*Note: this is a basic tutorial to start a blog from scratch (or almost scratch). In this tutorial I will walk you through setting up a blog using Bluehost to host your blog and WordPress as your blogging platform. Know that there are more ways than this to start a blog, but that this is what I have found easiest, fastest, most reliable, and cost-friendly!
Web hosting is like a house for your blog. It’s essentially storage space for all of your photos, files, etc. for your blog. I’m sure you’ve seen blogs that are .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com. These blogs are free to start and free to host, but definitely not as schnazzy as a .com! I suggest making the small investment right away and starting off with a .com, which why you need to purchase web hosting!
For newbies, I recommend my friends at Bluehost because the setup is seamless, the pricing is reasonable (as low as $4.95/month), and they are a reliable hosting company. Read my tutorial on how to purchase a url, web hosting, and set up your WordPress account through Bluehost. This should take less than 10 minutes to setup.
Note: I have used many different hosting companies for FFF and various websites that I own and have found Bluehost to be the best for bloggers that are just staring out. This is why I went ahead and created a step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog through Bluehost. Know that there are many other hosting organizations out there such as DreamHost and WP Engine. Feel free to do your research before purchasing through Bluehost. Also, I wanted to note that I personally use WP Engine to host FFF, but this is a premium web hosting organization and premium hosting definitely comes with a price!
If you followed my tutorial on setting up your blog via Bluehost from above, then SURPRISE! You’ve already set up your blog’s platform on WordPress.org. (side note: confused between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Here’s an article that explains the difference!)
A blogging platform is like the tools you’ll use to create a beautiful house. This is what you will use to actually create blog posts and modify the design/layout of your blog. There are many different blogging platforms (such as Blogger, TypePad, and Squarespace), but for the sake of this post and the fact that you are most likely a new blogger, I suggest WordPress.org as your blogging platform. WordPress is the standard blogging platform in the industry. It’s user-friendly, extremely customizable, and in my opinion, the best!
HOW TO LOGIN TO YOUR WORDPRESS ACCOUNT-
To login to your WordPress account it is simple. You’ll need to use the Username and Password you setup in the Bluehost process from above.
In your web browser type: http://<domain>/wp-admin/
For example: If your blog URL was www.ILoveLee.com, then your login URL would be http://ILoveLee.com/wp-admin/
It should then bring you to a login screen. This is where you input your username and password.
Now that you’ve purchased your URL, set up your web hosting and WordPress account, it’s time to purchase and install a theme! A theme is like the curb appeal of your blog. The prettier your house, the more your neighbors will bring you cookies. There are so many themes out there that it can be a little overwhelming to choose the one right for you. Good news is, themes are pretty reasonable in price and sometimes free! Here are some of my favorites:
- Genesis Framework
- Thesis Theme (An great theme for self-designing)
- Botanical Theme from Light Morango Shop on Etsy (a very simple/sleek layout that is easy to install)
*Note: Some themes need a “framework.” It’s like peanut butter and banana. You can’t really have one without the other.
I could go through how to install and customize each theme, but…..there is a little something called Google that knows 10000x more than I do :D I can tell you that it is rather simple and that each one of these themes I suggested comes with a tutorial on how to install and modify your blog design (IF you aren’t planning on hiring a designer).
Now that you’ve got the backbone of your blog setup, it’s time to take that house of yours aka your blog and give it some personality! There are two ways to do this: 1.Hire a designer OR 2. Self design your site.
HIRE A DESIGNER
I am a huge advocate of letting a professional take your personality and put it on paper. If I could go back 4 years ago, I would have contacted a designer right away instead of waiting 2.5 years because the way your blog looks is what will make people stay and come back. Hiring a designer/developer is one of the best investments I ever made for FitFoodieFinds. My readership has increased and so has my ROI! Here are some designers that I highly recommend.
Julie | Deluxe Designs (Fit Foodie Finds Designer/Developer- specializes in logo development and genesis framework)
Amanda | Lemon and Lapis (Specializes in brand/logo development, graphic design, and custom web design)
Ami | Poppy Designs (Specializes in brand/logo development, graphic design, and photography)
Other places to look for blog/web designers are: 1. Etsy (search blog templates, WordPress templates, blog designers, web designers, etc.) 2. Blogs and Websites (there is usually a link at the bottom of the page to the designer’s site) and 3. Pinterest (search blog designs, blog designers, branding, etc.)
Again this is where a little something called Google comes into play. Selfing designing your site definitely comes with pros and cons. It is absolutely doable and will help you know the ins and outs of your blog, but it’s time consuming.
*Note: Most of the links in this post were affilates meaning that if you click through and purchase, I will make a commission. Thank you for your continued support as I leverage Fit Foodie Finds as my business!
Questions? Fire em off at me!