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How to set up your own Blog (2019)

blog setup

How to create a Blog

So, you want to create a WordPress blog. Good news, it is a very straight forward process and you can have a blog up and running within the hour. Here are the main things that you will need to do in order to get from zero to blogging. These will be explained in detail further below. So what are you waiting for, dive right in and Create your own Blog!

  1. Decide your niche, what will you blog about?
  2. Choose domain name and secure social media
  3. Get your hosting Package
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Customize and get Posting.

Self Hosting or Fully Hosted

This will be a quick guide to setting up your own self hosted blog. And when I say self-hosted I mean using wordpress.org not wordpress.com. The difference is that you have to set up and pay for your own hosting, manage your server and install WordPress software. Whereas on wordpress.com all that is taken care of for you and all you need is one log in.

That’s just a very quick overview of differences, if you need more checkout www.wpbeginner.com you’ll find everything WordPress over there.

WordPress.com is quick and easy and a great place to start if you do not want to do much work to get your blog up and running, it is quick to set up and easy to use and the learning curve is not that steep and you can be up and running in minutes. However, there are limitations, on the free version you will have wordpress.com in your domain name, you won’t be able to install plugins and you will have a limited selection of themes (still 100s) etc.  but if you want to change any of this you will have to upgrade to a premium paid account but some of the limitations will remain.

WordPress.org (self-hosted) is blessed with the same ease of use, quick installation and manageable learning curve for beginners, but you do need to do a bit more work to get up and running. But ultimately you will have more control over your website or blog and you will be able to install plugins and themes from the get go, fully customize 100% of your site since you have access to the code and use your own domain name etc. But it also means more responsibility plus you have full ownership of your blog.

Web Hosting

How much will it cost me?

So now that we’ve got that out of the way and you are still happy to proceed, here’s how I did it. Now setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog is not free (but can be inexpensive) and you will own 100% of your blog, have 100% control and you will have a domain name like becomethedriver.com as opposed to becomethedriver.wordpress.com were you to use the free version on fully hosted (wordpress.com).

So here is what you need to pay for:

Domain name – this will be what people type in to get to your blog. E.g. www.becomethedriver.com  I bought mine from names.co.uk and you typically have to renew your domain name yearly. They typically cost £14.99 but dependant on the name the price can be higher or lower.

Hosting – this is the internet space in which your blog exists, you can google the technicalities but this is essentially what it is. This can typically cost like £6.99 a month dependant on the level you require. And as a bonus some hosting providers have offers for cheap or potentially free domain names when you purchase a hosting plan.

I used www.Siteground.com for my hosting, and you usually have to pay for a year up front so if there are deals to be had it could pay to buy a couple of years. Follow this link and you will get a discount on your hosting package and free site migration. Click me for Hosting.  typical offers are in the range of 60% off so you’d only be paying £2.75 per month if available so it would make sense to get a couple of years as you can always scale up if required.

SSL Certificate – this is what makes your blog more secure. https instead of http. With this you will have the green lock appear next to your blog in the address bar. This is optional but if you intend to take payments on your blog it is highly recommended. The most straight forward way to get one of these is through your hosting provider, they usually have outlets and deals for adding these to your current package.

You might want to download a FTP Client e.g. FileZilla which is a free program that allows you to access the code for your blog, and you can upload things directly and backup etc.



The Set Up – Create your own Blog

Continuing from the summary at the beginning of this post, here is the detailed explanation of each point. please not that these instructions are for the way I did this blog using SiteGround for hosting and WordPress. A lot of other hosting providers and blogging platforms will most likely have a similar set up, but just bear that in mind if you follow this guide.

  1. Decide your niche, what will you blog about?

This is what should take you the most time, actually deciding what you want to blog about. It’s better to have a more specific focus so you don’t get lost in different topics and having something you are passionate about makes writing easier. And this process can lead to you thinking about what you would like to call your blog.

  1. Choose domain name and secure social media

Once you have your topic, then decide on a name. you want a name that is not too complicated so that if you tell someone about it they will be able to remember it when they search for your blog. It shouldn’t be too difficult to type, if possible limit any hyphens and the length. It should be related to what you are writing about.

Then an optional but good thing to do is to create social media accounts on all platforms you think you might use with it, e.g. Instagram and YouTube and give the accounts the same name so users can find you easily everywhere.

  1. Get hosting

This is another very important step, you need to find a host who provides you with everything you need in terms of storage space, up time, customer support, emails, and scalability if required. And all the above at a good price. Luckily I have been through the process and found SiteGround which is one of the top hosting providers and they have great offers, support and packages for starting out.

Check out this link for some discount on your hosting from SiteGround

Once you get to Siteground you will see the following screen:

Browse the details and select the deal you want to get started with, the start-up one is sufficient and you can upgrade at any time if needed, but the choice is yours.

You will then see the following screen which asks you whether or not you want to register a new domain, or if you already have one which you want to transfer if you have bought it else where. Fill in as required and press next.

once you click proceed, and you have registered a new domain it will check whether your chosen domain is available and if it is happy days but if not it will offer alternatives or you can try variations on the name you chosen. For example bethedriver was taken and I settled on becomethedriver but possibilities are endless.

Once you have found one you are happy with then you are asked to fill in your account information, your personal information and your billing information.

you will then be able to select your purchase period, from a one month trial to 1,2 or 3 years. And with hosting you pay up front for the whole period selected.

You can then add any extras required and the process is complete.

You will then be logged in and from your account page you will get all your details you need. Take some time to note the details you need to.

  1. Install WordPress

Now that everything is in place you need to install WordPress and you are nearly there.

Most hosting providers come with a cPanel account which is used for managing your hosting account, instructions will be available on whichever hosting provider you choose.

This is probably the same on most hosting providers but to install WordPress on SiteGround all you need to do is login to your account. And from your accounts page select go to cPanel. Click the red button as seen below.

once you are in your cPanel you will be presented with the your account screen which will have the hosting details and a lot of other options, no need to be intimidated just look for the section on the main page that says auto installers and click WordPress.

you will get an overview of WordPress and then there will be an install now link. Press this and you will have some details to fill in.

 

You technically don’t have to change anything, but you want to change the Site settings as seen below.  These are created automatically so you should change these details to something more memorable. This will be the info you will need to log in to WordPress.

press install and you are done.

Your WordPress dashboard url will look like this http://yoursite.com/wp-admin

Click the login link and you are good to go.

  1. Customize and get Posting.

That wasn’t so bad now was it? You now have a WordPress site. Which is viewable by the public. Take some time to browse the interface and get familiar. Use the guide and when you are happy, it is time to change the appearance.

The basic WordPress site will just be a plain page, with a basic first post and not much else. It shows you what you have. You then go into appearances and themes and you can browse the 1000s of free themes available and pick what you like.

Above is what your admin dashboard for your blog will look like. Either press ‘Customise your site’ and go through each option making changes until you are happy. Alternatively you can browse themes, and then go through customisation.

Select appearance on the left. Select themes and select add new and you will be able to browse the library, install and activate your theme. Similarly, when you want to add a post just press posts and there will be a new posts screen where you can manage existing posts and add new ones.

 

Thanks for listening, Like and Share if you care. Subscribe for post notifications if you feel that way inclined. Check me out on my socials and Leave a comment. Most importantly, remember to Become the Driver of your Life.

Happy Internetting!

#BecomeTheDriver

 

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