Are you planning to start a professional looking blog?
If yes, the right time to do this task is exactly today as we have covered everything you need to run a successful weblog (or blog).
Table of Contents
- Which Blogging Platform?
- Why WordPress?
- Types of WordPress blogs
- Consequences of Free blog
- Causes of Sticking with Self-hosted WordPress Account
- The Requirements for a professional Blog
- BlueHost: Best Host for your WordPress Blog
- How to install WordPress on Bluehost: : Step by Step
- How to install themes and plugins?
- Setting it up before you start your WordPress Journey
- Permalink Setting
Which Blogging Platform?
There are many famous blogging platforms which you can choose for your brand new blog. The old blogs can also be migrated to new platform. The WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Weebly are to name a few among the most commonly used blogging platforms.
WordPress is the best and free way to get a perfect start. That’s why, the WordPress 25% of the websites, existing in this digital world!
If you are still in confusion, here are some reasons of choosing WordPress over any other platform.
Themes: The Visual Part of your blog
The unique design along with readable, interesting and useful content is the first requirement of any Professional Looking blog. WordPress can do it for your blog with thousands for the amazing, mobile-responsive and unique themes. The many themes are available for free. But, you can also buy the theme if you want. No other blogging platform has that great diversity in terms of look as WordPress have!
Plugins: Add as many features as you want
The best part of WordPress is its capability to add new features as blogger’s requirements. There are hundreds of plugins available in the WordPress library, absolutely free. You can also purchase some plugins later if you need them. If you do not know that how to install plugins, you can learn it in this article as we proceed.
The WordPress blogs have SEO advantage over others. If you migrate from one host to another, change your domain name or change your blogging platform, you will lose your SEO ranking and subscribers. But these all tasks are super easy with WordPress without causing a search engine ranking shift.
The Themes and functionalities of the blog can be changed by easy customization. The WordPress is inherently extendable CMS. Any feature can be added to your blog according to the requirements. The Styling of theme, colors and looks are customizable. For the even high level of customization, the technical knowledge of WordPress is essential but it is achievable. The Customization of admin panel is also possible along with the front end of the blog or website.
Support and Community
The WordPress have the biggest community where you can get any problem solved quickly. The WordPress forum is the best place to ask for solutions from others. Most of the problems can be solved by just “Googling”, due to the availability of a large amount of information about this Content Management System.
Types of WordPress blogs
WordPress blogs are of both types, free as well as self-hosted. Let us see which is better!
Consequences of Free blog
If you are blogging for fun and do not have any ambitions to earn fame and money, WordPress.com is a perfect choice. Though, serious bloggers should always go for the self-hosted accounts.
Free blogs have limited storage space (3GB), less security and fewer features than the self-hosted accounts. But the main disadvantage is, you cannot earn through free blogs. Limited capabilities of free account bound world’s best CMS with restriction so if you are planning to be an impressive blogger, with decent earning, prefer self-hosted accounts instead.
Causes of Sticking with Self-hosted WordPress Account
Like any professional blogger, I prefer self-hosted WordPress account. Here is why:
Ownership and Control
The self-hosted WordPress is your own asset, where you can post anything with complete freedom while the other services are not owned by individuals. Blogger, for instance, is a Google-owned blogging platform. Google have all rights to stop you from accessing your account if they want. So, Unlike other platforms, the incredibly flexible WordPress can let you do whatever you can think of!
Free blogging platforms do not allow you to put third party ads or use any money-making way with the free hosting so it is essential to have a self-hosted account if you want to add money. You can monetize your account in many ways as you own it.
Though the Blogger also allows monetization but the look and features of the platform are limited and hence, you will be earning less there.
Full theme Support
The free accounts have limited themes, which can be used with the blog. With full theme support, which means unlimited access to themes, you can select any theme out of thousands for your blog. Custom themes can also be utilized for the purpose.
The security is higher in the case of self-hosted accounts. Free accounts are more prone to be hacked or spammed.
The Requirements for a professional Blog
To get started with the blogging, you will need the following three things:
- A Reasonable and appealing Domain Name
- Good Hosting (wordpress.org itself recommends the Bluehost for this cause)
- WordPress: Installed and Running with your favorite theme.
BlueHost: Best Host for your WordPress Blog
With the free domain name, which you will own for your life, the Bluehost is the best host for the WordPress sites. WordPress.org also suggests for hosting the sites with Bluehost. They have 24/7 US based support, in case you are stuck somewhere and need help.
Up to 100 websites and domain names can be hosted with the Bluehost. The bandwidth and storage space is unlimited. Also, you need not worry about data loss, as they have the automotive backup facility of your file and database.
The prices are reasonable and affordable. You can choose among their standard, business and Pro plans according to your needs.
Signing up and getting started is quite easy. You just have to choose a domain name and make the payment through credit card or PayPal. Once, you own a domain name and got hosting, it is the time to install WordPress with your BlueHost. Follow the steps from next section to get it done correctly.
How to install WordPress on Bluehost: : Step by Step
Step 1: Login to your Bluehost account and navigate to Cpanel.
Step 2: Look for the Websites section in the Cpanel and click on it. You will find the following scenario as shown in the snapshot. You will find Install WordPress option. Click to continue further.
Step 3: Select to Install and proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Finally, choose the domain where you would like to set up your WordPress blog.
As WordPress is ready now, all you need is to install an attractive theme and required plugins before you start blogging. Next section covers it to the full.
How to install themes and plugins?
Step 1: Log in to the WordPress admin panel. You can reach the admin panel though URL yoursite_URL/wp-admin. Once logged in, you have to find the Themes sub-option under Appearance option, which is located in the sidebar of your dashboard, which may look different than my dashboard.
Step 2: Find your theme. For this, you can either add themes from the zipped file or search them from the free/premium themes available. You can also select the default theme (like twenty fifteen), which comes with WordPress.
Step 3: After downloading, click on activate and your theme is ready to be viewed. As my current theme is X Theme but by clicking on “Activate”, Twenty Fifteen will become my site theme.
Setting it up before you start your WordPress Journey
The final task, which is really required for a good WordPress site is installing important plugins and changing some settings.
The plugins which you should install are plugins for SEO for a good ranking, the plugin for website security from spam and hackers, backup and cache plugins, and other requirement-specific plugins.
Also, change the time zone and permalink settings along with disabling the membership registration.
Go to Permalinks under Settings section in the admin sidebar. Change the setting as follows to make it SEO friendly.
If you do not know how to install plugins, here is a quick guide for you-
Step 1: Navigate to Add new sub–section under Plugins section in the administrator sidebar.
Step 2: You will see the view as snapshot added below. So, you can add plugins in two ways: by adding the zipped plugin and installing it, or by directly searching and installing the plugin from WordPress Library.
As you know everything which is required for a super awesome blog, go and start your own Professional Looking blog.