Do you want to start a WordPress blog in under 10 minutes?
A few weeks back, a friend asked me to help her start a personal WordPress blog. A place where she can share her makeup skills, talk fitness, and eventually be able to attract clients for her makeup services.
Sure, I said. It shouldn’t take much time. After about a few minutes, I was done.
While working on her blog, it dawned on me that maybe more people would be able to start their own blog if they knew that it isn’t that time-consuming and fairly easy if you have a step-by-step guide.
In this blog post, I will show you how simple and easy it is to start a WordPress blog. In fact, all you need is 10 minutes.
Since 2004, I have helped family and friends start a blog; personal and business. When I consulted as an Accountant, I would help my clients start a website with WordPress as a backend and then teach them how to add content, make updates, etc.
I would do this by literally sitting down with them, firing up the web browser, registering a domain, signing up for hosting, and then installing WordPress.
Over the years, I repeated this same process so many times that it turned into a reflex.
In a nutshell, I am trying to say that I know what I am talking about – you are in good hands.
Before we start…
Please note the following:
- I will guide you through the process of starting a ‘personal’ WordPress blog in under 10 minutes.
- You will register a domain name, sign up for hosting, and install WordPress.
- Registering a domain and signing up for hosting costs money – WordPress is free to install.
Starting a WordPress blog in under 10-minutes is a 3-step process; registering a domain (3 mins), signing up for hosting (6 mins), and then installing WordPress (1 min).
Now, let’s dive into the good stuff.
1) Registering a Domain Name at the Registrar (3 mins)
What is a domain name?
A domain name is what tells the end user how to find your website or blog on the internet. For e.g., ZahidLilani.com is my domain name for this blog. You can type the domain name on any web browser, mobile or web, and it will direct you to my blog.
What is a domain registrar?
The place where you register the domain is called the domain name registrar, such as GoDaddy, Namecheap etc.
What is the Cost?
An annual fee is paid to the registrar for registering the domain name. You can register a domain name in one-year increments for a maximum of 10 years. It costs anywhere between $9-$15 per year depending on the domain name extension, such as .com, .net, .org, etc.
How do I pick a domain name?
That’s a $64,000 question. There’s no right or wrong answer. It all depends on what the end goal is.
Since I love talking about myself, let me tell you my reasoning for blogging under my own name.
I wanted it to be a “place-all” blog. I just wanted it be a journal where I share my thoughts and interesting things I discover on the internet.
If you don’t want to blog under your name, pick something that’s short, memorable and allows you to build a brand.
How do I buy a domain name?
I will show you exactly how to buy a domain name using Namecheap.com.
I have registered domains through Namecheap. It has a user-friendly interface (a must for newbies) and is inexpensive.
Just FYI: There are other domain name registrars, such as GoDaddy, but the user interface is not newbie friendly. On GoDaddy, it takes a long time to go from searching for the domain to actually paying for it. They try to up-sell you many domain-related products (which you don’t need) before they take your money – very confusing for newbies.
It’s time to fire up your web browser (in a separate window or tab). We are going to register a domain name on Namecheap.
1) Go to Namecheap.com
2) Enter the domain name in the search bar
3) Hit enter or click the magnifying glass.
4) Once you see that your domain name is available, click on the shopping cart button to add it to your cart.
5) Hit view cart
6) You can register a domain for up to 10 years if you want, the default is 1 year. Enter the Promo Code ‘SUNSHINE’ for 10% off. (comment below if it doesn’t work)
7) Once you see that the list price has been updated and reflects the promo code, click ‘Confirm Order.’
8) Enter your details under ‘Create an Account.’
9) The next steps are self-explanatory, assuming you have made an online purchase in the past. Enter credit card details, address, etc.
Please keep the login details for your Namecheap account handy or stay logged in. We will be updating the name servers after you purchase hosting.
2) Signing up for Blog Hosting (6 mins)
What is blog hosting?
If a domain name is how people find you on the internet, then hosting is where you live (your blog lives, of course).
What is the cost?
Hosting is usually paid for in 1-year increments. You can signup for monthly hosting, but it isn’t recommended because you pay a lot more. It costs anywhere between $60-$80 per year, depending on the hosting plan (see below for more information).
How do I pick a blog host?
There are three important things to look for in a blog host.
- Security: Does the blog host have a good track record in protecting your blog from hackers, malware, DDOS attacks, etc?
- Scalability: As your blog grows, will the hosting scale with your needs?
- Customer Service: When you have issues with your blog, will the host provide quick solutions?
For the most part, you are in good hands as long as you can check all of the above.
What blog hosting plan should I signup for?
You will be hosting one personal WordPress blog. Even the most basic hosting plan will allow you to do that, such as Shared Hosting.
In shared hosting, you are hosting your website on the same powerful server as other websites and sharing resources.
Shared hosting is cheap and the perfect choice for personal blogs.
How do I signup for hosting?
I will show you exactly how you can signup for hosting using Hostgator.
I have used Hostgator since 2006 for this blog and have used it for my other websites since 2004.
Hostgator hosts over 9 million websites. It’s been around since 2002. Its security is robust, it scales with your needs with its many hosting plans, and it has 24/7 customer service through email, chat, and phone.
In other words, I have a history with Hostgator and have dealt with the company on many occasions. As such, I have absolutely no problem recommending it.
Just FYI: Over the years, I have hosted websites for friends, family, and clients on different web hosts such as SiteGround, WPEngine, WebhostingPad, etc.
Hostgator and Siteground are the best blog hosting providers when graded on the standards above.
Siteground is a little more expensive than Hostgator, and that’s the only reason I picked HostGator to demonstrate the signup process.
It’s time to fire up your web browser (in a separate window or tab); we will sign up for web hosting on Hostgator.
1) Go to Hostgator.com
2) Under Hatchling Plan, click on ‘Buy Now’
3) Since you have already registered a Domain name on Namecheap, click on ‘I Already Own this Domain.’
4) Enter the domain name you registered on Namecheap.
5) Now scroll down to 4. Add Additional Services and make sure all the highlighted boxes are unchecked.
6) Scroll down a little further to 5. Enter a Coupon Code, enter the code ‘1CENT’, and then click ‘Validate.’
7) Scroll up to 2. Choose a Hosting Plan, click on the ‘Billing Cycle’ drop down and select ’12 Months.’
8) Scroll down and fill out 3. Enter your billing Info section.
9) Scroll down to the bottom of the page and review order details and then click ‘Checkout Now.’
10) If all goes well, you will receive an email that will look something like this:
Please note that I use the Cloud Business package on Hostgator, your hosting package plan will say ‘Hatchling.’ Please also note that your name server will be different than mine.
11) Let’s head over to Namecheap and click on ‘Manage DNS’.
12) Click on the drop-down for Namer servers and select Custom DNS.
13) Enter the name servers from the email you received, similar to above. When done, click the tick ‘ ✓ ‘ mark.
3) Installing WordPress (1 min)
Yes, if you are wondering, the above heading is a typo; it isn’t.
It takes less than a minute to install WordPress using a one-click install on Hostgator.
Head back to the Hostgator Control panel (it should be in your email), we will now do a one-click install of WordPress.
1) Click on ‘Build a New WordPress Site’
2) Click the dropdown and select your domain name and then click ‘Next.’
3) Most of what you see next is self-explanatory. Once you complete all the fields, click ‘Install.’
You are done.
Just FYI: Since writing this post in 2018, I have switched hosts to Hostinger.