June 29, 2017

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How to Start a WordPress Blog

Last week I wrote about an article called How to Start a Blog for Free. That particular method is great for those who don’t want to worry about the hosting and want a hassle free blog so that they can concentrate on writing. The downside of a free blog is that you get a name such as yourblog.wordpress.com which isn’t as attractive as something like www.yourblog.com. The latter looks more professional.

When signing up for a free WordPress account you can opt in to paying for a domain through WordPress and if you want to go that route, you can follow the instructions on the post linked above other than selecting the “domain” option when signing up.

For those who want to set up a blog with their own domain on their own webhosting, you’ll be glad to know that it isn’t all that difficult to achieve if you follow the instructions below:

Setting up a Hosting Account and Buying a Domain Name

The first step is to sign up for a web hosting account as well as a domain name. The “web hosting account” is where you store your blog contents online so that others can access it and the “domain name” is the name of your website such as www.nuclearblogger.com.

The first thing to do is get a hosting account (Bluehost currently have a deal on at $4.95/month) which will allow you to host your website as well as give you plenty of space and bandwidth/transfer to keep your site online even when it gets busy. You may also opt for HostGator which is also a well known company with experience at keeping websites up and running.

The signup process allows you to get one domain name for free. Enter a name which you want your website to be called. If available, you’ll move on to the next step. If the domain is already in use by someone else the service will offer a number of alternatives that you can choose from. Make your selection and then move on to the next section of the signup page which looks like the below image: Note that the pricing is on contract which means you are committing to pay for a certain period of time. Change this to 12 months if you want to commit to just a year. Also, the extras are not really needed but you can select them if you wish.

After that, your account will be setup and you will receive an email with your login details. If you selected a .com domain name then these are generally ready within a few minutes of registering although due to technical reasons and how the naming system works on the internet, there can be a few hour delay.

Installing WordPress on Bluehost

When you receive your new hosting account details via email, log in to the cPanel account with the supplied username and password. When here, look for the “Simple Scripts” icon and click on it.

You’ll then see a window like the one to the left. Select WordPress and then follow the onscreen instructions. The instructions are very simple and simply ask where you would like the blog installing. If this is a brand new domain you will probably be safe to put it on root which means at www.yourdomain.com/. Alternatively, if you already have a website and want to add a blog to it, you might put it in www.yourdomain.com/blog.

After the basic options are configured you can hit Continue and WordPress is installed and you will be provided with a username and password to access your blog as an administrator so that you can begin writing posts.

In my next tutorials I’ll go over some simple plugins that you might want to use which will be followed by a tutorial on how to configure WordPress so that it works how you want it to work. After that, I’ll go over the basics of creating a post, embedding images, linking out, embedding video and publishing the post for the world to see.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog (top right of the sidebar) where you’ll get free access for a short time to our members area which covers this topic and others in more detail.

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