How to start a blog using WordPress

short guide for begginers

So, you too want to start your own blog? Try something new? Face a new challenge? Great!!! I’m glad that you have found yourself here. So, how to start a blog? Contrary to what you might expect, creating a blog is not that difficult. Your age and skills are not as important as your motivation and willingness. Besides, you no longer need any knowledge about the HTML code, coding or graphics. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Ready to get down to work? You sure are!!!
So, we will start with some basic information.

 

5 steps how to start a blog on your own:

  1. Choose a blogging platform.
  2. Find a host / Get a web hosting account.
  3. Pick a domain name / find a domain name.
  4. Install free blogging software and set up a blog.
  5. Design your blog!
  6. Add posts & pages

 

 

Step 1. How to start a blog – Choose a blogging platform

I recommend WordPress, which you can download by using a page WordPress.org (don’t do it now, we will do it together in the following part of the article)

  • it’s 100% free (you only need a web host & domain name, but this will be discussed later),
  • very easy-to-use, especially for beginners,
  • very popular (see here: https://w3techs.com/),
  • the most important thing is that it is a Self-hosted cms which means that you are the owner of your own content, you are managing it by yourself. No one will remove the content you have created without your permission. You decide by yourself what kind of advertisements appear on your blog or how you make money on blogging. This gives you the opportunity of flexibility as well as the opportunity of controlling your own work, and this is what it’s all about, right?

 


REMEMBER
WordPress.org IS NOT WordPress.com


 

You want to be a blogger. You want to share something valuable with others and the content is the thing that matters to you the most. It has to captivate the readers and spark their interest. How to start a blog if you don’t control your content?

 

Don’t let anyone control your content!!!

 

That’s why you shouldn’t waste your time on free of charge blogging platforms, such as: WordPress.com, Tumblr, Blogger, or Medium, especially if you are serious about blogging.

These types of platforms control your content, have a lot of constraints and contrary to what you may think, it is difficult to relocate the content, which you have been creating there for years.

 

 

Step 2. Find a Hosting Provider

Hosting Provider is ensuring the server space for your website. If the website is present in the server space, then people can find it on the Internet. In other words, your website needs the server space in order to be visible in the Web.

Hundreds of thousands of web hosts exist, the majority of which meet the basic requirements of WordPress, however finding the best one may prove to be quite a challenge.

 


GOOD TO KNOW
You can always change your hosting provider and relocate your website.


 

For the starting bloggers I recommend SiteGround, which is also recommended by the WordPress community.

SiteGround has tools that make managing WordPress sites easy, which is very useful when you’re taking your first steps in creating your own website. It’s quick, cheap and reliable.

Choose a plan which has sparked your intrest. I advise using ‘StartUp’ plan in the beginning – it’s cheap and has all necessary functions which you will need now. You can always upgrade later if you decide you want more advanced WordPress features.

To start click the ‘Get started’ button.

Starting a blog - WordPress hosting plan
Choose WordPress hosting plan

 

 

Step 3. Pick a domain name

Apart from the server, you also need a domain: an Internet address under which your readers will find you ( ‘our domain is: blogonyourown.com).

Write the name of domain you want to use and click ‘Proceed’. If this name is available, you can register it with your hosting account.

Start bloging choose domain name
Choose your domain name

If the domain you wanted to use is not available, SiteGround will show you alternative names – it will suggest using a name ending with .us .net .org.
You can either use one of the suggested names or choose another name, repeating the whole procedure until you are satisfied with an outcome.

Take your time with making this decision.

 

Already have a domain name?
Just click ‘I already have a domain’, then write it in the provided space, and click ‘Proceed’.

Start a blog when already have a domain name
Good Domain name

When you chose your domain or used the one you already have and own, provide all the necessary information on the next page.

 

Enter Account, Client and Payment Information

Make sure you use your active email address, because your personal details will be send there.

Start a blog - Account and payment information
Enter account and payment information

 

Enter Purchase Information

Choose the nearest Data Center and the period of payment, depending on how much earlier you want to pay. SiteGround offers the possiblity of paying in advance for the period of 12, 24 or 36 months.

Add additional services if you want but, they are not necessary at this stage. You can skip them if you want.

Confirm that you’ve read the fine print and then click ‘Pay now’ to complete your purchase.

Starting a blog - Domain name purchase information
Enter purchase information

 

After registering in the hosting packet (Step.3) you will receive all the information necessary to log in the SiteGround Customer Area.

 

 

Step 4. How to start a blog – Install free blogging software and setup WordPress blog.

It’s time to install WordPress. Log in to your new SiteGround account.

When you first log to your Customer Area, a popup ‘Welcome to our Website Setup Wizard!’ will appear, asking if you want to have WordPress preinstalled on your account. Select that option and click on the ‘Proceed’ button.

How start a blog and setup WordPress
Setup WordPress blog

Then, enter your login details, which will help you to log in to your WordPress blog.

 


GOOD TO KNOW
To log in to your website, you will need your Username and Password.


 

In WordPress,”Admin” serves as a default username of every user, that’s why it’s crucial that you change your name into something more unique for your website’s safety.

 


REMEMBER
Change your username from “Admin” to something more safe.


 

 

Starting a blog - How to setup WordPress blog with SiteGround
How to setup WordPress blog

Next, choose one of the free available themes. It doesn’t matter which one you choose – we will change it together using the instruction provided later in the article.
Click on the ‘Submit’ button.

At the final stage, a brief summary of the process of WordPress installation will appear, containing the information such as username, password and where to find your blog’s dashboard.

Start a blog - Setup WordPress blog
How to setup WordPress blog

You can access your new blog’s dashboard by going to www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin (where “yourdomainname.com” is your domain name).

 


REMEMBER
Access to your new blog’s dashboard:
www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin


 

And that’s it. Yay!
Now, you are the happy owner of the domain, the hosting and the website. Easy, right?

You have installed WordPress yourself, as well as configured your blog. Now you know how to create a blog using WordPress.
Congratulations!

 

 

Step 5. How to create a blog – Designing your blog

Finally, you can take care of your website’s appearance. In my opinion, this is the most enjoyable part of creating a blog.

In this section, I’ll show you

# How to add or change WordPress Theme
# How to configure your blog to be search engine friendly

One of the greatest advantages of creating your blog using WordPress is that you are provided with free themes and plugins.

 


REMEMBER
Themes are responsible for the website’s appearance, plugins – for its functionality


 

WordPress offers more than 5000 free themes and more than 53,000 free plugins.
It means that you have a wide selection of options and you will surely find something for yourself.
Amazing, right?

 

# Add or change WordPress Theme

Right after you create your WordPress blog, you are already in a possession of either active default WordPress theme, or the one you have chosen in SiteGround Setup Wizard. It’s very easy to change and adjust to your own needs.

After logging to your WordPress blog, you will see the following screen: the main Administration Screen called the Dashboard.

 


REMEMBER

You can log in to your blog by going to
www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
and using the credentials you set up with SiteGround or any other hosting company you used.


 

 

 

Starting a blog - WordPress dashboard panel
WordPress dashboard panel

 

One more small tip:
To log out of the WordPress panel hover the mouse over the text ‘Howdy, your user name’ in the top right corner and click ‘Log Out’.

How to start a blog - WordPress panel
How to start a blog

 

 

Go to Appearance < Themes < Add New

Start blogging - How to add new theme in WordPress
Start blog on your own with WordPress add new theme

 

On the right, you can type the name of the theme, which you know from this site: https://wordpress.org/themes/browse/new/ or tag -such as ‘blog’- and search for the most suitable theme for you among the other screened ones.

How to start a blog installing WordPress free theme
How to install WordPress free theme

 

I start with looking through themes available here: https://wordpress.org/themes/browse/new/
On this site I can freely see Theme Homepage as well as theme’s demo, get to know the author, see his other projects, and read about other people’s opinions.

 

Free blog theme
Free WordPress theme site

 

Don’t get discouraged:)
There are a lot of themes and you can lose plenty of time searching for the perfect one. Choose something that you will love, something that will suite your and your readers’ taste.
After you make up your mind, click Install and then Activate.

 

How to start a blog - WordPress theme activate
How to activate WordPress free theme

 

And that’s it!!! It’s done!!

 


What is WORTH KNOWING when you choose a theme.

All themes available on the site https://wordpress.org/themes are free (GPL-licensed), that is why you may want to check, whether a theme which you have chosen is regularly updated, and if it has support in case of any troubles.


 

Perhaps you are wondering how these authors make money? Some of them sell a Pro version of a given theme with additional expanded functions, others offer payable support and customization of their themes.

You don’t need all of these functions at the beginning. It will be enough if you choose a theme, which you should be able to use easily on your own, without the need to generate additional costs.

 

# Configuring your blog to be search engine friendly / Using Search Engine Friendly URLs in Your blog

1. Change your permalinks

The next thing that you need to do before you start writing posts is to make your blog more search engine friendly.
It only means that you need to make your permalinks clear and readable.

How can you achieve that?
Enter Settings < Permalinks and choose Post name

 

Starting WordPress blog change permalinks
How to change permalinks in WordPress blog

 

Permalinks in WP free blog
How to change permalinks in WP blog

 

2. Set up Comments

Make sure that your blog is free from spam comments, which will make it full with unwanted content. Many companies use automatic spam, leaving comments with links to various sites in order to promote themselves.

To control messages appearing on your blog, go to :
Settings < Discussion and choose two options

Starting a blog - Comments in free WP blog
How to set up comments in WordPress blog

From this moment you will have to accept the icoming comments, before anyone will see them on your blog.

 

3. Check your username

If you are not sure, whether you changed your default username ‘admin’ to your own, you can easily check it.
To do that, click Users > All Users

 

Creating a blog - User name in WordPress
Where to find the user name in WordPress blog

If your ‘Username’ is different from an ‘admin’ you do not have to do anything.

In turn if it is an ‘admin’ username, be sure to change it as soon as possible.

WordPress is very polular and everyone knows that an ‘admin’ is the default ‘Username’. By leaving the default settings, you risk hacking attacks.

Be sure to read the article: How to change an ‘admin’ username in WordPress.

 

 

Step 6. How to write a blog – Adding Posts and Pages

At this point, you have a fully operational and well-configured WordPress blog with your own theme and your own domain.
AMAZING:)!

You have done so much – I am proud of you :).
Your blog is now ready for work.

At this moment the question “how to start a blog” is not so mysterious anymore. Big relief right :)?

Now, it is time to get to know WordPress. I will show you where to start?

 

In this section, I will show you:

#How to write a post in WordPress
#How to add images, links, pdf files, videos etc.
#How to add tag ang category.
#How to add “About me” page.

 

# Writing Blog Posts

Navigating in WordPress is very easy. Right after you get to know basic rules, you will learn how to do it.

To add a new post you can do it in the three ways below:
1. Dashboard > Write your first blog post or
2. Dashboard > +New > Post or
3. Posts > Add New

 

How to start a blog - Adding posts
How to add posts in WordPress

On the next screen, you’ll see user-friendly editor.
I will stop here, so that you have a chance to learn more about all the elements and their functions.

 

How to start a blog - Free WordPress blog editor
WordPress blog editor

 

1) Title Area: polish titles

2) Content Area: as the name suggests, this is the place where you put your content.

3) Standard Editing Tools: here you have the access to options such as bold, italic, lists, headings etc.

4) Publish Box: This is one of the most important areas. Here you can save a draft version or publish something by clicking on ‘Publish’ button. You can make your post private or password-protected, so that only your friends could see it. You can also schedule your post to be published later. WordPress is a device used all around the world, that’s why if you want your post published at a certain time, make sure you have set up the right time zone. You can check it by entering Settings > General. You will find more about the ‘Publish box’ below.

5) Additional Options: Here you can find post’s formats, categories, tags and Featured image.

 

Formatting options

Before you start, make sure you are in the Visual tab, which enables you to easily edit a text (Text tab is used to writing in HTML code).

 

How to start a blog with WordPress blog toolbar
More about WordPress toolbar

On the top of the Content area you will find Standard Editing Tools, such as bold, italics, lists, headings, etc. At the very end there is an icon called Toolbar Toogle. When you click on it, you will see options of text formatting, such as text color, underlining, etc. It will be useful during the editing process.

 

How to start a blog - adding new post
WP blog toolbar formating options

 

Now you can start writing your own post.
Add the text of your post in text box and its title in the space above.

 


GOOD TO KNOW

If you feel distracted by all the accessories available on the website, click on the icon “Distraction-free writing mode”, which is located at the top of the page, on the right side of content area. Everything will become clearer. To return to the normal display mode, simply click it again.


 

 

WordPress - how to add new post
Start blogging WordPress panel

 

After adding a title, a permalink will appear under it.
Of course, you can edit it by clicking on “Edit” button, but it would be best to do it before publishing your post.

 

 


GOOD TO KNOW

Everything that you publish on your website (a post or a page) has its own unique url address (permalink), which makes it visible on the Internet. If you change an url address of an already published post, the previous address, which you might have shared on social media or other sites, will not work.


 

Be careful about changing permalinks of the already published content.

It makes a huge difference for your browser, whether you will write address such as this one https://blogonyourown.com/support/ or this one https://blogonyourown.com/supports/. These are two different sites, two different url address.

 

 

To sum up:

  • To publish your post click the ‘Publish’ button, located on the right side of the Publish Box section.
  • To save the draft version of your post click the ‘Save Draft’ button, located on the right side of Publish Box section.
  • If you want to make your post private or password-secured click on the link ‘Edit’ next to ‘ Visibility’ and choose the right option, then click ‘OK’ and ‘Update’ button.

 

How to start a blog - Publish your first blog post
How to publish post in free WordPress blog
  • If you want to schedule a later publication of your post in the ‘Publish Box’ section, click on the link ‘Edit’, next to the ‘Publish’ option, and select the right date. Then, click the ‘OK’ button, and the ‘Schedule’ button for confirmation. In the main Administration Screen, enter Settings > General, in order to make sure that you have set the right time zone.

 

WP theme publish options
WP theme publish box

 

 

 

# Adding images, links, pdf files and videos

 

Adding photos

 


REMEMBER
You should adjust an image before you post it.


 

How to optimize images and why? Read this article.

Set your cursor over the content area, where you want your image to be visible, click on Add Media > Upload File then Drop files or click the ‘Select Files’ button

 

Add image in WP blog theme
How to add image in free WordPress theme

 

Start to blog - Adding media files
How to add media in free Wp theme

 

Adding photos - WordPress free theme
How to add image to WordPress blog

 

Choose the right image. In order to do that, you just have to click on it and make sure it has been marked, as you can see on the picture above (if you click on it for the second time, it will be unmarked).
Fill the Alt Text space as well as Caption. It’s crucial for SEO – (Search Engine Optimization).

At the end, click the ‘Insert into post’ button. And it’s done.

How to optimize images and why? Read this article.

 


GOOD TO KNOW

Never add images directly from the camera. Before they are added on your website, they should be optimized, reduced and compressed.
The browsers see only the text – they don’t recognize images. Photos are an important part of your content, not just an addition. Always remember to fill the Alt Text – ‘Alternate Text’ space.


 

Imagine, that a blind person is searching through your site using a screen reader, which will read everything but images. Describe your images by giving them a description using AltText and your whole content will be available for everyone.

Adding links

Highlight the text you want to link, click on the icon ‘Insert/edit link’. A space will appear, where you can insert your URL address. Click on the icon ‘Link Options’ in order to see all the possible combinations. Fill the right spaces and click ‘Add Link’.

Create WordPress blog - adding links
How to add link in new WordPress post

 

How to start a blog and insert link in WP blog theme
Insert or edit link in WordPress theme

 

Adding pdf files

Set the cursor over the place where you want a pdf file to appear, and click on Add Media > Upload File. Then upload your pdf file. On the right side you can change your post’s title – and it’s going to be the Post Title which will appear in the place where you set the cursor. Click ‘Insert into post’.

How to create WP blog adding pdf file
How to add pdf file in WP post

 

How to create WordPress blog - adding pdf file
Uploading pdf file in WordPress blog

 

Adding a video

To add a video on your website first go to the individual page of this YouTube video. Click the ‘Share’ link on the right under the video, next click the ‘Embed’ button.

Choose options which you find interesting and click ‘Copy’. Follow the same steps, when you are sharing a video from sites such as Vimeo.

Now go back to your own site, go to the TEXT TAB and add this link in a place you find the most suitable.
Note that the link you have copied is an HTML code, so you need to add it in Text Tab, and not in Visual Tab.

 

How to add video in WP thme
Adding video in WP blog post

 

# Adding tag/tags and category/categories

Tags and categories help in grouping your content. They make your content orderly, which help your readers with finding articles they consider to be intresting.

But how do tags and categories differ?

 

CATEGORIES

consist of the main topics, which can be found on your blog and which create the your blog’s main structure.

The average blog has about 7-10 categories. It’s not beneficial for a blog to have more categories, because then it becomes confusing and unreadable.

 


GOOD TO KNOW
in the case of WordPress, categories can be embedded, which means that you can create subcategories of a given category.


 

TAGS

are very similiar to categories, but they serve as a more detailed description of your post.Tags divide your posts into groups, regardless of the structure, which a category have.

 


REMEMBER
Do not create a tag for just one post


 

Let’s suppose that your blog is about cooking. You are writing an article about a lemon-flavoured sugar-free lemonade:), which you will put it in the category: Refreshments and tag it: lemonade, lemon, sugar-free.

If someone will be interested only in your sugar-free recipes, then they will be able to easily find them by clicking on the tag ‘sugar-free’.

Tags divide your posts into groups, so if you do not plan on publishing more sugar-free receipes (which would be tagged ‘sugar-free’), then it’s better not to use this tag at all. Using a specific tag for only one post doesn’t make sense and only creates a mess.

To add a new category, click ‘+Add New Category’. You can manage your categories by going to Administration Panels > Posts > Categories.

 

How to add category and tag in new WordPress post
Categories and tags in WordPress blog

 

# Adding ‘About me’ page

There are three ways to create a page in WordPress:
1. Dashboard > Add an About page or
2. Dashboard > +New > Page or
3. Pages > Add New

 

How to start a blog - Adding WP page
How to create WordPress page in your WP blog

Text editor looks the same as before, so it should not cause any problems 🙂

About me page is one of the most viewd pages, so it should be well-prepared. It’s worth putting effort into it:).

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