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How to Start a WordPress Blog – A Complete Guide

Remember the last time you had a great idea to change the way you make money? Do you have a great story you want to share about your trip to Europe or some amazing tricks you have learned as a magician over the years?

Everyone has a story to tell that needs to be shared. It is a blog which gives all the tools to stand out and start making stories. Blogging once used to require some technical knowhow to develop a website and share your story. Today, things have changed. All of the tools are now available to play with.

Story is like extension of your personal life to open up to the masses and bring your experiences to another group of people who might benefit from your thoughts physically, spiritually, or even with some inspiration.

The best part of blogging is that you can make great income if you work on it harder. A lot of people have made it their source of full-time income, when others just work to generate some side income for some extra glories in their life.

Why choose WordPress for Blogging?

WordPress is supposed to be best choice if you want to start blogging due to these reasons –

  • User-friendly
  • Blogging becomes as easier as writing email
  • Have your own domain
  • No monthly fees (Simply buy a host and domain name)
  • More power to make your money from blog some day
  • Comes with over 5000 themes to match your taste

This is the reason why 91% of all blogs across the internet are powered by WordPress.org, along with 62% of the blogs from top 100 companies.

Before you rush out and register now, please let us complete this guide first. We will tell you how to install WordPress in one click and how to set it up.

But I can do it for free with Blogger. Isn’t?

Of course, you can start your own blog on Blogger and other free sites. But it is not a good way because there are certain drawbacks you should consider –

Your site will never be found easily

Do you want a cool site address like “myblog.com”? If you choose a free platform, you will end up with “myblog.blogger.com” or something like that. So, your content will not be found easily.

No control over your content

Imagine you lose your years of work when your blog goes offline simply because you fail to follow the rule without even knowing it, which happens most of the time.

No option to customize your site the way you like

There is no free plugin to add features like online shops or calendars. You will have limited set of themes. So, your site will look boring and similar to everyone else’s.

Costly to switch

When you choose you need to have more control, it can take hours of formatting and manual work to move from a free website to WordPress or other premium platform.

Something else will take your profit away from your hard work

Well, this is the worst thing of free platforms. They have the rights to show ads across the web. You won’t want to see an ugly-looking, annoying pop-up of a product you don’t even want to show on your blog. You will also not even make even a penny off it. It’s too unfair, isn’t?

Due to these reasons, it is always wise to create your own WordPress blog which can grow when your earnings grow.

Starting Blog with WordPress

It simply starts with a blog and WordPress is an ideal platform to keep going, showing how to pick a domain name and adding theme. So, let’s start with setting up WordPress blog within 15 minutes.

WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

When it comes to start your WordPress blog, the first step here is to know the framework. WordPress is basically a content management system (CMS) platform to upload pictures, post content, and type words. It is designed well to work well for people with different experience levels, so you won’t have to know anything much related to coding. There are two forms of WordPress – WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Here are the detailed differences between both –

  • org means you have a website and host yourself (we will discuss it later).
  • In WordPress.com, your site will be hosted by WordPress for you.
  • com is a great system, but you won’t have much customization or control on your blog.
  • On the other side, you can secure, customize and backup the site on your own with WordPress.org. You can even find thousands of plugins and themes to stand out with your site. This is something what a serious blogger needs.

What will you need to start WordPress Blog?

  • Choose your domain name
  • A hosting account (SiteGround)
  • WordPress
  • A WordPress theme (sometimes charges a small fee or sometimes free, according to your preference)
  • Your credit card (to purchase hosting)

Step 1: Choosing Your Domain Name

Your domain is your identity across the web, for example wpeasier.com. It is something visitors’ type in whenever they need to access your site and it is subjected to your branding plan so people can easily recall who you are. Take your time to find an ideal domain which relates you what you are offering on your site.

Many people simply use their name, while some use their company names. A lot of websites focus on keywords, which might help little bit, but it cannot make or break your SEO process.

You can buy your own domain name and signing up for hosting by paying $14.95. When you can opt for a domain name for a few dollars less through other sources, it is better to go for SiteGround as you can easily set up your domain with it.

Why we did choose SiteGround?

We will also discuss about picking domain, but it’s time to buy hosting. Let’s tell you why SiteGround became our first choice –

  • A large web hosting giant with years of experience
  • Became the first choice of a lot of top bloggers.
  • User-friendly interface. Even beginners can use it.
  • 24×7 support in case you have any problem.
  • Fastest turnaround time
  • You can get a great deal as compared to other brands, i.e. starting at just $3.95 per month (along with free domain)
  • Huge up-time guaranteed
  • Your WordPress will automatically be updated on time. It is something you get only in managed WordPress hosting.

Why SiteGround is Best Hosting Provider?

Siteground is proud to be recommended by WordPress.org officially as one of the brightest and best WordPress hosting companies. It is designed for security, speed, and crafted especially for WordPress. You can get fully-featured managed WordPress hosting with round-the-clock support at just $3.59 per month.

Robust Security

Their experts constantly keep track on loopholes related to WordPress and protect users with custom rules proactively, when needed. Your WordPress software along with its plugins will be updated automatically and backups will be done every day on your hosting account.

Superfast speed

The hosting platform of SiteGround is engineered on the advanced SSD hardware. They have added SuperCacher, their own caching tool, using NGINX technology to boost your WordPress site drastically. Finally, their servers are compatible with HTTP/2 and PHP7 and a free CDN to keep your website always up.

24×7 Support

We have years of combined experience and our support team is available round the clock. With around 10 minutes for quick response and no wait time on chat in ticketing system, we achieve around 100% customer satisfaction constantly.

Step 2 – Getting Started

Simply go to SiteGround and click on Get Started button to start. Obviously, you may want to start with StartUp plan, if you just want to try blogging. This plan includes hosting for one website, web space of 10GB, and support for 10000 monthly visits to the website.

The most widely-used plan is GrowBig. It is slightly expensive than StartUp plan. You can get unlimited websites for $7.95. It also includes 20GB of space and around 25000 monthly visits to your site. Along with it, there are some cool and premium features, including the SuperCacher plugin which can speed up a website and improve its performance.

Last one is GoGeek Plan which needs things like WordPress staging and PCI compliance. Give this plan a try if you are going to run various websites for your company and you are going to scale faster.

Step 3 – Register New Domain

After selecting the desired hosting plan, you need to register your domain. As discussed above, you can acquire a domain for $14.95 which is a reasonable price at SiteGround. Click “Register a New Domain” and enter your preferred domain. Click “Proceed” to see if you can access domain and complete payment. If someone else is using the domain online, it will ask you to try another domain. Once the domain is selected, you can proceed.

You may have to fill out several sections to complete the process of domain purchase and sign up for SiteGround hosting. It will ask some general info about you. Choose password to access your hosting account and enter your preferred payment method.

Answer a few more questions before you complete your payment method and you can also add few more features to your hosting plan. Here’s what you have to do before completing your subscription process with SiteGround

  • Choose data center which is closest to your target audience, such as Chicago (USA), Singapore (SG), Amsterdam (NL), or London (UK).
  • Choose the term of your subscription, i.e. Trial (1 month), 24 months, 12 months, or 36 months.
  • Choose add-ons you need, i.e. HackAlert Malware Monitoring (alerts to potential hacks) and Domain Privacy (your private information will remain private).

After choosing the best features you want to add to your plan, also read the Terms & Conditions of SiteGround and agree. Click “Pay now” to finish.

Step 4 – Install WordPress on Your Hosting Account

So you have created your SiteGround account completely. It’s time to install WordPress. After finishing the payment, you will be direct to Customer Area and install WordPress on your account. If you choose to come back later, login to your hosting account with username emailed to you once payment is completed and password you picked during the initial process. When you enter the Customer Area, you will be prompted with Setup Wizard. Select the option “Get WordPress preinstalled in the account” to install WordPress.

Before initiating the installation process, you will be prompt by SiteGround to pick your admin email, user name and password in your WordPress.  This information is something you can use to access your WordPress dashboard to get things done like creating and publishing blog posts. After doing this, you can add complimentary theme of WordPress on your website due to SiteGround. Your website will look different with themes on the front end.

Keep in mind that there are loads of theme options in WordPress on the market and you can simply change the theme at any time on your website, even though you pick one meanwhile from SiteGround.  Once done, click “Submit”. If everything goes well, account settings will be finished.

Step 5 – Access WordPress Dashboard

You can visually see WordPress was installed successfully on your site in your account. From Home > My Accounts, you can see your preferred domain name with small WordPress icon next to it, which means WordPress has been installed successfully on your hosting account. Nest the left of your domain name, click on small green button labeled “Go to Admin Panel”. It will take you to your WordPress dashboard login. Enter username and password during the process.

What your WordPress Dashboard will include?

Basically, your WordPress dashboard is a control panel for a website where you can manage –

  • The overall look of your blog (via theme)
  • Blog posts and other content
  • Functionality of your blog (through plugins)
  • Overall configuration settings in your blog

Writing Your First Blog Post

Go to “Posts > Add New” in your WordPress dashboard to get started with your first ever blog post in WordPress blog. It will take you to WordPress Editor. In this page, you will –

  • Add a title to your blog post
  • Enter the content for your post
  • Use buttons (just like in MS Word) for the overall formatting of your blog post.
  • Upload your images
  • Set tags and categories for blog post

Once you are satisfied with the overall look of your posts, you just have to click on “Publish” button to publish your blog post in the web.

Step 6 – Install Your Theme and Customize It

As we discussed how you can choose WordPress theme from SiteGround when setting up your website, there are chances that you might want to choose other themes. You can choose from tens of thousands of WordPress themes related to your website.

Searching and Installing Free WordPress Themes

You may search the official theme directory of WordPress.org if you are looking for a free theme. All of those themes are 100% free, tagged for quick searching and code-checked by Theme Review Team from WordPress. Once you find your preferred theme, you can simply install the same on your website. Here are the steps to install a WordPress theme –

  • Go to Your WordPress dashboard
  • Click “Appearance > Themes” on the dashboard
  • Click “Add New” button
  • Look for the name of theme that you desire on the next screen
  • When you hover over your mouse pointer on the theme, it will show up Install button. Click on it.
  • Within few seconds, Install button will be turning into Activate button.
  • Click “Activate” button and your theme will be activated.

This is all you need to do. Your new WordPress theme will be ready and live.

Are you looking for Premium WordPress Themes? Here are some tips

Usually, premium themes provide more features and better designs. Usually, premium themes provide more features and better designs. Usually, premium themes offer more features and better designs. They offer best experience if there is a room to swing the budget. Here’s where you can buy premium themes –

MeridianThemes – MeridianThemes is an entry-level theme store. Currently, they have nine themes in portfolio, starting at just $49. You can buy all 9 themes and more add-ons for just $89.

ElegantThemes – ElegantThemes has been dedicated on beauty when it comes to opt for premium WordPress themes. Download all for $69 from one of several industry filters, such as ecommerce, magazine, business, portfolio, and blogs.

StudioPress – StudioPress has been offering widest range of themes for a long time. They are well known for most amazing frameworks, Genesis Framework, for your business.

FancyThemes – This marketplace is dedicated to build easy-to-use blogging themes. Currently, they have five free themes for WordPress that are available for download along with one premium theme.

Once you access a premium theme you prefer, be sure to download ZIP file of theme from your preferred website where you have bought the theme. Now you can install the theme with this step by step process – 

  • Go to WordPress dashboard and click on “Appearance > Themes”
  • Click on Add New
  • Click “Upload Theme” on the next screen
  • Select ZIP file of the theme by clicking Choose File
  • Now click “Install Now”
  • The theme will be installed on WordPress within few minutes
  • Make the theme live on the blog by clicking Activate.

This is all you need to install and get the premium theme live on your blog.

Step 7 – Add WordPress Themes to Make Your Blog Fully Functional

When WordPress themes are usually about looks, WordPress Plugins add more functionality to a WordPress website or blog. For instance, you might be looking for a contact form so readers can easily connect with you. WordPress plugins can simply add functionality like that.

Where you can find WordPress Plugins?

There are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins available. Some are free while some are premium. It’s up to your own needs. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at some of the best sources to find WordPress themes –

  • Official plugin directory of WordPress.org – It has a huge collection of more than 50,000 free plugins of WordPress that you can install easily from your dashboard.
  • Code Canyon – It is a leading third-party market where you can find premium WordPress plugins.
  • Elegant Themes – Along with themes, there are loads of handy plugins available.

Installing WordPress Plugins

Once you get the plugin you prefer, here are the ways to install –

  • Simply click on “Add New” under Plugins
  • If you get the plugins in WordPress.org, look for the name of plugin
  • Click on “Install Now”
  • Your plugin will be installed on WordPress. Wait a bit and click Activate
  • If you have premium plugin, click on “Upload Plugin”.
  • Upload it in the form of Zip file

Plugins you should have for all sites

There is no lack of plugins based on different industries and are good only for specific purposes. But there are some plugins that are must-have for all websites, whether they are blogs or ecommerce sites. Here are some of our picks –

  • MonsterInsights’ Google Analytics for WordPress
  • WordPress Backup Plugin from UpdraftPlus
  • Yoast SEO
  • WP Super Cache
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com
  • PirateForms Contact Form & SMTP
  • Social Media Share Buttons and Analytics

Final Thoughts

So your WordPress blog is created and is ready to launch? You have installed your personalized theme and added some plugins to make it fully functional.

What to do next? Well, you can do many things with your WordPress blog. You may want to find ways to attract more visitors to your blog and monetize it like most people over the web. In this way, you can have fully-functional blog which is built on WordPress. We hope this guide has helped you.

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