This article will walk you through the basic steps of how to set up a self-hosted blog and is aimed at complete beginners.
A self-hosted blog is one that you own and control, self-hosted on your own web server rather than on a platform like Blogger or WordPress.com. This gives you more freedom and the flexibility to design and customise your blog the way you want. Basically, it gives you control.
To Set Up A Self-hosted Blog You Need The Following Basics
- A domain name
- Web hosting
- A content management system (CMS)
Your Domain Name
A domain name is your blog’s address on the internet. It’s the part of the URL that people type into their browser to visit your blog. For example, the domain name for this blog is “easypeasysuccess.com”.
Your Domain Name’s Suffix
The end part of the name – the domain suffix – is another choice you will need to make. This can be something like com, co.uk, org, biz, info – there are numerous options to choose from but do so carefully as it’ll make life easier if you pick the right one initially. According to Google, there are over 1600 domain suffixes available – that’s a lot of choice!
Should you get serious further down the line and want to set up more than one site, you can have all the different endings but have them all pointing to one domain, or have several different ‘landing pages’ – more on these later. For example, if your blog is about your pet Labrador, Honey, you could start with honey-labrador.com, then go on to purchase honey-labrador.shop, .co.uk, .group, .info, etc. See how this could open up lots of options for you?
Why would you need to buy more than one domain suffix? Well, it means that nobody else can buy a domain name exactly the same as yours but with a different ending. It’s important to bear this in mind for future use. You can always purchase several versions of your domain name and just ‘park’ them with your hosting provider – this can save you money.
Web hosting is the service that stores your blog’s files on a web server: this allows your blog to be accessible to other people on the internet. There are many different web hosting providers available, such as Bluehost, HostGator, and SiteGround.
When choosing a web hosting provider, you will need to consider the following factors:
- Storage space: How much storage space do you need for your blog?
- Bandwidth: How much bandwidth do you need for your blog?
- Features: What features are important to you, such as email hosting, security, and customer support?
Some of these factors will probably be alien to you initially but you’ll find lots of information on what they are, how they work, and why you need them on each hosting website. Make sure you do your research before purchasing, as you will probably have to commit to a minimum of 1 year once you register.
Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system (CMS) is a software application that helps you create and manage your blog. There are many different CMS available, such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, with WordPress being the most popular.
When choosing a CMS, you will need to consider the following factors:
- Ease of use: how easy is it to use?
- Flexibility: how flexible is it? Can you customise it to meet your needs?
- Community support: is there a large community of users who can help you with problems?
The Actual Process For Setting Up Your Blog
Once you have a domain name, web hosting, and a CMS, you need to follow these steps to set up your blog:
- Install the CMS. If you are using WordPress, you can install it on your web hosting account using the one-click installer. Sites like GoDaddy will walk you through this step-by-step. Alternatively, look on YouTube where there is a vast amount of information for newbies and beginners.
- Choose a theme. A theme is a pre-made design that you can use to customise the look and feel of your blog. There are many different themes available for WordPress, so you can find one that fits your style. Many are free and we would definitely recommend starting with a free one – it’s relatively easy to move to a different paid theme further down the line, if you wish.
- Install plugins. Plugins are add-ons that can extend the functionality of your blog. There are plugins available for everything from adding social media buttons to your blog, selling products, or creating a contact form. Again, search online for the recommended plugins for the particular theme you’ve chosen, making sure they fit your needs.
- Start blogging! Once you have installed the CMS, chosen a theme and installed some plugins, you’re ready to start blogging.
This is basically where people will ‘land’ when they click on your domain name. Most blogs will have this set up as their home page, or main page, where all their latest posts appear. But it’s up to you to decide on this – you may prefer for people to land on a particular post or page, or even an affiliate offer, before delving into the rest of your blog.
Setting up a self-hosted blog is a relatively simple process. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can have your own self-hosted blog up and running in no time.
A Few Tips That May Help When Setting Up Your Self-hosted Blog
- Choose a domain name that is relevant to your blog’s topic. This will help people find your blog when they are searching for information on that particular topic online.
- Write high-quality content that is both informative and engaging. This is the most important factor in attracting and retaining visitors to your blog.
- Promote your blog on social media and other online channels. This will help you get the word out about your blog and attract new readers.
We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us, or leave a comment below.
This article contains affiliate links. For information on how these may affect you, please check out our disclaimer on our use of affiliate links.