So you’re ready to start a blog and you have a little bit of money to spend on it! Perfect. I’ll guide you through, step by step, on how to get a blog started with WordPress.org. This blogging platform is incredibly popular and a top choice for your blog if you want it to be safe and professional from the beginning.
The first thing you need to do is organise your domain (www.myblog.com) and your hosting (the website that holds all your blog files). These are the two items you will need to pay for to keep your blog running.
Both of these can be easily paid for at the same time at a website called Bluehost. This is the #1 recommended hosting website by WordPress, it’s quick and easy to set up.
First you will land on the Bluehost home screen where you’ll see this banner. Click on the green ‘get started now’ button.
PICK A PLAN
Next you will land on this screen, where you’ll need to select your plan. If you’re a beginner blogger, the first package has everything you need. However, if budget isn’t an issue for you, go for the recommended plan. Keep in mind that to get the price they’re showing you, you’ll have to pay for 12 months up-front.
The basic plan includes your domain and hosting, for only $3.95 per month (if you pay for 3 years up front). You get just the right amount of hosting space, an email account and the ability to upgrade as your blog grows.
REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN
Now you’ll need to choose the domain you’d like (www.yourblog.com). This can take some time, trying to find one that hasn’t already been taken. Make sure you go for a .com domain, and make sure it matches up to the name of your blog.
For example, if your blog is called Cupcake Sprinkle, I don’t suggest getting the domain www.coffeecake.com. Try and find the closest domain you can to your blog name. The shorter it is, the more memorable it will be.
Once you’ve clicked next, you’ll land on a page where you have to fill your info in. This is your main information for your Bluehost account. Make sure your email address is correct, as this will be the email Bluehost uses to contact you.
CHOOSE A PACKAGE
On the same page, you’ll need to confirm your package information. Next to Account Plan, choose exactly which one you’d like, and it will let you know next to Hosting Price what the total for that package comes to.
The extras below aren’t entirely necessary, but it’s up to you. Read ‘more information’ besides each one to see if you want them. Otherwise, uncheck all.
At the bottom you will see the total amount you’ll be paying to Bluehost (depending on which account plan you’ve chosen).
Down the bottom of the same page, is the area where you fill in your payment details. Have a read of their terms and conditions and their cancellation policy, and then click Submit.
Now you’ll need to install WordPress, your blogging platform. In your Bluehost account, go to ‘hosting’ then to ‘cpanel’. Click on the ‘Install WordPress’ icon.
You will be taken to a page where you install the latest version of WordPress. Click on the green ‘Start a brand new install’ button.
Choose the domain you want WordPress installed to. If you’ve just created a new domain while signing up to Bluehost, it will be the default one listed.
LOG IN TO WORDPRESS
Your blog is now set up! Woohoo! To get into blogging, you’ll need to log into your WordPress account.
Go to: www.YOURSITENAME.com/wp-admin
Fill in the new username and password you just created for WordPress, and click login.
You will be taken to your WordPress dashboard. This will always be the way you get to your dashboard to create your posts, pages and change the look of your blog.
INSTALL A THEME
The first thing I suggest you do when you’re into WordPress, is to select your Theme. This is the overall look of your blog. There are free themes available, so select one of those first. It’s a good idea to get used to your blog, all the parts of the WordPress dashboard, before you buy a theme.
In the WordPress menu go to Appearance > Themes and you’ll have a few to select from.
If you do feel ready to buy an amazing theme for your new blog though, my favourite places to buy WordPress themes are: