WordPress is one of the best content management system to build your blog on.But do you know how to start your WordPress blog the right way? I know starting a blog can be a terrifying thought especially if you don’t know web designing or coding.
You are not alone. Having helped many bloggers to start their own blog,I have decided to come up with a comprehensive guide on how to start a WordPress blog even if you have not coded before.
This process is straight forward and very easy to follow.However if you need help, I will be glad to help you set up your blog.
What You Will Need To Start Your Blog
For you to start your professional blog you will need two important things. Note: If you want to build a free WordPress blog,this guide is not for you,just go to www.wordpress.com and sign up for free.
You will need:
1.A domain name (e.g www.freelancerhub.co.ke)
2.A web host (this is where your site will be hosted)
It is possible to start your WordPress blog in less than 15 minutes,here I will walk you through these simple process, step by step.
In this guide I will Cover:
- How to register a domain name
- Choosing the best web hosting
- Installing WordPress
- Changing your theme
- Writing your first blog post
Sounds simple right? Lets get started
Step 1: Domain Registration & Hosting
I had stated earlier that if you need a self-hosted WordPress blog this guide will be of no use.Why? Because www.wordpress.com is absolutely free to use.
Yes, you will not have to pay a penny but you might be asking your self why it is free or where is the catch? The catch is your domain name will have a wordpress extension in it e.g www.freelancerhub.wordpress.com not so professional right?
Now lets go to domain name registration.What is a domain name? A domain name is what people type to access your website or blog.In simple terms its your website’s address on the world wide web.For example think of www.forbes.com or www.google.com,these are domain names.
Web hosting is like your website’s house on the internet.Literally it is where your website lives.Every website must have a host for it to be live.
Depending on your domain extension e.g .com, .org, .net, or .co.ke the price may vary but typically a domain name goes for $3 / year and web hosting 9.88 / year (this figure differs depending on the hosting company).
My recommended wordpress hosting provider is Namecheap.As it name suggests they are very cheap and reliable as well.I have used them for two years now and I will recommend them anytime for beginners who are just starting out on blogging.
NOTE: If you sign up with Namecheap using the above referral link, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money).
Now lets go a head and purchase your domain + hosting via Namecheap.
First thing you need to do is Login / Sign Up to your Namecheap account to get started.
Go to domains and select registration,search the domain name you need to register and see if its available.For example I have searched for www.firstblogke.com and its available for purchase.
Next you will need to add your domain to the cart.Then view order and confirm order.I use PayPal to check out but you can select other payment options,then proceed to check out.
Now select a hosting plan of your choice. For beginners I recommend you choose the value plan under shared hosting plan.The value plan enables you to host up to 3 different websites under the same hosting, and it is $ 9.88/yr for the first year.
There after you will be paying $38.88/year which is still very cheap if you ask me.
Once completed, you will receive an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel). This is where you manage everything from support, emails, among other things. But most importantly, this is where you install WordPress.
Step 2: Installing WordPress
Login to your Cpanel and you will see dozens of small icons for different services.I prefer using Softaculous to install WordPress. Softaculous is one of the most used auto-installer script.It allows easy installation of web applications like WordPress in just a few clicks.Most hosting companies like Namecheap have softaculous in their control panel.
When you are in your cPanel account look for Softaculous icon or WordPress installer icon. You will find them under Auto Installers section.
Clicking on any of these icons will launch Softaculous auto-installer for WordPress. First you will see an overview of WordPress. You need to click on the Install tab to continue.
Softaculous will now ask you where you want to install WordPress. You need to choose http:// or http://www. as protocol.
After that, you need to choose the domain name where you want to install WordPress. Most users want to install WordPress in their domain’s root directory, like example.com. In that case, you need to make sure that the ‘In Directory’ field is blank.
Scroll down a little, and you will see the site settings section.
Under this section, first you need to provide a title and description for your WordPress site. Don’t worry you can easily change them from your WordPress admin area after installation.
Next, you need to choose an admin username, password, and email address. If you want, softaculous can automatically fill in the username and password fields for you. It will use a non-dictionary word for username and a strong password.
You can change them if you want so that they are easy to remember for you. However, I strongly urge you to always use a strong password and one which you can remember.
Make sure that you enter correct email address in the admin email field. This is where WordPress will send notifications and password reset link if you ever forgot your password.
Rest of the options on the screen are optional. You can now click on the install button to run the installer.
Softaculous will run the installer using the settings you provided. You will see a progress bar with installation status. It will take a couple of minutes, do not close the window until the progress bar reaches 100% otherwise this may affect your WordPress installation.
You will see a success message after the installation is finished. It will also show you a link to your website and another link to your WordPress admin area.
Step 3: Installing WordPress Theme
Installing a WordPress theme is easy.The first thing you need to do when you want to install a new WordPress theme is to login to your site admin page. Once there, go to Appearance -> Themes.
Here, you will see all the themes that are currently installed in your application. To add another one, simply click on the Install Themes tab.
On this page upload a theme of your choice from your local hard drive. Note: The theme should be in zipped format.
Now, click the Choose File button, select the archive of your theme from your local computer and press the Install Now button.
In few seconds(or in a few minutes depending on the speed of your internet), WordPress will upload and extract the theme archive for you. All you need to do next is to press the Activate link under the message for successful theme installation.
That’s it! You can now go to the front end of your site and see the newly activated theme.Next will be customizing the theme that you have just installed.
Step 4: Writing Your First Blog Post
Now you need to write your first blog post.It is like updating your Facebook status, that is simple right? Click on the Posts » Add New post in your WordPress dashboard. An editor area will open where you will write your post.Add pictures by clicking the Add Media button.Once you are done writing hit the publish button on the right, now your post is live and everyone can read it.
That is how you start a WordPress blog. In case you get confused in the process, I love helping my readers to get started with WordPress so get in touch.