When was the last time you had a wonderful idea that just had to be talked about? Do you have a remarkable story from your trip to Spain or several cool tricks you’ve learned from your years as a gardener?
Everyone has a story that begs for exposure, and a blog gives you the tools to get out there and start writing. Blogging used to require some more advanced technical knowledge to program a website and share your story. That has changed drastically since all the tools are now sitting around for you to play around with.
A story is an extension of your own life, sending your voice to the masses, and bringing your experiences to a whole new crowd who might benefit spiritually, physically, or even just through a little entertainment.
The coolest thing about blogging is that you can make some great income if you pour your heart into it. Many regular people are blogging everyday to bring in full-time incomes, while others simply work on their blogs to generate some passive income for the little extra glories in life.
It all starts with a blog, and WordPress is the best platform to get going. Below I have outlined a valuable guide for those just getting started with a blog, demonstrating how to choose a blog domain name, all the way to adding a theme.
Let’s learn how to setup a WordPress blog in under 15 minutes.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
The first step to launching your WordPress blog is understanding the framework. Basically, WordPress is the content management system (CMS) that helps you upload photos, type words, and post your content. It’s designed to work nicely for people of all experience levels, so that you don’t have to know much about coding.
WordPress comes in two forms: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Here’s a detailed guide on the differences between the two, but in short:
- WordPress.com means that the WordPress company hosts the site for you.
- WordPress.org means that you own your site and host it yourself (This guide outlines this method).
- WordPress.com is a nice system, but you don’t get much control or customization over your blog.
- WordPress.org is where you can secure, backup, and customize the site yourself. You even get access to thousands of cool plugins for making your site unique. This is typically what serious bloggers use.
What Do You Need to Get Started With Your WordPress Blog?
- An idea for your domain name.
- A SiteGround hosting account (use our link to save big bucks on your monthly subscription).
- WordPress (completely free).
- A WordPress theme (sometimes free, sometimes a small fee depending on what you choose).
- A credit card (hosting is rather inexpensive).
Step 1: Thinking of and Purchasing the Perfect Domain Name
The domain name is your online identity. The domain for this site is WPKube.com. It’s what people type in whenever they want to find your site, and it ties into your branding strategy so folks remember who you are. Take some time to think of a domain that relates to what you want to offer on your site.
Many people just use their names, while others might have company names to use. Many other websites try to focus on keywords, which can help a bit, but this isn’t going to make or break your search engine optimization.
Domain names are generally sold by the company you buy hosting from. In this case we are using SiteGround, so luckily you will have the chance to choose a domain name for free along with your hosting service signup.
We’ll talk about choosing a domain in the next step, because it goes hand-in-hand with buying hosting, but first I wanted to explain why we like to recommend SiteGround at WPKube:
- SiteGround is a large and experienced company, and lots of the top bloggers use their services.
- The interface is easy to use, so beginners shouldn’t have any problems.
- If you run into problems, they offer 24/7 customer support.
- The service loads your pages super fast.
- Compared to other brands, you get a great deal, starting at $3.95 per month (plus the free domain).
- Their site up-time is unrivaled in the industry.
Step 2: Go to SiteGround and Start With Your WordPress Site
To start, go to SiteGround and click on the orange Get Started button.
It is recommended you start with SiteGround’s StartUp Plan. This is a decent option for those interested in just testing the waters with blogging. You receive hosting for one website, 10GB of website space, and it is suitable for 10,000 monthly visits to your website.
The GrowBig Plan is the most popular option, and it isn’t that much more expensive than the Starter plan. For $7.95 per month you get as many websites as you want. You also receive 20GB of website space and up to 25,000 monthly visits to your website. In addition, there are some great premium features such as the exclusive SuperCacher plugin used to speed up your website and improve overall performance.
The final plan, called the GoGeek Plan, is for businesses that need things like PCI Compliance and WordPress staging. Try this out if you plan on running various websites for your company and are scaling quickly.
Step 3: Complete Your Domain Acquisition
Now that you have selected your desired hosting plan it is time to register your domain name. As mentioned earlier, SiteGround customers are provided one domain name free of charge just for being a customer.
Simply click on Register a New Domain and enter your chosen domain into the provided space.
Click on the Proceed button to see if the domain is available and complete your payment. If the domain is being used by someone else online you have to try another domain name. If it is available, you will see a screen like this one below.
You will also notice there are several sections for you to fill out in order to complete your domain acquisition and continue signing up for SiteGround hosting services.
You will need to fill in some general information about yourself, choose a password for accessing your SiteGround hosting account, and enter your preferred method of payment.
Before completing your payment you will need to answer a couple more questions and will also have the option to add a few additional features to your hosting services.
Here is a breakdown of the last section you need to complete before finalizing your hosting service subscription with SiteGround:
- Choose the data center that best represents your intended audience: Chicago (USA), Amsterdam (NL), Singapore (SG), or London (UK).
- Choose your subscription length: Trial (1 month), 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months.
- Choose extra services: Domain Registration (if not already included in the price), Domain Privacy (so your personal information does not become publicly accessed), HackAlert Malware Monitoring (alerts to possible website hacks).
After choosing which features you would like added to your subscription, read SiteGround’s Terms of Service and confirm that you agree. Then click on Pay Now.
Step 5: Install WordPress on Your SiteGround Hosting Account
Now that you’ve completely setup your SiteGround account you can install WordPress on the host. After payment has been completed, SiteGround will direct you to their Customer Area automatically so that you can install WordPress onto your hosting account.
If by chance you decide to come back later, simply login to your SiteGround hosting account using the username that was emailed to you upon completion of payment and the password you chose during the initial set up phase.
When you choose to go directly to the SiteGround Customer Area you will be prompted with SiteGround’s SetupWizard.
To start the installation of WordPress onto your host select Get WordPress preinstalled in this account.
Before beginning the installation process, SiteGround will ask you to choose your WordPress admin email, username, and password. This information will be what you use to log into your WordPress dashboard to do things such as create and publish blog posts.
After you have done this you will then have the option to add a complimentary WordPress theme onto your website thanks to SiteGround. Themes are what your website will look like on the front end of your website.
Just remember, there are tons of WordPress theme options on the market today, and you can change the theme on your website at any time, even if you choose one from SiteGround for the time being.
When you are finished click on Submit. If everything was done correctly, you will be congratulated for completing your account settings.
Step 6: Managing Your WordPress Blog
In your SiteGround account you will be able to visually see that WordPress was successfully installed onto your website.
By navigating from the Home > My Accounts you will be able see the domain name you chose with a small WordPress icon located right next to it ensuring you that WordPress was installed correctly onto your web hosting account.
If you click on the small green button near the left of your domain name labeled Go to Admin Panel you will be directed to your WordPress dashboard login screen. Here you will enter the username and password you chose during the installation of WordPress process.
Once you have logged in you will see what is the WordPress dashboard. You can go to the Posts tab on the left to write an article and post it to your blog. You can even manage items such as your menu and pages. I particularly enjoy the Plugins tab where you can find cool addons for anything from SEO to contact forms.
The final step in setting up your blog is to add a theme should you decide the one you chose from SiteGround does not suit your needs. Go to Appearance > Themes on the left hand side of your WordPress dashboard and feel free to search for and install a free theme in the WordPress database.
You can also check out the WordPress Themes category on WPKube to find a premium option to fit your branding strategy. You can also check out our free themes section if you’re looking for a free theme.
What are Some Suggestions for Places to Buy Premium WordPress Themes?
ElegantThemes – ElegantThemes has a focus on beauty when it comes to premium WordPress themes. You can download all of their themes for $69 or choose from one of the many industry options like magazine, eCommerce, portfolio, business, and blog themes.
MyBlog Theme – MyBlog is a clean, responsive, and minimalistic WordPress theme designed by yours truly, wpkube team. It costs $39 and includes features such as Post Formats support, advanced options panel, responsive design, and premium support.
That’s it for learning how to setup a WordPress blog in under 15 minutes. Share your thoughts in the comments section below if you have any questions. Congratulations!
If you need any help or have questions please let us know in the comments below.