You’re ready. You want to start a blog. You want to write to help other people. You want to write because it’s what you love to do. You want to write to build your platform online.
Those were the top three reasons I started this blog and it has been so very rewarding!
But I will admit when I started my first blog six years ago I was so overwhelmed by the tech piece.
I struggled with these questions:
- How do I get my blog online?
- Do I use WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, Weebly, or something else?
- What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
- What is hosting?
- How do I get a domain name?
- Is this going to be expensive? What are my costs involved?
- Is this too technical to figure out?
Do you have these questions going around in your head? Then you have come to the right place! I have now started three blogs as well as created a dozen websites for clients. I have this process down to a “T” and can get a website set up in about 10 minutes– maybe less. Even better news? I am going to walk you through the process step-by-step with screenshots for free. People were good to me when I first set up my blogs and I want to pay it forward!
This post contains affiliate links.
First I am going to start by answering the questions above.
1. How do I get my blog online?
You will want to choose a blogging platform like WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, or Weebly. These are the easiest options for creating a brand new website from scratch. Your blog is also a website.
2. Do I use WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, Weebly, or something else?
Hands down use WordPress and not the free version. WordPress will give you the most options for downloading plugins (more on that in a bit). It will make it easier for you to do ads on your blog and add special features like social media share buttons.
3. What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
In a nutshell: WordPress.com=free; WordPress.org=paid
WordPress.com is a free version of WordPress that you can easily use to launch your blog. There is one issue though– you can’t add any custom plugins and you can’t display ads. You don’t pay for the hosting. It is hosted on the WordPress.com server.
WordPress.org is the self-hosted version of WordPress that you can do anything you want with. You can write unlimited posts, download as many plugins as you want, run ads, offer a freebie, and more.
If you are serious about blogging you will want to start with WordPress.org. If you start with another option I can guarantee you will end up transferring to WordPress.org and that will be a pain. Save yourself the time and start with WordPress.org.
This tutorial post will cover how to set up the paid version of WordPress.org.
4. What is hosting?
I want to explain the difference between your website URL being registered and your website being hosted. Your domain name is like your physical home address. It is where people go to look to find you. Your website host is like your house. People come into your house, talk to you, get to know you. Same with your website.
URL Domain Registrar=Address. This is the URL of your blog. Mine is www.womenwinningonline.com
Domain Host=House. I will explain this in the tutorial below, but for beginners SiteGround is a great, affordable option.
5. How do I get a domain name?
You can either register your domain name with a separate company like Netfirms or you can register it with the same company you use to host your blog. This is usually the easiest option. You will need to renew your domain registration every year.
I recommend registering through SiteGround because they don’t charge you extra for your domain name. It’s $15 to register a domain name and when you are starting out, every penny counts right?! Use that $15 to buy yourself lunch after setting up your blog!
6. Is this going to be expensive? What are my costs involved?
The thing I love about SiteGround compared to their competitors is they offer two great options for hosting your new blog.
You can do the one month trial for $3.95 and a $14.95 domain registration fee. If you decide blogging isn’t for you, you have only spent $18.90 to try it out. That’s cheaper than taking your kids out for dinner right?!
Or if you are ready to get your blog on, you can register for the 12 month package. The domain registration fee of $14.95 is waived when you sign up for a year. The costs to register for a year is only $47.40. Cheaper than a trip to Target am I right?!
Option 1: 30 day trial=$18.90
Option 2: 12 months=$47.40
For those of you looking to host more than one site or want to take advantage of SiteGround’s free year of Wildcard SSL which is really important for bloggers, check out their GrowBig Plan for $7.95 a month. That is what I use! Also to really get the most bang for your buck, sign up for 3 years to take advantage of these low hosting prices.
7. Is this too technical to figure out?
You have my word 100%, that if you can send an email, you can setup your WordPress site. I am going to show you the shortcut and the full blown way on how to do it. I will back this up with a promise from me. If at any point you get stuck in the setup process you contact me. Shoot me an email and I will help you get up and running for free. I want to help you start your blog!
A word about SiteGround
Why do I recommend SiteGround for hosting? There are a few main reasons:
You are a new blogger and don’t have a lot of money to spend on blogging yet. SiteGround allows you start for under $50. I would rather you be able to spend your money on marketing your blog and getting the necessary education to grow your blog.
To keep the costs low, sign up for 1+ years of hosting. The more years you sign up for, the less expensive it is!
2. Ease of Use
As you will see below setting up a blog with SiteGround is e-a-s-y. In fact they will do it for you. That’s how easy it is. They also have a great tutorial here that will help you get your WordPress site up and running in minutes: https://www.siteground.com/tutorials/wordpress/wordpress-wizard-installation.htm
3. Customer Support
The technical side of blogging can be frustrating at best. You need a host that will be there for you 24 hours a day if something happens to your blog. SiteGround will answer any technical questions you have at anytime– day or night!
Their sites load faster than 11 other common hosting sites. This is important for your readers and for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) status!
Now that you know where to host your new blog, let’s move onto getting it setup!
Purchase Your Hosting Package
1. Go to SiteGround and click the Sign Up button
2. Choose your hosting package
3. Choose your domain package
A. Select Get New Hosting Account
B. Select Register a New Domain (if you have an existing domain choose that option and enter your domain)
D. Choose your hosting period. The longer you do it for, the bigger your discount! Then pick your hosting location!
- Pick your location
E. Enter your payment details and click the green pay now button.
Next you will be taken to your user home page. Now it’s time to install WordPress!
Easy WordPress Install
The easiest way to install WordPress? Ask SiteGround to do it for you. That’s right. All you have to do is click on their support tab, click the messaging box, and ask them to set your blog. Easy peasey. There’s nothing wrong with doing it this way. You are a busy lady who doesn’t have time for the tech stuff. You need to get your blog on!
Once you are connected to support let them know you are a new blogger and you need help setting up your WordPress site. It will be done before you can check your Facebook newsfeed.
DIY WordPress Install
Some women like the DIY approach when it comes to setting up their WordPress site. You want to learn the ins and outs of how everything works. Totally a cool option. I have good news for you too. You can set up your WordPress site in about 60 seconds. It’s that easy.
1. Go to the My Accounts tab from your user home page
2. Click the Go To cPanel button
Now you are in the cPanel but don’t let this freak you out. You are going to click one button to start the WordPress set up. Scroll down to the WordPress Tools section. Click the WordPress Installer.
4. Install WordPress
Then you will be taken to SiteGround’s system called Softaculous. Hover over the WordPress button and click the blue Install button.
5. Enter Details
A. Enter your website URL
B. Make sure your domain name shows up in the drop down.
C. Leave this as is
D. Change the name to your blog name. You can change this later!
E. Give a short description or tagline for your blog. You can change this later!
F. This is what you will use to login to your site. Change the admin and the password. This is important to keep your blog safe!
G. Change this to your email address.
H. Choose your language
I. Select your theme (In the next lesson I will show you where to buy a theme and install it)
J. Enter your email address to get your login details
K. Hit the blue button to install your WordPress site!
You are now ready to login and write your first post!
1. Enter your login details and click log In.
2. On the left hand side click Posts—->Add New and you are ready to write your first post!
What do you think about starting your first blog? Easy or hard? Please share with me in the comments below!