Assignment 1: Set up your website

The following steps correspond to Lecture Part 1:

  • Go to Reclaim Hosting.
  • Click where it says “Sign Up”.
  • Click on “Personal”.
  • Register a domain or use a subdomain from Reclaim Hosting.
    • NOTE: registering a domain costs an additional $15. If you are interested in maintaining a personal website after this class, that might be the best option, but otherwise use a subdomain from Reclaim Hosting to save a little money.
    • Also note: this is the public address of your website, so you want to think about it and pick something that will be clear, easy to find and remember, and professional-sounding.
  • Click “Checkout” and pay for your new website via credit card or PayPal. The cost should be $30 for hosting (and another $15 if you registered a domain).
    • NOTE: Don’t use your CCSU email address when checking out. Reclaim Hosting will send you a confirmation email which you will need to respond to, and your CCSU email tends to put this confirmation email in your junk mail, so you should use gmail or a different email address.
    • ALSO NOTE: You will create a password for Reclaim Hosting when you go to check out Don’t forget your password!
  • Go to This is the site that manages web security for CCSU.
  • Enter your website’s URL. Click the “I’m not a robot” checkbox and click “Search”.
  • If it says that your website is low risk then you do not need to do anything here. It may say that it thinks your website is high or moderate risk, because the site is brand new. If so, click where it says “Request Change”, then click “Add Category”.
  • Select “Personal Sites and Blogs”.
  • Under comment, write, “This is a website for a class project”.
  • Enter your email, click the “I’m not a robot” checkbox, and click “Submit”. Doing this will enable you to access your website on campus computers.
  • Go to the email account that you used when you purchased your site and find the verification email from Reclaim Hosting. Follow the instructions on that email to verify your account. If you do not do this within a couple of weeks, then your site will be taken down.

The following steps correspond to Lecture Part 2:

  • Go to Reclaim Hosting.
  • Click on the upper right where it says “Client Area Login”.
  • Log in with your email and the password you created when you paid for the site. This takes you to your Client Area.
  • Click on “cPanel”.
  • Under where it says “Applications”, click on “WordPress”.
  • On the right, click where it says “+ install this application”.
  • Read through the installation information, but you shouldn’t have to change anything. Note: the installer will automatically generate log in information for your WordPress administrative page — create a username and password that you will remember and BE SURE TO SAVE IT. After you’ve done that, scroll to the bottom and click on “+ Install” at the bottom right.
  • Once WordPress is installed on your site, you can click on the link to your site’s administrative page, which is your site’s URL with “/wp-admin/” after it. This will take you to your WordPress dashboard.
  • When you install WordPress, it will have some dummy content, like a homepage that says “Hello World!” Delete that dummy content and set up your own pages.
  • Go to “Pages” and “Add New” to create a new page.
    • You need to create four pages: “Home”, “Blog”, “Gallery”, “Paper”
  • Go to “Appearance” –> “Theme” to select a theme for your site. NOTE: The customization options in the following steps may look different depending on what theme you select.
  • Go to “Settings” –> “Reading” and tell WordPress that your homepage should display a static page. Set your homepage to “Home” and your posts page to “Blog”.
  • Depending on your theme, your site may have automatically created a menu. If not, go to “Appearance” –> “Customize” –> “Menus” to create a menu that will allow visitors to navigate to the four pages you’ve created.
  • After you’ve done all that, continue to experiment with customizing the design and layout of the site. We’ll talk about this more next week as well.
  • In a new browser tab, go to Wikimedia Commons and search for an image that is related to the topic you might want to research. Download the image.
  • In your WordPress dashboard, click on “Media” and upload the image that you downloaded from Wikimedia Commons.
  • Click on “Pages” and click on your homepage, and make that image your featured image.
  • Write a short welcome message on your home page.

Once you’ve done all that, email me your website’s URL with the subject “DH100 website”.

To earn credit, your site must have four pages (Home, Blog, Gallery, Paper) and a menu listing those pages, and it must have a featured image and welcome message on the home page.

One more note: If you are interested in doing any special customized design, you can do that by installing Plugins on your WordPress dashboard. We’ll be talking more about that in the future, but don’t hesitate to experiment. If you have ideas for features you’d like your site to include, you’re encouraged to run ideas by me or Google “How to ___________ in WordPress” — you’re likely to encounter instructions for how to do all kinds of cool things. The site WPBeginner has a lot of useful guides for how to do things in WordPress.