How to Start a WordPress Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide in 2020

How to Start a WordPress Blog. I want to share with you a step-by-step guide in 2020 that covers everything from buying a Web Hosting plan (strongly recommend SiteGround) to building your WordPress website from scratch.

I’ll take you through how to install WordPress on your SiteGround account and how to optimize everything so it runs as fast as possible. I’ll also take you through on how to brand your website by creating a free professional-looking email address and a logo. 

The first thing we’ll need is a SiteGround account. If you already have a SiteGround account you can skip this part. But if you don’t have it and are researching Web Hosting providers, let me tell you that SiteGround is easily among the best. Click on this link, this will take you to the SiteGround page where you’ll be able to get web hosting. Choose the plan you like, choose the domain you want to register, fill out all the required information and you will be the proud owner of a web hosting plan and domain name.

Choose WordPress Hosting by clicking on the “Get Started” button

Web Hosting Services by SiteGround

Choose this plan for optimum value

GrowBig web hosting pack on SiteGround

Choose “I already have a domain”

If you register a domain on SiteGround, it will cost you $15.95 per year. A cheaper domain name can be bought at 1/3rd the cost on GoDaddy.com. Come along and follow these steps:

SiteGround services

Steps on how to buy a domain name on GoDaddy.com

Step 1 – Go to https://in.godaddy.com/

How to buy a domain name on in.godaddy.com

Step 2 – Enter a domain or website name to check it’s availability and price

How to buy a domain name on in.godaddy.com

Step 3 – Add to cart and make a payment to buy the website name

Now let’s paste the website name you just bought on GoDaddy to this SiteGround page and click on proceed

pasting domain name on SiteGround

Thereafter you make a payment for the hosting services on SiteGround and proceed to set up your website. 

In order to install WordPress on your website you’ll need to go into websites and click “New Website”. Keep in mind that you’ll need to update your name servers to point to SiteGround if you bought a domain on GoDaddy. 

How to update the two nameservers?

Remember when we were setting everything up, I used a domain that’s outside of SiteGround and I said if you do the same you’ll need to update the name servers. Let me show you what I mean and let me show you how it’s done. By the way it’s a good skill to have in general because SiteGround takes around $15 to $16 per domain and you can get the same name for like $5 on GoDaddy. So, knowing how to update the name servers and attaching a domain to any web hosting provider will save you a lot of money in the long run. 

Once the installation is finished you’ll have a screen with two name servers on it. 

adding nameservers on godaddy.com

Keep this open, go to the provider that you bought your domain at. For me it’s in.godaddy.com and then navigate to the DNS area. 

adding nameservers on godaddy.com
adding nameservers on godaddy.com
adding nameservers on godaddy.com

Copy and paste the two nameservers SiteGround gave you, click save and now you are ready to manage your website. 

adding nameservers on godaddy.com
adding nameservers on godaddy.com

If you ever need to find your name server information in the future you can find it by going to ‘websites’ and then next to the domain name clicking “Site Tools”. 

So we have a website now and it looks very basic and we still have this “Not Secure” tag hovering around. So, the next logical step is to set everything up properly, get rid of that “not secure” tag and put a brand spanking new design on it. To reach your WordPress dashboard you need to type in / login after the website name. Use the login information you created earlier to log in. Once we’re inside the WordPress dashboard, we have to work on 4 things which is speed, security, design and branding. 

SG Optimizer Plugin

When it comes to speed, SiteGround actually made it pretty easy for us since their default WordPress installation already comes with the “SG Optimizer” plugin installed. 

SG Optimizer Plugin set up

This is a SiteGround specific plugin that you won’t be able to get with any other web hosting provider to make your website faster. What you want to do is click on the SG optimizer plugin then make sure that dynamic cache is enabled and that mem cache is enabled as well. 

SG Optimizer Plugin set up

You might get an error when trying to enable mem cache. To solve this problem, simply go to your SiteGround dashboard and click websites. Then next to your website name click site tools, navigate to the speed tab and click caching. 

how to enable memcache in SiteGround

How to enable HTTPS for your website?

Click on the memcache option and enable it there. Once this is done go back to your WordPress dashboard and everything should be working fine. Next go into the environment optimization and check enable HTTPS. This will remove the annoying ‘not secure’ tag from your website and give you a green padlock completely automatically. Keep in mind that you will get disconnected from your WordPress dashboard so after completing the step, refresh the page and log in again. You will see a padlock instead of a not secure warning in just one click. If you are facing any problems with the HTTPS enablement, reach out to SiteGround chat services and a friendly customer service rep will help you with it.

how to seek help from SiteGround Chat Services

So, you’ve got to keep in mind that I didn’t even buy this domain from SiteGround. I just attached it to their services and got myself a free SSL certificate. I also recommend you check the ‘fix insecure content’ to guarantee your padlock stays active at all times on every page of your website. Next, you’ll want to go into media optimization and check new image optimization and lazy load media, this will reduce the size of all new images you upload and make sure that any gifs or video content you upload only loads when a user reaches that part of the website saving you that precious, precious loading time. 

So, yeah this is by far the easiest way to optimize a website I’ve seen with any web hosting provider. SiteGround gives you all of the tools in one place. You don’t need to play around with 3 or 4 different plugins for each of these tasks and these optimizations aren’t just for a show. This is real-life stuff, these are actual optimizations that people have been using on their websites since forever now. And ofcourse SiteGround didn’t invent this but they did make it really beginner-friendly by putting everything at one place and bundling it with all of their plans. Good job SiteGround! 

Now, we’ve got a blazing fast website that’s ready to take on the world. Problem is, it still looks like trash. So, what I’m going to do is I’m going to hire a professional web designer and pay him lakhs of rupees and then wait 3 to 4 weeks for all of the design work to be done and then check on my website. Yeah, obviously we’re not going to do that we’re gonna do it ourselves and for free. I’m all about saving you that cash money. 

How to activate the ‘GeneratePress’ theme for your website?

But moving on, I’m going to show you how to create a website in under 20 minutes. Because yeah, it’s super easy. So, keep reading and get that knowledge. Jump right back into your SiteGround dashboard, hover over “Appearance” and click “Themes”. Then, click the add new button and in the search bar you’ll want to type in GeneratePress.

how to activate the GeneratePress theme

Download and activate the GeneratePress theme. Now, go into the Plugins section and you’ll see a ‘get started’ button click on it and choose Elementor as your website builder. You can now sort the themes by “Free” and choose whichever one you like best.  

Now, you’ll want to click on the import complete site and wait for the installation to finish. Once it’s finished go ahead and visit your professional-looking website. You can modify absolutely anything here by clicking edit with. Okay, so your website is fast and pretty. But, it’s missing some of that personal flair, a bit of that spice. 

So, let me show you how to create a professional looking logo completely free using nothing but your browser and how to brand yourself using a professional-looking email address. For the email you’ll want to go back to your gmail account and create an email specifically for your website, something on the lines of happyhounds@gmail.com or flickfans@gmail.com etc.

Let me now show you how to make a professional-looking logo. Visit canva.com and click on “Create a design” on the top right corner. Choose “Logo” from the dropdown.

how to create business logo on canva.com

You can create your logo with the help of this free design tool that will allow you to whip up some cool and simple ones quickly. 

how to create business logo on canva.com

You can choose from plenty of free images. Change the fonts, change the colors, rotate the image as you like. This is how you set up a SiteGround account properly and brand yourself for free. Let me know if you have any questions or gotten stuck at a particular step. We will be happy to address your concerns about the set up.

For ideal blog length and number of words, you can read through the below posts:

For more material on WordPress Themes, Plugins and Blogging features, check out this exhaustive article on Wikipedia

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