So whats’s your reason to start a blog?
People create blogs for many reasons. Some people start a blog to teach others about a topic while others start blogging simply to have fun. Everyone has their own reason.
How to start a blog?
There are many free blogging platforms are available to set up a blog and begin writing within minutes. But if you are using hosted blogging platforms like blogger, tumbler, Facebook etc., you need to #create blog under their terms and conditions. A self hosted blog will give you complete control over how your blog site looks and works.
Do you know that #wordpress is the most popular blogging platform that powers more than 60 million websites worldwide?
WordPress is the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world. WordPress has many features like custom design templates, plugin, automatic spam protection and a strong community to get support. It is very flexible and user-friendly. You can start a #wordpress blog on your own host extremely cheaply and get on the way within 20 minutes.
So how do you install it in less than 5 minutes and start blogging?
- Sign up for web hosting
- Install WordPress
- Write your first blog post using the WordPress Editor
- Change how your WordPress blog looks using a “theme”
- Add functionality to your blog using tools called “plugins”
Step 1: Sign up with Hosting
In order to start a wordpress blog website, you need a domain name and a web hosting account. Bluehost is one of the best and most reliable WordPress web hosting providers.
You will receive a welcome email with control panel login details. Login to your newly created Hosting Account.
Step 2: Log into hosting control Panel
Log into your newly created Hosting Account. Once you are logged in, just scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and you will see WordPress available for installation right from the control panel. Click on the icon.
Step 3: Click on Install
Then, you’ll be redirected to a page, where you can see more details about WordPress. Click on Install button on top of the page.
Step 4: Type in blog settings
Type in your WordPress blog settings. Fill the fields such as the site or the folder of your site to which it will be installed, site name/title, the admin username and password. If you wish the WordPress blog to be the main page of your website, make sure the ‘In Directory’ field is empty. When you are done, click ‘Install’. And you’re basically almost done.
Step 5: Visit default WordPress page
Installation will take less than 1 min. Your new blog is ready to use and you can see the default WordPress page.
Go to site home to see default WordPress page.
Step 6:Log into Admin
Down the left-hand side of the Dashboard and on every page you will see your main admin navigation menu. This is where you’ll find all the options to update and configure your site. Pass mouse over each item, then you can see the various choices for that particular menu option.
- Dashboard – This will display some brief summary about your site.
- Posts – This is where you can create a new Blog Post. You can also update your Categories and Post Tags.
- Media – This is where all your uploaded images/files are stored. You can browse /edit / update the files.
- Pages – This is where you create and maintain all your Pages.
- Comments – You can manage all your Comments within this section,
- Appearance – This menu is where you control how your site looks.
- Plugins – You can add or delete plugins within here as well as activate or deactivate them.
- Users – This screen lists all the existing users for your site.
- Tools – This section gives you access to various convenient tools.
- Settings – This is where your site is configured.
How to add new post?
In this post, I’ll highlight essential steps only. So take a look at the detailed post, “How to write a Post in wordpress blog“.
After log into your site admin, click ‘Posts’ then click ‘Add New’.
Then you’ll be directed to the writing screen. Enter your post title in the upper field, enter your post body content in the main post editing box below it, select a category, add tags and when you are ready, click ‘Preview’ to see how it looks when readers read your post. Click ‘Publish’ to let the world see your post.
How to create category
Click ‘Posts’ >> ‘Categories’. Then you’ll be directed to category page. Here you can see existing categories and option to add new category.
How to add photos, videos and music to your posts
Click on the text where you want to add the content and click on the Add Media button in the top left part of the editor. Click on the Select files button in the insert Media pop-up screen. Once you upload the file, fill the attachment settings of the image. Then click the Insert into post button and you will see the image added to your editor window.
How to customize the Look of your Blog
In this post, I’ll highlight essential steps only. So take a look at the detailed post, How to install a WordPress Theme the right way.
You Can change the look and feel of your blog by visiting Appearance>>themes link. Here, you will see your current theme and all other themes you have currently installed in your server. You can preview and activate any theme from this list.To add another one, simply click on the Install Themes tab.There are lots of free and paid WordPress themes available. On this page you can either search for a free theme from the WordPress.org theme directory or you can upload a theme from your local hard drive.
- If you are upload a theme follow these steps: click on the Upload link at the top of the page >> click the Choose File button >> select the archive of your theme from your local computer >>Press the Install Now button >> click the Activate link on the next page you will be redirected to.
- If you are searching for a free theme follow these steps: Browse through the results >> choose a theme for your site >> click on the Install Now link under it >> click the Activate link on the next page you will be redirected to.
In this post, I’ll highlight essential steps only. So take a look at the detailed post, How to install wordpress plugin.
Many plugins are available to add additional functionality to your Blog. Plugins improve the performance of a website, the search engine optimization, and the overall user experience. For eg. comment spam filter, display related posts, t, add contact form add more SEO features, add eCommerce features, etc. For example comment spam filter, or related posts, they are all plugins.
Here are some must have plugins:
- Akismet – To protect you from web spam
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – To increase your search engine traffic by improving your WordPress SEO.
- W3 Total Cache – To reduce the download times and increase server performance.
- Contact Form 7 – To add contact page in you blog
- Google XML Sitemaps – To generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog.
- WordPress Related Posts – To display related posts in the footer of your content and increase your readers’ engagement with your posts
- Digg Digg – To display all social sharing buttons nicely on your blog.
Other WordPress settings: Simply navigate to the sidebar on the left.
Dashboard is the first screen you see when you log into the administration area of your blog. The Dashboard is the information Central. The Dashboard Screen provides an overview of what’s happening with your blog. It shows the number of posts, pages, Categories, and Tags, a list of the recent comments, links to start writing Posts or Pages and provide access to updating WordPress, plugins, and themes.
Posts – When you click on it you can see all posts from your blog. Here you will get options to edit and delete the existing posts. Under the post menu category you have several links: “Edit”, “Add new”, “Post tags” and “Categories”.
Media – is the images, video, and files, you upload and use in your blog.
Page – is another tool to add static content to a WordPress site.
Comments – you can manage user’s comments here.
Appearance – Customize the Look of your Blog
WordPressis highly customizable. You Can change the look and feel of your blog by visiting themes link. There are lots of free and paid WordPress themes are available. Under Appearance you will see another section called Widgets. Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. For example, if you want to show latest posts, categories and tag cloud, just drag and drop the respective boxes to the sidebar where you want them to appear.
Users : You can add/manage new and existing users here.
Settings : Here you can change general configuration of your WordPress blog.
Now that you are familiar with the basic features and functions of WordPress, you can start writing content.