If you’re interested in a site/blog like mine, but prefer to do things yourself, I’ve outlined the steps below. Things can get a little technical, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Buy and Register

The first step is to secure the products and services you’ll need to build this out. This step may seem a little overwhelming, but it’ll make the rest of the process feel like a breeze if you get it out of the way.

  • Get a Domain at Hover
    • The first and most important step is to get a domain name. These vary in price, but are generally very cheap. For example, my domain name costs me $12/yr (or $1/mo).
  • Hosting at Flywheel
    • If you’re making a single site, go with the $13/mo package. Yes, you can find hosting for cheaper, but you can’t find quality managed hosting for cheaper. That’s an important distinction.
    • Go ahead and setup your first WordPress installation. They walk you through the process.
  • Theme at DIYthemes
    • Buy the Focus theme for $87/yr. That’s a bargain price that comes out to around $7/mo. It comes with the Thesis backbone for free.
  • Mass Email at Mailchimp
    • This will allow you to alert users who opt-in about new blog posts automatically.  I recommend starting with a free account.

Initial Setup

When you secured hosting above, you should’ve already setup a WordPress site. Flywheel would’ve provided you an url to access that website. For now, that’s how you’ll view it.

By default, Flywheel sets the site as password protected (privacy ON). If you’re working with a new domain name and new site, you may be fine turning privacy off for easy work.

Navigate to the aforementioned website (the Flywheel provided domain name). If you see your site, you’re well on your way!

Next, using the same address, go to:

[the flywheel provided address]/wp-admin

You should be presented with a login screen where you can enter the credentials you provided to Flywheel when you setup the installation. Once logged in, you’ll see the WordPress dashboard.

Go to Appearance → Themes. Install Thesis and activate it (you can download it along with the Focus skin from DIYthemes once you’ve purchased them).

Once Thesis is installed, you’ll see a new menu item on the left appropriately named Thesis. Click it. You’ll be prompted to enter your license number.

Next, install the Focus skin via the options on the Thesis page. You’ll also be prompted for a license number for Focus.

At this point, your hosting is setup. WordPress is working, your theme is installed, your skin is installed, and it should all be showing at the temporary URL Flywheel provided you.


Focus and Thesis will give you a beautiful site right out of the box, no modifications required. However, most people will want to customize the design and certain functional aspects. This is where your preferences/style/ability come in to play the most.

You can modify many things under the Thesis menu in WordPress. In fact, almost everything can be done that way. However, there are a few things that may require FTP access and some more in-depth modifications. This is NOT required for a normal setup, but may be required for certain advanced modifications or additions. This walkthrough will not go into that process.

Play with the settings, refresh your site, and find the colors, layout, etc that work for you.

Point the Domain Name

Lastly, you’ll need to setup your new domain name to work like you’d expect it to work.

Go to Flywheel and navigate to the settings of your site. Choose to add a domain name and enter the one you purchased. Flywheel will then provide you with details and instructions on what to do at Hover (or wherever you bought the domain) to get it working.

Once you follow the steps, wait about 15-30 minutes (sometimes longer), and your new should begin working. In the Flywheel settings, you can then enable security and tweak a couple of settings.


Obviously, this is a basic overview of the process. You’ll be required to fine tune your design and setup to your needs. If this seems like too much to handle, that’s fine too. That’s exactly the reason I offer my services. I can have it all setup for you in no time with no headaches for you.