Whether you want to create an extensive website that will represent your business or would like to build a personal website, it’s highly recommended that you create a blog. If your website is centered around selling products, the blog would exist as a single page on your website where posts would be made on a regular basis. A blog is a regularly updated web page or website that’s centered around presenting articles that are written in a conversational and informal style. When you run a business of any kind, your blog can help you improve your brand image by directly connecting with the people who visit your website.
Along with improving your brand image, a blog is important because it provides you with a way to keep site visitors engaged even when they aren’t buying a product. Blogging is also a great way to enhance your website’s SEO. Search engines like Google and Bing look for a number of things when ranking a website on search results. For instance, search engines prefer web pages that are outfitted with images and videos. You can easily implement multimedia of any kind into a blog article.
It’s also common for site owners to include important keywords and phrases into their content that ties the page to common search results. Better search engine optimization will lead to higher rankings for your website. Any website that ranks in the first three results of a web search is much more likely to be clicked on when compared to websites that are displayed further down in search results.
The majority of internet users rarely move to the second page of search results before clicking on a link, which is why SEO is essential for any business that wants to obtain online success. If you would like to create a blog with WordPress, you can do so in five simple steps, which are detailed in the following article.
Step 1: Find a (WordPress) Web Host
The first and most important step of starting a blog on WordPress is to find a WordPress hosting provider. This type of provider will host your blog for a certain amount of money every month. In exchange for the monthly payment you make, you’ll be able to host one website on the provider’s servers while also receiving other tangible benefits that you can use to enhance your blog. Depending on the host you partner with and the hosting package you pay for, you can receive free demo sites, automatic backups, a certain amount of storage, and additional benefits.
The majority of hosts that you can select from are able to accommodate WordPress websites and can provide you with the features you need to build an appealing and content-rich site. Having a web host is important because it ensures that your website will remain online nearly 24/7 and that the website will be properly maintained to ensure that your website’s performance is great for all site visitors. Security is also a key focus of any host, which is why you can be confident that your website will remain secure if you select the right host. On average, you should expect hosting to cost between $3-$40 per month. Better features invariably come with higher monthly costs.
Step 2: Install WordPress
The second step in this process involves installing WordPress, which will allow you to create your website. Since the platform is open-source, you can install and set up the CMS yourself at no cost, however, there are many paid alternatives that may make your life a little easier. The initial costs for WordPress can be upwards of $200 depending on the plugins and themes you plan to install. However, monthly costs can range from $11-$40, which is relatively affordable for what you get. Even though WordPress is an expansive content management system, it began as a blogging CMS, which is why it’s considered by many site owners to be the most reliable platform for blogging sites.
No matter the hosting plan you choose, it should be fully compatible with WordPress, which means that the installation process should be simple and straightforward. Keep in mind that WordPress can be extensively customized to suit your exact needs. Numerous settings are available for reading, writing, discussion, media, and permalinks.
If you access the general WordPress settings page, you can customize your email address, your site URL, your website’s title, and membership availability. Customizing settings is easy to understand when using WordPress and can be done from the primary admin area on your WordPress site. To get your account going, it’s important that you alter certain settings. For instance, you should set the tagline and site title on the general settings page.
You should then navigating to the writing settings, after which you should set a post type and post category for all of your blog articles. However, you can go back to these settings once you’ve formally created your blog and understand the type of content you would like to create. In the reading settings section, navigate to the “Your homepage displays” area. You can either use a customized static page or your latest blog posts as your homepage.
In the discussion settings, it’s important that you take a look at the default article settings. You can determine if you want site visitors to be able to post comments under your blog articles and if you want to be able to review all posts before they appear on your site. In the permalink settings area, it’s highly recommended that select the “Post name” option, which dictates what your site URL will look like.
Step 3: Choose a WordPress Theme to Start a Blog
Once you’ve fully installed the WordPress CMS, you should select a WordPress theme to help you start a blog. You’ll have access to more than 10,000 separate themes, which means that you should be able to identify one or two that would go well with the idea you have for your website. When you’re searching for the right theme to add to your WordPress website, some of the top places to go include Themify, ThemeForest, and WPExplorer.
Before you start searching for themes, however, it’s important that you don’t spend hours upon hours searching for the most visually appealing theme for your website. When you’re first starting out, the content you place on your blog is more important than the visuals of your theme. However, the large number of themes available to you means that it should be relatively easy to find one that pairs well with the content you want to write.
Whether you obtain a free theme or purchase a paid one, adding a theme to your WordPress blog is straightforward. First, download and install the theme. Once the theme has been downloaded, navigate to the “Appearance” section on your website, after which you should go to “Themes” and “Add New”. Clicking the “Add New” button will allow you to upload your theme’s zip file. When the theme has been uploaded, you will then need to activate it, which is the final step in the installation process.
Step 4: Look Into Recommended Plugins
Even though the theme is the most important component of any WordPress website, you’ll likely want to extend the theme’s functionality by finding and downloading certain plugins. A plugin is a piece of software that will allow you to add different functions to your WordPress blogging site. While themes can provide you with some of the functionality that you require for your website, most themes are lacking in some areas. You can strengthen your website by adding some basic plugins, of which there are thousands to select from.
If your website is designed specifically for blogging, you likely don’t require a high number of plugins. On the other hand, any eCommerce website with a blog page will almost certainly need numerous plugins to ensure that site visitors have a great experience. You can find WordPress plugins in the WordPress repository or on a third-party website. These plugins can be either free or paid.
If you use a third-party website, you will need to download the plugin before uploading it to your WordPress site. When you want to select a plugin from the WordPress repository, navigate to the “Plugins” section before you select “Add New”. A search box will then be displayed, which allows you to search through thousands of useful plugins. Once you’ve found the right plugin, all that’s left is to click the “Install Now” link, after which you can activate the plugin.
Even though plugins aren’t necessary when starting a blog site, you may want to consider adding social sharing, SEO optimization, spam protection, and Google Analytics plugins to your website. Some of the more popular plugins include MonsterInsights, VaultPress, Akismet, and Yoast SEO.
Step 5: Begin Blogging
Now that you’ve chosen a theme and installed the necessary plugins, you can finally start blogging. Before you produce your first piece of content, you’ll want to get rid of the sample page that WordPress automatically creates for any new website. The “Pages” menu can be selected from the WordPress sidebar. Choose the “Trash” option for the sample page. While it’s not necessary to create additional pages at this time, you could create contact and about pages before you start making content.
Once you’ve tended to the aforementioned issues, you can begin to add new posts to your website. If you want your content to be properly implemented onto your website, it’s important that you make a title for the post, write your content in the text editor box, and include a featured image. You can also make it simpler for readers to navigate your website by placing categories and tags on your posts. When you have finished writing your content and adding some images and tags, select the “Publish” button. That’s all it takes to start a blog with WordPress.