Starting a blog is sometimes overwhelming, but starting a blog is not as easy you think.
You have some basic knowledge about the terminology of websites, web hosting, web server, for a beginner too you need some basic knowledge.
But WordPress makes most of the things easy for even a beginner. WordPress provides all in one platform (themes, plugins, Webhosting, websites name etc…)
I have a few basic questions in mind.
Are you looking for a free, easy, step-by-step guide on how to start a blog?
What do you need to start a WordPress blog?
There are three things you need to create a WordPress blog:
- A domain name idea (this will be the name of your blog i.e mycodetips.com)
- A web hosting account (this is where your website live on the internet)
- Your dedication for a few minutes on writing content or blog
Yes, you read it right. You can start a blog from scratch, and we will walk you through the whole process, step by step.
Register a Domain Name for Free
The biggest mistake beginners make when building a blog is choosing the wrong blogging platform. Thankfully you’re here, so you won’t be making that mistake.
it makes more sense to use WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. Why?
Because it is free to use, you can install plugins, customize your blog design, and most importantly make money from your blog without any restrictions (see the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).
WordPress is also the number one website platform used by all successful blogs. most of all websites with blogging on the internet use WordPress!
Now you might be wondering why is WordPress free? What’s the catch?
There’s no catch. It’s free because you have to do the setup and host it yourself.
Choose the Best Web Hosting
In other words, you need a domain name and web hosting.
A domain name is what people type to get to your website. It’s your website’s address on the internet. Think google.com or mycodetips.com
Web hosting is where your website files live. It’s your website’s house on the internet. Every website needs web hosting.
Install and Setup WordPress Blog
When you signup with the hosting provider, they will be options to install WordPress for you.
What this means is you simply need to login to your hosting provider account and then click the Login to WordPress button to get started.
Log in to your WordPress blog from hosting provider dashboard
You can also login to WordPress by simply going to yoursite.com/wp-admin/ directly from your browser.
If you are using a different WordPress blog hosting service like SiteGround, HostGator, WP Engine, etc, then you can see our comprehensive guide on how to install WordPress for step by step instructions for those providers.
Once WordPress is set up, you’re ready to customize your blog’s appearance to make it your own and start blogging.
Change Your Blog Design Template
The visual appearance of your WordPress blog is controlled by themes. When you first visit your blog, it will look something like this:
Default WordPress theme
This is not very appealing to most people.
Customizing the look and feel of your blog is by far one of the most exciting and rewarding part in the journey of creating your WordPress blog.
There are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that you can install on your site. Some of them are free themes, while others are paid.
You can change your theme by going to your WordPress dashboard and clicking on Appearance » Themes.
Add new WordPress theme
Go ahead and click on the Add New button.
On the next screen, you will able to search from 7,400+ free WordPress themes that are available in the official WordPress.org themes directory. You can sort by popular, latest, featured, as well as other feature filters (i.e industry, layout, etc).
Select a theme
You can take your mouse over to a theme, and you will see a Preview button. Clicking on it will open the theme preview where you can see how the design would look on your website.
The preview of your theme may not look exactly as shown in the screenshot, which is normal as you will get to customize and set it up later. What you need to look for is design, colors, typography, and other elements.
The best tip to select the perfect WordPress theme is to strive for simplicity in design. It helps you keep things clean and clear while offering a good experience to your users.
When you have found the theme that you like, simply bring your mouse on it, and it will show the Install button. Click on it and wait for the theme to be installed. After that, the install button will be replaced with an Activate button. You need to click on it to Activate the theme.
Install and activate the WordPress theme
Once you have installed your theme, you can customize it by clicking on the Customize link under the Appearance menu.
If you need help selecting a theme, then please refer to our guide on 9 things you should consider when selecting a perfect WordPress theme.
Once you have selected your WordPress theme, you are now ready to create your first blog post.
Write Your First Blog Post
To write a blog post, click on the Posts » Add New menu in your WordPress dashboard.
You will see an editor area where you can write your first blog post.
Writing a blog post in WordPress
WordPress uses a block-based editor where each element is a block. This allows you to create beautiful content layouts for your blog posts.
To familiarize yourself with the editor, see our WordPress block editor tutorial.
Once you’re done writing, go ahead and click on the Publish button on the top-right corner of the screen to make your blog post publicly available.
Publish blog post
On the posts screen, you will notice several other sections such as Categories and Tags. You can use these to organize your blog posts into sections. We have a great writeup on the difference between categories vs tags, which we highly recommend that you read.
To utilize all the features on the posts screen, you should read our article on how to add a new post in WordPress (video included).
Often beginners are confused between posts and pages menu in the WordPress dashboard. That’s why we have also written a complete guide on the difference between posts vs pages in WordPress.
Customize WordPress Blog with Plugins
Once you have written your first sample blog post, you probably want to get started with adding other usual elements on your website such as contact forms, galleries, sliders, newsletter subscription forms, etc.
To add all these additional features, you need to use plugins.
WordPress plugins are apps that allow you to add new features to your website (without writing any code).
There are lots of WordPress plugins available in the free WordPress plugin directory alone. This means no matter what you want to accomplish, there is a plugin for it.
We have a step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to use plugins to add some essential features to your WordPress blog.