Looking to set up a blog? Excellent then you are in the right place!
The question is, how do you set up a blog? If you have already been searching the web for information about blogging, you may well have been inundated with the amount of information out there.
However let’s not worry about that, you came here to solve a problem, that problem being how do you set up a blog. You may have some questions like ‘is it easy to set up a blog’ or ‘where do I start’.
This guide has been designed to be easy to follow and easy to act on. Let’s get started shall we?
Step 1 Select your Blogging Platform
What? What’s a Blogging Platform when it’s at home? Well in a nutshell a blogging platform is the solution you choose to build your blog on. There are many solutions out there. This guide focuses on WordPress and I will tell you why later.
- Blogger – A good alternative to WordPress.
- Tumblr – A mix between a Social Network and a Blog.
Why WordPress then?
Here are some of the reasons I use WordPress:
- Super Easy to use.
- Tons of Free Themes available. A theme is the basic design of your blog.
- Tons of Free Plugins available. A plugin adds additional functionality to your blog.
- Regular updates to keep your blog secure.
Step 2 Select where to host your Blog
This part boils down to two choices. Do you want to host your blog for free or do you want to pay to host your blog? Let’s delve into this a bit further…
Free Hosted Blogs
Issue 1 – No Custom Domain Name
With a free blog you can’t have your own domain name. A domain name is your unique address on the web. GetYourBlog.co.uk is a domain name. If you choose to go down the free route your choice of domain name is very limited. Take a look at the examples below to see what I mean.
yourdomainname.blogspot.com (You can have a custom domain with BlogSpot).
As you can see the above are OK if you are setting up a personal blog but yourdomainname.com looks better.
Issue 2 – Limited to what you can do
The free platforms will limit what you can do. For example you may not be able to monetise your blog or host a large amount of images or videos.
Paid Hosting Blogs
Benefit 1 – Your own Custom Domain Name
Yes that’s right you can select your own unique custom domain name.
Benefit 2 – Can do what you like within reason
Because you are hosting your own WordPress Blog, there aren’t as many restrictions. There are some limits imposed by your hosting provider but you are unlikely to ever get near them.
Step 3 Choose your Web Host
If you have decided to self host your blog and pick your own domain name then the next important step to take is to choose your hosting company. A web hosting company provides the services that allow you to set up your blog and run all the parts that make it work on the Internet.
My recommendation is a company called Vidahost*. I have been using them for years and I am very happy with them, plus you can get 10% off your first order quoting the Code DDG10.
*In the interest of honesty, clicking the link above or using the code may generate me a commission.
You can also read my article which talks about Choosing a Web Host for your WordPress Blog.
Back to Vidahost…. You also get a free domain name and prices start from £2.99 per month!
Once you sign up with Vidahost for a Cloud Hosting Plan, you can choose to configure WordPress automatically through their one click installer. Once this is completed you will be up and running! See said it was easy!
Simply login to your new blog to get started.
Step 4 Pick a Theme for your Blog
When you first look at your Blog you may think it looks a bit plain. The theme of your blog is what controls its appearance. The good news is that there is a huge selection of free themes for WordPress. Let’s get to that bit shall we?
- To browse to the themes navigate to Appearance in the left hand Menu and click on Themes.
- Next click the Add New Button at the top of the page. You will now see a large list of themes.
- You can browse through popular themes and filter through the themes based on your selections. There is also a search bar at the top right to allow you to sift through all of the available themes.
Once you have found a theme you like you can click the blue install button and theme will be installed into WordPress for you. There are also a large number of premium themes available at various places on the Internet if you cannot find a free theme you like.
Step 5 Write your Content
Now the hard part is out of the way, the only thing left to do is to start producing your content. Build your blog and enjoy what you do! Be sure to check out the blog we have which provides tips on blogging in WordPress!