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How To Start A Blog in 4 Simple Steps

How to Start a Blog

Think starting a blog is tough? Think again! We break it down in 4 easy steps. Get your awesome blog launched today.

1. Buy a domain

Hopefully by now you have thought about what you want your URL to be. If not, you need to decide before going forward.

There is always the option of registering one domain for free when you sign up for your hosting package {which will be explained soon}.  I would recommend not giving one company COMPLETE control over the two most important parts of your site. We always recommend to register your domain with a separate company from which you purchased your hosting package.

There are several choices when it comes to registering a domain. Our top pick is GoDaddy. It will cost you between $10 and $20 per year to register your domain. Also, keep in mind that this must be renewed annually.

1.  Go to GoDaddy.com to register your new domain {click the link and it will appear in a new window}.

How to Start a Blog by Registering Your Domain

2. Enter your desired domain.

3. Follow the prompts.

*Sidenote: I do not recommend using them for hosting. I have heard many not-so-lovely reviews on their hosting service. Strictly use them for domain purchase only. 

*Sidenote #2: There are usually discount codes available for GoDaddy. Before you complete your online purchase make sure that you do a google search for “GoDaddy.com coupon code”. 

How to Start a Blog

2. Now it’s time to pick a host

We would recommend Bluehost or Lunar Pages for your hosting company. There is also Liquid Web. We have used all three companies for our own blogs and have been extremely pleased. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many choices so for the purposes of these tutorials I picked Bluehost and Lunar Pages.

Dollars and Roses is hosted on Lunar Pages. One of our other sites, Good Financial Cents, started out being hosted on Bluehost.

The price is always cheaper the more you pay in advance. So, if possible, try and pay for your yearly hosting fee up front. It will save you money.

Step by Step Insrutctions in How to create a blog

How to purchase hosting {Bluehost}

1. Go to Bluehost {click the link and it will appear in a new window}

2. Click “Sign Up Now”

How to Start a Blog by hosting through Bluehost

3. Enter your domain

*Sidenote: See where it says “I Need a Domain Name”? This is what I was referring to earlier when I said that hosting companies will allow you to register one domain fro free. I would not recommend this option.

4.  Enter your account and billing information.

Make sure and input your personal account information as well as billing information.

5.  Choose your hosting package.

You have the choice of 12 months, 24 months or 36 months based on your preference. Again, the longer time frame the cheaper it will be.

Once you have chosen an “Account Plan”, go ahead and uncheck all of the boxes {SiteLock Domain Security, Site Backup Pro, Search Engine Jumpstart}.

Click “next”.

You will receive a confirmation in your email inbox.

This step is DONE. Skip the next section which shows you how to purchase hosting from Lunar Pages.

How to purchase hosting {Lunar Pages}

1. Go to Lunar Pages {click the link and it will appear in a new window}

2. Click “Basic Hosting”

lunar pages basic hosting for setting up a blog

3. Click “Learn More About Basic Web Hosting”

4.  Click “Buy Now”

Setting up Hosting account with Lunar Pages

5. Enter Contact Information and choose “I already have a domain”

Remember you have already registered your domain with GoDaddy.

Setting up Hosting account with Lunar Pages

6. Choose your hosting package

You have the choice of 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 24 months, or 60 months based on your preference. Again, the longer time frame the cheaper it will be.

Setting up Hosting account with Lunar Pages

It will ask you if you want to add any additional features. You do not need to.

7. Click “Continue”

Change the nameservers on your domain

Here is a short {and easy to follow} video tutorial on how to change the name server on your domain with GoDaddy.

3a. Uploading WordPress to the server {Bluehost}

1. Log in to your Bluehost account {you should have received an email with your user id/password information after purchasing your hosting package}.

2. Click the icon that reads “Simple Scripts” under the “Software/Serives” in your cPanel. You may also simply click on the “WordPress” icon to go straight to the install page.

Uploading WordPress to Bluehost

3. Click “WordPress” under “Blogs”.Uploading WordPress to Bluehost in getting your blog started

4. Click “Install”.

Installing WordPress on Bluehost

5. Specify what domain you want Worpress to be installed on.

Installing WordPress on Bluehost

6. Choose your “Advanced Options” {if you want to}.

7. Agree to Bluehost Terms of Service

8. Click “Complete”.

WordPress has been uploaded to your domain. Skip the next section which shows you how to upload WordPress to the server using Lunar Pages.

3b. Uploading WordPress to the server {Lunar Pages}

1.  Log in to your Lunar Pages account {you should have received an email with your user id/password information after purchasing your hosting package}.

2.  Go to “Control Panel”.

How to Start a WordPress Blog with Lunar Pages Hosting

3.  Click on “cPanel”.

How to Start a Blog with WordPress

4.  Click on “Softaculous”.

Start Your Own Blog

5.  Click on “WordPress – install”.

Starting a WordPress Blog

6.  Enter your information and change the admin user id and password to one that you create.

*Make sure your user id/password are very unique.

7.  Click “Install”.

Steps to Starting a Blog

4. How to choose a WordPress Theme

There are tons of different “free” themes that you can choose from. If you are trying to save money then I suggest just choosing a free theme.

We use a premium {meaning that it’s paid for} theme. There are two that we would recommend: Thesis and Genesis. All but one of our websites runs on Thesis. We have the most experience and knowledge in Thesis. However, I have heard wonderful things about Genesis. The advantage to a premium theme is the ability to customize your site the way you want it.

If you decide to go with Thesis it will prompt you to choose between Thesis 2.0 or Thesis 1.8.5. I would recommend downloading Thesis 1.8.5 {the Basic version}. It’s much easier to use than 2.0.

steps to starting a blog wordpress theme thesis

*Update: With the release of Thesis 2.0 we would recommend going with Genesis. Thesis 2.0 is not user friendly. We are looking at switching our sites to Genesis.

That’s it! To log in to your new site go to:

http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin

Example:  http://dollarsandroses.com/wp-admin

Enter your unique user id/password

Begin blogging!

Have questions on how to create your own blog?   Leave your comment/question below and we’ll do our best to get you started blogging today!