Today I’m going to go over the 3 steps it takes to set up a basic blog, with no experience required. Many people are intimidated setting up their first website or blog, thinking that it’s going to be complicated with little to no computer, coding, or programming experience. Without following a step-by-step guide you are right, it can be a very frustrating experience to set up your first blog website (ask me how I know!). But I’m going to show you the three simple steps it takes to set up a basic blog, with absolutely zero experience necessary.
What Do You Need To Have And Host A Blog? (Domain & Web Hosting)
1) Domain Name – There are three things you need to have a blog or website of any kind. The first is your domain name, which is your address on the internet. Examples of your domain name would be google.com, amazon.com, and cleverleverage.com. If you need help coming up with domain name ideas, I have a great little guide with domain name generators you can use for free on the starting a blog for beginners tutorial page.
2) Web Hosting Account – The second thing you need to have a blog or website, is a web hosting account. Every website or blog has a series of HTML files, and or a database, that houses the information your website contains. This information has to be stored on a server somewhere, so that when the visitor visits your domain name, those files can be served up via the connected web hosting account.
3) Blogging Software (or CMS) – The third thing you need in order to have a blog, is some type of a CMS or content management system. You’ll want an easy way to add pages and posts to your blog, and preferably a blogging software with a WYSIWYG editor, which is similar to a drag and drop text editing program like Microsoft Word. The best blogging software on the planet is hands-down WordPress, and it’s what I use here on CleverLeverage.com and recommend to all beginners.
Pros And Cons To Registering Your Domain Name At Your Web Hosting Company
I want to cover a couple of pros and cons to registering your domain name at your web hosting company, compared to using an outside domain registrar. Normally it is recommended to register your domain name at a separate company other than your web host, and in a lot of cases this is good advice. However for beginners this creates an extra often frustrating step of connecting the domain name’s DNS records to the web hosting account. Essentially all this means, is you have to go and change the settings for both accounts, so they sync up correctly.
That said, for beginners that stuff can be eliminated by taking advantage up a web hosting promo whereby you get a free domain name from the web hosting company you choose. Should you ever decide to leave this web hosting company, you will have to alter the DNS settings to point to the new hosting company. But for your first blog, it will be MUCH easier for you to set up and get going by using an all-in-one domain and web hosting service like Bluehost. (without wanting to pull your hair out or throw the computer out the window… that’s what I wanted to do when I first got started!)
What Hosting Company I Recommend To All Beginners And Why
There’s a lot of controversy when it comes to recommending web hosting companies, especially in the blog world. I base my recommendations on companies that I use myself, and companies that I think offer the best customer service for the value or for the money. The blog hosting company I recommend for beginners is Bluehost. They are the most affordable entry to mid-level blog hosting company, that maintains high quality 24/7 phone support. The number one thing you will want if you ever find yourself stuck with your blog or website, is really good phone support so you can get your problem resolved quickly and easily.
I am an affiliate for Bluehost, and I do get referral credit if you sign up through my link. Even if I didn’t get referral credit, there are very few companies that maintain native English-speaking support technicians available 24/7 like Bluehost does. The way most shared hosting companies cut corners and save costs, is by limiting website support to email ticketing only. I’m not sure about you, but if you’ve ever had a really frustrating computer problem, and the only way to get help for it was to type out an email and correspond back and forth in that way, it can be one of the most frustrating experiences ever. This is the biggest reason that I recommend Bluehost to all bloggers starting out, and why I stopped recommending HostGator a couple of years back. There simply isn’t another blog post that offers that kind of support for less than $5 a month.
How To Setup Your Blog With No Computer Or Coding/Programming Experience
Setting up your blog website with no experience is now easier than ever! The main thing that makes this possible, is the use of a free open-source self-hosted blogging platform, known as WordPress. This is not to be confused with WordPress.com, which provides a free blog hosting platform for hobby bloggers on subdomain. I’ve talked about the limitations of these blogging platforms in the past, and now technology has made it affordable for anyone to own their own website or blog.
Now that WordPress powers over 26% of the worlds websites on the internet, along with it’s robust variety of themes and plugins, customizing your blog or website easier than ever. With most add-ons being free, you can design and build a basic WordPress blog from scratch in under an hour. If you need help with this, follow my step by step beginner tutorial for starting a blog.
Related Reading: If you need help coming up with content ideas for your new blog, see this post for some tips. Alternatively, look at some of my earlier content where I reviewed products I purchased in everyday life… like the Merax Finiss mountain bike I bought, or my bad experience with a GoPro Session 4.
How To Customize Your Basic WordPress Blog With Themes And Plugins
Even though you just want to make a basic blog, most people want to customize the colors, along with the look and feel to one degree or another. WordPress makes it super-easy to switch out the look and feel of your blog, by simply switching the theme you have installed. Design plugins, and functioning functionality add-ons, can easily be added with no coding experience by installing the free plug-ins from the WordPress Repository. I show you how to do this in my step by step video tutorial, where I take you by the hand start to finish starting a WordPress blog on Bluehost.
The Costs Involved In Setting Up A Basic WordPress Blog
Nowadays, the cost to host a basic WordPress blog is next to nothing. You no longer have to pay for expensive VPS or dedicated hosting services, and most all shared hosting plans come with a one-click WordPress auto installer…. So you don’t even have to learn how to setup a database or install WordPress manually either!
The average cost for a domain name without whois privacy, is around $10 a year. You can’t actually buy domain names outright, it’s sort of like paying taxes on the property your house sits on… If you don’t pay your taxes, eventually the city or county will revoke your rights to that land. A domain name operates in the exact same way, and tthe feet for that is anywhere from $10 – $12 a year.
Basic blog hosting, or shared hosting accounts which are entry-level hosting accounts, run anywhere from $5 to $15 per month typically. For most people starting out, it’s not necessary to overspend for a little bit better specs or more performance on their hosting plan. Without a significant amount of traffic, the need for better hardware won’t come until much later. Sure it’s nice to have faster speeds and cool gadgets, but it’s not really going to help you until you need it later on.
Let me give you an example of what I pay for one of my hosting accounts, so can compare…
So for instance, I use Liquid Web dedicated hosting for my blog here at CleverLeverage.com, at a cost of a little over $200 per month. While the service is high quality, it would be silly for me to recommend that beginners use a similarly priced service. There’s no reason for it, especially when starting out, and would simply be a waste of money that could be used for other services that can help you grow your blog right away.
A good deal for annual blog posting promo package, is to shoot for a $50 a year promo. Bluehost often emails us with monthly promos and I update them here on the Bluehost coupon code page. From time to time, you should be able to get 12 months of blog hosting for less than $5 a month ($3.95/mo right now), and get your domain name thrown in for free. They also give you a tiered discount depending on the plan you choose.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below… I’ll be glad to help.