Blogs and Websites For The Absolute Beginner
When I decided I wanted to start blogging, I was determined to figure it out. It was a good thing I was so determined, as I had no idea where to start. You will see most blogs have a “How to start a blog” post, but they don’t explain what you need to know now.
While this is not a comprehensive or exhaustive list on how to blog, or how to run a website, I am going to set out the steps that you can take if you want to start a website or blog. Thereafter, I will recommend some sources to check out on how to blog effectively, and you will be on your way.
If you are as unfamiliar with websites and hosts and all that other stuff as I was, let’s take a minute to slow down.
Here are some terms that you will need to know.
Often used interchangeably with Domain Name. This is what your site is called, and is like a street address. Instead of living at “123 Main Street, City, State, Zip”, your site will live at www.nameofyoursite.com, for example.
A symbol or word or series of words that another company has registered to use in representing their brand. For example: “Realtor” is a trademarked word. Unless you are the company that trademarked or registered that word, no one else can use that word in a name or website.
This is a company that gives your address access to the internet (like driveways to the road). Some companies offer this service for free, like Blogger.com or Weebly.com. These are free hosting sites. You will still need to purchase your domain name if you want it to be specific. Otherwise, your domain name will include their company name.
Direct address: www.maryandherlambs.com
Free site might be: www.blogger.com/blog/maryandherlambs
How do you want to tell people about your site? It’s easier to say the first one. You will need to purchase the domain name if you want that address.
Note: Purchasing a domain name means you can use that name for a period of time. It will expire, and you will need to pay to renew your use of that name. A domain name costs between $10 – $20 a year, approximately. You can also purchase ones for less (or established names for more), depending on your preference.
About Hosting Companies
A free website like the ones mentioned above have limitations on what you can do. A free blog for sharing information with the world can be a great solution that will not cost you a lot of money.
Paid Hosting for Blogs and Websites
A self-hosted blog is when you hire a company to host your address or domain name on the internet for you. They provide specific services for you, like web page builders (programs that will help you create your website), email servers (if you wanted an email like “email@example.com”), security products, support and more. Normally, these companies charge a monthly fee to you to use their services.
By using a paid service, you will have more freedom to do what you want with your website. If your goal is to set up a store, sell products, monetize your blog, create email lists, or anything else, you will be able to set the rules on your own site.
Making it Simple
My favourite hosting company is SiteGround
. There have been times I needed help with setting up my site, and moving other domains to SiteGround.
Their service and chat support have been amazing and blew away my expectations. Not only that, after I signed up with SiteGround
, I have noticed so many big bloggers who recommend and use SiteGround
If you have chosen to go with a paid hosting service, let’s walk through getting you started:
Availability of your Blog or Website
Verify your website (domain) is available. You can verify it’s availability here
Do your “due diligence” to ensure that phrase or name is not trademarked or copyrighted by another party before purchasing the domain name.
The easiest way to find out if your domain name is not being used by a company or other party is to search for your own domain name. Type it in without the ending.
For example: maryandherlambs is a better search term than www.maryandherlambs.com.
Once you are satisfied that your domain name is safe and doesn’t violate any trademarks or copyrights, then it’s time to continue on.
Your next step is to purchase your domain name. It is easier to purchase your domain name from the company that will be hosting your site.
- Choose Service: Get a New Hosting Account
- Enter Domain: Register a new domain
- Enter the name of the site that you want
SiteGround has three plans and you can sign for any of them.
- The StartUp plan is perfect for beginners with one website that are starting now
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves a WordPress and Joomla website speed (this is the one I chose because I knew I would want the option of more than one site, and wanted room to grow.)
- The GoGeek plan is perfect for more established people with e-commerce and larger sites, or larger development needs like staging and GIT integration
Once you select your domain name, and your service plan, you will walk through the steps to setting up your account. (Hint: choose the longest term you can afford, as that will keep your costs lower. I signed for two years.)
The tab at the top with your website access is under “My Accounts.” Click there to see your link.
Go to “Installations”, then click on “Go To Admin Panel”.
You will be logged into your dashboard with a menu down the left hand side. Take each step at a time, read through what they are asking for, and you will start to create a website of your own.
If you have questions about any of the tabs on the left, or about this post, please comment. I will try to help as much as I can.
Congratulations! You have signed up for a hosting company, and you are on your way to creating a website! If you signed up with SiteGround, do not hesitate to use their support. The crew is amazing.
Here is a list of resources for starting to blog:
Do You Even
Blog: One of the best sources to learn how to create effective content and so much more. He has a podcast as well. Tell Pete I say hi!
: Start here for information on SEO. Search Engine Optimization, simply explained, is how you tweak posts to help search engines find them.
: A page full of resources. Find what to read, what sites to check out, and how to save money while doing all of that.
If there’s anything you want to read or know more about, send me a comment! I love question and answer posts!
As always, join me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and have a fabulous day!
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