My first ever website was back in 2005 or so, during my second year in high school. I had learned the basics of HTML, the programming code to create simple websites, and my goal was to make a Harry Potter fansite. It looked horrendous. It looked so simple and so basic, I would be embarrassed to show you guys how it looked, haha. I do distinctly remember prominently putting Draco Malfoy’s photo under the homepage’s “Student of the Month” category for several months because, yeah, I was a fangirl like that.
SHOP MILITARY BLAZERS
But I digress. Many years and many websites later, I cannot tell you how easy it is to start a blog or a website these days, especially with a self-hosted WordPress, the platform that I currently use for Rose Gold Rhyme, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who owns or wishes to own a website. I also cannot stress enough that you really should go with a SELF HOSTED WordPress website (.com) rather than a signing up on WordPress’s website (.org) and I’ll go into this a little later.
One of the reasons that I wanted to write about this is because I’ve encountered a lot of people in my everyday life that wants to start a website, that wants to have a permanent presence online to express themselves and their work, but they don’t know how to start. Or, they start off in the completely wrong direction.
Blogs are a passion of mine, and if I can share that passion and make it easier on you to get started, I want to help.
So, how do we start a blog or website?
The two elements that every website needs is a domain and a hosting.
What is a domain? This is your web address. Where will people go to find you?
What is a hosting? This is basically the land to put your house (or rather, your website).
A great company to use for your website is BlueHost. They’ve been around since I can even remember and they’re hosting over 2 million websites.
First, let’s get your hosting.
If this is your first website, I recommend going with the “basic package” until you decide you want to expand with multiple website. It’s easy to upgrade later on.
I personally have a package that allows multiple websites as I also host www.ticketforadventure.com and a friend’s website as well as Rose Gold Rhyme. Even more savings!
Second, let’s get your domain name.
I love that BlueHost offers a free domain name with a new hosting plan! It saves a little more money to make the process even less scary (even though it really isn’t scary, haha). Pick something short, sweet, memorable, and true to you!
Third, let’s pick a WordPress Template (also known as themes)
What do you want your website to look like? Pick one of the themes on the screen.
One of the BEST things about WordPress is that it’s been around for a while, and there are MANY developed themes out there that is amazing, even the free ones that are provided by BlueHost! I personally use a Premium (paid) theme because it offers just a handful of features more that I’d like to utilize. However, you can change themes anytime you want, and it’s a really simple step to do so.
I’ll write a future blog post about how to pick the right WordPress theme for your blog soon!
Hit that shiny (or rather, matte) blue button to “Start Building” and we’re off to the races!
Tips on Navigating the WordPress Dashboard
I’ll do an in-depth tutorial on how to utilize WordPress in a future blog post, but for now, here are some basic tips:
- Post a Blog Post: On the left hand side, there is a dark gray sidebar. Go to “Posts”, then “Add New”. You can “Save Draft” on the right hand side of the page. Or “Preview”. Or if you’re ready to let the world see it, “Publish!”.
- Insert a Photo or Audio: In “Posts” or “Pages”, you’ll have the option to add photos or audios on your page. Go to “Add Media” towards the top of your screen to upload it onto your website.
- Install Plugins: Want to add a cool feature that isn’t included in the basic WordPress feature, like an instagram feed? There’s probably a “Plugin” for that! There are countless extensions (or plugins) for your website that developers have created. Go to the left sidebar and click on “Plugins”. Hit “Add New” and search for a keyword that you want to use, like instagram. Hit “install” and follow the simple instructions! Note: not all plugins are created equal so if one doesn’t work to your liking, try another!
Need more help with your BlueHost website setup? Shoot me an email and I’ll try my best to help!