Have you been dreaming about having a blog but aren’t sure how to get started?
Or maybe you already have a business and need a website but don’t want to pay someone to do it for you?
It’s time to stop dreaming and start doing! I’m going to teach you how to start your blog today before lunchtime!How to start a blog before lunch! Click To Tweet
I’m going to kick us off with a bit of an analogy I use with my clients. Think about when you buy a house…you have land, you have the house structure, and you have the décor inside. That is what your website is like. Your domain is your address. Your host is like the lot you are on. WordPress is the structure for your house. The template you use – fonts, colors, layout etc. – are like the inside design and décor of your house.
Some of you are now probably thinking I’ve lost my mind but for others I’m hoping that analogy helped. 🙂
Please note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. For more info, click here to visit my disclosure page.
Ok let’s get started!
Step 1: Choose Your Domain
Your domain name is the URL link people will type in to come to your site. Mine is www.stephiswired.com. If you have a blog or business name in mind already, you will want to use that or something very close to it.
Unfortunately, just because you like the name, doesn’t mean no one has thought of it before. You need to check to see if it is available. One quick way is to simply type in that address and see if there is a site there already. The more official way to check is to go to a company like BlueHost and see if it is available. Note: I recommend using .com as that is the most common and what people will generally type in by default.
Step 2: Choose Your Host
My favorite hosting company is BlueHost, yep the same company I mentioned above! The best news? If you use BlueHost for your hosting, you will get your domain for free! woot woot!
When you sign up, you’ll need to choose a hosting level. I recommend you start with the Basic package. You can always upgrade later!
Once you select your package, you’ll be prompted to either type in a domain name you already own OR setup a new domain. If you setup a new domain now, it is free because you are using BlueHost as your hosting company.
Next, you’ll choose the amount of time you want to pay for hosting. The longer you choose the cheaper it is! The price is broken down into monthly cost but you will actually pay for the total now.
You will notice there are some other options checked off and included in the price shown. I encourage you to click “more information” under each to decide what is right for you. At a minimum I usually choose Domain Privacy Protection.
Fill out your payment info and click Submit! Congratulations, you now own a domain and hosting for your site!
Step 3: Download WordPress
Now that you have a site, you’ll need to download WordPress. WordPress is the site you will use to manage your website. This is where you will write your blog posts, upload graphics, etc.
To Download WordPress…
Log in to your Bluehost control panel.
Go to the “Website Builders” section and click the “Install WordPress” button.
Welcome to the Marketplace! Click Get Started to continue.
From the drop-down menu choose the Domain name you would like to use for this application. You’ll want to choose the one you just setup. Click Next.
Next, enter your Admin Information. This is the information for you, the admin of the site.
- Site Name: This will be the name displayed on your site. This is not the URL, but simply the name used on your site.
- Admin Email Address: This will be where your login information will be sent.
- Admin Username: The desired login name for your application
- Admin Password: The desired password for this application
The MOJO Marketplace installer will take a couple of minutes to install your application. Once done:
- Select My Installs from the top right.
- Find the domain install and click Login.
Anytime you want to access your site and work in WordPress, you will go to whatever your URL is plus /wp-admin. This will take you to a log in page where you will enter your log in info you chose above.
Take a bow, you now have a site and you are ready to get going!
Step 4: Choose a Template
As I mentioned earlier, the template is what tells WordPress what to put where and how it should look. This is the fun stuff!
First, on all of my sites I use Genesis framework and then a child theme. You can get Genesis here. There are many places to find child theme templates but here are a couple of my favorites.
Elegant Themes – My other favorite is the Divi Theme from Elegant Themes. Along with this theme, they have an awesome front end tool you can use to build your site through WordPress. Drag and drop, very easy to use and it’s free as a part of the them!
Once you choose and pay for your template, follow the instructions to install it. To view your theme, log onto your WordPress site and go to Appearance/Themes.
That’s it! You now have your own website with WordPress! Great job!
If you’ve made it this far and have been afraid to push a button and have yet to start a site, no worries. As a part of my consulting services I setup WordPress sites for folks all the time! I even ghost write blog posts if you need that too. Just go over to the Contact tab on this site and send me a note. I’ll be happy to help you!
So, who has now followed these instructions and started your new website? Drop a link below and I’ll go check it out!