Want to start a blog to share your idea or promoting your business but have no idea about how to create your first blog? You might need this step-by-step tutorial. This beginners tutorials is easy-to-understand tutorial and with it, we hope to help you get your first blog up and running in less than 30 minutes, even though you are a complete novice in blogging.
Reasons to Start a Blog
It is important to explain the reasons why you need to create your own blog before we dive into the main body of this blogging tutorial. It is easy to start a blog, but not easy to maintain a popular blog. Knowing the importance of blog can help you go through the complete process and stand any tough task you might need to fulfill.
As we said before, nowadays blogging has already developed into one of the most favorable methods to spread information and communicate with people around the world. You may not know that every day millions of blogs are issued online. It means that one day you delay to get your own blog online is just one day you waste. In the information age, once you are behind one step, then you are behind a stride.
On the one hand, blog is a good platform to spread and shared your creativity, all kinds of idea, and your knowledge. On the other hand, Blogging creates a bridge between you and other bloggers who often share their interesting idea you might be fond of, so that you can learn from each other and grow into a better blogger and writer. As a result, you are possible to be adequate to make money by blogging.
Well, the first step for you is of course to build your first good blog. By following the following steps, you can quickly start one. When you are doing the process, you might have any other issues about the details, so we recommend you bookmark this page and read it carefully when you have spare time.
Go Through Several Things When Starting a Blog
It is clear that to start a good blog, you have several things to go through during the building process:
- Choose your niche for your blogging
- Decide on your blogging platform
- Select your domain name
- Set up you Web Hosting
- On your web hosting account, install the WordPress
Actually, we are to introduce the methods of start a blog with WordPress that is the most popular platform used for blogging.
Why Will We Recommend WordPress?
To be honest, we will never recommend those who are planning to start the first blog by using any free platform like Blogger. Those free platforms can only ensure that there is no barrier to help you get started free for charge. However, during the process of building and maintaining a bog well, there must a lot of places needing you to spend more, unless you can host the blog by yourself all the time.
There is a fact you should understand that once there is free thing, then you will be the product. So, these free platforms like Blogger and WordPress.com can be free to shut you down anytime but without any advanced warning or notify.
What’s worse is that under that circumstance, you certainly have no idea to recover your existing content on that free platform. And you need to notice that on those free platforms, even a minor indiscretion like using a picture but without right consent can lead your blogging site to doom and you still cannot challenge it.
Many free platforms will not offer you the custom domain, which makes your site look unprofessional. More importantly, this unprofessional look will directly pass to your potential clients and subscribers. Moreover, the free platforms will never offers you much more features or tools to allow you to make more personality customizations. As a result, the blogging site you create hard will look like any others’.
Additionally, using that kind of blogging site, you can hardly make money from it, because you do not have your won domain name and hosting. you need to know that it’s hardly to find the free blog platforms enabling you to add any other affiliate links or place your own ads on your blogging site. Then, here the question comes: How could you make money or increase the conversation rate from the traffic you are building? The answer is certain: No Way!
In fact, the cost of basic web hosting packages for blog can be as low as $5/mo, which is really inexpensive. Besides, you should know that partnering with a premium web hosting company means that your website is also backed up by professional staffs and you can freely use and customize your site as you need. Low pricing with more freedom is the right choice for you!
Up till now, we should clearly explain you the reasons that why we do not recommend you choose free platforms for your own blogging site. Since the free platforms are not the best choice for your needs, then you should think about which type of platform you will need.
On current market, you can find a wide range of open source platforms that many web hosts can support whiling you are creating the bog. The major ones now are as following:
- WordPress now is not only the most popular but also the most customizable CMS platform on current market.
- Ghost is a fresh blogging platform creating lots of noise in blogosphere.
- Drupal is also a quite popular blogging platform, but for novices, this is a little difficult.
- Joomla is another pretty popular CMS platform but you need to go through a quite steep learning curve.
According to our experience with these four blogging platforms and our research on these platforms, we really think that WordPress is best choice for you, the novices. It has great ease-of-use and extensive community support. WordPress is out of the box and will tick most of boxes you need for your first blog. If it doesn’t, you can still find a proper plugin out there.
Some Pros of Using WordPress
Firstly, it is really extremely easy for you the novices to set up. More details about how easy it is to start a blog via WordPress will be explained in later section. To help you make sense the simplicity reminds me that there is a 7 year old child setting up his own blog without any experts’ assistance.
It is also easy to use for novices. WordPress includes an intuitive interface enabling you to easily and quickly customize your blog platform. Even you are absolutely new to it, you can still build your blog, add content and images, amend your existing content and make many other things with ease via WordPress.
WordPress comes with blogging conception. Actually, the first purpose of WordPress design is to blog, so that WordPress comes with all blogging functionality and capabilities. These features are all built-in for you to easily build up your first blog. Besides, there are plenty of WordPress plugins available on the market to make up the functionality you need.
For example, when you need to create email subscriptions to the blog, you can just add it on via a certain plugin in seconds. So, you easily add sections you need because of the great capabilities of WordPress.
WordPress offers full control. It means that you can totally control over your blogging site. You can directly login WordPress dashboard and make changes on your content. It can ensure the freshness and timeliness on your blog.
It is secure on WordPress. Security is vital to all websites. As for your new blogging site, it is significant, too. To keep the best secure environment, it is actually very simple. You just need to keep your platform and the plugins you are using always up-to-date, and always adhere to those best secure password practices, then your blogging site on WordPress site will be the damn secure place.
Plus, WordPress itself will update those by default software regularly, so it can always be a secure place and keep hackers outside.
Start a Blog via WordPress
Once you decide to use WordPress as the blogging platform, then you still need to create your own domain name and choose a reliable and cheap web host for the new blog. Thinking about that you are still new to a blog building, we are glad to recommend you to register domain names and signup your hosting account with the same WordPress hosting provider, so that you can ensure that the process is simple.
Domain name is the website address. It can directly display the characteristic of your blog, so we recommend you try your best to choose a short, catchy and easy to be remembered address name for your blog. Besides, we also think you should stick to the .com domain, because it is very possible that the new domains usually are not so easy to be recognized.
Web hosting is like the online container of your blog. With the prosperity of web hosting industry, more and more hosts come into being. They are offering different hosting solutions for different usage. Well, although WordPress is free of charge, you still need to pay around $3 to $4/mo for the domain name registration and web hosting package fees.
We have already reviewed hundreds of WordPress hosting companies inside and out, so we can certainly help you choose the best right hosting for your blogging site. After deciding the provide to host with, you should step to install the WordPress on your hosting account.
Methods to Install WordPress
When you decide on the platform for blogging needs, you should think about another issue that is to install WordPress. For veteran users, they can easily install WordPress and get their bog up, while for you who lack of experience, the first tough work is just the installation of WordPress. Actually, there are indeed several methods, but it also depends on the hosting provider used and your preference. Now, we are to introduce 4 commonest installations in below.
Create a WordPress Blog with SimpleScripts
SimpleScripts is often included in WordPress hosting packages, taking the act as a WordPress installation tool. By using it, you can just click one button to easily install WordPress.
If your provider just offers SimpleScripts with WordPress hosting plans, then you can find it next to WordPress icon within your provider’s admin panel. By clicking on the SimpleScripts icon, then a list of various other scripts will be displayed on the screen where you can find shopping carts software, Joomla, Drupal, and other popular platforms.
Within that list, find out WordPress and click its icon, then you will be taken to the WordPress installation page. On the page, you can manage all things you need to configure the WordPress. Just click the “Install” button that is located on the left bottom.
After that, there will be a page allowing you to select the installation preferences. You can decide if you need to install WordPress for the main website or just make it as part of sub-directory, and choose your blog name.
Completing this form and e login credentials, you can just select “complete” so that the automatic installation process will begin. Then, wait for the screen of “installation successful” to inform you the installation is finished. Now, you can login the WordPress by applying the information given during the process.
Create a WordPress Blog Manually
For experienced or advanced WordPress users, they can install WordPress manually. It is not common method for beginners, or those individuals who build their site on WordPress platform, but it is still important for you to know the method of uploading files by using FTP.
If using FTP, you need download a FTP program at first. Actually, you can find a range of free ones which are all easy-to-use and secure. Now, you should download the new version of WordPress installation package. Then unzip the file and leave it on the desktop so that you can easily access.
Next, upload the file to your web host account by using the chosen FTP program. During this step, you need your primary login information from the host while uploading the files through FTP. Meanwhile, you will be prompted for those information when you enter the upload location.
Here, usually you will have 2 options for the file upload location. There are sub folders or the main domain. If you decide to locate at the first place, you should choose a certain /public_html/foldername/; if you prefer to install WordPress onto your main domain, then you need to select /public_html/folder. Once you finish the upload via FTP, you should login to your cPanel control panel so as to build a database for your WordPress.
Now, you need to click “MySQL Databases” t start the rest installation process. Pick up a name for the new database when you are prompted. Note that the database name need to be closely to your WordPress. After naming, you can “create database” now. Once done, you can really run the WordPress installation process for your site.
In the end stage, you need to go to the URL you finally choose while you are uploading the files by using FTP software. Then, you should receive a prompting of error message informing you to create the wp-config.php file. After clicking on the button of “Create a Configuration File”, you will be taken to another page featuring many database-related text fields. You just need to skip over those fields and only lick on the “Let’s Go” located on the bottom of that page.
On that page, you can fulfill the primary login information, the new database name, table prefix as well as database host. You can also contact your provider to help you complete these fields if you are not sure about them. After fulfilling all, you can click “Submit” to go to the next step. Now, you must be taken to the final prompting to enable you click “Run the Install” button. And then, simply type in your basic login information and select “Install WordPress”.
At this step, you have gone through almost the whole WordPress Installation process via FTP software. You just need to wait for some minutes and start to build your blog or website. However, remember that if you are just new to WordPress site designing and developing, you should avoid to using FTP for WordPress installation.
The installation process will only take a few minutes and then you can begin building your website or writing for your blog. Those 1-click installation tools are always the first choice for you these novices.
Start a Blog at Bluehost
Referring the things we talked in the second part, after install decide on the certain platform for the blog, you should step to select your domain and set up web hosting. Here we want to recommend Bluehost for you to finish these two things, because Bluehost offer well-known easy installation process, reliable hosting, and great technical support. Besides, Bluehost off SimpleScripts, with which you can create a blog with this 1-click installer or choose to create a blog manually. For novices, you just need these features.
If you chose Bluehost, you can get up to 63% off discount, making the plan start at $2.95/mo, instead of $7.99/mo. This exclusive discount is offered for our visitors, and Bluehost also offers a 30 Day money back guarantee. Besides, free site builders, 1-click WordPress installer, and 24/7 technical support are all included. Many add-ons are also available for you to do more with your site.
Step by Step Tutorial of How to Start Your First Blog on Bluehost
- Visit Bluehost to check out the general hosting features, and then compare the three Bluehost shared hosting with WordPress optimization plans to select a proper one for your blog needs. For novices to blog creation and website design, we recommend you to start with Bluehost Basic plan.
- Click on “select” at the bottom of Basic plan, then you will be taken to the following page:
Now, you should think over again whether you are ready to have a new domain name for blog usage. If you want to use the existing one to your Bluehost hosting account, then enter that name into the right box and click on “next” button to make the assignment.
Or, you want to make use of the free domain within the hosting package. To claim the free domain at Bluehost, you just need to enter your prefer and appropriate name into the left box and click on “next” button. Here might be 2 results. One is that the name has already been registered, then Bluehost will be clever to offer you some similar names for you to choose from; of course, you can just enter another new name to test if it is available. The other one is that the new name is available, so you can directly step to the next step.
- After finding the proper domain name, you need to set up that domain name with your Bluehost hosting. Here you will see this page in below appearing. It is the page for that certain name registration, in which you are required to fulfill the account information.
- After completing the account information, you should step to make sure the hosting package information that is directly underneath the account information. Go through the detailed packaged information to confirm that is the plan you choose in step 1.
Moreover, you can free choose the contract terms. Usually, we recommend you to choose the 36 month term which can make you get the highest discount. Of course, Bluehost offers other shorter terms, including 12 months and 24 months.
You can also decide whether to add more advanced features, but according to our experience, we think you could never use them because you are very new to website and blog creation. So, just ignore these optional boxes below the account plan options.
- Next, you need to scroll down the billing information boxes and fill them all. Click submit and then you have already done most things.
- Waiting for a while, you should receive a notice from Bluehost telling all details about your hosting account and login by email. Remember to check the spam folder in case you email is too sensitive.
Here is one thing we want to emphasis again: please save your login as well as welcome information safe because you possibly need them for the future reference. Finishing these steps, you are almost here.
- Login to Bluehost account now with the information Bluehost sent you via that welcome email. And then, you will see this page as following:
Select “host login” and fill the domain name and your password. If you forget it, you can check out the email sent before from Bluehost.
- If every step above goes well, then you can be ready to build your beautiful blog!
This image is the screenshot of Bluehost control panel where you can install WordPress platform. Due to 1-click installer, Bluehost allows you to install WordPress via an easy click. Find the “website” bar on the page and directly select “Install WordPress”, which can make you quickly and easily finish the process of WordPress setup on your main domain.
After that, you will see Mojo Marketplace page showing the WordPress installation. Click on that big “Install” and then wait for the magic!
- Now you need to choose the domain for your WordPress. Click on domain name field and find the one you just bought from Bluehost from the drop down.
After that, you need to check out the domain to ensure it is valid via performing “Check Domain” button. Note: you need to keep the directory window blank when doing the check.
Under that section, you can find more boxes showing advanced options. Now, you can fill the site name or your blog title, the admin username namely yours, and the password. Excluding username, you can change other details later always. Meanwhile, remember that save the username and your password in a word file on your own computer or save a paper form in safe place. Do not select “Remember Password” in your all browser, because it might case vulnerable part to hackers.
Finally, you can click the bottom boxes to agree those terms and then click on the big “Install Now”! It will make your WordPress automatically installed on your main domain in seconds.
So, if you do all things right, Mojo will send you an email with all the login credentials. It means you have successfully installed the WordPress platform on you Bluehost shared hosting account by using its control panel. It also means your blog site is built. Now you need to choose an easy-to-use, beautiful, and functional WordPress theme for your blog site.
Choose a Right WordPress Theme
There are free ones and also the paid ones available, and both of them have their own pons and cons. Therefore, to go with which type depends on what you need from your first blog. Here are some places many veterans like to go for search for good themes, including WordPress Library, Themeforest, Mythemeshop, and StudioPress.
First thing you need to make the theme meet is that the chosen theme must fit your blog goals. To be specifically, if you are going to create a professional content blog, you need a clean and formal site design. That is to say, the characteristics of the theme should show your blog personality.
In addition to that, with the technology development, you should not ignore the mobile device. Your theme needs to be with the responsive design that can make your blog layout fit different sizes of screen. High usability should be a standard features to new blog site now!
How to Install New Blog Theme
When you purchased a blog theme, the new theme should come in the form of .zip file. You can directly upload the new theme file into your WP Dashboard, in the means of logging in your WordPress blog site: http://yourdomain.com/wp_admin. Then, you need to find the following menu for theme installation on the left bar:
“APPEARANCE > THEMES > INSTALL THEMES > UPLOAD THEMES”.
For free the free theme, you can just click on “INSTALL” from the previous page, and skip over the steps to upload the file. WordPress themes are changeable, so if you are not happy with a new theme, you can switch it back to the old one.
After installing the theme, you will get a blank theme to fill it up. You can add About page, Social Media buttons, your Logos, or some content you compose.
After that, your first blog should have the general structure and you should step to the nest stage that you continuously make your blog have rich and useful content. Originality is important to blog content! If you do that great, your blog can make money for you!