Whether you’re 20 or 60, it’s easy to understand how to do what needs to be done. But if you need help setting up your blog, our expert team will do it for free.
How do you get started with a WordPress blog?
To make a WordPress blog, you’ll need three things:
A suggestion for a website name (this will be the name of your blog, like “wpbeginner.com”).
A web server account (this is where your website lives on the internet)
30 minutes of your full attention.
You did read it correctly. You can start a blog from scratch in less than 30 minutes, and we’ll show you every step of the way.
In this lesson, we’ll talk about:
How to get a free domain name that you choose
How to Pick the Best Website Host
How to Install WordPress and Set It Up
How to Change the Layout of Your Blog
How to Write the First Post on Your Blog
How to Use Plugins to Change a WordPress Blog
How to Make a Contact Form
How to Set Up Tracking for Google Analytics
How to make your website work better for SEO
How to Make Money With Your Blog
Places to learn and get good at WordPress Ready? Let’s get started.
Step 1: Choose a name for your blog and a platform.
When starting a blog, the biggest mistake people make is picking the wrong blogging site. You won’t make that mistake now that you’re here, though.
Most people should use WordPress.org, which is also called “self-hosted WordPress.”
Because WordPress is open source, it is free for anyone to use. You can add tools, change the look of your blog, and, most importantly, make money from it (see the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org).
WordPress is also the best website platform. All great blogs, including ours, use WordPress. To put things in perspective, 43% of all blogs on the internet use WordPress! You might now be asking why WordPress is free. How does it work?
There’s nothing to it. Because you have to set it up and run it yourself, it’s free. In other words, you need a domain name and a place to store your website.
People type a domain name to get to your website. It is the web address of your blog. Google.com or wpbeginner.com come to mind.
Hosting is where the files for your website live. It’s where your website lives on the web. Every blog needs web storage.
A new domain name usually costs $14.99 per year, and a web hosting plan usually costs $7.99 per month.
For someone just starting out, that’s a lot of money.
Bluehost, a hosting company that is recommended by WordPress, has decided to give our users a free domain name and discounts of over 60% on web hosting.
You can also use SiteGround or Hostinger, which are also popular WordPress hosting services, and still follow our blog setup guide.
Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies on the internet, so we suggest it to people who are just starting out. They are also the biggest name in WordPress hosting because they run millions of websites, including many of our own.
Bluehost has also been working with WordPress since 2005 and is dedicated to giving back. Because of this, they told us that if you can’t get your blog live in 30 minutes by following this tutorial, our expert team will do it for you for free. They’ll pay us back, so you don’t need to. Contact us to get free help setting up a blog.
At WPBeginner, we believe in being open and honest. If you sign up for Bluehost through our link, we’ll get a small fee, but it won’t cost you anything extra. In fact, you’ll save money and get a free domain. We would get this commission for recommending just about any WordPress hosting company, but we only recommend items that we use ourselves and think will help our readers.
Let’s buy your domain name and servers right now.
Open Bluehost in a new window and keep up with what we’re doing.
To get started, click on the green button that says “Get Started Now.”
On the next screen, choose the plan you want. The most popular plans are Basic and Plus.
After that, you’ll be asked to type in the name of your website’s domain.
Adding your account information and finalising the package details will finish the process. We suggest getting the 12-month plan because it’s the best deal.
On this screen, you’ll see items that you can buy if you want to. It’s up to you if you want to buy these or not, but we usually don’t suggest doing so right away. If you decide you need them later, you can always add them.
Once you’re done, you’ll get an email with instructions on how to access your web hosting control panel (cPanel). This is where you handle things like customer service and email, among other things. But most importantly, this is where WordPress is installed.
Step 2: Put WordPress blog software in place
When you sign up for Bluehost through our link, WordPress will be installed for you instantly, so you can start building your blog right away. Sign in to your Bluehost account, and then click the Login to WordPress button to get started.
You can also go to yoursite.com/wp-admin/ in your browser to log in to WordPress.
If you use a different WordPress blog hosting service, like SiteGround, Hostinger, WP Engine, etc., you can find step-by-step advice on how to install WordPress in our complete guide.
Even though most of the above blog hosting companies now automatically install WordPress to help people who aren’t tech-savvy get started with their blogs.
Once WordPress is set up, you can start making blog pages, changing the look of your blog, and writing.
Step 3: Choose a theme for your WordPress site
Blog themes decide how your WordPress blog looks on the outside. When you read your blog for the first time, it will look like this:
Most people don’t like this very much.
Changing how your blog looks and feels is by far one of the most fun and satisfying parts of making a WordPress blog.
You can add any of the thousands of ready-made WordPress themes to your site. Some of them are free, while others cost money to use.
If you go to your WordPress homepage and click on Appearance » Themes, you can change your theme.
Go ahead and click the button that says “Add New.”
On the next screen, you can look through the official WordPress.org themes list, which has more than 10,000 free WordPress themes. You can sort by what’s popular, what’s new, what’s featured, and other things like business, layout, etc.
You can move your mouse over a new theme to see a box that says “Preview.” By clicking on it, you can see how the design would look on your website in the theme preview.
The preview of your theme might not look exactly like the picture, but that’s okay because you can change and set it up later. You should look at the style, colours, fonts, and other parts.
The best way to choose the right WordPress theme is to try to make the design as simple as possible. It helps you keep things neat and clear so that your users have a good time.
If you need help choosing a theme, check out our guide on the 9 things you should think about when choosing the right WordPress theme.
When you find a theme you like, just move your mouse over it and the Install button will appear. Click on it and wait for the theme to be put in. The setup button will be changed to a “Activate” button after that. To make the theme work, you have to click on it.
Once you have loaded your theme, you can change it by clicking the Customise link in the Appearance menu.
Depending on the style you choose, there will be widgets and ways to change the look of your blog already built in.
With a WordPress page builder like SeedProd or Divi, you can have even more control over the design. These tools let you make a custom header, bottom, sidebar, and more without having to write any HTML code.
With these plugins, you have more control over your site’s style than with Wix or Squarespace, but you still have the full freedom of WordPress’s powerful content management system.
Once you’ve chosen your WordPress theme, you’re ready to write your first blog post.
Step 4: Write your first blog entry
To write your first blog post, go to your WordPress homepage and click on Posts » Add New.
You will see a place where you can change your blog and write your first post.
WordPress has a block-based designer that lets you lay out your blog posts’ content in beautiful ways.
Check out our WordPress block editor guide to learn more about how to use the editor.
When you’re done writing, click the “Publish” button in the upper right corner of the screen to make your blog post available to everyone.
On the screen for posts, you’ll see other areas like Categories and Tags. You can use these to make parts in your blog posts. We have a great article about the difference between tags and groups that you should read.
Read our article on how to add a new post in WordPress, which has a video, to learn how to use all of the tools on the posts screen.
It shows you how to link videos, add blog images, use headings, the table of contents, subheadings, bullet lists, call-to-action buttons, social media posts, and all the other shortcuts you need.
In the WordPress homepage, posts and pages can be hard to tell apart for new users. Because of this, we have also written a full guide to the differences between WordPress posts and pages.
If you need help coming up with new ideas for blog posts, here are some good places to look:
103 ideas for blog posts that people will love .73 types of blog posts that have been shown to be successful
How to write a good blog post: 12 tips from professionals
A lot of professional blogs choose their topics in a planned way by researching keywords. This helps their content rise higher in Google searches and get more traffic.
We have a step-by-step guide for beginners that shows them how to do keyword research using the same way we use on WPBeginner.
Step 5: Add plugins and changes.
Once you’ve written your first blog post, you’ll probably want to start adding other common features to your website, like a contact page, pictures, sliders, email list, forums, etc. You need to use plugins to add all of these extra features. Plugins for WordPress are apps that let you add new features to your site without having to write any code.
In the free WordPress plugin list alone, there are more than 60,000 plugins to choose from. This means that there is an app for just about anything you want to do.