Creating a blog may sound like something overwhelming to someone who is inexperienced in blogging. However, this task can become easier than you initially thought. Open-minded, creative people help each other, and that’s the reason we wrote this article – to help YOU find your way in creating beyond what you know. Now let’s dive into the unknown and together find the easiest way how to create a blog by using WordPress.
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Create a WordPress Blog – The Beginning
One of the very first steps in creating a blog is finding your niche.
But since you are already looking into ways to create a blog, perhaps you have already found it. If you haven’t, you should definitely answer this question:
“Why am I creating a blog?”
There could be a number of reasons, such as making money online or sharing personal experiences (or both).
There are many categories, and some of the most popular niche blogs include topics such as:
Depending on your current expertise or hobby, you should choose a niche that you are passionate about. Because the real work begins after you’ve finished the job to create a blog. And what’s the point in doing something you are NOT enthusiastic about?
No matter what niche you have chosen, there is one path you should follow as a beginner. While on this path, you will discover that there are many steps to take, but the basic ones are just a few.
Create a WordPress Blog – Tips You Need to Know
Before you dive into the process of creating your blog, you need to have a plan. We have some valuable tips you can keep in mind while researching.
The blog you are going to create will have something to do with another thing you are capable of doing.
To create a blog for something that you are already doing and have major experience in or something that you are currently trying to sell, is probably the best idea you could have. This way, what you have as experience will be put into practice and you will have room for further development as you move ahead. Besides this, you can set the site to generate revenue by expanding your horizon, while doing something you enjoy.
You want to sell your site later on or use it constantly.
Let us assume that your website will jump in value and traffic in a few months. Sites with a good domain name and clear purpose go from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and some are even worth millions. So, if you want to create a blogging site and then flip it for higher resale value, you should be very careful in analyzing the demand and hence the likelihood of someone buying your blog. This means analyzing the topic for trends that will be popular in the future, such as virtual reality, nano-tech, electric vehicles, IoT (Internet of Things), etc.
Selecting a profitable niche for your blog.
Selecting the niche for your site is a very important subject. According to the “Scope of Penetration” marketing model, targeting a newer and more undeveloped niche means an easier penetration, and hence it may be easier to succeed. Also, you have a much better chance of staying on top of Google results.
What are you willing to invest to create a blog?
It is a very vital step to have a clear idea of what you are willing to pay for your site. And we are not talking only funds, but time invested as well. If your site is improving every month, then you should keep investing time and money in it because these are strong indicators for future success.
WordPress Blog Start Summary
This article is meant to take you through these 4 steps by not only providing you with valuable insight but also with the specifics of each. But first, let’s explain why WordPress is by far the best choice to create your blogging website.
Let’s start, shall we?
Despite the fact that there are a lot of content management systems (CMSs) you can choose from, we highly recommend using WordPress. After all, it is the most popular and widely adopted platform.
According to W3Techs statistics, the WP CMS is used by 62.7% of all websites with known CMS.
This makes 35.9% of all websites on the web. WordPress version 5, in particular, is used by 72.5% of all the websites that use the platform. The historical trend also shows that the deployment of the CMS is growing steadily and that the platform is used by more websites when compared to Joomla and Drupal.
The choice comes with another important decision which will shape your future blogging experience.
Should you go with WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
The WP CMS platform is one of the most popular software platforms for building blogs and websites. Being free and open-source, it makes it easy for both experienced and inexperienced bloggers to modify it according to their needs. The core software package is available to anyone at WordPress.org, and can also be installed as part of a package from a Web hosting provider.
WordPress.com also supports the core software. A company called Automattic, created by one of the founders of WordPress made the.COM domain for hosting WP-based websites. Remember that if you go with .com, you won’t have to install the software as it is already included.
If the end result is the same, you might ask “Why would it matter which of the two I choose”? The answer is that it matters A LOT – because it will define the control you have over your site or blog. We will get back to this in a bit when we get to the selection of web hosting.
1. Get a Domain Name: Choose the Right Domain Name for Your Blog
You will own this name for as long as you continue paying the annual fee. You should be aware that the most competitive domain names end with the .com extension, and they may not be available or could be quite expensive. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t discourage you as there more than 450 domain extensions at your disposal.
In fact, the domain name of your website can be country- or niche-specific. Whatever you do, you should think in an SEO-friendly way.
– Think SEO
Stuffing your most wanted keywords in your domain name is something that doesn’t work. In other words, if your domain name contains (a lot of) keywords, this won’t be of any help to your blog from an SEO perspective. Building a keyword list and strategy is a separate task (and a topic for another tutorial, for that matter).
So, what domain should you go for?
If you’re starting a personal blog, you can always use your own name. In any other case, it should be catchy and easy-to-remember. The best-case scenario is choosing a domain name that is both self-explanatory and memorable.
Here are some tips you can follow; they are valid in nearly all situations:
- The domain name should be short;
- The domain name should be easy-to-remember;
- You may want to go for words that are easy to spell;
- You may want to choose a “brandable” domain;
- Make a domain history check to be sure that it’s clean;
- The domain name can be related to your specific blogging niche.
What Is a Brandable Domain?
Depending on your overall strategy, you can go for a brandable domain. As explained by Novanym, “brandable domain names are web addresses which have been created and registered, but are not yet used as company websites. These domain names have been designed with distinctiveness, catchiness, and imagination in mind, ready to be adopted by a suitable brand. Most crucially, it already exists, even though its namesake business doesn’t.”
Why should you choose a domain that is easy to spell?
If you are going to create and sustain a blog, you will definitely discover that there are three main types of traffic through which people get to a website:
- Search traffic, which comes from search engines such as Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo;
- Referral traffic, which comes from clicking on links to your blog;
- Type-in traffic, which is when a user types your domain name in the search bar of their browser.
Each Metric is Important.
Type-in traffic, however, is especially attractive to website and blog owners. It means that users know your site by name. However, this type of traffic comes with the risk of typos, including missing dots and missing letters, and transposed letters and “next letters”.
By mistyping the name of your blog, the visitor is a lost cause. But this is not even the worst that could happen as your competitors could be forwarding the mistyped names to their own blogs. Or the typos could be forwarding your potential visitor to a malware of a phishing website. How can you avoid all these bad scenarios?
The so-called “typo traffic” can be circumvented if you decide to invest a bit more money and time to gather the most common typos related to your domain name. After you discover them, you can register them as well, and then apply free domain forwarding to redirect typo traffic to your correct domain name.
2. How to Choose Your Hosting Provider
First of all, what is web hosting? Shortly explained, a web hosting service allows people just like you to make their website accessible via the web. These companies are created to provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, usually in a data center.
In fact, you’ve arrived at the most crucial part of the task, as we believe the choice of your web hosting provider to be. Once you have selected and reassured your domain name, comes the moment to choose your hosting service.
Remember that the performance of your blog is dependent on the hosting provider, as it is responsible for your site is available at all times. It is also where all your files are stored online.
Did you know that most hosting companies provide free domain registration services? Of you course, you can decide to keep your domain name with the registrar company, which means it will be separate from your hosting account. We believe that it is easier to keep everything under one account – the hosting account – for more efficient maintenance and management.
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If you have decided to go with WordPress.org, then you have to be looking for WordPress hosting.
NOTA BENE #2
What is Shared Hosting
So, let’s see what shared hosting means. The term shared hosting refers to a web hosting service where a single physical server hosts multiple websites. Since many users utilize the resources of a single server simultaneously, their costs are low. When a website is built with shared hosting, its files will be kept on a server that hosts the information of a few other websites. This means that the same server will be responsible for serving up the information of all websites hosted on it. Shared servers can host hundreds of users.
Also Read Is Shared Hosting Right for My First Website
Each customer of the shared hosting server has access to features like databases, disk space, monthly traffic, FTP accounts, email accounts, and other add-ons depending on its personal plan. How system resources are shared is on-demand and each customer gets a percentage of the RAM and CPU resources.
Long story short, shared hosting is the most budget-friendly way to get your site online, since there are many people who contribute to the costs. This type of hosting is really good for a small blogging website that doesn’t require advanced configurations or high bandwidth.
After you have selected your hosting plan, selected all your necessary options, and registered for the service, it is time to create a blog.
Choose Your Hosting Provider Locally
If the blog you’re starting is tied to a local business, then you should definitely consider the best hosting option for that specific market. In other words, the very first thing you should know is that depending on whether you’re starting a local or international website, there are different approaches to consider and implement.
Also Read A Beginner’s Guide How To Install WordPress on Shared Hosting
The first tip is quite logical: look for a server or a data center which is located in that specific country. Location is crucial when it comes to a local audience, as it ensures speed and reliability. It could even improve the SEO of your website.
You should also consider the local currency and legal regulations. Each country has its specifics when it comes to laws and regulations, and you should get to know the ones in the country you are looking to grow your business and audience.
It is highly important to choose the best option in matters of value for money ratio, support, and additional perks for the customer. After choosing your hosting provider, keep in touch, and seek all the assistance you’ll need – changing DNS settings, uploading and indexing your website, connecting an FTP program. And keep in mind that the initial arrangement of your files is most likely included in the package you’re going to pay for.
Also Read Advantages and Disadvantages of Shared Web Hosting
Check out our local articles for more information and valuable tips:
3. How to Choose Your WordPress Theme
The next step for your blog is choosing its design and layout. This step is as important as the rest. The layout of your site is its face, and you want it to be attractive, user-friendly, and intuitive. You want your visitors to be happy, and the design of your website is key to this happiness. Of course, the information you will be providing is also a key element. However, it’s not only important what you are saying but how you are saying it. You want your visitors to trust you and accept you, so be user-friendly.
The WordPress Theme – What We Need to Know
Once you have installed the platform, start looking for the right theme for your blog. The theme should not only look awesome but it also should be practical, meeting your content needs and being consistent with your niche. In fact, there is a default theme that comes with WordPress – Twenty Nineteen (the default theme of 2019):
According to WordPress.org, the theme has been “designed to show off the power of the block editor. It features custom styles for all the default blocks and is built so that what you see in the editor looks like what you’ll see on your website. Twenty Nineteen is designed to be adaptable to a wide range of websites, whether you’re running a photo blog, launching a new business, or supporting a non-profit. Featuring ample whitespace and modern sans-serif headlines paired with classic serif body text, it’s built to be beautiful on all screen sizes.”
It could be a good starter theme but you may decide that you need a unique one for the long run. There are hundreds of themes you can choose from on WordPress.org.
Honestly speaking, the large availability of themes could be confusing. We have several useful tips you can go by while completing the process of choosing the ONE theme for your blog:
– Useful Tips
Should You Go With a Free, Premium or Custom Theme?
This is an excellent question, indeed. The answer depends entirely on your blog’s needs… and your vision. Free themes come at no cost but it is highly likely they won’t meet your visions and expectations.
Premium themes, on the other hand, have a wide price range and a lot more to offer and are created by both developers and specialized showcase websites. You could invest in a single-use license starting from $30 up to $300 or higher.
Custom themes can be created by freelance developers or agency. These themes require both coding and design knowledge. For the purpose of creating a custom theme, an existing theme could also be customized. This is definitely an option worth your time, money, and effort, but it may not be the ideal one for a beginner. Your choice is entirely dependent on your budget.
To make your choice easier, we have reviewed several themes. Stay with us for more theme reviews and WordPress guides.
4. How to Set Up and Install WordPress
The very first thing to mention here is that if you have already chosen a web hosting plan, the installation could have been included as an automatic option. This is a service that many web hosts are offering now. The following instructions are for bloggers who wish to install the CMS themselves.
In order to set up a WordPress.org blog, there are several ways how this can be done. The instructions will vary depending on your hosting provider. What follows is a somewhat generic guide which should do the work in most cases. If you have any questions, you can leave us a comment below, and we will be more than happy to help.
The package is a blogging platform which runs on а server providing script compatibility and a database connection. There are certain important prerequisites before you install WordPress. The latest versions requires the following server services:
- PHP 7.3 or greater;
- MySQL 5.6 or MariaDB 10.1 or greater
- HTTPS support
The WP developers recommend that either Apache or Nginx is used as the webserver technology. There is no guarantee that the use of other web servers will function properly. Above anything else, you will need full access to the administrative panel and also the ability to upload files and folders to the server. Using your credentials, you will need to set up a database or select an already existing one and determine if it can be used by WordPress.
To get started, you will need to download the latest WP version – version 5.4 from the official download page. Do not download it from any unofficial pages, forums, and sites that are not associated with the official project. There are many counterfeit versions that could bring you a lot of issues to deal with (such as malware).
The contents of the package will need to be unpacked and uploaded to the site. To create a blog, the files will need to be uploaded to the appropriate location — the two most popular are the home root of the server host or a subdomain. Depending on the choice you or your developer make, there may be different options available:
Web Admin Uploading
The files will need to be uploaded to the target folder by using the interactive admin panel setting. If a custom one-click WP installation feature is not available, the required files will have to be uploaded to the target location.
You can alternatively use a file transfer program (FTP Software) to upload the files to the web servers.
Remote Control Command
If you have shell access to the server, you can use a local download utility to acquire the package and then unpack it yourself.
When you’ve uploaded the files to the correct server folder, you will need to navigate to the /wp-admin/install.php script in order to continue the installation procedure, where you should enter the following:
- Database Name, or the name of the database name which will record the current WordPress installation values.
- Username, or the database username which will allow access to the database.
- Password, or the password used to access the database.
- Database Host. By default the localhost address should be enough. Another value should be used if a remote database server is used. Ask your hosting provide if you are unsure what to enter.
- Table Prefix. This will determine the prefix used to mark the database used by WordPress. This can be tweaked if the same database is used to host multiple installations.
When the correct settings are entered and the system accepts the entered strings, you will see the “Welcome” screen. It will request some of the necessary information such as the title of the blog and your credentials — the username and the password.
5. Create Your Content Strategy
Once you have completed the previous technical steps, it is time to provoke your inspiration and imagination! You have arrived at the final destination which will open new doors and possibilities for you and your blog. As you can imagine, content strategy is an endless topic, and SEO experts have written entire books about it. There are, however, some basic steps you should start with, such as:
Defining your goals;
Researching the niche (market) you will be targeting;
Carefully selecting the keywords you will be targeting;
Researching the competition;
Carefully choosing your topic ideas;
Start working on your content and its elements.
Once your content strategy is all set, and you start blogging regularly, you will most definitely discover the need of using specific SEO tools. The entire goal of SEO is to get your website upper in the search engine’s rankings, so it gets more visitors and thus more traffic. There are several SEO tools that are specifically designed to help boost the ranking of your site. Such a tool is Yoast.
Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins for the platform. Yoast has more than 5 million installations.
This plugin comes with a large variety of features that you can use to optimize your website. It has many built-in features for analysis, different descriptions, meta keywords, keywords, social features, XML sitemaps.
A very beneficial feature is that Yoast generates a sitemap and submits it to Google and Bing. Another great feature that comes integrated is Google Search Console. You can check the statistics from your search console straight from your Yoast dashboard. Yoast has an excellent customer review with 4.9 out of 5 points, which is enough to convince you to use it.
What are some useful SEO tools that will help you boost your blog? Check out our special article:
So, are you ready to create a blog and start your blogging adventure?
Start Your Website NOW! Get SiteGround Managed WordPress Web Hosting. Only for 5.99 €/mo!