Do you have knowledge to share? a passion? to anyone who has a desire to share I recommend sharing your knowledge with a blog.
But if you’re on this page you are already ready to build a WordPress blog.
So here is my step-by-step beginners guide to setting up a WordPress blog:
Why Blog with WordPress?
Don’t get me wrong, these are great options if you don’t need much customization.
Many people choose WordPress because of its ability for infinite customizability.
Since WordPress powers 60% of the web you know it has incredible community support as well.
If you’re looking to make your blog as professional as possible WordPress is the way to go.
Buying a Domain Name
If you’re unfamiliar with domain names, a domain name acts as address for your blog. For example google.com, facebook.com, etc are all domain names.
When buying a domain name I recommend using Google Domains.
You likely have an account. Well everyone has a Google account so you’ll never need to hunt down an obscure login. Plus it’s likely they already have your credit card info.
Their interface is super simple. Many web companies have very cumbersome interfaces for no reason. Google Domains takes away one of those stresses.
A benefit of buying your domain name separate from your host is the ability to move services later. If your website becomes a huge hit it’s easier to change hosting companies if your domain is separate.
Now that you have an address for your blog you’ll need to point it to a web host.
Buying WordPress Hosting
I don’t recommend buying your domain name from where you buy hosting. Which is why we used Google Domains above.
There are a slew of hosting options but we will be using BlueHost.
The primary reason to use BlueHost is that they specialize in WordPress. Plus their plans only start at $3.95 which makes it easy on the wallet starting out.
Additionally they offer 24/7 support so if you have any questions you can call them.
They also include a 30-day money-back guarantee so there a downside to changing your mind.
Choosing a plan
BlueHost’s basic plan includes 50gb of storage which is more than most sites will ever need.
Unless you are going to upload thousands of photos stick to the basic plan. Worst case scenario you can upgrade your plan later.
Enter your Domain Name
Since we already bought a domain name you can enter your domain name after selecting your plan.
BlueHost will offer a few more package details but the only one worth keeping on is “Site Backup Pro”. This will allow you to restore if you make any mistakes while using your blog.
Installing WordPress on BlueHost is as simple as one click. After logging in you’ll see an option to add WordPress to your hosting. This will give you a blank WordPress site to start from.
Finding a WordPress Theme
After you learn the basics of WordPress you’ll want to customize your blog even more.
You can change the look & feel of your WordPress blog using themes. Whenever I build a website I start with a theme from ThemeForest.
The market for free themes is very limited and often low quality. so upgrading to a premium theme is a must when expanding your blog.
Recommended WordPress Plugins
After you setup a WordPress blog one key role is WordPress plugins.
The huge benefits to using WordPress is the massive selection of plugins.
Installing WordPress plugins is as simple as going to Plugins > Add New. This interface will allow you to install plugins with ease. I recommend starting with some of the plugins below.
Yoast SEO – Every WordPress blog I build I use Yoast SEO to change page titles and descriptions for SEO. SEO is a whole topic on its own but starting with Yoast will add some SEO features right away. Additionally Yoast will give you a sitemap to submit to Google Webmasters.
Jetpack – Jetpack offers a slew of tweaks to WordPress like contact forms and the ability to add custom CSS. It’s worth installing Jetpack for its login protection.
How to Fully Customize Your WordPress Site
After you’ve tried out themes and plugins you’ve wanted you’ll want to customize more.
If you’re a web developer there is tons of documentation on building themes and plugins.
If you’re looking to hire a developer to customize your WordPress blog I recommend Envato Studio. Envato Studio is a simple way to hire a developer or designer to make modifications to your blog.