So you’ve made up your mind to create a market blog and get your creative juices flowing. Well, in that case, welcome to WordPress! Most of the World Wide Web is powered by WordPress so don’t worry about social proof; you’re going to be going down a well-beaten path that is tried and true. As it turns out, creating a WordPress blog is pretty easy, and that’s what we will be trying to do today, with the help of Andy Foster, main Web-Developer at BestEssayTips.
The Starting Point
This guide will be about how to create your own self-hosted blog on WordPress.org, as opposed to WordPress.com, where the site hosts you. Don’t worry about the difference for now; just know that you get a lot more control over what you do on WordPress.org.
So the steps you will need to take are as follows:
- Get a host for your blog (web hosting)
- Give your blog a good domain name and register it with your host
- Install WordPress
- Write your first blog post
You don’t need to be a next-level computer genius to do any of these things, so don’t worry about any prerequisites. Just strap yourself in and get ready to learn!
Getting a Web Host
When you run your own blog, you will obviously want people from around the world to be able to view it. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? In order to do that, you will need a host for your website, which will serve it up to your readers every time they look for your blog on the internet, and a domain, which is like the home address for your blog. The domain is how your readers will be able to find your blog.
You can get both the host and the domain at the same time. What you need to look for, in particular, is a WordPress host. In that case, there is a whole plethora of them, such as SiteGround, BlueHost, and many others. Whichever host you choose, there are clear instructions on the site that you can use to go through the registration process. Once you’re done and have both hosting and a killer domain, you’re good to go to install WordPress.
In order to use a WordPress blog, you will, of course, need to have WordPress software installed on your computer. Don’t worry about it; it’s much easier than you think. It usually happens from your hosting provider. So, for example, if you have registered using SiteGround, they will typically send you an email that shows you how to log in to the customer area. There you will see some kind of popup that announces a Website Setup Wizard. You should check the box in the pop up that says “Get WordPress preinstalled on this account” and then click “Proceed”. You will then be taken to another screen where you will be required to enter your login details, which you will use to log into your blog. You will also get the opportunity to choose a theme for your blog. Once you’re done with all of that you can click “Submit” and you’re done! Note that these steps are specific to SiteGround. However, the process is fairly similar for most web hosting providers. Besides, most of them also give you clear instructions on how to set up WordPress so it should be very easy; usually as easy as clicking a few buttons on even fewer popups!
Writing your first Blog Post
So now that you finally have a WordPress blog, you’re ready to get your hands dirty and start blogging straight away. The first step is to dive right in and write a blog post on your new blog. The screen below is a typical WordPress dashboard, which you see upon logging in:
When you hover over the button labeled “Posts”, on the left, you will see an option to add a new post. Click on that option.
Once you click on it, you will be taken to the Editor, where you can write your post. It’s pretty much like any other word processor, and so should feel as comfortable and intuitive for you as Google Docs and Microsoft Word. You can explore it as much as you want, just to get some sense of how to use it. There are quite a number of things you can do, such as add a title, type in your post, format it with the toolbar, insert images, add categories to your post, and publish your post so your visitors can see it.
Altering the Look of your Blog
The beauty of WordPress is that you get a whole plethora of themes from which you can choose whatever works for you. There are two things you can use: themes and plugins. Themes change the look of your blog while plugins help you add functionality to your blog.
You will typically have the default WordPress theme active as soon as you log in. Alternatively, if you chose a theme when setting up your blog with your web hosting service, then that is the theme that you will see when you log in to your WordPress. If you want to change the theme, then you will be pleased to know that you have thousands of options. There is no limit to what your blog can look like.
You can choose between free and premium themes when choosing a theme. If you’re looking to get free themes, you can get lots of them on the official theme directory at WordPress.
In order to install the theme, simply add it to your blog. WordPress has made it very easy to do. You will simply hover over the “Appearance” button, select the “Themes” option, and click “Add New”.
If the theme you want to install is a free one on WordPress.org, simply type its name into the search bar and, when it appears, install it. If you have premium one, simply click on the “Upload Theme” button and you can upload the ZIP file you likely got when you purchased the theme.
Altering the Functionality of your Blog
With themes, things are already looking good on your blog and you’re probably good for the most part. However, if you want to change the functionality, then you can use plugins. These help you to add contact forms, buttons for social media, backups, SEO functionality, and lots of other things.
WordPress itself has more than 50,000 free plugins, so that’s a good place to start. Simply head on to the plugin directory on WordPress.org.
To install a plugin, go to the “Plugins” button and click on “Add New”. The process from there is pretty similar to the one for themes. If you picked yours at WordPress, search for it by name and click “Install Now”. If it was a premium one then click on the button labeled “Upload Plugin” and upload the ZIP file you got upon purchase.
So there you have it! As you can see, getting started with your own WordPress blog is pretty easy. Once you’ve got everything done, the sky is the limit. You can find ways to attract visitors to your blog, monetize it, make it a specialty blog, and so forth. Just make sure you’re having fun while you’re at it!