Why a free Blog or Self Hosted Blog? Well, that depends on your pocket. A free WordPress hosted blog is easy to setup and get it online in no time. You don’t have to pay anything for this kind of a blog. All you need to do is follow these simple steps.
Steps: Free Hosted Blog Installation
- Choose a cool Domain name. It could be something like “myblog.wordpress.com”. You should be careful about this name since it’s the first impression to your readers. It should be: interesting, short and easy to remember
- In WordPress, enter the domain name you’ve created on the Blog Address field, enter the other details and select “Create Blog”.
- Log in, choose your Theme and start posting. On your first use of WordPress, there are limited default free themes you can choose from like “Twenty Thirteen”. Make tweaks here and there, like dragging widgets on sidebars, using plugins, editing posts reading, discussion viewing. Remove the sample post, and then write your first blog post!
Steps: Self Hosted Blog
The site you’ve just created is freely hosted on WordPress servers. Note that free hosted sites tend to be rigid, i.e. you can’t make some changes as you would like to. By doing some stuff you may end up violating Terms and Conditions of WordPress resulting in your blog being suspended or deleted. If you are not interested in your blog being called “myblog.wordpress.com”, you can buy a domain. This would be a unique name on the internet and could be your chosen name, “myblog.com” or “myblog.net”. If you don’t have a domain, order one at 1and1 at an offer of $0.99 for 12-months plus Hosting! Hostgator has an offer as well.
After registering your domain name, log in to 1and1 control panel. Customer ID refers to your newly created domain, “myblog.com” or the long all-digit code. I will assume 1and1 as your blog Host to guide you through the installation.
Installing WordPress on 1and1.com Host
WordPress can be installed in 2 Modes at 1and1 Host namely: Free and Safe modes.
Safe Mode Installation: This installation is ideal for users looking for a Web hosting solution geared towards security and convenience, as well as less experienced users working within open-source applications. While customization is possible within this mode, it does not offer as much freedom as Free Mode. This mode also offers simple installation that can be completed within just a few clicks through a guided installation wizard.
Free Mode Installation:This installation is best for experienced users working on specific, fully-customized projects. It is fully customizable, offering complete freedom and control to code specific plugins in order to make websites fully unique. The installation is the same as installing directly into a user’s own web space. However, performing maintenance must be conducted by the user – they are responsible for all security updates to applications. The ability for developers to adapt applications with outside, self-made plugins, themes or code is all possible with this installation method. (Blog.1and1.com, 2014)
1and1 Host Control Panel
After successful login, you are directed to a 3 main-column Menu as follows: Domains, My Data & Enhance your 1and1 package. Follow the steps below.
- Under Domains, another menu Hosting is displayed. Select WordPress on the 1and1 App Centre list. Click install WordPress.
- On “website name”, Fill in your preferred website name.
- Under Administrator login, choose a user name, Password and installation type from Safe & Free modes, accept terms & conditions then click install.
- On choose your domain; you can select a sub-domain if you wish not to install WordPress in the main domain. If you created a sub-domain, i.e. “blog.myblog.com” select your sub-domain and click on “Assign domain”.
Note: Creating a sub-domain may take time i.e. 24 hours awaiting approval. The same may apply to your site as a result of database creations and your settings being saved.
After successful installation, login using your installation details (The username and password you created earlier). You just need to type your domain name in the address bar: www.myblog.com/wp-login.php. Replace “myblog” with your real domain name. You should login successfully to WordPress control panel, simply the “Dashboard”
The WordPress Dashboard Menu
Lets you customize your site as you wish. Note: Free Mode gives you total control over your created blog i.e. you have authority to choose from new themes, plugins, updating themes and plugins and security upgrades, – all done manually. On Dashboard menu or simply Home, a long list of options are available to use during blog customization. They include:
Appearance: Here you can select between themes and activate them. Other options on appearance are: Widgets, Menus, Header and Theme settings.
Posts: Here you can see all Posts including the Sample Post. Delete this post and create a new post. The Post editor lets you create and Edit posts using the editor, preview and to publish posts.
Media: You can add pictures from local uploads to your posts
Pages: Here you can create pages as you like. Pages can be; About Page, Contact Page etc.
Comments: Here you can view the comments posted by users on your posts or pages. You can choose to Approve or Disapprove, Reply and edit comments or move them to Spam folder altogether
Plugins: Plugins are bits of software that can be uploaded to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site (iThemes, 2013). To use a plugin, you must activate it, and use it through a widget – Widgets are incorporated by code on core WordPress, Theme or Plugin. If a widget is provided by a plugin or theme, then it will only work as long as that plugin or theme is active. When you deactivate the plugin or theme, all its widgets will disappear.
Users: As the Administrator, you may give someone privileges as a writer to your blog. You do so here by creating a new user with roles like: Contributor, Subscriber, Author, Editor or Administrator. You can edit your profile here as well as Deleting users.
Tools: If you had a blog before and you would wish to transfer posts to your newly created blog, you use the Import Tool and Export Tool to copy your site in another location or to your local storage.
Settings: You use settings to make changes that affect your blog in general. Changes can be made on: Discussion, Reading, Limit login attempts etc
Site manager: This option lets you put Off/On Major updates like adding features, improvements and awesomeness, Theme updates and Plugin updates. Note: Automatic theme updates will overwrite your theme customizations.