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Starting a WordPress blog can seem like a complex task.
You may feel like you don’t have the skills or knowledge to create a blog, especially in WordPress.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult, and creating your first blog can be highly rewarding.
This guide will show you how to create a blog with WordPress step by step.
Why Creating a Blog With WordPress Is Worth It
Before we dive in, you may be wondering why you’d even create a blog with WordPress in the first place. There are many reasons to do so.
First of all, while social media is like a room to share your thoughts, it isn’t yours. On the other hand, a blog is like having your own online home.
What’s more, you can turn a WordPress blog into almost anything you want.
It could be a place to share your thoughts with the world, or it could even be the start of a small business.
Or maybe you want to create a fan site covering your favorite TV show and make some money doing it.
Sometimes people create blogs just for fun, but you will also learn skills in the process that will serve you well down the line.
From improving your writing to learning SEO and content management skills, there’s so much you can learn. It can even help to land you a new job.
Whether you want to start a blog on WordPress as a hobby or something more, we’ll show you how.
The Investment Needed To Create a Blog With WordPress
How much of your time and investment is needed to create a blog on WordPress?
The truth is, you can create a blog and get started with WordPress in a matter of hours if you know what you’re doing, but expect to spend somewhere between three to five days to get things exactly how you want them.
On the financial side of things, you’re looking at under $100 to purchase hosting and a domain name if you’re on a budget. A domain name typically costs around $14.99 a year, and web hosting does vary but can be as low as $3.95 per month.
Before we go on, it’s important to note that there are, in fact, two forms of WordPress. The first is WordPress.com, and the second is WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is effectively a hosting service that’s a great choice for new bloggers and those that prefer a more hands-off approach. You remove hosting and registering a domain name from the process, as WordPress.com handles those things for you.
WordPress.org allows you to host a website yourself and comes with a variety of additional attractive features—it’s suitable for bloggers who want a bit more control.
For this guide’s purpose, we’ll be talking about how to create a website with WordPress.org. It’s the better option of the two overall, so it’s more than worth it.
Throughout, we’ll go over how to do the following:
- Get your web hosting and domain name sorted—we’ll be using Bluehost for this
- Install WordPress software
- Write your first blog post
- Pick a theme and change designs
- Install plugins for your blog
5 Steps To Create a Blog With WordPress
Here are the five steps you need to follow to create a blog with WordPress. Let’s get started.
#1 – Sort Out Hosting and the Domain Name
The first thing we need to do is sort out the hosting and domain name for your WordPress blog. Already panicking? Don’t worry. Like most things, it sounds far more complicated and difficult than it is.
The hosting is essentially the engine for your blog, the part that powers it. The domain name is the address you want users to reach you at, such as myawesomesite.com.
You can purchase both of these separately from different providers, but we think one of the best moves you can make here is to opt for Bluehost, where you can combine the two.
Bluehost not only makes things as simple as possible with the installation of WordPress, but you also get a free domain name for the first year.
Let’s start by navigating to Bluehost’s homepage.
Once that’s loaded, click on Get Started.
Once you’ve clicked that, you’ll be taken to a page that looks like this:
These are all the different options available, and the higher the price, the more features you’ll be given. The truth is, though, you don’t need anything but the first option right now, so click Select under the Basic plan.
Next, you will see a page where you need to enter the name of your domain, so think carefully about what you want the blog to be called and check for spelling errors—this isn’t easy to change:
You want to stick with .com when possible. If you already own a domain from another service, enter it on this page. Once you’re ready, click Next. If you created a new domain, the next page lets you know if the name is available. For instance, myawesomesite.com wasn’t available, as you might expect.
Instead, we’ve gone for myveryawesomesite.com.
If you’re successful at getting the name you want, you’ll be presented with a page like this:
Now you’re going to need to enter your details: address, phone number, and email address.
Once done, scroll down the page, and you’ll see your package information:
You can change your package to the ‘Basic 12-Month Price’ or choose a longer contract term for a lower monthly price and remove any extra add-ons. For example, our price is $71.40 by removing all extras and sticking with the 12-month contract price.
That said, we have removed things like domain privacy, which can be important for some people if you don’t want your details readily available on the internet. Overall, we do recommend it.
Now all you need to do is fill in your payment information, accept the terms of service, and click the green Submit button at the bottom of the page:
Congratulations—you now have your hosting sorted and a domain name. You’re already well on your way!
#2 – Install WordPress
Now comes the fun part: installing the WordPress software. This is much easier than it sounds.
When we clicked ‘submit’ in the last part, this should have activated your account and sent an email from Bluehost to your email inbox.
In that email from Bluehost, you’ll find details on how to log in to the Bluehost online area where we create your blog. So, sign in with the details provided.
From there, you’ll likely see a setup assistant (also known as a wizard) upon the first login that will take you through the process. However, some users have reported that the setup wizard did not appear, so let’s take option number two, which is just as easy.
Option number two is clicking on where it says My Sites and then clicking either Add Site or Create Site as shown here:
Next, you’ll see this page:
Here you’ll fill in the name of your blog and the tagline for it. You’ll also fill in the username and password on the next few pages that you want to use to log into your site. Make sure you can remember them for the future (or use a secure password manager).
You’ll now be able to access your site from the domain name followed by /wp-admin. Like this: myveryawesomesite.com/wp-admin
Navigate to your wp-admin URL and input the username and password you chose.
You’re now logged into your WordPress blog for the very first time.
#3 – Write Your First Blog Post
We could quite quickly end this post here, now that you have your WordPress blog up and running.
But there’s so much to learn past creating the initial blog, so let’s cover a few of the basics to help you on your way.
Let’s start with a particularly memorable moment: your first blog post.
You’ll find yourself now on your WordPress dashboard after logging in—it’ll look something like this, but not as cropped:
Click where it says Posts on the left-hand menu of the dashboard, and then click Add New.
You’ll be taken to the WordPress editor that looks either like this (the classic WordPress editor):
Or like this (updated WordPress editor):
The two editors are fairly similar, and both are easy to use. We will continue this guide using the classic editor.
To add a title, click in the box at the top where it says Add title and write it in. To add your first blog text, click into the center white box and type. This is the same for both WordPress editors.
The updated editor uses blocks to add images and videos, meaning each element is a separate individual block. Simply click to add a new block and then upload the image or video from your computer.
If you want to embed a YouTube video in your post, it is as simple as copying and pasting the URL of the video into the text field. WordPress does the rest and displays the video automatically.
Once you’re happy with how your blog post looks, add in a featured image on the right-hand side, and click Publish on the top right side of the screen.
You now know how to create a basic WordPress blog post. And you will improve over time in terms of presentation and style as you become more familiar with the editor and blogging.
#4 – Pick a Theme and Change Designs
WordPress is home to many themes and plugins, the latter of which we’ll cover in the next step. They’re some of the best things about using the software.
Let’s start with themes. Themes allow you to change the entire style and look of your blog with minimal fuss.
Right now, your blog will have a default WordPress theme installed. You might like this theme, but by no means do you need to stick with it.
WordPress has countless free themes and a vast number of premium ones, too.
You can find tons of free and premium themes here and simply download and upload them to your blog.
An easier way to pick a theme and change designs is to go to the left-hand side of your dashboard and click Appearance and then Themes in the popout menu.
From here, you’ll be able to browse an enormous number of themes.
When you find one you like, click the Activate button to go ahead with the switch.
If you’d prefer to preview a theme before switching, simply click the Live Preview button, and you’ll be able to see what it looks like.
To customize the theme further, such as with your own images and content, click on Customize under Appearance in the left menu.
From here, you’ll be able to customize your new theme exactly how you want, from changing colors to adding widgets and more. You’ll be surprised at how much you can customize within a single theme. One of the highlights of WordPress is how much customization and control a website owner has.
#5 – Install Plugins
Now, you have a WordPress blog, know how to write a blog post, and can change your theme and customize it to whatever you like.
The final big part of the puzzle is installing plugins.
Plugins are a fantastic feature of WordPress that adds specific functionality upgrades to your site. From enhanced security to SEO tools, form builders, even an entire directory if you desire, there’s so much you can do with them.
And there are a lot of them. Be sure not to overload your site with plugins, though, as this can slow it down. Some popular plugins include SEO optimization ones, WooCommerce to create an ecommerce store, plugins for social media sharing buttons, Google Analytics, contact form plugins, and security plugins.
So, how do you install one? Well, like almost everything on WordPress, the answer is straightforward.
Navigate to your dashboard and search the left-hand side for Plugins. Click Add New.
You’ll be taken to a page that looks like this:
As you can see from the arrows, you can view plugins that are ‘Popular,’ ‘Premium,’ simply search for them by name in the search bar on the right.
Click on More Details on any plugin to get more information, reviews, and other details.
To install one, all you need to do is click Install Now on the one you want.
Then after it is installed, you will need to activate it. You can activate, deactivate, and delete plugins at any time.
Back on the WordPress dashboard, look under Plugins and click on Installed Plugins. This will take you to the page where all plugins you install will live. Underneath the name of your new plugin, click Activate.
That’s how you install a plugin on your WordPress blog.
To get started, here are a few popular plugins we recommend:
- Yoast SEO
- WP Super Cache
- Smush Image Compression
- WP Forms
- Monster Insights
- Really Simple SSL
Creating a WordPress blog is just the start of your journey.
It can take years to perfect a site, but at the very least, you’ve taken the most crucial step and gotten it started.
If you’re wondering what’s next, we recommend checking out these guides: