How to Start a Blog – Beginner’s Guide
In this step-by-step guide you’ll learn how to start a blog using SiteGround and WordPress. Blogging is a great way to earn extra income. It can also lead to a full-time business, allowing you to work from home or anywhere in the world.
In a recent post, I outlined why SiteGround is the Best Web Hosting for Beginner Bloggers.
If you sign up for SiteGround, but get stuck on any of the steps listed below, send me an email and I will help you out.
Choose a Domain Name
First, you’ll want to decide on a domain name – the name of your website. If you’re not using your personal name, choose something that relates to what you’re writing about, is memorable and easy to type. When selecting your domain name use namecheckr.com to see if the social media handles are also available. This will ensure consistency across all platforms which you plan to promote your blog, and makes it easier for visitors to find you.
Purchase Domain Name
I purchase all of my domain names through GoDaddy because their prices are affordable. You can get your first domain name for 99 cents. You may want to purchase Domain Name Privacy when purchasing your domain name. I recommend this if you want to keep your personal information private and secure. If you opt out of Domain Name Privacy be prepared for your personal information to be published online and for solicitors to call and email you. If you choose to purchase your domain name through GoDaddy you’ll need to connect it to your SiteGround account. I’ll link an easy to follow video at the bottom of this post that will walk you through this step.
You can choose to purchase a domain name through SiteGround when you set up your web hosting account at a cost of $15.95.
Purchase SiteGround Web Hosting
1) Select the Get Started button under Reliable Web Hosting
2) Select the plan that is best for you – if you’re just starting out the StartUp Plan is most likely all you need
3) Enter your domain name
- If you purchased a domain name from GoDaddy (or anywhere else), you’ll select “I already have a domain name” then type your domain name in the box. If you plan to purchase your domain name through SiteGround select “Register a New Domain”. Type your desired domain name into the box. Select Proceed
4) On the next screen you should get a Congratulations message at the top letting you know your domain name is available
5) Fill out the required account information
- When you get to the purchase information section, beside Period: choose 12, 24 or 36 months. Your payment method will be charged for the full amount
- Under Extra Services – unless you are purchasing your domain name through SiteGround, none of these boxes should be checked. If you are purchasing your domain name with your web hosting package, you’ll see the $15.95 domain registration
- Click the Pay Now button
Once your payment is processed you’ll be taken to a page that says “Your SiteGround Order Confirmation” and tells you how to log in to your SiteGround Account.
6) When you click on the My Account link you’ll be taken to the SiteGround sign in page.
Connect Your Domain Name to Your Web Hosting & Install WordPress
- When you’re logged into your SiteGround account, click on My Accounts
- Beside your domain name, click Manage Account
- Click the orange colored button that says Go to cPanel – a notification will pop up, click Proceed
- In Account Information on the left side, copy your IP Address
- Log in to your GoDaddy account (sign in, then click on visit my account)
- Click the plus symbol beside Domains to get a drop down list of your domain names. Beside the correct domain name, click Manage DNS
- On the A record, click on the pencil icon to edit this file
- In the Points To area, paste in your IP Address, click Save
- Go back to your cPanel in your SiteGround account. In the Domains section, click Add On Domain
- New Domain Name = your domain name. Then move to the password area and enter your password. Click Add Domain. You should receive a success message
- In SiteGround, go to your cPanel
- Under Website Tools, click on WordPress Installer, then click Install
- Fill out the required fields
- Choose Protocol – select https since your web hosting package provided you with a free SSL certificate
- Choose Domain – select the domain name you just purchased and set up
- In Directory – leave blank
- Admin Username – choose something other than Admin
- Admin Password – create a secure password
- Put a checkmark beside Log in attempts
- Click Install – wait for install to finish successfully
Login to your WordPress site
In your internet browser’s address bar type in your domain name followed by /wp-admin then sign in. This will take you to your WordPress Dashboard.
You can now start designing your blog, creating content and publish your site. Want help designing your site? Sign up for the FREE 5 Day Website Challenge by Shannon Mattern, WP+BFF. In this challenge Shannon guides you through the entire design process for your new website. You can read my full review of this challenge here.