How to create a blog in WordPress Step By Step guide
Hey there! Before I go further, I’d just like to clarify, who is this guide for:
- Recently, I have learned from interacting with other bloggers, that creating a new WordPress blog can be really confusing for those that want to start a blog, but have no previous experience with blogging/website development. Which platform to choose, which hosting, how do I connect my domain to the server, how do I remove wordpress.com from my domain, and a million of other questions can make this process very confusing to beginning bloggers. Worry not.
- I believe I could really help a lot of people with that, since I am not only a blogger, but have developed WordPress websites for a lot of professional clients – I have gone through this same exact process at least 50 times, so I know what I’m doing.
- That’s why I decided to create this guide – a guide, that will lead you through every step of starting your own blog – from buying your own domain to choosing your website hosting, to installing your first WordPress blog and starting your own awesome and amazing blogging journey.
So if you are at this step of your journey, this is for you, follow along!:)
I will do my best to keep this tutorial as simple and short, without any unnecessary bullsh*t – just everything you need to set up your own blog / WordPress website.
In this guide, we will learn how to do the following steps, that are necessary for creating and publishing your first WordPress website:
STEP 1: CHOOSING YOUR DOMAIN NAME
STEP 2: REGISTERING YOUR DOMAIN
STEP 3: CHOOSING AND SELECTING THE BEST WEB HOST
STEP 4 (OPTIONAL): REDIRECT YOUR DOMAIN TO YOUR NEW AND SHINY WEB HOST
STEP 5: INSTALL WORDPRESS ON YOUR NEW WEB HOST
STEP 6: CHOOSE AND UPLOAD A WORDPRESS THEME FOR YOUR BLOG
STEP 7: IMPORT DEMO CONTENT AND START CUSTOMIZING YOUR THEME
Ready? Let’s do this!
How to create a blog in WordPress Step By Step Guide, For Beginners.
From nothing to having your own blog live, in 10 minutes!
This post may include Affiliate links, however, everything I write in this post is 100 % my own thinking, not influenced by any other companies.
Which platform should you use for blogging?
Well, as you can probably tell from the title, I strongly suggest WordPress. I’ve had a fantastic experience with it, I have successfully built over 30 blogs and websites with WordPress and they all turned out great.
WordPress it’s pretty easy and simple to learn, it has THE MOST themes and plugins (extensions for additional functionalities of your website) the community is huge, which means that you will find more guides and tutorials than for any other platform + more people will be able to help/guide you. There are thousands of reasons for choosing WordPress, and also thousands of articles already written about this, so I will not go into details.
VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW:
THERE ARE TWO, VERY DIFFERENT, VERSIONS OF WORDPRESS!
A lot of people don’t know this, but there are two different versions of WordPress and it’s very important to choose the right one.
The first one, that I pretty much never recommend, is the WordPress.com. They advertise it as a free and the simplest version, but trust me, it’s not. With WordPress.com, you have your website hosted on their servers and have only limited access to it.
You have two options with them and none of them is great:
- Free plan, which means that you will have their ads on your website, doesn’t allow you to have your own ads, doesn’t allow you to install most of the plugins and themes, doesn’t allow to have you your own domain (your domain will look like: www.yourdomain.wordpress.com), which looks really unprofessional, you can’t have Google Analytics installed, etc. A couple of BIG NO-GO’s, in my opinion.
- Paid plan, which allows you to install your own plugins and themes, and even removed ads, but for that, you pay 25 $ a month, which is A LOT! Especially, since you still don’t actually own any files on the server, you’re more like renting the website.
The second option is the one that I always work with, and pretty much every other successful blogger does. It’s on WordPress.org and it’s completely free, forever, you only need separate hosting – a server, where you put your website on.
On WordPress.org, you download the latest version of WordPress, install it on your server and it’s completely yours – all the files, the database, you can install WHICHEVER plugin and theme that you want, you can have ads, whatever you like. And it’s much cheaper in the end.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s move to the first actual step of starting your own blog – choosing a domain name.
STEP 1 OF STARTING YOUR OWN BLOG
CHOOSING YOUR DOMAIN NAME
If you have already decided on your domain, skip to step 2.
If you don’t have a domain name yet, let me give you a couple of tips.
First off, the domain name is the URL address of your website/blog, that you type in your browser – for me, it’s trytoblog.com. This thing here:
I wrote a separate blog post about tips for choosing the best domain name for your blog, which I advise you to read here: https://trytoblog.com/digital-marketing/how-to-choose-the-best-domain-name-for-your-blog-or-a-company/
STEP 2 OF CREATING A BLOG IN WORDPRESS
REGISTERING YOUR DOMAIN
Fantastic, you have decided for an awesome domain name! Next step is registering it – buying it so no one else can use it and it’s registered as your own domain.
You can do that in two ways:
- buy the domain separately from a server, or you can
- register it while you buy a server/web hosting.
If you’re a beginner, I advise you to choose the second option, because it will be one step less later on – to redirect the domain to your server (if you do both at the same place, this is already taken care of).
But if you want to buy the domain separately (it might be about 2 $ cheaper per year, which probably isn’t worth it, at least in my opinion), the best place to buy it it’s probably GoDaddy.com.
You can do that here – simply type in your domain name, add it to cart, go to checkout, fill out the form with your personal and billing information: https://www.godaddy.com/
STEP 3 OF CREATING A BLOG IN WORDPRESS
SELECT AND PURCHASE A WEB HOSTING FOR WORDPRESS
Next, the most important step of this guide is selecting the best possible web host. If you’re not familiar with the term web hosting yet, it’s a server, that you purchase so you can put your WordPress website/blog on it. And then you point your domain that you selected in previous steps, to this server.
So, there are A TON of web hosting providers. I’ve tested about 20 of them and I have found a perfect one for me – it has the absolute best ratio between price and performance.
The web host that I use is Siteground, and I wrote an entire post about why it’s the best host for your WordPress site, which you can read here: https://trytoblog.com/digital-marketing/best-wordpress-hosting-website-blog-2017/
In short version – it’s super fast, has PHENOMENAL support, it offers one click installation for WordPress. And the price is extremely good for such features – If you don’t have a really massive traffic, you’ll be well-off with their 3.95 € / month plan! Oh, and their 99.999% uptime (that means that the server is online pretty much ALL the time) is WAY above industry average!
Also, they have a 30-day money back guarantees, so you really have nothing to lose or to be afraid of.
So, let’s do this.
Click here to select one of their WordPress hosting plans: https://www.siteground.com/go/ttb
Which plan to choose?
Well, you will have to go over plan details to see if you need any advanced functionalities, but for 90 % bloggers at the beginning of their blogging journey, you will get more than enough resources with their smallest “StartUp” plan.
So, once you choose your plan, click on “Get started”.
On the next step, choose whether you want to register a new domain or whether you have an existing domain. The price for the new domain is 12 € / year, which is a pretty great price. And if you by any chance have a domain and an existing server, they will migrate it for you for free, tested.
So, select your option and click on “Proceed”.
On the last step, “Review & Complete”, fill out the remaining information.
At the beginning, you simply fill out the personal information, the most tricky and important section here, however, is the “Purchase Information”
Here, you need to select the LOCATION OF YOUR SERVER. This has some importance, as you should choose a location that is the closest to the majority people that you plan on bringing on your website. So, if you think that your blog will receive most of the visitors from the USA, simply choose Chicago, because that will mean it will be A BIT faster for them.
At the extra services tab, select the Domain registration, if you need to register a domain, and if you need to keep your name private, select the domain privacy. I didn’t select this option because I have no reason to hide my personal information, but if you need to hide your name for some reason, select that as well.
You also need to select the period for which you want to buy the domain. This is important for two reasons:
- When you purchase the hosting for the first time, the prices are cheaper than later, when you renew the plan (this is not Siteground specific, almost all hosting companies work like that). So, if you can afford it, purchase a plan for the longer period because it will be cheaper in the long run.
- If you are confident in yourself and your blog, you will want to commit for a long period anyway. Plus, buying the server for a longer version, might increase your commitment to the project and make you work harder and be more serious about it.
Aaaaaaand that’s it!
Click on “Pay now” and voila, you’re done! You have a web host and a domain, now let’s go install WordPress on it!
You will also receive a confirmation e-mail, where you will also find a link to the customer login – https://ua.siteground.com/login.htm
STEP 4 (OPTIONAL)
REDIRECT YOUR DOMAIN TO YOUR NEW AND SHINY WEB HOST
IF YOU DIDN’T REGISTER A DOMAIN AT SITEGROUND, you will need to redirect it to your new server. I’ll show you how to do it on godaddy.com, but it’s pretty much the same concept for every other domain registrar:
- Login to GoDaddy (or wherever you purchased your domain).
- Click on “Manage domains”.
- Select your domain.
- In the additional section select Manage DNS.
- In the Nameservers section, select “Custom” nameserver type and fill out the fields like this:
If you want to copy-paste it, here it is:
- Click on Save.
Voila, now your domain will point to your new web host so anything you on there, will be displayed when someone types in your domain name.
Just a notice, this the DNS change may take a couple of hours (usually 1-3, but maximum 24 hours).
STEP 5 OF CREATING A BLOG IN WORDPRESS
INSTALL WORDPRESS ON YOUR NEW WEB HOST
- This will open your control panel of your web hosting – here you can control pretty much everything about your host. For now, our only mission is to install the basic WordPress installation. In the “WordPress tools” section, you will find a button “WordPress Installer”. Click on that. That will take you to setup wizard for WordPress – click on the first tab – “Install”.
- Here you will fill out the information about your site, something like this:
- You will also be assigned a random username and password – you can change that to anything that you want, just make sure to save the details somewhere safe. You will use this username and password to login to the admin area of your WordPress website later.
- Click on “Install”, wait for a couple of seconds aaaaand – BAM! You’ve just installed your new awesome website/blog.
After the installation is done, you will see something like this:
WordPress has been successfully installed at :
Administrative URL : https://trytoblog.com/wp-admin/
If you click on the first link, you will see the basic installation of WordPress on your new awesome domain and web host. But we’re about to do a step forward and login to our new WordPress website.
STEP 6 OF CREATING A BLOG IN WORDPRESS
CHOOSE AND UPLOAD A WORDPRESS THEME FOR YOUR BLOG
So, let’s log-in into your new WordPress website for the first time – the URL is yourdomain.com/wp-admin/. Enter your username and password and there it is – your new home;)
The most important thing that you will need to do now, is choosing a WordPress theme.
What is a WordPress theme?
WordPress theme is a collection of files that define the visual design and functionalities of your website. It is extremely important to choose a great theme, especially if you don’t want to change the code of the website – programming stuff.
When choosing the most appropriate theme, these are the most important things to consider:
- It HAS to be responsive – that means it needs to look great on all devices – PC’s and mobile devices.
- Try to read some reviews of the theme – the more positive reviews the theme has, the bigger the chance that you will be satisfied with it.
- Check if the theme is SEO-friendly.
- The faster the theme, the better.
- Most important thing – try to find a theme that looks as close to what you want to achieve with your blog, as possible. That way, you will have way less work and problems with customizing the theme and even avoid needing help from programmers.
Where do you find WordPress themes?
There are a many ways to find great WordPress themes. One thing to know, however, is that there are FREE and PAID themes.
Clearly, you will try to find a free theme and you can actually find pretty good free themes. To look for them, simply google, for example, “best free wordpress themes for bloggers”. You will find TONS of themes and collections of themes. However, be careful with free themes – as I said earlier, try to read some reviews of every team, because some of them have limited amount of features in the free version.
Paid, premium themes are usually better built and have more advanced functionalities and usually offer support by the theme developers, which can be really useful, if you don’t want to do any major customizations yourself.
From my experience, it’s usually a good investment to buy a theme. They cost about 60 $, but they can save you A LOT of time. But of course, that very much depends on your goals and the theme itself.
Here are some of the best sources to find premium WordPress themes:
And again, a smart thing to do is to go to Google and search for “Best themes for bloggers 2017”.
All of the themes generally include a link to a live preview so you can actually see what you will get with the theme.
Make a list of things that you want to have on your blog and check every theme that you’re considering, if it has all of those things/functionalities. You will probably need:
- An attractive homepage,
- contact page with a contact form,
- a blog page with the list of all your posts,
- a good looking page for displaying a single blog post,
- a module for email newsletter subscription.
These are just a couple of ideas, but you will need to decide for yourself, what you will want to have on your blog. Of course, you can add all of those functionalities later, through plugins, but if there are some that are already built-in, it’s a big plus.
And yes, you can install and test as many themes as you want, so don’t worry about that – if you won’t be satisfied with your first choice, you change it without a Problem!
Anyways, back to our page. Let’s say that you’ve found a WordPress theme that suits your needs. Buy or download it.
For the sake of this tutorial, I chose a WordPress theme myself so I can show you how to install it. I chose this theme – you can check it out as well, it’s free and it looks pretty nice! https://www.scissorthemes.com/demo/writee/
Plus, it has a great documentation, which is a GREAT advantage, it can make your life much easier, since you will be able to read how to import demo content, and do most of the basic customizations. Here’s the documentation: https://www.scissorthemes.com/doc/writee/
How to install a theme?
So, I downloaded the theme.
Next step is to go back to your WP admin page and click on Appearance -> Themes. There you will see a couple of themes, that are included in WordPress by default, but they are too basic for 99 % of the bloggers, so let’s install the one that we’ve found.
Click on Add New. After that, click on Upload theme, select your theme that you’ve downloaded and upload it to your blog.
You will then see this screen:
Click on Activate.
Guess what? You have created your own WordPress blog!
STEP 7 OF CREATING A BLOG IN WORDPRESS (OPTIONAL)
IMPORT DEMO CONTENT AND START CUSTOMIZING YOUR THEME
This part isn’t actually a part of creating the blog – you have already created a website, but since I know, that all of this can be very confusing to you, I will show you one more thing – how to import demo content into your new website.
You want to this because it’s much easier to use the existing posts and pages from your theme and edit them than to create new ones, especially if you’re new to WordPress.
This sometimes depends on the theme, so you need to look at the documentation, but for a lot of themes, it goes like this:
- Click Tools > Import
- Click > WordPress > Run Importer / Install NOW
- In next step select the Dummy Data XML file and click “Upload file and import” Button – you will find a link to this demo data in the documentation or it may come with the installation files of your theme when you download it.
- In next step, it will ask you to select the Author Name + you want to select the option to download images.
- Click Submit
Now if you go to your homepage – yourdomain.com, you should see your new shiny theme, with demo content, so it should look pretty good right now!
Alright, now you have your own WordPress blog/website – WHAT NOW??
Right now you have a really good foundation to start your blog. The best thing that you can do now, besides writing amazing content, of course, is to play around in WordPress – click around the admin page, try to edit a couple of blog posts, add new posts, etc.
You can edit and add new posts in the Posts tab, you can add and edit other, static pages (homepage, about me page, etc) in the Pages tab, etc.
WordPress is VERY intuitive, so no matter if this is your first time using it, you will get familiar with it really quick. Also, feel free to test different themes – simply upload another theme, if you don’t like this one, following the same steps we did for the first theme (you may need to delete demo content from previous themes, however).
And that’s it people, BIG FREAKIN’ CONGRATULATIONS! Seriously, if you followed the steps above and managed to buy a domain, a web host, install WordPress and upload a theme, you made A HUGE STEP in your blogging career!
You deserve a pat on the back and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, seriously!
NOW, the fun begins. In the next weeks you will be writing content, publishing it on your blog, WordPress, playing around with trying to get as many people as you can to see it, etc. It’s A LOT of work, but trust me, it’s VERY VERY worth it! I’m very happy for you that you decided to start a blog!
And if you still aren’t 100% sure if this is for you, and wouldn’t mind some additional motivation, I advise you to read my post where I wrote about 10 amazing benefits of blogging: WHY YOU SHOULD START A BLOG AND WHY I DECIDED TO LAUNCH A BLOG
Once again, congratulations and thank you for reading! I have a lot of content and will post much more of it as I continue my journey of blogging, so make sure to follow me for awesome blogging and digital marketing tips!:)