There are a million ways to start a blog. In my experience, this is the easiest (and cheapest) option to begin a self-hosted blog. There are countless articles debating WordPress and Blogger. Trust me… you want WordPress.
What is a self-hosted blog?
A self-hosted blog means you own your own domain name (URL) and pay to have the site hosted by a provider. The alternative is to begin a free blog on WordPress.com or Blogger. This is fine in the short-run, but eventually you will want the /wordpress or /blogger off your URL and to be able to customize your site down to every tiny detail. Beginning with a self-hosted WordPress blog will save you time and stress in the future or having to swap your content over to make it look more professional. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Pick a Name
I am no expert on this one. Heck, everyone initially thinks my blog is about law! But a name says a lot about your blog, so make it count. Brainstorm a few keywords that best describe what your blog is about. Use Name Mesh to combine those keywords into a domain name if you get stumped. Visit this site to test each of your choices and make sure they aren’t already in use. Just type your URL into the search bar and GoDaddy will tell you whether the domain name is available or not. (Prepare yourself for disappointment and then an existential brainstorming session on why you weren’t foward-thinking enough to have bought Shoes.com, Fashion.com, etc. when the web began. We’d be billionaires!!)
Step 2: Purchase WordPress Hosting through GoDaddy
Now you need a place for your website to live. A hosting company provides the computer that stores all the files of your website. It’s the only expense you will have to pay to start your blog. Luckily, GoDaddy is the easiest, best-priced, and offers the best support of any providers out there. Just visit the WordPress hosting page of GoDaddy here. Scroll down to the plans and add the Basic Plan to your cart.
GoDaddy will then prompt you to add your free domain. Here you will add the name you picked earlier.
Then check out. It is only $47 for everything you need for the first whole year of your blog!
If you get lost, pick up the phone and call their customer service (480-505-8877) and follow the prompts to Hosting and then WordPress Support. They will walk you through the whole process in under five minutes.
Once you have finished checking out, click Manage to launch into the back end of your new blog!
Step 3: Add Content
It’s time to add your first blog post. In the back end of your WordPress site, hover over Posts in the left-hand navigation and click Add New.
Add a title and then your content in the large box below. Check out the video below to see how to add text and images.
Click Publish in the right navigation to send your first blog post live! Then check out how it looks by clicking on the name of your site in the top left corner. Voila! You have a self-hosted WordPress blog just like this one.
I will walk you through picking out a theme and customizing your site to perfection in my next installments! For now, just get comfortable with adding blog posts in the back end of your new WordPress site. Baby steps 😉 And as always, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you run into any issues.