If you are interested in starting a blog, or you just want to see how easy or complicated is it compared to any other social media “blog” like a Facebook page, Tumblr, etc., then you should read the following article in which you will find all the necessary information on how to start a blog using WordPress.
WordPress – A versatile CMS with roots as a blogging platform
WordPress is a great CMS choice for starting a blog. WordPress powers over 28% of all of the public-facing websites in the world. It is the most used CMS in the world, and rightfully so. It started as a blogging platform, but thanks to its modular nature and open source license, a huge number of Plugins and Themes were developed for it, thus, evolving from a simple blogging CMS to a web shop, review website, bulletin board, etc.
Using WordPress as a blogging engine on a web host, sometimes referred as self-hosted, or wordpress.org install (wordpress.com offers a WordPress blog in a SaaS infrastructure, with some limitations) is the best choice because it gives you the freedom to use any Plugin or Theme that you might want to use, or otherwise customize it how you’d want.
Starting a WordPress blog is pretty easy: Pick a web hosting company, buy a new domain name or use an existing one, install WordPress, customize it for your needs and start blogging.
If you don’t already own a domain name for your soon to be blog, look at special discounts at the hosting company, usually they will give you a free domain name if you commit to a 1-year contract, or there might be other discounts like .com domains are available for only $1 if you also buy hosting.
Installing WordPress might sound really hard, but it is not the case since a lot of web hosting companies offer one-click installs like Fantastico (usually available with cPanel) or any other similar software, which achieves the same thing: It installs and configures a CMS of choice, in this case WordPress, in one click.
Even if the host does not support one-click installers, installing WordPress can be achieved in a few steps: Creating a MySQL database along with a user, uploading the WordPress source files to the webroot either via FTP or via a web based file manager, then following the steps of the installation wizard.
WordPress became the world’s leading CMS because its modularity and ease of developing addons and themes for it. There is a plethora of Plugins and Themes for WordPress.
For a blog you might want to pick a theme in newspaper style, this of course depends on the type of blog you are about to start, and maybe a social media plugin that allows your readers to share or tweet any blog entry or article they might find worth sharing. Also, you might install a newsletter plugin, which allows people to subscribe to your blog and never missing a new article.
The possibilities are endless in terms of customization. Even if you would like something for which there is no ready-made solution, you can hire a WordPress developer who will be able to implement it for you. Because WordPress is so popular, there are a lot of great developers and freelancers who you can hire to solve any issues you might have.
Picking the right hosting for your WordPress blog is very important because if your site is offline because the hosting company has some issues, or you have used up your traffic quota because one of your post went viral can be bad experience for users who will not be able to read the content, or give up waiting for a page to load. Frequent downtimes can also affect your search engine rankings, so it is really important that your site is always online and loads really fast.
There are great hosting companies out there who will host your WordPress Blog with a lot of professionalism and experience:
BlueHost – Best Hosting for WordPress Blogs
BlueHost hosting services are recommended by wordpress.org. They have a hosting package focused on WordPress blogs and generic websites based on WordPress.
The special offer for WordPress users includes a free domain name, free SSL certificate so your website can be accessed via HTTPS, 1 Click WordPress install and 24/7 WordPress support. As a hosting control panel they provide an enhanced cPanel. They have 3 plans Basic, Plus and Prime. You can start with the Basic as it has 50GB storage space and unmetered bandwidth.
If you’re starting a new blog, then you might want to take advantage of the Plus or Prime plan’s marketing offers as they come with $200 marketing credit. The basic plan costs $7.99 per month, but you can take advantage of the promotion and get it for $2.95. The Plus plan normally costs $10.99 ($5.45 discounted) and the Prime will set you back $14.99 ($5.45 discounted)
HostGator – Great Hosting for WordPress
HostGator has been around for quite some time and made a reputation for itself for being a stable and reliable hosting for small to medium websites or blogs. In terms of hosting tailor-made for WordPress they also offer 3 packages:
With the Starter plan ($5.95/month), you can host only 1 site or blog and it is designed for a site that has around 100.000 average monthly site traffic and has an automated daily database backup including file level restore of 1GB.
With the Standard plan ($7.95/month), you can host two websites, and it can serve about 200,000 average monthly web traffic. The daily database backup space is increased to 2GB
Business plan ($9.95/month), it allows you to host 3 websites or blogs and it includes WPPro Developer Help, which is a 30-minute one-on-one session with a WordPress developer to sort out any issues you might have, also the daily backup storage is increased to 5GB.
All of HostGators WordPress plans come with unmetered storage space and unlimited email addresses, and as a bonus with $100 worth of Google AdWords credit.
InMotion Hosting – Business WordPress Hosting
InMotion also offers special packages for WordPress based websites and blogs. They offer 3 types of packages Launch, Power and Pro. The prices shown are available if you choose the two year term.
The Launch plan is geared towards newcomers and people who just start their online presence. It costs $5.99 a month, it includes a free domain name, it allows you to host 2 websites, and it is great for small blogs as it comes with 512MB of RAM.
The Power plan has double the performance of the Launch one, as it has 1GB of RAM and 200 of entry processes compared to 100 of the Launch. This also comes with a free domain, but instead of 2, it allows hosting of 6 websites or blogs, and it costs $7.99 a month.
The Pro plan is their biggest offering in terms of WordPress hosting, and it includes Pro level support which means that they have an SLA of 99.9% and in case that they cannot meet the SLA, they will credit you with free hosting. Pro plan does not impose any limit on the number of sites hosted.
All of InMotion’s hosting plans have Unlimited disk space, bandwidth and emails. They give you SSH access, which is really great for debugging and generic maintenance if needed. Another great feature is their Safe Application Rollback, which might be useful if you find yourself in a situation when upgrading WordPress itself or a Plugin or Theme breaks your site’s functionality or looks, you can just simply roll back to a previous working version.
Starting a WordPress based site is really easy, especially if you chose a great hosting provider who is prepared to solve WordPress related issues and even promotes experimentation with a lot of safety features like daily backups or application rollback. Almost all of the hosting companies provide a money back guarantee so if you think that they are not the best choice, or their support is not what you expect, you can move to a new one.