So you want to start your own blog and build a platform to share your ideas with the world? Good news! You are in the right place and will be up and running in about 10 minutes. This guide features the exact step-by-step process that I follow when I build my own sites. No prior experience or tech-knowledge is necessary. By the end of this post you will have your own site online. Are you ready?
Step 1: Get your domain name
Internet is amazing. All domain names are created equal and having one puts you on the same playing field as any big company out there. Anyone anywhere in the world can access your site by simply typing few letters in their browsers. And the cost of starting is low. Plus WordPress publishing platform allows you to build a site for free. The biggest investment you will need to make is your time.
WordPress is an open-source content publishing platform that powers more than 60 million sites. Alternatives like Tumblr and Blogger are available but only self-hosted WordPress allows you the complete control over the look and feel, features and other aspects of your site. I love it and run all my projects on it.
WordPress needs a domain name and a web server space to work. A domain name is the address people will type to access your site and a server space is where your content and files are hosted online. I recommend Bluehost for the easiest setup process. It is simple to use, offers a free domain name, an affordable hosting account with unlimited space and WordPress officially recommends it.
Are you wondering what domain name to use? These are the characteristics of a good domain name:
- Brief, simple and easy to spell
- Unique, catchy, easy to pronounce and memorable
- Appropriate to your topic, but not so descriptive that it is generic
- YourName.com is always a good choice (as long as you are comfortable with it)
- Need more advice? See this post.
Got an idea for a great domain name? Click on the image below to get the process started:
Disclosure: I do earn a commission if you signup to Bluehost using my link at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products and services that I find helpful and useful. If you do choose to purchase through my affiliate link, thank you for your support!
Step 2: Enter your account information
After you have chosen your perfect domain name, you need to enter your account information in order to register it. It is a pretty straight forward process as seen in the image below.
Step 3: Choose your hosting package information
The hosting price ranges from $4.95 to $6.95 per month depending on the length of your commitment. Note that you will be required to pay the annual rate in advance so if you pick 36 months at $4.95/month, a reasonable monthly amount for the service you will get, you will be billed $178.20. It is not necessary to signup for any of the other services they offer (Sitelock Domain Security, Site Backup Pro, Search Engine Jumpstart, Domain Whois Privacy) so feel free to skip them.
Step 4: Enter your billing information
This one is pretty straight forward as you see in the image below. Enter your credit card details, confirm that you have read the T&C’s and click on “Next”. Your credit card information will now be verified. You will be offered several upgrades but you do not need them so feel free to say no to all the offers and complete your purchase.
Step 5: Time to setup WordPress
Congratulations! You now officially own your domain name, a hosting account and are one step closer to getting your site live to the world.
On this page you can create your Bluehost account password upon which you will get an introductory email which has your account information. Save it.
It’s time to setup your WordPress site. Enter Bluehost control panel by clicking on “Login” on the top right of the front page navigation and filling in your login details. In the “Home” section of the control panel, scroll down the page, locate and click on “Install WordPress” as seen in the image below.
Step 6: Start a brand new WordPress install
This will take you to the Bluehost Mojo Marketplace, a system that helps you install WordPress on your domain name and hosting space without needing any prior experience or tech know-how. Click on “Start” a brand new install.
Step 7: Fill in your site name and other details
Simply select the domain name on which you wish to install WordPress and click on “Check Domain”. There will be an error message but don’t worry as you do want to overwrite the files.
This leads you to the last step. Click “Show advanced options” and fill in your site details as seen in the image below: Site Name, Admin Username, Admin Password and Admin Email. Username and password will be what you use to login to your WordPress admin dashboard in your day to day blogging. Make them strong and secure in order to protect your site better. Click “Install Now”.
Step 8: Your new WordPress site is now live – login to the admin
Your site will be ready within couple of moments. You will see a confirmation message on your screen. Anyone can then access your new site by going to yourdomain.com. You can go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ to login to your WordPress admin back-end with username and password that you chose in step 7.
WordPress admin is where all the magic happens. WordPress is simple and easy to use but there is a medium sized learning curve to get used to it. Take some time exploring the opportunities and possibilities with your new WordPress site. Here’s a list of things I do as soon as I install a new site in order to launch it in style.
Starting a site turns out is much easier than creating a post. More than 50 percent of all blogs never publish a single post. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to you! Create your first post by going into “Posts” in your WordPress navigation and clicking on “Add New”. Write your first ever post, go through this checklist before making it live to make sure your post is valuable to your future audience, and click “Publish”. Congratulations on your first post!
Now make a promise to show up again tomorrow. Commit yourself to posting on a regular schedule. Also start working on making your design pretty, adding extra features by activating one of the plugins and attracting your first visitors. Put in the effort and you will see the results. Enjoy the ride!