How to start a blog with WordPress in 5 easy steps?
Want to start the WordPress Blog the right way? We know starting a blog can be a scary and complex idea, especially when you are not a technology geek. Guess what, you are not alone here. Being a trusted WordPress web development company in India and USA, we decided to create the most comprehensive guide on how to start a feature-packed WordPress blog without any technical expertise.
Table of contents of this blog:
Here is a list of different steps, so if you have already completed step (yes), you can proceed directly to the step you are currently and if you are operating on the guide, you can always review the current step.
- Get WordPress hosting
- Install WordPress software & Configure its settings
- Choose a WordPress Theme to Start a WordPress Blog
- Install recommended plugins
- Start WordPress blogging
Step 1: Get WordPress Hosting
Before starting a WordPress powered blog, you need a place to host your blog. There are numbers and possibly thousands of web hosting companies available on the web, but not all hosting service provider is created equal. The first basic rule is that nothing in life comes free, especially when it comes to hosting to your site. So if you see a company that advertises completely free ads, there are no restrictions on the attached hosting that you do not buy. It would be better to invest some amount in a month on a decent hosting plan.
Step 2: Install WordPress & Configure Settings
Once you select a web hosting plan, you will need to install and configure WordPress for your website. Depending on the installation of the WordPress host, it may differ slightly, but no matter what you prefer, your site should be up and blogging in no time.
If you choose Bluehost, then it comes with features like a fast one-click set-up when you signup. Just log in to your account and select the “Install WordPress” option on the website. From there, just follow the on-screen instructions to select your domain name and create login information for your WordPress administrator. You can learn more about how to install WordPress with Bluehost in our guide.
If you choose Flywheel web hosting services, then it comes with WordPress pre-installed and ready to go. Since Flywheel hosting plans only allow you to install one website per hosting plan, you need to add a domain (and create admin login in WordPress) or migrate a website with the help of Flywheel team (to get started.
Once WordPress is installed on your site and ready, you can go to their URL to sign in to WordPress. There should be a link to your WordPress login from your hosting account (usually it goes to your-url.com/wp-login or wp-admin or something related). Use the administrator name or email ID and password that you generated when setting up your data for the web hosting account.
WordPress is a highly customizable platform (in fact, it’s 100% customizable because it is an open-source program), but for the objectives of this guide, I am referring to settings that are accessed through your dashboard of WordPress. If you hover over the Settings menu item in your sidebar, you will see a plethora of options.
The list may look overpowering, but it does not have to be – there are quite a few key settings on these web pages that you should be concerned with at this point of time. Let us take a quick look at each one separately.
General WordPress Settings
On this page, the most relevant settings are the fields to access your logo and title of the site. You can go back and edit at any time, but it is always nice to have an idea of what you want to use for these items from scratch for a consistent brand. Perhaps the title of the page is the name of your website, name or brand (if it is a personal blog), this is easy. For the Tagline, you should think about what you like to start a blog first. It should also describe what revolves around your WordPress blog. In addition to this, you can also change the date and time format from this particular page if you wish.
Type WordPress settings
In this particular section, you can set the default post category and post type for your blog articles. Since you have not started blogging yet, this is a section you can return to later. It is not a crucial step, although it can help expedite the blogging process in a few seconds by editing the default WordPress settings as you wish.
Reading WordPress Settings
From the Reading tab, you will need to configure what your homepage displays. Depending on the topic that you are using, you can use the most recent blog post or a custom static page.
Discussion of WordPress Settings
This page includes all the settings for comments on your WordPress site. At this point, your main concerns should be whether to allow people to post comments and whether to accept comments manually. There are a plethora of options that you can omit, although most of the default settings od WordPress should work fine.
WordPress media settings
This is where you can easily find the growing media options (images) that you add to your website. WordPress includes various options for medium, thumbnails, and large images. You can only leave it or customize it if you want to use predefined sizes in your blog posts.
Permalinks WordPress Settings
Persistent links are what appear in the web browser’s address bar when a website visitor is on a specific web page of your site: it’s their URL in addition to the unique page or publication ID. For instance, the permalink for this page is “start-WordPress-blogging”.
On this configuration page, you will be presented with a list of different fixed link formats. By default, WordPress is set to use various sharing ID which is not very nice. Instead, we generally prefer and recommend the “spread the name” option, because it is easy to use and visually attractive and is an additional boost to SEO (using keywords in your language is usually a good thing).
Note: Once you define a permalink structure and start posting posts, they should not be changed without some preparation. Changing the permalink structure without proper planning and implementation can lead to broken links and 404 errors on your website, so be careful and follow these tips on how to safely change permalinks.
Bonus: your profile
In addition to general WordPress settings, you should also check your user profile, which can be found under Users> Your Profile or by clicking on their names in the top right of the screen.
The details on this screen are often shown by topic (usually as the author of the post), so it is important that we take a moment to make sure you enter the correct information. Make sure the Show name publicly drop-down list is set to the name you want to display to the world. This is determined by choosing the username, first and last name or surname. If your topic includes CV support, don’t forget to add it as well.
Finally, you will also need to set up Gravatar (with the same email account as your WordPress login) with the image you want to use for your profile. A good vertical shot is usually logical, although you can upload any image you see as appropriate.
Step 3: Choose a theme to start a WordPress blog
This is where new or non-techie bloggers stagnate: they spend hours and hours searching for the perfect topic. So let me get out of you: your topic isn’t that important when you just started. Your only goal should be to create and publish content for people to see. Don’t worry too much about designing your site until you have a large audience telling you if they like it or not.
By default, you will see the annual WordPress theme active on your website. Automattic (the people behind WordPress) publishes a new one each year and each one is aimed at bloggers (the latest Twenty Seventeen topic, but Twenty Eighteen is on the way). Every year, this new look is usually more than suitable for those who have just started WordPress to start a blog.
But at some point, you may want to switch to a theme with more features for your growing site. Making the change is easy: all you have to do is install a new feature. Go to Appearance> Themes> Add new through its sidebar. Click the button to download your theme. Then select your zip file to download, install the theme and then activate it. Dah Ta! I just installed a beautiful cool theme with more features and options that you will get for free.
Step 4: Install the recommended plugins
If looks are the first barriers for new bloggers, plugins should be second. It’s easy to spend hours installing any number of plugins before accomplishing anything in terms of content creation. It is a difficult time.
In fact, you don’t need any plugin to get started as a blogger. WordPress is well equipped out of the box. However, there are a few plugins that I recommend installing and activating to get the most out of your blog.
Note: each of these plugins is free and can be installed in Plugins> Add new via the sidebar. Then use the search box to search for a free plugin in the repository (or click to download one of the plugins you downloaded elsewhere).
When you find the plugin you want, click on the “Install Now” link. Once the plugin is installed, you will be given the option to activate the new plugin. That’s it! The plugin is now installed and activated. The setting of each of these recommended plug-ins should be pretty straightforward, but if you have any simple questions, you can ask them in the comments section below or visit the WordPress.org plugin page to open a support topic.
To protect spam, try Akismet
Spam comments can be a major problem later on if you don’t set up a hurdle or two to stop spammers. The first plug-in for this is WordPress Akismet itself, and while other spam plugins are available, we think it’s the best spam plug-in for WordPress. Akismet is very easy to use: just install, activate and choose a “strict” level. After Akismet checks your comments and moves suspicious comments automatically to the spam folder, all you have to do is remember to dump them.
To Add Social Sharing Consider AddThis
You want people to share your content, right? So, if your theme does not support social sharing, you will need to install a plugin for this. A good free option is AddThis. The free social media plugin adds options for over 200 social media, many button styles, and a lot of sites (sidebar, title, widget, content, etc.) for free. If you want to see their analytics or have more advanced sharing options, you’ll need a premium AddThis account, but for most bloggers, only the plugin does a lot.
Improve your SEO with Yoast SEO
One of the primary aspects of any website is SEO or the SEO acronym. But it takes years to become an SEO expert, and even then you must continue to learn. This is why plugins like Yoast SEO are an important plugin for WordPress users. We love Yoast SEO because it includes basic SEO options for navigation paths, headlines, snippets, keyword improvements and more.
Add Google Analytics with MonsterInsights
A great way to see how your site is performing is to track traffic to your site with Google Analytics. See our guide on how to set up Google Analytics for your website, but once you create an account and add the tracking code to your website, you can start monitoring your website. Of course, you can manually check your Google Analytics account every day, but WordPress is a flexible content management system that provides lots of easy-to-use plugins that integrate your analytics into your WordPress dashboard. We recommend MonsterInsights because it works well with Yoast SEO, and in this way, you can combine your SEO strategy with your own SEO monitoring for much better results.
Back up WordPress using VaultPress
It’s always a good idea to plan for the worst, and one of the best mistakes when starting a WordPress blog is to back it up regularly. VaultPress is a free plugin but requires premium membership in order to create and maintain full site backups. It’s part of the premium Jetpack plans, which start at just $ 3.50 a month (just $ 39 a year), and it’s a very low price to get the complete peace of mind of having your website have a plan B. If you do not want to use the backup plugin, no problem. There are some different free ways that you can use to back up WordPress through your own hosting plan or manually.
Step 5: Start blogging
At this point, your blog is almost ready to produce content and there are just a few other things to take care of. The first is to get rid of the post, page, and comment template WordPress contains by default.
Delete and publish the sample page
First, click on the Page List item in your sidebar. On your new blog, you’ll only see a page template that you can remove by hovering over each one and selecting the trash can.
Currently, you don’t need to create any new pages, although you may want to come back later to create an about or contact page at some point. We are currently focusing on starting your blog that requires no more posts. Click on “Posts” in the sidebar, and just like with your pages, delete the posting form titled “Hello, World!”
Now your blog is fresh, clean and ready for your wise words.
Let’s Wrap Up:
With these 3 points in mind, you can easily set up your WordPress blog. Creating WordPress content is that easy! While there are many things you can do to improve your posts and present them better, the key to getting started is only: get started. If you still face any trouble in installing your WordPress site or posting blog, you can get back to a WordPress development company.