How to Start a Self Hosted WordPress Blog in 3 easy steps.
Do you love Pinterest, follow a ton of bloggers, & often day dream of starting your own blog?
Taking that first big step & starting your own blog can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! Starting your blog can be done really easily & quickly too (only 3 steps!!). I’ve been blogging for 3+ years & have seen my blog grow in ways I thought were only possible in dreams! I’ve made some mistakes along the way & I hope & pray that this post will help you avoid those mistakes so that you can start a successful blog from day one!
Why Start a Blog?
Hobby & Creative Outlet
If you love writing then you will love blogging! Not only do you have complete freedom over what you write, but you can be as creative as you want in what you share with your audience & the online world. If you spend 10+ minutes crafting the perfect Facebook status, then chances are you need a bigger place to share your thoughts & ideas. Specifically a place where your thoughtfully crafted post doesn’t disappear after a few days or weeks, but can be shared & reshared countless times across social media for years to come. Blogging can do that for you! Through blogging you can find your voice & passionately express your thoughts, feelings, & opinions with a wider audience.
If you love creating new & unique recipes & projects on a daily or weekly basis, & you constantly have friends & family asking you how you do it or looking to you for tips & advice, then you need a blog! You don’t have to be a star writer to blog, you’ve got all of the creativity & personality to make your projects & photos the star of your blog posts. And now you will have one location that you can direct all of your friends to when they want that amazing recipe recipe of yours!
Friendship & Community
Blogging is a great way to form real friendships in a community that is growing larger & stronger everyday. You can easily create friendships with other bloggers in the same niche as you who have also just started their own blog. Then you can grow & learn together throughout your blogging journey.
I highly encourage you to also join Facebook groups that thrive on community & support. I have made many wonderful blogging friends in many Facebook groups, & one of my personal favorite is The Peony Project. I love this faith based blogging community & the friends & connections I have made through this group. You can find more recommendations for blogging groups to join on my Resources & Recommendations page.
Not only will you be able to make friends within the blogging community, but you will also gain loyal readers & followers who will become more like friends than readers!
Something Special to Share
Do you have an experience or are you on a life journey that you want to share with the world? Many bloggers begin their blog because they want to share something they know their readers will relate to, such as wedding planning, their first year of marriage, or their weight loss journey. Others use blogging as a way to share their recipes, home renovations, crafts, & DIY projects. You could focus on one aspect like fashion or travel, or you can be a lifestyle blogger & share your day to day life with an array of posts on different topics, like children & marriage.
You are uniquely you. Therefore you will always have something unique & special to share that will resonate with others & bring you loyal readers.
One of the many benefits to blogging is the sense of accountability.
Depending on what you blog about this can mean anything. You might be an extreme couponer who wants to stay on track saving money, you might have a desire to gain physical strength or lose weight, to create the largest Gilmore Girls paraphernalia collection, or to increase your income. The list goes on & on! As you share about your journey on your blog your readers will naturally become your accountability partners. You might even receive comments, messages, & emails from strangers (aka your new online friends) encouraging you & letting you know that you have inspired them to make a change in their own life.
I personally love the accountability side of blogging. Accountability to be consistent in blogging. Accountability to God as I grow in my faith. Accountability in my marriage & family. Accountability in the choices I make.
Blogging is a great way to grow as an individual & to be able to see the progress & process that it takes to reach your goals & dreams!
Side Hustle & Income Source
Making money is a huge incentive for starting a blog. While some people start blogging as a hobby or with the intent to use it as a side hustle, others use their blog as their sole source of income. Some people have a problem with bloggers making money, which is beyond ridiculous. Blogging takes time & your time is valuable! As long as you are making money in an honest way (not scamming or spamming) there is no reason why you can’t turn your hobby blog or side hustle into a full income source for you & your family.
Here are a few of the ways you can make money through your blog:
Courses, eBooks, & Products
One-on-One Support & Counseling
5 Blogging Terms & Definitions
for New Bloggers
Throughout this post I have more detailed descriptions of some of these terms, but here is a quick jumpstart on blogging terms & definitions that will come in handy.
Blog Platform: An online space where you create & publish your content. These include WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, ect. (More info below)
Hosting Platform: Other names used interchangeably include hosting provider, hosting company, or hosting service. They are the technical side of your blog that provides the service needed for your website to be seen on the internet. Domestically Blissful’s hosting provider is SiteGround. (More info below)
Domain Name: Your Url. Domestically Blissful is the name of my blog & the domain name is DomesticallyBlissful.com.
Theme: The face of your blog. It’s what makes your blog pretty & unique. I highly recommend a theme with a Genesis framework. Here is an example of a Genesis framework theme called Glam Pro Theme. You can read more about this on my Resources page.
Plugin: It’s like a phone app. They are the little applications that enhance your website making it all sparkly and wonderful. Different plugins serve different purposes. The use of some plugins are clearly visible to your audience (like the “PIN” button on all of my photos) other plugins work behind the scenes to make your blog run smoothly or look pretty (like the plugin Pretty Link which turns those weird links with a bunch of weird symbols, letters & numbers into pretty links!
For example, this crazy mess of a link that is about a course on growing your Facebook page to 100,000+ followers normally looks like this https://transactions.sendowl.com/stores/5183/28555 but becomes this http://domesticallyblissful.com/facebook-strategies-worth-sharing by using Pretty Links).
How to Choose a Blogging
Platform for Your Blog
One of the first things you need to do before starting a blog is to write down your hopes & dreams for your blog. If you hope to someday create an income from your blog you will want to start off on the right foot & FAR AWAY from platforms like Blogger (Blogspot), Tumblr, & Weebly. Because once you do start to achieve your goals it will be a pain, no a NIGHTMARE to try to switch everything over to WordPress.org. And while it is tempting to start a WordPress.com website because it is free & easier to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org than those other sites, there are a lot of restrictions on Ads on a Wordpress.com website. If you want to start making money on your blog from the beginning you will want to start with WordPress.org, plus it shows that you are serious about the blog you have created. You can’t go wrong with starting on WordPress.org & you most definitely won’t regret it!
I chose WordPress.org for Domestically Blissful because I knew I wanted to be able to grow my blog & turn it into a job allowing me to be a stay at home wife & mother to our future children. When I started reseaching other blogging platforms like Blogger & Tumblr, I found them limiting. Although some bloggers began by writing on these other platforms (like Blogger), when their blog began to grow they had to make the switch to WordPress.org & many have also written about the difficulties of the switch, especially after having been blogging for a while & having so much content to move over.
A few important question to ask yourself before choosing a blogging platform are: What type of blog do you want to create? What are your blogging goals? How much time & money do you want to put into your blog?
If you plan to use your blog as a side hustle, have big blogging dreams, or would like to eventually turn your hobby blog into a full time income job I highly recommend WordPress.org. A few of the other reasons I chose WordPress.org is because I wanted more theme options, I wanted plugins, & I wanted to have the opportunity to make an income on my blog through ads.
But before you rush off to sign up for WordPress (.org) you will need a hosting provider!
What Is a Hosting Provider
& Why Your Blog Needs One
So why do you need a hosting provider? Well not only for all of the reasons I just mentioned above, but also because using a hosting provider will not only help you monetize your site, but also show that you are serious about blogging. You are in this for the long haul & you are ready to conquer the world one post at a time!
There are seriously so many hosting providers available for bloggers who want the freedom to control & run their own blog! But first, if you don’t know what a self hosting service is, or what they do, let me try to explain it. And don’t worry I didn’t know either at one point.
A hosting service provides the service of a domain name, they offer assistance for technical support on your site (which is a lifesaver for anyone like me who thinks that computer code is like a foreign language), & they are basically the backbone of your site. You can think of it as you are an incredible chef with lots of great recipes & you need a team of support (hosting provider) so that your tasty food can easily get to your customers!
When I first started blogging I used a big name provider, it seemed to be what all the cool kids were doing so I did it too. Yes, I fell to peer pressure & went along with the crowd. I did my research & everything pointed to said provider, because so many big bloggers were recommending them so I thought I needed them too.
Fast forward 3 years & the blogging world is very different than it use to be. Not bad, just different. And the truth is I wish I had switched providers a long time ago. Sheesh, I wish I had started my blog with SiteGround!! I did even more research on hosting providers before making the switch & I highly recommend the hosting provider services of SiteGround.
Why You Want to Start a
Blog with SiteGround
And why I love SiteGround – An Honest Review
1. Amazing Customer Support
SiteGround’s customer service is incredible! Do you see those support times??? Phone – Instantly. Live Chat – Instantly. Tickets – 10 Minutes. Say what?!
Time is money & your time is very valuable. As a new blogger chances are you are going to need some extra help, guidance, & advice from your site provider from time to time. I wasted hours & hours on hold with my previous provider (live chat & phone), now I can get help in less than a minute anytime I need to talk to someone at SiteGround. I haven’t needed to call because live chat is so quick & helpful. I can’t stress enough how amazing & wonderful their support team has been for my blog!
A fast website is extremely important to every blogger. My previous hosting provider majorly slowed down my website because they couldn’t handle the number of views Domestically Blissful receives on a daily basis. With SiteGround you get more bang for your buck! You can start on their StartUp plan & then as your blog grows you will want to (& need to) upgrade your SiteGround hosting plan to match your increase in views.
I have seen Domestically Blissful’s page views skyrocket with SiteGround’s Top Seed Solutions. Because my previous hosting provider was so incredibly slow I was missing out on a lot of traffic. Who wants to wait 60+ seconds for your blog post to load? I originally signed up for SiteGround’s GoGeek Plan, which worked great at first. But because my website is now faster with SiteGround I am now receiving more traffic/page views than I was with my previous provider, which means it didn’t take long before I needed to upgrade to a new plan. Which is a great thing! The faster your blog the more people who will visit & click around on your site, & the more potential readers & subscribers you will have, which means your blog with grow bigger faster.
YAY!! Insert a million heart eyes emoji’s here!
Don’t forget to checkout that amazing uptime! 99.99% is incredible! (Note: Uptime is the amount of time a website is live on the web, in contrast to downtime when a hosting provider’s server is not able or available to host a site)
4. Free Domain for Life
Umm… YES!!! That’s a savings of $10-15 dollars that you can put towards something else, like this course on setting up & growing a Facebook page for your blog.
5. Fast Setup & Free Website Migration
As a new blogger you are going to want a fast & simple setup. SiteGround makes this easy. Only 3 steps!!
As a blogger with an existing website you are going to want a free & seamless migration. SiteGround has your back! I’ll be sharing a new post on my experience migrating to SiteGround from a different hosting provider next month. Stay tuned!
What are you waiting for?
Now that you have all of this information all that’s left is to start your blog! And if you get stuck, confused, or are unsure about anything please feel free to email me!
How to Start Your
Self Hosted WordPress Blog
in 3 Easy Steps
1. Choose a Hosting Provider & a Plan
Once you have chosen a hosting provider they will help walk you through the steps. SiteGround has a live chat that is incredibly fast! You can go through this tutorial by yourself step-by-step or with the help of SiteGround through live chat!
The first thing you will do is choose a plan. To start off I recommend SiteGround’s Web Hosting StartUp plan for only $3.95 a month. That means you can get a whole year of hosting for as low as $47.50! How awesome is that? And then when your blog grows you can easily upgrade to their GrowBig plan.
2. Create a Name & Sign Up
The next thing you will want to do is create a name for your blog & fill in the boxes with your information.
I have noticed a rising trend in bloggers creating a blog name & domain name (the url) based off of their first &/or last name. While I think that is a great idea, it’s not for everyone, especially if you have a strange & hard to spell name like Giustina.
I highly recommend adding two more things to your cart before checking out. Domain Privacy (so your home address & information stays private) & HackAlert Monitoring (hackers are the worst & they don’t care how big or small your website is!).
3. Install WordPress
The last step is to install WordPress. Now you can do this the easy way (by yourself) or the EXTRA EASY WAY (let SiteGround do it for you). I highly recommend you let SiteGround do it for you, it’s free!
The easy way:
Once you have your SiteGround account set up login to SiteGround. Then click on Support, scroll down until you see the title Website Setup Assistance. Click on “Install WordPress” & then simply fill out the form with your information.
The EXTRA EASY WAY:
Once you have signed up for SiteGround navigate to SiteGround’s website then click on “Live Chat” at the top. Let them know that you just signed up to start a blog through SiteGround & ask them to Install WordPress for you.
I highly recommend the EXTRA EASY WAY! It’s always nice to talk to a representative to make sure that everything has been installed properly & that you aren’t missing or forgetting something.
Side note: Whenever I’m chatting with them about the technical side of my blog I like to ask if everything looks to be set up properly on their end & if there is anything more I can do to make my blog run more efficiently. This will be especially helpful as your blog begins to grow.
After you give them the needed information, they will setup & install WordPress for you, & then give you the login information.
Congratulations on starting your blog!!
I’m so excited for you!
Now that you are all set up you can login to your new website by going to http://www.YOURDOMAINHERE.com/wp-login.php & logging in with your new username & password.
If you want to find a theme for your new blog I recommend checking out all of the beautiful Genesis framework themes at StudioPress.
And if you are looking for more blogging recommendations than you will love my Resources page that is filled with tips on cameras, affiliate marketing income, creating & growing your blog’s Facebook page, & much more!
If you used this post to start your blog I’d love to hear from you, learn about your experience, & check out your blog for myself! And if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email me!
Did you use this tutorial to start your blog?
I’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to comment below, email me, or tweet me on Twitter.
With love, G
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.
My Father will love them,
& we will come to them and make our home with them.
Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.
These words you hear are not my own;
they belong to the Father who sent me.