Creating your own website, be it an eCommerce site, or a straight up blog is incredibly useful. Especially if you create on frameworks such as WordPress.
This guide provides you with the steps you need to build your own WordPress Blog.
This whole process should take around 30 - 60 minutes, though this does vary depending on if you have a host set up already or not, as getting the emails from hosts etc can take a little time!
Lastly, if you are not 100% confident on finding your own host and doing some of these steps, then look at a managed hosting package, such as WpEngine.
What Is WordPress
Possibly one of the most well known Content Management Systems (CMS if you want to be fancy), WordPress is used by around 40% of the internets websites, to build and display their posts and content to the world.
It's an open source project, meaning anyone can pitch in, understand what is being built or happening and create stuff for the community. Including themes, apps and addons that help bloggers, affiliate marketers, store owners and even dropshippers create, grow and scale their websites.
I find it extremely friendly to use, especially for a lot of the basic things such as creating simple articles, and even some of the more complex tasks such as opening stores, because quite simply, there is probably an app, theme or article explaining how to build, display or create whatever thing you are trying to make your site do.
Also, it's readily available, quick to install and pretty much ever host worth their grain of salt has WordPress ready and waiting to be loaded on their fresh shiny server.
How To Find A Host
There are hundreds of hosts out there, if not thousands, and it can be difficult to decide on who to use and who to steer clear of.
I personally like to use hosts that have a good reputation, are not stupidly expensive, and are easy to navigate, both from a technical point of view, but also just a general trying to find invoices, email accounts or simply reach out for support.
There is also a balancing act that many people will have to do to find one that fits your needs.
A lot of people will usually settle for one of the big 10 or so hosting providers out there. An example of a few of them;
- BlueHost - Most known for the fact they offer very cheap hosting (at least when starting out) Costing around $90 for 3 years
- SiteGround - Great starting prices, a lot quicker than BlueHost, and easier to navigate (read the full review here)
- WPX - Extremely fast, fairly easy to navigate, but can be expensive
- WPEngine - A fully managed service, you are paying for their security, hosting and support
- HostGator - Another starter friendly, cheap hosting provider
- GoDaddy - Known for their domains, but they do offer hosting
Signing Up To A Host - The Initial Steps
It will really depend on your own personal preference, this how to build a WordPress blog guide will look at both BlueHost, and SiteGround (to offer some variety).
Both have their pros and cons, if you are short on money, and you don't mind being locked into a 2 or 3 year contract while you build up your new blog, then BlueHost is a good starting host.
If you have a little more cash, you are happy with only paying for a year up front (rather than 2 or 3) and you believe your new blog will be making money in 12 months by the time the costs increase, then I would say SiteGround is a better hosting provider.
BlueHost offers 3 pricing plans, depending on what your blog building plans are, each comes at a slightly different price, though the main differences include the number of websites you want to host.
If you know you are going to build more than 1 website in the next 36 months, then grab either the Plus. You can get Choice Plus if you fancy some free 1 year backups (though you can do this yourself anyway) or some additional domain privacy (which usually comes with a domain anyone these days)
If you want to take advantage of the lower prices, then be sure to grab through this link, and the discount should display as below.
Each plan comes with a free URL or domain, so if you haven't thought about what your website will be called, you now have the option of getting one from here for no extra cost (they will charge you after 1 year, so again keep that in mind).
Alternatively, you can get a domain from a site such as NameCheap, which may be cheaper in the long run.
Once you have decided on if you are transferring a domain, taking a free one from them, or simply skipping and doing it later, you will be taken to the checkout.
Note - BlueHost will try and upsell you a ton of stuff, including a SSL (which they provide for free anyway), additional security and even additional plugins and backups. Personally, I find them all useless. You will also only get the advertised price if you lock in and pay for the 36 months up front. You can change this to 12 / 24 months, for a higher price if you want.
As you can see, some of these extras can soon inflate that £3.90 offer you originally saw, so do be careful on this checkout screen.
Once you have added all your payment details and of course paid, you will be taken to the BlueHost dashboard, a place that changes what it looks like more times than I can keep up with (so I will say sorry now if it's different from the image below!)
You will also be sent an email with your login details, your BlueHost account. You may also have kicked off the 'lets get WordPress started for you' process, if so, great, you are already ahead of this article and can follow their guide.
The second option that I would encourage people to look into is SiteGround, one of the hosting companies that I personally run a lot of my own sites from (Excluding this site as it's grown so big!).
As with BlueHost, SiteGround offer a number of hosting packages, depending on what your plans are for the future. I personally use the GoGeek offering, most people can get away with StartUp or GrowBig (you can change at any point and pay more/less). Again you can save 50% on your first year using the following link.
Once you have decided on the package you want to use, it's time to decide on your domain, now SiteGround don't offer free domains, so I would say it's best to grab them from NameCheap or similar.
As you can see, you are going to be paying out £18 / $25 per year for a domain through SiteGround, so really do look at grabbing your domain from elsewhere.
After you have either registered, or notified that you already own a domain, you will be taken to the checkout screen. Which, as you will see, is a little less bloated than the BlueHost one.
SiteGround do offer an additional service, which is a reasonable £18 or $25 per year, though again it's up to you if you require it. Once your details are in, you are onto the next stage, getting WordPress up and running.
Getting WordPress Installed
Luckily WordPress comes as a standard installation with nearly every host these days, and most will provide you with a walkthrough guide for setting it up.
Most will take you through a set up guide, or provide you with a section with your hosting dashboard to create a new WordPress website (some will automatically show you something like in the images below)
Selecting WordPress, or WordPress + WooCommerce, depending on if you are making your own eCommerce site or not.
SiteGround provides you with all the fields you need to fill in and they will even send you the details once they are completed. Once WordPress is installed, and ready to be set up, you should get an email asking you to kick off the 'site setup'.
The whole process is over in 3 steps, selecting your starter theme, starter plugins and then some additional plugins.
For themes, I would pick up Astra, GeneratePress (if you are given the options) or simply stick with Twenty Twenty One.
Plugins I usually leave, as none of the ones they provide are useful, so you can skip this part. If you are using a different host, they may offer completely different plugins and themes, so really it's up to you.
If you want the complete step by step video instructions on getting your new site set up and running, with support, worksheets and more, then checkout BlogFocused.
By this point you should have WordPress installed, either manually or part of the host set up, either way, you have a fresh site ready and waiting to get going.
Welcome to your new WordPress site!
There are 3 additional areas that you want to get sorted, as it will make life a lot easier and also make everything look and feel easy on the eyes.
First thing you will want to do is a number of house keeping settings to help with SEO and security.
Permalinks is the first place you will want to head to, which can be found under Settings - Permalinks.
I always set my sites to use the 'Post Name' permalink, it ensures your website is clean, easy to read and helps with your SEO. This will set your new website to your website domain + your post name, as you can see in the image above.
Next up, creating yourself a separate author account. This can increase the security on your site, as it stops less friendly characters from finding out, or knowing your main admin user.
Select Users - Add New
You will need to provide an email, and a username, I would recommend a name, or something that is related to your website.
Next up, if you haven't already set up your Theme, it's time to find a clean, easy to read theme.
Select the 'Appearances Tab' and then choose Themes.
You have the ability to upload your own, or go searching on the WordPress database .
You will find hundreds, and hundreds of them, so have a scroll through and start selecting and previewing ones that take your fancy.
You do want to keep in mind the primary function of your site. If you are aiming for reviews or informative articles, then use something like Astra or Generate Press.
Once you have found one that you like, just click Install.
You will be shown an install screen and either a success or failure, the only time they fail will be if you have found one on the web and it's got a corrupt file zip file or it's incomplete. It does happen, so just be ready!
Now you have installed it, you will want to activate it, so go ahead.
Brilliant, you have a new theme set up and ready to be customised to your liking.
Depending on theme you have chosen you will most likely see the customise button on the Theme Tab.
Once you have a theme up and running, it will be useful to start finding plugins. I usually wait until I have a theme set up, as they will usually recommend a number of plugins that work well, or are potentially required for the theme to work.
If you look back at the image of the theme, you will notice the Mesmerize theme recommends Contact Form 7. You can click the button that says Begin Installing Plugins, and that will automatically find the plugins that they recommend for you.
Next up, you will want to add a number of your own plugins. I would recommend
- Monster Analytics (or any Google analytics plugins)
- Wp Review Lite (If you are running that kind of website)
- PrettyLinks (If you are an affiliate blog)
- RankMath SEO
- Really Simple SLL
As with themes, you can easily add new plugins, both uploading ZIP files, or via using the WordPress marketplace.
You may find in your journey that you need more plugins, or different plugins, each blog, and each website is a little different, and the possibilities are endless.
Now that you have your theme installed, and your plugins sorted, it's time to create your first article.
You really want to take your time with this. You need to think how you want your website to flow, and how it should be laid out.
To create your first article, you will want to create a new 'Post'.
You will be taken to the post creation screen, from here you can start to create your new article. The standard builder is a bit like Microsoft Word, whereby it is a simple drag and drop builder that uses 'blocks' to add images, bullet points or text.
If you are someone who is learning SEO, and how to focus your content around keywords etc, then be sure to utilise the RankMath plugin and follow it's guidance on article length, table of contents, images etc.
Alternative WordPress Page Builder
Thrive Architect allows you to turn your pages into quick and easy to use Drag & Drop builders, and you can simply drag elements onto your pages with ease.
The beauty of Thrive is that it now comes as part of a package of tools, so you get Thrive Leads, Thrive Quizzes, Thrive Architect and more, allowing you to really increase the use of your blog.
How To Build A WordPress Blog - Final Thoughts
There you go, the whole process can take around 30 - 60 minutes, again it depends on how useful your host is and what they offer in terms of WordPress setup, themes, plugins and how easy they make the set up process.
As time goes on, the process of writing new articles, adding pages or creating capture pages becomes easier, and we will cover other angles in other articles, so be sure to check them out below.
How To Launch Your Own Profitable Blog - Early Bird Spots Available
I started this blog around 2017, after realising that I wanted to let people know about all the different ways someone could make money online. From DropShipping, Affiliate Marketing, Network Marketing and more.
This blog has now grown to review and explain a variety of different tools and platforms, in the bid to help you.
This blog contains affiliate links, and I will get a commission for purchases made through these links. It doesn’t change anything for you and will on occasion save you money! Enjoy, James.