I looked up this month and realized that I’ve been blogging consistently now for 5 years! I can’t believe it’s been that long! I started my blog to chronicle our first-home building journey and life along the way with a new baby. Since that time, I’ve gone from full-time lawyer to work-at-home mom (if you consider blogging work), which I really don’t, although I do spend quite a bit of time on my blog.
Thinking back, I’ve learned so much along the way through friendships with other bloggers (essential), blog conferences (I’ll be heading to Haven this week!), reading and watching tutorials on everything from better photography to how to use the latest social media. Although I admit I still can’t quite get the hang of snapchat!One thing I wish I had done differently from the beginning, was start my blog on WordPress. I started my blog the easiest way I knew, on Blogger, and since then, I’ve often thought about moving to WordPress, but now that my blog is established on Blogger, it feels like a big ‘ole pain in the rear to change now. That being said, for most bloggers who blog consistently and want more control and growth opportunities, WordPress is probably the way to go.
If I knew then, what I know now, here’s how I would have started my blog on WordPress.
WordPress is awesome as a blogging platform, but you’ll still need another company to host your site if you ever plan to do any sponsored posts or run ads because if your blog is hosted by WordPress, you are not allowed to run ads or post sponsored content (other than the WordPress provided wordads).BlueHost is a hosting company that I found that has a complete tutorial and video to follow so you can set up hosting yourself. I’m surprised at how easy it is to set up a a blog on WordPress from the get-go, it’s just importing a complete blog and transfering it over that seems to be more complicated and probably requires professional help.
Below, I’ve outlined all the steps to get you started, and they might seem daunting at first, but they are actually pretty simple and you don’t need to know any HTML code at all. If you prefer, just watch this quick video and it will also walk you through the process. BlueHost is having a 50% off sale, so definitely take advantage of that!
STEP 1 : SELECT A PLAN
STEP 2 : DOMAIN HOSTING
Once you’ve decided what to name your baby, i.e, call your blog (in tech language, your “domain”) you’re ready to get started. Go to Bluehost and click the green button: “get started now.” Your domain name is FREE with Bluehost when you purchase their hosting plan.
If you already own a domain name, you can enter it here, and you will just have to go through a few extra steps to make sure you get your DNS pointed to Bluehost.
Next, choose your hosting package. Normal, shared hosting is priced at 12, 24 and 36-month terms. To help save you money, the longer term you purchase, the lower the monthly rate will be. At this point, you can also choose other package details, but the important one is domain privacy, which keeps your personal information private on WHOIS databases.
STEP 3 : INSTALL WORDPRESS
Now that hosting is set up, it’s time to get WordPress installed. Luckily, Bluehost makes that super easy for you. Go to the “Hosting” tab and then click on “WordPress”. Then, choose “Install” and click on “Check Domain” (you can leave the “directory” part blank).
This will open the installation window. Click on the green “Start” button that will start the WordPress installation process, which has a few easy steps.
Step 1: Choose where you want to install WordPress. This can be any domain on your account, or a subdomain or a folder for one of your domains. Next, click on “Check Domain,” which will make sure the domain is assigned and pointing to your account. You may get a warning that you are overwriting files, but as long as you don’t have another website built yet, you can check the box that says “Overwrite” and continue. This is mostly to make sure that you really want to install in that location. If you do have other sites built, you will want to make sure you’re not overwriting something important.
Step 2: Show Advanced Options. Although it says “advanced”, this section just allows you to set up your own username and password for your WordPress install. Make sure that the “Automatically create a new database for this installation” box is checked, unless you have a database already set up that you want to use.
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Step 3: After you’ve read the terms and conditions, check the box indicating that you’ve done so, then click “Install Now.”
Now you’ll see the progress page, which will show you how far along the installation is.
Once WordPress is fully installed, it will provide you with your site URL, the admin login URL, your username, and password. You will get a copy of this information, except your password, in your email as well. Make sure to keep it in a safe place.Now you can log into your WordPress site by going to the admin login URL. Enter your username and password, then click “Log In.” This will take you to your WordPress dashboard. From here, you can control everything to do with your WordPress site, such as creating pages, writing posts, and changing the appearance.