How to start a blog in 9 minutes

How to start a blog in 9 minutes

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Usually, before starting any blog, the first task is always deciding on the appropriate platform. A blogging platform is the Content Management System that will power your site. It’s the engine on which your site is going to run.  In one of my posts, I have outlined the top 5 best blogging platforms, but I will always recommend WordPress, just as any WP Professional would.

The WordPress Architecture.
WordPress is by far the most reliable, secure and trusted CMS written in PHP, powering over 27% of the world’s websites. However, many beginner users tend to confuse between the two original architectures, i.e

  1. com
  2. org

WordPress.com
This is a hosted platform where users can create a site for free. (Totally free).

All you need is your domain name which will of course be added as a sub-domain to WordPress so that it becomes http://yourexamplesite.wordpress.com.

To get a custom domain, you will have to purchase one through the dashboard or point your own registered domain to wordpress.com at a small fee.

Here, you will need not to worry about hosting space and bandwidth as everything is catered for. Your work is to blog and blog without minding disk space.

However nice it may sound, I still recommend the second option (WordPress.org). To understand more, read this post on why you should not use wordpress.com to host your site.

WordPress.org (Self hosted)
In wordpress.org, the site owner pays for the hosting space and buys a domain name. This is the professional way of doing things.

There are two main installation methods, i.e One-click install and the manual installation. As a professional, I will always recommend the manual method whereby you will be required to visit the official WordPress site and download the installation file.

Some other small sites claim to be WordPress partners may have the installation file on their servers, but it’s always a good practice to download from http://wordpress.org.

 Get WordPress now

Before we start
Anyone can start and maintain a blog for whatever reason but;One word of encouragement;

WordPress is easy. As long as you are able to use Microsoft office word, you have the potential of being a successful blogger and make money online through blogging.

Steps
Step 1. Making the right choice on which platform to use
We won’t be discussing much about the right platform. I had earlier said that WordPress is the easiest and user-friendly platform to run your new blog, since over 90% of users are already using WordPress.

WordPress is not a premium service. It’s a completely free open source CMS, where you have the freedom to choose from a wide range of available plugins to customize your site according to your liking. You also get access to free themes right from your dashboard, unless you want to gain access to more complex features and switch to premium themes which cost somewhere between $40 and $70.

You can read this post on 3 reasons why I encourage the use of premium themes.

Step 2. The domain name and hosting.
Now that you have enough reasons as why you should use WordPress, the next step is to purchase a domain and get some hosting space. A domain name is what people will type into their browsers to find the location of your site. It’s much similar to a phone number, to give a real life example.

On the other hand, since what we are going to work on is a self-hosted WordPress installation, we need some space to store our files. Our blog posts and the pictures contained therein need disk space, which will eventually get filled up as our blog grows. You can read this post on 6 awesome tips on how to choose a perfect domain name before getting started.

Step 3. Choose the right host
This is where many beginners make a big mistake. Not all hosts are ideal for WordPress hosting. The internet is filled with thousands of web hosting providers, but I conducted a research and outlined a list of the top 10 web hosting providers which won’t disappoint you, among which I mentioned Bluehost, a hosting platform recommended by WordPress. I too, won’t hesitate to recommend them to any WordPress owner outside there.

Bluehost was started in 1996, even before Google, and they are very popular when it comes to WordPress hosting. They have a very good name on the internet because of the large number of sites they host.

How to get hosting on bluehost
Click on this link to open Bluehost. (The link opens in a new tab to maintain this window for you to follow the steps)

blue-hosts

  1. Click on the green button labeled get started now.
  2. On the next screen, select the plan that you need (basic is not bad for a beginner)
  3. Now, enter the domain name of your new site. If you get stuck here, refer to these guidelines on how to choose a domain name.

startablogatwp

The final step is to add your account information and finalize the process. Blue host are very good at cross selling, however I don’t recommend buying anything else as you can always add them later on if you really need such services.

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Everything at Bluehost is automated to save time and ensure top rank user experience. Once completed, you can now log into your email. You will see a new message with your account details and the procedure to log into your cPanel.

Once you manage to log in to cPanel, you can now follow the steps on how to install WordPress.

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Step 4. Install WordPress
We are going to use the One-click install feature, but if you would like to install WordPress manually, you can refer to this tutorial.

Now, while in the cPanel, among the many small icons in the website section, click on the WordPress icon and you will land on the Bluehost marketplace. Here you will get a chance to Quick install WordPress.

After clicking the ‘get started’ button, you will be required to select a domain on which you want to install WordPress.

Choose a domain from the drop-down menu and hit next.

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In the next screen, Write your site title, (site name), your username (admin user-you will need this every time to want to log into WordPress) and a password.

Next check all the boxes, (this is a requirement) and click the green button labeled ‘install’.

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Your WordPress installation will now begin. During this time you may be prompted to browse WordPress themes as the installation is going on.

A theme is basically the look and feel of your site, which makes sites look different from others.  However, I don’t recommend this. Just let the installation to complete with the default theme.

You will now see a success notification with a green circled check mark on the top header.

If you hit the Installation Complete link, you will be redirected to a page with your login URL and password.

That’s it! You have a brand new WordPress site. You are not far from making money online with your site.

Now you can log into your WordPress using any of the following links;

http://examplesite.tld/wp-admin

http://examplesite.tld/wp-login.php

These are just the default links in WordPress, which you can change or block access to. To increase your sites security, refer to my post on how to secure your WordPress site.

You now have a self-hosted WordPress blog. However, your site is not visually appealing at this stage. The only post you have is the default Hello world!

You can now refer to my post on 10 things you must do to your WordPress site after installation to make it look more professional.  Alright, this is the end of my tutorial and I hope it helps. For any questions, addition or any comment, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I am always happy to help. For a fast feedback you can also send me a tweet @dukebosire and I will reply within a few minutes. If this post helped you, share it to your friends because sharing is caring.

Duke Bosire

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