So you want to start a blog. Share your stories. Build a following. Find your people. I get it.
Let’s do the work and get it done, DIY-style.
BUT if DIY isn’t your jam, you can also hire Liz to get you started and design your site.
Up front you’re going to need a solid 20 minutes to start, but I promise it will be generally painless and highly inspiring ’cause your getting shit done; you gritty motherfucker.
This post contains affiliate links so I can support my Diet Coke habit. These are all products I use in my designs and websites. I spent countless hours of research and time on hold with tech support so you don’t have to in order to recommend them to you.
Here are the three steps to setting up a blog:
Domain Name and Hosting
Domain and Hosting
I’m going to use a heavy metaphor here. Think of a Domain as your street address online — it’s a specific place where people can find you. The domain here is obviously GEEKHER.COM.
A Host is like renting a house or an apartment on the Internet. You own everything inside the house or apartment, but when the rental term is up, you can pack up your stuff and move. Or, you can renew your lease and stick around.
You want to start by selecting a host. I recommend JustHost. I like JustHost because they’re owned by BlueHost but cheaper. They also have great 24/7 tech support, their interface is user-friendly and easy to understand for newbies and I’ve never had speed problems.
Selecting Your Hosting Plan
If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to go with the starter plan because a lot of your time is going to be spent doing the work + learning. You can always upgrade at a later time when you become a Really Big Deal.
Picking Your Domain Name
Now that you’ve selected your hosting plan, it’s time to pick your domain. I don’t know why JustHost has you select a hosting plan before choosing your domain, but when in Rome and all that. JustHost, as you’ll see, offers a free domain when you purchase a hosting plan through them. Awesome, I love free stuff.
Paying For Your Hosting Plan
Depending on your budget, you can decide to purchase anywhere from 12 – 36 months. The more months you buy, the cheaper the plan becomes. If you want to pay by the month, I suggest hosting your website with Hostgator. I suggest this because JustHost is cheaper by the year and Hostgator is cheaper by the month. The only difference between the two is what you’re willing to spend; everything else is exactly the same and I’ve used both.
Now that you’ve purchased your domain and hosting plan, it’s time to install WordPress. WordPress is blogging software and I use it here on GeekHer and every site I build. Installing WordPress is easier than ever with one-click installation. Here’s how you install WordPress.
Log into your JustHost account and scroll down to the Website section. Click on it.
Click on install to begin the process.
Make sure that your domain is listed here. Then, click Check Domain.
Click on Install Now. Don’t forget to accept the Terms of Service with a check mark.
Once your installation is complete, click on View Credentials. Write down your new wordpress link, username and password or save it to the place where you save all your passwords.
Now it’s time to log into your WordPress account.
YOU DID IT!
Take it away, Leslie, ’cause this is how you should feel right now.
Designing Your Site
Now let’s talk about the fun stuff like your design — we call these “WordPress Themes.” WordPress has a ton of free themes and you can find them here.
For all of the websites I design I use MyThemeShop.
Here’s what I love about MyThemeShop:
+ They offer premium themes and plugins at an affordable price.
+ Even their free themes are better than most of the premium themes I’ve seen.
+ Everything is mobile responsive.
+ Highly customizable even for newbies.
+ With over 600 fonts, limitless color combinations, free built in widgets and one-click install.