HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG IN 20 MINUTES OR LESS (STEP BY STEP)
You want to start a blog…
But don’t know where to start…Then you are in the right place. Here I’ll show you how to start a blog, step by step. If you wish, you can follow along.
Also, setting up a WordPress blog is super easy and you can do it in under 20 minutes.
However, you need to know where to start to save time and get up and running as fast as possible.
Just to be clear, I’ll show you how to create a self-hosted blog in WordPress and not WordPress.com
You cannot go much far with a free blog like Blogger.com. If you are serious about blogging and want to earn serious money from it, then you will have to have a self-hosted blog. Period.
How to create a blog step by step?
If you want to set up a blog, this is what you need:
- Sign up for hosting account (I recommend Bluehost)
- Choose a hosting plan
- Select a domain name for your blog
- Complete your registration for hosting
- Install WordPress
- Login to WordPress
- Install a Premium Theme like Divi [Optional but highly recommended]
- Install essential plugins
- Write your first post
You can hire someone to do the above steps or you can do this yourself. They are very easy and you don’t need any kind of technical skills to follow them.
With this guide, I’ll show you the exact process of how to set up a blog step by step in as much detail as possible.
We will guide you through everything and if you are computer literate, you will be easily following along.
So let’s start the journey…
Step 1: Purchase your hosting and domain name
Your blog needs a home to live on the internet. You cannot use some space on your hard disk to store it.
This is where hosting comes into the picture. It is the space on the internet where your blog lives. It is its home.
Now, like your brick and mortar home, your blog also needs an address. This is what domain name is all about. It is that unique URL that your blog visitors will see in the address bar.
It can be anything you wish it to be. Like momandpop.com or bestplaygear.com
A word about domain name
- Make it specific or generic based on the content you are planning to put
- It should be easily memorable.
- Don’t make it like a train line like WhatIDoEverySundayForTheLast10YearsOfMyLife.com. You get the idea
- Get early opinions on the name before purchasing it. [If you purchase your hosting from Bluehost then you will not have to purchase a domain name as it comes free with the hosting package.]
I personally love Bluehost and I’ve three blogs hosted with them
Why should you use Bluehost?
This is because:
- Affordable: They are super cheap. The lowest plan will cost you $3.95/month. Which is around $48.00/year and cheaper than most of the other hosting companies.
- Easy WordPress Set Up: You can install WordPress literally with a single click.
- Reliability: Last year their uptime was 99.99% And I can vouch for this because of my sites never down
- Customer Support: They have 24X7 customer support. I’ve run into my fair share of issues and they helped me out in no more than 45 mins. Also, they are super friendly and will serve you as a guide if you need any assistance.
How To Signup For Bluehost Account?
To get started, first go to Bluehost.
You will be greeted with this screen. Click on the Big Green Get Started Now Button
You will be taken to the plans screen. If you are just starting out and on a tight budget, you really don’t need anything other than the basic plan.
So, select the basic plan:
The above was an old screenshot. Bluehost has revised their price structure. So, it is $3.95.
Once you have selected the Basic plan, you will be redirected to the below screen.
Here you can see you have two options. One is to create a domain name of your own. Type in your selected domain name in the new domain text box and click the ‘next’ button.
The second option that some of the users choose to do is, purchase the domain name separately from services like GoDaddy or HostGator and use it here in the I have a domain name.
However, I will not suggest you use these third-party services for the domain name. They will cost you extra money and will create an additional dependency on these sites.
Once you have selected your domain name, you will be presented with the below screen to fill in your account and payment details.
The first section of this screen is your account information:
Fill in the required details. You can also, signup through your Google account. Personally, I don’t do that.
Next section of this screen is Package information.
Here in the account plan, you will have 4 options:36 months upfront payment being the cheapest. You can also go 60 months payment, however, the price per month remains the same.
Select the one which suits you best and proceeds to the next section of the screen.
This section will contain Package extras but it will cost you additional money. The one that is useful is Domain Privacy. You can select it if you want. The rest you may skip
After that, fill in your payment details and click Submit.
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a brand new site.
Now you need to wait for Bluehost to create your account. It should not take more than 30 min.
After that, you will receive an email from Bluehost…
Step 2: Install WordPress
Go to Bluehost home page and click on Login.
You will see the below screen.
Using your domain name like yourdomainname.com and password provided by Bluehost, you login.
You can the password and will be presented with the below screen.
Click on Install WordPress. Follow the instructions on the screen and wait till you see the Installation Complete screen.
Congratulations! Now WordPress is installed on your site…
Step 3: Install Theme
By default, WordPress comes with a variety of free themes. However, they are very limited in their functionality.
If you want to blog professionally, invest in a professional theme like Divi from Eleganthemes.
Just for your information, this site runs on Divi. It will save you a lot of hassle once your site starts getting traction.
To purchase Divi, go to elegantthemes.com. Click on Join To Download
You will be taken to the Pricing Screen.
Select the $89.00 plan. This will be sufficient. You can buy from this link to get a 20% discount
Once purchase, download the Themes zip file. It should be called Divi.zip.
The next step is to install the theme.
How to install a theme on WordPress?
To do that, first, you need to login to WordPress.
Type in yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/ in your browser’s address bar.
You will be presented with the below screen:
Type in your Username or Email Address and Password and Voila! You are inside your WordPress dashboard which looks like this.
Yours will be slightly different than this one as this one is a screenshot from my own dashboard.
Next, go to Appearance->Themes
Click on the + sign. You will be able to see, an option to upload a zip file.
Choose the Divi.zip file from your computer and click Install Now. After a few moments, you will be able to that the theme has been successfully installed in your site.
Congratulations! Your site is fully up and running.
The only thing you need to do before writing a post is to install some plugins…
Step 4: Install Plugins
Plugins are small pieces of software which make our lives easy. If you want to have a social share feature you can install a plugin for that.
If you want to schedule a post on a particular time of the day, you have a plugin for that.
Basically, they are out lifesavers in the blogosphere.
Here is a list of the essential plugins that you would require on your site:
- Yoast SEO
- UpdraftPlus for backup
- Jetpack for Stats and much more
- Social Warfare for social sharing
- WP Super Cache
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics
You can add more if you need. But as a starter kit, this should be enough.
How to install Plugins?
There are two ways you can install Plugins
- From the Plugins page of your dashboard
- Manually upload.
Method 1: Installing Plugins From Dashboard
It is very easy to install plugins from the dashboard. For this, first, navigate to the Plugins page like the below page. Yours will be a bit different than mine:
Click on the Add New button. You will be taken to the below screen
Type in the Plugin Name in the Search Plugins box
You will get the below screen. Click Install Now for the Plugin you want to Install.
Once the Plugin is installed, you will see an Activate button, in place of Install Now button.
Click the Activate button to start using the plugin
And you are done.
Method 2: Manually Upload Plugins
The second method to install any plugin is to upload it manually.
First, you need to download the zip file of the plugin from their website or WordPress.org if hosted by WordPress.
Then, manually upload it like this:
- Click on the Upload Plugin Button
- Click Choose File and navigate to the path where you have stored the zip file of your plugin
- Click Install Now
And Voila! You are done.
Now that your blog is up and running, let see how you can write a post.
5. Write A Post
Ok…Time to take on the world now.
Let’s figure out, how you can write a post.
Navigate to the Posts section of your Dashboard.
Once you click on Add New, you will be taken to the Add New post Screen, that will look like this:
Here are the steps to write a Post:
- Enter a Title
- Enter the Content
- Save Draft if you want to publish it later
- Hit Publish to share with the world.
Yes! It is as simple as that.
NOTE: You will not have the big Use The Divi Builder button. It comes with Divi Theme and makes customization of the post so easy.
Anyways, now that you Blog is completely up and running, go change the World! 🙂
It is very easy to set up a blog if you follow the above steps. However, taking that blog off the ground is another story.
However, if you have decided to start a blog, then I’m sure you will find your way. Let me know if you face any difficulty following the steps.
Again, Congratulations on your new blog.
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