Now that we have defined what a blog is, its history and its difference with a website, lets jump right in and set up a WordPress blog in 20 minutes.
We shall use 4 main simple steps and the good news, you don’t need to be a geek or a nerd to build your own cool WordPress blog, actually its no different from building a website from scratch.
Here is our very important guide;
1. Choose a blogging platform
2. Choose a domain name for example “www.example.website”
3. Choose a web host for your WordPress blog
4. Build the blog on your own domain
Step 1 – Choose a blogging platform
Deciding a blogging platform is a very foundamental decision, more or less like selecting the type of fabric for your favourite prom dress/suit.
Remember our first WordPress blog about the history of blogs?, we covered WordPress and Blogger which came much earlier. There are ofcourse more blogging platforms but i will focus on WordPress which is what i highly recommend and is the platform which is running this site.
WordPress was the second platform to be launched and yet is the biggest, it is used by more than and powers more than 26.4% of the web, enjoying a 59.4% market share., according to WordPress.com. There is more; WordPress is responsible for an additional 1.1 million domains every 6 months and its users generate over 41.7 Million New Posts and 60.5 Million New Comments every month. ordPress is responsible for an additional 1.1 million domains every 6 months.
By virtue of being the biggest of blogging platforms in the world, it boasts of numerous usefull plugings, add-ons and new beautiful diverse themes that offers various design and layouts for your blog. You can read a short summary of these amazing stats here.
That being said, other alternatives include;
- Blogger – Comes as the second best thing to WordPress.
- Tumblr – Half social network, half blog. Interesting, and very simple to use.
So why wordpress?
1. Super Easy to use and comes free
WordPress offers a very easy paltform complete with an intuitive user interface. This means adding, new pages, blog posts, images, tables, videos among others is just a click away and quick.
2. No HTML Editing or FTP Software Required, basically not a geek zone
WordPress comes as a complete self-contained system meaning anyone can run it, thus no HTML editing software (such as Adobe Contribute or Dreamweaver) needed. Therefore you can run your pages, blog posts , embedd videos from Youtube without the need for additional HTML or FTP software.
3. Just log in and manage your website from any computer
Being a browser based platform, WordPress allows you to login from any Internet connected computer and manage your site, anywhere any time, infact you can be able to post right from an email address, check here for more details
4. Search Engines got mad love for WordPress blogs
WordPress is coded in a very very clean yet simple design, this search engines for it quite easy to read and index a site’s content. Further, each page, post, tag, category and image can be equiped with its own meta tag keywords, description, and title, and also be optimized for specific keywords. This enables a very precise niche search engine optimization.
Tip: Never forget to use tags to further enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
5. You Have total control of your blog or website
Fancy a situation where you can just log in and manage your Wordpres blog/site? No more waiting for your ever busy and complicated web designer to make simple updates to your site. WordPress gives you full control of nearly every aspect of your site where you can make simple regular updates all by yourself.
6. 100% Customizable designs (themes and plugins)
WordPress being a fully equiped platform and and engine for your website you have the best opportunity to customize the look so your brand can enjoy and shine through on your site and provide a unique user experience, that means more money more business.
WordPress is also a ready to go!! being originally a blogging platform, its blogging capabilities are built-in and are easy to integrate. RSS feeds and email subscriptions to your blog, comment capabilities, and the automatic addition the latest blog posts to other pages of the site such a your home page, archives and blog list will help to extend and enhance your company’s reach and make your site more dynamic and interactive.
7. Huge support forum in case you get stuck
We all need a friend to assist us when we are in need. The WordPress support forum is massive with tonnes of solutions to the common WordPress problems, you will never walk alone.
Just type that error, plugin issue to the search engine like Google, add WordPress to the end and find your most needed solution.
8. Tonnes of plugins to extend the functionality of your Site.
You might as, what are plugins, check this blog for a post about this magical tools called plugins.
Plugins basically enhance your WordPress blog capabilities with tools such as subscription, event calendar, video/photo galleries, appointment bookings, Twitter Feed, Facebook Fan Box, share buttons and more. GUess what most of these plguins are free or very reasonably priced.
9. Talk Scalability; Grow your site as your business expands
WordPress blogs/sites are regularly updated and thus very scalable. This means new improvements to fix bugs and introduce new tools. Also you could have thousands of blog posts or pages yet the quality performance of the site will never be compromised.
If for instance you need a webhost that grows with you, we recommend Namecheap, Bluehost (click to view purchase options), or buy Namecheap hosting below
10. One last thing, you can have have multiple users
The wordpress super user is called an administrator. This means you can create multiple users for your website/blog and assign access levels and capabilities to each user. This means editors, shop managers for Woocommerce, subscribers, authors and more.
Step 2. Chose a domain name
Domain names are the most imporant among all these, it represents your name, Brand, service or message. It is thus more than just your online address. It must therefoer be creative, short, memorable name and not generic. Also you have to make sure it does not reseble another brand or trademark, that might attract a law suit for you. Trademark domain name fights are not very cheap, just so you know.
It is always important to own your own name as Nicholas Rubright, founder and CEO of streaming music service Dozmia, says “Make sure you own the domain. That way you can change providers if needed, and own any earned SEO benefits,”
How to choose a good domain name.
Remember that the internet hosts in excess of 1.3 billion websites and growign daily, therefore so there’s a good chance someone owns that very domain name you are looking to grab, however unique and creative it may sound
Take time and research your domain name carefully, if difficult, you have try utilizing domain name generators, keyword searches, and trademark searches to be sure that it avoids infringing on other existing uses.
Here are 6 easy tips to run through when choosing your name:
- Get a name on .com
- Keep your domain name short, memorable, catchy, easy to pronounce and spell
- Keep it unique and brandable,
- No hyphens in domain name, doubled letters and also please
- Once you get is, please pay up for it before someone else grabs it, bots are always prowling
- If you can try and get free domain with web hosting
Step 3. Which is the best hosting plan for my website or blog?
This is often the least challenging yet still where people often make mistakes. Think of this like getting a mortage, so it is essentially wher you want to live for a reasonably long time, may be even your lifetime. This means you have to consider what state and area you want your house to be located, the temperature, social amenities, laws e.t.c.
So when choosing your webhost, these are some of the few key issues to consider:
Here is a quick checklist
- What kind of website do you need to build?
- Are you looking for something common like WordPress blog, perhaps?
- Will you run special programs like Windows applications?
- Do you need support for a specific script (e.g. PHP)?
- Does your website need special software?
- How big (or small) can your web traffic volume go?
1. Customer support, so if you are new to websites, means you will need a ost that will give you the most customer care even for the very basic stuff, you need a host that is available 24hrs and on chat and phone.
2. Expected blog visitors per month a.k.a traffic to your blog, so we are talking bandwith here, a measure of how many bytes you intend to serve visitors over a given period. Here you look at the most bandwith for a shorter period ussually a month.
3. Shared hosting vs dedicated/VPS servers:
Most hosting providers from a shared hosting, this means on server runs several websites. Here the performance of your site is dependent on the load all the other blogs/sites hosted together woth yours are putting on the host. Price, support, storage, and performance are all important features to consider when scouting for a shared hosting service.
Here we recommend
The second tier is VPS or virtual private server, here performance is relatively improved because your website simulates runing on its own box.
The third and most expensive tier is the Dedicated server where yuo own and run everything, meaning it is just like server sitting behind your desk, only that it is located in a data center remotely. Dedicated hosting plans ahowever expensive are packaged with a severalluxury features, that may comprise automatic migrations and backups, dedicated IP addresses, and choice of operating system .
This however requires you to have robust system management skills because you install and run evrything by yourself. Think of this as the middle stage between a starter (shared hosting) and the top tier (Dedicated hosting)
There is the last one where services are run on the Cloud servers usually run on the giant clouds services, like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. The benefit of the cloud is seamless scalability for those who need a surge in traffic.
Note: Watchout and be wary of hosting providers who sell the “unlimited storage and bandwidth” for a few dollars a month because such deals often arent what they seems to be.
So what services are you looking to offer? eCommerce or just blogging?
If just a blog then you might consider a direct WordPress Web Host Package for maximum support. If you are going to sell via online store, it is best to choose an eCommerce Hosting Service. For a personal website, you might want to consider a low-cost yet high value host.
Free hosting is not always a great idea, think of future scalability opportunities and te flexibility of running your own blog/website unfetted.