Do you wish to start a WordPress blog but don’t know where to start? Worry no more, because I got you covered.
I’m going to walk you through the baby-steps of starting a blog – right up to publishing your first blog post.
People have different reasons why they would want to start a blog. Maybe they just want to share ideas or grow their business.
The best part: You can still make money with your blog.
Now: Where do we start?
To get started, you will need a domain name and hosting package. Luckily most hosting providers offer both domain registration and hosting services.
Most beginner bloggers make this mistake.
Many beginner bloggers quickly run to use the WordPress.com platform to get started with blogging – because it’s FREE. I wouldn’t suggest you take that route.
WordPress.com has it’s limitations.
Basically they will create a subdomain for you to run and install WordPress in it. For example, you have a domain idea called “blogideas” right?
If you take the route, you will end up with an “blogideas.wordpress.com” which automatically takes ownership of your content away from you.
I mean would you feel that you own the blog when it’s just a sub… of another entity? I don’t think so.
But I mean. If you don’t have money for hosting, you are more than welcome to use WordPress.com. End of the day, it’s the content you’d like share – isn’t it?
Step 1: Domain Name & Hosting
Before anything else, you need to register a domain and choose a hosting package.
I highly recommend Gridhost. They are the biggest hosting company in South Africa.
They offer affordable hosting plans as low as R49/month with free .co.za domain. Create an account and register your domain idea there.
You will get more features as well, including:
- Unlimited Traffic
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- Includes cPanel
Once you have successfully registered a domain and hosting, it’s time to choose a blogging platform. You will receive information about your domain and hosting package, and how you can access your files through cPanel.
Step 2: Installing WordPress
Are you sure, you’ve setup your hosting with Gridhost?
I’m pretty sure before reading this article, you had already decided to go with WordPress.
I can tell today, WordPress is by far the best content management system mostly used by bloggers.
So, to get started in blogging with WordPress.
Head over to your cPanel, your hosting management application. This will come pre-installed in your hosting, so no need to worry about it.
Install WordPress with just one click. Please follow these screenshots:
In cPanel, click on the WordPress installer. Please see below:
Well done. You have successfully installed WordPress for your blog.
You see, that wasn’t too bad – right?
Step 3: Website Theming
When you visit your website address, what do you see?
Chances are a blank WordPress site. Correct?
Login to your dashboard. Add “/wp-admin” to your website address to access the admin section of your blog. Use credential you’ve created during installation.
This is what you will see after successfully logging in.
To make your website look nice, you need a theme or sometimes referred to as a template.
There are thousands of free themes for WordPress you can install. There are also paid templates you can purchase from Themeforest.net. The most popular marketplace for WordPress templates.
To install and activate a new theme, go to “Appearance” on the left menu of the dashboard and select ‘Themes’.
This will list default free themes for you. You can change to those already installed – which you like.
Or add a new theme.
Click on the “Add New” button at the top of the ‘Appearance’ page. And now, search for the right theme for your niche website.
Preview themes to choose the only that satisfy you.
Once happy, click “Install” button. And then, active the theme by clicking on the ‘Activate’ button.
Themes make your website look pretty and professional.
Customize your theme.
To customize your theme, click on “Customize” on the activated theme under “Themes” tab.
Change the name of your blog, and add a new logo. Don’t forget to add a tagline.
I know you’re eager to add and publish your first awesome blog post. Wait a little bit – we’ll get there shortly.
Before you publish a post, we need to install a few plugins that will help you rank higher in Google (SEO).
You need the Yoast plugin. The most popular used SEO plugin in the whole WordPress community.