Having a blog or website is the best weapon to leverage your income and business revenue, because you will be able to present and show your products or services, you will be able to talk about the benefits of your business and many other things.
But most importantly , you will put your brand on the internet universe, where can be reached by any potential client. and on top of that, your blog opens a world of content that can be shared and spread on the Social Media!
Steps to start a blog or create a website TODAY step by step guide for beginners.
Click a section below to be taken right to one of the steps:
How To Start A Blog Or Website
Step By Step
STEP 1: Name of your blog or website
The first thing you need to do before anything else is thinking about the name of your blog.
Tips for choosing a name for your blog or website: Short, easy to remember, and inspired on the topic of your blog.
Check if the name of your blog or website is available:
You need to find out if the name you would like to call you blog or website is not already being used somewhere in the internet. To do so you just need to use the Namecheap tool:
Just type in the name or names you have thought for your new blog or website, and the tool will tell you if it’s available or not.
The results will let you know what extensions are available but I would strongly suggest that you go for the extension “.com” and not for others.
In some countries like UK, Australia or Spain, it is okay to pick the extension “.co.uk” , “.aus” or “.es”. That is perfectly okay if you are a local or national business. But still, I consider that “.com” is the best option.
Buy your Domain Name
Once you have found out the name is available you just need to buy that name and it will be absolutely yours! You can even sell it now (some people make money selling domain names).
You buy the property of that name for a period of a year, and it normally costs about $10. There are some domains with extensions like “club” or “shop” that cost like $1 for a whole year, but as I said before, I would definitely choose a extension “.com” for my site.
I recommend to buy domain names on Namecheap. There are other Domain Name Registrars out there like BlueHost or Hostgator (both are also great), but my recommendation is Namecheap because is the one I use for all my domain names, and after years I’m so happy with them, specially because they make things so easy and seamless, and every time I have checked, it offers the most affordable price in terms of quality / price.
IMPORTANT: On Step 2 you are going to need a service to host your domain name. Hostgator offers a Domain Name included in most of their plans. So take a look before buying on Namecheap (just skip this step and go directly to Step 2)
I do not recommend having your domain name and hosting service on the same company. But if you want to save the price of the domain name, you definitely want to go for the Hostgator option with domain name included. In that case, you can skip this step and go to Step 2.
How to buy your domain name:
Go to Namecheap and check if the name you would like to use for your website or blog is available.
Again, the recommendation is to use “.com” extension.
Follow the steps to finish the purchase, and you’re done! Congrats! You are the owner of your own domain name! A world of possibilities are now open for you!!
STEP 2: Getting Your Web Hosting Service
Once you own your domain name (the name of your blog or website) now you need to place that name in a platform called “hosting service”.
The hosting service is like the house of your domain name. Your domain name (the name of your blog or website) needs to “live” somewhere, and their “house” is the hosting service provider.
The hosting service provider I recommend is Hostgator:
- Award Winning Web Hosting provider with more than 2 million customers.
- Great quality.
- Great prices (very affordable) and plans.
- FREE SSL Certificate on all plans, providing security for your website domains and subdomains.
- Unlimited free email addresses.
- Support service is top class.
- Domain name included (you can get your domain name here instead than in Step 1).
Buying your Hosting:
First you need to pick a plan. I would definitely choose the Baby Plan. Why? Because it allows you to host unlimited domain names (i.e. if you need to create more websites or blogs, you won’t have to buy another hosting service).
Hostgator‘s guarantee to you:
Their support staff is available 24/7/365 to assist you via Telephone, LiveChat, or Email with any hosting-related issues.
45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Try their services at no risk. If you’re not completely satisfied, you can cancel within 45 days for a complete refund.
The availability of your website is top priority.
After selecting the plan (my recommendation is the “Baby Plan”), the signing-up process is very easy:
- Enter your domain name (the one you got in Step 1) or “Register a New Domain” (absolutely free, included in your plan).
- Picking the length of your hosting subscription.
STEP 3: Link Your Domain Name To Your Hosting Account
Once you have bought your hosting service for the name of your website or blog, now you need to link your domain name with your hosting account. Follow this instructions to do so:
Note: If you bought your domain name on Hostgator in Step 2, you don’t need to do this step.
SETTING UP YOUR DOMAIN NAME ON YOUR HOSTING SERVICE:
- First you need to log into to your domain name registrar (Namecheap), and go to your “Dashboard”. There you will see your domain name, click on the “Manage” button.
- Scroll down to the “Nameservers” section, click the drop-down arrow, and select “Custom DNS”. It’s going to ask you for 2 nameservers; there, you will have to insert 2 server names from Hostgator.
- You can find those nameservers in the welcome email you received from Hostgator (the subject of that email is “HostGator.com: Your Account Info”), OR you can log into your Hostgator CPanel account to find those 2 nameservers.
- Picking the nameservers from Hostgator’s welcome email: If you pick the 2 nameservers from the Hostgator’s welcome email, the format of those two names is “nsXXX.hostgator.com”
- Picking the nameservers from the Hostgator’s CPanel: If you log into your Hostgator account to get those 2 names: Log into your Hostgator (Customer Portal); click on the “Hosting” tab; scroll down, and click on the “Email Accounts” icon. Now, click on the alligator icon on the top left (this is the fastest way to access your Hostgator CPanel).
Now, you are on your CPanel, and on the right hand side, you will see a lot of info; scroll down a little bit until you see “Primary Nameserver” and “Secondary Nameserver”. Those two are the nameservers you need to insert on Namecheap. (Just copy and paste).
- So now that you have the nameservers, you can go back to the the Namecheap dashboard, and paste nameservers 1 and 2, and click on the check mark on the right, to confirm, and you’re done.
That’s all it takes to point your Namecheap domain name to your Hostgator hosting account. It can take up to 48 hours to your domain name actually points to your hosting account, but normally it doesn’t take that long, but in any case you need to be patient.
Congratulations! You already have a website or blog of your own ready to go!!!
Step 4: Install WordPress
And now the third part is installing wordpress. WordPress is the platform that will give you a dashboard and all the tools to be able to design your website or blog, write posts or create pages in your site.
2. QuickInstall: Scroll down to the “Software” section and click on the “QuickInstall” icon:
3. Click on the “WordPress” option. There you can see a lot of different options, but the choose wordpress (it’s the best and it’s free!).
4. Select your domain from the drop-down menu and click on the next button.
5. Fill in all the boxes. It is very important that you make sure you don’t use the word “admin” as your Admin user.
After you’re finished filling in all the boxes, click next.
Now the installation will start, and during the process, they will be trying to sell you services for this installation. My suggestion is that you skip (reject) all of them.
After few minutes, your WordPress site will be installed.
You will get an email with your dashboard link, your username and your password.
You’re all set!
Whoohoo! You have your blog or website!! Congratulations!
What To Do After Installing WordPress
Install a theme.
In the Dashboard, go to “Appearance”, then “Themes” and finally “Add new”.
There are lots of free and paid themes, pick the one that you like. After that click on “Install” and then “Activate”.
Write your first post.
Go to “post” and then “Add new post”.
Plugins are complements and tools you add to your WordPress dashboard, that will give more functionalities to your website.
Some the essential plugins you must have are:
Elementor: The best page builder right now. Also my favourite, and the one I use.
MashShare: More than just social share buttons for your site. MashShare has a lot of functions that make you grow traffic to your website or blog!
WordPress it is extremely easy and intuitive, you will learn with the use. But in case you need more info about something in particular, this is the WordPress Codex, the official WordPress guide, that covers absolutely every aspect of how to use WordPress.