How to instructions for anyone to register a domain, host your blog, and install a blogging platform. Your blog will be up and running in under 15 minutes!
You have a hobby, it’s turned into a passion, and you want to share. Maybe it’s cooking, traveling, or you’ve written a book. People are telling you to start a blog so you can share your experiences and tips.
Stop thinking about it and START YOUR BLOG TODAY!
This will take you only 15 minutes. I’ve put together a step-by-step tutorial, and you’ll avoid all the mistakes I made. You’re welcome.
*There are affiliate links in this post where Whole Fork earns a small commission when you purchase through those links (thanks for your support!). It does not in any way change the price of what you are buying. All of the products I recommend in my blog are products I use myself, and are from companies I’ve enjoyed working with.
STEP 1. DOMAIN NAME & HOSTING
You can choose just about any domain name, as long as it hasn’t already been taken. Do a little digging up front and make sure that domain is available across the internet, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media routes you might want to use in the future. This name is important and identifies who you are as a blogger.
TIP: keep your name simple so it’s easy for followers to remember. Avoid using special characters, dashes and periods in social media names. You will be tagged less often, your domain will be misspelled and you’ll miss out on opportunities.
If you’re not sure what hosting is, it’s pretty simple. If you have a blog it needs to physically reside somewhere. It’s going to occupy space (memory) on a server and will need to be accessible on the internet. Companies such as BLUEHOST offer this service, it’s like renting space on the internet to display your blog. I’ve used them since the beginning and have been really happy with their services.
Head over to BLUEHOST (click HERE) and click on Get Started Now, then you’ll need to choose your plan. I recommend the basic plan, where you can test the blogging waters pretty inexpensively. You’ll pay for several months upfront in one lump sum, but it brings down the overall cost and you don’t have to worry about monthly renewals.
After that, type in your chosen domain name to see if it’s available.
You’ll be taken to a form where you enter all your details and choose your package. I strongly recommend choosing the Domain Privacy Protection, because it hides your personal address and phone number from being displayed to the public.
Step 1 is done! You now own your own domain and space on the interwebs. Congratulations!
STEP 2: INSTALLING WORDPRESS
Now you need to install the blogging platform. I use WordPress for a few reasons. One, it’s used by so many other bloggers that there are hundreds of widgets and tutorials out on the web that integrate beautifully with WordPress. This also means there are many many people who blog about how to make WordPress work. This means for beginners like me, I can tweak with WordPress and easily find online tutorials that show me how. Two, BLUEHOST easily integrates with WordPress, and we’re going to install WordPress right from our BLUEHOST account.
Let’s do it!
Log into your BLUEHOST account. On the main HOSTING page (top banner), under WEBSITE BUILDERS section you should see the WordPress icon. Click it!
Go ahead and click on the INSTALL button.
Enter your domain you’d like to install and click CHECK DOMAIN button.
Check the terms and conditions box, then click INSTALL NOW button.
Wait until you receive a message that says “Your install is complete!”. Then, click on the VIEW CREDENTIALS button and write down your Admin URL, Username, and Password.
Type your Admin URL into the address bar of your web browser. You’ll see a WordPress login screen. Enter your Username and Password you just copied down.
You’ve officially started your blog! Congratulations!
STEP 3. CUSTOMIZING YOUR BLOG
Okay, this is the fun part. This is where you get to make your blog pretty, let it reflect your style, and where you get to design things. So, it’s time to pick your theme. There are so many free themes for WordPress, which can be a great option when you’re first starting out. A theme is a set of files that work together to create the inner workings of your blog, and carry the design. Think menus, pages, columns, banners, etc.
Even if you don’t have a food blog, if you need drop down menus to easily navigate to posts I highly recommend the Foodie Pro Theme. All that framework is already built in. It’s a popular theme, but so customizeable. And the good thing about it being popular is there are lots of tutorials out on the web on how to do certain things with the theme. There are also hundreds of widgets that work with the Foodie Pro Theme as well. Widgets are little pieces of code packaged up, where you can just drop the package in an area of your blog to carry out a function. For example my instagram feed on the right hand side of my blog is a widget, where ads are displayed is another widget.
And that’s it! You have enough info to get up and running, so go and publish your first post, create your “about” page, and welcome to the blogging world!