If you’ve ever talked to me about my blog, I’ve probably mentioned that My Guy is also my very essential IT guy. This week for My Guy Friday, he has graciously agreed to share what you need to set-up a WordPress blog.
If you want to stand out and be seen as a professional blogger, now is the time to transition away from your Blogger or WordPress.com account to a “self-hosted” blog. Self-hosted simply means that you have your own domain name that is hosted somewhere, rather than using a service like Blogger. So, here’s what you need to do to bring your blog to the next level.
Think of a name for your blog
To create a self hosted blog, the first thing that you should do is to give it a new name. Your blog’s name is called a domain, which is the address that people will use to find your blog (e.g., www.yourblog.com). When thinking of a name for your blog, keep in mind that incorporating keywords into your blog’s name can help improve your visibility with search engines, which drives more traffic to your site. Think of keywords as the words or terms that people search when looking for content on the web. For example, marysblog.com doesn’t contain any keywords unless someone is specifically searching for “Mary’s blog”. A better domain name would be www.maryshomedecor.com, assuming that Mary’s blog focuses primarily on home decor. You should try to come up with 3-5 names in the event that your first few choices aren’t available.
Determine if your blog name is available
Tip: Stay away from using dashes or hyphens in your name. Think of how it would sound if someone asks you the address of your website.
If your name is available, then move to the next step. If not, keep working through your list until you find something that is available.
Claim your name
Now that you have found a good name for your blog, you need to claim or register it to prevent anyone else from taking it. There are many places that you could register your blog’s domain name such as hostgator, godaddy,register.com, namecheap, and 1and1 to name a few. When you register your blog’s domain name you basically are claiming ownership of that name for a specific period of time (for example, one to three years). This shouldn’t cost you anymore than $15 per year, but you can usually find good deals particularly for the first year.
Give your blog a home (Hosting)
Once you have the name of your blog registered, you need to have it “hosted”. Think of this as giving it a place to live somewhere in cyberspace. Basically, hosting allows you to place your blog, along with all of its associated content and files on a particular server (i.e., a big computer) online. There are many places that offer hosting, but I would recommend either Hostgator or 1&1. Pricing ranges from about $4 per month to $7 per month depending on the length of time you select. You will most likely get the best deal if you use the same company that you used to register your domain name.
Once you have your name and your hosting set up, the next step is to install WordPress on your site. This is a software package that is the back end dashboard of your blog. Having WordPress installed on your site allows you the ability to fully customize your blog to the look and feel you want. There are many themes you can explore to customize the layout of your blog. Once you have the layout looking the way you want to you are ready to start creating great content.
My Guy is the very talented Dennis Given, licensed psychologist and blogger over at SuccessfulPractice.net. He would love to hear if this info helped you out or if you have any other technical questions about your blog so leave a comment! Thanks for stopping by!