So you’ve decided to create a blog from scratch, from zero, but don’t know where to start?
A tempting option may be to hire a professional to do everything for you while you focus on other things.
That's good if you have a lot of money to spare.
But hiring a professional to do your website can be costly, and it's not going to be the best option for most people who are just starting out.
Your next option is to try to create a blog from scratch on your own.
There are a lot of platforms available today which you can use to create a website quickly. Most of them do not require you to have a technical background at all – the elements are drag and drop so you can instantly design your website. It's also a much more affordable strategy than hiring a professional.
With so many options available today, it can be a bit frustrating to find the best option for you.
Website platforms generally have different layouts and options, so you need to figure out first which platform is going to be best for you, and which platform will give you the best chance for success.
In this post, I’m going to show you the easy steps to create a blog from scratch without the jargons. We will cover the simple basics of how to get your domain name and get setup with hosting and WordPress.
Step 1: Select a platform for your blog
Websites are like restaurants.
The menu is your content, and your restaurant building is the platform for your blog.
The physical restaurant (the website) is where you are going to showcase your food dishes (your content), so you want it to look nice and comfortable for your guests.
There are a lot of options out there for websites: Squarespace, Wix, Medium, etc… But I recommend WordPress.
WordPress is the industry standard. Over 30% of websites on the internet today run on WordPress. It's the best content creation platform for SEO, getting more people to your blog, and it has a massive library of plugins to customize your website however you want.
Do not confuse WordPress with WordPress.com.
I know they are in theory the same thing, but in reality, they are not. Stay away from WordPress.com. That's the easy way to put it. You are going to download WordPress directly from your hosting provider's website.
I will explain.
Step 2: Choose a web hosting service for your blog
Remember the restaurant analogy?
The restaurant building is the website, but the “location” (piece of land) where you’re going to build your restaurant, is the web hosting service.
You will need a place to store all your blog content so it can be viewed online by your visitors. This is the role of the hosting service.
If you are new to blogging, I recommend choosing a budget-friendly web hosting service. I would personally recommend SiteGround. Let me briefly explain why below.
When you create a blog from scratch, the important features you need from a hosting service are:
• A host that won’t randomly go offline
• Fast support to assist you when you encounter technical issues
• A reasonable price with no hidden charges
SiteGround offers the three features above. It's a reliable and safe hosting service.
Remember… You will signup for hosting first, then download WordPress through SiteGround.
Step 3: Find a domain name for your blog
Now we have decided on a blogging platform (WordPress) and a hosting service (SiteGround).
The next step is to decide the domain name for your blog, such as “www.blogname.com” which people will use to find your website online.
As a tip, you would want your domain name to be descriptive or similar to the same as the name of your blog so people can remember it easily.
If you want to call your blog “Making Food with Mary”, ideally you'd want a domain like makingfoodwithmary.com
Don't overthink it though! It doesn't need to be the perfect domain name to be successful.
The “.com” is highly recommended but you can use other endings such as “.net” or “.co” depending on your preference. Once again, for SEO purposes, I encourage you to stick to a .com
As a general rule, it's better to have a lesser domain name with a .com than to have the “perfect” domain name with a .net or something else.
If you haven’t decided on a name yet, you can get ideas from Namemesh. This is a cool website that let's you put in words that describe your blog and get domain name ideas. Once you find a domain name that fits, write it down and you can purchase the domain through Google Domains.
Once you’ve created an account with SiteGround, you can fill in all the information needed to set-up your blog such as your domain name, billing info, preferred hosting plan and additional features (this may add additional costs).
I recommend the StartUp plan.
For the extra features, the most important is to subscribe to a domain protection policy so your contact details won’t be shared to a public database (as mandated by the law). Your host’s details will be placed instead, thus saving you from spammers.
The other bonuses are up to you, but I don't think any of the others are necessary for beginning bloggers.
Step 4: Set up your site on WordPress
Now you're ready to install WordPress. You will be able to easily setup WordPress immediately after purchasing your web hosting with SiteGround.
If you ever need to get to the backend of your website on WordPress (where you add new posts, edit pages, etc) you can go to: http://www.your-domain-name.com/wp-admin
After you've gone through the installation process you'll be ready to create your blog from scratch using a free WordPress theme.
To start, simply choose your design from built-in themes (free templates) or purchase a paid theme if you want more control and design. I'd recommend starting with a free theme. You can always change to a premium theme later on if you so choose.
Step 5: Customize your blog
After you have chosen your theme, it’s time to create!
You can add new pages (Home, About, Contact) and create new posts to add to your blog! We'll be doing tutorials and more guides to help you get the most out of your WordPress website so be sure to stick around!
Creating a blog from scratch is a simple process now that we have a lot of resources and options available online. You don’t even need to be a developer to have your own website (unlike the old days). You can take advantage of WordPress which is a free platform and low-cost hosting services like SiteGround to start blogging.
We are excited about your new journey. Happy blogging!
For full instructions on how to start a blog visit our full page tutorial!