Blogging has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, and I am proud to call it my job now. It has given me so much freedom and it is something that I absolutely adore. If you are thinking of creating your own WordPress self hosted website then I have put together a guide to get you started. You can expect to be up and running in less than an hour.
Why you need a self hosted website
You might be wondering why you need a self hosted website and why you should pay for one. Having a self hosted website means that you are in complete control of the content that you post and the ways in which you monetise your website (don't worry, I'll have a blog post on that soon!). Having a website with your own domain (that's the .com part) makes you look professional and gives your blog an edge over others. I also love the themes that you can get for WordPress, in particular the Genesis framework and themes from StudioPress.
If you are serious about making money from your blog then you will want to go self hosted.
How much it'll cost
There are plenty of hosting options to choose from and I highly recommend TSO Host, who I recently switched to, for hosting and a domain name. I am hosted on the professional cloud hosting package which costs me £49.99 per year.
You can then choose a free WordPress theme, or buy one. I adore the Genesis framework and child themes from StudioPress – at a one off cost of between £70-£75 (depending on the exchange rate).
Choosing a name
Picking a name for your new blog is probably the most challenging part. You might come up with a wonderful name and then discover that someone beat you to it. If you are looking to work on your branding and you want the same username across social media channels then Namecheckr is a great website where you can easily find out which usernames are already taken.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to picking a domain name. Some people suggest that you don't use numbers in place of letters, some people suggest that you keep it short. Whatever you pick, make sure that you like it. As for the domain ending, I prefer to go for a .com – you can hide your address details when you have a .com (for a small additional fee) and I think it is great to appeal worldwide as opposed to a .co.uk. The choice is ultimately yours!
Buying your domain and hosting
TSO Host offer a free domain name with their annual Professional and Ultimate hosting packages. I am hosted using the “Professional” package which allows me to have more than one website hosted, and it covers all my needs.
If you would like to get 10% off your first payment, enter code “emmadrew002“. This code applies to your first payment, so to get the most out of it, opt to pay for one or two years. You can use it on the monthly payments, but it will only discount your first month's payment.
Once you have checked out, you are ready to get going! Installing WordPress is simple, and TSO Host even have a one click install option.
Once logged in, head to your Cloud Dashboard and click on “manage website” next to the website you want to install WordPress on.
Scroll down to “Install Applications” and click on it.
Look for WordPress (usually at the top) and click on “Install”. You can choose a path, or just leave this with the forward slash inside. Changing the path means having your blog somewhere like yoursitename.com/blog, and leaving just the forward slash means that WordPress will be installed at yoursitename.com
Once you are ready, click on “Install Application”.
Once WordPress has installed (it takes a few minutes) then you will be shown your username and password. Make a note of these because they will never be displayed again. You can then click on “login” to get into your WordPress site.
Choosing a theme
I love the Genesis Framework from StudioPress and with these great features it is easy to see why:
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Responsive HTML5 Designs (meaning your website looks stunning on mobile devices too!)
- Unlimited support from StudioPress.
- Airtight security
- Instant updates
- Plenty of layout options (choose whether you want sidebars to appear or not)
I use the Genesis framework and then a child theme on top, which costs around £70-£75 (depending on the current exchange rate) and I believe it helps to make beautiful websites. All my websites have the Genesis framework.
Once purchased, all you need to do is install your theme (once logged in to WordPress, hover over Appearance and select themes. You can install the zip file here and activate your new theme easily.
There are also plenty of free themes for you to choose from.
Now you're kicking
Now that you have purchased your domain and hosting as well as choosing your theme, you are ready to start customising your theme and blogging. If you would like to get a logo for your new blog then I can recommend Fiverr.
If you don't have the time or you still aren't confident enough to make your website, then you can hire me to get your website up and running. Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.
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