Well ahoy! *cough* Hello there friend. If you are looking for a basic way to make a blog, or just a basic site for that matter, welcome. Here’s the thing: I’m going to share with you what I know and point you to the experts beyond what I know. In my experience, it’s it’s always best to share the good, caution on the bad, and refer the best people you know.
I’ve been building personal websites and blogs since 2002. Yes! I was staying up late trying to learn HTML and how to create <a links . *chuckles* I enjoy building sites as a hobby, while I’m not an expert, I understand the basics and I think if you’re reading this page, you’re a beginner to intermediate as well.
Below and at the end of this page will be links to resources.
The two options. You can either get a domain somewhere and then go look for a hosting company, or you can buy your hosting and domain at the same provider. I’m going to recommend that you start with the latter. Will you save $2 bucks if you go to two different places? Yes, but I don’t think it’s worth the extra steps in the end.
Where to Host your blog or sites.
There are many hosting sites that you can go to. I host my site with DreamHost.
I’m been with them for a while so I’ve seen them change and evolve into a great web host provider. Their one-click WordPress installs are simple and now and they even offer a great product called Remixer,which helps you created a simple yet beautiful one-page site in just a few minutes. Even when I got stuck trying to change something on my website, they were available to help asap.
I have their basic shared hosting site plan and I’m happy with it because I love to tinker with plugins and try new things out. I also get to host as many sites as I want which I test my web skills.
If you’re looking for a professional WordPress blog that get’s taken care of for you and all you worry is content, then check out their Managed WordPress Hosting. I’m thinking about trying it out in 2017.
Where to buy a Domain.
If you’re trying to find a domain that’s available, here’s 2 main site I use to search.
Namecheap.com: This is where most of my domains are registered at. There service is straightforward, affordable and never really had any problems. I’ve also used other domain registration sites and I’m testing others right now, but Namecheap is main one that I use when I’m going to “park”my domains, or not quite ready to develop a site for them.
Dreamhost: This is my hosting provider and where the rest of my domains are. They’re domains are also affordable and by purchasing with them, it’s then very easy to add hosting to any of the domains. In the past, DreamHost has actually included a domain name when you buy a shared hosting plan. For the sake of simplicity, I’m recommending that you buy your domain and host it with the same company. It’s way easier to do thing, especially when your first starting out. Later on, I’ll share how you can buy a domain at another name registrar and then “point it” to another hosting provider.
Buy a domain and a share hosting plan. Next, install the one-click install WordPress. Start creating your content. If you buy the managed WordPress hosting plan, the WordPress blog will be installed. So now you start creating your content.
Wait. I’m not ready to commit. I just want to test out the waters.
Ok, then I would recommend that you simply get started with a free WordPress.com site. This is meant to get you up and running right away and just have you see if it’s even something that you want to pursue. If you forget about your blog for 6+ months, then you know it was just a “thing” you wanted to try out and not really a hobby that you want to pursue. That way, you don’t need to invest any money, just time. We all have those phases, no shame.
But if you know that you want to create, maintain, and even make multiple test sites, try niches, explore all the plugins, and dive in, then get a simple share hosting plan so you can play. That’s what I did. I finally took the dive years later and committed. I haven’t looked back. Let me just say, that if you’re looking to build a “home base” or “HQ,” then hosting your own site on your own terms is going to be something you’re going to consider down the line.
Basics, what’s a domain? provided by DreamHost
In-depth getting started guide, provided by DreamHost.
*More coming soon. Screenshots, videos, pdfs, etc. I have a couple more articles coming up but I wanted to give you the bare bones basics for now.