01 Mar How to Start a WordPress Blog
***Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, but it may contain affiliate links.**
Today I’m going to guide you on How to start a WordPress Blog – using GoDaddy for hosting. Like most newbies, starting a blog can get confusing and overwhelming when you don’t know how to begin. I’ve met a lot of talented writers who have great ideas and content to share, but the technical side of blogging is what’s deterring them from getting it out there. So, I’m going to start a series of posts on Blogging – Blogging 101: Creating, Establishing and Monetizing your Blog to help you out.
The first part of this series is: How to start a WordPress Blog
Why WordPress? I have used several Website Builder sites before like Squarespace, Blogger, and Wix. I actually signed up to each of these sites when I was doing my research. What I found out, is that WordPress gives me the ability to customize my site more than any of the other sites. There are plenty of plugins available for download, as well as numerous support you can find online from other users. The other web building sites I’ve mentioned were easy to setup, but plugins are not as readily available and when it came to customizing the overlook and theme, the options became very limited. If you want to change the location of a title or an image or to add certain widgets, it could mean having to change to a different theme altogether and redoing everything. Personally, I prefer to keep my theme as is and just download a plugin that will do what I want it to do. These plugins are available right on your hosted WordPress dashboard, you can also search for them on Google or find specific websites that sell many of these plugins.
There are people who don’t mind the basic point and click format for their blog because it’s easy and straightforward. But, it can eventually become dull and unappealing down the road. You’ll understand what I’m talking about after you’ve published a few posts. If you want to have full control of your overall theme and look, this is the best way to go. When I first started WordPress, I was overwhelmed with the dashboard and all the options. Like most things, you won’t know everything over night. You will learn as you progress and trust me, you will get the hang of it!
So, before starting, an important thing to think about is what your domain name will be and which hosting company to use.
The Top 10 Domain Hosting Sites I recommend are listed below. These sites have a ‘1 click WordPress setup’, which makes it easy for you to create an account, and it takes you right to your WordPress page after. A lot of hosting plans now include a free domain name with a minimum 1 year hosting plan purchase, so do check that out as well, it may be more bang for your buck.
plans starting $1/mo WordPress Hosting
intro pricing starting at $3.95/mo, with 30 day money back guarantee
intro pricing starting at $49/yr or $5/mo, free domain name, unlimited mailboxes and 30 day money back guarantee
starting at $3.95/mo, 45 day money back guarantee
fully loaded hosting with free domain name, introductory promo usually at $1.99/mo
usually has an introductory offer of $3.95/mo web hosting, with 30 day money back guarantee
The above companies provide different hosting plans, bonus add ons and the introductory pricing can vary. So make sure you do your homework and compare, and figure out which one meets your needs.
The alternate option is to go to www.wordpress.com and create a free blog. Originally, I started this way, to get the feel of it, but later found out that they didn’t have all the support tools I needed. Custom domain names aren’t included and will show as www.blogname.wordpress.com for your website address. If you want a custom domain name, you’ll have to purchase it. There are plenty of free themes available to use, but they can’t be customized. If you eventually want to change the color scheme, fonts or add plugins, a paid upgrade is required. At the end of the day, going with a Hosted WordPress site is not only going to have more tools available for you, but you will also save you time and will cost you less in the long run.
If you have already created a free WordPress blog, you can export a copy of your posts so you can import them to the Hosted WordPress Blog. The only thing is, it will only be the write up. Any themes as well as images may not be retained. But that’s ok, the most important thing is the write up. So, if you want to save time and not have to deal with that hassle, I recommend getting the hosting plan from the get go.
For my blog, I opted for the GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting.
The process was fast and easy. And the best part is – they automatically back up files every night so you can restore to a specific date when needed. I’ve been really happy with their service so far. There have been several occasions when I downloaded a plugin that wasn’t compatible with my WordPress version and everything disappeared. I panicked thinking I’ve lost everything that I worked so hard to create. So, I contacted the support team and they were able to fix and restore my blog right away at no extra cost. Everything was still in it’s place. Whew! They also taught me how to restore my blog by going through the dashboard settings.
Another very popular hosting company is Bluehost, a lot of bloggers use this because their plans are very affordable and also include free privacy protection, site backup and no setup fees on a minimum 12 mo plan.
A very important tip I’d like to share with you- ALWAYS export your blog contents after every post. As I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t hurt to manually keep a copy of your backups even though there’s an automatic backup from some hosting companies. Better safe than sorry right?! (From your WP dashboard, find tools, then click on export, choose all content then download the export file to your computer or storage drive).
For the purpose of this post, I’m going to guide you through the step by step instructions using GoDaddy as I mentioned above. Below is the ‘paid’ hosting option if you choose to go this route, instead of the free WordPress option. It looks a lot more professional and comes with free ‘blog themes’. I will have a separate post with my personal recommendations and favorite themes you can use for your blog. Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog to get updates when that comes out.
Step by Step WP Hosting – with GoDaddy:
First, let’s get started with a WordPress Hosting from GoDaddy
Choose the plan you think works best for you. I originally started with the Deluxe Plan but have since upgraded to the Ultimate because I wanted to have 2 websites, 1 for beauty and the other for travel.
Once you’ve chosen the plan, hit configure, and you can skip the next step unless you want those add ons. (Can always add these later)
Next page, choose a domain name that you want to use for your website. It will then search if it’s available or not.
Then choose the name you want from the list that appears and ‘select and continue’.
First year of your domain name is free as long as you get a minimum 12 mo ‘Managed WordPress package’, what I opted for, there’s more savings that way than going month to month PLUS paying for the domain name (This is their current promo and subject to change)
Proceed to checkout, then create your new GoDaddy account and fill in your personal details.
After that, it’ll create your WordPress site then simply follow the instructions.
Once you’re logged in to your WordPress dashboard, look around and click on everything. It will seem confusing with all the menu and options on the left side of the screen, but you’ll get the hang of it overtime, don’t worry. My Tip, click on everything and get to know each page to see what shows up there. It’s always best to do this so you’re ready and know where to go once you start creating posts.
Voila! Your Hosted WordPress Blog has been created. Anytime you need to login to your WordPress dashboard, the admin page can be found by typing in www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin on your browser address bar. Simply enter the username and password you created to login.
I had a friend ask me how I created my blog and she needed to know how it worked and what to do exactly. Before I even created this post, I sent her the step by step instructions almost identical to what I wrote above. That’s what inspired me to write this post- there’s a lot of people wanting to start their own blog and can’t quite figure out the best way to start. So, from one friend to hopefully many more friends, I hope these instructions will help you to start your new journey in the Blogging World. I look forward to seeing the great stuff you share, please comment below and feel free to share your blog so I can check it out.
If you know anyone else who can benefit from this guide, feel free to pass it along to them. Have a blogtastic day my friends!!
Don’t forget to subscribe and be notified of the next post on this ‘How to‘ series. If you have any requests or want more information about blogging and anything else really, send me a message with a recommendation for my next post.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, get started….let’s find you a name!