In part 1 of this WordPress hosting series, I showed you the differences and benefits of four different solutions. In this second part I’ve prepared a screencast in which I show you how to set up a WordPress.com based site, and I install WordPress on a VPS (virtual private server).
As you can imagine, WordPress.com requires the least time. Most of it is pre-configured, and you are done in about two minutes. Once inside, you will notice you are fairly limited in modifying your theme. There is a select number of themes, and simple stuff like customizing your template requires a paid upgrade. So does a custom domain, and you have to pay to get rid of the ads. But, it’s fast and easy and if you want it to simply work without any hassle this is a good choice.
If you want a quick look at the end result, this is the site used in the screencast:
For the VPS how-to I used DreamHost, which offers a fairly extensive VPS service. And, there’s a free trial for a week for both a web VPS and a MySQL VPS. Setting up the VPS took a bit more time, partly because of the somewhat confusing DreamHost control panel. And since I used a live site, I also had to wait for the DNS to propagate.
But in the end I got it working in about 30 minutes. It could be faster, but I use my own DNS management service which requires a bit more setup and waiting (and wading through all the options in the control panel).
The site used in the screencast, HIPAA HQ, is a live site that I have in development. If you visit the link now you will see the real site (which you will see again in part 3 of this series, on a shared hosting provider).
But, I made a brief DNS switch while doing the tutorial, so you can actually see the DreamHost version “in action”. Enjoy!