So you’ve decided to start a blog?
You went through that whole phase of figuring out if it’s something you could be successful at and if the amount of work would be worth it.
You’ve read countless amounts of blog posts about blogging and have listened to dozen of podcasts. You’ve been Googling, searching, and doing research like someone has been paying you to do it.
And now you’re ready. It’s time. You’ve decided that you want to get your blog set up.
There’s no time to waste.
There are 3 elements to setting up your blog: your web hosting, your domain name, and your theme.
Think of web hosting as like the real estate of your blog, and your domain name is the street address. Your theme is like the design of your building.
Step 1 – Get Your Web Hosting and Domain Name
Honestly there are a lot of great options out there for good web hosting, BlueHost, InMotion, HostGator, Godaddy, Dreamhost….. SiteGround, though, is definitely my favorite. They’re both fast and reliable. Check out this infographic that shows their superior speed and customer support.
Their support is top notch. Every time I’ve had a problem, they’ve been able to help me solve it. They’re consistently rated 5 stars all across the internet.
A lot of hosting companies are either fast, easy to use, or have great customer service. SiteGround is the only one that’s all three.
To get started, click here, and check out their different shared hosting packages. These are the best deals you’ll get for a new blog.
I highly recommend starting with the basic package. There’s no reason to spend more money than you need to. And you can always upgrade later.
Then it’s time to complete your order. Just simply fill out the fields with the correct information.
Review your plan. And click “Pay Now”.
Also, did I mention that you get 1 FREE domain name? For domain name tips check out: How To Pick A Domain Name In 3 Easy Steps.
Once you’ve made your purchase you’ll receive an email with your username and password. Login to your account.
When you login for the first time you should be asked if you want to set up a new website.
Select “WordPress”, choose your login info, click “Confirm”, and SiteGround does the work for you. It’s as simple as that. You’ve now successfully setup your site! And are ready to move on to to the fun part, customizing your site and making it look good.
If for some reason you’ve accidentally skipped the setup step — closed the window or something like that — don’t worry. I’ll show you how to get back to the WP installation.
If you successfully installed WordPress, go ahead and move on to Step 2 below.
So to install WP, just click on “My Account” in the top menu after you login.
Then click “Go to cPanel”.
Scroll down and click on “WordPress”.
Then click “Install”
Scroll down and choose your login info.
Then scroll down and click “Install”. And that’s it — still super easy.
Step 2 – Set Up Your Theme
You know that feeling you get when you land on a site and you instantly regret being there? It’s almost like throwing up a little in your mouth. You just want to leave as quickly as possible. Or sometimes, if you’re like me, you drop your jaw and sit and stare at how awful it is.
Maybe the site looks prehistoric — like it hasn’t been updated since 1992. Or maybe it looks like it was designed by a child — there’s video playing automatically, flashing lights, pop ups flying at your face, it’s impossible to navigate, and it looks like you can see every color in the crayon box.
Don’t make the same mistakes with your blog design. Both Hubspot and Derek Halpern rank design as the #1 reason why a visitor decides to stay on your site or not. And I believe it. It’s definitely the case with me.
I don’t know about you, but I like it when things look nice, especially my blog. And I love that I don’t have to hire a web developer to do it. For just a couple hundred bucks I can have a website that looks so good, it looks like I spent $10,000 on it.
Thrive Themes are great for beginners because they are super easy to customize without much work. There’s a very easy learning curve. They have tons of bells and whistles that you don’t have to worry about getting through other plugins and softwares. They’re like a very basic complete package. I recommend getting an unlimited 1 year membership so you can get access to their entire toolkit.
StudioPress is great because they’re fast, minimalistic, and in my opinion the best looking themes on the market. Plus they practically have an unlimited potential for customization. If you can think it, it can probably be done, though you might need a little help from a designer.
I’ll show you how to set one up.
First you’ll need to get the Genesis Framework.
Then pick out your favorite theme.
Then login to your WordPress site (the one we created in Step 1) by going to your new url with a “/login”. So it should look something like, “example.com/login”. And enter the login info that you chose when you installed your site.
Then go to “Appearance”, “Themes”, “Add New”. It’ll be on the left after you log in.
Upload the Genesis Framework zip file. Simply drag and drop it over from your downloads.
After it’s installed click “Activate”.
And then follow the same steps to install your theme zip file.
- Go to “Appearance”, “Themes”, “Add New”, “Upload Theme”
- Drag and drop your theme zip file
- Click “Install Now” and then “Activate”
Then you’re done! Click “Visit Site” in the upper left corner to make sure that your theme installed correctly.
The Only 3 Plugins That You Really Need (FREE)
If you want to start your blog and get results fast you need to focus. There are tons and tons and tons and tons and tons and tons of plugins, softwares, and services for bloggers all over the internet. There are proven ones, new ones, and ones you’ve never heard of — all trying to get your attention. Using the right tools is very important, but don’t get distracted by everything you see. Stick to the fundamentals. Don’t waste your time, energy, or money on things you don’t need.
I know plugins can be a little stressful at first. Just install these 3 plugins to start, and worry about the rest later.
Akismet — This will filter out spam comments. You’ll be surprised how many you get.
Wordfence — This will protect your blog from getting hacked.
UpdraftPlus — This will save and backup your entire blog so that if your blog crashes and you lose everything, you can still get it back.
And that’s basically it. Congrats on setting up your new blog!
Now you can move on to customizing your site, creating content, and writing your first blog post 🙂
Let me know if you have any question in the comments below.
I use and trust these tools. Some of the previous links are affiliate links. That means I’ll receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase (at no additional cost to you). I recommend them because they have helped me incredibly, and I hope they can do the same for you.