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How to Start a WordPress Blog: Step-by-Step Instructions

If you want to share your thoughts, ideas, passions, or knowledge, you'll need to know how to start a WordPress blog or a blog on another platform. Blogs are great vehicles to drive personal growth and to become a thought leader. Blogs are also a great way to earn passive income through affiliate links, advertising, and sponsorships.

There's never been a better time than now to start a blog. There is a lot of support across the internet on how to start a WordPress blog and what is needed to be successful. We figured we'd pitch in and provide this step-by-step guide to walk you through the setup process.

Let's get started.

What is WordPress? 

WordPress logo

Websites, blogs, and other online content are created and managed using the free and open-source content management system (CMS) WordPress. 

There are two versions of WordPress blogging software available. I know, already confusing, but hold tight.

WordPress.com is the managed platform, and WordPress.org is the self-hosted platform.

WordPress.com is the hosted version of WordPress, which offers hosting, domain registration, and other services to help users build and manage their websites.

WordPress.org is the open-source version of WordPress, which gives users more control over the content and design of their websites but does not offer hosting or domain registration services.

WordPress was first released in 2003 and has since become one of the most popular website-building platforms in the world, with over 40% of all websites built using WordPress. 

Why, you ask? Here are three top WordPress foundations.

  1. WordPress is flexible.
  2. WordPress is free.
  3. WordPress is well-supported.

WordPress allows users to easily create and publish content, manage media files, customize the appearance of their site with themes and plugins, and more without requiring advanced coding knowledge.  

It also has a large and active community of developers and users who contribute to the platform's development and provide support and resources to help others use it effectively. 

Please Note: This article walks you through the setup of a self-hosted WordPress blog, so if you are looking for a WordPress.com setup, it will have some of the same steps but differ in multiple ways.

6 Reasons Why WordPress is the Best Blogging Platform

If you need more reasons why starting your own blog on WordPress is the way to go, read on.

1) Easy to use 

WordPress is known for being user-friendly and easy to use, even for beginners. Its intuitive interface allows users to create and publish content without coding skills or technical expertise.  

The dashboard is organized in a user-friendly manner, with clear menus and options in a left-column menu that makes it easy to find the tools and settings you need to manage your blog.

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress dashboard

WordPress has a sizable and active user base of developers and users who create and share tutorials and resources to help others get the most out of the platform.  

This means plenty of support resources are available to help you learn how to use WordPress effectively, even if you have yet to gain experience with website building or blogging. 

2) Highly customizable 

WordPress is highly customizable, one of its key strengths as a platform. It offers a wide range of themes and plugins that can be used to customize the appearance and functionality of your blog.  

WordPress themes are pre-designed templates that control the visual appearance of your blog, including layout, color scheme, fonts, and more.  

There are countless WordPress themes available, both free and paid, so you can pick one that complements your branding and style. 

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress themes dashboard

Find more information on WordPress themes and places to buy themes.

Conversely, WordPress plugins are small software packages adding specific features and functionality to your blog.  

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress plugins dashboard

Read this post for the best WordPress plugins for your new WordPress blog.

Over 50,000 free and premium WordPress plugins are available, ranging from simple social sharing buttons to more advanced features like e-commerce, search engine optimization (SEO), and email marketing.  

This means you can easily add the features you need to your blog without writing code or hiring a developer. 

Overall, the highly customizable nature of WordPress means that you can create a unique blog tailored to your specific needs and goals. 

3) SEO-friendly 

WordPress is designed to be search engine optimization (SEO) friendly, which means it is optimized for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.  

This is important because a well-optimized blog will rank higher in search engine results pages, leading to more traffic and visibility for your content. 

Some of the ways that WordPress is SEO-friendly include: 

Clean code: WordPress uses clean, well-structured code that search engines can easily crawl and index. 

Customizable permalinks: WordPress allows you to customize your URLs or permalinks, which makes it easier for search engines to understand what your content is about. 

Built-in SEO tools: WordPress has built-in SEO tools like meta tags and descriptions, which help search engines understand what your content is about. 

Responsive design: WordPress themes are responsive, which means they look great on any device. This is important because search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their rankings. 

Categories and Tags: WordPress utilizes a user-friendly system to categorize and tag blog posts to ensure they can be positioned and placed as needed across an entire website.

SEO plugins: Many SEO plugins are available for WordPress, such as Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack, which can help you optimize your blog for search engines. 

4) Responsive design 

Responsive design - person holding black iPad

Since WordPress themes are made to be responsive, they can be viewed properly on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. 

This is important because more and more people are accessing the internet on mobile devices, and search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results. 

A responsive WordPress theme automatically adjusts the layout and design of your blog to fit the size and resolution of the device being used to view it.  

This ensures that your content is easily readable and accessible on any device and that your blog looks professional and modern, no matter how it is viewed. 

Additionally, because WordPress is open-source and highly customizable, you can choose from thousands of responsive themes to find one that suits your needs and branding.  

You don't need to be a web design expert to create a professional-looking, responsive blog.  

5) Large community 

WordPress has a large and active community of developers, designers, and users who contribute by creating and sharing themes, plugins, and tutorials.  

This community is one of the key strengths of WordPress and contributes to its ongoing success as a blogging platform. 

The WordPress community includes: 

Developers: Thousands of developers create themes and plugins for WordPress. These developers contribute to the WordPress codebase and ensure that the platform continually improves. 

Designers: Many designers create and share themes for WordPress, which can be customized to match your branding and style. 

Users: Millions of WordPress users worldwide contribute to the community by sharing their experiences, tips, and resources. 

Support: WordPress has a large and active support community, with many resources available to help users troubleshoot any issues or problems. 

Events: WordPress hosts many events and meetups worldwide, where users and developers can connect, share knowledge, and collaborate. 

6) Scalable 

WordPress is a scalable platform, meaning it can grow and expand as your blog grows and expands. This is important because your blog's needs may change over time, and you want to be unrestricted by your platform. 

One of the ways that WordPress is scalable is through its ability to handle large amounts of traffic.  

As your blog grows and attracts more readers, you can scale up your hosting plan to ensure your site remains fast and responsive.  

Because WordPress is designed to be SEO-friendly, you can attract even more traffic to your blog, and the platform can handle the increased load. 

Another way that WordPress is scalable is through its ability to handle a wide range of content types.  

WordPress can handle it all, whether you're publishing a blog post, podcast, video, or another type of content.  

Steps to Start a WordPress Blog

Here we are at the beginning of your new blog. Get ready, it will seem like a lot of work, but in all reality, it won't take you too long to get it set up. Let's dive in.

Step 1: Select a Domain Name

Select a good domain name - white printer paper beside silver macbook

A domain name is a unique name that identifies a website on the internet. Users must enter the address into their web browsers to access your website. 

For example, the domain name for Google is google.com. When choosing a domain name, you should aim for something memorable and easy to spell. It should also be related to your blog's topic or niche. 

 Tips for choosing a domain name: 

  • Keep it short and easy to remember 
  • Do not use hyphens, numbers, or other special characters (unless those are key elements of your business name)
  • Choose a name that reflects your brand or niche 
  • Use a domain name registrar to check the availability of your desired name

Best Domain Registrar Options

Namesilo – Easy to access, pleasant old-school admin area which cuts through many of the bells and whistles you see on other domain registrars.

Bluehost – Good for combining the domain registration with the hosting setup, as Bluehost does both, and for a very good price.

Key Resource

Additional Resource

Our complete list of the best domain registrars

Step 2: Choose a Web Host 

Choose a web host - assorted web hosting panel icon lot

You'll need reliable hosting when you start a blog using self-hosted WordPress. Web hosting is a service that allows your blog to be accessible online. When you sign up for a web hosting plan, you rent space on a server where your blog files will be stored.  

The hosting provider will also manage the technical aspects of a website, such as server maintenance and software updates. 

Hosting Plan Options

  1. Shared – lowest cost (may experience performance issues)
  2. Managed – medium cost (can scale more easily as your site needs)
  3. VPS – medium-high cost (great step up in performance w/o cost)
  4. Dedicated – high cost (provides the best performance)

 How to choose a WordPress hosting provider: 

  • Consider your budget and hosting needs 
  • Look for a provider with good uptime and reliability 
  • Check for user reviews and customer support options 
  • Look for a provider that offers easy installation of WordPress 

Explanation of different types of hosting: 

Shared hosting: This is web hosting where multiple websites are hosted on the same server and share resources, such as CPU, RAM, disk space, and bandwidth.  

This means that the hosting provider can offer shared hosting at a lower cost than other types of hosting, making it a popular choice for small businesses, bloggers, and individuals just starting. 

The WordPress hosting provider manages the server and its resources with shared hosting, including maintenance, security, and software updates.  

This makes shared hosting a low-maintenance option for website owners who need more technical expertise or resources to manage their servers. 

Managed WordPress hosting: This is relatively new and was built specifically to emphasize WordPress websites' unique needs and security risks. Basically, managed hosting allows for better security to be applied at the hosting level and management of other assets to help a WordPress website perform optimally.

Managed plans typically are priced somewhere between Shared and VPS, with some mirroring one or the other. Managed WordPress is one of the most popular hosting types for WordPress blogs and websites.

VPS hosting: This is Virtual Private Server hosting. It is a type of web hosting where a physical server is divided into multiple virtual servers, each of which acts as an independent server with its resources and operating system. 

VPS hosting offers more resources and flexibility than shared hosting, making it a good choice for businesses or individuals who need more control and better performance. Unlike shared hosting,  

VPS hosting allows you to install custom software and configure your server settings according to your needs. 

With VPS hosting, you can access your dedicated resources, including CPU, RAM, disk space, and bandwidth, which can improve website loading times and performance, especially during high traffic.  

Additionally, VPS hosting offers greater scalability than shared hosting, meaning you can easily upgrade or downgrade your server resources as your website grows or changes. 

Dedicated hosting: This is a type of web hosting with an entire physical server dedicated to your website or application.  

Unlike shared hosting or VPS hosting, where multiple websites or virtual servers share the same physical server, with dedicated hosting, you exclusively use all the server's resources, including CPU, RAM, storage, and bandwidth. 

Dedicated hosting offers the highest performance, security, and customization options, making it a popular choice for large businesses, high-traffic websites, and applications that require a lot of processing power or disk space. 

With dedicated hosting, you have complete control over your server, including the ability to customize your hardware and software configurations, install your applications, and manage your security settings.  

This level of control and customization makes dedicated hosting a good choice for businesses or individuals with specific technical requirements or who need to comply with certain regulations or standards. 

Best Web Hosting Options

Bluehost– Good for combining the domain registration with the hosting setup, as Bluehost does both, and for a very good price. All plan types are offered.

SiteGround– Great security, excellent-rated customer support, and flexible plans across all hosting types. Shared, Managed, and VPS plans offered.

Kinsta – Great option for security, speed, performance, and scalability. More expensive option and most appropriate for blogs that wish to monetize. Managed plans only.

Key Resource

Additional Resources

Step 3: Install WordPress 

Once you have chosen a domain name and web hosting provider, the next step to set up a WordPress blog is to install WordPress on your web hosting account.

How to Start a WordPress Blog - hosting cPanel login screen

Here are the steps to install WordPress: 

  • Access your web hosting account and go to the control panel, often called cPanel. 
  • Look for an option called “Softaculous,” “Installatron,” “QuickInstall,” or any other similar name that provides a one-click installation of software applications. 
  • Find the WordPress icon and click on it. 
  • Follow the instructions provided by the installer to configure your WordPress installation. You must choose a username and password for your WordPress admin account, a language, and a theme. 
  • Click the “Install” button to complete the installation process. 
How to Start a WordPress Blog - cPanel display of Softaculous apps installer icons

Alternatively, you can install WordPress manually if your hosting provider doesn't offer one-click installation.  We don't recommend this path for anyone new to WordPress, and your better option is to select a hosting provider that offers the quick install WordPress option.

 Here are the steps to manually install WordPress: 

  • Download the most recent WordPress version from the official website. 
  • Extract the downloaded file on your computer. 
  • Upload the extracted files to your web hosting account using an FTP client. 
  • Create a MySQL database and a database user from your hosting control panel. 
  • Rename the “wp-config-sample.php” file to “wp-config.php” and edit it to include your database details. 
  • Access your domain name through a web browser and follow the instructions to complete the installation process. 

Overall, one-click installation is the easiest and most convenient way to install WordPress, while manual installation requires more technical knowledge and experience.  

However, both options are straightforward and can be completed in a relatively short amount of time. 

Pro Tip: When your basic blog install is completed, you want to ensure the search engines do not index the blog prematurely. You'll want to exclude the blog from search engine indexing while in development.

Here is how to do that.

Make Your Blog Private: When built on a public-facing domain, WordPress sites tend to get indexed before being officially live. There is a setting you need to apply to discourage search engines from indexing the site.

To make your blog private, navigate to Settings > Reading and ensure the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” option is CHECKED

Key Resource

Additional Resource

Avoid manual installs with these top managed WordPress hosting providers

Step 4: Choose a WordPress Theme 

After installing WordPress, the next step to start a blog is to choose a theme.  

A theme is a pre-made template that controls your WordPress blog's look, feel, and functionality. 

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress themes dashboard

steps to Selecting and Installing a Free WordPress theme: 

  1. Navigate to the WordPress dashboard, click “Appearance” in the left-hand menu, then click “Themes.” 
  2. Browse through the available themes or use the search filters to find a theme that meets your needs. Consider the look and feel, customization options, and features included in the theme. 
  3. Preview the theme to see how it will look on your website. You can also read reviews and check the theme's ratings to understand its quality. 
  4. Choose a theme and click the “Install” button to install the theme on your WordPress website. 

There are thousands of free and premium themes available for WordPress. Free themes are often sufficient for basic websites or blogs, while premium themes offer more advanced features and customization options.  

Premium themes can range in price from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on the level of complexity and functionality. 

The purchase of premium themes is typically handled through theme marketplaces or directly on the theme developer's website. Both are good options for looking at themes, demos, and example sites.

Here are the steps to installing a theme you have purchased via a third-party provider.

To install a theme from a third party, follow these steps: 

  1. Purchase and download the theme files from the theme provider.
  2. Navigate to the WordPress dashboard, click “Appearance” in the left-hand menu, then click “Themes.” 
  3. Tap the “Upload Theme” button at the top of the page. 
  4. Choose the theme ZIP file from your computer and click the “Install Now” button. 
  5. After installing the theme, click the “Activate” button to activate it on your website. 

Choosing a theme is important in creating a WordPress website or blog. Find a theme that meets your needs and reflects your brand or personality. With so many options available, you are sure to find a theme that works for you. 

Web Tools Advisor's Top WordPress Theme

Astra – read the complete Astra review

Key Resource

Top WordPress themes and where to find them

Additional Resources

Step 4: Install Essential WordPress Plugins 

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress plugins dashboard

After choosing a theme, installing essential WordPress plugins is the next step to starting a WordPress blog.  

What are plugins?

Plugins allow you to customize your WordPress website or blog beyond the basic features of the WordPress platform.  

Plugins can be used to improve your website's performance, increase security, optimize for search engines, add social media functionality, and much more. 

Essential plugins to install on your new WordPress blog

 SEO plugin (Rank Math or All-in-One SEO Pack) 

An SEO plugin is important for any WordPress blog or website to improve its search engine optimization (SEO) and visibility on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Two popular SEO plugins for WordPress are Rank Math and All in One SEO Pack.  

 What you should know about these plugins is as follows: 

  1. Rank Math 

Rank Math SEO is a free plugin that helps optimize your website's content and metadata for better SEO. Its key features include: 

Keyword optimization: Rank Math SEO analyzes your content and suggests keyword optimization improvements to help improve your search engine ranking. 

Metadata optimization: The plugin allows you to easily add meta titles, descriptions, and keywords to your pages and posts to help search engines understand what your content is about. 

Sitemap generation: Rank Math SEO automatically generates an XML sitemap of your website, which helps search engines crawl and index your website. 

Readability analysis: The plugin provides feedback on the readability of your content and offers suggestions to make it more readable for your audience. 

Key Resource

Additional Resources

  1. All-in-One SEO Pack  

This popular free plugin provides features similar to Rank Math SEO.

Key features include: 

Keyword optimization: The plugin provides tools to optimize your content for specific keywords and improve your search engine ranking. 

Metadata optimization: All in One SEO Pack allows you to add meta titles, descriptions, and keywords to your pages and posts for better search engine visibility. 

Sitemap generation: The plugin automatically generates an XML sitemap of your website for improved search engine crawling and indexing. 

Google Analytics integration integrates with Google Analytics to track your website's traffic and provide insights into your audience. 

These two are highly rated and widely used by WordPress bloggers and website owners.  

Please choose the one that best suits your needs and goals and install it as part of your essential plugins for your new WordPress blog. 

Caching plugin (FlyingPress or WP Rocket) 

A caching plugin is a type of plugin that helps to improve the performance and speed of your WordPress blog or website by caching the pages and posts on your website.  

The act of caching is the process of saving frequently accessed data so that it can be quickly retrieved when required. Two popular caching plugins for WordPress are FlyingPress and WP Rocket.  

 What you should know about these plugins is as follows: 

  1. FlyingPress

FlyingPress is a premium caching plugin that offers blazing speed and performance for your WordPress blog. It is one of the most superior performance plugins we've used and continue to recommend for WordPress websites.

 Its key features include: 

Page caching: FlyingPress generates static HTML files of your website pages and posts, which are then served to visitors instead of generating the dynamic pages on each request. This reduces the server load and improves page load times. 

Cache Preloading: The plugin automatically generates new cached files when a page is updated, or a new post is published. 

Removes Unused CSS: FlyingPress generates critical CSS and removes any unused to reduce page size and load times.

Minification: The plugin helps minify CSS and JavaScript files to improve performance. This is an incredibly important feature for fast sites.

  1. WP Rocket

WP Rocket is currently the top WordPress caching plugin available. It is not a free plugin but is incredibly savvy at improving website performance and well worth the cost.

Its features include:

Page caching: WP Rocket generates static HTML files of your website pages and posts, which are then served to visitors instead of generating the dynamic pages on each request. 

Browser caching: The plugin stores commonly used files on the visitor's browser, which reduces the number of requests made to your server and improves page load times. 

Minification: WP Rocket removes unnecessary characters from your website's code to reduce its size and improve load times. 

CDN integration: The plugin integrates with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to distribute the cached files across multiple servers worldwide, further reducing load times. 

These two are highly rated and widely used by WordPress bloggers and website owners. You can try out a free caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Fastest Cache, but we've not found a better plugin than FlyingPress overall to speed up websites.

 Security plugin (such as Sucuri or iThemes Security Pro) 

A security plugin is essential for any WordPress blog or website to protect it from potential security threats and attacks. Two popular security plugins for WordPress are Sucuri and iThemes Security.  

 Regarding these plugins, you should be aware of the following: 

  1. Sucuri

Sucuri is more than a plugin, it is an application layer that sits above the website providing superior protection across all types of attacks. They offer a web application firewall (WAF), to prevent DDoS attacks, brute force attempts, and other activity.  They also have a plugin that you integrate into WordPress.

Its key features include: 

Firewall protection: Sucuri provides a firewall that blocks potential attacks, including brute force attacks and attempts to exploit known vulnerabilities. 

Malware scanner: The plugin scans your website for malware and alerts you to potential security issues. 

Login security: Sucuri provides tools to help you enforce strong passwords and limit login attempts to prevent brute force attacks. 

Backup and Restoration: Sucuri offers routine backup and restoration of your site and will fix any hacks within hours.

  1. iThemes Security  

iThemes Security is a free security plugin that provides a range of security features to protect your website from potential threats. Security being as important as it is. We recommend going with the Pro version.

Its key features include: 

Malware scanner: iThemes Security scans your website for malware and alerts you to potential security issues. 

Brute force protection: The plugin limits login attempts to prevent brute force attacks and provides tools to enforce strong passwords. 

File change detection: iThemes Security monitors your website files for changes and alerts you to potential security issues. 

Two-factor authentication: The plugin provides options to secure your website logins further. 

Sucuri and iThemes Security Pro are highly rated and widely used by WordPress bloggers and website owners.  

Steps to install a plugin on your WordPress website: 

  1. Go to the WordPress dashboard, click “Plugins” in the left-hand menu, then click “Add New.”
  2. Use the search bar to find a plugin by name or keyword, or browse through the featured, popular, or recommended plugins. 
  3. Once you find a plugin you want to install, click the “Install Now” button to begin the installation. 
  4. After installing, click the “Activate” button to make the plugin live on your website. 

Installing essential plugins is an important step in optimizing your WordPress website or blog for performance, security, and search engine optimization.

If you do not find a plugin listed in the plugin dashboard within the WordPress admin, the plugin likely needs to be purchased and downloaded directly from the provider's website.

Take the time to choose and install the right plugins for your needs, and you'll be well on your way to creating a successful WordPress website or blog. 

Key Resource

Additional Resources

Step 5: Create Essential Pages and Posts 

Essential pages and posts - silver iMac near iPhone on brown wooden table

Pages and posts are two types of WordPress content used to create and publish content on your website.  

Pages are typically used for static content like About, Contact, and Privacy Policy pages, while posts are used for regularly updated content like blog articles. 

Here are the essential pages every blog should have: 

About page  

The About page is an essential part of any blog or website, as it provides visitors with information about who you are, what your blog is about, and what they can expect to find on your website.  

It's a chance to make a good first impression, establish credibility, and connect with your audience. 

Here are some tips on creating an effective About page for your WordPress blog: 

Introduce yourself: Start briefly introducing yourself, your background, and your experience. Share your passions and motivations for starting the blog. 

Explain your blog's purpose: Clearly state what your blog is about and what your audience can expect to find on your website. Highlight the topics you cover and the value you provide to your readers. 

Share your mission and values: Communicate the values driving your work. Be clear about your beliefs and the distinctive features of your blog. 

Provide a personal touch: Share personal details about yourself that help visitors get to know you better. This could include hobbies, interests, or fun facts. 

Include a photo: A photo of yourself can help visitors connect with you on a more personal level. Use a high-quality image that reflects your personality and brand. 

Add a call-to-action: Encourage visitors to take action, such as subscribing to your newsletter, following you on social media, or contacting you for more information. 

By following these ideas, you can create an engaging and informative About page that helps you connect with your audience and build a loyal following for your WordPress blog. 

 Contact page  

A Contact page is another essential part of any WordPress blog or website, as it provides visitors with a way to get in touch with you. It's a simple way to establish communication with your audience, answer their questions, and receive feedback. 

Here are some tips on creating an effective Contact page for your WordPress blog: 

Choose a form plugin: Use a form plugin such as WPForms or Gravity Forms to create a contact form on your Contact page. These plugins offer customizable forms that allow visitors to send you a message easily. 

Include your contact information: In addition to a contact form, include your email address, phone number, and other relevant contact information on your Contact page. This provides visitors with multiple ways to reach out to you. 

Specify the purpose of the contact: Let visitors know what type of inquiries you accept and what kind of information they should provide when contacting you. This will help you better manage your incoming messages. 

Add a map: If you have a physical business location, consider adding a map to your Contact page to help visitors find you more easily. 

Use clear and concise language: Use straightforward language on your contact page and avoid technical or business jargon. This helps visitors better understand how to get in touch with you. 

Add a call-to-action: Encourage visitors to take action, such as asking them to fill out the contact form, providing a link to your social media accounts, or inviting them to sign up for your newsletter. 

By following these tips, you can create an effective and user-friendly Contact page that helps you better connect with your audience, receive feedback, and grow your WordPress blog. 

Home page

It all starts on the home page. A home page for many sites is the front door, so it should accomplish two things. One is it needs to set the site's tone regarding design and user experience.

Two, it needs to direct the traffic coming in the front door. Where do you want them to go, and how do you expect they'll get there?

Here are some tips on creating an effective Home page for your WordPress blog: 

Clean navigation: You want the home page to set the tone for how people will locate the information, and clean navigation is the best way to set that tone.

Value proposition: You don't want to say a lot, but you want to say what's important and relatable to your users.

Easy to way find: Make it easy for users to find what they are looking for and have common tools that help. 

Clear information hierarchy: You want to ensure the information has structure applied to it; otherwise, users may abandon the site before realizing its value.

Call-to-action: The home page provides one of the best opportunities to present CTAs and encourage visitors to take action.

By following these ideas, your home page will do much more than just sit at the root of your site. If used correctly, it can be a great mechanism of action, leading people through the content of your choice.

To create a new page or post in WordPress, follow these steps: 

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard. 
  2. Click “Pages” or “Posts” in the left-hand menu, depending on whether you want to create a new page or post. 
  3. Tap the “Add New” button at the top of the page. 
  4. Enter a title for your new page or post in the text box. 
  5. Enter your content in the editor below the title. You can format your text, add images or videos, and use other formatting options. 
  6. When you're done, click the “Publish” button to make your page or post live on your website. 

You can customize your pages and posts further by adding categories, tags, and featured images. Look for the options in the right-hand sidebar of the editor when creating or editing a page or post. 

The right-hand sidebar is where you'll typically find additional customizable elements, SEO settings, or the ability to schedule posts for later publication.

Step 6: Customize Your Blog 

Customizing your WordPress blog is important in making it unique and visually appealing.  

Here are some tips on customizing your blog: 

Choose a Custom Theme 

Custom themes can make your WordPress blog look more professional and unique. You can choose from thousands of free and premium themes in the WordPress theme directory or purchase a custom theme from a third-party provider. 

We reviewed how to install a theme earlier. This is no different from adding a custom theme. Some themes offer much more customization, so choosing a theme that allows you the customization you want is important.

Use the WordPress Customizer 

The WordPress Customizer is a built-in feature that allows you to change your site's appearance in real-time.  

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress theme customizer panel

Here's how to use the WordPress Customizer: 

Log in to your WordPress Dashboard: Log in to your WordPress site's admin panel by entering your username and password. 

Navigate to the WordPress Customizer: Navigate to Appearance > Customize in your WordPress dashboard. 

Choose a Section to Customize: The WordPress Customizer provides a range of options to customize the look and feel of your WordPress site. The options are organized into sections such as Site Identity, Colors, Header, Background, and more. Choose the section that you want to customize. 

Make Changes: Once you've selected the section you want to customize, you can change your site's appearance. You can change colors, fonts, backgrounds, header images, and more. As you make changes, the WordPress Customizer will show you a live preview of your site. 

Publish Your Changes: When satisfied with your changes, click the Publish button to save them and publish them live on your site. 

Using the WordPress Customizer is a quick and easy way to customize your WordPress site's appearance.  

It allows you to make changes in real-time, so you can see exactly how your site will look before you publish your changes.  

With the assistance of the WordPress Customizer, you can create a site that reflects your brand and engages your audience. 

Add Widgets 

Widgets are small modules that can be added to your WordPress site's sidebar, footer, or other widget-ready areas. Widgets can display content like recent posts, social media links, or search bars.  

Here's how to add widgets to your WordPress site: 

Log in to your WordPress Dashboard: Log in to your WordPress site's admin panel by entering your username and password. 

Navigate to Widgets: Navigate to Appearance > Widgets in your WordPress dashboard. 

Choose a Widget: In the Widgets screen, you'll be greeted with the new block editor interface for adding widgets. You'll choose the location you want to place the widget, options being sidebar, footer, header, above content, below content, etc.

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress widgets admin panel

Add the Widget to a Widget Area: You'll click on the location you want a widget to appear and select the widget type from the block menu of options.

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress widgets block editor add

Configure the Widget: Once you've added the widget to a widget area, you can configure its settings. The options available will depend on the widget you've chosen.

For example, if you've added a Latest Posts widget, you can choose how many posts to display and whether to display the post's date and author. 

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress widgets right-column settings and Update

Save Your Changes: When satisfied with the widget's settings, click the Update button in the upper right to save your changes. 

Following these steps, you can easily add widgets to your WordPress site. Widgets can help you add more functionality to your site and make it more user-friendly for your visitors.  

With the help of widgets, you can display relevant and engaging content to your audience and help them find the information they need on your site. 

Use Plugins 

As mentioned, plugins are add-ons that can be installed on your WordPress site to extend its functionality. It's important to note that many free plugins are not updated and can cause a serious security risk on your website.

You'll want to look closely at the updated dates of any plugin to ensure compatibility. Here is an example of a plugin, Akismet, used for Spam protection. The following are the elements of the plugin you want to qualify before you install.

Akismet anti-spam protection to show the important elements of a plugin to review.
  1. Read the description to ensure the plugin provides the functionality you need.
  2. Read the number of active installs. This shows how many people are using it and if it is trusted.
  3. Read the “Last Updated” date to ensure it is within a reasonable period. Anything more than 12 months is probably not a good option.
  4. Look for the compatibility statement. This is provided by the developer as to if it is compatible with the current version of WordPress, which at present is 6.1.1 (2/20/23)
  5. It's optional to dig through the ratings and reviews, but the number of stars is typically an indicator of its usefulness and performance.

Note: You can always check your current version of WordPress by going to Dashboard > Updates in the left-hand column. This will show you what the core version of WordPress is and any other updates for plugins and themes.

How to Start a WordPress Blog - WordPress updates screen within the dashboard

Here's how to use plugins on your WordPress site: 

Log in to your WordPress Dashboard: Log in to your WordPress site's admin panel by entering your username and password. 

Navigate to Plugins: Navigate to Plugins > Add New in your WordPress dashboard. 

Search for a Plugin: In the Add Plugins screen, you can browse the featured, popular, and recommended plugins or search for a specific plugin by name. 

Install a Plugin: Once you've found the plugin you want to install, click the Install Now button to install the plugin. WordPress will download and install the plugin automatically. 

Activate the Plugin: After installing the plugin, click the Activate button to activate the plugin on your site. 

Configure the Plugin: Most plugins have settings you can configure to customize their functionality. To configure a plugin, navigate to the plugin's settings screen, which is typically located in the WordPress dashboard under Settings or Tools. 

Update Your Plugins: WordPress plugins are updated regularly to fix bugs and add new features. To update your plugins, navigate to the Installed Plugins screen, and click the Update Now link next to the plugin that needs to be updated. 

Customize Your Fonts 

Custom fonts can make your WordPress blog look more unique and professional. You can use a plugin like Google Fonts Typography to add custom fonts to your blog or choose a theme with custom font options. 

Google Fonts Typography plugin screenshot

Following these tips, you can customize your WordPress blog to reflect your brand and attract more visitors.  

With the help of the WordPress Customizer, themes, widgets, and plugins, you can create a blog that stands out from the crowd and engages your audience. 

Step 7: Launch Your Blog 

You've completed all the necessary steps to create your WordPress blog and are now ready to launch it. Some will want seed blog posts in place before launch, and others will prefer to write their first blog post after the site is live. That choice is completely yours.

The actions you must take to publish your blog are listed below: 

Make Your Blog Public: Now that you've finished the development, you want to ensure the search engines can find you.

To make your blog public, navigate to Settings > Reading and ensure the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” option is UNCHECKED.  

This will allow search engines to index your site, making it visible to anyone who searches for it. 

Create Great Content: Now that your blog is public, it's time to start creating great content your audience will love. Remember to focus on your niche and create relevant, engaging, and valuable content for your readers. 

Promote Your Blog: To get your blog in front of as many people as possible, you need to promote it.  

Here are some tips for promoting your new blog: 

  • Share your posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn 
  • Participate in online communities and forums related to your niche 
  • Guest post on other blogs in your niche to reach a wider audience 
  • Engage with your audience by responding to comments and emails 
  • Use paid advertising to reach a larger audience 

Keep Your Blog Updated: To keep your readers coming back for more, you must update your blog regularly with new content. Many blogging experts have recommended landing somewhere in the vicinity of 2-5 posts per week.

We publish daily on Web Tools Advisor, but that is not feasible for many new bloggers and is likely unnecessary, depending on your goals. Some sites like HuffPost publish every few minutes.

This will help to keep your blog relevant and engaging, and it will also improve your search engine rankings. 

Launching a blog is an exciting and rewarding experience, but building a successful blog requires time, effort, and patience.  

By following these steps and promoting your blog effectively, you can attract a loyal audience and build a thriving online community around your blog. 

Key Resources for a Successful Blog

How to Start a WordPress Blog FAQs 

How do I earn money from my WordPress blog? 

 1. Displaying ads 

Displaying ads is one way to make money from your WordPress blog. You can sign up for ad networks such as Google AdSense, Ezoic, Media.net, or Propeller Ads to get started.

These networks will provide you with ad codes that you can insert into your blog, and they will pay you each time a visitor clicks on an ad. 

To maximize your earnings, it's important to strategically place your ads in areas where they are most likely to be seen and clicked.  

It's also important to note that the amount of money you can earn from ad display will vary depending on your blog's niche, the traffic you receive, and the type of ads displayed.  

Building up significant traffic and ad revenue can take time, so your efforts must be patient and persistent. 

 2. Affiliate marketing 

This is another popular way to make money from your WordPress blog. This involves promoting other people's products or services on your blog and earning a commission for each sale or referral from your unique affiliate link. 

To start with affiliate marketing, you must find affiliate programs that align with your blog's niche and content. Some popular affiliate networks that will connect you with affiliate programs include Impact, ClickBank, and ShareASale. You can also contact companies you're interested in promoting to see if they have an affiliate program. 

Once you've signed up for an affiliate program, you can promote products or services on your blog by creating product reviews, comparisons, or tutorials that include your unique affiliate link. You'll earn a commission when a reader clicks on your link and makes a purchase. 

To maximize your earnings from affiliate marketing, choosing products and services that align with your blog's niche and are of interest to your audience is important.  

Per FTC guidelines, you must also be transparent about using affiliate links and avoid promoting products solely to earn a commission.  

Over time, as your blog's traffic and authority grow, you can negotiate higher commission rates or exclusive deals with companies in your niche. 

 3. Sponsored content 

Another way to make money from your WordPress blog is through sponsored content. Sponsored content is when a company pays you to write a blog post or article that promotes its product or service.  

In exchange for the payment, you'll create content designed to educate, inform, or entertain your audience while promoting the company's brand. 

To get started with sponsored content, you must build a strong following and establish yourself as an influencer in your niche.  

You can do this by consistently creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience, engaging with your readers on social media, and networking with other bloggers and influencers in your industry. 

Once you have a strong following, you can start reaching out to companies and brands in your niche to see if they are interested in sponsoring content on your blog.  

You can also sign up for sponsored content networks like IZEA, TapInfluence, and AspireIQ, which connect influencers with brands looking for sponsored content opportunities. 

When creating sponsored content, it's important to be transparent with your readers about the fact that you were paid for the content.  

You should always disclose any sponsored content in your blog posts and follow the guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  

By creating high-quality sponsored content that resonates with your audience, you can earn money while providing value to your readers. 

 4. Selling digital or physical products 

Selling digital or physical products is another way to make money from your WordPress blog. If you have expertise in a particular area or have created a product you think your readers would like, you can sell it directly from your website. 

Digital products include ebooks, courses, webinars, and software. Physical products can include merchandise or items related to your blog's niche.  

To start selling products on your blog, you must set up an online store using an ecommerce plugin or service. 

Popular e-commerce plugins for WordPress include WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and Shopify.  

These plugins allow you to create a store, manage inventory, and process payments directly from your website. You'll also need to set up a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe to handle transactions. 

Creating a high-quality product that provides value to your customers is important when selling products on your blog.  

You'll also need to promote your products using social media, email marketing, and other channels to drive traffic to your store. 

By selling products on your WordPress blog, you can create an additional income stream while providing value to your readers. 

How often should I publish new content on my WordPress blog? 

 The frequency with which you should publish new content on your WordPress blog depends on various factors, including your blog goals, niche, and available resources. When deciding how frequently to publish new content, consider the following factors: 

Your goals: If you're trying to build a large audience quickly, you may need to publish new content frequently to keep readers engaged and attract new followers. You can publish less frequently by focusing on building a smaller, more engaged community. 

Your niche: The frequency with which you should publish new content also depends on your niche. If you're in a news-focused niche, you may need to publish multiple times daily to keep readers up-to-date. You can publish less frequently if you're in a more evergreen niche, like personal finance or cooking. 

Your available resources: Finally, the frequency you should publish new content depends on your available resources. If you're a one-person operation, you may only be able to publish new content once a week. You can publish new content several times daily with a team of writers and editors. 

Most successful blogs publish new content at least once a week, with some publishing multiple times a week or even daily. However, the most important thing is to create high-quality, engaging content that provides value to your readers rather than on a strict publishing schedule. 

Can I switch my WordPress theme after I've already started my blog? 

Yes, you can switch your WordPress theme after starting your blog. Changing your theme is common among WordPress users and can be done with just a few clicks.

You must not have performed mass customization outside the confines dictated by the theme. Otherwise, you'll find parts of the website will break.

Here are the general steps to follow when switching your WordPress theme: 

  1. Backup your site: Before making any major changes to your WordPress site, it's always a good idea to back up your site to ensure that you keep all important data and files. 
  2. Choose a new theme: Browse through the WordPress Theme Directory or purchase a premium theme from a third-party provider. Once you've selected a theme you like, download the theme files to your computer. 
  3. Install the new theme: Navigate to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard. Click “Add New” and then “Upload Theme” to upload the new theme files you downloaded in step 2. Once the theme is installed, click “Activate” to make the new theme your site's active theme. 
  4. Customize the new theme: Depending on your chosen theme, you may need to customize some settings to get the look and feel you want for your site. This can include adjusting color schemes, layouts, and font styles. 
  5. Test your site: Once you've made the switch, it's important to thoroughly test your site to ensure everything is working as expected. Check all the pages and posts on your site and any plugins or custom functionality you may have added. 

How to Start a WordPress Blog Wrap-up

Starting a WordPress blog is a great way to share your ideas and expertise. Here's a summary of the step-by-step instructions to get started: 

  • Choose a domain name
  • Select a good web host
  • Install WordPress
  • Choose a theme
  • Install essential plugins (SEO, caching, security)
  • Create essential pages and posts
  • Customize your blog using the WordPress customizer and widgets
  • Launch your blog and promote it to attract a wider audience

Starting a WordPress blog is a great way to share your ideas and expertise. It may seem daunting, but following the step-by-step instructions lets you quickly set up your blog.  

Keeping your blog updated with fresh, engaging content and engaging with your readers is critical to building a loyal following. Most new bloggers fail because they have unrealistic expectations of making money quickly with their blog or can't keep up with the time needed to post.

We hope you were able to follow these step-by-step instructions. Please let us know if you found it helpful in the comments. Also, if we missed a step or you needed some additional information, let us know. We'll be happy to add it in.

With dedication and hard work, you can build a successful WordPress blog you can be proud of. Good luck and happy blogging. 

How to Start a WordPress Blog: Step-by-Step Instructions

Ben Adams

Ben Adams is an online entrepreneur with over 20 years of digital marketing experience in SEO, content marketing, analytics, email marketing, e-commerce, and other strategies. He enjoys consulting and helping businesses and entrepreneurs succeed by using technology and tools to power their online presence and growth. He also enjoys writing, photography, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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