CREATE A BLOG WITH WORDPRESS
- Why have a blog
- Content management systems (CMS)
- Choosing WordPress
- Free blogging platforms
- Starting a blog with WordPress: what is needed with a full outline
- Blog monetization
- WordPress themes
Why have a blog
In a competitive world, winners don’t do different things. They do things differently.
To stand atop of the game and to nature those dreams into reality, you must act differently and let the works speak for you than giving marathon speeches to convince the masses of your abilities.
An online presence is a unique codified identity of one abilities, passion, and ambitions which speaks volumes than the ocean can rival.
It cast out a doubt in the minds of the unknown as to whom a person is, thereby stamping unconditional trust in such a fellow. and subsequently pathing the way for opportunities that might have seen to be out of reach.
A photographer can have a blog displaying photoshoots to potential clients, a developer as well might want to show employers he indeed, knows what he is doing with the code.
Blog out of passion, to educate, to sell a craft, draw awareness of creativity and on any areas, you deem fit and having interest.
To do things differently by having a blog calls for the use of a content management system among other options.
Content management system (CMS)
A content management system(CMS) is software used in creating and managing content(digital content).
With a lot of CMS available, developing a blog is now simplified and requires no technical knowledge.
Any of these CMS can be used to develop a blog:
- Blogger (a free blogging platform from Google)
The list goes on but the above are dominant and among them, is WordPress.
- User friendly even for beginners
- WordPress sites rank high
- Dozen of themes to always select from
- WordPress sites have a built-in blog
- Powers over 75% of all websites on the internet
- Strong support from WordPress community should you run into problems
This and many other factors which might not be listed above are the main reasons why WordPress should be used for your blog, business website, or portfolio projects.
Reasons not to use free blogging platform.
It is never advisable to start a blog with free blogging platform if you have the mindset of future plans like reselling or turning it into something mega.
Moreover, the blog can be taken down at any point in time when they deem it fit which might cost you a lot.
- Free blogging platforms like blogger or WordPress.com, which is the free version of WordPress.org can take you down the moment automated scripts detect something fishy. It might be a false alarm but as a traditional duty of the script, it must be fired.
- You are totally limited as to how the blog looks. No customization and plugins to take care of security
- Blog looks unprofessional as a domain name must come with a blogging platform extension such as tinastories.blogspot.com instead of tinastories.com. This might give the impression to site visitors that, maybe the owner is not serious.
Developing on a free platform to migrate to paid hosting can be very difficult, frustrating, and time-consuming.
Opt-in for a professional hosting plan and use WordPress to easily get the blog up and running in no time.
What is needed to start WordPress Blog?
This might vary in order but tentatively, every blog needs to have these core things:
- A niche
- Domain name
Let’s look at the above in brief.
Niche: Pick a subject area for the blog. Is the write-up focusing on photography, software, health, agriculture, tourism, flowers, programming, sports, arts, and funny acts? Define a clear topic to kick start.
This helps in getting a unique and appealing domain name for the blog.
Domain name: With the subject area don, next is the domain name. blog4dev.com is the domain name for Blog4Developers.
Check if your preferred domain name is available
Hosting: Content on a blog needs to reside on a secure server and can be live on the internet for the whole year. This calls for the need in getting better hosting. Hosting will be discus down the line.
With the subject area and domain name successfully done, time to start the awaited first blog using WordPress and no stone will be left unturned from the list below:
- How to register a domain name
- Choosing the best hosting platform
- Installing WordPress
- Change blog theme
- Write first blog post
- Add contact form
- Monetize your blog (optional)
- Best WordPress theme to download and install
- Add Google Analytics to monitor site traffic
Once the blog subject is ready, let’s start with the first step. The presumed blog topic is about the journey of a developer called Tina and our preferred domain here could be Tinastories.com.
Register the domain name tinastories.com but before that, it would be nice to get the hosting first and come back to step 1 with the domain name.
Hosting a blog or website needs to be on a trusted and secured server because that is where everything about the blog files, images, videos, and all documents will be stored.
A lot of hosting companies are out there but the official WordPress recommended hosting provider is Bluehost. Hover over to Bluehost and start the hosting registration process.
One good thing here is that a domain name could cost $11.5 a year. With Bluehost, a domain name is added to you free of charge meaning you will be saving some bugs which is really good for beginners.
Click on the ‘Get Started’ button which is clearly shown on the green button. Sight design might change but don’t let that throw you off.
On the next page as shown below, select the plan that will suit your needs. Basic and Plus plans are the most popular selected. If you are a beginner getting started, I will suggest you go in for the ‘Basic’ plan and can upgrade anytime in the future.
Now select the plan that can handle your needs.
With any of the plans selected, you will be given free SSL Certificate which is very important as far as site security is concerned. On some hosting platforms, it will be sold to you but with Bluehost, free of charge.
Next, you will be presented with the domain name option. Here you input the name of the blog like blog4dev.com.
Remember the case study name we had; tinastories.com. Let’s use it.
Use the down arrow to select .org, .info and any dot extension you want and click next.
This will bring you to the signup process and you will be notified if the domain name exists or not. If it does exist, continue and fill up the form with the required information.
Right below the form is the Package information form. Here you can select the hosting for 12, 24, or 36 months. Use the drop-down arrow to select.
In this case, I have selected 12 months of hosting as seen below.
Finally is the ‘Package Extras’ where you can add up extra packages you want. it is recommended to leave it as you can add it up after setting up the site. So uncheck all the boxes else you will be billed automatically.
Check out and submit.
Bravo! successfully purchased a hosting plan with a free domain name from Bluehost.
Once submitted you will receive an email with login credentials and instructions to access the web hosting control panel (cPanel) where you will be able to manage the entire website or blog, send emails and notifications to members, and a whole lot.
Now with a hosting and a domain name. Next, install WordPress and build first blog.
STEP 3: Installing WordPress on cPanel.
With the email received from Bluehost which contains the cPanel URL and log-in details, log onto the cPanel with the credentials provided.
In the cPanel, there will be a lot of icons and features all over. Just ignore all these and such for the WordPress icon and click on it as seen on this right image with the caption ‘Install WordPress’
Clicking on it will redirect you to Bluehost marketplace quick install for WordPress. Click on the get started button
- Now choose the domain name in the drop-down menu on the next screen
- Next enter the site name, username, and password for your site and make sure all checkboxes are marked, then click install.
This will install WordPress.
You will be notified to browse themes whilst WordPress is been installed. Leave that for now as it is discus below on how to download and install free themes.
A success message will appear atop the page upon successful installation. Click on the link installation complete link which will lead you to the WordPress login URL and password.
Take notice of these login details very well probably copy or write it somewhere.
There it is! You have successfully installed WordPress and your first site is up and running. All you need to do is customized the default theme which doesn’t look nice mostly and then, start writing blog posts to the blog!
STEP 4: Change blog theme.
With the log-in details, log onto WordPress dashboard with user credentials.
View of the dashboard after log-in.
Currently, the website is using one of the default themes which will be changed soon. To view the website, atop of the header bar place the cursor on ‘Tina Stories’ and ‘view site’ will appear. Click on it or right-click and open in a different window. The site will launch with the default editing tools on top of the header bar seen only by the admin. Any person accessing the website or blog will only see the web page with content but not the editing tools. As such, always log out after editing the site.
Website appearance might look different from the default theme for different users but all process is the same.
That is it. Everything left is to change the current theme. WordPress comes with a lot of free themes and you can still check elegant themes for more advanced and customized themes based on your needs.
To go back to the dashboard, on top of the header bar at the left-hand side, place the cursor on the site name here tiny stories and a drop-down will appear select dashboard and tab on it to navigate back to the dashboard.
STEP 4: Change blog theme.
Changing the blog theme is so exciting, simple, and easy to do. Make sure you are on the main dashboard and on your left-hand side of the navigation bar, place the cursor on ‘Appearance’ and a sub-menu will appear then click on themes.
Next will be inside the theme page. There are always some themes here by default. Yours might be different but generally, everything works the same. Inside the theme page click ‘Add New’
Make sure to have a good internet connection else ‘Add New’ page might not load correctly. The result of clicking ‘Add New’ is shown below.
Astonishing as seen above. Presented with wonderful and beautiful themes from WordPress.
Hover the mouse on any theme to preview it and if interested, click install to install it and click activate to activate the theme. Select any theme of your choice.
For more advanced and customized themes, you might want to look at Astra themes or elegant themes. Both are beautiful in nature and in design.
There you go. After selecting a theme and installing it, then activate. You have successfully changed the default theme of the site and you can preview as disused above to see the outlook.
It might not appear exactly as seen on the theme image but when you start to add a blog post, it will appear as expected.
STEP 5. Write your first blog post.
If you have ever worked with Microsoft word documents before then you can write a WordPress blog post. Everything is much of the same. Just as the way word document is formatted so as it is in WordPress. On the left sidebar, hover on ‘Post’ for a sub-menu to appear then select ‘Add New’ to begin writing the blog post. As seen, the workspace for writing the blog post is not entirely new in terms of document formatting. Employ word document writing skills and you are good to go. Below is the workspace for the blog post.
Provide post title and content. When done, look at the top right-hand side for ‘Publish’ and click on it to publish the post, and from there, the first blog post was created and published!
STEP 6: Add contact form.
This process will also show you how to add any plugin to a WordPress website or blog.
Any website must have a form where people can get in touch with site owners. This is always a nightmare for programmers to get a fully working form on a site or application.
With WordPress, it is highly simplified than you can ever imagine. There are a lot of ways to accomplish this but one of the easiest ways is to use a plugin.
Plugin(s) is a script that extends functionality to a WordPress website or application. Plugins are not used only with WordPress but across diverse applications and platforms.
To ease the task, install a contact form plugin. There is a plugin for almost everything you could think of; videos, gallerias, testimonies, and a whole lot. For now, install the contact form plugin.
On the main dashboard go to ‘Plugins’ and navigate to the ‘Add New’ page. Then using the search box on this page type WPForms and search. When it appears then install and activate it.
After installing and activating, on the left sidebar hover the cursor on ‘WPForms’ and select ‘Add New’ as seen below.
This will launch the WPForms designer interface and it is straightforward to work with. All you need to do is to provide the form name. It could be anything but make it reasonable. Tina Contact Form is the name used here. Use anything you like.
After that select Simple Contact Form. Other options are there but keep it simple.
A simple contact form will now be created for you with all required fields. You can use the tools to enhance it and make changes but I advise you to leave it as it is if you are a complete beginner.
Now click save at the top right corner and beside it is ‘x’ icon. Click on it to exit the page.
Add contact form. On the left sidebar select ‘Pages > Add new’ to add a new page. Name the page Contact or any way to your likening.
On top of the page will be ‘Add Form’ button. Tab on it for a drop-down to appear. Select the name of the form you created earlier and tab on add form. The form will be populated onto the page.
STEP 7: Monetize your blog and generate revenue.
Blog monetization pays off when done right. Follow approved procedures and do not distract user experience with many ads.
A blog can be monetized either by:
STEP 8: Best WordPress themes.
WordPress as a content management platform means everyone can develop a blog. What makes the difference is the design and functionality and if you want to take the design to the next level, you are fully covered.
Developers have crafted nice-looking themes for blogs, websites, saloons, gardening, and all fields you can mention. My recommended best platforms you could get such themes and download is from Astra theme and elegant themes.
Starting a blog in this digital age is pivotal in the success of any ambitions that are been natured to go beyond the clouds and it is pretty much simple to get started than the perspective thought of going through a cumbersome process.