Many people have no idea how to set up a blog on WordPress, but they assume it’s a pretty involved and time consuming process. They put it off, because they think they need to set aside at least a day to get their blog set up. That’s simply not the case. As long as you have a few things prepared, you really can set up a blog in around ten minutes.
Remember that WordPress is a also a great option if you want to run any type of website, especially one that incorporates a blog. Most themes allow you to set up your WordPress site with a static home page and your blog (if you need one) on a separate page. So while I’ll be talking about “setting up a blog” in this post, the instructions will work equally well if you’re setting up any other kind of website. You’ll just need to tweak things afterwards, if you want that home page to be static.
Read this post to see the four things you need to start your blog, then get it set up with the following simple steps. These steps will show you how to set up a blog on WordPress.org, with your own paid hosting, and at the time of writing, this will cost you less than $10 (that’s US $) a month.
This is how most professional bloggers set up a blog as it gives you a huge amount of control and lots of options to monetize (something that can be difficult to do with a free blog). If you do want a free blog for now, WordPress.com is a good bet. Blogger and Weebly are also easy, user-friendly options.
Still happy to use WordPress.org and pay a few bucks each month so you can have complete control and monetize your blog easily? Great. Pay attention. This is where you’ll learn how to set up a blog, step by step, in the next ten minutes.
How To Set Up A Blog On WordPress: Step By Step
Choose Your Web Hosting
WordPress.org itself is free, but you will need to pay for hosting. I recommend Bluehost and so does WordPress. It’s reliable, affordable and, at the time of writing, includes a free domain name. And once you have your Bluehost hosting you can install your WordPress blog with one click.
Click on over to Bluehost now (that link will open in a new window so you can switch between windows to follow these steps). You should see a screen like this:
Click on the green ‘get started’ button. This will take you to a page with a choice of three different plans. It looks like this:
Choose the plan you want. The basic plan is probably more than sufficient for most beginning bloggers. Prices may vary depending on whether Bluehost is having a sale or special offer. I’ve checked it today and it is showing at $3.95 per month for hosting, and that includes a free domain, free site builder and 1-click WordPress installation.
Choose Your Domain Name
When you click on the plan you want, you’ll be taken to this screen.
Simply put in the domain name you want. The site will tell you if that name is available and make suggestions for similar ones if it isn’t. If you already own a domain name, pop it in the second box. You’ll be able to redirect it to your new blog once it’s set up.
Order and pay
You’ll be taken to a screen where you can create your account, filling in some basic information, and order any extras you want. You don’t have to buy any of the extras, unless you want to. I do invest in site backup and SiteLock security just in case, as it’s so affordable. Click on the ‘more information’ tab on each of the extras to see if it’s something that you feel is important. Then you can place your order and make payment by credit card, debit card or Paypal.
The next screen you see will ask you to create a password. When you’ve done that you’ll also have the option to pick a theme for your website. Please don’t stress too much about this. I’ve never met a blogger who hasn’t changed themes a few times. It’s easily done, so for now just pick a nice, clean theme and then you can experiment to see which theme looks best as you add content to your site.
You’ll now get a message that says ‘all done’ with a big happy-looking checkmark, and you’ll see some text you can click that says something like ‘start building your site’. You’ll also have the option to go straight to your Bluehost dashboard. Next you just need to install WordPress.
Once you get to your Bluehost dashboard, you’ll find a button that says ‘Install WordPress’.
Click that button.
You’ll see a green install button on the next page. Click that.
You’ll be asked to confirm the domain name you chose. Then you should see a message that says something like “OK, We’re setting up WordPress for you.” Soon (t really should be within a few minutes) the message will read ‘Your Install is Complete’.
You’re done. You have a WordPress blog.
Go to your WordPress admin area
The url for your WordPress admin area will be your domain name followed by /wp-admin/. So it will look something like MyAwesomeBlog.com/wp-admin/.
There will be a Get Started section that looks like this.
I suggest you do as WordPress encourage you to and add an About page straight away, along with posting your first blog post. If you took my advice and got prepared in advance, you already have the content ready.
Play around a bit
It’s daunting for new bloggers, but the best thing you can do is play around with your site a little. WordPress really is fairly intuitive. Click around to see what things do. Try some different themes. Experiment with the customization. Add an image or two. See what it looks like. Don’t worry. Nobody’s watching. Wait until you’re (somewhat) happy with your new blog before you start promoting it, or even sharing it with friends.
You’ll notice there are plug-ins and widgets and settings to play with. With blogging, as with so much in life, less is more. Don’t go too crazy. Add one widget or plug-in at a time. That way, if something causes a problem with the site you’ll know there’s a good chance it was the last thing you installed or added. Remove it. See if that helps. Take a good look at your blog at every stage. See whether you like the last change you made before you move on to the next.
WordPress has a ton of free themes, but if you want to make your new blog look super professional from the get-go, you can also go for a premium one. I highly recommend Coded Creative for beautiful, stylish, affordable premium themes. Especially good for the technically challenged as they’ll do your entire set-up for you, if needed. Check them out.
So now you know exactly how to set up a blog, what next? First, get those first five posts loaded. Then check out the five best WordPress plug-ins I suggest you put on your new site.