So, you are thinking to start a blog right now?
Well, you are in right place, because in this guide, I will show you, how to create a website on WordPress step by step with the lowest investments.
Blogging is the best way to make money online. Creating this blog is one of the best decisions, I ever made.
I had started blogging in February 2016 with a small amount on WordPress. Yes, I made many mistakes in starting and learnt from it. Finally, success reaches to me so I left my stressful job and earned a happy life with my online business.
Sounds nice ha…?
Blogging changed my life completely and helped me to connect with different people all over the world and share my thoughts and what I I’ve learned with millions of people in the past 12 years, the day I started using the Internet.
When I had started blogging, I knew less than nothing about blogging. In fact, it was only a week before I’d learned what a blog was. Unfortunately, there was no one to teach me how and where to do start from, which web hosting is good which not. I learnt everything by searching on Google then settled up my blog with essential tools and turned it into a cash machine.
Now I receive 1,80,000 unique visitors per month which makes me consider myself someone you could listen to and learn from when it comes to building your first blog.
I bet, this will be too simple and easy to understand. So let’s start ha…..!
How to start a blog step by step in 2019?
Before I get into deep, I really want to talk about why you should build a blog nowadays. Fortunately, if you already owe a perfect idea then skip this step and move to the next one.
- Blogging is the best way to share your knowledge and opinions online.
- You may hear a saying is, “Knowledge is Money“. There are millions of bloggers who earn thousands of dollars from their blog and you can too
- It helps to increase knowledge and turns you into a better writer
- A blog can be utilized as a platform to showcase your knowledge and expertise!
- The richest people in the world build networks because everyone else looks for work and starting a blog is a guaranteed way to expand your network.
One more important point to notice before we get started:
Disclosure: This free guide contains affiliate links. So I earn a small amount of commission if you decide to purchase via one of them at no extra cost to you.
10 Essential steps to start a blog in the right way
I have covered 10 main steps that you need to follow in order to start a blog from scratch. Don’t worry, there’s very little technical ability needed here but no coding required by you. So, If you follow these steps respectively, you’ll have your own blog set up next 30 minutes or less.
- Choose a blogging platform
- Buy a TLD Domain and Web Hosting
- Installing WordPress on your Hosting
- Install WordPress on your Hosting
- Login to blog, update password and delete pre-added content
- Design blog
- Installing important plugins
So, without wasting time let’s get started:
Step #1: Choose a blogging platform
There are hundreds of free blogging platform like WordPress.com, Blogger.com and Tumblr.com but I would not recommend that and here’s why:
- If you prefer to use free blogging platform that means you are not serious in blogging
- You’ll be able to manage your blog the way you can control on paid one
- You will not be able to monetize the website as you’d like by for example using various ads or affiliate programs.
- You won’t have full control over your website. They can shut down your site anytime without notice.
- The free blogging platform provider can insert ads on your website without notice which unable to remove
So if you really want to make money from your website as I’ve done then you need to be a self-hosted platform like WordPress.org so you have full control over your content, design and brand and all options open when it comes to monetizing the website accordingly.
So, this guide is not about using free software to start a website. Instead, I’ll show you how to start your own blog using self-hosted WordPress from scratch so that you’re in full control.
Because, WordPress.org owes about 28% space on the Internet and every serious blogger uses a self-hosted WordPress site because of it’s creative freedom, greater control and flexibility.
Step #2: Buy a TLD Domain and Web Hosting
TLD stands for Top Level Domain which refers to the last segment of a domain name or the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol. Here is, some examples of the popular TLDs include .com, .org, .net, .gov, .biz and .edu.
Web hosting is a place on the Internet where all your files on website live. It is like the home of your blog.
Choosing the best WordPress hosting for your blog can improve SEO and increase affiliate sales. Though there are various different types of WordPress hosting options available such as Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting which I have discussed here.
In this guide, I will recommend you buy domain and web hosting from Hostgator though there are other domain registrars such as Namecheap, Godaddy available. Here is why:
Hostgator is one of the oldest, largest and most popular hosting companies on the internet since 2002 and I am glad, I found this to host my blog to make online. Yes, qmouz.com is hosted with Hostgator.com from January 2017 and found nothing than saying thanks for their awesome services.
For your advantage, I’ve negotiated with Hostgator so my readers can get flat 60% discount using coupon code HARPREETKUMAR60OFF on their first purchase.
Plus, if you sign up through my link you will able to take advantage of my free WordPress blog setup service.
I have written explained review on HostGator to let you know what they offer is what you need in order to run a successful website, on self-hosted WordPress.
So let’s start steps to buy Domain and Hosting from Hostgator:
First of all, visit this discounted link & click on “Get Started“.
Choosing the hosting package
Here Hostgator will ask you to choose any of 3 different web hosting plans:
- Hatchling Plan: Under this plan, you can host only 1 website or blog
- Baby Plan (Highly Recommend): Under this plan, they offer you unlimited add-on domains, SSL certificates etc. (This is the best package I recommend for beginners).
- Business Plan: Under business plan, you will be getting all pro features of web hosting services like domain security, SSL certificate, dedicated IPs etc.
However, I always suggest to buying Baby or Business Plan, however, later if you wish to establish a new WordPress website on. Then no need to sign up for another hosting again because this package allows unlimited domain addon thus means you can install unlimited WordPress blog on it. Sounds great ha..?
Registered your brand new domain name
Here you need to enter your domain name you want to register under the part which says “Register a new domain name“. If you already have a domain then click on the section “I currently have a domain name” and enter that domain. This will save extra 12.95$ from your bill.
Buying a Hosting Plan
Now again here you can select the hosting plan & billing cycle you want to buy. By default, it would pick 3 years hosting package that you have selected above in step #1.
I strongly recommend you to select at least 2 or 3 years plan to get maximum advantage of first billing discount. Because Hostgator (Even no another hosting company) doesn’t offer discounts on renewal bills.
- Package Type: Select your hosting package (Baby or Business plan strongly recommend)
- Billing Type: Select hosting package cycle minimum for 2 or 3 years
- Username: Setup a Username to access your billing portal after sign up
- Security Pin: Set a security PIN which will help to verify ownership when contact care support
Enter your billing information
Under this section, you’ll be asked to provide your billing info just like Your Name, Address, Mobile Number, and Email Address etc.
Note: I suggest you to double check the information you entered to make sure it is correct, as they are going to call you on your provided mobile number or may send you confirmation mail on the Email your entered, to verify the purchase you making right now.
Hostgator offer payments through PayPal or Credit card. It totally depends on which one method you like for payment.
Tip: If you have a Credit Card then enter your card details other select PayPal method. Then on the next page, you will be redirected to the PayPal payment page to make payment.
In the additional service section, all add-ons will automatically be selected that is not worth. So make sure you have to Deselect all options here. As there are many other alternatives that you can use free and ofcourse this will also reduce your hosting bill from extra charges.
Add coupon & verify payment
As I promised, you will get flat 60% on web hosting from Hostgator using our coupon HARPREETKUMAR60OFF.
Once you finished everything, click on the Checkout Now button to make payment. Once payment successfully received by them, you will get the confirmation email along with new hosting account details.
Congratulations, you have bought web hosting and domain for your blog, let’s move to the next step.
Step #3: Installing WordPress on your Hosting
You’ve now purchased the domain name and hosting package thus you can log in to Cpanel (this is your control panel for your web hosting account) using Username and Password you received through email.
Login to your HostGator web panel and click on QuickInstall under Services/Software section.
On the QuickInstall page, you need to select “WordPress” on the left side. Here you will select the domain on which you want to install WordPress blog and leave the Web Directory empty. Then, click on next to configure the rest of the settings as directed below.
Make sure that you don’t use “admin” under the username section to reduce security risk. Either use your email address or your nickname (See example above). Once finished, cross check if you have done everything right then hit the Install.
Wait for few seconds to complete the installation. Once done the login information will be displayed on screen also they will send a copy on your Email address.
Great, your blog is ready to log in. Let’s go on:
Step #4: Login to blog and updating Password
Login to your WordPress dashboard using Username and Password you got in step #3 by visiting URL www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/
Once you logged in, you first step to update Password. To do so, navigate to “Users” then “Your Profile”.
Scroll down to bottom, under “Account Management” section click on “Generate Password”. Enter the Password you want to set and click on “Update Profile” button.
Congratulations, your Password updated successfully.
Step #5: Designing your blog
There are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that you can install on your site. Some of them are free, while others are paid. On qmouz.com I use GeneratesPress premium theme, which I bought from GeneratesPress.Com.
You should start with a free WordPress theme by browsing WordPress dashboard by clicking on Appearance » Themes >> Add New button.
On this screen, you can search from 5600+ free WordPress themes that are available in the official WordPress.org themes directory. You can also sort by popular, latest, featured, as well as other feature filters (i.e industry, layout, etc).
Perhaps, you can go with some premium themes which gives you more speed and optimization features. Below are some best WordPress themes website listed:
Once you happy with the theme you like to use on your blog. Delete the other themes from the dashboard by visiting Appearance » Themes >> Select Theme to delete and hit Delete button.
Step #6: Deleting pre-added content
Default WordPress software comes with unusual pre-added content like Sample Post, Page, Plugins etc. which have no use. So, better to delete these useless things.
To delete post, click on Posts >> All Posts >> Select Post >> Move To Trash >> Apply. See example below:
To delete page, click on Pages >> All Pages >> Select Page >> Move To Trash >> Apply. See example below:
To delete plugin first you have to deactivate them all. To do so click on Plugins >> Installed Plugins >> Select All Plugins >> Deactivate >> Apply. See example below:
Now repeat the same process by selecting “Delete” option.
Step #7: Install essential plugins
Plugins are the tools to make full control on your WordPress blog. Perhaps there are plenty of free and paid plugins available depending on needs.
Fortunately, a beginner can start with free plugins. Later on, can add more according to requirements.
Here, I have listed 6 most important plugins that you must need to install from the 1st day.
1 Akismet Anti-spam: There are millions of bots that lift spam comments on your WordPress blog and Akismet is the tool to stop it.
2 W3 Total Cache: On behalf of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) website speed really matters a lot. This plugin helps your website to load faster and to put less stress on your web hosting account. Because, if your website doesn’t load quickly for them then they are likely to move on to another website.
3 Wordfence Security: This plugin will keep your site secure from hackers (such attempts are more common than you may think).
4 Contact Form 7: Contact form 7 is plugin use to create contact forms which like I created on my contact page.
5 Yoast SEO: Do you need an SEO plugin that helps your blog reach for the stars? Yoast SEO is one and the only plugin with 5+ million active installations that I am using for on-page SEO by adding XML Sitemaps, Indexation rules, Title Tags and more.
6 Smush Image Compression: Image compression is also a positive effect on SEO by improving blog loading speed and Smush Image Compression & Optimization is the best plugin that fit for my needs. No matter what plugins you use to better manage your WordPress media library Smush will cover everything.
#8: Essential settings to do
1 Permalink Setup: By default, WordPress doesn’t have SEO friendly permalink structure. So, in order to make it navigate to Settings >> Permalinks and set the Post Name.
2 Disable Pingbacks & Trackbacks: To stop these notifications go to WordPress Dashboard >> Settings >>Discussion >> Untick Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles option.
3 Timezone: Navigate to Settings >> General >> Select Timezone according your country time.
#9: Must have pages
Once you have done everything you should add few important pages listed below:
- About Us
- Contact Us
Above are the most important page to approve Google Adsense account. However, there is more page like deals, blog, services etc. you may require later as per your needs.
#10 Start writing posts
Writing the first blog post is one of the best things to start your blogging career where you can provide the best of the bests.
Go to Posts >> Add New and the WordPress post editor will be shown in front of you. Yes, this is the moment to show your skills.
You can see the box to enter the post title and the rest of the content will be written in the bigger box.
Once you finish writing your article. You can publish it by clicking on “Publish” button.
Once you start a blog with WordPress on Hostgator and publish your first blog post. It’s time to share content into the whole world.
My recommendation always follows the 80/20 rule. Means, invest 20% of the time in writing your content and the rest in its promotion. You can use social media platforms and email marketing. Where great tools like Convertkit & Aweber marketing tools bring the best results.
Do you have any concern not to self-host your own blog?
Do you have any problem or question following this tutorial to create your own blog with HostGator? Feel free to comment below.