How To Build & Launch A Self-Hosted WordPress Website

7 crucial factors to avoid frustration and guarantee a successful launch

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.


We all hear the stories about the amazing results and how easy it is to start a business online.

Truth is, it IS easy.

There is virtually zero barrier to entry, so anyone with a debit card can fire up a website and be off to untold riches on the interwebz!

The reality is, to do it right takes a little bit more work than that.

You see, there’s more to building and launching a successful WordPress website than simply going through a quick tutorial and spinning up a new instance of WordPress.

I’ve seen the frustration first hand.

Frustrated aspiring bloggers gaining zero traction.

Writers and creators feel like they’re just shouting out in to the void where no one is listening.

Even when they’ve got all the “tech” tools they need at their disposal, starting a site that will be successful takes more work than just 20 minutes.

I’ve created a new video where I cover 7 critical factors that can make the difference between a project that flops, and is abandoned in frustration and disappointment, and a site that’s successfully launched, meets the needs of its target audience, addresses their pain points and is an asset you can be proud of.

In this video I cover 7 critical factors that can make the difference between a successful site and frustration:

1 – Identity & branding
2 – Getting started with hosting & domain names
3 – Installing & Setting up WordPress
4 – Getting your site setup securely
5 – Creating your website content & copy
6 – Marketing, promoting, & and reporting
7 – Maintaining your new WordPress site

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Please leave a comment below and don’t forget to join my new, FREE Facebook group where you can find connections with other marketers, accountability, and help for your digital marketing work!

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How To Build & Launch A Successful WordPress Website


If you’re looking to get started with your own self hosted WordPress site online there are seven critical factors that you need to take into consideration. If you’re looking to get started with your own WordPress site whether it’s a blog, a company site, you’re a creator, like you’re an artist or a writer or something like that then you’re going to want to stick around because I’m going to go over those seven critical steps to creating your own self hosted WordPress site in this episode

Welcome back everybody. My name is Rob Orr and I am a web designer and developer who is focused on helping people do business better online. I help people solve their tech troubles when it comes to doing websites, funnels, hosting all those kinds of things.

Today, I want to take talk about the seven critical steps that are involved in creating your own self hosted WordPress site. Because when you get ready to start doing this, when you’re ready to pull the trigger and start your first or your next website online there are seven factors that go into every one of them and you got to nail them.

Identity & Branding

Number one right off the bat, as we’re getting started here and our critical steps is you need to make sure that you get your branding and identity down pat from the start. What this means is it doesn’t mean that you need to go spend a bunch of money with it professional designer.

It doesn’t mean that you need to go have all this custom logo work done. It definitely doesn’t mean that you need to go spend a bunch of money on hiring a web developer to build out your custom website if you’re just getting started. If you are just getting started and want to build and launch your website though, you need to get your branding and identity down.

You do need to have a logo. You need to figure out what it’s going to be. You need to figure out what colors there are that you want to be using on your new website and how you want those to be incorporated into what you’re doing. Not only that, but there’s a messaging aspect of this.

Your brand is a representative of who you are, what you stand for, and what you believe in. So just because something looks cool doesn’t mean that you need to incorporate that into your brand. You need to know who you are.

You need to know what your why is, why you’re doing the things that you’re doing and how you help and how you serve and who that audience is that you’re trying to help. Then start figuring out what these elements of your identity are going to look like.

Like what colors resonate with the kinds of things that you do, what colors and moods and feelings are evoked in the in the services or the products or the community that you’re trying to create or whatever it is that you’re trying to create.

You need to get the feel of all of that really needs to match up with what you are trying to do and create from a visual perspective. You can get a logo design done relatively inexpensively. That’s usually the way that I recommend starting. You can pick out your colors. There are lots of places that you can go to figure out how to make sure that you are getting your look and feel right.

Get set up with the right hosting & register your domain

Number two on our list is you got to get set up with your domain name and your website hosting. Those are just like the two basic things that you need to have especially if you’re going to do self-hosted WordPress. You need to figure out what your domain name needs to be.

You need to figure out who’s going to host your site. When it comes to your domain name though, you need to make sure that number one you can register what it is that you’re trying to register in terms of what you want to have for a domain name, but it also means that you are following some rules when it comes to picking out a domain name.

Number one, for instance, you don’t want to use hyphens in your domain name. In a worst case scenario, one hyphen, maybe okay? If there’s no other really good options that are out there, but you want to stay away from hyphens generally.

You want to stay away from numbers. You don’t want people to have to figure out, do I need to spell out nine steps to whatever? Do they need to use the numeral nine? Or do they need to use the letters and spell out the word nine?

You don’t want to confuse people like that. You end up meeting to have to register more domains and you ultimately want to register just to cover all the contingencies. Stay away from hyphens. Stay away from number. Stay away from stuff that is hard to pronounce.

One of the big things that I recommend when it comes to building a domain name is make sure that when you are communicating what your domain name is verbally that people don’t have to figure out what this spelling is. There’s nothing worse than having to tell somebody about what your website is.

They’ve got to figure out how to spell it and kitschy, witty kinds of names that are puns and stuff like that may be great from a branding perspective, but they’re not always really good ideas from a domain name selection. You want your domain name to be understandable.

You want it to be clear. You want it to be easily understood and you want it to look good on a business card ultimately. You got to get those things figured out. You got to get your domain name figured out. You got to find the right web host. Don’t just go to whoever is recommending signing up for a particular service.

The reason I say that is, is not that that services bad but you want to find a web host that is a high quality web host. There are web hosting services out there that are high quality, that are affordable that the influencers are not necessarily recommending as much because the influencers get paid a commission when you sign up through their affiliate link. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What you want to do when it comes to picking out your own host for your own website is to make sure that it is got a solid reputation. That it’s reliable. That it’s affordable and then it’s going to scale with you because ultimately, if you’re going into business online, you’re going to want to make sure that your website is growing and your business is growing.

In order to do that, you want to be able to grow with your web hosting company. Make sure that you are working with a company that can grow with you as your business grows there.

Get WordPress installed correctly

Number three on our list is pretty straightforward. You need to install WordPress. There’s a couple different ways to do this. You can do it manually.

There is a guide on the WordPress site that has what they call the famous five minute install where you can upload up everything via FTP and do things that way or you can depending on who you sign up with your web host, sometimes those services will have a service where they’ll do the installation for you make sure everything is functioning, make sure that you can log into the back end of the website, make sure that you can create pages and posts and all those kinds of things.

Get WordPress installed whether you do it manually via FTP or whether you do it through your web host.

Get your WorPress plugins & security set up

Number four is you need to make sure you know what plugins you need to get started. Among those plugins, you need to make sure that you’re installing— it should be a security plugin. I use Wordfence and a lot of the projects that I do but there are other security plugins that are out there.

One of the great things about WordPress is that it powers literally millions and millions of websites across the internet. It’s unbelievable how many websites are running on WordPress, but with that great responsibility of powering all these websites comes the great responsibility of making sure that it stays secure. WordPress tends to be a big target for people who are trying to hack into websites.

There’s no shortage of attempts to hack into all kinds of different things. WordPress websites seem to have a target on them. You want to make sure that you are doing your due diligence and making sure that you know what it is that you need to do to keep your site’s secure. Because you don’t want to be calling me to come in and clean up your site after the fact, after it’s been hacked.

I’ve done that many times or many clients because they didn’t keep up with their stuff. They didn’t keep their plugins up today. They didn’t keep WordPress core up today. They didn’t keep their themes today whatever the case may be and then it’s a mess going in and trying to clean out all that stuff.

It can be a real pain. Make sure that when you’re getting started to build and launch your new website that when you are picking out your initial plugins that you want to start working with that among them you’ve got a security plugin because it’s so crucial that you’ve got security in place for your new WordPress website. One more thing also on security is there’s a service that I like to use is called Cloudflare.

It stands as a proxy between web traffic in your server and it manages your DNS. One of the things that they do is they provide an extra layer of security for your website. I recommend using that because not only does it provide that extra layer of security for your website, but it also serves as what’s called a content delivery network.

A content delivery network just basically speeds up your site and makes your site available through a variety of hosts and servers across the world so that people on the other side of the world who may be looking at your content are not stuck and slowed down. You want to make sure that your site is fast for everybody who wants to use it.

Get your website content & copy done right

Number five on our list of getting started with your own site and building it and launching it in the right way is making sure that you’ve got your website content and copy down. One of the things that I do as a web designer developer is when we start bigger projects, we create what’s called a sitemap.

We are creating a structure of how we want information to flow throughout the website. That means that we need to know what pages we need to have and then what content needs to go on those pages and then how those pages linked together to each other or do they linked together.

Do they need to be connected? Do they not need to be connected? One of the great things about doing that is when it comes time to creating and building out and rolling out the content for your website it becomes a much easier task when you know what the layout is going to look like from an information architecture perspective.

You can go through it and speed up the process quite a bit by making sure that you’ve got a good plan for your content. Not only so do you need to have the site architecture piece figured out knowing what pages that you’re going to need on your site, but you also need to know what you want to say on those pages.

One of the things that I like to make sure that I remind people about regularly when it comes to building out their websites is primarily your website is not for you. Your website is something that you are presenting to the world that represents you that is telling your story and communicating your message, but it is there for the consumption and the reading by the visitors that are coming to your website.

You’ll want to make sure that when you’re writing, you’re answering the question that everybody is going to be asking when they land on your website which is, what’s in it for me? Who are you? How can you help me?

Those are going to be the two questions that people ask as soon as they land on your website regardless of what page they come in through. Who are you? How can you help me? Once I get past the “who” are you, they’re going to want to know, and do I like this person? Can I trust this person? Those are huge factors.

You can do a lot of really good work when you build your content in the right way by making sure that you are trying to speak the language of your customer and help them to understand the questions that they have, make them understand that you understand what their pain points are.

Make them understand that you understand what their struggles are. That you understand where their problems are. Then you talk about how you solve those problems. You talk about how you ended up solving the problem yourself when you first got into this business or what if you’re in business or what your story is to why you started creating content about those kinds of things.

Make sure that you are talking about the story from the person’s perspective who’s going to be reading the content so they understand and can relate to you because you want to build that know like and trust factor. That is a huge, huge factor when it comes to creating content for your website.

Get set up to promote, market, and share your new WordPress website

Number six, when it comes to building and launching your new WordPress site is you need to have a system in place for marketing and promoting and sharing and having reporting information about your website. What I mean by that is you’ve got a way to build your list on your website that you’re offering your visitors something that is valuable to them that they’ll be able to take a hold of and getting onto your list and then you can email them and work on nurturing a relationship with them through your list.

That is a huge factor and you want to start that from square one. Make sure that you have a way to deliver value in exchange for an email address when you’re starting your new website. That makes sense. That you want to take the next step in the relationship.

They’ve come to your website so take that next step and make sure that you’ve got an opportunity for them to download a lead magnet in exchange for their email address. Then you also need to make sure that you have a sharing plan and that’s a plan where you’re sharing your content on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and Pinterest and all the places where your audience is going to be.

Remember back at the beginning we talked about in the identity and branding item, we were talking about how we need to make sure that we know who our target audiences is. This is the other side of that coin where you need to make sure that you are where they are.

You’re participating in conversations with them. You’re promoting your content in those places, not in a spammy way that you’re not just going and posting links. Nobody wants that. That doesn’t help anybody.

It’s not going to get you where you want to go, but you want to be there and you want to be delivering value. You want to be communicating. You want to be solving their problems in these different social media platforms whether it’s LinkedIn or Facebook, or Instagram, or Pinterest or any of these places.

You need to be present in the places that your target audience is going to be. Hopefully that makes sense. Then you also want to make sure as part of this plan is your feedback loop. How are you getting feedback?

Is your content getting shared on these various platforms by your target audience? Is your engagement going up? Is your traffic increasing to your way website? Is your bounce rate for your website going down?

Meaning that people are engaging with your content more deeply. These are the kinds of things that you’re going to want to be looking at when it comes to your website. You’re going to want to make sure that you’re watching your traffic and you’re watching these subscribers to your email list and that you are ultimately working on building valuable information.

Then you’re listening to your feedback loop through your various analytics and stuff like that so you know what’s working and you know what’s not. You know where to share. You know how to share. You know the language that these people are speaking. You’ll be able to see all of this in your analytics that you’re using on your website.

Make a plan for ongoing maintenance and security for your new website

Finally, number seven on our list of building out and launching your new WordPress site is a plan for the future. This is something that I don’t think enough people take seriously. What I mean by that is hopefully, you will have the knowledge, skills and abilities to keep your site up to date.

You will be able to update the content, that you’ll be able to update the websites core software. That you’ll be able to update your theme or your plugins, whatever the case may be. That is so crucial because remember when I was talking about security a few minutes ago.

Security is such a huge deal. It’s not just WordPress. It can be any content management system that’s out there. You want to make sure that you’ve got a plan for making sure that you are maintaining your core software regardless of the platform that you’re using.

But if you’re using WordPress then you have the ability to go in and make sure there’s an indicator in your dashboard that’s going to show you when you need to go and update plugins. There’ll be alert on your dashboard that talks about when there’s a new version of WordPress available for you to add to your site.

You need to make sure that you’ve got a plan for that and then not only just from that pure service concept. You definitely need to have that in place, but then you need to be able to be capable of making sure that you know how to work with posts.

That you know how to work with pages. That you know how to edit those things. That you need to know how to work with your theme and work with widgets and work with images in your media library. That you have a plan in place for being capable of doing those things yourself or farming that out to somebody who can do it for you.

Those are the seven crucial steps that are absolutely key for building and launching a new WordPress site. What I want to tell you about now is a book that I have created that will help you do all of these things. You can get it completely for free.

The Ultimate WordPress Blueprint

All you need to do is go to and you can enter your email address. I will send you a copy of the book. It’s as easy as that. It will come as a digital PDF. You can download it.

It’s almost 400 pages and it covers absolutely everything that you need to know for building your self-hosted WordPress site from start to finish, from beginning to end, from top to bottom. We talked about plugins. We talked about getting set up with Cloudflare.

We talked about email marketing. We’ve talked about everything that we’ve talked about in this video so that you can build your own self hosted WordPress site. Then ultimately, you will have the ability to maintain your site like we talked about at the end there that you will have the knowledge, skills and abilities to do the things that you want to do that you can maintain your site.

You don’t have to rely on anybody else. It’s yours. You can take care of it. You can focus on shipping your art and doing your thing because that’s really what I want for you to be able to do because like I said, my goal is to help as many people as possible to do business better online.

Part of that is trying to equip folks with these tools. This is what the book looks like. You can download— like I said you can download the digital version at address.

Then you’ll also have the opportunity to get a hard copy of the book there as well. I hope this helps. I would love to have you subscribe to my channel.

Hit the subscribe button below. Hit the bell to make sure that you get an alert whenever I post a new video. There’s new videos covering all kinds of things that are related to web design and development and sales funnels and digital marketing and all that stuff is coming on this channel.

I’m really excited about this new channel and doing the things that we’re doing here. I would love to have you be a part of that. Give me a thumbs up.

Subscribe and hit the bell. Make sure you get an alert to know when the new videos are coming. Then don’t forget to go get a copy of the WordPress blueprint book at

That’s all I’ve got for today. Until next time, we’ll talk soon.

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