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I’ve been blogging for a long time. In fact, Ginger & Co. is actually my third blog, so I’ve done this process a few times. Starting a blog (or a website) can be a great way to help your online business. Since I’m all about staying organized and helping you stay simple, today we’re going to break it down step by step the easy way to starting a blog on WordPress.
I know you’ll hear about the debate of Blogger vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress. If you’re looking to start a business, I promise WordPress will be better in the long run (Jessica Slaughter has a fantastic article breaking down the differences here).
1. You need a host
A host is where you’ll install your WordPress and manage things like your domain name (think your “.com” name). Right away, if you ask, you’ll see people offer deals for Bluehost, which I’d suggest against. Bluehost is a conglomerate and they’ll hook your site to a server shared with hundreds of other sites, which can slow you down later on.
About a year ago, I made the switch from Bluehost (because I didn’t know) to Siteground and they’ve been amazing. All the screenshots I use in this post will be on Siteground’s back end.
Once you sign up for your host and pick a plan (and get your domain name), it’s time to install WordPress.
I’m on the middle plan (and it’s cheaper than when I joined). If you have any possibility of wanting more than one website, go with the GrowBig plan. There’s plenty of wiggle room in there.
Once you pick your plan, you can either register a new domain or transfer a pre-existing domain.
Pay and checkout! Make sure you keep track of this information. If you’re a small business, you can use this for taxes later on.
2. You’ll need to install wordpress
WordPress (when self-hosted) is a software you install to your host’s server. You’ll need to navigate to your C-Panel. You should see a red button near the top of the page to link there. Click on it to load your C-Panel. When the C-Panel loads, you’ll have different sections. “WordPress Tools” should be the 4th section, and you’ll click “WordPress Installer.”
That page will load and you’ll find a text link at the bottom that says “Install now.” Click on it to load the next page.
This page will pick what domain name you need to install WordPress on (usually your default domain associated with the account). I’m not going to use this one, because if I leave the domain as it is, I’ll erase all of Ginger & Co. If you’re just starting out, don’t worry about this, though.
Here, you’ll have the option to change your admin username, email, and password. Change these! You’ll need to remember them to log into your WordPress site.
Once you check all the information on this page, click the install button at the bottom. You’ll see a new page load with the progress of your installation and you should get an email when the install is done (though this shouldn’t take more than a moment or two).
Are you wanting to start a blog? Here's a step-by-step guide to getting started on WP. Click To Tweet
3. pick your theme
If you have little to no understanding of CSS and HTML and things like that, I suggest you go with a Genesis Theme. A few of my favorites include Mary Ellen and Olivia from Coded Creative, Novelty Theme by Restored316, and Pretty by Pretty Darn Cute Designs.
If you want a little challenge and flexibility with customization, go with Boss Lady by A Prettier Web or Divi by Elegant Themes. When you purchase any of these themes, you’ll gain access to documentation on how to set it up from the designer.
4. You’ll need some plugins
Most themes you install will come with plugins they require in order to work. You’ll want to install these to ensure nothing happens to your theme. A few I highly suggest include Yoast SEO, Login Lockdown, and Woo Commerce if you want to sell things online.
5. Start building your blog/website
You have all the parts to put your content together, now go put it together! You can view some of the other Ginger’s Blog Tips to see what you need when setting up your blog.