If you have decided you want to start a blog, let me be the first to say CONGRATS! It’s so exciting when you choose to take the leap into blogging to share your stories and ideas. Unfortunately it can be overwhelming and confusing to know where and how to start. While there is a ton of great information out there finding easy how-to tutorials for the new blogger can be a challenge at times. When I’m searching Google or Pinterest to learn a new task, I want a very simple and straightforward post about that topic. Remember those “for DUMMIES” books from the 90’s? Yup, that’s what I’m looking for! Simple and easy.
Should I start a blog on wordpress.com or self-host my blog?
This is the most common question I see from new bloggers. If you want to monetize your blog at any point, self-hosting is the way to go. Although it will be a little money upfront, it is so much easier than changing down the road. I ran a wedding blog for 5 years and started out on wordpresss.com. About a year in I realized how badly I needed my own domain. Let me tell you how much of a nightmare it was and how much money it cost me to pay someone to transfer my years worth of blog posts to my own domain. Take my advice…start with self-hosting and save yourself the headache.
HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG ON SITEGROUND
Step 1: Go to SiteGround
I recommend SiteGround for the beginner blogger. It is very user friendly, extremely affordable, the customer service is OUTSTANDING and it’s what I use. If you use my personal SiteGround Link you will be directed to the signup page where you can get your domain too!
Step 2: Choose Website Hosting Plan
You only need their StartUp plan at the beginning. It’s the cheaper price at only $3.95 per month (which is amazing!) and it’s perfect for new websites. If you ever decide you want to have multiple blogs, you can always upgrade your hosting plan.
Step 3: Choose Your Domain Name
You will need to decide on a name for your blog. This process is different for everyone. I’m a list person and always start with a brainstorming session where I write down a ton of words. Then I play around with the words and use different combinations until I find something I like. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:
- Keep your future readers in mind. Easy to spell and a shorter name will be remembered
- Make sure all major social media handles are available (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) You don’t want to register a name and find out the social media names are taken
- Length is important. Some social media handles only allow so many characters and you may have to abbreviate if it’s too long
- Make sure you can create a .com website address. If your name is already taken, play with variations to see if you can come up with something similar
Step 4: Enter Your Personal Information
Enter your personal details to complete the registration process.
Step 5: Add Ons
What about the add-ons? This is really up to you. The one I recommend the most is the first option Domain Privacy Protection. If you don’t choose this, your personal information you entered in, will be visible. This could mean a bunch of random emails, phone calls, and mail from solicitors. None of us like spam.
Install WordPress On SiteGround
The best part about hosting on SiteGround is that they make creating a WordPress blog easy and FREE!
- Log in to your SiteGround account you just set up (you should receive an email with a link to sign in)
- Select Support
- Select WordPress Assistance
That’s it! You now have WordPress installed on your very own personal website! The next step is to select a WordPress theme and start blogging.
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