Perhaps you read my post ‘How to Start A Blog‘ and wanted to understand each step further. Or maybe you just stumbled upon this page and hope to get some questions answered about starting a blog. Either way, I’m here to help.
Before I started Curious Nut, I had plenty of questions but no good answers. Along the way, I learned a thing or two and I’d like to share them with you in hopes that you can avoid being in the same predicament as I was.
These are the four simple steps to start a blog.
#1 Name Your Blog
#2 Web Hosting
#3 Install WordPress
#1 Name Your Blog
What’s in a name? People need names. Pets need names. Blogs need names. They’re called domain names. Rules apply to any names. They should be:
a. Short with minimal syllables yet meaningful
b. No spelling guess work, numbers or symbols
c. Memorable (ex. funny, a cliche, ironically relevant)
a. Connectwithcooksandbakersinstantly.com is really long as opposed to cooksandbakers.com. However, short names that don’t mean anything such as gaeblsd.com is just as bad.
b. People may struggle with spelling jacquea in “jacqueacanbake” or will not likely remember the numbers in “letscookandclean4581”. Type out your blog name without spaces to see how it’ll look like. You wouldn’t want “Who represents” to become www.whorepresents.com (Whore Presents).
c. The name “dumbcook” sounds ironic and is somewhat funny. When people know you as someone who truly has ‘dumb’ moments, the name becomes quite relevant and therefore memorable.
To search instantly for domain name availability, use Instant Domain Search.
#2 Web Hosting
Web hosting is like renting a storage unit that connects to the Internet. It stores your website files (eg. pictures, videos..etc). When someone visits your website, the contents of your website will be displayed.
I recommend using Bluehost due to 3 reasons:
a. WordPress friendly – With one click WordPress installation, your website can literally be up and running in less than 60 seconds with no coding knowledge.
b. Cheap and a great value for beginners – Bluehost pricing is unbeatable at $3.95/month with free domain name registration for 1 year.
c. Reliability and up-time – likelihood of your website not ‘viewable’ due to server problems or issues is 1%.
Types of hosting:
- Shared hosting
- Virtual Private Server (VPS)
- Dedicated hosting Service
A simple way to differentiate the three:
|Imagine living you’re one of the residents in a big apartment building. You have to share the facilities with other residents.Hosting wise, it means your website will share CPU time, memory, disk space.. etc with other websites.||Imagine a smaller condominium. Like the apartment, you still have to share the facilities but because there are fewer residents, you get more time.You still share resources but there are allotted resources that are not shared with other websites.||Imagine a house. You own it and can use use anything on the premises at anytime with no limits.You don’t have to share anything with anyone. No one else is using any resources except you. You own everything.|
For beginner bloggers, a shared hosting on is sufficient. Getting a VPS or dedicated hosting is like buying a huge ten bedroom mansion when you’re not married, do not have kids or simple won’t utilize 95% of the space. It’s simply not worth the cost in relation to the space used. When your website pageviews increase overtime, you can then choose to upgrade.
#3 Install WordPress
I use WordPress simply because I like the freedom and versatility it offers in terms of designing a website. Also, because it is very popular and widely used, there are plenty of guides, templates, faqs, and support that you can count on.
Now, to confuse you a little more, there is WordPress.org and a WordPress.com.
|Use any theme you want||Only limited themes|
|Plugins allowed||No plugins allowed|
|Place as many ads||Not allowed unless you’ve reached a minimum number of pageviews/month|
|You have to pay for domain and hosting||Free but your domain name will be www.yourwebsitename.wordpress.com.To get rid of ‘wordpress’ in your domain name, you’ll have to pay extra.|
|You can maintain your own website (backups, spam control, optimizing your site)||All is taken care of by them|
*Theme is the design of your website.
*Plugins are add-ons you can place for your website
I recommend getting WordPress.org because you’ll get more control and freedom. And it’s really not difficult to get it all set up especially through Bluehost. It may seem simpler in the beginning to build your website on wordpress.com, but you’ll have to take additional steps if you decide to move to wordpress.org in the future (which I guarantee you will).
I don’t think I need to even talk about Wix or Weebly. Yes, they’re easy to use. I know because I’ve used it before but it has too many limitations in terms of design and even in terms of ads.
Themes are great to make your website look good without requiring the need to spend a massive amount of money or spending countless hours learning how to build on our own.
I recommend getting WordPress themes from Envato Market’s Theme Forest. You make a onetime payment for a theme and get free lifetime updates. They have a wide array of WordPress themes that you can search by best sellers or best rated. You can check the comments and reviews section to find out about the theme’s developer and whether users are happy with their purchases and the support provided by the developers.
6 important points to keep in mind when looking for a theme:
Responsiveness – With the number of people using mobile devices increasing, you want to make sure your theme is responsive. Responsive themes automatically adjusts and display your website when being viewed in different devices.
Compatibility– We don’t want to leave anyone behind. Check to make sure they’re compatible with most browsers and that your website will look the same in every environment.
Clean – Themes that are clean means the developer’s coding is clean so loading time is fast.
Easy navigation – You don’t want visitors to guess how to get from one point to another, how to scroll, or how to look for information. Looking nice is important but so is navigation.
Support – The benefit of premium themes is the support that you get from the developers. As much as there will be a manual to guide you, you may need some help from time to time. Support is crucial.
Up to date – When you look at a theme, make sure to check that they offer up to date versions of the theme so that the themes are always compatible with the current versions of WordPress.
Think you’re ready to take the plunge? Follow this 4-Step-Guide on How To Start A Blog.