Do yWhou want to know how to start a WordPress blog properly? We understand that starting a blog can be a terrifying prospect, especially if you are not a geek. You’re not alone, believe it or not. I’ve decided to write the most in-depth guide on how to start a WordPress blog without any technical knowledge.
The procedure is simple to follow whether you are 20 or 60 years old. However, if you require assistance, I can assist you in setting up your blog for free.
What are the requirements for starting a WordPress blog?
Three things are required to start a WordPress blog:
Yes, you read that correctly. You can create a blog in less than 30 minutes, and we’ll walk you through the entire process step by step.
This tutorial will cover the following topics:
Ready? Let us begin.
The most common error beginners make when starting a blog is selecting the incorrect blogging platform. Fortunately, you’re here, which means you won’t make that error.
For 95% of users, WordPress.org, also known as self-hosted WordPress, makes more sense. Why?
Since it is completely free to use, you can install plugins, customize your blog’s design, and most importantly, earn money from your blog without any restrictions (see the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).
Additionally, WordPress is the most popular website platform, as it is used by the majority of successful blogs. To put this in perspective, WordPress powers 40% of all websites on the internet!
You may be wondering why WordPress is free. What is the snag?
There is no stipulation. It’s free because you’re responsible for setting it up and hosting it.
That is, you will require a domain name and web hosting.
A domain name is the address that visitors type to reach your website. It is the internet address of your website. Consider Google.com or Criticalinfo.com.ng.
Web hosting is the location of your website’s files. It serves as the online home for your website. Each website necessitates web hosting.
A .com domain name is typically $8.99 per year, and web hosting is typically $14 per year.
That is a substantial sum of money for newcomers.
I recommend Unique Server Hosting for your website hosting needs.
NOTE: We at Critical Info believe in flexibility. If you sign up for Unique Server Hosting through our referral link, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain). We would receive this commission if we recommended any WordPress hosting company, but we only recommend products that we use personally and believe will be beneficial to our readers.
Let’s proceed with the purchase of your domain and hosting.
Open a new window and navigate to Unique Server Hosting.
The first step is to input your preferred domain name to begin.
Following that, select the plan that you require (Silver is the most popular plan).
Finally, you’ll need to complete the process by adding your billing account information and finalizing the package information.
Proceed to check out and select your payment method.
After you’ve completed the form and payment, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to access your web hosting control panel (cPanel). This is where you manage everything, including support and emails. But most importantly, this is where WordPress is installed.
Step 2. Install WordPress
After getting your cPanel login details head on to your cPanel dashboard by logging via your domain.com/cpanel.
While in your dashboard navigate to “Autoinstallers” and locate Softaculous.
Softaculous is a well-known script for automating the installation of software. It enables you to quickly and easily install popular web applications such as WordPress.
By clicking on any of these icons, the Softaculous auto-installer for WordPress will be launched. To begin, you’ll see a brief overview of WordPress. To proceed, you must click the Install tab.
Softaculous will now prompt you to specify where you want to install WordPress. You must select http:// or http://www. as the protocol.
If your site uses SSL and HTTPS, you can choose https:// or https://www. as the protocol.
Following that, you must select the domain name where you want to install WordPress. Most users prefer to install WordPress in the root directory of their domain, such as example.com. In that case, you must ensure that the ‘In Directory’ field is empty.
Scroll down a little to find the site settings section.
In this section, you must first provide a title and description for your WordPress site. Don’t worry, you can easily change them after installation in your WordPress admin area.
Following that, you must select an admin username, password, and email address. Softaculous will fill in the username and password fields for you automatically. It will use a username that is not in a dictionary and a strong password.
You can change them if you want to make them easier to remember. However, we strongly advise you to use a strong password at all times. Learn how to manage strong passwords easily by reading our guide on the best way to manage passwords for WordPress beginners.
Check that you have entered the correct email address in the admin email field. If you forget your password, WordPress will send you an email with a password reset link.
The remaining options on the screen are entirely optional. You can now launch the installer by clicking the install button.
Softaculous will launch the installer with the parameters you specified. You will see a progress bar that displays the installation status. It will only take a few moments. Close the window only when the progress bar reaches 100%; otherwise, your WordPress installation may be harmed.
After the installation is complete, you will see a success message. It will also display links to your website and your WordPress administration area.
3. Choosing Your WordPress Theme
Themes are used to customize the appearance of your WordPress blog. When you first visit your blog, it will appear as follows:
WordPress’s default theme
This is unappealing to the majority of people.
Customizing your blog’s look and feel is by far the most exciting and rewarding aspect of the process of creating your WordPress blog.
You can install thousands of pre-made WordPress themes on your site. Some are free, while others are premium.
You can change your theme by navigating to the Appearance » Themes section of your WordPress dashboard.
Install a new WordPress theme
Proceed to the Add New button.
The following screen will allow you to search through the 8,200+ free WordPress themes available in the official WordPress.org theme directory. You can sort by most popular, most recent, featured, or any other feature (i.e industry, layout, etc).
When you hover your mouse over a theme, you’ll notice a Preview button. By clicking it, you’ll access the theme preview, which allows you to see how the design will appear on your website.
The preview of your theme may not look exactly like the screenshot, which is normal because you will be customizing and configuring it later. What you’re looking for are design elements such as colours, typography, and others.
The best advice for choosing the ideal WordPress theme is to aim for simplicity in design. It assists you in maintaining order and clarity while providing a positive user experience.
When you’ve located a theme that you like, simply hover your mouse over it to reveal the Install button. To install the theme, click on it and wait for it to install. The install button will then be replaced by an Activate button. To activate the theme, you must click on it.
Activate and install the WordPress theme
After installing your theme, click the Customize link under the Appearance menu to begin customizing it.
After you’ve chosen your WordPress theme, you’re ready to write your first blog post.
Step 4: Write Your First Blog Post (Optional)
Write a blog post by going to the Posts » Add New menu in your WordPress dashboard and clicking on “Add New“.
You will be presented with an editor area, in which you can draft your first blog post.
Creating a blog post in the WordPress platform
WordPress makes use of a block-based editor, in which each element is represented by a separate block. This gives you the ability to create visually appealing content layouts for your blog posts.
You can now publish your blog post by clicking on the Publish button in the top-right corner of the screen.
There are several other sections on the posts screen, such as Categories and Tags, that you should be aware of. You can use these to divide your blog posts into sections and organize your content.
Step 5: Customizations & Plugins
After you’ve completed your first sample blog post, you’ll probably want to begin adding other common website elements such as contact forms, galleries, sliders, and a newsletter subscription form.
Plugins are required to add all of these additional features.
WordPress plugins are applications that enable you to extend the functionality of your website (without writing any code).
The free WordPress plugin directory alone contains over 58,000 plugins. This means that regardless of the task at hand, there is a plugin for it.
With that in mind, let’s look at how to use plugins to enhance the functionality of your WordPress blog.
Add a Contact Form to your WordPress blog
A contact form is required on every website. It enables your users to contact you directly via email. To include a contact form on your website, you will need to use a WordPress form builder plugin, which is not included with WordPress.
We recommend that you make use of the WPForms Lite plugin. It is a free version of the widely used WPForms plugin, which is ranked first on our list of the best contact form plugins for WordPress.
WPForms is used by over 4 million websites worldwide!
Installing the plugin is as simple as going to the Plugins » Add New page and typing WPForms into the search field. Following that, you must click on “Install” and then “Activate.” Following activation, you must navigate to the WPForms » Add New page to create your first form.
Creating a new contact form in WordPress is simple.
The WPForms builder interface will be displayed as a result of this action.
After entering a name for your contact form, you must select the ‘Simple Contact Form’ template from the drop-down menu that appears.
WPForms will now generate a straightforward contact form for you, complete with all of the necessary fields. You can edit any field by clicking on it, or you can create a new field by selecting it from the left column.
Once you have finished editing the form, save it by clicking on the Save button in the top right corner of the form builder and then exit it.
Creating a new page in WordPress is now as simple as going to Pages » Add New and giving it the title “Contact.” To edit the WPForms block, you must first navigate to the edit screen and click the block name.
Next, choose the form you created earlier from the drop-down menu, and WPForms will display a live preview of the form in the editor.
To see your contact form in action, you can now save and publish the page and visit it directly in your browser to see it in action.
It is recommended that you test your form to ensure that you are receiving the notifications you expect.
Setting up Google Analytics tracking
Google Analytics enables you to see how many people visit your blog, where they are coming from, and what they are doing on your website.
Installing Google Analytics when you set up your blog is ideal to get an accurate picture of your blog’s growth.
To begin, navigate to the Google Analytics website and sign in with your Gmail credentials.
Once logged in, you can create a free Google Analytics account.
You will be prompted to enter your contact information and the URL of your website. Following that, you’ll see your Google Analytics tracking code.
You may now exit, as we will be utilizing a plugin to automatically retrieve and add this code to your blog (along with setting up proper WordPress tracking).
Install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin by navigating to your WordPress admin area. It is the free version of the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and the simplest way to incorporate Google Analytics into your website (trusted by over 3 million websites).
After activation, go to Insights » Settings to configure the plugin settings.
MonsterInsights can be used to connect Google Analytics.
To connect Google Analytics to your WordPress site, go to the settings page and click the ‘Connect MonsterInsights‘ button.
To finish the setup, follow the on-screen instructions. Once complete, you’ll be able to access your website analytics report directly from the MonsterInsights tab in your WordPress dashboard.
How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for SEO
When starting a blog, the majority of beginners do not optimize it for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, assists users in finding your blog through search engines. If you want to increase traffic to your blog, it is critical that you optimize it for search engines from the beginning.
To get started, you must first install and activate the Rank Math SEO plugin on your website. It is a full-featured WordPress SEO plugin that will assist you in optimizing your website.
The plugin comes with a quick configuration wizard that will guide you through the process of setting it up. It will guide you through the process of creating a WordPress sitemap, writing appropriate keywords and meta descriptions, adding schema markup, and much more.
Additional WordPress Plugins and Customizations
There are a plethora of additional WordPress plugins available for installation. When looking for the plugins that they require, many beginners find the process overwhelming.
We frequently feature the best WordPress plugins to help you add the functionality that you require to your website.
Listed below is our expert’s selection of the best WordPress plugins that you should consider using.
- Backup – UpdraftPlus is the most effective WordPress backup plugin available. You must make regular backups of your website if something goes wrong with it.
- Security – Sucuri Security is a free security scanner for WordPress that scans for malicious code.
- Performance – To speed up WordPress, we recommend using WP Rocket (premium) or WP Super Cache (free).
- Design and customization – We recommend using either the SeedProd or the Divi page builder for customizing your homepage design, creating custom landing pages, or even creating custom themes to fit your specific requirements (without writing any code).
- Traffic and subscribers – We strongly recommend that you use PushEngage’s push notifications to increase traffic and subscribers. This allows you to maintain contact with website visitors after they have left your website.
- Email Marketing – For email marketing, we recommend Constant Contact. We recommend using the free OptinMonster plugin to create high-converting popups, scroll boxes, and call to actions to increase your email subscriber count.