Ready to start a blog?
A lot of our users got asked how we created our blog, managing it. We are in 2020. Creating a blog will take only 30 minutes nowadays. And in this post, we are going to share how to start a blog in 2020 and manage it.
When You Need a Blog?
No matter you are running a small offline business or a multimillion business. You need to create a website, showcase your work or business information. This is one of the best methods for increasing business visibility and for reaching new audiences.
For example, let’s say that you are running a food court.
By creating a website for your business and optimizing it, you can get more clients! You just need to optimize your website for local SEO. On the other hand, you can integrate an online food delivery system with the website.
Both ways will give you more revenue, and credibility. Cool, isn’t it?
So if you got a business and need to increase the revenue, you need to start a blog/ website. Creating a WordPress blog typically costs around $50 a year (including 1-year hosting and 1-year .com domain registration). So, it is a good investment.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
Like I mentioned above, there are so many blogging platforms are available. Some of the top ones are:
etc… We have tested almost all famous blogging platforms. And in the end, we will always recommend WordPress for hosting the blog. There are two types of WordPress CMSs are available. The first one is free WordPress a.k.a WordPress.com and the other one is self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org).
Blogger is a hosted service which is run by Google. But still, we prefer WordPress over Blogspot. We have covered the difference in this article.
WordPress.org is free software for creating blogs and websites. All you need to do it, just host it on your web server and you can manage it! Easy to customize, manage and the SEO friendly CMS.
How To Start a Blog?
Mainly, you need two things.
- A Domain Name.
- A Web Hosting Account.
A domain name acts as your address. For example, look at our domain name: OnlineRockersHub.com. When someone enters our domain name in their browser, it will be redirected to our website.
The web hosting account is using for storing your files online. So when someone accesses your website, these files will be served to them. There are so many WordPress hosting companies are available but we will show you the best ones below.
Choosing the right Web Hosting:
Choosing a web hosting company is a crucial task. You need to make sure that the hosting company provides the best services, uptime, support, etc… Yet, we have used several web hosting companies for our projects and also client works. So, we probably know which one’s best.
We can categorize web hosting plans like:
- Shared Hosting.
- Managed WordPress Hosting.
- Cloud Hosting.
- and Dedicated Server Hosting.
If you are a pure beginner, you just need to choose a shared hosting package. According to other plans, the shared hosting plans will be much cheaper.
When you need more power, you can always upgrade to a higher plan like managed WordPress or cloud.
We recommend you to choose HostGator as your Hosting platform. And, you could also get a 60% discount on every plan!
Wondering how? Feel free to check out our HostGator coupon.
Purchasing HostGator Hosting
Now, let’s purchase hosting for our blog.
First of all, go to HostGator.
Like I mentioned above, when you are a pure beginner to blogging, you don’t want a managed WordPress hosting or cloud hosting. You could start your blog with shared hosting.
There, you could see 3 plans.
- Hatchling – $2.75 a month.
- Baby – $3.95 a month.
- Business – $5.95 a month.
In the Hatchling plan, you can host only one domain name. So, if you need to host multiple domains in the future, this is not a viable solution. In that case, you need to choose the Baby or Business plan. Well, for single blog hosting, the Hatchling plan is good.
So, we could choose that plan for our blog.
You need to choose a domain. There you have two options.
- Register a New One.
- Use Existing.
if you already have a domain purchased from somewhere like GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc… You could transfer it to them/ update the nameservers. In our case, we are going to purchase a new domain name.
Just enter your domain, select an extension. Your domain will be added to cart automatically. Some domain registrars will give you domain privacy (WHOIS Guard) for free. Here, you need to pay for it. Me, personally highly recommend using privacy guard for all your registered domains.
Configure the hosting plan.
The recommended hosting term is 36-months. In that plan, you will get maximum savings. Just $2.63 a month. Also, choose a username and PIN for your account.
Complete your personal details and the mode of payment.
There you can pay for the hosting using your credit card or PayPal. In our cases, we always prefer PayPal for payments. They also got some add-ons for you.
You can disable add–ons which you don’t need. Now, your chance to claim discount coupons. If you check our HostGator coupon code, you already know it. Use our coupon ORH60 there. You will get a 60% discount on all plans!
And below that, you can see the newly updated pricing.
As you can see, we have got around $150 discount on the purchase. If you check the pricing, it’s a great deal for you. $140 for 3-year hosting and one-year domain name? Pretty cool!
They also offering 45-days money back guarantee on all their plans. So if you are not completely satisfied with their service, you can get your money back.
So, complete the payment and a cPanel account will be created for you on their server.
Installing WordPress on HostGator
Once you got the domain name propagated, this is time to install WordPress on your hosting account. You could do it manually or by using the one-click installer. The second method is the easiest method for installing WordPress.
We will show you how.
First of all, log in to the cPanel. Under the software section, you could see something called QuickInstall.
It will open up a page where you can see all the CMSs for installing. Click on the one-click installer button there.
Choose WordPress from there.
Choose a domain name that you need to install WordPress.
Then, configure your installation basics.
Click on the install button. Within a few seconds, your installation will be completed.
You can see the username, password from there, log in to your WordPress blog for starting managing it.
You just need to add /wp-admin/at the end of your WordPress installation directory. For example, let’s say that we have installed WordPress on the example.com domain name.
When you need to access the backend, you just need to enter the URL like example.com/wp-admin/ It will show you the admin login page.
Using the username and password, simply login to the system.
Once you got installed WordPress on your HostGator hosting plan, you can start managing the blog. However, before we write posts and pages, we need to do some basic configurations in the WordPress installation.
1. General Settings
From the WordPress general settings, you need to configure the site title, description, website address, etc… If you have an SSL certificate, you need to enter the https version address in the fields.
If you are not running a membership website, turn it off. Save the changes after verifying them.
2. Changing Permalinks
Normally the installation will give us an ugly permalink structure. An example is below.
But, the permalink structure is customizable. We can do whatever we need and make it truly ours. Some of the best permalink structures are:
If you check our blog, you can see that we are using the post name structure. It’s an SEO friendly structure and comes clean. For changing it, you just need to choose a structure, save the changes.
You are done.
3. Complete User Profile
Completing the profile means you need to add your first name, last name, social media accounts, website URL and a short bio in the profile. This is how users will know you the author.
For doing this, go to the profile settings, your profile.
Under that section, you could see the user settings. Just enter your details and save the changes.
Now, the new display name will be visible in your all posts and custom post types. In post meta and also in the author box.
Writing Your First WordPress Post
If you are ready to write your first WordPress blog post, go ahead. Make sure that you have installed Grammarly extension on your Google Chrome browser. Grammarly will help you to write with confidence, without any spelling, grammar mistakes. We have covered all the features in our Grammarly review. Feel free to check it out.
Now, go to the add new post section.
You need to enter a heading for your post.
This will be the H1 tag. Now, write contents in the content area.
Choose a format.
While writing normal posts, we will leave this to the standard format. Now, you need to choose a category for the post.
When you handle a new blog, you can see only one category in the section – Uncategorized. But, you can simply create one by clicking on the add new category button.
Tags are another way to optimize your blog.
You can add as many tags you wanted. Some themes come with the layout customization feature. In our case, we are using the GeneratePress theme and it got the feature.
You can choose a different layout option for specific pages. Or it will pull out the default layout options from theme settings.
And after that, you need to choose a featured image.
This can be chosen from the media library. Choosing a featured image is essential. This image will be visible in your archive pages. An example is below.
Impressive isn’t it?
Also, you need to use an SEO plugin for your blog. The recommended one is Yoast. The same plugin that we use here. Using it, you can optimize your title tag, meta description, and the entire post for a keyphrase.
Once you are good to go, hit the publish button.
The post will go live. If you still need more time to write, optimize, you can always save the post to drafts section.
By doing this, you can write this post later. This is how you can write and publish a post in the WordPress editor. I know this is just limited information. We’ve added a dedicated post for this.
Creating Essential Pages
You can create unlimited pages that you want. If you completed adding contents to the page, simply publish it.
Using an SEO plugin like Yoast or All In One SEO Pack, you can optimize the page for search engines.
By default, WordPress comes with the Twenty Nineteen WordPress theme. However, that theme is very basic and got only limited features.
Choosing the right theme for your business is essential. There are so many WordPress themes are available like GeneratePress, Genesis Framework, Divi, etc… If you check our blog, we are using a custom child theme which is made of top of Elegant Themes‘ Divi.
There are so many WordPress themes are available in the WordPress repository too. Here, we are going to show you how can you change your WordPress theme.
First of all, go to the Appearance menu. There you can see your currently active WordPress theme.
Click on the add new button.
Search for a WordPress theme and activate it on your blog.
If you have a premium version theme, you can upload it.
Once you got installed the theme, simply activate it.
You can see the changes in your website almost instantly.
You can choose any theme you like. If you are starting a blog to make money online from display ads like Google AdSense, feel free to check out our list of best Google AdSense optimized WordPress themes.
Best WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins extend the blog’s functionality. Here, we are going to list the must-have WordPress plugins on your blog. As you know you can see several plugins for the same purpose. We will show you the best one here.
- WPForms – Best WordPress form builder plugin.
- Yoast SEO – WordPress SEO plugin. Take care of the on-page SEO.
- Akismet – Say goodbye to spam comments.
- JetPack – One plugin, multiple uses!
- Classic Editor – Disables Gutenberg editor and brings the old editor.
- Social Warfare – Social sharing plugin for WordPress.
- WP Super Cache – Free WordPress caching plugin.
- MonsterInsights – A freemium WordPress Google Analytics plugin.
- OptinMonster – Lead generation made simple! – OptinMonster Review.
- ThirstyAffiliates – Affiliate link cloaking and managing.
- Sucuri – WordPress security.
- BackupBuddy – Complete WordPress backups.
When an update is available for your WordPress core, themes, plugins or translations, you could see it from the WordPress updates page. From there, you can update those.
However, when you handle 3 or more blogs, it’s quite hard to update them individually. However, we have got a great solution for you. For keeping all my WordPress blogs up to date, creating backups, monitoring the uptime, I personally use a service called ManageWP.
ManageWP is a freemium service which is handled by GoDaddy. I highly recommend using this service when you handle more than 3 WordPress blogs. From a single dashboard, you will be able to update all your themes, plugins, core and translations.
They do have premium add-ons which will help you to monitor your website uptime, SEO efforts, broken link checking, etc… Anyway, if you are not planning to create more WordPress blog, you don’t need to use this service.
So you finally know how to start a blog and maintain it. Why don’t you give a try?
We hope you found this post helpful and enjoyed the read. If you did, please consider sharing this post with your friends and social media followers. If you need more awesome blogging tutorials, feel free to check out our blog.