Do you want to know how to create your own blog? Then you’re in the right place because today I’m going to show you how to start a blog fast.
Some years ago, when I decided to start my own self-hosted blog, I knew nothing about the steps it took to get there. The process of creating my own blog was definitely a little confusing because I had to figure it all out on my own.
Thanks to some patience, and lots of tutorials on the web, I was eventually able to get my blog set up. Looking back I think to myself, boy, wouldn’t it be nice if I had stumbled upon one resource that went through the entire process from start to finish?
In this tutorial, I will teach you how to create your own blog using HostGator (I use HostGator for my website hosting, and highly recommend them) and WordPress.
Click here to get started. Be sure to follow the tutorial below for step-by-step instructions on starting your blog.
**Click here to download this free helpful guide.**
What is WordPress?
Before we begin, I want to explain what WordPress is, and why I recommend it for your blog.
WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com) is a free blogging content management system. It’s user-friendly, and gives you complete control over your blog or website.
While there is a small expense (you will have to pay for your domain name and hosting) involved in running a self-hosted blog, it’s my opinion that WordPress is the best option for someone who is serious about blogging.
Okay, let’s get started.
This post contains affiliate links for products I recommend.
Pick your domain name and register it
You may want to take some time with this one. After all, this will be the name of your blog for years to come. Here are some things to consider when choosing your name:
- Does it reflect your personality?
- What will your blog be about?
- Who will be reading your blog?
- Does your name have staying power?
- Will you be building a brand around your name?
Now that you have your name, let’s get it registered. There are a few options when it comes to registering your name.
You can purchase your domain and hosting from the same provider, or you can purchase them through separate providers.
In this tutorial, we will purchase both through the same provider.
1. Visit HostGator and click on Domains located near the top of the page.
2. Enter your domain name in the Find a Domain box and click on Search.
3. Add your domain to the cart, and checkout. Boom. Done! 🙂 You are now the proud owner of a domain name.
Helpful Tip: On the checkout page, you may see an option to add “Domain Name Privacy” to your order. This is completely optional. Whenever a domain is registered, accurate contact information must be provided with the registration. This information is made public through a WHOIS search. When you purchase “Domain Name Privacy,” HostGator will keep this information private. You can add this service to your domain name at any time. If you sign up using a PO Box address, then there’s no need to purchase domain name privacy.
Helpful Tip: Click here for a helpful article on how to log in to the account for your domain name.
Choose your hosting provider
I can’t recommend HostGator highly enough. This is the web host I use for Beautiful Dawn Designs. They have awesome customer service, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
There are lots of options out there for web hosting, but in this tutorial, we’re gonna stick with HostGator.
1. Alright, let’s head over to HostGator and click on Hosting > Web Hosting near the top of the page.
Choose the hosting plan that suits your needs. I recommend choosing the “Hatchling” plan since you’re just starting out. You can always upgrade later if you need to.
You can choose to pay for your plan monthly, twice a year, once a year, etc.
Keep in mind that hosting is prepaid. If you choose to pay twice a year for example, you will be charged for 6 months upfront. Once you’ve chosen your plan, click on Sign Up Now.
2. On the next page, click on the I already own this domain tab. Enter your domain name in the appropriate box and fill out the rest of the form.
Under Step 2: Choose a Hosting Plan, make sure the correct hosting plan is selected.
Also, make sure you uncheck any boxes for products that you do not want. I personally recommend sticking with the hosting plan only.
You can always add-on additional services later. Once the form is filled out, agree to their terms at the bottom of the page, and checkout.
Once your form is submitted, HostGator will send you an email that includes your billing account information (separate from your cPanel), your cpanel URL (where you log in to your hosting account), username, and password.
You’re getting closer to having your very own self-hosted WordPress blog! There’s no going back now! 🙂 You won’t believe how easy it is to install WordPress.
1. To start, you of course want to log in to your cPanel. Remember, you can find this information in the email that was sent from HostGator.
2. Once logged in, scroll down until you reach Software/Services and click on Quick Install. You’ll be directed to the Mojo Marketplace. You don’t have to create or sign in to your account to install WordPress.
3. In the left hand sidebar under “Popular Installs” click WordPress.
4. There’s no need to pay for any of the premium installation options, so you’ll just click on Install WordPress within the “Install WordPress for FREE” box.
To install WordPress on your domain, you WILL NOT type anything into the empty box directly after your main domain (the “install/path/here” box). This box is for a subdirectory aka subfolder. For example, if you type the word “blog” after the forward slash, WordPress will be installed on http://yourdomain.com/blog. That means, in order to visit your site, users will have to type http://yourdomain.com/blog into their browser. Also, please do not set your Admin Username to “Admin.” Doing so will make it easier for hackers to get into your site.
5. Once you have filled out all the fields, click on Install Now.
You should then receive a message stating that WordPress has been successfully installed.
You should also see a link within this message that directs you to your new install. If the link doesn’t work right away, that’s okay. It may take a few minutes (up to 10 minutes, actually).
Your admin password will be sent to the email address you provided as your Admin Email.
Once you receive your password, you can then log in to your newly installed site by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin. It will look like this:
If you cannot access your wp-admin right way, give it some time (up to around 30 minutes) and try again.
6. Once logged in, you will have access to your WordPress dashboard/admin area. Take a look around, and make yourself comfortable.
It may be confusing at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. Here’s a look at the dashboard:
Choose a theme
This is the fun part. It’s time to make your blog pretty! Now of course I can’t bring up WordPress themes without mentioning my very own collection of feminine WordPress themes.
All of my themes are unique, simplistic, and highly customizable.
You can change the themes fonts, colors, and more without ever having to touch any code.
Join the list to download this free theme.
Of course there are so many options out there when it comes to choosing a WordPress theme.
A simple Google search will provide you with tons of themes to choose from. Just take your time and make sure you’re choosing a theme that’s right for you.
That’s it. You totally just learned how to create your own blog! Was it as difficult or easy as you thought it would be?
There will be some learning curves along the way, but anything worth having involves a little bit of work. You will be a pro at this thing in no time.
Let me know how everything goes for you. Good Luck!