Know about how to start a blog in easy steps guide for beginners using WordPress, the best blogging platform trusted by both businesses & individuals.
Are you thinking about starting a blog for your business or individual? But don’t know how to start? No worries, we are here to help you out about starting a blog in easy steps. Do you want to start a blog in the right way? If yes, then it’s for you.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to start a blog without any technical knowledge. We’ll show you what platform to use for blogging, how to build your blog, and then how to set it up so you can start writing your first post!
What do you need to start a blog?
There are three things you need to create a WordPress blog:
- Choose a platform
- A domain name (this will be the name of your blog i.e worldoop.com)
- A web hosting account (this is where your website live on the internet)
In this article, we will cover:
- Choosing a platform
- How to Register a Domain Name
- How to Choose the Best Web Hosting
- How to Install WordPress
- How to Change Your Theme
- How to Write Your First Blog Post
Are you ready? Let’s get started.
Step 1: Choose Your Platform
The first step is to choose the platform you’re going to run your blog with. Most of the beginners make a great mistake in terms of choosing a blogging platform. This is essentially the software that allows you to build and manage your blog without coding. It is technically known as a Content Management System or CMS for short.
CMS makes things easy so you don’t have to know any coding. A CMS will automatically generate all the code your blog needs for you so that your blog is instantly built. Each CMS then has some sort of back-end control panel where you can login to manage your blog. This is the place where you could add new posts, edit or delete existing ones, and manage your blog settings.
There are a bunch of CMSs out there, but WordPress is by far the most popular (now over 28% of all websites on the web use it) and in our recommendation, the best choice for starting a blog. It’s so great we use WordPress ourselves!
Why you Use WordPress for Your CMS?
As we mentioned above, there are plenty of CMSs you can choose from, but WordPress is the route to go. Without getting into detail, here are the key reasons:
- WordPress is FREE – The CMS itself is completely free and you never have to pay for a license to use it commercially.
- WordPress is FLEXIBLE – WordPress is not only used for blogs but can be used to build fully-fledged websites that are responsive & mobile friendly.
- WordPress is POPULAR – It used by 28% of the web! Both small and large businesses use it. Large brands like BBC America, Bloomberg, Sony, Forbes, CNN, and many others all use WordPress. In addition, For 95% of users, it makes more sense to use WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. Why? Because it is free to use, you can install plugins, customize your site design, and most importantly make money from your site without any restrictions
- WordPress is EASY TO USE – This might be a little bit misleading, but compared to other CMSs, WordPress is easy to use. However, you should remember that all CMSs can be confusing and terrifying at first for any beginner.
- WordPress is OPEN SOURCE – This means that anyone can view the code used to make WordPress and report any bugs or security issues to its open source community, ultimately making it safer and better.
- WordPress is easy to get HELP & SUPPORT – Since it has such a huge community, there are plenty of places you can go to find help. Many forums and blogs continually publish tips and tricks to help you better use WordPress. And of course, WordPress itself has a huge resource to help you.
Step 2: Get a Domain Name & Web Hosting
The next step is to get a domain name and web hosting. You’ll need these to have a blog. But what exactly are they?
What is a Domain Name?
You probably already know what a domain name is. A domain name is what people type to get to your website. It’s your website’s address on the internet. Think google.com or .com. This is what people will type in their browser’s address bar when they want to go to your site. For instance, our domain name is worldoop.com. Every website/blog needs a domain name so you can easily & conveniently visit it. A domain name typically costs $15 / year. You can buy domain from Namecheap at cheap rate. It costs about $10/year.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service offered by a company that gives you online storage space for your blog, essentially making it accessible on the World Wide Web. Web hosting is where your website is live. It’s your website’s house on the internet. Every website needs web hosting. All of your blog data are stored in hosting.
A domain name typically costs $15/year, and web hosting normally costs $7.99/month.
The company is known as a web host and they’ll save your blog on a web server, kind of like an online hard drive. Without it, people on the web wouldn’t be able to view your blog.
Fortunately, you can buy a domain and hosting from the same place since almost all the domain/hosting providers offer both. There are several companies providing domain and hosting services. HostGator is one of the popular hosting and domain providing companies. You can choose it for your blog, it costs about $5/month for hosting where the domain is $15/year (Sometimes it’s free). The interesting thing is, you will get the SSL certificate for free.
It’s way easy to purchase a domain and hosting from HostGator. Let’s walk through the signup steps very quickly. First, click on the hostgator.com to get started and you will get a 60% discount if you follow our link and use worldoop as promo code. Click on the signup button (Get Started) to proceed to checkout. This plan will contain everything your blog will need in terms of web hosting for the next few years.
Choose a plan you wish to buy. Click on the ‘Buy Now!‘ yellow button as shown in the image beneath.
On the checkout page, you’ll need to register a new domain name (i.e. worldoop.com). Type your awesome domain name along with your preferred extension from the right drop-down feature (.com, .org, .net) that you wish to register. It’s important to pick a good domain name. A good domain name is very important for your blog. Take a look at the snapshot below.
Now, it’s time to choose a web hosting plan (package type). Keep it on Hatchling (which should be selected by default) as this is a great initial plan. We also recommend keeping it 36 months for the billing cycle as you’ll save the most and can still cancel at any time. Put a strong username and security PIN according to their instructions. Look at the image below.
After that, you will be required to fill the billing information in detail which straight forward. Do it very carefully. Please, recheck the billing information once you have filled up the billing information.
Afterwards, you’ll land to the section with additional services. Deselect all of them as these are addons that your blog probably won’t need yet. You can always add these on later if you wish.
Later on, you will need to use our coupon code worldoop (Known as ‘Promo Code’ as well) in order to get a 60% discount! See the screenshot below! Remember, If you don’t use coupon/promo code, you won’t get this 60% discount.
Then, confirm all your information on the page, select the Terms of Service box and click on the Checkout Now! button (See the screenshot beneath). You now have web hosting and a domain name! Now let’s prep your web hosting account and get it ready for WordPress!
Prepping Your Web Hosting Account for WordPress
It might take several minutes to set everything up for you. You will receive an order confirmation email with details on how to login to your new web hosting account with HostGator. Once you login, your main dashboard (In HostGator, it’s called Customer Portal) should look something like this:
Click on the Packages button from the menu (highlighted in the screenshot above) and then login (there should be a blue link with the name of your web server to right of the text “Login”) using your username and password that were emailed to you. You should now be within your web hosting control panel that looks like this:
Once you’re landing on your control panel, don’t be overwhelmed by the number of options you have. Web hosting control panels offer a lot of features and functionality as they must support a wide variety of website functions. Simply look for the WordPress – 1 Click Installation option (as shown in the screenshot above) to begin the process of installing WordPress on your web server. You’ll see the HostGator WordPress installation page:
Ignore the pro options that require money and simply select the domain name you chose while signing-up (see screenshot above). Leave the directory field blank and click on the Next button.
After that, you’ll need to fill out the fields highlighted in the screenshot above. Don’t worry about focusing on your blog’s title at this point. You can always change this later at any time. For the Admin User field, we recommend using the first name in all lower case in order to keep cPanel safe from the hackers. Most people use “admin”, but this will make it easier for hackers to guess your login access. Click the Install button to install WordPress onto your web server.
At this stage, you will see an installation complete message (something similar as shown above).
Congratulations! WordPress is installed on your web server and you officially manage your first blog! You can check and verify this by going to your domain name and viewing it.
In the beginning, your blog will be setup by default with a theme. But you can change it at any time. It’s a very basic blog with a basic design, but WordPress is highly customizable and this brings us to the next step – which involves the final step, setting it up!
Step 3: Set Up & Customize Your Blog
The final step is to setup and customize your blog. You’ll need to login to your WordPress’ back-end administration to do this. Simply type “your-site/wp-admin”. For example:
If you’ve just finished your WordPress installation from the step above, you can simply click the orange Login button from the installation complete screenshot. HostGator will also email you instructions on how to login to your WordPress site/blog.
Login to WordPress
When you login to WordPress, you’ll first explore the Dashboard page. This is all parts/features of the back-end or administration side of WordPress. Like a control panel, you can edit all of your blog’s posts and settings here. The dashboard page looks like this.
The administration of WordPress may seem complicated at first sight but you’ll need to get familiar with it and learn how to use it. This will take some time. On the left side, you’ll see the main navigation menu (shown vertically above) that provides you with everything you need to setup and customize your blog. Let’s quickly discuss this:
- Dashboard – This is the default landing page that you’re taken to whenever you login to WordPress.
- Posts – This is where you go to manage your blog’s posts. You can add, delete, and edit every post of your blog from here.
- Media – From here you can manage your images. You can upload images and manage existing images that were previously uploaded.
- Pages – This is where you go to manage your blog’s pages. Just like posts, you can add, delete, and edit all your pages from here.
- Comments – From here you can manage your blog’s comments. You can view every comment added on your blog to approve, edit, or delete them.
- Appearance – This is where you go to manage your blog’s appearance. WordPress uses themes, which are basically like templates that change the design of your blog.
- Plugins – This is where you go to manage your WordPress plugins. WordPress Plugins add additional features and functionality to your blog. They are very powerful and beneficial and can greatly enhance your blog’s functionality. Note that you’ll find numerous plugins already added on your WordPress installation. HostGator, along with many other web hosts, pick and choose certain plugins that they feel will be beneficial to your site. You can of course, deactivate and delete these plugins and choose your own.
- Users – This is where you go to manage your blog’s users. By default, there should only be one user, yourself. And your user account should have admin roles applied. However, if you want to have other people writing and posting to your blog, you can create an account for them under here.
- Tools – This is where you go for certain advanced features that you most likely wont need yet.
- Settings – Lastly, this is where you go to manage your WordPress settings. There’s a variety of settings you can tweak from here.
Eventually, Your blog is ready. It’s time to actually put your fingers to keyboard and start blogging on your own way!
That’s all for today. Hope you liked this article. If you liked please share it with your friends and near ones.
Happy blogging 🙂 .