Basic Requirements

Here's what you need to use one of our themes:

Note: You must be using the self-hosted version of WordPress, not This is because does not allow you to install your own themes.

Obtaining a Domain name Back to Top

The first step before installing WordPress is deciding on your domain name and registering it with a domain register.

A domain name is the unique Web address that you type in a Web browser’s address to visit that web site., and are all examples of domain names.

Your domain name is the key to your website. It represents your business brand and is important part of your online identity.

Be patient and take the time to choose well!

Tips for choosing a domain name:

  • Choose a domain name that reflects your business or site.
  • Make sure your domain name is unique – you don’t want people confusing your site with another site.
  • While a domain name might make sense to you it might not to others. Take the time to discuss with others to ensure it’s easy to remember and they can relate to why you choose the name.
  • Where possible make the domain name the same as your site name. A URL that is the same as the site name is much easier for people to remember and find easily.
  • Keep in mind people need to be able to remember and easily type your URL into their browser – where possible try to keep your domain name short but meaningful.
  • Avoid using hyphens and numbers since they make domain names harder to say and remember.
  • Avoid the plural form of a domain name because it is too easy for people to miss typing the ‘s’
  • There are many different extensions available like “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, “.info”, “.biz”. Originally “.com” was for commercial business sites, “.org” for organizations and “.net” for networks. However nowadays it can be hard to obtain “.com” names.
  • Make sure that you promote your business or website with the full domain name if you get a domain name with an extension other than “.com” because people often assume a “.com” extension
  • It is a good idea to register several similar domain names and redirect the alternatives to your domain name. For example, same name but different extensions such as, If your business ends up with high traffic you want to ensure you get benefit for this traffic when people misspell your URL.

Registering your domain name

Registering a domain can vary in cost from less than US$10 per year and upwards depending on who you register your domain with and what options you choose during the registration process.

Make sure you have Auto Renew set up on your domain account or immediately renew when your registration period ends because some people keep a close watch on expiring domain names and purchase them immediately when they become available.

There are two main options for registering your domain:

  • Use a domain register such as GoDaddy, or our favorite
  • Through your web hosting service — some web hosting providers include domain registration when you purchase your web hosting service with them (check their terms of service as some apply conditions that may prevent you moving your site to a new host if you are unhappy with their service)

Obtaining a Hosting Account Back to Top

Once you’ve registered your domain, you need to find a hosting provider.

The simplest option is to use a web hosting service as this is often more cost efficient and easier. For a beginner, setting up your own server can result in a lot of frustration. Many of the more well known hosts provide easy to use control panels that have features such as One-Click WordPress installation along with easy to use backup services, email management and support to help you along the way.

There are a wide range of web hosting services that provide server space charged at a monthly and/or annual fee.

Hosting services generally include these services with your account:

  • Disk space
  • Monthly bandwidth limits
  • Email accounts
  • FTP Access
  • MySQL database(s)

As a minimum requirement your host needs to have:

  • PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.0 or greater
  • Apache or nginx recommended

Compatible Web Hosts Back to Top

In general, if you can install and run WordPress on your webhost, our themes will work, the main exception being, since they do not allow you to install your own themes.

Here is a list of sites that we know that WILL work:

  • 1 and 1
  • BigFolio
  • BluDomain
  • BlueHost
  • Creative Motion Design (CMD) - they allow WordPress, but only
  • DreamHost
  • Everybody Smile
  • GoDaddy
  • HostGator - Our #1 Choice - use coupon code RAWFOLIO2012 for 25% off your first invoice!
  • HostMonster
  • IX Web Hosting
  • Media Temple
  • Site5
  • WestHost
  • PortfolioSitez
  • WPEngine (managed hosting)
  • Zippykid (managed hosting)
  • Flywheel (managed hosting)

Even though our themes work with most web-hosts, although there are a few exceptions of hosts that WILL NOT work:

  • SmugMug
  • Google web hosting
  • Photobiz
  • ShowIt
  • MobileMe
  • Yahoo
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • LiveBooks

There are possibly more exceptions that we are not aware of, if you are at all curious about your web host's ability to support the WordPress platform feel free to send us an email or email your web host.