How To Start A Blog –
Blog Domain & Hosting Setup:
Now that you have done your blog brainstorm and planning sessions – its time to select and purchase your blog domain and set up your hosting!
Keep in mind starting a blog can be done 2 different ways:
- If you are looking for a blog to share with your family and friends, You can keep it free and simple. (skip to Step #3)
- if you are really looking to build a business out of your blog then there is a bit of an investment to make – but I will detail out all the cost required.
→If you still need help developing your blog topics and tag line – go download my Blogging Worksheet to help streamline your blog development and topic outline.
Now, this is going to get a bit technical – but don’t worry. I have broken down the steps for you! I have detailed out all the technical steps for Domain purchase, Hosting and WordPress setup in the PDF below!↓ Keep reading to start setting up your very own blog!
- Purchase Your Domain Name
Now that you have selected your Blog Name, and blog niche and focus. We can begin setting up your blog! Let’s get you a domain name! Every website needs a domain name before it can be hosted online.
What is a domain name? A domain name is where your blog will be registered and location. My official domain name is: https://www.WhitWanders.com. You can use Google Domain or GoDaddy to purchase your domain. I prefer Google Domains because it’s connected to my Gmail and it lets me seamlessly set up an email for my domain that is attached. So instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, I can have a domain email: email@example.com but I have all the functionality of Gmail.
Pricing – Most domains are between $7-$12 per annual year.
Branding Tip: Your blog name should be consistent across your social handle as well (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter etc).
DOMAIN NAME VS HOSTING:
The difference between web host and domain name. To simplify: A domain name is the address of where your blog will live. (My official domain name is: https://www.WhitWanders.com). Web hosting, on the other hand, is the house where your blog will live and what your domain address is pointing too. Web hosting platforms specialize in storing and serving websites.
2. Pick A Hosting Platform
There are a number of different hosting platforms you can select. I have run across a few of them. Keep reading to see my experience! I recommend doing your research on which blogging platform you will be using before investing in a hosting platform.
Bluehost – has four shared hosting subscription options ranging from $2.95 to $13.95 per month on the initial contract. Subscriptions range from $7.99 to $25.99 per month after the initial contract expires. The minimum web hosting subscription is 12 months. All plans come with one free domain registration for a year. They are a top provider in the hosting world.
My experience: I previously had Bluehost as my hosting platform and did not have a good experience. I had a lot of downtime with my website and a lot of time spent on the phone with support.
SiteGround – has three shared hosting initial subscription options ranging from $3.95 to $11.95 per month depending on the type of plan and duration of the contract. Upon renewal, prices will increase to $11.95 to $34.95 per month. They are the official recommended host by WordPress.org
♦Recommended: SiteGround – this is my hosting platform and I love the level of service and support. They have 24-hour chat availability and IT tech that can help you with large issues.
GoDaddy – is the world’s largest domain registrar. It also provides web hosting, as well as a wide range of other services, which include: SSL certification. Website security. Email marketing.
3. Select Your Blogging Platform
If you want to keep it simple – I recommend Blogger which is free. But if you are really looking to take your blog to the next level I recommend WordPress, or Squarespace. I currently use WordPress to host my blog. I like WordPress because of all the easy of use, plugins and design templates. A lot of the hosting platforms listed below are seamlessly integrated with setting up a WordPress blog as well!
Blogger.com – is a free publishing platform. When you create your blog on Blogger, you’ll automatically get a BlogSpot domain. But you don’t have to use the BlogSpot domain; you can also add your custom domain once you purchase it.
WordPress.org – WordPress.org is where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web server. This allows you to host your own domain and website.
Squarespace – Squarespace has four premium plans. The cheapest is the Personal plan, starting at $12 a month (billed annually). The Business plan is $18 a month, with more advanced features than the Personal plan. The two e-commerce plans are the Basic plan at $26 a month, and the Advanced plan at $40 a month. All Squarespace Domains are hosted Tucows.
WORDPRESS.COM VS WORDPRESS.ORG
With WordPress.org, YOU host your own blog or website. WordPress.org is where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web server (i.e the hosting company you have selected).
WordPress.com, on the other hand, takes care of all of the hostings for you. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server. There is limited monetization with WordPress.com and you do not own the content on WordPress.com.
Time to Start Setting Up Your Blog!
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Next week I will show you how to establish your WordPress Site & customize your Theme. Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss the next post!