Blogging has been there since ages but the popularity has grown a lot with the recent internet boom but you may be still lagging behind wondering on how to set up a wordpress blog of your own. WordPress has become the best platform to start your own blog today because of the highly convenient and user friendly platform. Even like you, I wondered a lot about how I can launch my own website online. 😛
Table of Contents
- 1 My First Website – Story
- 2 Pre – Requisites
- 3 The 30 min recipe – Set up a WordPress Blog of your own 😉
- 4 2. Host your website:
- 5 5. Understanding WordPress:
My First Website – Story
Back in 2008, when I started my first website, I was in a dilemma thinking about how I start. I hardly had any knowledge of how to create a website but I was well determined to create one. I remember I literally read everything about domains and extensively on how I could host a website. I always thought I had to create my own server with my PC to host my website!! 😀
Finally, after grabbing some initial ideas, I headed over to Godaddy and purchased a domain. After purchasing, I logged into their portal and was not sure what to do next. Those DNS records were not something I was familiar with. I remember pestering Godaddy support to explain everything. 😀
Next, I purchased my first Hosting plan from Hostgator and as usual having no ideas on what to do, I took help from Hostgator support. Finally, after setting all the configuration right, my website was up and running. Searching a query like “how to setup a website” on Google didn’t give any relevant results from where I could learn. Now, you may find several bloggers outlining the steps but I thought to draft my own to describe an end to end step of how I setup up mine. 😉
Reading the next steps, you should be able to get rid of any confusion and proceed on setting up your first blog in the next 30 mins. You could also read the prerequisites to do before starting a blog.
Pre – Requisites
- Next 30 mins
- Money for payment
- Absolutely no technical skills, only attention to detail
I will personally help you in setting up your blog even if you fail after the next 30 mins.Contact me at amitacharya75 (at) gmail (dot) (com) when you are stuck or comment in this post.
The 30 min recipe – Set up a WordPress Blog of your own 😉
I will not make it too complicated but just outline the steps which could help you create a blog of your own on WordPress. It should be damn easy! Watch out the next steps!
1. Grab your Domain Name
If you haven’t dreamt about the name of your own website yet, it’s time to decide! Check out your domain name availability and see if you can proceed to register. I would suggest you to buy a .com as it’s a top level domain (TLD) extension and people seem to remember easily. My first choice has always been GoDaddy in terms of domains. They have excellent support and every changes get updated faster than most others.
You will also find that the pricing and reliability is great. I consider them only for the domains as their hosting plansare not preferable and the servers are quite slow. I have been using Godaddy for all my domain purchases and it works great. The domain registration process is simple but I would like to walk you through:
Go to www.godaddy.com and search for a suitable domain name. The domain name can be your name or company name/brand which you are trying to build. You could also come up with a relevant name related to your niche on which you want to blog. After you think of domain names, you need to check if they are available. If you found a good available domain, voila! Now, you can proceed to register it.
Step 1: Click on “Continue to cart‘” when the domain is available.
Step 2: Here, as you can observe, there are a lot of additional options which you can choose if necessary but it will be charged extra by GoDaddy.
I will explain the options below to help you know what they are:
Privacy Protection: If you want your personal information to be protected or hidden from others, you could opt for this option. In general, if you are promoting your blog and you want to have a recognition as a blogger, you may not choose this. You would always want more and more people to get connected to you. This privacy protection may help you in securing your phone number, address and other details that you enter while purchasing the domain.
Website Builder + Hosting: This is pretty self-explanatory. I can definitely advise you to skip this as you won’t need their website builder. I would be taking you through a detailed tutorial on WordPress later in this tutorial. WordPress is definitely the best content management system for newbie bloggers and can help you to put up your own blog without technical knowledge. As mentioned before, I won’t recommend GoDaddy for hosting because of their low server uptime.
Professional Email: This option can also be skipped with the “No thanks” option as you dont need to spend extra for an email ID with your domain from Godaddy. We can create one from the hosting account later.
After choosing to skip or include these options according to your requirements, Click on “Continue to Cart“.
Step 3: Choose the term for which you want your domain to be registered. Domains are generally charged per year. You could purchase the domain for one year as a start. 🙂
Once the term is chosen, enter the coupon code at “CJC99COM” in the “promotional code” section. This promo code would reduce your domain cost to 99 cents for the first year. Please note that the promo code applies only on new purchase or the first purchase. After applying the promo code, click on “Proceed to checkout”.
Step 4: Enter your billing details and other required details such as payment information for the purchase on this page with accurate information and click on “Proceed”.
Step 5: Complete the purchase and procure the domain!
Now, you have procured the domain, you should get all the details of the purchase and other billing information inyour mentioned email address. You can login to your account and check under “My domains” if the domain appears.
2. Host your website:
Check Out Black Friday Hosting Deals before purchasing.
Now, in this process to set up a WordPress blog, you have grabbed a domain name and you need to purchase a hosting plan to get the site up and running. I recommend Hostgator for hosting the site because of the below reasons:1. Flexible hosting plans: Hostgator offers cheap and affordable hosting solutions starting below $5 per month for a single domain. Hosting at such prices is a steal!2. 99% Uptime: Uptime of the Hostgator servers is 99.99% and you will hardly see any of your site having issues at any point of time. Thus, you will find them highly reliable.3. Customer Support: This is a factor which you look in every service you purchase. Hostgator offers 24/7/365 premium telephonic, chat and email support and is well equipped with agents who are ready to provide high quality support on any issues. 4. User Reviews: After me, I thought I should show you some of the awards and recognitions that have been given to Hostgator hosting. It has bagged several awards being a provider of uninterrupted hosting services.
5. Money back guarantee:
If you are not satisfied with Hostgator, they do offer a flexible 45 day money back guarantee as laid out in their terms and conditions.
Disclaimer : I am a Hostgator affiliate and I will get some tips when you sign up via my link. If you think I have been helpful in explaining well, you could use my link to purchase your hosting.
P.S: I do not have any biasing when I review them. Every hosting company have their affiliate system but I recommend Hostgator because they are good and I personally use them. They indeed offer the best hosting among all which is most suitable to set up a wordpress blog.
Now, after making a choice of hosting, you need to choose a plan to purchase. I would recommend the baby plan for you which would allow you to add more domains to the same hosting package at the same price if you plan on procuring anymore in future. Here are the steps to proceed on purchasing the hosting package:
Step 1: Click on the “Sign Up” option. You will be redirected to fill in your details.
Step 2: Enter the domain details and fill in the billing information. You could choose the 12 months or above plan to get a good discount on the hosting package.
Step 3: Do Not choose any other options that have been outlined as “Additional services” as it would be charged extra and are not required for a new blog. You could procure and add them to your list later if needed.
Step 4: CheckOut: After all the details have been fulfilled, you can proceed to check out and pay the amount. Once you are done, Hostgator would mail you the details of your control panel and account.
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You could use the coupons and proceed wherever the discount amount is higher.
So, you have gone through the domain and hosting purchases now. Its time to install the blog and get the ball rolling!
3. Install WordPress:
It is very simple to install WordPress on your domain. Below are the outlined steps:
Step 1: Log in into the Cpanel with your username and password as provided by Hostgator.
Step 2: Scroll down to the “Softaculous Apps Installer” module and click on the “WordPress” Icon.
Step 3: After being redirected, click on Install and fill up the details like Domain Name, your site name, Email address etc.
Step 4: Congrats, you have installed WordPress. They should send a mail now with all the details and credentials.
4. Linking Host to your domain:
As we have chosen the best domain and hosting providers, we need to link them now. To do that, the nameservers should be updated in your domain management area as Godaddy would point to their own nameserver as a default.
Login into your Cpanel using the credentials provided in mail by Hostgator. Scroll down to half the page and check the sidebar on the left. Note the nameservers in a notepad file.
Login into Godaddy account using your customer# and password. In the “My domains” area on the dashboard, click on “Manage DNS” besides the domain name. Go to “Settings” and Click “manage” in the Nameservers module.
Next, Choose “Custom” and click on “Add nameservers”. Enter the copied nameserver details and hit on Ok. Enter both the records one by one. It generally takes around 4 hours to update the nameservers. We have other stuffs to do in the meantime! 😀
Sign In into WordPress:
Now, you have installed WordPress and can login into the management portal using the link http://www.blogname.com/wp-admin. This is the back end of your blog where you need to add posts, customize the look and feel of your website and do other managing stuffs. Every tweak of the backend would reflect accordingly when someone browses your website. You could write your first post and publish it now.
Congrats, you have finally set up your own website or blog and it must have been quite simple. I would like to hear out your experience in the comments.
5. Understanding WordPress:
There are a lot of options on the WordPress dashboard which may drive you crazy as you are new to the platform. I will jot down every single important option to help you start your blog.
- WordPress Dashboard: The dashboard in your wordpress backend shows you a statistics or overview of the recent comments, posts that you have done in your blog. It has some quick links to redirect to those specific modules but I will outline each later in this post.
- 2. Posts: This is the module you will be regularly visiting as a blogger. You will need to add more posts, edit saved drafts or published posts and other important stuff. Let me show you how you can publish posts in WordPress adding relevant media files and links.
Add a new post to WordPress:
To add a new post, Click on “Posts” and then click on “Add post” option. The resultant page would be like the one below:
Add title and description:
You can add title and description on this page for your post and click on “Publish” to make it live for your readers. If you are not completed yet, Click on “Save Draft” as below to save your content and publish later once completed.
Adding an image to your post in WordPress:
Long texts are always boring. Always try to add some relevant images to your posts. The “Add media” option as shown below helps to add images and videos on your blog. Click on “Add media” and “Select file” in the Upload files tab, select the particular image and insert into post.
Formatting in WordPress:
There are various options which entitle you to format your articles in WordPress. Some of them are as outlined below:
1.”B” – This denotes the Bold option. If you select a text and click on B, the characters would be bold.
2.”I” – I converts the text to “Italic”.
3. Font sizes and Font Family: Various font sizes and types are available which can be used as suited. The popular text styles that I recommend are Arial and Times New Roman with size 12/14.
4.Headings and paragraph styles are present as default options which can help greatly in SEO. Refer my guide on How to create an ON page optimized WordPress post to know more.
5.Insert Links: I have highlighted the hyperlink option in the below image. You need to specify the URL and the link text from which the redirection would be set up. “Open Link in a new tab” is ideal to be checked as you would not want the visitor to go away from the current page. 😉
6.Insert Table: Tables can be inserted into the post depending on the size of row and column needed. You could also add some more cells later too.
After you are done with the formatting and insertion of text, you can Preview the text and see how it looks in your site and then click on “Publish”
Categories are pretty much like streams where you say that this particular post belongs to this area. While posting, the categories can be chosen so that someone can search for posts in any particular area.
Tags are similar to categories but multiple tags in a post denote search terms that you want your post to be associated with. You can always add multiple relevant tags to your posts and maintain a tag cloud on your sidebar for people to search posts easily.
The media section on the side has a Library where it maintains a database of all the media files like images have been added to your website. You can add new media files using “Add media” option but we always prefer to add media inside the posts directly as required, don’t we? 😉
Pages are similar to posts option but they are the ones which are static on your website. Suppose I have a page like “About me” or “Contact Us” where I wont need to add multiple posts but only one static post. In such pages, the pages option helps. “Add page” option can help in adding new pages to the website.
This section on WordPress gives us the scope to check all the comments that have been received on various posts and to manage them like delete, approve, moderate etc.
This section in WordPress is highly helpful in designing your blog. Everything that happens on your website frontend with respect to design, look and feel can be changed from here.
I will write a separate post on how you can change the appearance of your wordpress blog.
In this post, I will outline the steps on How to install a theme on wordpress to get the blog running now:
- Click on “Themes” option under Appearance.
- Click on “Add New”.
- Select one of the below themes.
- Click on “Install”
- Once the installation is complete, Click on “Activate”.
Now, the blog should have been updated with the chosen theme. Very simple, right? Designing would never have been easier, LOL 😀
Plugins are add ons which help you to add specific modules or perform some functions on your blog. Adding plugins can greatly help to make things easier in wordpress and helps you in adding cool new features to your blog.
Install a Plugin in WordPress:
- Go to plugins section.
- Click “Add New”
- Click on “Upload Plugin”
- Choose file and upload the zip file of the downloaded plugin
- Click on “Activate Plugin”
Users Section:This section is again self explanatory. You can add more users whom you would like to give access to your blog. There are several roles that can be given to a particular user like Subscriber, Editor, Contributor, Author and Administrator. The levels of access differ according to the roles given.
To add a new person, click on “Add New” under Users and fill up the details like username, First Name, Last Name, Website etc and click on “Add New user”.
There are various settings which should be set once the blog is set up.
I will outline the ones which are very essential for your new blog.
You should definitely add a proper “Site Title” and tagline(if necessary), choose the date format and Language as necessary for your blog.
This is the page where you can customize the settings for blog comments. There would be lot of spam comments on the websites. People start posting automated spam comments to lot of blogs. To make it spam free, you should always moderate the comments on your own. The settings page should be set as below:
Change permalinks on WordPress:
This is definitely another crucial settings that you should do after setting up your blog. This is definitely search Engine Friendly.
Here, choose the common settings as “Post Name” so that the posts remain in the format http://www.yourblog.com/sample-post/
Ah, you see how damn easy launching off this brand new blog of yours was! You would never feel that it is a tedious task to set up a WordPress blog.
Give your feedback in the comments section and ask any doubts.
If you still face any difficulties, feel free to contact me at amitacharya75 (at) gmail (dot) (com) with your queries.