So you want to start a WordPress blog but don’t know how to start? I know how you feel about this since you’re not a Web Design or WordPress Geek. Your terrifying thoughts will varnish by the end of this step by step Guide. I’ve been in your position before. I had same weird feelings about this whole “how to start a WordPress blog” stuff.
The confusions and terrifying thoughts as a beginner you go through are normal since you’re just about venturing into an unfamiliar territory. I am reassuring you that, you’re going to create a blog or website using the ever popular Content Management System i.e WordPress without writing a single line of code and you will do your things in your own style by the end of this Guide.
I guest you’re wondering how is it possible to get a website up and running without knowing how to code! Yeah you read that right! You’re going to do just that without a single line of code or any technical knowledge. All I need from you, is Your attention and mindset for about Twenty Five Minutes (25mins).
This guide is made easy to follow guide with you the beginner being the fulcrum of the guide. You’ll have your blog running in no time and can even start to make some few dollars out of it. Yes you can make some dollars out of your blog and i will show you how. Just follow me as we go into this guide together.
What You’ll Learn
By the end of this Guide, you’ll learn how to;
- Register a Domain Name & Choose the right Web Hosting
- Make WordPress Installation
- Install Or Change a Theme
- Install Plugins to Customize Your Blog
- Create Pages for Your Blog
- Create Menus
- Write Your first Blog Post
- Add a Contact Form on Your Contact Us Page
- Optimize Your Blog For Search Engine Optimization
- Setup Analytics
- Make Money out of Your Blog
Now that you know what you’ll be learning from this guide, let’s get started!
Get WordPress Hosting & Domain Name
Before getting a Quality WordPress Hosting and Domain Name, there’s the need to choose the right WordPress platform for your website or blog. WordPress has Two platforms for creating WordPress websites namely WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.org is what we will be using to start our blog in this Guide. It’s free also to use so there’s no need to worry about any cost since you’ll be doing the setup yourself. WordPress.org is used by 95% of websites running on WordPress. Now that we have a platform, let’s get another platform to host our website on the internet.
To get Web Hosting(where your website lives on the internet), you’ll need a domain name(domain name is your website web address i.e www.yourwebsitename.com). There are so many web hosting companies available on the world wide web but not all offer the same value for money services.
Note: Don’t go looking for Free Web Hosting if you want Quality Service and would like to make some cash or promote your business with your website or blog.
A Quality Web Host normally cost around $7.99 per month and a domain name usually cost around $15.00 per year. Don’t let those costs scare you because I will be recommending Industry Standard Hosting Companies for you who have been in the Business for a long time with Quality Service Guaranteed. I don’t recommend products I haven’t used personally so be rest assured you’re getting Quality Services from these companies.
Lets jump right onto the first step in this Guide.
Register a Domain Name & Choose the right Web Hosting
To start a blog, you’ll need to have what we call a domain name which is the name of your website or blog on the internet example: (www.yourwebsitename.com). It gives your site it’s own uniqueness and branding. So it’s advisable when you’re to choose a domain name you choose it wisely to fit well with your area of interest as this gives your blog the uniqueness it deserves and also help with Search Engine Optimization purposes.
Before your website can be live on the internet, you’ll need to have a web hosting i.e where your domain and website files will reside on the internet. A web host is simply a server that houses your website on the internet.
It’s safe to note that, web hosting plays a major role in the success of a website or blog as it’s responsible for most important factors necessary for the smoother running of your website or blog.
The most important factor being the speed and uptime of your website. So starting a blog or website with a poor web hosting company or a free web hosting services is surely going to fire back badly. So never consider hosting with the so called free hosting service providers if you really want to succeed with your blog or website.
WordPress themselves want their users to be successful with their blogs and websites, so they came up with the best web hosting recommendations of which one of then is Bluehost.
Bluehost has been around (since 1996) for quite a long time now even before Google was launched. They started working with WordPres way back in 2005 and the experience has ever been full of success stories.
So for the sake of not wanting to congest this guide with so many contents, I made a separate post on how to get stated with Bluehost and install WordPress on your domain. Click here to see that guide after which you come back here for the next simple steps to get your blog up and running in less than 30 minutes.
Change or Install New Theme
After going through the guide you should have completed with your hosting signing up and installing WordPress with your host and ready to start a WordPress blog!. Now the next step will be for us to replace the default theme that comes with the new WordPress Installation.
To change or install a new theme, follow the steps below;
- Move your mouse cursor over to Appearance at the left side of your admin dashboard.
- Select or click on the first option which is Themes .
- On the next screen, locate and click on Add New.
- Your can use the Upload Theme button to Upload a theme you’ve bought or downloaded else where. Here we will use a theme already in the WordPress Repository called Hestia Theme. So locate Search Themes Search box and type Hestia in the search box.
- Locate “Hestia”and hover your mouse over it and then click on the Install button, after successful installation, click on Activate to activate your new theme.
Install Plugins to Customize Your Blog
After successfully installing the theme, you’ll be required to install some useful softwares called plugins to which allows your website to have new features and functionality and boost your website speed too.
To install these useful recommended plugins, First move your mouse cursor to Appearance on the left tools section of your dashboard and from the dropped menu click on Hestia Theme Options.
Next, install the OrbitFox plugin which is recommended by the theme for proper functioning of the theme, make sure you,ve installed and activated the Image Optimization Service by optimole Plugin too. This plugin is responsible for images optimization on your site for speeding up your site load time. Consider reading the theme documentation here for guides on how to configure these plugins. If I am to include everything in this guide, this might get even longer!.
The Theme also comes with WPForms free version which you can use on your contact page but if you don’t want to use the plugin, you use the Contact form 7 plugin which you can easily install by hovering on Plugins, then click on add new and in the next plugins window, search contact form 7 from the search bar and hit enter. hover on the contact form 7 plugin and click on the install button after which you activate it by clicking on the activate button too.
Create Pages for Your Blog
To create a page for your blog, hover pages on your dashboard then go ahead and click on Add New which will navigate you to the new page creation window.
Enter your page name under add title bar. You can also add some content to your page if you want to have some content on it by hitting enter on your keyboard to create a new block for writing your content that’s if you’re using the gutenberg block editor but if you’re using the old classic editor, you can easily add content to your page by writing your content in the text editor below your page title bar.
Menus helps to organize your pages in order on your site. Pages categorized and set under the primary menu will display those pages on the header of your site whilst those pages categorized and set to the footer menu will be displayed in the footer section of your site.
So to create a menu, kindly hover Appearance then click on menus. In the Menus window, locate and click on “create a new menu” link as shown in the image below.
Next, Type in your menu name in the “Menu Name” text box and then click on the “Create Menu” button located on your right hand side of the Menus Window.
After creating your Menu, in the next window you’ll be redirected to the “Menu Structure” Window as shown in the image below.
All Pages you have created on your side show been seen in the Pages section located immediate left on the window when you toggle view all under the pages section. see image below for more instructions.
Write Your first Blog Post
Posts are content entries listed in reverse chronological order on your blog page.To create your first Posts, hover Posts on then click on “Add New” to take you to the post creation window. Here you can write your posts content by first writing your posts title in the “Post Title Section” at the top of the post editor window. See images below for graphical instruction on both block and classic editors.
Click on the Publish button located on the upper right side of your editor to get your posts online. Next up will be to create a Contact Us Form to enable visitors of your site get in touch with you.