With the majority of bloggers lined up as users and fans, WordPress is definitely the platform to use today, whether you want a simple way to share your ideas with the world or you want to blog for profits. The platform itself is extremely powerful and allows for thousands of useful customization options, while the basic interface is user-friendly and easy to understand.
Some people give up blogging altogether, because when they hear about WordPress, they feel that it would take a genius to figure it out and set it up. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you want to learn how to start a self-hosted WordPress blog in 5 simple steps, read on.
Step 1 – Get hosted
The first step to start a WordPress blog is not related to the platform itself. Instead, it has to do with choosing a hosting service for your future blog and getting your website out on the Internet. There are hundreds of hosting services available for you, but most experienced bloggers recommend BlueHost due to its reliability, affordability and ease of use.
To get hosted through BlueHost, go to their website and click their “Get Started Now” button. Next, you’ll have to choose a plan for your hosting service and make a payment for the annual rate in advance. With options ranging from $3 to $6 a month, getting hosted by BlueHost is quite a bargain. Before you complete your payment, you’ll be able to secure a free domain (the URL of your blog) or provide your existing domain to the host.
Next up, create a strong password for your BlueHost account and don’t forget to write it down in a secure document or on a piece of paper. Once you’ve logged into your account, click on the “Hosting” link in the upper left corner, and this will take you to the Control Panel or cPanel. Note that throughout the entire process, you’ll most likely receive messages from BlueHost regarding possible upgrades for your account. For the time being, you can ignore these and simply close the respective windows.
Step 2 – Install WordPress on your domain
Now that you’ve made it to the Control Panel, you can begin installing WordPress on your domain. On the “Website” section of the page, find the “Install WordPress Logo” and click on it to get started. When the new WordPress screen appears, click the “Install” button and then select the domain you wish to install WordPress on. On the next screen, you should be able to access “Advanced Options” in order to type in your site name or title, which you can also change later should you feel the need to do so. Then, create an Admin Username and Admin Password or accept the ones proposed by BlueHost. Make sure you accept the provided terms and conditions, and click the “Install Now” button.
You know that the process is finished when you receive the message “Your install is complete!” As this happens, click the “View Credentials” button to access the Notification Center, where you can view your blog URL, login URL, username and password. All of this information will also be sent to you through email.
Congratulations! You’re quickly on your way to launching your first WordPress blog.
Step 3 – Find the right theme
To begin sifting through the available WordPress blog themes, you must first log into your WordPress account by using the username and password we’ve been talking about on the previous step. From the Notification Center, click on the “Admin URL” button and enter your login details. Success! You have made to it the WordPress “Dashboard” or what bloggers call the “WordPress back-end”. This represents what you as a blogger see and the way you control the “WordPress front-end” or what your readers see.
There are a few things you can do here before you move on. If you’d like to add in or modify any user profile information, go to Users/Your Profile to do so. For information about the website or to change its name, you may access Administration/Settings/General. To add new pages, such as a Contact or an About page, go to Administration/Pages/Add New.
Once you’ve completed these preliminary routines and got more accustomed to your WordPress options, it’s finally time to have some fun designing your blog. Go to Administration/Appearance/Themes and check out thousands of free or premium WordPress blog themes for your website. Don’t forget to choose something clean and user-friendly, as well as representative for both your personality and your niche.
Step 4 – Load your first blog
At this point, you’re almost finished setting up your WordPress blog. To get an idea of how posts work on this platform, create a test blog and publish it on your website. Go to Posts/Add New in order to access the New Post screen. Here, you can insert a clever title for your post, as well as write the post itself in the field below. It’s up to you if you’ll actually keep this post on your blog once you’re finished with the setup, but for now, maybe you can write about why you are starting your blog and what you would like to discuss in the future. Otherwise, check out some guides on how to write an amazing first blog and spend some time coming up with some really awesome content.
By clicking the publish button, you load your blog on the Internet for the world to see. To fiddle with it, go to Administration/Posts/Posts panel, where you can use the full edit or quick edit features. Handily enough, WordPress will display a “Coming Soon” on your blog until you are ready to actually launch your site.
Step 5 – Other options
Take a moment to relish this achievement – you have successfully set up your brand new, self-hosted WordPress blog! Of course, what you decide to write on your blog, as well as the design you choose and the images you display will make the bread and butter of your career as a blogger. On the other hand, there are plenty of other options to consider for your blog, especially if you’re serious about monetizing your work.
For instance, you can install hundreds of different plugins into your WordPress blog to help you manage your SEO, communication with readers, ecommerce options and much more. In addition, you can modify virtually anything on your WordPress blog, provided that you have the necessary knowledge to do so. Read up on some WordPress Codex guides to become more familiar with the advanced options offered by the platform. You should also consider investing in some advertising campaigns for your blog or reaching out to other bloggers in the field for a recommendation.