This is a short guide on how to create your own blog on a self-hosted wordpress platform, with emphasis on the UK.
I get asked a lot how to create your own blog, and if I can help them. I love building websites and have done so for many of my friends. But I would feel like a bit of a guilty if I did not point out that it is very easy to create your own blog.
You can create a free blog on wordpress.com. However if you like and would like a little bit more control over your design and features you should opt for a self-hosted wordpress.org blog. Another advantage of a self-hosted word press blog is that you will be able to monetize it later on if you wish.
When I started blogging I was overwhelmed by the information available on the internet. A lot of the information was US centric so thought it may be useful to give a guide on UK domain name registration, UK WordPress hosting and other tips I found.
1. Start with the idea
You can write a blog about anything. The sky is the limit. Although my tip is to choose something that you are really passionate, because it takes a lot of commitment to maintain a blog.
Having a food blog was the no-brainer for me. I love food. I love cooking. I love talking about food (maybe a little too much). Most importantly I love eating so it will never run out of content. I choose to specialise in German food and Lebanese food because I wanted my blog to have a focus, and these are the cuisines I cook the most.
2. Choose your domain name and register your domain name in the UK
MyDinner.co.uk sounds like a very exclusive and expensive domain name, and people always ask me how I was able to secure it. In fact it only costs me £5.99 every two years.
Domain name ownership and choosing your domain name always sounds more difficult then it is. When choosing your domain name it is always a good idea to use a domain name that is related to the content of your blog. So if you blog about fitness workout routines, it may be an idea to see if fitnessworkoutroutines.com is available. Putting some of the keywords into your blog name will be invaluable later on for SEO.
I register my domains all domains over 123.reg (because its cheaper).
3. Select your hosting package
Hosting my wordpress blog with a UK based company has become increasingly important for me. MyDinner.co.uk used to be hosted by an US Company called Maiahost. I got frustrated with the downtimes and the UK and US time differences, which made it difficult for me get the support when I needed it. As my blog grew I moved to a UK hosting company called Fresh Sites. Their live online support has been great and at £19.99 a year for a wordpress hosting they are one of the cheapest in the UK.
It is up to you who you select your wordpress hosting with but I have been very happy with Fresh Sites and recommend their service.
4. Make it pretty with Free WordPress Themes
Once you signed up to FreshSites they will give you a login to your wordpress blog. Now you just have to select your theme. There are 1000s of wordpress themes free available on wordpress.org. The best ones are those which are being updated regularly. My tip is to choose one with a five star rating.
This blog is run on the pinboard theme from one design. Although the theme has been live for 3 years now the developer keep on updating it to make sure it’s compatible with the latest wordpress releases.
Once your blog grows you may want to upgrade to a paid theme which gives you more support and advanced features.
5. Email me
Once you are up and running, drop me a line with a link to your blog. I love websites and I am always happy to give suggestions, help with problems or simply congratulate you. I do not mind sharing my experiences and find it very helpful discussing challenges with fellow bloggers.
6. If all fails – hire me
I can register your domain name for you, set up the hosting and prepare your blog ready to be populated. I have a MSc in E-Business, work in E-Commerce and love the internet and would love to help you. Currently I charge a flat fee of £60 for the set up. For more bespoke work a bespoke fee can be arranged. Just contact me.