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Today I thought I would create a tutorial on how to start a Wordpress blog. It’s a question that I get asked a lot so I thought it would be good to get it written down. Please note this tutorial contains affiliate links. Read my terms & conditions page for more information about this.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog?
One of the things that you will need to consider when starting a blog is what do you intend to do with your blog. Are you planning to make money from it or do you just want to write as a hobby?
Hosted or Self-Hosted?
If you simply wish to have your blog as a hobby or online diary then you can choose the hosted option for your blog. This is where another company such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com, for example, host your site for you.
This option is free but it’s worth mentioning that you will not own your blog, the hosting company will. You are also not technically suppose to earn money from a hosted blog as it goes against the company’s terms & conditions.
If you plan to make money from your blog then you really should consider going self-hosted. This is where you pay a company either monthly or annual for hosting. If you choose the self-hosted route you own your blog. Most professional bloggers are self-hosted.
The cost of self-hosting varies depending on which company you choose to go with. Personally, I use *iPage. They are currently running a deal for hosting of £1.50 per month. I have been with iPage for almost 5 years now and I have to say they are brilliant. I have been particularly impressed with their customer service.
Buy a Domain
If you choose to go self-hosted you will also need to buy your domain. That is your address that appears in the browser bar. Mine, for example, is www.gypsysoul.co.uk. Some companies like iPage include a free domain as part of your hosting package. I’d definitely recommend using a package like that if you can.
Choosing a Theme for your Blog
Once you have your hosting & domain you will need a theme to go on your site. This is how you make your site look pretty! You can either choose a free WordPress theme or buy one. Prices generally range anywhere from £15 to £200 depending on where you get it from.
I know that the *StudioPress.com themes are incredibly popular with bloggers. They have a whole range of great designs varying from minimalistic themes to gallery themes. All of the StudioPress themes are powered by the Genesis framework which is quick and easy to use, perfect for new bloggers.
Things To Consider before your Start
Before you start creating your new blog there are a few things that you should consider first. The most important being what are you going to call your blog? Ideally, you need to choose a name that is unique to you and sums up what you intend to write about.
What do you Intend to Call your Blog?
There is a really handy free website called namecheckr where you can type in the name you’d like to use and it checks the web to see if it has already been used elsewhere. It searches domains and social usernames across a variety of networks.
Having a niche for your blog is an important thing to consider. Generally, blogs that have a specific niche are the most popular as people know what to expect from the blog. Having a niche also helps you to stay focused on what you write about.
Saying that I know a lot of bloggers that like to write about a variety of different subjects so they tend to label themselves as a lifestyle blogger. It really is up to you if you decided to have a niche or not but I’d say it’s worth considering at least.
One thing I would say for sure though is write about what you know and love!
Start a WordPress Blog
Installing WordPress with iPage
I have created this tutorial using *iPage as they are the company that I use myself. If you use a company like iPage installing WordPress is very simple. They have a one-click install. You’ll find this option in your control panel.
Why use iPage?
- FREE domain registration
- FREE drag and drop builder
- FREE online store
- FREE security suite
- FREE search engine & marketing credits
- Unlimited disk space & email addresses
- 30-Day money back guarantee
Let’s start a WordPress blog! Go to the *iPage website and click the ‘Sign Up Now’ button.
Step 1: Select Domain
The first thing that you will need to do is enter the domain name that you’d like for your blog. If you have already purchased a domain elsewhere then tick the option – I plan to use a domain I already own.
Type in the domain you wish to use in the box and click ‘Check Availability’.
Step 2: Enter your Billing Information
The second stage is to enter your billing information and choose which package you want to use.
I would recommend choosing the option of 36 months if you can afford it. Although do bear in mind that it ties you in for 3 years with the same host but it does guarantee that you hosting price won’t change during that time. It really is down to you.
iPage have what they call ‘Website Essentials’ which you can add to your cart if you think you want them. These include things like advanced site protection and Google Apps. You do not have to add these if you don’t want to.
It’s completely up to you what you have. I will just say though that you don’t really need the advanced site protection unless you plan to take credit card details and things like that on your site. Personally, I didn’t add in any of the extras when I bought my hosting.
Once you have filled out your details, chosen your package and added in extras that you require simply click ‘Check Out’ at the bottom of the page. You will receive an email from iPage with all of your username, password and account information.
Step 3: Installing WordPress
Congratulations! You now have your domain and hosting. The next step now is to install WordPress so you can start designing your site. To do this you first need to go to your control panel. Log in to iPage using the information in your email
- To install WordPress simply click on the icon
- Mojo marketplace installer will load up
- A new screen will appear, click on ‘Install’
- Select which domain name you’d like to install to (If you only have one only one will show)
- Click ‘Check Domain’
At this point, a message may appear that states… It looks like files already exist in that location if we proceed some files may be overwritten. How would you like to proceed? Click ‘Continue’.
Last step you are almost there!
- Click ‘show advanced options’
- Add in your site name or title, admin username and admin password (Write these down so you remember them!)
- Make sure the ‘Automatically create new database’ box is ticked
- Ticked the ‘read terms & conditions’ box
- Hit ‘Install Now’
After this. you will be taken to a new screen with a progress bar at the top of it showing your installation being loaded. This may take a little while, just be patient and don’t refresh your browser. Below the bar, you will find a page with WordPress themes & templates. You don’t need to purchase then if you don’t want to.
That’s it! You should now have WordPress installed on your site. If you do have any issues during the installation process you can contact the iPage support team.
Step 4: Log into your new WordPress Account
Once you have installed WordPress you can now log into your account. To do this either click on the link on the page that says congratulations on the installation of your new WordPress site (where it says Amin URL) or goes back to your control panel and click on the WordPress icon again.
Designing your Site
The next step is to install a theme for your site. As I mentioned earlier this can either be a free theme or a premium theme like the *StudioPress Themes for WordPress.
Here are just some of the reasons why you should consider the Genesis framework from StudioPress…
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Responsive HTML5 Designs
- Unlimited support & unlimited updates
- Airtight security
- Instant updates
- Customizable & fast
There are hundreds of different themes out there to choose so it’s worth spending an evening doing a bit of research and finding styles and layouts that you feel would work for you and your blog.
I have no doubt that you will also want to create a custom header and logos for your new blog. Check out my free tutorial on how to create a custom blog header.
If you have followed all of the steps above then hopefully you should now have your new blog complete with WordPress. I really hope that you have found this tutorial useful and you enjoy your new blog.
So now there’s nothing stopping you from creating your very own blog. Go to the *iPage website now to get started with yours.