Are you interested in starting your own blog or website but have no idea where to start? This is where you can learn everything thing you need to know on how to start a website using WordPress.
How To Start A Website Or Blog
If you have decided that it is time to start selling your crafts on-line, you will want to establish a nice website to begin attracting customers. Or, if you just want to start blogging about what you do, I can help you get started. Luckily, you don’t have to be computer guru to get yourself running. These instructions are assuming you don’t know any HTML or CSS code.
The Option To Use A Free Blogging Platform
If you just want to get your feet wet and see how you will like blogging, a free blogging platform like WordPress.com or Blogger.com are great places to start. All you do is sign up and follow the directions for creating your first blog post. It’s the easiest way to start blogging immediately but you have much less control over how your blog functions than with creating a self hosted blog. Also, the url or web address of you blog will have the name WordPress or Blogger added to it. This is fine for beginners but does look less professional. Think about how you want to be perceived, especially for a business website.
WordPress.com Versus WordPress.org
Although both WordPress blogging platforms are free. WordPress.org is used for self hosted blogs and gives many more options for customization. It is definitely the most popular way to go. However, depending on your needs, you still may want to go with the totally free option. Check out this in depth comparison between WordPress.com and WordPress.org before making your decision.
The Almost Free Self Hosted Blog
Although you can start a website or blog for free, I’m going to show you how to create a self hosted blog for just a few dollars a month. The cost is for the hosting service but the WordPress platform is free.
Establish Your Blog Or Domain Name
Your domain name will be the address for your site on the web. When choosing a name for your site, pick something descriptive of what you do. The more descriptive you name is, the more identifiable you will be to viewers. Once you have your name figured out, you will need to check if that name is available. A great place to start is with a hosting provider like Hostgator. They are a hosting service and will also sell you a domain name. The fee for a domain name is usually around $10/year
Once you decide on a name and find out it is available, you will want to sign up for web hosting service and then start building your website. Hostgator also offers free web site software but I would recommend going with WordPress for building your website. They offer a huge variety of free website templates that are already search engine optimized. Plus, with all of the plugins available, you can add all kinds of function to benefit your site.
How To Set Up Your Website
After you sign up for hosting service with Hostgator, they will send you a link to get into what is called your Cpanel. This is basically your control panel with all of the tools needed for hosting your site. Use this link to sign into your cpanel. From there you will be able to install WordPress and begin building your website.
To install WordPress, follow these steps:
- Scroll down to where it says Software/Services and click on the Fantastico icon.
- A menu will be listed on the left side of the screen. Click on WordPress. Then, click on New Installation.
- The next screen will show your domain name in the first box. Leave the directory field blank. Choose an administrator (user) name and password. You will be using these to log in to your web site.
- Choose a base configuration administration name which is the name that will show up as the author whenever you write an article or post.
- Type in your email address.
- Type in your site name.
- Click Install WordPress.
Now you will be able to get into your website by typing into a new browser “your website name/wp-admin”. Login with your user name and password that you established during set up.
Choose A Theme Template
At this point you will want to choose a template with a theme that fits your style and needs. You can search available themes, by clicking on “themes” under the Appearance tab of your administration sidebar.
Fill in your settings for your title and meta description. You will want to use keywords that are popular words that your customers will search for to find you. You can start adding plug ins as you see the need for additional items on your site. Just go to the plug ins button and do a search for what you want. Download and activate a plug in that is compatible with your version of wordpress.
For advanced users, you can customize a WordPress theme easily with CSS.