Want to Start a WordPress Blog in 2021? Follow our Step-by-Step Guide
Have you always wanted to have a blog of your own but terrified to take the first step? If so, you aren’t alone. There are millions of aspiring bloggers out there who refuse to take the plunge, partly owing to their lack of technical knowledge.
Fortunately, there’s a way to simplify this-WordPress, the most popular blogging platform that can help you build a blog in under 20 minutes.
And that’s what we are about to discuss today-creating your blog using a self-hosted version of WordPress. The process is surprisingly simple, given WordPress’s reputation of being a beginner-friendly CMS-all you need to do is to follow the instructions.
Using the CMS, you can not only create your blog on the instant, but also get tons of options in terms of ‘themes’ to decide its overall look and feel, and ‘plugins’ to pick and choose the functionalities you need.
So, let’s dive in.
Step 1: Buy Domain Name and Web Hosting
For any blog to become functional, you need two things: domain name and web hosting.
Domain Name: A domain name is like your blog’s address on the internet. It is what you need to type in to access your blog. (Think of facebook.com or google.com)
You can purchase a domain name from a domain name registrar for a small monthly fee. Registrars are nothing but companies responsible for registering and managing domain names for various websites around the world. Popular domain registrars include GoDaddy, Shopify, etc.
Web Hosting: Web hosting is where your blog remains on the internet. Every blog/website requires hosting to remain accessible to users. For a WordPress blog, the recommended hosting option is WordPress hosting.
With a premium WordPress hosting in India like Go4hosting, you can launch your WordPress software in just a few clicks, and start your blog. With Go4hosting, you can avail feature-rich shared and managed WordPress hosting in India at the most competitive rates.
When you buy any of our WordPress hosting plans, you’ll be required to login to your hosting control panel cPanel. This is where you can manage your email, support, etc. from, and also where you can install your WordPress software.
Step 2: Install WordPress Software
Once you sign up for WordPress hosting, you can login on cPanel and install your free WordPress software.
When you complete your sign up process in the previous step, you’ll receive an email from Go4hosting on how you can login into your hosting account. Once you login, click on the ‘Softaculous’ icon located under Software/Services.
Once you open Softaculous, you can click on the programs you need to install on your server. Click on the WordPress icon under ‘Scripts’.
This will open the WordPress section on your screen. A summary section with a brief description of the CMS will be shown.
Click on the blue ‘Install’ button provided on top right to proceed with the installation process. The installation process will open five sections- Software Setup, Database settings, Site Settings, Admin Account and Choose Language. Under each section, you need to fill in the installation details in order to configure settings for WordPress.
Once the installation gets over, you will receive a message stating ‘Congratulations, the software is installed successfully.’
Step 3: Select your WordPress Theme
The look and feel of your WordPress blog is controlled by ‘Themes’. When you open your WordPress blog for the first time, you come across a plain, simple interface that may not be appealing to many of you. Luckily, WordPress offers endless options in terms of ‘Themes’ to customize the appearance of your blog, all with just a simple click.
To choose your theme, login to your WordPress account, open the WordPress dashboard and hover on ‘Appearance’ icon in the left column. A drop-down will appear. Click on ‘Themes’ from the dropdown. A screen like the one shown below will appear.
Image Courtesy: www.wpbeginner.com
Click on the ‘Add New’ button. A screen with all free WordPress themes available in the WordPress.org directory will open. You can sort these themes using filters-Featured, Popular, Latest, Favorites and Feature Filter.
If you hover over a theme, a ‘Preview’ button will appear. Click on it to open the theme preview where you can see how the design would appear on your website.
Image Courtesy: www.wpbeginner.com
Tip: When selecting a theme, go for a design that is simple, responsive, compatible with commonly-used browsers and supports popular plugins.
When you have the theme of your choice, bring your cursor over it and click on the ‘Install’ button. When you wait for the theme to get installed, the ‘Install’ button will be replaced with an ‘Activate’ button. Press ‘Activate’ to apply the chosen theme to your blog.
Once the theme has been applied, you can customize it by clicking on the ‘Customize’ button under ‘Appearance’. Once this is done, you can work with plugins.
Step 4: Add Functionality with Plugins
When you’re done with appearance, it’s time to add functionalities to your site with plugins.
When you first create a blog, all you can do is write and publish blog posts.
With the plugins available on WordPress platform, you can add features such as:
• Contact Forms
• Social Media Icons
• Enhanced SEO
As a matter of fact, WordPress has over 50,000 free plugins, in addition to thousands of premium ones. So, there’s probably a plugin for every feature you can think of.
Now you might be thinking where you will find these plugins.
For free plugins, you can visit WordPress.org plugin directory. Some of these have paid versions that offer advanced features.
For premium ones, you can search directly on Google and buy it from a renowned developer.
While niche plugins are good only for specific sites, some are recommended for all kinds of sites. These include:
Yoast SEO: Search Engine Optimization
WPForms: Contact Form Creation
Wordfence: Firewall and Security Scanning
Optimole: Image Optimization
UpdraftPlus: Backup, Restore and Clone
MonsterInsights: Google Analytics
To install a plugin, go to the dashboard of your WordPress account. Hover over Plugins icon in the left column. Choose ‘Add New’ from the drop-down that appears.
Image Courtesy: www.themeisle.com
Free Plugins: For installing a free plugin, search for the plugin by name and click ‘Install Now’.
Premium Plugins: If you have bought a premium plugin, click the ‘Upload Plugin’ button on the top and upload the zip file you should have received when you bought it.
When a plugin has been installed, you have to ‘Activate’ it to access its functionality.
As for your existing plugins, you can activate them by clicking on the ‘Plugins’ tab.
Step 5: Create your Blog Post
Once you have the themes and plugins of choice, it’s time that you start writing your post.
On your dashboard, click on Posts>> Add New. An editor area will appear where you can write your first blog post.
The latest version of WordPress uses a block-based editor where each element is a block. You can add blocks for each paragraph, image, audio, video, lists that you include in your post.
When you are finished with the post, go ahead and click on the ‘Publish’ button on the top right to make your blog publicly available.
Monetizing your WordPress Blog
Once you manage to get your blog up and running and gain considerable traffic, look for ways of monetizing it. Remember: whatever your vertical be, there aren’t any shortcuts to make money quickly.
Here are some common ways of making money through your blog:
a) Google AdSense
One of the largest advertising platforms on the web, Google AdSense is one of the easiest ways of monetizing your blog.
To get ads on your website, sign up for AdSense; you will get an ad code that you need to add to your site.
Google will serve ads that are relevant to your content (keywords) and your web visitors. You will make money if a user clicks on your ad (pay-per-click) or simply views your ad (pay-per-impression).
b) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is also quite popular among bloggers and publishers. Here, you recommend some products/services to your users and if they make a purchase, you earn a referral commission.
The key to successful Affiliate Marketing lies in recommending products/services that you’ve used and are satisfied with.
c) Online Store
When you have earned a dedicated audience, you can start selling stuff directly from your blog. This can be in the form of physical goods, digital downloads, or even online courses.
You can even convert your blog into a membership site and offer premium content and services.
So that’s our wrap on creating a blog on WordPress. If you are looking for premium WordPress hosting in India, connect with our technical experts today. Thanks for reading.