Ready to build a website but not sure where to start?
No problem! In this post I am going to show you exactly how to start a blog A – Z (and then some!)
You have already made the most important decision . . . and that is, to just simply begin! I’m not going to lie . . . there is a bit of a learning curve to this whole process. I am here to try to make it as simple as possible and give you a head start by showing you A – Z how to begin!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Let’s get started!
How to Start a blog
WordPress is an open source platform that can grow with you. You will want to begin with WordPress.org, the self – hosted option.
Not sure what that means?
Hang in there with me . . .
In my post What is WordPress Anyway? I explain in more detail the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Trust me, if you plan to use your blog or website for generating an income, or building a following or have any plans to make it “big” online you want to begin straightaway with WordPress.org. Once, you have decided on this, you will need to think about a name for your site.
2. Choosing your name.
A domain name is what your blog or website will be called and is the online address of where your visitors can find you. You will want to give this some thought. Nowadays, it is also important to have the social media handles for your name as well, so I recommend you spend some time research your options and make sure you can secure the social media names for your selected domain as well. You can search for available domain names via Bluehost or Namecheap . You will want to think of something that is unique to you, not too long and easily remembered. Once you find a name that fits all your criteria and is available, you will want to register it so no one else can grab it! Let’s move to the next step and purchase/register that domain! Many hosting providers offer a free domain name when you first purchase hosting, so hold off on purchasing the domain because you might get it free once you decide who you want to host with.
3. Purchase a Hosting Account
Hosting companies can be vastly different. There are various types of hosting to choose from. There is shared hosting, managed WordPress hosting and other advanced options that monitor for malware and so much more. I am not really going to go into detail about the differences here in this blog post, but if you want to read a more detailed explanation of the different hosting options you can download a free copy of my Tools & Resources Guide by clicking the link below:
It is important to have a hosting company that takes their business seriously because if they are not responsive to issues when they arise it can cause a lot of trouble for you. You will also want to have a company that has good documentation and support. I like to recommend Bluehost for new bloggers because they are reasonably priced and dependable. If you are wanting to step up your game or demand superior customer service you can try a company like Flywheel.
Here is a quick overview of how to secure a hosting account with Bluehost:
- Click this link to open Bluehost in a new window and get started!
- You will see the Bluehost landing page, click the green “get started now” button
- You will see the different pricing options
You can select the plan that suits your particular needs, but if you are brand new to blogging you can begin with the least expensive option and upgrade down the road when you need to.
- Now you will need to indicate if you already have a domain name or if you would like to take advantage of the free domain name included in your purchase
- If you have already researched a domain name and know it is available you will be greeted with a screen that confirms that your desired domain name is available. You will then be required to set up an account with Bluehost
- The next step in this process is choosing your payment options. The longer the plan the least expensive your price. You will also be asked to select any add on options you may be interested in. I don’t recommend adding any other options at this time, you can always add features later.
- You will now complete the billing information, agree to their terms and click submit!
- You will receive a welcome message and be prompted to create a Bluehost password. Put this in a safe place you will need it again!
- Now you will want to log into your account and install WordPress.
Look for the WordPress logo and click to install WordPress
Once you have WordPress installed you will want to log into your WordPress dashboard to add the Genesis Framework and a child theme.
4. Choose a Theme (the look) for your new blog or website.
Once you have your domain name, hosting account and WordPress all set up and ready to go you now need to add a well coded template or theme to get the look you want for your new blog or website. The WordPress child theme is what controls the look and feel of your blog/website. You can visit my theme shop to select one of my themes. I have worked to develop mobile responsive WordPress child themes that are beautiful and simple to install! My theme set up guides are carefully written in great detail so even a beginner can follow along.
If you don’t see what you are looking for, you could also take a look at StudioPress for some options and if you are looking specifically for a feminine looking theme you may like the child themes from Restored316 designs.
Once you have selected and purchased your WordPress child theme you will install it in your WordPress dashboard by navigating to:
Appearance > themes and selecting > add new
You will find the zip file for your theme on your computer and add it. If you are using the Genesis framework, you will install Genesis first and do not activate it, then install your child theme and activate it.
You did it!!
If you feel stuck or confused be sure to check our blog for some really helpful articles and if you decide you would rather have some help getting your new blog installed and ready to go you can browse our theme installation services.
Looking for specific customizations? Request a tutorial here.