Are you thinking to start an online journey as a blogger?
If blogging fascinates you and you want to take it as a professional, the perfect time to start your own blog is exactly TODAY. In this step-by-step guide, I have covered everything needed to set up a successful weblog (or blog).
Which Blogging Platform to prefer?
In the digital world, there are numerous famous blogging platform options, available to begin with. If you already have a blog, you can migrate to another platform if desired. The WordPress, Weebly, Blogger, and Tumblr are some of universally used blogging platforms.
WordPress is the finest way to get a perfect start. That’s the cause why the WordPress run almost 25% of the websites and the blogs!
Why choose WordPress?
If confusions are still rendering in your mind, here are some motivations and causes of selecting WordPress over others.
The SEO Effectiveness and site ranking
Search engine optimization is necessary to achieve, for the success of any blog. The WordPress has advantages here. If you switch your hosting provider or domain name or the blogging platform if you lose all your readers, subscribers along with the SEO ranking. But this is not the case in WordPress scenario. You can do any of these things easily without losing your search engine ranking.
The mesmerizing and absolutely functional themes
Readers and visitors always want clean yet perfectly designed websites along with the good content. Without these things, you cannot succeed. The thousands of WordPress themes, available in the market (free and paid) are amazing by all means. Such diversity and excellent functionality are not achievable by any other blogging platform.
The flexibility to achieve MORE and MORE: Plugins and Widgets
Plugins are the most powerful equipment WordPress have!
It gives the potential to put in new features according to the blog’s requirements. The WordPress library is very rich. It is full of plugins and widgets which are absolutely free. Paid plugins are also available for the high-level or custom requirement. For your ease, I have covered the method of Plugin installation.
Power to You: Customization
Easy customization options allow the bloggers to change the look of their blogs in a few seconds. The WordPress is limitlessly expandable CMS. Adding any feature is very easy to achieve. You can change the styles, colors and looks very easily. The higher level of customization is achievable through the technical knowledge of coding. The Admin panel itself is extendable and customizable.
Support Availability and Community
The WordPress has the biggest community forum. You can post your problem there and many volunteers, theme and plugin authors will quickly resolve the issue. Most of those problems are already answered and solved so you may get your answer through searching only.
Free blog or paid one?
WordPress blog can be free as well as self-hosted, whichever you have chosen. Let us observe which is efficient!
If you are not blogging to earn money and popularity, the free blog with WordPress.com is a perfect selection. But if you are serious towards your blogging career, I will strongly recommend the self-hosted blog.
The profits of having a self-hosted WordPress blog or website
Here is why I prefer the self-hosted accounts for WordPress blogs and websites:
Monetize the blog and earn
It is not allowed to put third-party ads on your free blog which prevents you from earning extra bucks. So, if you want to earn, pay first. Monetization is a great way to make living online and it is only allowed for the self-hosted WordPress accounts.
Monetization is also allowed on Blogger but the looks, features, and deductions will be let you earn less there.
You own and control it: Completely!
Your self-hosted blog or website is an asset which belongs to you only. You are free to post anything you like. The other free services come with restrictions as you do not own it.
Viz. Google owns Blogger, so they have all powers to prevent you from accessing your account. Unlike other blogging platforms, the extremely bendable WordPress gives you the independence of doing whatever you like!
Unrestricted theme Support
The free accounts have access to some themes only. With full theme support, you can utilize any theme from thousands of available themes for your blog. It is also possible to use the custom themes.
Tight security is implemented in case of the case of self-hosted accounts. It is most probable that your free accounts are hacked or spammed due to lack of security. You can implement security through plugins as well.
Drawbacks of running a free blog
Restriction oriented abilities of free account limit world’s best CMS adversely. Here are some of these limitations listed –
- Limited Storage Capacity (up to 3GB)
- Less Secured and have fewer features than self-hosted WordPress blogs.
- No possibilities of earning. Ads are not allowed.
So, if you are forecasting to be a remarkable blogger, with handsome earning, prefer self-hosted accounts instead.
The necessities for starting professional Blog
To start earning with the blogging at the earliest, you will require the following 3 things:
- A logical and alluring Domain Name
- Efficient Hosting
- WordPress: Installed and Running with your favorite theme.
Selecting Domain Name
The domain name, which represents your blog theme, should be used. Domain name forms the URL. You must keep in mind that the domain name should be SEO friendly so that it can drag traffic to the website. It should sound nice and represent the goodwill.
Choosing the Hosting provider
WordPress itself recommends the Bluehost as the best hosting provider for WordPress powered blogs and websites. Their always available US-based support can help you, in case you are stuck somewhere.
Multiple plans (standard, business, and Pro) are available for different needs so that you can run your blog in a cost-effective way. They automated data backup facilities and security options are also excellent.
You can also choose some other host like HostGator, SiteGround, Inmotion, and BigRock.
Signing up and choosing the domain name is quite easy with Bluehost. Once you are done, it is the time to install WordPress with your BlueHost.
Step by Step Guide for Installing WordPress with Bluehost
Follow these clear steps to get it done correctly.
Step 1: After logging into your BlueHost Account, Navigate to Cpanel.
Step 2: Click on the Websites section in Cpanel. The captured options will be visible then. Select the Install WordPress option.
Step 3: Click on Install to proceed further.
Step 4: Type in your domain for which you are installing WordPress. And it’s all set to begin!
Once WordPress is installed, you need to install required themes and plugins. Let’s see how to do it!
Installing themes and plugins
Step 1: Go to the URL yoursite_URL/wp-admin and type in your username and password. Once logged in to WordPress admin panel, find Themes sub-option under Appearance option in the sidebar of your dashboard.
Step 2: choose the theme you want the use for your blog. If it is available in the WordPress Library, you can search for it. Otherwise, install it through the Add New button by uploading the zipped theme to the directory.
Step 3: Finally, Click on Activate and it will be visible on your blog. For example, I am currently using OneTone Theme but by clicking on “Activate”, Twenty Fifteen will become active and site content will be stylish to a new look according to this theme.
After knowing theme installation, let’s install the plugins to your newly created WordPress blog.
Step 1: In Plugins section, Navigate to Add new and click.
Step 2: Plugins can be added in two ways: Through uploading Zipped file and by searching in the WordPress library. By Clicking Install Now, your Plugin will be installed.
Before you begin your WordPress Journey, Let’s set the rest essentials!
The final duty, before you get started, is installing important plugins and changing some settings. It is essential for the SEO and security purpose.
Also, it is mandatory to change the permalink and time zone settings. Do not forget to disable membership registration if you don’t need it.
In the Settings section, select Permalinks. Change the default settings to either post name or some custom structure for SEO friendliness.
Now, it is all set to begin a perfect and super splendid blog. So, get started with blogging right away. Have a nice blogging voyage!