Don’t put off what you can do today… Start a WordPress blog today!
Blogging is a great way to de-stress, communicate and even make some money. The possibilities are endless with a blog. And so, I have no doubt that many people want to start one.
The thing is, that some people are intimidated by the first step: how to start a WordPress blog.
If you’re not confident in your computer skills, you might think it’s too hard.
But let me get you in on the secret… it can be done by anyone.
And to make it easier for you, I have written everything you need to know, and all the steps you need to take to start a WordPress blog. All in this one post.
Step. By. Step.
BUT HEY, OH, WAIT A SECOND… DON’T SCROLL DOWN JUST YET.
PRO TIP: There are some steps and planning that need to be prepared before you start your blog. Make sure to read this blog post, to lay down the ground for your blog launch. Then head back here and start a WordPress blog today!
Start A WordPress Blog
You probably heard of blogging platforms which are free to use like Blogger. Well, let me tell you something:
Don’t do it!
And here’s why a self-hosted blog (WordPress.org) is better:
• You’ll have more freedom and security. The blog will be yours and yours alone.
• You’ll have more ways to monetize your blog. Free platforms limit your advertising options.
• More professional appearance. This attracts more people.
• You can easily add plugins to customize and improve your site.
Let’s start a WordPress blog now 😉
A piece of advice: Make sure you read the whole blog post before you start. I think this will make it easier for you to set up your blog because you will know all the steps beforehand.
Naming your blog
A blog name is the first thing your readers are going to see when they find your blog. Now, they say that first impressions don’t matter in life… but in blogging life, they sure do.
A blog’s name is its brand. And as so, it should send a message to its customers.
In my opinion, finding a good name for your blog is quite daunting (it was for me!). And so, I made a whole blog post dedicated to choosing your blog name. Make sure to read that post before you purchase your domain name!
Purchasing your domain name
There are several sites from where you can purchase your domain name.
Namecheap has very cheap rates (a good example of sending a message to the customers through the domain name).
But I personally bought my domain name from Hover.
Hover has very reasonable prices and, a very simple to use and friendly interface. Customer support is also very helpful and was crucial for setting up my blog (I was a total newbie and I didn’t have this blog post!).
So I can safely recommend Hover to you.
Another option is to buy your domain name from your website host. This is by far the easiest option, but more on that later.
PRO TIP: Before you purchase your domain name, make sure that social media usernames are available. Do a quick search on Namecheck to find out. And after you decide on a domain, make sure to create accounts on ALL social media platforms to reserve the name, even those you’re not going to use!
Now, let’s get to the good part.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to start a WordPress blog using Siteground.
Siteground is a perfect hosting service for a new blog: the rates are cheap, customer support is awesome and fast. And most importantly, I use it and I have had an absolutely great experience up till now.
Setting up a WordPress blog
The first thing you should do is to head to Siteground where you’ll see this landing page:
Click on ‘see plans’ to view the different hosting levels/options. And now you’ll see this:
The start-up plan is excellent for beginners and at €3.95/month, it’s incredibly worth it (PS. that rate applies when you purchase a whole year’s worth of hosting).
Click ‘get started’ and you’ll be transferred to this page:
Now, in this part, you can purchase your domain name from Siteground. Just enter your chosen domain name as shown above.
If you already have a domain name; click the ‘I already have a domain name’ option, and write your domain name in the box. If you choose to purchase a domain name from somewhere else, it will involve a few steps later on. But don’t worry, it’s all included in this post.
Click ‘proceed’, and you should end up here:
Enter all your details and scroll down.
In the Extra Services section, the domain registration option will be checked if you’re purchasing your domain from Siteground.
PRO TIP: I suggest that you purchase the Domain Privacy. If you don’t have this, your personal information will become public as the owner of the blog. With it, you’ll remain anonymous.
When you’re done with this section, you’ll have the host set up and you’ll be able to log in.
Once you log in, you’ll see your dashboard.
Steps to take if you purchased a domain from another site
If you purchased your domain name from another site, you will need to redirect the name servers to your hosting site. Basically, you need to connect the site name to the site host.
Now, to do this, you’ll need to log in to where you purchased your domain name from.
Every website will have a different procedure. Unfortunately, I can only walk you through how to do it with Hover.
First, log in to Hover and select the ‘domains’ tab as shown below:
Find the Nameservers option as shown below:
Now, keep that open and log in to Siteground.
You’ll see these menu tabs:
Select ‘my accounts’, and you’ll see this:
Get the name servers as shown above and add them to your Hover domain.
The name servers should look something like this:
For more detail from this part on, read this tutorial from Hover.
Please note that it may take up to 48 hours before your domain name and your host connect.
Setting up WordPress
At this point, you have your web address running, but now you need a platform to customize it.
So head back to Siteground > My Accounts > cPanel, and you’ll see this:
Click on the WordPress icon under auto-installers, to install.
Then Siteground should send you your log in details.
If you have any trouble with any of these steps, don’t hesitate to contact customer support!
Once you get the details, go to: http://www.ENTERYOURDOMAINHERE.COM/wp-admin
Your WordPress blog is online and ready to be customised!
And that is how to start a WordPress blog.
Getting to know WordPress
This is your WordPress dashboard:
From here you can write posts, add pages, reply to comments, change settings, add plugins etc.
On the left-hand side, you can see all the different section and plugins. Don’t be alarmed by all this stuff in the dashboard. You don’t have to know how to use it all in the beginning. You’ll learn more as time goes by.
Heck, I’m still finding out new things myself!
Pages to have
There are certain pages that every blog needs to have. You can have other pages too, but these are the must-haves.
• About me page
• Disclosure page
• Contact me page
• Opt-in Landing page
If you followed what I said in the beginning, and read the post about the things you should do before starting a blog, you have enough info to add another very important page; the resources page.
If you didn’t read it, check it out here.
Plugins to have
If you don’t know what plugins are, think of them as apps. Each plugin does something different; some of them make your site more user-friendly, other make it prettier and so on.
Plugins are awesome. They help you customize your site without knowing how to code. They are very easy-to-use and beginner friendly.
Don’t get too carried away! Adding too many plugins may slow down your site, and you DEFINITELY don’t want that!
Plugins you must install:
• Yoast SEO – Helps you make your post Google-friendly. It also gives you points on how to get better readability.
• Jetpack – Has own analytics. Shares your blog posts. Shows related posts. And a lot more.
• Askimet – Blocks spam.
• Google analytics – Connects your site to Google analytics without adding code.
• Sassy Social share – Social media sharing buttons.
• Updraft Plus – Backups for your site.
Wow, that was a long post huh.
At this point, you officially have a fully functional blog. Congrats!
It is time to start writing your first blog post… YAY.
If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t know what you should include in your blog post. If so, I have a great hack for you: The all-in-one blog post checklist. Read all about it here!
What do you think of this tutorial? Did you try it? Would you add something? Share with us in the comments!