There was a time when I had no idea how to start a blog. Blogging is an awesome creative outlet. Vic and I have been at it for 2 years now. It’s fun to share recipes, travel experiences, and reviews of stuff we love. This is actually our second blog. Our first blog was over on ehvegan.ca. Recently, when site traffic from the US (and internationally!) started to grow, we decided it was time to move things over here, to ehvegan.com.
We didn’t love the way our original theme looked on mobile browsers (so important!) and our hosting was crashing whenever we uploaded photos that were too large. So we definitely needed to make some changes, and figured we’d start the whole thing from scratch and share that process with you, start to finish.
Before I get into the step-by-step details, let me go over the tools use. Other than wordpress.org, these are the two resources that I rely on most:
HOW to Start a Blog
I’ve tried a bunch of different platforms — Weebly, Wix, Tumblr, and others. I once accidentally paid for WordPress.com instead of WordPress.org, not realizing they’re ABSOLUTELY NOT the same thing. I’ve bought hosting from Gandi, Bluehost, and Siteground. Stored domains at Go Daddy, 1&1, and others. I’ve learned so many lessons the hard way, but after all that, I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier with any website I’ve built, and now I’m gonna teach you everything I know about how to start a blog.
Every week, I get asked how to start a blog. The most common question is ‘Did you do it yourself or hire a designer?’
Answer: I did it myself, with the right tools, built by talented people, that you also have access to!
The next question I get is always ‘Ya, but how?!’
Answer: Well, have I got a post for you! Read on…
Your Domain Name
I’m going to assume you’ve already named your blog, business, website, whatever masterpiece you’re building. In a perfect world, your name will be available as a .com, but there’s a good chance it’s taken or parked, so be creative. You *could* opt for .co, .ca, .net, .info, or another, but .com is number one and you should really have one if your plans are long term.
Once you pick a domain, you stick with it. Renew it every year at the renewal date and nobody can take it from you. Protect your brand and your SEO. It’s your identity. If we were to compare it to real estate, your domain would be your address. But what good is an address if you don’t own the land? Which brings us to hosting…
Your Hosting Package
Think of hosting as the land associated with your address. You pay a small rental fee every year to be allowed to build on it. So you own the address and now you have access to the land. You can get a little or a lot, but when you’re just starting out, the StartUp package from SiteGround is the best option.
If you’re new at domains and hosting, customer service reps are going to make your life WAY easier. Many hosting companies either don’t offer live support, or they’re hard to reach or low quality. I promise you, SiteGround has the best service anywhere. Their customer service alone is enough of a reason not to buy hosting anywhere else. It just so happens that they have some of the best prices and fastest servers. You won’t find better. After years of trying multiple companies, I’m now with SiteGround and I don’t expect that I’ll ever leave.
So you own the address and you’re paying for land. Now you need a foundation for what you want to build —aka your platform. Some people build on Weebly, Wix, Squarespace… After trying almost all the others, I’m team WordPress for life. You can build ANYTHING on WordPress and it will look kick-ass. It’s stable and SO CUSTOMIZABLE. There are thousands of amazing integrations — you can build a shop, a portfolio, a membership site, a message board, literally whatever you want with WordPress!
Even better news? SiteGround offers a 1-click install for WordPress. If you’re already on WordPress and have a site elsewhere, SiteGround will give you their site transfer service for FREE with your hosting package.
If WordPress is the foundation, your theme is your house. It look however you want it to. You can include whatever features, coulors, or designs you want. It’s the theme that takes your site from zero to PROFESSIONAL in minutes. There are plenty to choose from and they’re inexpensive. ThemeForest is the best place to shop for themes. It’s where I’ve bought all of mine. You can read reviews, see live previews, access after-sale support, and re-download any past purchases. It’s a one-stop-shop and I wouldn’t go anywhere else.
How to start a blog — The Rest is Details
If you follow these steps you’ll have one of the best looking blogs on the internet. When it comes time to customize your theme settings, play around with it or schedule a call with me. I’ll help you 1-on-1 build the kick-ass website of your dreams.