How to start a WordPress blog? If that question has ever come to your mind or if you have ever asked it from you or someone else, then this guide on How to start a WordPress blog in 30 minutes or less is exclusively for you.
Even before starting, I should say that if you are a pro WordPress user, then this guide might not be for you. If you are someone who already tried starting a blog on WordPress and still not sure what should do and how to do, this guide will help you understand more than you already know. I rest assure you that. Because I’ve been there and I spent countless hours on the internet looking for answers.
In this step by step guide, I will do my best to walk you through everything you need to know about starting a WordPress blog in less than 30 minutes.
Why you need a WordPress blog?
There may be countless reasons for starting a WordPress blog.
It may be for fun, sometimes you need a WordPress website for your business, or maybe you need to share knowledge with the world by writing a blog.
That might be anything.
In my case, this blog is for sharing things I learned as a freelancer with fellow freelancers and help them profit their freelance journey.
What is your reason?
Whatever your reason is, starting something new is fun, and it will bring you joy for sure.
If you run a business or sell online, then a website is a must. If you need a static website, please check this article I wrote on setting up a small business website without writing a single line of codes here.
If you need a dynamic website, which you frequently need, update things, then you should start your website on WordPress. To date, WordPress is the most advanced content management system (CMS) if you need to start a dynamic business website.
As a freelancer, having a website is a critical factor to showcase my skills and experiences.
Depending on who you are and what you do, your requirement for a website may vary. Ultimately you are going to need a website, and this definitive guide will help you understand the WordPress ecosystem and help you how to set up a WordPress blog in 30 minutes or less.
7 steps to starting your WordPress blog
Let’s break things down, and it will help you understand everything systematically. These super easy to follow 7 steps will guide you and help you set up your WordPress blog.
Let’s get to it then.
- Chose a domain name
- Chose a WebHost
- Install WordPress
- Install a WordPress theme
- Customize your WordPress blog
- Securing your WordPress blog
- Writing your first WordPress blog post
Okay, then, let’s start creating your WordPress blog.
Step 1: Chose a domain name
You are reading amigoreviews.com, and that is my domain name. In simple English domain name is your website’s address. Selecting the ideal (I’m not saying the perfect) domain name for your WordPress website is essential.
The domain name should reflect your business’s identity. In other words, the domain name should represent your brand in every possible way.
Let’s say that you are running a doughnut shop, and your domain name is something like crispysour.com. It may confuse your visitors. Therefore selecting the ideal domain name for your brand shouldn’t take lightly.
Tips on choosing the right domain name for your business
- It should be a catchy and short name. This way it should be easy to remember
- Try not to use ‘difficult to spell’ words in your domain name
- If your business doesn’t have a number in it, never go for a domain name with a number.
- Never use characters other than the letters. Even a hyphen in your domain name may create difficulties in remembering the name
- Try to buy dot com (.com) domain, if available
Good and Bad domain name examples (Which I think)
Again, all these depend on your preferences. Yet, I’d love to share what I would do if I have to select a domain for my business.
- Delightdoghnuts.com: Short and Catchy. Easy to remember
- Samfixthings.com: If your name is Sam and you are a mechanic, then this may be the right domain for your business.
- Momeblogger.com: If you are a mother and a blogger, this could be a perfectly crafted domain for your WordPress website.
- Samskitchen.com: This one is the best for Chef Sam
- Ribbon-buster-cakes.xyz: See not even a .com domain and lots of dashes in the domain
- Jannetandherbridalgang.com: Nice one for Jannet’s bridal business. Yet, it looks too long for me. Isn’t it?
- Delightdoghnuts.org: Catchy name with .org. If you are not an organization, you shouldn’t go for org. If the .com is not available, try to go for the next best option, which is .net
I use Namecheap for all my domain and hosting services.
Step 2: Chose a WebHost
If you still don’t know what a WebHost is, think like this.
Your WordPress blog has lots of files (Images mainly), scripts, and folders to run your website.
When someone logs into your website, these files and scripts loads in the web browser, and the users see your WordPress website.
Therefore the files and folders which are essential to run your website should be stored in a place where people can access them 24/7.
This is where we need a Webhost. Web hosting providers sell these hosting spaces (literally some spaces of their hard drives) to store our files and folders, and these servers always stay online. This is how your WordPress website stays online 24/7.
5 Things you should consider when choosing a Web hosting provider
- Price: If you are starting your WordPress journey, then the Price should be your primary concern.
- Hosting space: In simple words, the size of storage that your hosting provider allows you to host your website. If your site is not having lots of images, files, and scripts, 500MB space is more than enough.
- Customer Support: One of the first few things you should think of when choosing a hosting provider. If you are not a tech person, then selecting a hosting provider with the best possible customer support is a must.
- Server speed: No one likes a slow website and server speed is one of the key factors that determine the speed of your website. Therefore it is recommended to find the fastest server for your money.
- Uptime: It is recommended to select a hosting provider with the highest uptime. If the server goes down, your website will also go offline. These days almost all the hosting providers have 99% uptime.
My domain and hosting provider is Namecheap, and I love their service.
Because they are affordable and have fast servers, and their customer support is one of the best I ever experienced.
How to buy the domain and Hosting from Namecheap
- Go to namecheap.com and search for your desired domain name
You should type the desired domain name in the given search box and click on enter. If the domain is available, then in the next step, you will be able to purchase it directly. If the domain is already taken, you will have to try a different variation of your desired domain name.
In this example, I’m going to check whether amigoreviewsdemo.com is available or not.
Luckily the domain I looked for available.
Then you should click on add to cart.
Once your selected domain added to the cart, in the next screen, Namecheap will ask you to choose a Hosting plan form your WordPress website.
2. Buying a Hosting plan from Namecheap
In this new window, you will see 6 different options to chose from. You only need the first option, which is ‘Web Hosting.’ Forget about the others. We only need web hosting for our WordPress blog
And you should click on the little arrowhead in the right corner of the first option to see other available hosting plans. Because Nanemcheap offers 3 different hosting packages and you should check all 3, before purchasing your hosting space.
I’m using ‘Stellar Plus’ plan as it allows me to host unlimited websites in a single hosting space for less than $60/year. But also Stellar Plus provides the auto-backup facility. If something went wrong, I could quickly restore my WordPress blogs from these auto backups.
If you don’t have more than three websites to host (Most probably just one WordPress website), you should go for stellar which will cost you less than $36/year (For the first year it will be less than $17. That’s crazily low price and you should take it)
3. Trick to get Namecheap’s 50% discount
Add your domain name and the hosting plan to the cart and click on the view cart
It will take you to the page where you can see what is in your cart.
If you look closely, you will see that your domain’s registration time is 1 year, and for your hosting, it just 1 month. You should change this to 1 year to get the discount.
All you have to do is click on the dropdown saying ‘1 month’ next to hosting plan and select 1 year
As soon as you click on the 1-year plan, your page will refresh, and then you will see that 50% applied to your hosting price.
And it is super cheap as well.
In the next window, you will have to create an account on Namecheap. If you already have one, you can sign in. Since you are new to this, you can start everything by setting up a Namecheap account for you.
After completion of setting up your Namecheap account, then you will be redirected to the payment page.
Namecheap supports PayPal if you are not a PayPal user and click on other payment options.
It will take you to a new page where you will be able to pay using your credit card
Do the necessities and pay for what you have put in your cart.
Congratulations, you just purchased your domain and your hosting plan from Namecheap.
Once you paid, your email (The one you used to sign up for Namecheap account) will receive a few emails from Namecheap and keep them safe. They will have sensible information on your domain and hosting plan.
Step 3: Install WordPress
After purchasing hosting and domain, you will receive your credentials to the Namecheap dashboard.
To Install WordPress on your domain, first, you will have to log into Namecheap dashboard, and your dashboard should look like this (Below image is from my Namecheap dashboard, and there I have several domains hosted. But in your case, there’ll only be the domain you purchased. So don’t get confused)
Once you click on then ‘stack’ icon, you will see the option to go to your cPanel.
cPanel is the graphical interface (GUI) used as a control panel to simplify website and server management. To Install WordPress, you should log into your cPanel first.
If you are not familiar with the layout of the cPanel, don’t worry about it. It is easy to understand, and frankly, we are not going to change or use many of the cPanel functions.
Once you are in the cPanel, scroll down to the bottom until you see the section for ‘SOFTACULOUS APPS INSTALLER.’
Under that section, you will see WordPress. Click on WordPress, and it will open a new window.
Once you click on WordPress, it will take you to a new window where you can start installing WordPress on your domain.
The process is super simple and easy to understand. Pay attention, and I will guide you.
First, you will have to click on the big blue button saying ‘Install Now.’
Then on the next screen, you can select the domain you need to install WordPress. As I have several domains hosted in the same hosting account, I will have an extended menu. But, in your case, you will see the domain you just purchased, and you can select it for a WordPress installation.
A few things to keep in your mind when Installing WordPress
- Always select https under protocol dropdown
- Select the right domain from the Domain dropdown
- Name your site accordingly.
- Add a site description. A short one though
Admin Account settings
One of the most critical settings in Installing a new WordPress on your domain. In this step, you will have to define your username and the password for your WordPress site, also the administrative email for your WordPress site. This email is important, and if you forget your password or the username, you can use this administrative email to retrieve access to your WordPress blog.
Therefore you should include a correct email address, and you should have access to this email as well.
Language, Plugins and Advanced Options and Select theme
- Language: You can select your preferred language from the dropdown. WordPress may not support all the languages in the world. But, the ones already have are more than enough.
- Select Plugins: Do not select any plugins here. Installing the essential plugins will be discussed later
- Advanced Options: Do not change anything, unless you know what you do
- Select theme: Do not select any theme. Just Install WordPress without a theme. This guide will explain how to install a new theme on your WordPress.
Once you are ready, scroll to the bottom of the page and click install. It will start the installation process, and it will take around a couple of minutes to complete the process.
Once the installation completed, you will see the following screen
Congratulations, you just installed WordPress on your host!
Let’s move on.
Step 4: Install a WordPress theme
The next thing you should do is Installing a theme on your WordPress blog. Installing a theme that matches your requirements is the key. There are thousands if not millions of WordPress themes are out there. And for your niche or your business, there must be an ideal theme. This is why you should spend some time looking for the perfect theme for your needs.
WordPress itself has some nice looking free themes ready for you. If you are on a budget, then I highly recommend you use a free theme.
Since they are free, you will have to settle for limited options and sometimes even the look. In my opinion, most of the free themes are lacking the ‘Professional’ look.
If you are a web designer and know how to code, you can do amazing WordPress websites with just a free theme. Assuming that you are not a web designer and still need good looking, professional website, then you better purchase a theme from a reputed vendor.
How to Install a Free WordPress theme
Before jump into a paid theme, let’s try a free theme and see how it goes.
You should click on your admin URL, and it will take you to your WordPress backend.
If you need to install a theme, hover your mouse over appearance and click on themes. It will take you to the already installed theme on your WordPress. (Yes, by default, WordPress comes with a few themes. They are good. But, we can do a lot better with different themes.)
In the next window, click on add new, and it will open the themes directory of WordPress.
There you can select a theme from various collections of themes.
In the WordPress themes directory, you can filter themes based on several criteria. (Featured, Popular and Latest). I usually go after the popular themes. They are popular for a reason, and people love those themes. Such themes will be getting frequent updates and having a modern theme is beneficial in many ways when it comes to running a WordPress blog. In this guide, my main focus is to show you how to start a WordPress blog in 30 minutes or less, and I’m not going to discuss more the benefits of such themes. It will be another topic to discuss in more detail.
I prefer the ‘Astra’ theme. Of course, it has a paid version too. But for starters, their free theme is more than enough. Astra is a lightweight theme designed for the latest WordPress updates and modern browsers. And Astra has over 3000 5 star reviews and that many reviews couldn’t be wrong.
You can directly download and Install Astra on your WordPress
What you should do is type Astra in the search area of the WordPress theme directory, and Astra theme will appear.
To install Astra, you will have to hover your mouse over the thumbnail of Theme Astra, and you will see the ‘Install’ button. Click on it and once Installed, click on the Activate button.
Congratulations, you just Installed a free theme on your WordPress blog.
Where to buy a premium theme?
If you need to have much professional looking WordPress website without doing lots of customizations, then you should buy a premium theme. A premium theme will cost you around $60, and it worth the time and the money. Almost all the paid themes come with pre-made website templates and with one click, you can import those premade websites and select the one that suits you the most. It will not just save you time and money, but also it will get you a professional website in no time.
I recommend Themeforest if you are looking to buy a modern, professional theme for the most affordable price possible. Themeforest is known for its reputation and quality themes/plugins. You can’t go wrong with them. Go check them out and see for yourself. 😀
Step 5: Customise your WordPress blog
With a WordPress blog, you can have more control over almost everything. Customizing the way your site looks will help you achieve better and professional results.
And customization is easy. But, trust me, there are lots of things that you can customize and I’m not going to discuss everything here. Just play around with your WordPress, and you will grab everything in no time.
Let’s jump right in and do some customizations.
To do so, you will have to hover on Appearance and then click on Customize.
It will open a new window, and there you will see a whole lot of options that you can customize. The flexibility of the Astra theme is over the roof, and you can do lots of fine-tunings to the WordPress website you just created.
If you purchased a premium theme, you should have even more flexibility to do amazing customizations.
Step 6: Securing your WordPress blog
Cybersecurity is one thing that you shouldn’t ignore when you are setting up a WordPress blog. Everything on the internet is at risk, and no one knows when and how they get hacked. Securing your digital property is your responsibility and there are plenty of plugins and tools to tighten the security of your WordPress site.
To do so, you will have to install a plugin.
There are plenty of plugins to tighten your WordPress security. But I prefer Sucuri.
To Install Sucuri, hover over Plugins and click on Add new
The in plugin directory type Sucuri in the search box. Click on Install and then click on Activate.
You can keep the default settings of the plugin as they were if you don’t know what you are doing. Default settings will help you secure the newly created WordPress blog.
Step 7: Writing your first WordPress blog post
You are almost ready to post your new blog post. All you have to do is, hover on Posts and click on add New
It will open the new post composing window and give your post an excellent little title and add your content and publish it.
If you have made it here, then you have gone through the article. Even though this article took you a little while to read and understand, you still can start a WordPress blog in 30 minutes or less.
If you are new to this ecosystem, you will have to put your best efforts to understand what it requires. First, you may see it as a difficult task. But, it’s not once you get a good hold of it.
FAQs: How to start a WordPress blog in 30 minutes or less
Is WordPress blog free?
WordPress.org is free software. You can download it and use it anywhere you want for absolutely free. Even though WordPress is free, you still have to pay for your domain name and hosting. As you can find in this guide on How to start a WordPress blog in 30 minutes or less, you will see that running a WordPress blog will cost you less than $50/Year and that is a super cheap deal.
Is WordPress cheaper than Wix?
Indeed yes. If you need to run 1 Wix site without Wix ads, you will have to pay for their Combo plan. Which will cost you $8.50/month and that’s $102/Year. For that money, you can easily run 3 WordPress blogs for 2 years. And I should say WordPress is much flexible than Wix and you could do a lot better blog with WordPress.
How can I earn from my WordPress blog?
You can monetize your Website’s content. Either you are running a niche website or a blog, you can create content around what your audience would love. If you have a passionate audience, you can promote affiliate offers to your readers and make commissions. Also, you can sign up for Google AdSense and make some real money from Google’s ad network. It is all about the content and higher the quality of the content you share on your blog, easier the money you could make with your WordPress blog
How do I self host my blog?
You need hosting space for self-host your WordPress blog. For less than $40/Year you can buy reliable hosting space from Namecheap and host up to 3 different WordPress websites. If you need much faster servers, you can go for SiteGround or BlueHost. But they will cost you more.
Conclusion: How to start a WordPress blog in 30 minutes
WordPress powers over 30% of the Websites on the internet. It is a massive number, and the number itself a good indication of WordPress’s potential as a tool to win the internet. WordPress is a free, flexible, and hugely dynamic blogging platform or a content management system.
If you are not a web designer, then learning how to start a WordPress blog might not be an easy task in the beginning. In my experience, if it is difficult, it doesn’t mean it is impossible. I did, and I sincerely believe that anyone can learn it and master WordPress.
If you need a self-hosted WordPress blog, you are going to need to have a domain name and a hosting space. Those are the primary requirement when you are going to start a new blog.
In this definitive guide on How to start a WordPress blog in 30 minutes or less, I elaborated on hosting a WordPress blog on Namecheap host.
Namecheap is not the only hosting provider. There are many different hosting providers. Depending on the hosting provider, the WordPress Installation process may have slight differences. All in all, the basics are the same.
I prefer Namecheap over other Hosting providers as Namecheap is affordable and their customer support is top-notch!. As a beginner to all these tech stuff, I had to contact customer support countless time and whenever I reached out to them (Namecheap), their customer support agents helped me, guided me and settled almost all the WordPress related issues I had.
Even there are slight differences from one host to another when it comes to installing WordPress, and everything is the same once you finished installing WordPress. No matter how different your hosts are, the WordPress back-end looks the same.
If you learn WordPress right, then no matter where it hosted, you can work on your WordPress installation without any issues at all.
It is a definite truth that once you grab it correctly, you can have your WordPress blog up and running in less than 30 minutes, and this guide is here to help you achieve that.
That’s a good point, Dana.
Well, I should say (If I haven’t already mentioned it in the article), it all depends on your requirements.
I have done several web design work for some clients and most of them were using SiteGround, just because SiteGround is faster than the others.
And in a way SiteGround expensive.
If you are okay with the price, then I highly recommend you try SiteGround and with Namecheap, I still managed to keep a site that loads fast(er).
My GTmetrix load times are around 2.5 Seconds to 3 Seconds, which I appreciate.
Finally, I’m glad you have gone through my article and hope I have shared something in value for you.
Keep in touch!
Thank you, Asma.