So after months or years of contemplating, you’ve finally decided to start your own blog and the first question you’re probably asking yourself is, “How and where do I start?”
In this post, you will be guided through these easy and simple steps in finally creating a self-hosted wordpress blog from scratch.
Note: A self-hosted blog (WordPress.org) is where you can create a custom-designed website and have access to thousands of plugins and themes that will give you more control over your website. You can even monetize your site in ways you can’t do on a hosted blog (WordPress.com).
Step 1: Decide which type of blog you want to make
Do you want to create a Travel blog? Lifestyle? Food? Tech?
Or Travel + Lifestyle + Food?
Find your niche and focus on it.
I love traveling and inspiring people how beautiful life is through exploring the world so I decided to create a Travel blog focusing on contents related to travel destinations, inspiration, tips, deals, and resources.
Step 2: Pick a domain name & blog name
A domain name is the URL of your blog and a blog name is the name of your blog.
When choosing your blog name, think of something related to your blog. If it’s a travel blog, don’t choose a blog name that’s related to tech. If you plan to post about smoothies only, don’t use ‘Cook Pasta With Me’ as your blog name. The point here is to make people understand right away what your blog is all about.
Also, it’s always good to match your blog name with your domain name as this makes it easy for people to remember your blog.
My domain name is ‘www.aprilandsummer.com’ and my blog name is ‘April and Summer’.
Step 3: Choose your web hosting + buy your domain name
I know, I know. You’re probably asking, “What the h*ck is a web hosting?
To make it easier for you, it’s like your server or the place where you store your website’s data so they can be accessible on the internet. Also, by having your own hosting, you will have access in setting up your own email address which is very important if you want to project a professional image of yourself or your blog.
I recommend Siteground as they are very reliable and flexible, your site loads faster, and they have the most amazing support team. Their Live chat has a waiting time of only 5-10 seconds before connecting you to a very friendly chat representative. And the best part? Their basic plan only costs $3.95 per month!
— How to purchase your Hosting + Domain Name —
3.1) Sign up through this link and get 60% off the regular price. Once you’ve signed up, choose a hosting plan that suits you. For a starter, I recommend StartUp. This will allow you to host one website which is enough if you’re just starting out. If you plan to have more than one website in the future, you can just upgrade anytime.
3.2) After deciding on a hosting plan, you will be prompted to the next page which is buying your domain name.
*For those who have already purchased a domain name, just choose ‘I already have a Domain’.
*Also, if you already have a hosting plan with another company, transfering to Siteground is completely free!
3.3) Lastly, you will be prompted to the billing section where you will complete your purchase. It is also possible to use another person’s credit card as long as the person is with you when Siteground calls you for verification.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Once you’re done purchasing your hosting plan, the next step would finally be installing WordPress within your Siteground’s account. I’m talking about the self-hosted WordPress.org and NOT the free WordPress.com.
The easiest way to do this is to contact Siteground support through Live Chat and ask them to guide you through the process. They will tell you everything you need to do while connecting with them so it’s super easy and convenient. And again, I would like to emphasize that their Live Chat’s waiting time is only 5-10 seconds so it’s completely stress-fee.
Step 5: Choose a theme and customize your site
You’re almost done! Now, choose a theme that would most define your blog. Always opt for responsive sites so you can provide a much better user experience to your readers.
If you’re looking for neat, professional, responsive, and beautiful sites, I recommend Creative Market and Station Seven. I got all of the themes I’ve used in my site from them. To check out the exact theme I’m using now, just click the photo below and you’ll be directed to the site.
Step 6: Download Plugins
Plugins are softwares that are created to extend functionality to your website. There are countless of great plugins for WordPress and you can always choose to add them later, but for a good start, here are 5 plugins that a lot of bloggers swear by and which I’m currently using on my blog too. These plugins have more than 1 million downloads from all over the world.
6.1) Jetpack by WordPress.com – a toolkit containing different useful features to help you grow your site
6.2) Contact Form 7 – creates different types of contact forms that are easy to customize
6.3) Akismet Anti-Spam – prevents spam comments
6.4) YoastSEO – improves your site’s SEO by analyzing your content and guiding you through the needed changes
6.5) Google XML Sitemaps – creates XML sitemaps that will make it easier for search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com to crawl your site and make it rank higher.
Step 7: Write your first post!
Finally, it’s time to write your first post! It can be about yourself, why you started a blog, and what you’ll be blogging about.
Also, remember that quality is better than quantity so don’t just write about everything. Focus on your niche and imagine yourself talking to your target audience when writing your post.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on any of those links and purchase the product/service, I will receive an affiliate commission at NO extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own and I only recommend products I personally like and use.