So, now your brain is flowing with ideas of what you want to blog about. All the information is bouncing around, and you want to start writing and sharing your knowledge! First, though, we have to get you a website and a blog so you can get started. This process, though, is really easy, and really cheap, and I will walk you through each step of this process. By the time you finish with this post, you will literally be able to publish your first blog post!
Step 1 – Selecting a Website (Domain) Name – 5 Minutes
I don’t want you to over-think this, but every website owner knows that having a catchy and appropriate domain name is certainly important. For example, when writing this blog, I was super excited when I found out that NeverJobHunt.com was available because it (1) describes what the purpose of my blog is, and (2) is easy to remember! I wouldn’t recommend selecting a website name that is super long, because nobody will remember the name and mistype it often.
The domain name provider that I have always used, and will definitely recommend due to (1) ease of use, and (2) excellent customer service, is GoDaddy. The process of buying a domain name is painless:
(2) If this website is available, it will show you the ability to add it to cart. If it isn’t available, you can go back and try a new domain name. GoDaddy will then try to upsell you a whole bunch of stuff, including .org domains,. us, etc etc. I wouldn’t bother with these – just buy yourdomain.com and you are done with step 1! You now own your own website domain – nice!
Step 2 – Hosting your website, AKA Putting your website on the Internet – 10 Minutes
When you are starting your own website or blog, you want to be able to completely own your website. What I mean by this, is you don’y want the address to your site to be blog.yourdomain.com or wordpress.yourdomain.com or blogger.yourdomain.com. There are a couple reasons behind this – (1) People typically don’t trust or rely on websites with these addresses, because it just isn’t very professional, and (2) Google doesn’t like websites with these types of domains, which makes it almost impossible for your website to rank on google’s search engine – i.e. nobody will come to your site.
When signing up with a hosting company, essentially what you are doing is renting a server from them, where your website to be hosted. It is extremely affordable (only a few dollars a month), and there is nothing more valuable than working with a reliable host. The host that I use and HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend is Bluehost. Let me explain why.
(1) The company is well established and has been around for a while. As a result, they basically have 100% uptime, meaning you never have to worry about your site crashing. In all my years with Bluehost, I have had 100% uptime.
(2) Their customer service is phenomenal and 24/7. Quick story – one time, I literally deleted my entire website. I freaked out – this was early on but I had put months of work into my site. Within 5 minutes with customer service, the site was back up. (now, though, I know that Bluehost backs up all the websites using them as a host daily.)
There are other options available, but why veer away from the best (and their prices are the most competitive too).
So, here is how you get signed up to host your site with Bluehost:
(1) Click the link here to go to Bluehost’s homepage.
(2) Click the Get Started button. On the next page, it asks for our domain. Since we just purchased a domain, type it in in the ‘I have a domain name’ box and click next.
(3) Fill out all your information on the Account Registration Page, which looks like the below. Under package information, Bluehost gives many options. I would suggest selecting one of the basic plans for either $6.95, $5.95, or $4.95 a month. How long of a plan you want is completely up to you, but I personally usually just do 12 months at a time. Once you finish this step, you now have a hosting partner! Congrats.
Step 3 – Linking your Domain with your Host – 5 Minutes
Now that you have a host and a domain, you’ll need to link them together so when people go to yourdomain.com, they will be directed to your site, rather than a GoDaddy.com landing page. This step is super easy, even though most people are intimidated by it. Just follow these simple simple steps.
(1) When you finished signing up with Bluehost, you should have received an email that looks like the below. Open up that email.
(2) Sign into your GoDaddy account and on your first page, you should see a dropdown box that says Domains that looks like the below. Click that, and you will see your new domain. Click the Launch button.
(3) On the next page, about half way down the screen, it says NAMESERVERS. Click Manage and a box like this should appear
(4) Click Custom. Then, go back to your email from Bluehost and you will see, under Your Account Information, Name Server 1 and Name Server 2 (should be something like NS1.BLUEHOST.COM and NS2.BLUEHOST.COM. Copy and paste these as your name servers and click save.
Ta-da! This step is done. It may take about 10 minutes for the NAMESERVERS from Godaddy to point to Bluehost, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t right away. As long as you followed the steps so far, you have done everything right. You will know it is working if you go to your domain name and it looks something like this:
Step 4 (final step) – Installing WordPress to your Blog – 10 Minutes
We’re so close to being able to publish amazing content. Here we go.
(1) Login to your new Bluehost account. The first page that comes up after you login should be your cPanel page that looks like the below. Please click the WordPress Button. Then, click Install on the next page.
(2) It will ask you ‘Select which domain you would like to install to’ – here, select your new domain that you purchased and assigned to Bluehost. Click Check Domain, then click Install Now, and WHALA you are installing WordPress. Just give it a couple minutes and it will be all setup.
(3) When you are finished, a page comes up that will look similar to the below. Here, you have 3 important things – (1) the domain of your new website. Check it out and it should look like an empty blog, (2) the URL for your administrator login, and (3) your username and password to log in as an admin.
Now, you can literally start blogging! You have a blog setup, and in your new admin page, you can click Posts>Add New and post your first blog! In my next post, I will give a detailed description on how to ‘pretty up’ your site and find a layout that you like! Congrats – you now have your own blog – that was easy, huh? Please comment below with any questions, and I will personally review and answer all questions.