordPress in a “subfolder” of your domain (also called a “subdirectory”), e.g. www.mydomainname.com/blog (you can name your subfolder anything you want)

Note: Typically most WordPress sites are installed either in the domain’s root directory, or a subdirectory of the domain. If, however, for some reason you have been advised to install WordPress in a subdomain (a subdomain looks like this: http://subdomain.domain.com) and want to know more about the difference between a subdomain and a subdirectory, then refer to this tutorial: How to create a subdomain or add-on domain.

c) If you have an existing website you don’t want to delete or replace with a WordPress site, then the other option you have is to set up your WordPress site or blog on an entirely different domain, so that both your existing website and your WordPress site/blog show up when people enter their respective domains into their browser, e.g.:

www.mydomainname.com – goes to your website

www.myotherdomain.com – goes to your WordPress site

Once you decide where to install your WordPress site on your domain, the next step is to create a Google Account.

Click one of the links below to continue …

Step 4 – Create A Google Account

I Already Have A Google Account

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