If you want to know how to make a WordPress blog but don’t know where to start this article walks you through the whole process.
I have been asked many times how to make a WordPress blog rather than on the free platforms available.
Janet & John Make a Blog
If you are of a certain age you will remember the lovely reading books depicting a middle-class ideal of childhood from the
Why Janet & John?
The girls did what mummy did and the boys played, climbing trees
Step-by-step Guide to Making a WordPress Blog
If you want to make a WordPress blog for yourself this guide is, I hope, easily accessible for a complete beginner. Please forgive me if you do have a certain level of knowledge and you find this a little condescending or even insulting?!
I have written it deliberately spelling everything out in small steps.
For those more advanced there will be a lot more information to access but for now…
The guide follows through in a logical progression on how to make a WordPress blog quickly and painlessly.
These are the areas this guide will cover…
- Choosing your Domain Name
- Registering your Domain Name
- How to choose Hosting
- Setting up your Hosting account
- Setting up WordPress on your site
- Getting your site LIVE!
Once you have set up your site you are ready to develop your ideas and start to make some money.
Some other guides will cover the following:
- Technical setup of your WordPress site
- Posts and Pages
- Design – Using Themes
- Monitisation of your website…
- Getting Traffic
- Setting up email
- Social Media to get traffic
- YouTube for traffic
- Instagram for traffic
- Pinterest for traffic
- SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
- Paid advertising
- Facebook advertising
- Writing for other websites
… and much more…
How do you get a Domain N
- What is a Domain Name?
- Why it is important to choose the correct form of Domain Name.
- How to get a Domain Name.
Some of the links in this article are Affiliate links so I will make a small amount of money if you buy from these links. You will not be charged any extra for this but it helps to keep this blog alive!
What is a Domain Name?
Kinda like international phone numbers, the domain name system helps to give every Internet server a memorable and easy-to-spell address. Simultaneously, the domain names keep the really technical IP (Internet Provider) address invisible for most viewers
It is the part of a network address which identifies it as belonging to a particular domain. So it is just an address. The www.silverdigitalnomads.com is the Domain Name of my main website. My address on ‘tinternet if you will…
What is a Top Level Domain?
The .com version of a domain name is aimed at international rather than specifically US companies or commercial organisations. A .co.uk domain name suggests a UK-based operation although there is no practical restriction on who can buy a .co.uk domain.
.Com or .Co.UK or Both?
.com can suggest more substance and more prestige than a simple .co.uk. There is some thought that some of the top US and international search engines and internet directories are more sympathetic to including .com domains than others and may also rank them more highly than other types of domain.
On the other hand some specifically UK search engines and directories do prefer .co.uk names for inclusion in their lists so a .com may not get you the best possible ranking in the UK. So if you are not planning to sell in the UK at all just the .com will do.
If you are only selling in the UK however don’t think that just the .co.uk
So there are potential UK customers looking for you on both! You will also find in general that .co.uk domains will not get ranked in non-US and non-UK search resources whereas .com will.
For example msn.fr (France) will accept .fr and .com domains, google.de (Germany) favours .com and .de. So a .com domain helps here too!
So my advice is simply:
- If the UK market is of no importance to you buy just .com domains.
- If you are a UK site and you are not concerned with your position in the international search engines, then buy just .co.uk versions of your domain names.
- If you want to sell in the UK and search engine performance matters to you then buy both versions.
Hyphenated Domain Names
Hyphenated domains are usually confusing.
People usually get confused with the dash. They often forget it. This may result in a huge loss in traffic. Hence, I would recommend
Spammers can also take advantage of a hyphenated Domain. They book hyphenated domains only to stand out in search results. For example, buycheapinvigoratingpillsonline.com is very complicated but buy-cheap-invigorating-pills-online.com is less so…
The second domain fetches more attention than the first one.
Only for this reason, hyphen domains may be considered as spam.
Rand Fishkin of Moz says that :
“Avoid hyphens. Hyphens detract from credibility and can act as a spam indicator.”
Of course, this is not necessary every time. If your website doesn’t mean to be spammy, it will not be treated in this way, ever.
One dash can be considered okay. But multiple dashes may make it suspicious.
How to Get Your Own Domain Name
Buying a Domain Name is easy…
There are many places on the internet where you can purchase one.. usually you get the name for a year or three years but you can set your account to ensure you don’t lose your name after a year.. which would be a really really bad idea if you have spent a lot of time building your online business!
I have bought Domain Names from many different places over the years.. right now there is a special deal with Bluehost to get a free Domain Name with a year hosting package.. so maybe give it a go.. 🙂
If you have any problems contact me here
If you just want to buy a Domain Name without hosting I have used Namecheap to buy many Domain Names over the years. It is one of the cheapest.
I will go through step by step how to buy your Domain Name from Namecheap.
Go to Namecheap.com
In the white bar put in your idea for a Domain Name and click search.
When you click the cart button you will be taken to this screen..
You have the choice of registering your Domain Name for 1 year or more. You will get a discount if you choose longer than a year.
If you live in a country other than the UK your country’s currency will be shown. Obviously, I live in the UK so the cost is shown in pounds’ sterling.
If you choose the ‘WhoisGuard’ this will protect your private information. If you don’t have this anyone can look up who owns your Domain Name and where you live so this is a good choice and it only adds a few more £$ to the overall cost.
Don’t worry about the ‘Premium DNS’ for the moment.
It is advisable to get an SSL cert website. This adds security to your website especially if you plan to take details of your visitors/customers, such as credit cards etc.
An email address with your Domain is essential to make your site look more trustworthy. Using your personal Gmail or Hotmail account is not a good idea as it doesn’t look professional.
Click on confirm order and you will be taken to this page..
Complete your account details and then you will be taken to the checkout page to pay.
Web Hosting Basics
Getting a home for your Blog
OK so you have your address on the internet (Domain Name) now you need to park your domain somewhere? A bit like pitching up your caravan.. rather than a house, as you can choose to move your hosting whenever you wish.
You can buy hosting from many different providers. I have used several different hosting companies. Here are a few to choose from: –
Quick facts about blog hosting:
A WordPress blog hosted with any of the above providers is I believe, the best option for new bloggers.
I would avoid free hosts and blogging platforms if you want to succeed with your new blog or make money.
Installing WordPress on your hosting account only takes a few clicks.
Quick bit of side info: I will earn a small commission if you buy a hosting package from one of my links at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support! This helps to keep me in tea and biscuits but also to keep silverdigitalnomads.com online.
Ok… I have used all the hosting companies I mention above and all have been fab for me but as I said there are other hosting packages that you may find better for you.
My point was to give you confidence that you are making a good decision. After reading this I hope you will be able to get up and running quickly and get on with the fun stuff like writing content playing on social media and start making some money.
Why you should avoid free blog hosting like Blogger, Tumblr & WordPress.com
What is the difference between freely hosted blogs and paid professional hosting and why the free ones may not be your best option.
What is a freely hosted blog?
These are often the first choice for people when they first think of starting a blog. Mainly because they are easy to set up and kinda idiot proof. They include: Blogger, WordPress.com (different from self-hosted WordPress), Tumblr, Live Journal, etc. You just sign up for an account and they give you a blog.
What is positive about free hosted blogs?
They are good if you know nothing of the Internet and you need something free and easy to use. They do have their advantages but I think the disadvantages far outweigh the good and in the long term they are not the best option.
Why they ARE not good enough for real money making?
If you want to grow yourblog to make money you need your own domain name and
Drawbacks of Free Hosting
Very limited control
Most don’t allow you to do anything with the code fairy which makes up the framework of the site. This may sound a bit daunting for a beginner but one day you will need to get in there and change the code (or pay someone to) to add new features and updates.
You don’t own it
This is one of the biggest drawbacks. you don’t really own your blog, the provider does. It doesn’t make sense to spend hours and hours or even years on an asset that you don’t own.
Not as good for Google rankings
Historically Google has not given as much weight to free hosting blogs as they are not perceived as authoritative…
Limited design options
You are usually stuck with very little control over changing anything on the blog on a free host. In the future you will want to tweak the code.. or get someone else to for your own needs. This means your blog may end up looking like lots of others out there.. and then we get to branding…
Bad for branding
Building up your brand is paramount to establishing yourself as an authority go to site. You can only really do this if you own the domain.. you can now use your own domain of some of the free ones but you are still stuck with very little control over your site..
In the end.. run your own domain on your own host as its more professional.
What is the main disadvantage of a self-hosted blog?
It’s a learning curve which can be perpendicular at times! But in the end you will get the hang of it quite quickly. It can be daunting at first but its not as complicated these days so go for it!
All the hosting companies now offer a one-click WordPress installation so once you’ve signed up for your account it’s really simple.
If you start your blog on a free host and want to move it in future you will find some difficulties and really you do not want to jeopardise your income stream by having it all go to a big mess on the floor.. so start as you mean to go on. Changing from free to paid hosts can be very stressful and negatively impact your Google rankings.
There is 24-hour live support for most hosting companies and they will help you with any problems you have along the way. They are very nice to work with…
What are the costs of a self hosted blog?
It is relatively cheap to host your own blog. All you need is a domain name and a hosting package. These can run as cheaply as £5 up to hundreds. But just start with the basic package each of the hosting companies offer. You can always upgrade later if you want another website.
Ok.. now read this again… with a cup of tea..
How to Buy Hosting from Liquidweb
If you decide to buy your hosting from Liquidweb, this is the process you will follow. It is much the same with most hosting companies to be honest. All pretty straight forward.
This is what you will see if you go to Liquidweb. Hover over Products and then click on the Standard Web Hosting.
All you need to start with is the basic program, so just click on Add to Cart.
Then click on Checkout.
Fill in your details and payment method.
Put your Domain Name here, you could get a free Domain Name from Liquidweb or just put in the name you have registered with Namecheap etc
Choose a password and verify
Your order is complete! Now you need to wait for LiquidWeb to email you with your account information.
Check your email for your account details from your chosen hosting company. Once you have that, you will be sent to a page like the one below. You need to fill in your username and password.
If you are successful you will get to the page below. You can choose to follow the ‘Wizard’ or do it yourself. I will go through the steps as if you are doing it yourself 😉
First thing to do is have all your emails to this domain forwarded to your personal email account. Click on Default Addresses
Once you have filled out this page all the emails sent to your domain will be forwarded to your personal email.
Then click on Home.
The next step is to connect your domain name with your hosting.
To do that, go to the place where you registered your domain name. For example, Namecheap.
Go to the Domain List and Manage Your Domain.
Look for Nameservers. It will be set to Namecheap Default. We’re going to change that to Custom.
The Nameservers link your domain to your hosting account. For many hosting providers your Nameserver can be found somewhere in the CPanel.
If you are using LiquidWeb, the Nameservers are:-
- nameserver 1 is ns.liquidweb.com
- nameserver is ns1.liquidweb.com.
When you have filled these in, click on the checkmark which is top right.
This is how you do it if you registered your Domain Name with Namecheap.
As you can see, it can take up to 48 hours for your domain to be connected to your hosting, but usually it takes much less time.
Once it is connected and you type your domain name into your search bar on your browser ie. Google, this is all you will see as there is nothing loaded onto your domain yet.
Now we can load a management system onto your hosting. For this, we are going to use WordPress.
Installing WordPress on Your Hosting
How are you doing? Don’t give up.. this stuff really is easy..
Installing your blog on your hosting account is not difficult at all and you shouldn’t feel intimidated by the technology.
Here as an example of how to do this but most hosting companies use much the same routine and if you get stuck you can contact their support and they will either walk you through the installation or will do it for you 😉
WordPress is software which makes managing your website much easier.
Loading WordPress Onto Your Hosting Account
Log in to your control panel
Once you are logged into your control panel, type WordPress into the Find area.
Then click on WordPress
Then click on Install.
Leave the Protocol as http:// unless you have bought an SSL Cert with your Domain Name. Choose your domain name. Leave the directory field empty because you want your blog to show up as the main site.
For Site Settings, choose your site name. You can always change this later. Enter a site description. Leave Enable Multisite unchecked.
Next, pick an admin username and password. Don’t leave it as “admin”. Select a strong password with at least eight characters and a mix of numbers and letters. You should also change the admin email now.
For the language select English. Click on Advanced Options.
Automated Backups means should something happen to your site you will always have a backup to use.
If you now type in your site’s url in the address bar this is what you will see.. not too exciting at the moment but we can change that!
To get to your admin/dashboard type in /wp-admin after the url
This will take you to this screen
Login and you will get to your sites dashboard which will look like this..
There you go!
You now have a Blog to nurture and build on to make some money!
If you want some more guidance on how to set up your blog once it’s live go HERE!
Good luck and I know you will love doing this.. it’s not difficult and it is so much fun!