In this step by step tutorial you will learn how to start a blog with SiteGround, install WordPress, and choose the best theme for your blog.
Starting a blog is one of the most exciting things you could ever do. After all, it has the potential to change your life financially forever (more on that later).
However, it can also be very overwhelming.
That is why I created this step by step tutorial… To help you navigate through the beginning phases of setting up you blog, hassle-free.
But not just any blog. I want to help you start a blog with a reputable and one of the best hosting providers for bloggers.
Which also happens to be my hosting provider.
Why choose SiteGround as your hosting provider?
SiteGround is an amazing hosting company to start your blog with.
It offers top of the line features such as:
- 99% server up-times
- hack protection
- speed technology
- affordable prices
- the best and around the clock customer service
- …and it is one of the top 3 recommended hosting companies by Worpress.org.
I wholeheartedly recommend it. But don’t take it from me.
Check out these stats:
Convinced? Let’s get started…
How to Start a Blog Using SiteGround:
A Step-by-Step Tutorial
STEP 1: Choosing and Registering Your Domain
Before you sign up with SiteGround, you need to think of your domain name (your blog’s name).
Your domain name is the part of your URL that identifies your site.
For instance, my domain name is Loveandpaperflowers.com.
If you already have a registered domain elsewhere, great! Just follow SiteGround’s instructions as to how to claim it.
Otherwise, no problem. You can opt to choose and register one with SiteGround. You won’t have to go out of your way to do that. It is part of the registration process and also part of this tutorial as well.
Here are a few suggestions when choosing your domain:
Do your research
Ensure the name you are thinking about isn't taken and that it is also available in most of the top social media channels (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
You can check for your domain’s availability in step 4 of this tutorial.
You can also do your own research using this great FREE tool. Just type your domain and they will show you that domain’s availability including for social media networks.
Find a balance
Naming your domain as “A Blog” is too broad and “The blog about Golden Feather Peacocks” is to narrow. So, try to find a balance and settle for in between.
Try not to include numbers, hyphens, and special characters. They tend to be quite confusing and hard to search. Sites with a .com in the domain name tend be more trustworthy than a .net or .org, so I recommend you choose a .com domain.
Don't overthink it!
With my first blog I started with something in mind and then plans changed.
That is ok! More of a reason to maybe go with a neutral domain, unless you are positive about what you want to blog about. You will notice that as you blog grows so might your blog’s direction.
Now that you are set on a domain, it is time to pick a host!
STEP 2: Sign Up with SiteGround
The reason we need a hosting company is because we are opting to go with a “self-hosted” platform (self-hosted blogs can be monetized). You can read all about it in this post: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
WordPress.org is the most powerful and reputable content manager out there and what we are choosing as the foundation for our blog. Because it is self-hosted, we need a hosting company.
In other words, a company that lets your site “live” on its servers.
Are you with me so far? Good… let’s get started…
1. Go to the SiteGround’s home page (open it in a new browser window so that you can follow alongside this tutorial more easily).
2. Once there, click on Sign Up.
3. Choose a plan. The StartUp plan should be fine starting out. If you feel you would like to start with something a bit more robust from the start for only $2/month, then you can select the GrowBig Plan.
4. Choose your domain name and type it in the space provided. If you already have one, click I already have one and type it in.
5. Fill out the Hosting Information services and the Extra Services. It isn’t necessary to opt for the extra services right away, that’s something you can always add later.
6. Enter Payment Information, then click Save.
STEP 3: Install WordPress
Always remember that if you need one-on-one help, you can always start a live chat and they will walk you through the whole process.
1. From your SiteGround Account section, locate and click on cpanel.
2. Under AutoInstallers, select WordPress.
3. Click Install.
4. Fill out the information and click Install. Refer to the image below for instructions.
5. Finally, go to http://www.yournewblog.com/wp-admin and enter the username and password you just created, and voilà! You, my friend, are the new proud owner of your own blog!
Important Side Notes:
- For future login to WordPress you don’t have to go through SiteGround (remember SiteGround is only your hosting company). WordPress (your content manager) is where you will spend 99.9% of your time working on your blog. You can find direct access to the login window here: https://www.YOURDOMAINNAME.com/wp-login (where it says “YOURDOMAINNAME” make sure you replace it with the domain name you chose). Also, make sure you bookmark it to your computer’s browser for easy access.
- This is your mothership. This is where the magic happens. This is your WordPress Dashboard.
- It is important your website is https not http. SiteGround offer a free SSL certificate which makes that possible. For a hassle-free SSL certificate installation start a live chat from the SiteGround dashboard and ask them to do it for you. It takes seconds and they are amazing!
STEP 4: Choose a Blog Theme and Design
Congratulations my friend, you did it!!!
Now, I am pretty sure you have noticed your site looks a bit, well, naked!
That's because WordPress blogs come as an empty canvas giving its owner free range to design it and customize it as they wish.
WordPress comes with a few free themes that can get you started, but as you’ll soon notice, they will look… well, basic.
If you would like to start off with an optimal and professional looking website, consider the following…
Web design happens behind the scenes with what they call “code”.
Every color on your blog, every line, every element placement, every single aspect of the visual fields of your site works with code.
This computer language is very confusing that's why avoiding using code for our web design is a clever idea, and that is why investing in a reputable blog design with proper coding is extremely important.
You can pay a web designer to customize the look of your blog or you can invest is high quality, well-coded theme, premium theme.
By investing in a premium (paid) theme from the start it ensures you of many things:
- It puts your own unique stamp on your site and “brand”, helping you stand out of the millions of other sites out there.
- Your site will rank higher in search engines because they have an optimal coded, trusted structure.
- They take care of the back-end coding, making it easy for you to customize and edit things to your liking.
- Premium themes usually have a structure and features that help you in generating revenue from your content.
So, what are the best tools and services to help you do this:
Genesis Framework and a Child Theme
I recommend you opt for Genesis Framework and a child theme.
Because websites come “naked”, having a strong and powerful foundation as your core or “framework” of your site is imperative.
Genesis Framework created by Studio Press gives you the basic building blocks you need to create a beautiful site, but the customization really comes in with the child theme.
Genesis Framework Studio Press also has beautiful child themes to fit any style and if you buy it in a pack they offer a really good discount.
Think of Genesis Framework as the structure of the car that drives your site, and a child theme as the paint and upgrades.
It not surprising that professional bloggers and hundreds of thousands of other websites around the world use Genesis Framework. You won't have to worry about whether your theme has good SEO, load times, or security.
You can rest assured that it comes with everything a framework should have and that I won’t be taken advantage like it can happen with other themes by unreliable developers.
I chose Genesis Framework for both of my websites as well. That was a no-brainier!
For my child theme to go along Genesis Framework I opted for Restored 316 Child Theme. I wanted the look and feel of a feminine and elegant child theme with all the power and expertise of a reputable designer. After much research, Restored 316 fit that criteria.
All throughout Restored 316 site, you can find great informational articles and videos that will help you further customize and personalized your site according to your chosen theme.
Plus, you can join the Restored 316 Community on Facebook which is incredibly helpful in answering any questions you might have. Customer service is fantastic and so is the company owner Lauren which is very active in the Facebook Group as well.
I Started my Blog Now what?
You should know that choosing a domain name and picking a hosting provider, selecting a reputable hosting provider, and choosing an optimized theme is only the beginning.
There are A LOT of things that take place in having, running, and growing a profitable blog.
So, before this tutorial comes to an end, I want to point you in the right direction towards some of the best blogging resources to help your blog succeed and earn money from the start.
Start a Blog
Start a Money Blog- FREE 7-Day email Course: This is a free email course I put together which will walk you through all the important aspects of starting a profitable and thriving blog and how to monetize it. Every day, for the next 7 days you will receive an email on the next steps you should be taking to help you blog grow and make money.
Blogcabulary Plus: The Ultimate Blogging Terminology, Reference, and Resource Book: This blogger’s encyclopedia contains 340+ Blogging Terminologies; 200+ Images; 50+ Best Blogging Resources, Tools, and Services; 7 Important Blogging “How-To’s”.
Blogcabulary Plus is the only blogging book of its kind where blogging terminology, blogging processes, and blogging resources collide in a way that it tells a story in a logical and simple manner.
Best Blogging Tools and Resources: This is my curated list of 35+ best blogging tools and resources I have come across in my years of blogging.
Blog by Number eCourse by Suzi Whitford is an amazing road map to your blogging journey. She walks you step by step though all the crucial aspects of starting a blog such as the initial set up, writing your first post, getting traffic, setting up you email list, and more.
I recommend learning all about Pinterest and how to Use Pinterest for Marketing from the very beginning. It is one of the best and fastest traffic sources for a lot of blogger.
Make Money Blogging
One of the main reasons people start a blog is to make money blogging. Blogging has the potential to change your life in ways you probably would even think possible. It is not a get rich quick scheme.
It takes a lot of work, dedication, perseverance, a lot of learning, and most importantly consistency!
Starting and growing an email list is also a crucial part of having a successful blog.
As always I hope this was helpful to you and don’t forget to stay up to date with the latest blogging tips by signing up below.