Why should you use WordPress?
Because WordPress is the most stable, safe and easy to use content management system and it’s FREE. There is a huge variety of beautiful free and paid WordPress themes out there to choose from. Also, there are tons of free plugins and widgets to help you customize your blog the right way you want.
How to set up your domain and web hosting
I personally recommend HostGator. Just go to their website, click on “Web Hosting” and choose a plan that fits your needs.
The “Hatchling Plan” starting at $2.75/month is the most affordable option.
Next step is to fill in your preferred domain name and verify it is available. If you already have a domain just skip that step.
Get your first month of hosting for only $0.01 using this coupon code: PENNY.
After the checkout, you’ll receive your login information.
Voilà, you are all settled! Your blog has a name and a new home.
Log in to your HostGator cPanel and choose the “QuickInstall” option.
Select WordPress from the top menu and hit Install.
You’ll need to set up some details about your blog now like your email, username, password, and blog name.
Once the installation is complete, select “View Credentials” from the top menu where you’ll see your login information available.
You can now log in to your blog. Just go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin and use your credentials.
Choose a theme and customize your blog
Once you logged in, it’a time to customize your blog.
There is a decent amount of free good-looking WordPress themes to choose from. The truth is that you don’t need a premium theme to start blogging.
They might be a bit cut off functionality but most of them are mobile friendly and will do the job. Great solution if you don’t want to invest too much money at the beginning.
However, if you feel like spending a few bucks go for a premium one and get all the perks that come with it. If you plan to monetize your blog, that’s the way you should take.
Here is a list of some of the most popular marketplaces bloggers use to purchase a WordPress theme.
Pick a theme that you love.
- Divi is quite a popular theme among bloggers. It’s lightweight, responsive theme with tons of customization options.
- ThemeForest offers probably the biggest collection of WordPress themes to choose from.
- MOJO Themes is another WordPress marketplace offering thousands of premium themes.
- TeslaThemes offers beautiful, modern WordPress themes with clean design, powerful features, and premium support.
- ThemesKingdom is another cool place where you can find premium and fully responsive WordPress themes.
Once you finish the checkout, you’ll get access to your theme archive. Download and save it on your laptop or computer.
Go back to your website’s dashboard and click on Appearance>Themes from the drop-down menu.
You’ll see a list of 2-3 pre-installed themes. Look at the top and click on Upload Theme.
Follow the instructions and upload your theme.
Some of the themes come with a child theme. If not, you can easily create one with a plugin called “Child Theme Configurator”.
Next step is to activate your child theme clicking on the Activate button.
From now on you are free to customize your blog and get the look you want.
To do so, go to Appearance > Customize.
Create a static Home page
By default, WordPress will show your recent posts on the homepage.
You can create a more appealing page featuring not only your recent posts but everything else you might want to show like an opt-in box, short bio, featured posts or posts from different categories.
To do so, you’ll need a page builder. If your theme doesn’t come with a page builder, you can install Page Builder by SiteOrigin or Beaver Builder and use it to build your static home page.
Just add a new page, title it Home, customize it using the page builder and publish it.
Next, go to Settings > Reading, and switch your Front page displays setting from “Your latest posts” to “A static page”.
Then from the drop-down menu, choose Home (the page you’ve created earlier) for “Homepage” and hit Save.
Another small thing you want to check is if the URL format is set to “Post name”.
To do that, go to “Settings > Permalinks”.
Alternatively, you can come up with a Custom one. For example /%category%/%postname%/ will show the category and the post name (e.g. blogging/how-to-start-a-blog).
Create a Menu
Your blog will need a navigation menu.
To set this up just go to “Appearance > Menus”.
Hit Create a New Menu and give it a name, for example, “Main Menu”, and click the “Create Menu” button.
On the left side of the page, you’ll see listed all the Pages and Categories that you’ve already created.
Click on the pages you’d like to be included in the menu and hit “Add to Menu”.
Note: If you still don’t have any pages, you can come back later and add them to the menu.
The only thing you need to do now is to start blogging.
Any questions or considerations? Join our bloggers support community on Facebook.
Not a techie? I’ve got you covered!