The “Build a Blog Yourself on Your Coffee break” is a Pixel Whizz blog challenge aimed to help you create a brand new blog in a matter of hours. A series of walkthrough posts, all of which you’ll be able to complete in less than half an hour. This post will focus on setting up a domain name, choosing a hosting provider and discussing why we’ll be using WordPress to power our blog.
The first two components required for any website are a domain name and hosting provider. I tend to recommend that you find a provider that can do both register your domain with, and also host it. This will make things simpler and easier moving forward when we install WordPress on your blog. More on that to follow. Bluehost is one of the most commonly recommended hosting platforms due to it’s ease of use and great value hosting packages. Here at Pixel Whizz, we use Webfaction to host the blog. Webfaction allows for a slightly more technical delve into hosting. The same principals apply whichever hosting provider you want to go ahead with.
Choosing your domain name
Choosing your domain name is obviously an extremely important topic that you shouldn’t rush. As a rule of thumb, I would recommend you spend a lot of time thinking about various business or blog names that you might want to use going forward. Your domain name should be a derivation of this name.
Important: this name sticks.
Whilst you can change your domain name down the line, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Registering your domain name
Once you’ve got an idea for your domain name chosen, enter it into the domain section of the Bluehost. Or whatever provider you happen to be using.
If your domain is available, you’ll be brought through to a confirmation or sign up page. If your chosen domain isn’t available you’ll be taken through to a page to refine the web address choice until it is unique.
Don’t be tempted to go for a domain that ends with anything other than a .com. This isn’t strictly a rule you need to stick to, but in terms of making your blog as successful as possible as quickly as possible, a .com address will give you the most credibility online.
Remember, if it’s ain’t .com, it just ain’t crackin’.
Top tip: register your domain for as long as you can afford. A domain with 36 months on it’s registration period is seen as a more valuable domain than one only registered for 12 months from the get go.
Configuring your hosting package
Unless money is no object, just go for the basic hosting package for whichever hosting provider you’d like to use. The beauty of these hosting options is you can upgrade them almost at any time. There’s no real reason to splash out right away.
Once configured, there will be a setting within the admin panel of your hosting account to pair the hosting account to your domain.
A word on WordPress
The blogging platform of choice that we’ll be running is WordPress. There are a number of different options, Google’s Blogger, Squarespace or WordPress.com – but WordPress.org will allow the most flexibility and longevity. If you want to read more on why I choose WordPress.org over other platforms, or more specifically wordpress.com you can read my article here.
Installing WordPress on your Host
WordPress.org had to historically be installed on a website manually. This was always a big put off for users, as it can definitely be a bit technically challenging – luckily web hosting has moved on from this. All major web hosting providers now supply WordPress “one click installers”. Meaning you can install WordPress on your provider extremely easily.
WordPress has been installed. Your domain is set up, and your site is hosted. That’s all of the boring stuff out of the way!
Next we will delve into the world of Genesis and WordPress themes.