If you’ve been wanting to start your own blog, but never really got around doing it, either because you weren’t sure how to go about it, or you simply couldn’t make it work no matter how hard you tried – then this free tutorial is for you.
Following these simple steps, you will learn how to create and maintain an attractive looking, professional and fully functional blog faster (and cheaper) than you ever imagined possible!
There is absolutely NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE NECESSARY, as I have written this tutorial even with the absolute beginner in mind. You will be taken through the entire process, step by step, with all the relevant screenshots and explanations accompanying each and every step.
Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with domains, nameservers, web hosts and other fancy hi-tech “lingo” because I’m going to break everything down for you.
After all, you’re going to learn how to make your very own piece of web property starting from scratch and having it up and running in less than 30 minutes.
A blog is basically just a website, organized in a way that allows you to post content to it which is usually published by date.
In order to setup your blog, you will need two main things.
The first building block is the blog’s domain name. This is the URL you type in your browser when you want to access your blog, for example: www.yourblog.com
The second building block is a web host. All websites and blogs need a web host to hold the files and images that make up their blog.
1st step – Choose a domain name
There are a couple of things that you should be aware about when choosing your domain name:
1. Avoid the use of registered brands and trademarks
This can get you into a lot of legal trouble and I’m sure you’d want to stay as far away from that as possible. If you want to blog about a particular brand, you’ll have to be very cautious about this.
2. Make your domain name easy to memorize
Many people make their domains funny or catchy, something that has a nice “ring” to it, something that’s easy to remember. If your domain name has too many weird characters or strange sounding words, people are just not going to remember that.
3. Don’t use too many words
I see so many people making this mistake over and over again. Why would you want to get a domain name which has a whole modern encyclopedia of words in it? It makes absolutely no sense, and it gives off a very unprofessional impression. Just make it short and descriptive.
4. Select a proper extension
You’re best off going with the .com extension if available. However, you’ll often have to go with .net or .org if it has already been taken by someone else. These are the 3 most popular extensions.
Some people like to use their own name as their domain, (FirstLastName.com) while other try to use the theme of their blog somewhere in the domain. For example: KatesHealthBlog.com or HealthyLiving.com or something similar.
You can use the search tool below to see if your desired domain name is available:
Once you’ve decided on your domain name, go on to the next step, where I will show you how to setup your web host, and how to get your domain registration for free.
2nd step – Find a good web hosting service
We have already established the fact that we need a web host in order to support our blog.
There are a lot of web hosting services out there, but very few come at the right blend of quality and price. Either you get a good service, but it’s a bit too expensive, or you get a cheap hosting solution, but the quality is usually horrible…
There are, however, some web hosting services which offer premium hosting experience for a very affordable price. One of those is GreenGeeks located in California, USA. They are one of the leading web hosting service on the internet.
GreenGeeks offer an extremely fast connection, with hardly any downtime at all. Their customer service is also FANTASTIC – I’ve yet to see a company that responds to questions faster and more competently than the GreenGeeks staff.
To register an account with GreenGeeks, follow this link to GreenGeeks.com
When you see the following screen, simply click on the “Sign Up Now” button.
Next you will need to enter the domain you came up with in step 1, into the box on the left side of the screen where it says “I Need a Domain” then click next.
Now you will the order form for your web hosting account, simply fill it out, and choose a plan that suits you.
TIP: You can choose any length on plan you like, but in order to qualify for the Free Domain Registration, you will need to start with the 12 month or more plan.
So once you are happy with that, click the “Create My Account” button, and you are done.
GreenGeeks will now setup your web hosting account, and email you with the details when it is ready. Sometimes this happens almost instantly, sometimes it can take a little time. So once you have received your login details, you can continue with step 3.
3rd step – Setup your Blog with WordPress
Instead of hiring a web programmer or spending days building a blog from nothing, we’ll be leveraging a free, made-for-you blogging platform called WordPress.
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System), that is generally regarded as the most flexible & powerful of them all. This is supported by the fact that nearly 16.7% of the top million websites on the internet use WordPress as their CMS.
Installing WordPress, is not usually an easy task by itself. BUT! Since we’ve signed up with GreenGeeks, we’ve gained access to a free tool that makes the whole installation process automatic!
GreenGeeks have a built in WordPress installer which lets you install WordPress in just a few minutes.
To install WordPress, first you will need to login to your GreenGeeks Account manager. You will find the link to this in the welcome email you will have received from GreenGeeks when you setup your web hosting.
It will look like this:
Just enter the username and password found in your welcome email into the Account Manager box on the left and click Login.
You should now see something like this:
Click on the Blue cPanel Login button.
When you have logged in you will see a heap of icons, this is where you can setup email addresses, and view your blogs visitor stats and things like that, but for now we will just focus on installing WordPress, so scroll down until you see the blue smiley face »Fantastico De Luxe« and click it.
You will then need to click on the WordPress link as shown below.
Then Click on the »New Installation« link:
Next simply select your domain name in the drop-down box, and enter a username and password for WordPress.
IMPORTANT: there is an option to install WordPress in a directory, most of the time you will just want to leave this box Blank. (Unless you know what you are doing).
Then you just “Install WordPress”
Then just click the “Finish Installation” link and you are done.
Now type in your domain name, and have a look at your new “very basic” blog. It will look something like this:
Congratulations, you have just started your very own blog!
There are a heap of ways to customize the look, feel and functionality of your WordPress blog, so to configure your blog, type /wp-admin after your domain and press enter:
You will need to login again so just enter the username and password you entered when you were installing WordPress.
You should now see a Welcome message, and you will be looking at your “Dashboard” which is where you will manage your new blog from.
Everything you will do, you will do it from here. Adding new content, images, videos, installing themes, plugins – it’s ALL done in the WP dashboard.
So that’s it for this tutorial, you have now officially started a blog.
Have a play around in your dashboard, and then check out the other tutorials on this website about how to setup, customize and use your WordPress Blog.