WordPress can leave many people feeling a little discouraged. On the surface, it can look a little more technical than other blogging and website tools. However, that should not completely stop you from considering it. Looks can be deceiving. If you take a moment to explore the platform and look at its comprehensive help section, you will find that it is fairly simple to start your WordPress blog setup. Not only that, but the freedom and unlimited options that come with WordPress will leave you excited for what comes next.
For insight on how to set up WordPress, use the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
What do I Need to Know about my WordPress Blog Setup?
There are a few things to keep in mind before diving into your WordPress blog setup. To start a successful blog, you need to begin with an idea. What do you want to blog about? The days of blogging about our daily lives were left behind in the late 90s and early 2000s. You need a genre and some kind of topic. Make sure you know a lot about it, but also do not be closed off to learning more.
Other than a great idea, you need to make sure you will have consistent access to computer equipment. You do not necessarily need to own your own computer. If a friend or family member will let you use their computer a few times each week, you can make that work. At worst, make sure you have reliable transportation to and from the library each week. Your local library should have computers with internet access available for use.
That brings up another item you need. You have to have internet access. A computer by itself is not enough. Your website will be online, so you will need to be able to get online too. You do not need to have the best and fastest connection, but you want to make sure you can get online when you need to.
Lastly, you should take an objective look at how much time you have. Blogging takes time. Running a website takes time too. If you want to actually keep a blog going, you need to know that you can devote the time to write each post and keep your site moving along. This includes any time you can spare to market your blog to appropriate groups on social media and online forums.
If you are confident that you have those things, you can start thinking about setting up your new WordPress blog.
How to Set Up WordPress
You will be putting all of those aspects to use as you build your new blog. The computer you use will be intimately close with WordPress, and your browsing history will be filled with plugins, themes, social media, and other related blogs for ideas. Before that, though, you need to build your foundation.
You might be wondering, “wait, isn’t WordPress a website?” Yes, there is a website version of WordPress as WordPress.com. However, it pulls away some of the most freeing aspects of WordPress in the name of convenience. It is worth looking at if you are interested. But in general, if you want to get serious with a new blog, you will need to download the original WordPress. Plus, the web version does not give you access to the plugins or extensions that help make WordPress great. To take advantage of those, you need to understand how to set up a WordPress blog.
To get a copy of the WordPress program or application, you need to visit WordPress.org. Then, create an account. Make sure to use a username and password that cannot be easily discovered by others.
Define your site
The first thing WordPress will ask you to do is define your site. This involves giving it a name and perhaps a tagline. This will not automatically become your domain, so keep that in mind. However, the name will be displayed prominently on your website. Make sure that your name is relevant, easy to remember, and relevant to your blog’s purpose and theme.
Write a blog post
What is a blog without a post? Before you really get busy with a lot of the details, it is a good idea to go ahead and build your first blog post. This is the time to get a feel for how you want to develop your content. By this point, you should have an idea of what your voice is and what you want to discuss on your blog. However, this is your moment to practice it. You may find that you are evolving it in subtle ways as you get accustomed to the format.
This also gives you an opportunity to give your blog an official greeting. It is difficult to feel like your new blog has started before you get that first post out. Until then, it just feels like the frame without the substance. Getting out that the first blog post is a great way to let your brain transition over to the idea that you now have a brand new blog.
Choose your display method
Writing this first post before wrapping up the site design is important. Part of your site’s design involves showing off your posts. A homepage for a blog typically has a short list of recently posted articles. You can have these display however you would like. Before creating your first blog post, though, it would not be possible to get a good look at the options.
You can define whether to tile your posts on display or organize them closer to a list. Then, you can go into further detail. This includes digging into how many results display at a time, how large they are, if they show a featured image, and even what short description they have.
Build your navigation menu
Now you need to include your main menu. This feature goes a long way in designing your site. A top menu bar for a website feels much different than a collapsible side menu. You do not have to include every single page in your menu. In fact, many times, you do not want to do that. On the other side, you need to remember that you cannot include an item on your menu that does not exist. If you know you want an about section on your menu, you have to create that web page first before you have the option to include it on the menu.
Is a Domain Part of WordPress Setup?
The WordPress program you downloaded does not have options for hosting your website. It is best used as a CMS, so it sticks to that task. Part of the freedom of WordPress comes with the fact that you need to reserve your own domain.
First, what is a domain? Earlier, we covered that you need to name your website. We mentioned how it is not the same as your domain. Your domain is the combination of a name you create and the extension you use. You have seen countless domains: google.com, wordpress.org, and wpsuperhost.com to name a few.
Okay, so how do you get a domain? There are services called domain registrars that are licensed to reserve domains for you. There, you can search for a specific domain that you have in mind. The registrar will let you know if it is available or not. If it is not, then it will likely suggest names close to it that you can use if you want.
Managed WordPress Hosting Setup for New Blogs
Like domains, WordPress does not provide hosting. For that, you need to find a managed WordPress host. I say that because that kind of hosting offers the best of performance and affordability. For a low price, they will maintain your WordPress hosting. This means they will put your website on one of their servers and open it to the internet. This way, people can visit your website online.
What makes managed WordPress hosting the best choice is in everything that is offered. In the case of WP Super Host, we provide incredible speeds and bandwidth to support your users. More than that, we make sure everything runs smoothly so you do not have to worry about it. This includes monitoring for updates, plugin compatibility, and uptime. We also have automated backups that are created daily and monthly speed reports. And this is only scratching the surface. To get the full picture of everything we can offer your blog, visit our website today.
The open and customizable nature of WordPress causes some people to shy away from it. However, it is actually a pretty straightforward system that is easy to use. Of course, it is a good idea to have an idea of how to set up WordPress. But that can be said of any other tool or program on your computer. Figuring out how to get started is your first step toward mastery.