I’m going to walk you through how easy it is to set up a new WordPress blog. These days you don’t have to be a computer whiz, there are nicely designed web interfaces to help walk you through the process.
(This post contains some affiliate links, just an FYI.)
Before you can start, you need to open up an account with a web-hosting provider; I recommend Site Ground, I’m currently using them to host this blog.
Here’s a link where you can view the various Site Ground Hosting Plans, so far I’m thrilled with the service and the price (it’s a great value.)
Site Ground offers a special START-UP plan which is the cheapest plan for a few bucks a month. I recently upgraded to the GROW BIG plan which is a bit more expensive.
The START-UP Plan is good for one website that will not exceed 10,000 monthly visits. You also get 24/7 Support, Free App Installs, Free E-mail Accounts, Unmetered Traffic, and it’s GDPR compliant. The features of each plan are changing all of the time, so it’s a good idea to reference the link I provided above to get the latest information straight from Site Ground.
I also recommend using HTTPS (SSL), Google and your readers will trust your site a lot more if it’s encrypted. It’s included in most of the plans.
The Steps For Setting Up A WordPress Blog
1) Register a domain name – You can register your domain name when you choose a plan from a web-hosting company. During the registration, you’ll be offered an option for hiding your contact information by making the Who-Is Information anonymous. I would add this option so you can keep your contact info private from spammers!
2) Usernames and passwords – You’ll need to think of a good username and strong password. Keep in mind that you’ll need separate usernames and passwords for the actual web hosting account and for any WordPress blogs you set up.
3) Billing information – Have your credit card handy. The billing will also most likely be set up for an Auto Renewal, so be prepared for that!
4) Quick start and setup wizard – Use a quick setup wizard for launching your first WordPress website, every web-hosting provider has one.
(With Site Ground you’ll be presented with a 3 step process:)
FIRST, Select “Start a new website.” Then select the “WordPress” software option. Then you’ll create your WordPress login information (e-mail, username, and password.) Then click “Confirm.”
THEN, On the next screen, you’ll confirm the setup and terms of service by checking the confirmation box, then click “Complete Setup.”
LASTLY, You’ll get a confirmation that the setup is complete and your hosting account is ready to use, then click “Proceed to Customer Area.”
5) WP Theme design – You can start with the built-in WordPress theme when starting out. But definitely upgrade to a better theme so you can provide a better user interface for your readers as soon as possible. I’m using a theme that runs on top of the Genesis Framework by StudioPress, it’s great, and my favorite WordPress Theme set up so far. Semplice is another WP theme I’ve recently discovered as well. I’ve noticed a 2 – 3 times increase in my page views per user session since the upgrade. A better UI (user-interface) Strategy equals more page views; it’s just that simple.
6) WordPress plugins setup – You need plugin’s to add custom functionality to your WordPress site. Like spam filtering on comments and setting up a contact form. I have an entire article written about my favorite plugins here: WordPress Plugins Guide
At this point, you are done with the setup!
I Highly Recommend You…
Get Familiar With cPanel
cPanel is a basic web-based config utility that controls your WordPress database configuration and other web-hosting services such as Backups, DNS, and e-mail accounts. The cPanel can be a bit technical so have a friend help you if you’re stuck. You can also do some self-learning by reviewing the cPanel Knowledge-base or hire an IT professional for help.
Back Up Your WordPress Blog Website
Make a copy of all your written content in WordPress by doing an export of all the content to an XML file. You can do this by using the Tools / Export option in your WordPress admin web panel.
In cPanel you should also see options for backing up the entire website’s database and directory (which contains the files.)
Once you’re able to login to your blog to start writing, you’ll still have a lot of work ahead of you.
Remember! No matter how nice your blog looks, you have to provide your followers with a clear intent to help them solve a problem! Or create a fun and entertaining experience for them. This will keep them coming back, build up a loyal fan-base, and make it easier to monetize your blog when the time is right.