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I am incredibly excited about this guide I’m offering you guys today. I have been a website and graphic designer for over six years, and this is the first time I have written an easy how-to guide. I hope that this guide encourages you to take a leap of faith and help start your blogging journey. Don’t worry, guys I’m here with you every step of the way. If you’re rocking with me, I’m rocking with you. So, let’s do this.

 

Select the perfect domain name for your blog
Let’s be clear. A domain name is the URL or web address that directs your visitors to your blog. Before setting up your blog, you must create a suitable name that represents your niche, brand and your site. Make sure it easy to remember and short. It will help your audience to remember your URL. When you come up with a name, you must check if it’s available so that you can purchase it. You can either get it from other sites separate from your hosting company or buy it as an add-on in your hosting package.

 

Choose your hosting
After having your domain name selected, you can move on to the next step which is finding the right hosting. I have tried many hosting companies such as GoDaddy and HostGator to name a couple. Currently, I’m using SiteGround, and I couldn’t be more pleased with using a hosting company. Siteground has an excellent hosting service with the fastest loading speed, best secure protection and top-notch support that replies quickly to help you with any technical issues. I will walk you through the sign-up process using Siteground.

 

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Web Hosting

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Select your hosting package
When you visit the SiteGround hosting site, you must select “WordPress Services” as the third option on the Navigation bar then WordPress Hosting in the drop-down menu.

When you get to the WordPress Hosting page, there will be three packages to select. Pick the one that is best for you.

When you select your package selection, it will take you to the “Secure Sign Up for Web Hosting” page where you will select the other details and add-ons. In the first box titled “Choose Service,” keep it on “get a new hosting account” unless you already have an existing account with SiteGround. Then in the second box titled “Enter Domain,” keep it on “register a new domain” if you have not purchased a domain from a different company already. Then enter your desired domain name.

SiteGround signup

Scroll down to the “Purchase Information” section. You will choose the duration of your hosting package. If you select a more extended period, the hosting becomes much cheaper.

 

Addon Services
SiteGround offers two add-on services for a small fee. These add-ons are optional.

Domain privacy secures your personal information such as your name and address from telemarketers, spam, scammers, etc. SG Site Scanner is a useful tool that scans your website daily for any issues. This tool is recommended to have.

Again, both addons are optional. Select what works best for you. Once you completed that, click the “Pay Now” button and make your payments. Then you’re done.

 

Installing WordPress
First, I will explain the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.org is not to get confused with WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a free hosted platform which that’s shared with millions of people. WordPress.com have many limitations and will make you look like an amateur when you’re starting a blog. The WordPress.org is a self-hosted CMS that gives you the freedom to install and customize your theme and much more. Now here is how we install WordPress to your Siteground account:

  1. To install WordPress on your site, you must log in on to your Siteground account. Then to the second tab to your top left, click on my account. In the first section titled “Manage Account,” click the red button titles “Go to cPanel.”
  1. In cPanel, Look for WordPress under the section “auto installers.” Then click on WordPress.
  1. Once in the WordPress page, click on the install button. It should be in blue. A software setup page will appear. Click quick install on your right.

 

 

Install a WordPress Theme
Before you install your theme, you must look for one that is functional for what you plan to do with your site and your prefers. There are free and paid themes. If you want a professional website, you should go for a paid site. You can purchase a great theme from ThemeForest or other sites.

Now when you have a theme ready, you can follow these steps in installing the theme:

First, you must log in to your site admin page. Usually, it should be at www.yoursite.com/wp-admin. Once there, go to Appearance -> Themes located on in the left panel. This page is where you will see all your themes you upload.

Click on the add new theme / Upload theme button.  Now you should click the browse button to upload your theme from your local hard drive and process by clicking the install now button.

Wait until the installation is complete, a message will show that it was successful. Click Activate to make your theme live on your site.

 

 

Customize your blog the way you like
Ok so now you have your blog, but you need to make it your own. You wouldn’t have a home without having furniture, painting the walls or adding some home décor would you? Alright! That’s the same concept. You need to customize your site.

 

Download plugins
First, we’re going to download a few necessary plugins. Go to Plugins -> Add New located on in the left panel. Type in the plugin name in the search plugins box located at the top right corner. Once you locate the plugin, click Install Now button to install the plugin. Then click the Activate button to make the plugin active.

These plugins are essential for your blog. So follow the steps above to install each plugin:

  • Yoast SEO (useful SEO plugin)
  • Akismet (anti-spam)
  • W3 Total Cache (great to speed up your site)
  • Wordfence Security (fantastic security plugin)
  • Updraft Plus Backup (backup your blog, you must back up your blog monthly)
  • Contact Form 7 (contact form)
  • Beaver Builder Plugin (the best page builder)

Keep in mind that you should always update your plugins and theme.

 

Customize your site
To customize your theme, go to Appearance -> Themes page.

On this page, look for your active theme and click on the customize button.

On this page, you can configure the setting of your site. You will see a list of things you can customize. When complete, click on the save and publish button.

Create content
Your final step is to create content. You must have five blog posts on your site when you launch so that your visitors can get a feel of what your site will have. Also, to accommodate your blog posts, you must have photos. My favourite site to get stock photos is unsplash.com. Don’t forget you need to add writing to other parts of your website such as your “about me page,” contact page, etc.

 

After completing everything, you’re ready to launch your site. Congrats.

 

If all this information overwhelms you, contact me to build your blog.  Read more details by clicking here —> service page.

Check out my resource list for all the great blogging tools you’ll need: The best blog resources list

 

 

 

 

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