How to Start a Blog with WordPress
There are many reasons why people start online blogs in the first place, some just to document their lives, and others to offer the world with knowledgeable information and make a bit of money by doing so.
But how do you even start blogging, and more the point, how can you make money from it ?
Like anything in this world, to start by creating your own personal touch / online presence, you need to start by purchasing 2 main things.
- A domain name, and
- Web hosting
There are hundreds of different options available to choose from, but after being in the industry myself for over 20 years, I have found two of the best options available on the market today.
The two best web hosting companies to start blogging with are:
- Bluehost, and
I personally use SiteGround as they provide the easiest and best way to start a blog with WordPress in under 10 min. From a nerdy tech point of view, they also tick all boxes to offer a seamless WordPress experience. In the following steps, I will show you how to begin your blog using SiteGround.
So let’s look, step-by-step of how to start a blog with WordPress.
Purchase a domain and web hosting
First, we need to set up a SiteGround account. The link to their website can be found here – SiteGround Web Hosting.
There are 3 options to choose from on SiteGround. I use the GrowBig plan as I run multiple websites, but if it’s only one blog that you will run, then start with the StartUp plan.
Enter your domain name (or if you don’t have one, buy direct from SiteGround):
Next, add your details. One important factor to look at is towards the bottom of the sign up form, the data center. Choose the data center that is the closest to where you think most of your audience will be. If your blog is aimed for worldwide, I recommend choosing the Chicago, USA server.
Once you’ve entered all your details, you’re ready to go !!
You will receive an email from SiteGround with your details and address where to log into your account.
Setup your FREE SSL certificate
Once logged into your account you want to enter cPanel and begin the WordPress installation.
But first, you need to set up the FREE SSL certificate for your domain. This is a must for all websites wanting to rank on Google.
Go to cPanel, then down to Security, Let’s Encrypt.
Choose your domain, then choose Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL.
It may take up to 1 hour for the certificate to be available.
Install WordPress in less than 5 minutes
Now the fun begins. Go to cPanel Home, Autoinstallers, WordPress. This will take you to the Softaculous page.
- IMPORTANT. Select the small down arrow next to install. Here we can customize our WordPress installation.
- Select Latest Version (default)
- Select https://www. (IMPORTANT ! not http://www.)
- Choose your domain
- Name your site, and give a description
- DO NOT use ADMIN as your Username. Enter your first name, or a name you choose. Using ADMIN can cause hacking issues in the future with your WordPress blog.
- Choose a strong password and enter your email address.
- Leave all other options on default and press INSTALL at the bottom. The installation shouldn’t take more than 20-30 seconds.
You’re DONE !! You now have your own WordPress blog up and running. Hooray !
Select your Free WordPress Theme
Now it’s time to finish the setup, select a theme, and adjust some settings.
Go to https://www.your-domain-here.com/wp-admin and choose from a list of themes you’d like to start with.
For this example, I’m choosing the FREE “Personal Blog” theme.
The next step depends on which theme you’ve chosen, but important plugins to choose are:
- Contact Form, Jetpack, and
- Google Analytics and Optimize for SEO.
The settings for these plugins will be discussed in detail in a future article.
Clean up your WordPress Dashboard
To keep things nice and clean and less distracting, it’s best to change the following settings on your Dashboard.
- Go to the bottom of the page and click switch to default
- Select Screen Options at the top of the page
- Untick all options except At a Glace, Activity, and Quick Draft.
Start your blog
Before you begin blogging, you want to remove the sample blogs that were installed with your theme.
- Go to Posts and Select all posts, then Move to Trash
Now it’s time to start blogging…
Hey Novak, I have been a part-time blogger since 2009. I started with Google Blogspot (with GoDaddy) and eventually switch to WordPress to scale further. Now I am looking for a hosting provider and I have no idea which cloud infrastructures they both are using. I have read that Amazon has the highest performance benchmarks in the past years. And in fact, I have found Cloudways for managed AWS hosting: https://www.cloudways.com/en/wordpress-cloud-hosting.php. Should I go with that or not?
Hi Paul and thanks for your question.
I had a look at the link you sent and I found that, sure, cloudways have great plans, but the thing with SiteGround is that their servers are set up specifically to “get the most” out of WordPress.
Many web hosting companies do not have their servers configured 100% correctly for WordPress as people use servers for many different applications.
I used to use GoDaddy myself, with servers that weren’t configured for WordPress, but since changing over to SiteGround, my websites and blog sites are running at full throttle, and I haven’t looked back (site speed has increased dramatically, something Google is prioritizing these days).
SiteGround also offer WordPress Managed plans too, something to really look at if you don’t want to manage things yourself.
You can checkout their plans at http://go.novakday.com/SiteGround
Cheers Paul and let me know how you go.
Thanks Novak for your detailed response. I will consider your opinion. (y)