If I could get a penny for every time someone said “making a WordPress blog is difficult”, I would be a millionaire.
The simple truth is that making a WordPress blog is easy.
Moreover, having a blog with insightful opinions about the industry you work in can really bolster your career. It is also a great way to share your brilliant ideas with the world and finally, a successful blog will pay many of your bills 😉
So put a timer for 15 minutes…That is all it will take to start your dream blog!
We will set you up for WordPress and show you exactly what one should do and how they should do it.
This guide has been created with the assumption that you do not know anything about coding or WordPress. Through screenshots and many simple but clear instructions, we will get you a self-hosted WordPress that shall leave everyone in awe!
The ingredients needed to start your WordPress blog in 15 minutes
Before we get into creating your blog, do remember that throughout this guide we are referring to “WordPress.org”, a platform that you yourself will be hosting. On the contrary, “WordPress.com” is a web-hosted blog tool that limits a lot of your creativity.
We will make this guide super simple so that by the end, even a child could have published their first post.
The only thing we need from you is confidence.
Below is a brief summary of what you can expect:
Stage 1: Learning about the basics of a website (hosting and domain)
Stage 2: Finding a plan for hosting.
Stage 3: Setting up your domain.
Stage 4: Registering your website on the internet.
Stage 5: Installing WordPress
Stage 6: Discovering WordPress.
Let’s say you followed all the above steps and created your blog. You might ask, what now?
Well, we are also adding a few BONUS steps just because we like you that much;
- The first article is always the hardest. So, we will show you how to publish it using the WordPress interface.
- Don’t like the way your website looks? You will be shown how to change the appearance using “themes”.
- Want to add fascinatingly weird stuff? An explanation of “plugins” will make you understand how.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get right into it!
Stage 1: Hosting and Domain – The pillars to your lovely WordPress blog.
Before building a house, you need land. Similarly, for creating websites, you need something called “hosting”. All websites (even Google, Facebook, Instagram) have a host. Hosting is what you need in order to build your website.
Domain, which usually comes in the same package as hosting, is the way your website is called. Users type this in their search bar to directly access your website. “www.google.com”, “www.facebook.com” are all examples of domains.
When selecting a host, remember to pick one which can offer to host WordPress blogs. There are millions of companies that offer hosting services for WordPress. So, go do some research (if you want).
We have been in this business for a very long time and in our opinion, (after going through a lot of trial and error) Bluehost is the best WordPress host.
It is affordable. It will cost you only $59.40 to have a blog for one whole year! This is perhaps the cheapest plan on the market.
It has great performance. Believe me, when you start getting more visitors, your website becomes really slow if you have a bad host.
It is very beginner-friendly. You can effortlessly install WordPress in a few minutes.
Signing up for beautiful Bluehost
Go to bluehost.com and traverse down their website to “Get Started.” Since you are new to blogging, we recommend you select a basic plan.
This plan gives you a lot of power and flexibility. Continue by clicking select.
You will then be prompted to fill in a domain for your website. Take some time to jot down nice and creative names. Do not rush the process!
The domain comes for free. Once you have discovered the perfect name for your dream website, click next.
You will then have to fill in some basic information. Once that is done, click next.
Finally, you will enter the “Package Information” section. You will be given some additional “add-on” options by Bluehost. Just note that none of the addons are truly necessary. So, if you want, simply de-select the pre-selected ones. You will also be given the ability to choose the tenure of your plan (1 year, 2 years, etc.).
Like promised, your total should amount to around $59.40 (the price of a nice outfit).
When satisfied, click Submit and finish your purchase.
Congrats! You have taken the first step to create that amazing blog of yours ☺
Stage 2: Installing WordPress Software for free
Once you have bought a piece of land, you need to build a house. Similarly, once you bought hosting, you have to install WordPress software on there.
To many people, seeing words such as “install” and “software” can be a bit scary. However, it is perhaps the easiest step to do.
Assuming you have chosen Bluehost, an email will be sent to you by their lovely support team on logging into your hosting profile. So simply follow those steps in the email and enter into the hosting interface.
Go to My sites followed by Create sites.
You will then be asked to fill in some vital information such as the username and password. Remember to write these down somewhere! Once you have filled in the information box, click next.
Your website should be installed. You can access it by going to www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
Stage 3: My blog is setup – Now What?
Publish your first article!
I have to admit I have fibbed…Honestly, publishing an article is even easier than installing WordPress.
I know you are giddy with anticipation, so I shall get straight to the point. If you have done everything right, your WordPress dashboard should resemble something close to this:
To write an article, go to Posts followed by Add New.
You will be shown the beautiful WordPress “block system”. It is super simple, and you can add stuff such as tweets, YouTube videos, pictures, audios, etc.
We love the simplicity and beauty of the system!
Stage 4: Decorating your blog
Who doesn’t want their blog to look pretty?
You make your website look infinitely better by using two of the largest components of WordPress; Themes and Plugins.
Themes are sort of like “outfits” for your website. They determine the appearance of your website. There are thousands of themes available online.
Plugins are the “components” of your website. Calendar, comment section, share button are all components of your website. Like themes, there are many plugins available online.
By default, you are usually given a theme and a few plugins. These are quite basic, and we recommend that you change it As Soon As Possible!
Ok, I understand about Themes, but where do I get them?
99% of all themes (and plugins) can be found on the wordpress.org directory https://wordpress.org/themes/.
Themes usually come in two parts; Free and Premium.
Free themes are themes that are (surprisingly) free. They are great and quite visually appealing.
Premium themes require you to pay for them. They are a bit expensive but often have a lot of extra features that come with them.
I have my theme…Now what?
The most difficult part when dealing with the themes is finding them. Once that is done, installing the theme is a piece of cake;
Firstly, put your mouse over Appearance. You will get a few options, choose Theme.
When you enter the theme page, you will see a white button with blue text saying Add New. Click that button.
Depending on the theme, you can either search for it again in the search bar or upload the zip file of a theme (this usually only happens for premium themes).
Press install and after it’s downloaded, press activate.
Tweaking the theme
It is normal that you will not like something even of your favorite theme. You can change minor details of your theme by going to appearance followed by customize.
The beauty of the customize section is that you do not need to know any coding.
When the customize interface opens up, it usually has a list of options on the left and a live preview section on the right.
Any changes made on the left result is viewable changes on the right. Once all edits have been made, click Save and Publish.
Viola! You have now fully customized your website!