I had been thinking about setting up a self-hosted website and blog for a long time. I had a couple of starter blogs on Blogspot which were really just like random diaries. But I honestly did not know where to begin with getting a self-hosted blog going. It all felt pretty daunting. I did know that a self-hosting blog, with a purchased domain name would be the way to go if I wanted the blog to be adaptable in the future, and if I wanted to get the most of out of it with regards to visibility, search rankings, mobile-responsiveness to name just a few advantages.
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I feel genuinely enthusiastic and positive about the whole setting-up process I went through to get fifty-anything up and running, so would like to share how I did it.
Choosing Hosting for your Website
After doing a fair bit of research I found this package with BlueHost to be the answer to my needs. It is very simple and straightforward to set up, and the pricing for their hosting plans is very competitive. As I’m sure you know already, hosting is like renting the space where your blog and website live. It makes it visible online. With BlueHost there are options to pay over 12, 24 or 36 months. You will need to pay upfront to get things rolling, and if you can commit to 36 months you will get the best deal. However, the 12 month package is still very good value.
If you are ready to get started, simply click on the image and you will be guided through the whole process.
Choosing A Website Domain Name
You will need to come up with a name for your blog once you have set up the hosting process. It is worth giving this quite a bit of thought because it is an integral part of you and the message you want to convey through your blog. If you can get it right at this stage then it will help you keep focused on your overall subject and how you want to help your (hopefully soon) many avid readers.
When you have chosen a domain name you will need to register it. It is considered slightly advantageous to go with the .com domain for a more worldwide appeal, but obviously this depends on your subject matter and potential readers. If your content is very geographically focused then you could simply go with the suffix for the country where you are based.
I got the domain name for fiftyanything.com from Go Daddy before I went ahead with the hosting. But if you have already signed up with BlueHost you will get your domain name free for the first 12 months.
Add your domain name to the New Domain box if you got it from BlueHost. Or, if you already have your domain registered elsewhere, use the Transfer Domain box and you will be guided through how to transfer it to BlueHost. (this is what I did).
On the next page you will enter your own information, and be given some options to upgrade, but right now you likely won’t need these nor the additional cost.
Lastly, you will be asked to enter your payment information: either PayPal or credit/debit card, and you’re done. You own your domain name, you have a space for it to be hosted, and now you are ready for actually setting up your blog.
Installing WordPress on your Website
Now you have hosting and your domain sorted, you will need to install WordPress. You do this in the Dashboard section when you log into your BlueHost account. BlueHost send an email which contains a link. Click on this to be taken to your cPanel.
In your cPanel, you need to do the following:
- Find the part that says “MOJO Marketplace” and then click the “One Click Install” button.
- On the next page, click on the WordPress icon located under ‘Blogs’. You then need to select the ‘Start’ button which will begin the installation. Select the domain name you intend on using.
- After the install, choose your username and password for when you login into your new WordPress website. Your username can also be your email, but you should make sure that your password is something secure, as always!
Choosing A Theme
When it comes to choosing a theme for your WordPress site, you will literally be spoilt for choice. The theme is what determines the look and layout and colours for your website. Just do a Google search for ‘feminine themes’ if that is what you would like, or indeed use any keyword searches that reflect the kind of website you want to present to the world. I chose a theme for the blog from https://www.bluchic.com/ where you can find beautiful feminine designs to visually tie all your ideas together. This one is Estelle, and it was a freebie. Very lovely it is too. I subscribe to the BlueChic newsletter and get sent some very innovative and inspiring tips on how to make the most of your website. Really useful for a newbie blogger!
Having got the fifty-anything blog set up was a proud moment for me. I feel as if my knowledge base about blogging is growing all the time, there is almost an infinite amount you can learn yet at the same time, taking the plunge and getting started was such a good move: you learn by doing things and although reading about how to do things is good, actually putting what you learn to work is really the best way. Early posts and graphics are bound to be a little basic, but you can always to back and edit and polish them at a later date. The WordPress dashboard makes this process very simple.
Next steps include adding images, social media icons to link to your accounts, getting started with a mailing list, and learning about graphic design so that you can promote all your amazing blog posts on social pages. Good luck and have fun with it all!