How to Start a Blog
You've been wanting to start your own blog for some time now but you have no idea where to begin. The thought of dealing with domains, hosting and anything ultra-technical leaves you feeling overwhelmed. We get that! The initial setup process may seem overwhelming but we're here to guide you through it step-by-step.
Read through this guide to learn all about Wordpress, web hosting, domains, and everything else you'll need to know when it comes to starting your own website.
WHAT IS WORDPRESS & WHY SHOULD I USE IT?
WordPress is a content management system that powers over 25% of the Internet. WordPress allows you to effortlessly manage your blog posts, images, videos, pages, menus, and every other aspect of your site, all from a super simple dashboard.
Why is WordPress so popular? Because you can do just about anything with it. WordPress gives you endless flexibility, full control over your website, access to plugins that can greatly extend the functionality of your site, and so many other amazing features. Learn more on WordPress.org.
WORDPRESS.ORG VS WORDPRESS.COM
If you’re new to WordPress, you may not know that there are actually two versions of WordPress.
WordPress.org is known as “self-hosted” WordPress, which means that you’ll need to sign up for web hosting with a hosting provider. 99% of the time when anyone talks about WordPress, they are talking about WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is a free, limited hosted service owned by Automattic. WordPress.com places a lot of restrictions on users and doesn’t allow for things like themes and plugins, which are some of the best parts of WordPress! Our themes are designed exclusively for WordPress.org and will not work on WordPress.com, even if you have a paid account.
Step One: DOMAIN & HOSTING
WHAT IS A DOMAIN?
A domain is your website’s URL (i.e. ollieandkay.com). Your domain name allows you to be identified on the Internet.
WHAT IS A DOMAIN REGISTRAR?
A domain registrar is where you will register your domain name for a certain period of time.
WHAT IS HOSTING, AND WHAT IS A HOSTING PROVIDER?
Once you have a domain name, you will need a place to park it on the Internet. Your hosting provider will store all of your files safely.
Some hosting providers also let you purchase domains right through them – so you can register your domain and get hosting at the same time.
REGISTER A DOMAIN & SIGN UP FOR HOSTING
Your first step is to find a reliable company that you would like to host your website. We love and recommend Stablehost. They have top-tier support and affordable prices.
1. Visit Stablehost.com and click on "Sign Up"
2. You’ll be taken to a page where you can select a Stablehost plan. We recommend the Unlimited Pro plan.
3. On the next page, type in the domain name you would like to use and choose a domain extension. We recommend a .com domain extension since it is the most common and recognizable, but .net will work in a pinch if your chosen domain isn’t available for .com.
If you have an existing domain hosted elsewhere, you can type your domain in on this page.
4. Stablehost will check to make sure the domain name you’ve chosen is available. If it is, you’ll move on to the account information page. Enter your account details and payment information.
5. Once you have completed the signup process, you’ll be asked to create a password for your account. Then you’ll be ready to use your Stablehost hosting account & domain!
Step Two: INSTALL WORDPRESS
Now that you have a domain and you’ve signed up for hosting, your site is going to look pretty empty. The next step of setting up your WordPress website is to install the WordPress software on your domain.
HOW TO INSTALL WORDPRESS SOFTWARE ON YOUR DOMAIN
1. Log into your Stablehost account.
2. After login you should be directed to the cPanel page. Scroll down and find the Actions section.
3. Click on login to Cpanel.
4. Scroll down to the Softaculous Apps Installer section and click on Wordpress.
5. Choose your domain from the drop-down list on the left. Leave “Directory” blank. Click Install. WordPress software will begin installing on your domain. It may take a couple minutes to fully install.
6. When the installation is complete, you can log into your WordPress dashboard by adding /wp-admin to the end of your domain. For instance, if your website is http://mywebsite.com, your admin login URL is http://mywebsite.com/wp-admin
Your login URL, username, and password will also be sent to you in an email from Stablehost.
Step Three: CHOOSE A THEME
Here’s the fun part! It’s time to choose a Wordpress theme that fits your brand and style.
Our collection of WordPress Themes are designed to elevate your website, draw in your audience, and beautifully accentuate your content. Each theme was handcrafted with an emphasis on gorgeous typography, responsive design, beautiful designer details, functional features, and endless flexibility. You’ll find a theme for every taste in our shop – ranging from modern and sleek to classic and feminine.
Step Four: SET UP & LAUNCH YOUR SITE!
Once you’ve purchased your dream WordPress theme, you’ll receive an email with a download link. Unzip the file and follow the detailed installation instructions we provide to set up your theme on your website. Trust us when we say “detailed” – we will hold your hand through the entire process!
If you need any help, we are always ready & happy to assist. Be sure to check out our Support Center, where you can find hundreds of WordPress tutorials and theme documentation. We also offer installation services if you’d like us to take care of setting up your theme for you.
Once your site looks absolutely perfect, it’s launch time! Pop the champagne and celebrate!