Hello lovelies! Right now I am most likely still on a plane on my merry way to the UK, however, I wanted to kick off the new week with a new series.
As I mentioned last week, I’m closing down my Crafty Biz blog, but there’s a whole lotta great content over there that I don’t want to go to waste. So I’m going to be re-posting a number of the best posts over here for you all. Today is the first – one of 3 posts where I help you to get started with a blog – specifically, a self-hosted WordPress blog (like this one!).
I’ve been running my own self-hosted WordPress blogs/sites for years, and I’m passionate about the software – it really is amazingly powerful and easy to use!
Feel free to throw any questions you have at me in the comments!
I want to start a blog/website – help!”
I’ve been asked this question a lot lately, and seen it pop up around the place. You want to start a blog, but you don’t know how to go about it? Read on!
The first question you need to answer is what do you want to do with your blog? Do you want a place to just keep your customers updated on new products; or do you want to take it further and have your own website – with a blog – that you could one day also sell your work on?
If, however, you’re like me and are aiming for the latter, then I wholly recommend you go with a self-hosted WordPress blog. Not sure how to do this? Well, you’re in the right place, read on!
Buying Hosting and a Domain
The first thing you need is to choose a webhost and a domain name. I recommend Dreamhost (aff*), as they are an awesome hosting company, and you can buy your domain names directly from them (in fact, you get one free domain when you sign up with them)!
They are my own host, and I’ve been with them for many years now. Oh, and did I mention they are a carbon neutral company? Yep
For the initial techy stuff, I’m going to assume you’ve signed up with them. If not, the info below should still help you figure out your host!
Once you’ve signed up for hosting with them, go into your dashboard and click on ’Domain Registrations’. Now, hopefully you’ve worked out what you want your domain to be… here’s your chance to see if it’s available! Just type it in the little box, and cross your fingers! If it is, hurrah! Nab it, and move onto the next step.
If not, don’t despair - try a few different combinations/spellings if possible, and chances are you’ll find one that’s available. For example, if I wanted to register my name, jessicavanden.com (which I have) but it was taken, I’d try jessica-vanden.com or jessica-van-den.com (use those hyphens)!
“But Jess, I already have a domain name that I’ve re-directed to my Etsy/Artfire/DaWanda etc. shop or my current blog!”
Well, that’s easy to solve! In your Dreamhost dashboard, look to the sidebar, and click on ’Domains’–>’Reg. Transfer’. Pop your domain in there and request a transfer, easy! It should take about a week to process. (You’ll also need to send an e-mail to the people who you bought your domain from, because they’ll need to ‘unlock’ it for you).
In your Dreamhost dashboard, look for the sidebar. On there, you should see ’Goodies’–>’One-Click Installs’. Head on over here.
Click on ’Install new website software – Advanced mode’ (don’t be scared by the word ‘advanced’, it just means you have a little more control over your site, not that it’s hard).
Choose WordPress, select your domain down the bottom, and click ’Install it for me now’!
Ta-da! Mosey over to your e-mail and check for a message from Dreamhost. There will be a link to click on, which will take you to a page where you name your site, and choose your Username and Password. Then, it’ll ask you to log in.
That’s it! The first stage finished. You now have a domain, a host, and you’ve installed WordPress.
In upcoming posts, I’ll teach you:
- some more useful techy stuff – all about Plugins, and the behind-the-scenes set-up info you need to get things running smoothly.
- fun stuff – Widgets and Themes! The funky bits and pieces you need to know to get your site looking pretty!
- all about ftp, and how to set it up and use it to add images to your sidebar.
- how to move your current blogger.com blog over to your new WordPress blog!
- and much more!
(aff* – this means affiliate link. Dreamhost very nicely give me a little $ bonus if I refer people. Since they’re my host and I’d recommend them anyways, I think that’s very nice of them).