Beginner’s Guide: How To Start A WordPress Blog From Scratch
WordPress is the most Popular CMS Platform for Blogging and is being used and recommended by most Professional Bloggers. The main reason for this is the flexibility it offers to its users. Whether you want to start a Content Blog, a Travel Blog, a Photography blog, a coupon website or a Business website, WordPress offers a solution for all.
However, because of the number of features and customization it offers, many beginners are confused about How To Start A WordPress Blog From Scratch. This is the reason I thought of writing a detailed guide to help the beginners start a New WordPress Blog.
Before starting with your Blog, I would suggest that you learn at least basics of SEO. This is very necessary because, without proper SEO, you will not be able to rank well at Search Engines and so will not get enough visitors to your blog.
If you have no idea about what SEO is, you check my article about Basics of SEO. However, if you know the basics, you can directly head over to learn about various On page SEO Factors which will help you improve your search rankings.
How To Start A New WordPress Blog From Scratch
To start your own WordPress blog, follow the below steps in sequence.
1. Select A Domain Name For Your WordPress Blog
As against what most beginner’s think, selecting the right domain for your Blog is very essential. A domain name will be your Brand Image as you start getting more popular. Changing your Domain Name at a later stage may result in loss of traffic and search engine rankings and so is not all recommended. So choose your Domain Name very wisely.
You should try to select a Domain Name which best describes the Main Topic you are going to cover at your Blog. Initially, when few people know about your blog, this will be really helpful as your blog name would be the only way they can judge what you generally write about.
For example, A Fashion blogger and a Tech Blogger, both may review a cell phone. However, a fashion Blogger will cover more details about the looks of the phone whereas a Tech Blogger will write a more detailed review of its features.
Having said that, you can always a select a Totally unrelated Domain Name to develop a unique brand name.
2. Select A Host For Your WordPress Blog
Selecting a right host for your blog is the most important decision that you have to make while setting up your Blog. There are hundreds of hosting service providers, some offer Hosting services for as less as $1 per month whereas others may charge you over $100 for the same period.
A good host will
- Reduce your blog’s downtime thus making sure your blog is always accessible to your visitors.
- Improve your website load time, which is a very critical SEO Factor.
- Provide high-class security features to make your Blog more resistant to hackers.
Based on above criteria, I highly recommend you to use BlueHost as it one of the best hosts with affordable price Tag and is officially recommended by WordPress.Org. A yearly subscription of the standard shared hosting plan will cost you $4.95/month($3.49 with 3 years plan) as a special offer for the first year. Thereafter the charges will be $7.99 per month. But with Bluehost Black Friday Deal, you can get the same at just $2.65/month
However, if you are not expecting a lot of traffic and have lighter web pages under 1MB, you may consider using GoDaddy. Servers at GoDaddy are slightly on the slower side as compared to Bluehost. On the positive side, Uptime at Godaddy is at par with BlueHost and it provides quality customer support to all it customers.
As with Bluehost, GoDaddy provides discounted rates for the first 12 months with its annual package. The discounted rate for Economy Hosting Plan is $3.99 per month. This plan comes with 100Gb Storage and unmetered bandwidth.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR LIMITED PERIOD
GoDaddy has come up with a special offer for Blogging Ocean. You can now get GoDaddy Economy Hosting for just $1 Per Month with its Annual Plan.
Excited? There’s more. You will also be getting a Free Domain Name along with it. This is an exclusive offer for Blogging Ocean as an affiliate of Godaddy.
Please note: If you are not from the US and if you chose to pay in local currency, the prices may vary. If they are lower then good for you. However, if they are higher, you can change your currency to USD from top left corner of GoDaddy shopping cart.
3. Installing WordPress Blog On Host Server
Once you buy Domain Name and hosting, the next step would be to Install WordPress on your Host server. Most hosts provide 1 click Installing of WordPress. You can refer WordPress Installation guide for each host. Below is the link to WordPress Installation guide for all major hosts.
- Installing WordPress Blog On Bluehost
- Installing WordPress Blog on Hostgator
- Installing WordPress Blog On Godaddy
After Installing WordPress, you can straightaway start posting to your Blog. However, most people would want to customize the look of their blog and add more functionality. Below steps will focus on that part.
4. Customizing Your WordPress Blog Theme
After Installation, by default, “Twenty Sixteen” theme will be activated for your WordPress account. You can either customize the same or use an entirely different theme.
Apart from user interface of Themes, you should consider the following factors while choosing a Theme
- The price factor. Some themes are available for free, some for fixed price and others with a yearly subscription.
- Your theme must be Responsive. That is, it must be Mobile friendly as Google demotes websites which are not mobile friendly
- It must be well coded to load faster.
- It must be SEO friendly
- technical Support provided by Theme creator
You can download Free Themes from WordPress Themes Repository which has a huge collection of free Themes. All the Themes at WordPress Repository are licensed under GPL. This means you are free to use and modify the theme as you want. However, most themes will provide limited customization options and unless you have knowledge of PHP, CSS, and Html, you cannot fully customize the theme.
While most beginners will be content with the Free Themes, if you are very particular about the looks of your Theme, you can consider Purchasing paid themes which offer more customization options and better Technical support. For Paid themes, you can consider the Following options
Themeforest by Envato is a WordPress Theme Market with the largest collection of Premium Themes. It features some very good themes at affordable prices. No matter what your niche is, you will find a Theme suitable for your need.
All the Themes at Themeforest are licensed under GPL which means after purchasing the Theme, you are free to use it on as many websites as you want. However, support may be offered for limited sites. Prices of Themes vary greatly depending on quality and popularity of the Theme.
Mythemeshop may not have many themes on offer, but the Themes are well coded to load faster and are responsive. The developers have also taken into consideration SEO factor while designing the Themes. With its simple Looks, these themes are ideal if you are planning to start a Tech Blog or News Blog though you may find good themes for other Niche too.
Apart from Premium themes, it also offers few Free Themes with fewer customization options. All Premium themes are priced at $47 which is very affordable.
3. Genesis By StudioPress
Genesis Framework by StudioPress is considered one of the most SEO friendly framework. There are several beautiful child Themes built over Genesis framework and you can find one for yourself no matter what niche you are targeting.
The best thing about StudioPress is that it provides support to Unlimited websites for the lifetime. You can either buy Genesis framework for $60 and find a free child theme of your choice or you can choose from a range of beautiful themes it offers for $100. StudioPress also provides access to all its themes for just $500.
5. Enhance Your WordPress Functionality With Plugins
While WordPress offers most basic features out of the Box, to enhance the functionality of WordPress, you can install Plugins. Though there are over 40,000 free plugins performing various tasks for you to choose from, not all plugins are coded well.
To make things easier for Beginners, I have made a list of Top Essential Plugins which every beginner must Install. All the recommended plugin in the list are free. I personally do not recommend beginners to buy paid plugin as they are not necessary unless you have lots of traffic. You can opt for paid plugins in future if the need arises.
While creating a Blog at WordPress may seem a very lengthy process, it is not at all difficult. The most tricky part is Customizing the theme and choosing the right Plugins which do not slow down your website. I have already addressed the Latter.
Need help with setting up your WordPress Blog? I can set it up for you without any charges. For more information please get in touch with me through this Contact Form