Congratulations! You’ve decided to start your own blog, now what!? I know it may seem intimidating at first, but trust me, it’s actually very simple! You can be up and running in no time, once you get over the hardest part – choosing a name! Let’s get started.
Here are the 3 simple steps we’ll be covering:
1. Register your domain name and purchase web hosting for your new blog.
2. Install WordPress.
3. Install a WordPress theme.
1. Register your domain name and purchase web hosting for your new blog!
Once you have your blog name picked out it’s time to head over to a hosting provider such as BlueHost and get your space on the web!
As with most web hosting services, BlueHost provides free domain name registration when you sign up for hosting. Simply enter your preferred URL into the provided box and click next. Registering your domain name, just means claiming a URL to match your blog name. For example, my domain name is runningonreafood.com.
Enter your desired URL into the box as shown below and click next, if it’s available you’re all set, if not, you’ll have to try something new.
If you enter your domain name and it’s available, you’re ready to move on to the next step: choosing your hosting package, or how much you’d like to pay per month to host your blog on the internet, as show in the image below.
The longer period of hosting your pay for up front, the cheaper it gets. You can start with a 12-month hosting package, or go up to 24 or 36 months to bring the price per month down.
2. Install WordPress
Okay, step one is done! Now you’ve purchased a spot to park your blog on the world wide web. Next up is installing WordPress.
WordPress is a content management system that allows you design and manage a beautiful blog without knowing code. It’s easy to install, easy to use, and offers a ton of themes, widgets and plugins to customize your awesome new website! Even better, WordPress is FREE!
Once you’re ready to go Bluehost.com and login to your account with the login info you created in step one. Now it’s just a matter of a few simple steps to install WordPress. Follow the 6 simple steps below to complete the WordPress installation:
a. Login to your BlueHost account and head to the cPanel section.
b. Scroll down until you see the WordPress logo under Software/Services and click on it.
c. Click on “Install a brand new version.”
d. Don’t change anything in the installation preferences, just click COMPLETE. If you get a warning that says “Overwrite Warning, Please Confirm” click on “Overwrite Existing Files.”
e. Once you see “Installation Complete” you’ll see your login URL, username and password appear. Write these down in a safe place. You will be able to change them later, but you will need them when you login to WordPress for the first time.
f. Type that login URL into your web browser. You will see a screen like the one shown below. Enter your username and password to login.
YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!! Now you’ve finished installing WordPress and have logged in for the first time. We can head on to the fun part now, customizing your site and making it pretty!
3. Install a WordPress theme.
If you typed your blog URL into the web browser now, you’d see a plain Jane website that doesn’t look very exciting.
Luckily, thanks to the countless beautiful and easy to use themes available today, you can beautify your site in a matter of minutes! WordPress themes are pre-made templates that take care of the design and usability of your new website.
There are plenty of free themes available online and you can find them simply by Googling “best free WordPress themes” and taking your pick.
I would, however, recommend a premium paid theme for the support they provide, their extra features and the ability to customize the design to your liking. If you’re new to blogging, a premium theme will offer you the support needed if you get stuck on anything. Depending on your skill level when you start, some parts can be a little confusing but it doesn’t take long to learn, so just take it one step at a time.
Premium WordPress themes are very affordable and you can find excellent options for less than $50, a fraction of the cost of hiring a web designer.
Here are some of the most popular options for premium WordPress themes:
1. Genesis Framework
The Genesis Framework for WordPress is a powerful and popular theme that allows you to quickly and easily design your blog in WordPress. This is the theme I am currently using here on Running on Real Food, with great success. With the Genesis theme you’ll want to purchase one of the child themes that go along with it. You can get both for around $80-100. Purchase the Genesis Framework here.
2. Foodie Child Theme
The Foodie Child Theme works with the Genesis Framework as listed above. It has a beautiful, minimalist style and is geared towards food bloggers. If you’re looking for a clean, simple design for your new blog with lots of great features, this is a great option. This is what I am currently using for Running on Real Food. It’s highly customizable, straight-forward to use and so far I’ve had a great experience with their customer service when I needed help with something. Purchase the Foodie Child Theme here.
3. The Thesis Theme for WordPress
The Thesis Theme is another excellent option for your new blog, especially if you don’t know code but wants lots of control over the design of your site. It comes with essential SEO tools for improving your Google ranking, a highly customizable design and a number of other tools. They also have great support and a forum where you can get all your questions answered. Purchase here.
I’ve used themes from ThemeForest before and they have a ton of options starting at just $25. They also have a wide selection of templates for emails and landing pages starting from just $3. I found I was able to get my questions answered within minutes. You can find themes built specifically for blogging and there are lots to choose from. Purchase here.
Once you’ve selected your new WordPress theme, it’s time to install it. Once you purchase it, you’ll be provided with a download of the theme package in .zip format. Download that to your computer.
Now it’s time to upload that .zip file online into your WordPress:
a. Go to your WordPress login URL and login to your account.
b. Go to “Appearance” in the sidebar of your WordPress dashboard.
c. Click on “Themes.”
d. Click on “Add New.”
e. Click on “Upload Theme.”
f. Upload the .zip file from your computer.
Now your theme is installed and you can start customizing it!
Most premium themes offer lots of support and there are plenty of great websites to help you with your WordPress questions if you get stuck. And of course, you can always hit me up if you have any questions!
Welcome to the blogging world, congratulations! If you decide to start a blog after reading this, don’t forget to come back and let me know, I most definitely want to check it out!
Disclaimer: This page includes affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links. If you have any questions about this, please let me know!