So you have chosen to start your own WordPress blog and you’re unsure of how to get started or what to do first? Have no fear. My quick start guide will help you every step of the way and you will be blogging in no time. No technical / coding skills are required; click a few buttons, enter a few details, choose a few options, and away we go.
If you already have your blog set up and just need some helpful tips on certain subjects, then you can check out my support page for various tutorials + guides.
So let’s get you on your way to blogging. If you have any questions along the way, please drop me a comment in this post and I’ll help you out where I can.
#1 Domain + host
Before you can start any website, you will need a domain name and host. Let me explain a little about what these two very important points are.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is basically your website address name. So for example, my domain name is pixelboutique.co.uk. Choose your domain name wisely. If you can, a keyword to help with Search Engine results would be perfect, but try to avoid it being too lengthy. Here are a couple of examples:
If you are struggling to find a domain that you like that includes a keyword, don’t worry, you will still get picked up on search engines.
What is a host?
A host is server space that you purchase and use to store your website files. This will then be linked to your domain name and upon entering your domain name in a web browser address bar, your site will be visible to the world.
Which host should I choose?
There are heaps of different host providers out there that are more than enough for most websites, just google Website Host Service Providers and you will be spoilt for choice.
- 1 free domain with every host package purchased – including the basic package.
- 24/7 customer support.
- Easy to use and navigate around.
- One click WordPress installation (making your WordPress life that little bit easier).
- They have a WordPress specific hosting package (making your WordPress life even easier).
For a detailed guide on purchasing your domain and host, check out the ‘Purchasing a Domain Name and Host‘ post on the blog.
That’s the hardest part done – phew! Grab yourself a coffee (other beverages are available) + move on to the next step – Installing WordPress.
#2 Installing WordPress
If you chose to go with 1and1 for your host and domain, then you should be able to follow this guide very easily. Other hosts do have One Click WordPress Installation‘s though so feel free to source another if you are not happy with 1and1.
You need to log in to your host using your original sign up details and in your control panel should be a section called ‘1and1 App Centre‘ and under that section you should find a WordPress app. Click it and let the installation guide you through the few simple steps to magically and easily install wordpress onto your host.
For a detailed guide on installing WordPress (via 1and1 – it may be a similar process to other hosts), then you can check out the ‘Installing WordPress‘ post on my blog.
Once WordPress is installed, you should be able to type your domain name (that you assigned your wordpress app installation to) into your web browser address bar, hit Enter and it will show your wordpress website with the default wordpress theme activated – we will look at changing this theme shortly.
#3 WordPress Login
To log into your new wordpress account, enter your domain name (that you assigned to your wordpress app installation in the previous steps) into your web browser address bar followed by /wp-admin and hit enter. For example, my login would be: www.pixelboutique.co.uk/wp-admin.
You will then be presented with the standard WordPress login page. This is where you enter your username and password that you set up when installing WordPress onto your host.
Enter your details here and click ‘Log in’. Your WordPress dashboard should appear before your eyes. If you are familiar with WordPress, then go ahead and do your thing. If you’re a newbie and need further help, then continue reading.
Let’s add some life to your exciting new website by adding a theme.
#4 Adding a WordPress theme
WordPress themes are ten a penny (that means ‘plentiful’ for you non Brits). You can find heaps of free ones in the WordPress Theme Archive. You can also google ‘Free WordPress Themes‘ and you will be inundated with wonderful websites and choices. You can also buy Premium WordPress Themes from talented developers all over the web. Etsy have a lovely array of themes to buy, so be sure to check that out. Also, obviously, I am a WordPress developer and have my own theme shop right here on my website 😉
Once you have chosen your theme, make sure you download it to a place you can easily find it on your computer + leave the file as it is – as a .zip format. Login to your wordpress site + in your dashboard, click ‘Appearance‘ and then ‘Themes‘. At the top of the theme page click ‘Add New‘. Browse to your .zip theme file and upload. Once the file has uploaded, click ‘Activate‘ and you’re done.
Head on over to your website to see your blog transformed.
You are now ready to start blogging and adding your content. Yes, that’s it. Easier than you thought right?
WordPress has an amazing array of customisation options so have a look around your dashboard to get a good feel for how it works and to find out what it and you are capable of.
You can find my ever-growing collection of tutorials here which should be able to help you on your way.
For more tutorials + guides on using WordPress, head on over to my support page. Support is always being updated so to be kept up to date on what’s being added, make sure you sign up to the newsletter. I promise only nice things will be waiting for you in your inbox.