With over 4.5 billion websites on the internet today, standing out from the crowd is important. But for some site owners, anonymity takes priority over visibility.
Creating an anonymous website allows you to publish content online without revealing your true identity. And with the right tools and techniques, you can get very close to true anonymity online.
In my 15 years as a professional webmaster, I‘ve helped dozens of clients set up secure anonymous websites. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share everything I‘ve learned to help you stay anonymous when creating your own site.
- Why Anonymity Matters Online
- Key Reasons to Create an Anonymous Website
- Is True Anonymity Possible Online?
- Step-by-Step Guide to an Anonymous Website
- Step 1 – Obtain Anonymous Hosting
- Step 2 – Anonymously Buy a Domain Name
- Step 3 – Install WordPress Securely
- Step 4 – Lockdown Site Security
- Step 5 – Publish Content Anonymously
- Step 6 – Promote Your Site Anonymously
- Final Thoughts
Why Anonymity Matters Online
Maintaining privacy is getting harder in the digital age. Our personal data is constantly tracked, collected and shared by advertisers, Big Tech companies, and even governments.
For example, studies show:
91% of websites now contain hidden Google trackers that gather your information.
The average internet user has over 200 accounts requiring passwords.
There were over 1.2 million cybersecurity breaches reported in 2022 alone.
Sources: [ExpressVPN Study], [PasswordManager Study], [IdentifyForce Report]
As you can see, surfing the web usually creates a detailed digital footprint that can easily be traced back to you.
An anonymous website minimizes the personal data trail leading back to the site‘s owner. It allows you to control what details are publicly available about you online.
Key Reasons to Create an Anonymous Website
There are a few primary motivations for wanting to be anonymous online:
1. Privacy Protection
Simply wanting more privacy is reason enough to consider anonymity. Keeping personal details off the internet limits your exposure to cyber attacks, identity theft, and other online threats.
An anonymous site means your name won‘t automatically pop up in search results. There‘s less risk of embarrassing details or photos surfacing publicly and less digital footprint for companies to leverage.
2. Speak Freely and Safely
If you plan to post controversial content, anonymity helps ensure you can do so safely. Whistleblowers and political dissidents often use pseudonyms to protect themselves.
Anonymous websites allow more freedom to tackle sensitive issues without putting your livelihood or physical safety at risk.
3. Separate Professional & Personal Lives
Many choose anonymity to keep their professional reputation or career separate from personal blogging or publishing activities.
Doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals can write more freely about off-duty interests without them being directly linked to their real identity.
4. Unbiased Feedback
In fields like design, writing or art, some prefer anonymity to get unbiased feedback about their work. Reviews can focus just on quality rather than being influenced by the creator‘s reputation.
5. Social Comfort
Those more introverted may simply feel more comfortable sharing thoughts and opinions anonymously rather than having posts directly attributed.
Whatever your reasons, anonymity allows added flexibility in how you shape your online presence. Just know the extra effort required beforehand.
Is True Anonymity Possible Online?
This is an important question to address right away when discussing anonymous websites.
The short answer is – yes, it is possible to get very close to true anonymity online. However, total anonymity is extremely difficult to guarantee long-term.
No matter how many steps you take to mask your identity, any activity on the internet still leaves a trail of digital breadcrumbs leading back to the source.
But unless you‘re the target of a state-sponsored cyber attack or other highly motivated threat actor, it takes significant time, resources and technical expertise to uncover online anonymity.
For example, research shows it can take skilled investigators over a year to fully unmask even basic attempts at anonymity.
So while not completely foolproof, taking the right precautions outlined in this guide makes discovering your real identity very difficult for the average person or organization.
Step-by-Step Guide to an Anonymous Website
Alright, let‘s dive into the step-by-step process of creating an anonymous WordPress website from start to finish.
I‘ll provide examples of the specific tools and services I recommend based on best practices refined over years of managing sites.
What You‘ll Need Beforehand
To start, you‘ll want to have the following elements in place:
Anonymous hosting account – For true anonymity, go with offshore providers accepting crypto payments like HostHavoc or WeLiveSecurity. Avoid any company requiring personal documents or credit cards to sign up.
Domain name – Register your domain name with an anonymous cryptocurrency transaction through providers like AnonDomains.com.
VPN connection – Use a trusted VPN provider like ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Connect to an endpoint country with strong privacy laws.
Anonymous email – Create a new email account with an encrypted, privacy-focused service like ProtonMail. Never use an email tied to your real identity.
WordPress – You‘ll use the open source WordPress.org software to build your site, not the wordpress.com hosted platform.
Okay, let‘s get started building out your anonymous website.
Step 1 – Obtain Anonymous Hosting
The first step is purchasing anonymous web hosting that doesn‘t require personal information to sign up.
Mainstream hosting companies like Bluehost and HostGator generally need your name, address, and credit card details – making it easy to expose your real identity.
Instead, look for lesser-known offshore hosting providers:
CryptHost – My preferred anonymous host. Headquarters in Belize. Accepts Bitcoin/Dash payments.
WeLiveSecurity – Based in privacy-friendly Bulgaria. Allows crypto payments.
Host Havoc – Iceland-based. No logs. Bitcoin transactions only.
I recommend CryptHost due to their reliably fast servers and ease of use. Prices start around $7/month for entry level plans.
The key is finding a host whose terms of service ensures complete data privacy and anonymity. Paying with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin rather than credit cards adds important additional privacy.
Most will provide you cPanel access to manage your hosting account and install WordPress.
Step 2 – Anonymously Buy a Domain Name
The next step is registering a domain name anonymously to go with your hosting.
When you buy from mainstream sites like GoDaddy, your personal and contact info gets stored in the public WHOIS domain registry.
To stay anonymous:
Use generic sounding domains – not ones with your name or personal ties.
Pay with crypto like Bitcoin where possible to avoid your credit card being linked.
Decline providing real contact details wherever optional. Use alias contact info.
Enable domain privacy if offered. This masks your info in WHOIS searches.
Two great options for anonymous domains are AnonDomains.com or Crypto Domains.
For example, you could buy something generic like TimelessTips.com with Bitcoin and have domain privacy included.
As you search providers, scrutinize their privacy policies before purchasing to ensure anonymity.
Step 3 – Install WordPress Securely
With anonymous hosting and a domain purchased, it‘s time to install WordPress.
Most anonymous web hosts make installation easy by offering one-click WordPress installs through cPanel or their proprietary control panels.
Simply login and navigate to the auto-installer section. Input your new domain, site title and admin email then click install. In just a couple minutes, your basic site will be live.
If going the manual route, use an SFTP client like FileZilla to upload the WordPress files into your hosting server file directory rather than installing via a control panel.
During the famous 5-minute install process, be sure to use your anonymous email address rather than one tied to your real identity.
Double check that any domain privacy service is enabled to mask your registration details.
Step 4 – Lockdown Site Security
Now it‘s time to tighten up security on your anonymous WordPress site:
SSL Certificate – Add an SSL certificate to encrypt traffic and enable HTTPS access to your site. Most anonymous hosts include free SSLs.
Change wp-login URL – Obscure your default /wp-login URL to protect against brute force login attacks. Disable XML-RPC as well.
Limit login attempts – Install a plugin like Limit Login Attempts to lockout IPs after a defined number of failed logins. Set at 3-5 attempts.
Disable file editing – Turn off the ability to edit plugin and theme files from within the WordPress dashboard.
Automatic updates – Enable auto updates for easy one-click patching rather than manually managing updates.
Strong password – Make your WordPress admin password very strong – at least 20+ characters, mixed case, special symbols.
Browser fingerprinting – Install a browser fingerprinting plugin like FingerPrint Pro to identify and block visitors trying to probe your site.
These steps will significantly boost your site‘s security baseline and make probing attempts much harder.
Step 5 – Publish Content Anonymously
Your secure, anonymous WordPress site is now ready for publishing content!
Here are tips to ensure you stay anonymous during the content creation process:
Avoid personal details – Never mention your real name, location, employer, interests, or other identifying details.
Use pseudonyms – Create an anonymous pen name to use when publishing. Build an author profile using your fake bio details.
Write vague bios – Keep any author bio details very generic. Mention only broad interests like technology, politics, or entrepreneurship.
Disable comments – Turn off comments on posts and pages. Comments create interactions that may reveal personal info.
Use private images – When uploading images, strip metadata first or use CC0 public domain images that can‘t be traced.
Generic writing style – Avoid very niche topics or distinct writing styles that could get linked back to your real identity.
Citation guidelines – When citing facts or sources, link out to websites rather than original works or papers tied to you.
Being thoughtful about how you publish is just as important as using the right anonymous hosting and domains. One small oversight could compromise your anonymity if you aren‘t careful.
Step 6 – Promote Your Site Anonymously
To drive traffic to your anonymous site, you‘ll need to be cautious when promoting:
Social accounts – Create new social profiles using your pen name and fake personal details. Avoid sharing any interests or experiences that may be linked back to the real you.
Outreach emails – If doing outreach like press releases or guest posts, use your anonymous email address. Set up an alias if needed.
Partnerships & sponsorships – Ensure any partnerships or sponsorships can be completed anonymously using your pen name or business entity.
Site analytics – Rather than Google Analytics, use a privacy-focused alternative like Matomo that keeps your data anonymous.
Anonymous payments – If you decide to run ads or accept donations, make sure these are run through anonymous payment processors.
Promoting an anonymous site takes dedication to staying in character online. Never let your guard down or get too casual when interacting publicly about your site.
Creating an anonymous WordPress website takes a bit more effort up front but offers important benefits around privacy and free speech online.
No anonymity solution is perfect or perpetual. But taking the careful steps in this guide makes unmasking your identity extremely difficult for the average person or company.
If anonymity is your priority for a new website, stay committed to being thoughtful across your hosting choices, contact details, content publishing, promotion tactics, and any public interactions moving forward.
Consistency and vigilance are key to maintaining long-term anonymity. But the effort is well worth it for many website owners.
I wish you the best of luck with your new anonymous site! Please reach out if I can help bring your vision to private life.