Do you ever find yourself reading blogs and thinking “why am I not doing this?” Or find yourself about to move to the other side of the world and thinking, now is the time for me to start a blog. Heck, maybe you’ve had this idea in your head for years and you are finally ready to act on it. (The Pineapple Cake was born out of a combination of the three)
I have been asked how to start a blog by numerous people over the past few months since launching The Pineapple Cake, so I figure now is the time to let you in on a little secret… actually it’s not a secret, in fact it’s super simple to start a blog, you just need three things to make it happen.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of these links are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase these tools while starting your blog I will earn a small commission off of your purchase. I have worked with all of the companies listed below and have included them because they are companies I find helpful and trust with my blog, not because of the commissions I may earn from you using these products.
Do you already have the name for your blog in your head, or have been planning this for a while. I knew long in advance of starting my blog that The Pineapple Cake would be it’s chosen name. So far ahead in fact that I claimed my Facebook and Twitter name over a year ahead of purchasing my domain and launching the website.
If you haven’t already thought of a domain name, start by thinking of something that will describe your website, or has meaning to you. Write down all of your blog name possibilities in a list. Once you have a list, head on over to BlueHost.com and enter your domain names into the box that looks like this.
Next you need to host your blog. Hosting is similar to renting space on the internet. BlueHost is my go-to choice for web hosting and I will tell you why.
Prior to starting this blog I had tons of questions about hosting and moving to another country, and ways my website would still operate in America if I was living on the other side of the world. I was able to ask all my questions in an online chat form, and when my questions were finished was asked if I wanted to be walked through the process of setting up my website.
Flash forward a few months later and I had a plugin (don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with this term yet) crash my website. I hopped right on to BlueHost and was walked through the steps to fix the problem right away.
So if that doesn’t convince you to choose BlueHost as your hosting provider maybe the unlimited domain hosting, file transfers, and email accounts.. in addition to a FREE domain name and site builder will!
Below is what I used for my website package when signing up. The Domain Who Is, is extremely important when it comes to protecting your personal information, address and phone number from the public. You WANT to select that option.
After you have signed up for BlueHost you need to install WordPress. WordPress is the most highly recognized blogging platform and what I use for The Pineapple Cake. It is so simple to use and there are hundreds of WordPress tutorials out there to guide you through setting up your blog.
On the next page, click the option to install a brand new version.
Select the domain you would like to install.
Select “Check Domain”.
If you get the following warning message, click “continue” to overwrite existing files.
Once you get the “Installation Complete” make note of your username, password, and login URL. You can change these later, but you will need them for your first time logging in.
Type your login URL into your browser, and hit return. A WordPress Login page will appear and you will use your login information received after your completed signup to login to your WordPress website.
Making your website look the way you want it can be easy or incredibly challenging depending on how much customization you want and your experience with coding. Don’t let that sentence scare you, there are several free WordPress created themes you can use for your website.
Let’s say you don’t like those free themes. What do you do next?
Check out Elegant Themes. They are a great resource and trusted brand when it comes to designing WordPress themes and plugins, and less expensive than some of the other options in the blogging market.
When I designed The Pineapple Cake I had a pretty good idea in mind of what I wanted the feel of the website to be, and the clean look I wanted it to have. I couldn’t find what I was looking for and the customization I wanted from the free themes so I began to look at paid options. My searching led me to StudioPress. StudioPress is the premium standard for WordPress themes, and by using the Genesis Framework your blog will be compatible on all devices, mobile and tablet included. Additionally, once you purchase the genesis framework, you can purchase themes separate of that so your cost will be less if you decide to change your theme sometime down the line. I use the Lifestyle Theme for The Pineapple Cake. You can purchase your theme and the famework separately, or in a package, but it’s a better value in package form.
So why do I love StudioPress? Let’s talk about support again. I am an amateur when it comes to website development, and sometimes a simple question like “How do I make a comment box appear on this page?” isn’t easily found when searching hundreds of WordPress message boards. So what do I do? I email the support at StudioPress and they get right back to me, solving my question within the hour, sometimes minutes! The support is unlimited and paid for through your membership. In my opinion everything you get from StudioPress is worth the price.
You also have the option of hiring a freelance programmer to design a custom website for you, however, this would be your most expensive option.
Now that you have your blog set up, send me a message! I would love to check out your site!