9 Steps to Start a Blog with WordPress

The basic steps to get started with the self-hosted version of WordPress

You've decided to start a blog using WordPress.org, but you're not sure what to do first. That's a common problem, and it can be intimidating. However, the process is actually very easy if you follow the basic steps listed below.

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Get a Hosting Account.

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Choose a Web hosting provider who will store your blog content and display it to visitors. For beginners, basic hosting plans are typically adequate. Try to find a blog host who offers two specific tools: a cpanel and Fantastico (or Softaculous), which are two tools that make it extremely easy to upload WordPress and manage your blog. Some hosts even offer a WordPress level of hosting.

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Get a Domain Name.

Take some time to determine what domain name you want to use for your blog, and purchase it from your blog host or another domain registrar of your choice. Be careful when choosing a domain name.

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Upload WordPress to Your Hosting Account and Associate It with Your Domain Name.

Once your hosting account is active, you can upload WordPress to your account and associate it with your domain name. If your host offers a tool like Fantastico or Softaculous, you can install WordPress directly from your cPanel account with a few simple clicks of your mouse and associate it to the appropriate domain name with a few more clicks. Each host has slightly different steps to upload WordPress and associate it with the right domain in your account, so check your host's guidelines, tutorials and help tools for specific instructions for installation. If your host offers SimpleScripts one-click installation of WordPress, you can follow the instructions to install WordPress with SimpleScripts.

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Install Your Theme.

If you want to use a theme that is not included in the default WordPress theme gallery, you need to install it to your hosting account and blog. You can do this through your WordPress dashboard by selecting Appearance>Add New Themes then select the theme you want and click Install (or similar steps depending on the version of WordPress you're using). You can also upload new themes through your hosting account if you prefer. 

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Set up Your Blog's Sidebar, Footer and Header.

Once your theme is installed, it's time to work on your blog's sidebar, footer and header to ensure your blog's design is complete and the information you want to display on the side, top and bottom of your blog looks the way you want it to. Depending on the theme you're using, you should be able to upload your logo image directly through your WordPress dashboard ( Appearance > Customize ). If not, you can find the header file in your blog's files in your hosting account. Take a few minutes to read more about blog headers, footers, and sidebars.

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Configure Your Settings.

Take a few minutes to check the various settings available through your WordPress dashboard. The most important ones are und Settings. Make any modifications that you want so your blog displays and works the way you want it to. You can change settings related to your author profile, how posts are displayed.

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Make Sure Your Comment Moderation Settings Are Set up Correctly

Successful blogs include a lot of conversations through the comments feature. Therefore, you need to configure your blog's comment moderation settings to fit your blogging goals. (Settings > Discussion)

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Write Your Posts.

Finally, it's time to start writing blog posts, so get to writing!

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Create Your Pages and Links.

Once your blog looks and functions the way you want it to, you can start adding content. The first thing you should do is create your home page and your "About Me" page as well as the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use pages you want to include to protect yourself from problems. 

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Install Key WordPress Plugins.

You can add to your blog's functionality and streamline processes with WordPress plugins. Search around to find WordPress plugins you want to use on your blog. You may want to consider plugins for security, SEO, spam control, contact forms, shopping carts, and site traffic analysis. There are literally thousands of plugins to choose from. You can install plugins directly through your WordPress dashboard!