A WordPress blog can allow you to speak your mind online.. or you can even make a good living with a WordPress blog.
WordPress powers over 30% of the internet and some of the most popular sites online use WordPress.
Not only can you blog with WordPress but you can create a fully functioning website. It’s also very customizable if you are thinking of customizing your website for specific tasks.
In this guide, I am going to show you how to start a WordPress blog easily.
Step 1: Pick a Domain Name
In order to have a WordPress blog on the world wide web, you will need to buy a domain name for your blog.
A domain name is an address where Internet users can access your website. They are very affordable and can cost anywhere between $10 and $20 a year depending on the TLD.
TLD stands for top-level domain and its the ending characters after the last period. Here are some of the most common TLDs:
I would recommend choosing a .com domain as they are the most widely used and trusted.
Make sure to choose a domain name that is brandable or describes the purpose of the website. For example, our domain is WordPressSEO.net. Since we do SEO for WordPress websites, its the perfect domain for what we are doing.
Once you purchase your domain name, you will need to choose a web host to host your WordPress website and domain.
Step 2: Choose a WordPress Host
There are a handful of great web hosts for WordPress websites.
A web host will allow you to host your WordPress blog on their server so that people can access your WP website on the web. It’s important that your WordPress web host includes the following features:
- Server Requirements: The hosting platform that you choose should meet WordPress’ server requirements, which can be updated on a somewhat consistent basis.
- Uptime: Uptime is the amount of time that your website is online, and can often be one of the more important aspects that you should look at. As you may expect, the higher a hosting provider’s uptime, the better.
- Pricing: While the majority of people will look at price first, this should be left until last. Though this may be an important aspect in your decision, uptime and server requirements should be the first things you look at.
- Customer Support: This is something that the majority of people will want to look at, especially if they’re new website owners. You’ll often have quite a large number of questions when establishing the site, which your hosting provider should be able to answer quickly and effectively.
Here are some of the best hosting providers for WordPress:
Once you choose your WordPress host, sign up and you should be able to easily Install WordPress using the 1-click installation tool that comes with most hosts.
Step 3: Install a Theme
When your WordPress website is up, its time to choose a theme to customize the look and feel of your blog.
There are thousands of free themes from WordPress or you can buy premium themes from sites like ThemeForest. I would recommend spending the $60 for a paid theme because it’s going to be more optimized for SEO and have more features that will help you grow your site.
To install a theme, go to the Appearance tab on the left side menu. This page will show all of the WordPress themes you have installed on your site. You can easily switch between themes for quick design changes.
To add a new theme, click the Add New Button on the theme manager page.
Installing free WordPress themes from the directory it’s really easy. Simply find a theme that you like and hover over it to click the blue ‘Install’ button. Alternatively, you can click the preview button to see what the theme will look like.
Installing a theme that you purchased its pretty simple as well. Click the ‘Upload Theme’ button at the top of the theme manager page.
If you downloaded your theme, make sure its a zip file and is only the theme installation files. Some theme sellers will zip the entire package of these elements, along with a zipped theme file. The style.css file should be directly in the zip folder if you open it.
Select the zip file and then click the Install Now button to install your new theme. Once the theme is installed, activate it and you should be able to reload your website and see your new theme.
It will most likely look a little messed up until you change the theme options to fit your layout and colors.
Step 4: Customize Your Theme
The next step is to customize your theme to your liking.
This can be different depending on what theme you choose, but most of the time there is a ‘Theme Options’ or ‘Customize’ in the appearance tab.
On the theme customization page, you can change colors, layouts, update your logo, and customize your site to your brand.
This may look a little different depending on what theme you install and what options it has to customize your WordPress website.
Once your website is customized to your liking, its time to start blogging!
Step 5: Blog
Now comes the hard part!
Its time to write and build content on your new WordPress blog.
Thankfully WordPress makes it super easy to write, manage and publish content to your blog.
To start a new blog post, click posts in the left window pane and then click ‘Add New Post’.
The WordPress WYSIWYG editor its a really simple editor that allows you to write posts without knowing any code or HTML.
The title if the post is obviously what’s going to show as the title and the body of the text goes into the WYSIWYG editor.
To add a featured image to the post, look for the featured image widget on the right-side pane and select an image to upload.
After that, you will want to select one or multiple categories that the blog post will go in. This makes searching and browsing articles easier for your readers. It can also create SEO optimized landing pages so make sure your categories include main keywords for your site.
Once your article is ready to publish, you simply click the ‘Publish’ button and your blog will now be published to your blog list. You will see a small version of your featured image and a small excerpt of the text.
Now that your site is live and has blog posts, you can start blogging to make money online.
As you can see, setting up a WordPress website for blogging is really simple and will provide you with a scalable CMS to grow your blog online.