How to Start a WordPress Blog The RIGHT WAY – Beginners Guide (Step by Step)

Hey there and welcome to WPBeginner and thanks for tuning in In this video I'll walk you through how to start your own wordpress blog and we're going to cover it step-by-step so you can get up and running quickly Let me show you what we'll cover in this tutorial

First I'll walk you through the process of registering your domain name A domain name, that's what people type into get to your website it's your website's address on the internet For instance Google's web address is googlecom and WPBeginner's is wpbeginnercom so I'll show you how to get your address for your website

Next we'll set a posting for your website this is where your website lives and breathes it's your site's house on the internet and every website needs web hosting so I'll walk you through setting that up for your site Then I'll show you how to install WordPress which initially look something like this and that is pretty terrible I admit but don't worry I'll show you how to design your website and make it beautiful with a wordpress theme for you Next step will cover are plugins, plugins are little apps for wordpress that let you add new features for your site things like a contact form or photo galleries maybe a newsletter signup form for your site so we'll cover how to do that as well and finally I'll walk you through creating your first blog post so you can start sharing your ideas with the world So if you're ready let's get started The first two steps we'll actually cover together I can get my domain name and hosting from the same company the company we'll be using is called hostgator it's a reliable hosting company that wpbeginner we've been using them since 2007 since we do have a great long relationship with them and because we do like them so much we've worked them to get a discount code for you

To get set up with hosting and our remaining let's head over to our web browser and we'll go to hostgatorcom from here you need to click on web hosting and we'll go over what you need the business plan is for established businesses and they get a few more benefits that will be more needed for business but not necessarily for a blog so you probably don't need this one the hatchling plan this is really good for beginners but when you get the hatchling plan your limited to only one domain that's why i usually recommend the baby plan because it allows for unlimited domains so when you set up your first site and you realize how much you love doing this and if you have an idea for a second site then you're covered with the baby plan so I just kind of like to do it like that so we're going to click on the baby plan and you see this price I'll actually show you how you can get it for even cheaper Okay from here you want to register your new domain and you can type it in here to see if it's available If it's not then you'll get these search results like you see here suggesting others to choose from conversely this tab up here that's if you've already chosen a domain and you've already purchased it somewhere else you can put it in there Scrolling down here I'm going to actually uncheck this I don't care about domain privacy and so I'm not going to pay that extra money for that now down here you want to make sure that you have the hosting plan that we set up we're looking for the baby package and from the billing cycle you can choose how long you want to purchase this for I'm gonna go with a month next you want to fill out your username and pin information this is what you'll use to access your account and once you're done with that you want to go down and enter your billing information under additional services i usually just uncheck everything Things like backup or email you can actually get from within your website so we'll uncheck those here Finally down here let's enter the coupon code of wpbeginner that is the code that hostgator is given to us so that we can pass on a discount to you and I want to watch when you fill that out and click validate look down here and see the price change you'll see that the price goes down to much less and now you're getting these seven percent discount to check out let's go ahead and agree to the terms of service here and click checkout now you'll get it email next that will give you all the information that you just entered there you want to keep that handy for your records So next you'll want to click on the link will take you to the login to work on your website Most web host companies use something called the cpanel it's like a dashboard that shows you everything that you can do for your website so we're going to login here alright once we login you see all of this information around here once you login you, you're now in your dashboard area for your website and as you can see there are several things that you can work on you can see that there are several things that you can use to work on your website but we want to scroll all the way down to the bottom we're looking for the quick install area and once we click on that click on the WordPress area and let's go ahead and install it for free so I'm gonna click install WordPress here right now let's fill out the form for installing WordPress we're gonna leave this first one blank that's where we want to install WordPress and then next we need to fill out the admin email fill out the blog title the admin username and do your contact information here and when you're done just click install WordPress and what that's going to do is it's going to install WordPress for you and then as you can see up here when it's done you get a notification that the installation is complete if you click on the view your credentials here you get all the information you need to login to your website so you can start customizing it you want to keep this information handy so that you can access it whenever you need to so quickly want to go over what we've done so far So far we've gotten a domain name the address for your site, we have set up hosting and we've installed WordPress

It's all the technical stuff that just has to get done for each website and now that that's done we can move on to the fun stuff and that's setting up your website and designing it and making it your own alright now that we've installed WordPress let's go to our website and see what it looks like right now I'm going to open a new browser and type in my web address to see it Here it's a little bare and I'm not excited about the look but that's okay we'll work on the look next by finding a theme In WordPress theme is a premade design that a designer or developer created so you don't have to know the code to get that look on your site instead you just use the theme and then you can further customize it and make it completely your own to do that we need to go to our web site dashboard to go to the back end of your website just type in your web address in the browser and then add wp-admin at the end This will take you to the login screen and this is where you'll put in your username and password that we saved earlier You can also click remember me so you don't have to do this every time Now that we're logged in this is the backend and here's the dashboard area you can get a quick glance of how your site is doing you can see here things like your posts your comments and pages you'll also see some latest wordpress news here and this area will look different depending on what plugins or themes that you have installed

Over here on the left these are all the areas that you use to customize your site we'll cover most of these later but for now I want to go over the appearance section specifically our themes section so I'm going to click on the appearance and go to themes and right now these are all of our themes that we currently have on this site You go to your site yours will look a little bit different and you can tell this one is the active theme or the one that is being used on my site right now now the number and types of themes that are on your site they'll look a little different depending on when you installed WordPress if I want I can switch to any of these themes by clicking activate and I'll change my site's theme immediately For instance I'll activate this one and now my site looks like this but if you don't want to use any of these themes that are already installed we can click on the add new button and we can search for a new theme Now we see thousands of themes to choose from All of these themes are created by a designer or developer from all over the world and they're reviewed and approved by wordpress They're stored in what's called the wordpress theme repository and since they're reviewed you know that they're safe for your site you can search by featured by, theme popularity, you can find the latest ones that have been uploaded you can save your favorites here or we can also do a feature filter and that's what I'm going to show you right now

So you can click on the feature filter area and check off some of the features that you know you want for your site you can also filter by the type of site that you'll want to have such as a blog or maybe an e-commerce site i'm going to click apply filter to see the results as you scroll through and look at them you can hover over in a theme image and you can see the details and preview to see what it might look on your site When you do that it's not actually activating it is just giving you a preview of what it will look like so go ahead and take a few minutes look through all of these themes and pick one that you might want for your site for this video I know which one I want to use so I'm going to type it in here and search for it, and once it pops up I'm going to click install and then activate it and now looking at the site it's already a huge difference from what it was now we just need to customize it alright to customize it we just need to go back into our dashboard area and I'm gonna go to the customize area Couple of things about this area is number one if you selected a different theme than when I have then this area will likely look a little bit different this area is just dependent on which theme you get and what options are available for you the next thing to understand is any changes that I make here you'll see them real time over here however they won't actually go live on your website until we click Save and publish so there's a little bit of testing the waters before you make any changes so we'll just start from the top and start making the changes to the site for site identity that is the site title have it as wpbeginner and you can do a tagline for your site as well and you want to decide if you want to display that that's what it looks like for me so I'll keep that the site icon that is this little guy right here and you'll want to make sure that you have a logo or an image that you want to use that is 512 pixels tall by wide and we'll cover that shortly when we're dealing with logos I'm happy with that i'll click back and now we're going to go to colors we can pick a color scheme for me I think that the darker text on that image is better as you can see you can just play with any of the colors until you hit one that you like if you've gone too far with your colors and you just want to start from scratch you can click on the default color any time it'll just take you back to what it was you can start again for this site i'm going to choose this color for my header text color and we're good to go next we'll take a look at background color i'll show you what the background color looks like for me for this theme the background colors down here and again you can choose something a little lighter as a side note if you need some inspiration what kind of color combinations to use then and search for cooler adobe it's been changed to coloredadobecom and go and look through the Explorer area and just scroll through here and see which colors which color combinations you like and then you can use them for your site the way you do that is you find one that you like and you can click on the edit copy to adjust it or if you like them directly then this is the code that you want to copy for instance I'll copy that code and then you can go back into your area and paste that code there and now that's the color that you can use so feel free to play with that a little bit to get your site colors exactly how you want them and finally let's take a look at the header background color you can see that this is the default one since I have an image up there you're not seeing that come through and change the color then you see that replaces that background i'm going to click back on default and here in a minute we'll, we'll choose the picture so we can get our picture back under header image these are the ones that come with the theme you can either keep them or you can add your own image if you add your own image you want to make sure that the header size is 1600 x 400 pixels you can choose between of those for this I'll keep the nature picture, I like that, and moving down if you want to add a background image again that will be down here in place of where all the color is and you can upload an image in just a bit i'll show you how to deal with images as well for me I'm not going to add a background image for the next 2 I'm going to skip those because we're going to deal with those separately because we need to create some pages before we can set up the menu static front page you can either set up a page as your front page or you can continue to use your latest posts for the homepage and that's just depending on what your preferences are some people choose to create a static front page i'll show you what that would look like if I hat static page my frontpage I only have this page right now but then that would be kind of like your homepage maybe you can say welcome you know whatever you're wanting to convey on the front page you can use that as your front page since we don't have a front page setup and I really want to keep this as a blog i'm going to go ahead and just keep it as my latest posts and go back for the accent color for this theme that's everything that you see here the icons the underlining comment or you can pick from the standard one or you can also if you have a particular color that you want to use then you can use the color picker like we did before for me i'll use the orange we have one more called the post option that is when you get more posts, do you want to show the full post and have people just keep on scrolling all the way down until they read it all or do you want just a post excerpt or meaning a, a small snippet of the post and then they'll have to click on read more for me I'll keep it as post excerpt and now that we're done with that I'm going to click Save and publish so all those changes that I just did will now become live and you can see that by going back to our site clicking refresh and now all those changes are made The next thing I want to do is walk you through how to create your first blog post so we'll be able to change this out with your own blog post and by the end of this section you'll know how to create blog posts for your site that will include adding text, formatting that text, adding images, embedding video adding links to your site, and more so if you're ready let's go ahead and get started so we'll head back over to our dashboard and under here we want to look for posts and we'll add new and this is the area where you will work the majority of your time on your site for because you'll be adding your own content so we'll just walk through this step-by-step so you can get a good feel of how to add your own blog post

When you're creating your articles you want to create a good blog post title this is a catchy title that tells the reader what this blog post is about and then this area is your visual editor or the area where you can type it in its like your google docs or a Microsoft Word document and it has many of the same features and functionalities up here these are the formatting tools that you can use for your site and you want to make sure that you click this button because then it shows you a second row of more formatting buttons that you can use So with this you can just add your content and format it as you need I'm going to add a little bit of text in here that we already have right now that I've added a little bit of text we can format it a little bit when you're in here you can highlight things left click and highlight and maybe change the heading on that to be a larger heading for you I'll highlight these items because we want to do bullet items for those and what if somebody said something about this we can actually do a blockquote and that'll look like a quote that somebody said and what if all of these are actually they should be links to another area you can highlight that we want to insert a link and then we can do link options and when adding the web address you can either add the web address here and paste it in because you know the, you know the web address that you want to add when you click open a new tab then that means that the page that people are reading will still stay there and it will open up the this link into a new tab that's actually a good way to keep your users on your site without them losing their place so I will do that now if you want to link to your own information on your own site which is always a good idea then WordPress will show you pages and posts to choose from down here and you can even search and bring up the most appropriate one like that so I'm happy with this link up here I'm gonna click Add link and when I do that you see that there's a link there So we've added a link there we've added some bullet points this looks really good however it's pretty text heavy so let's go ahead and add some images Images are all kept in the media library but you can add them from a button up here so I'm gonna click here press ENTER and I want to add a media file from here you can either drag a file in here or you can click select file and navigate to your image find it and open it WordPress will bring it into the media library and you have all this information over here the size of the file the dimensions the web address that you can find this image you want to give it a good title and you always want to add the alternative text the alt text will tell them what the image is about Down here are a few display options you can either align the image you can make it linked to a custom URL or link to itself that means it will open in a new window or you can do none I'll do none for this one and the size when you import an image WordPress will create different dimensions for the different areas so for this one we're going to do a medium just a 300 x 200 and when I'm happy with it all we can insert it into the post and you see it's up here Once it's inserted you're gonna still do a little bit of adjusting as you notice I clicked on it and I have my ability to see what it looks like if I align it left, which I like, you can also align right and that just depends on how you want the flow to go now I want to add a video for my users who liked video so I'm going to go to youtube find the video that I want to add I'll click on the address bar so I can right click and copy

Now I need to head back over to my post scroll down to the area where I want to put it click enter to create a new line and from here I'll right click paste it as soon as I click paste it will bring that video into my blog post and now we're ready to go Alright that's all looking pretty good and I like that so those are the main items that you'll use when creating your blog post The final thing you want to do is you want to either publish it immediately or if you're doing multiple blog posts at once you can also schedule them out for a future date and when you do that then you can just click schedule I'm happy with my blog post so I'm going to click publish and now we have our link here that we can see what it looks like scrolling down we see that we have our title like we want you see the publish date and the author, over here is our image that we have, scrolling down you have the bullet points that we've created and this is what a quoted text looks like on this theme, right here is a link that will take you to a new website and that's opening up into a new window like we set it up to do as we keep scrolling we also now see our embedded video and I can play it from here and just finishing it up it looks like a very good first blog post now that you've set up your first blog post let's go ahead and set up some pages a page is slightly different from a blog post because as I scroll up here on our blog post you see that we have a timestamp and the author and people can comment Well a page on WordPress is a little bit different there, this is information that doesn't change its pretty static meaning it doesn't change over time so it doesn't need a date stamp and it doesn't need an author it's just information about your site so we're going to do that next but first I want to close out some of our tabs that we've got open and I'm gonna go back to my dashboard you can always get back to your admin dashboard by adding admin to the end of your site like that alright from the dashboard we're going to look for the pages area and I'll click add new

The first page we'll do is our About Us page this is usually all the information that will make somebody want to read your site it gives them just a little bit more information as to why you have the site going on and what they can expect from reading your site so you'll want to fill that out I', gonna copy in the info from our site and just like with the blog post you can use all of these formatting areas up here to format your text so there's our about page I want to go ahead and do one more we'll go ahead and publish that the next page we're going to create is a contact us page and to do that I'll actually need to install a plug-in Plugins are like WordPress apps and they help your site do more you can add functionality like say a photo gallery maybe a contact form or even an online store just by installing and setting up a WordPress plugin so I'm going to go into plugins add new and just like with themes these are all the plugins that are coming from the WordPress plugin repository wordPress reviews all these and houses them in one location the plugin that I'm looking for is called WPForms lite and this is the one I want so I'll install that and activate it Now every plugin is different like I said every plugin gives you extra features for your site this particular plug-in allows me to create a contact form very easily so now that I've installed it and activated it you see this new section over here so we need to create a new one and this is the dashboard for the form I'm going to just create a contact, I'm gonna name it contact us and I'm going to go ahead and use a template that they have simple contact form it does most of the work for me and you see here this is what it'll look like we'll ask them for their name and you can decide if you want it to be a required item or not you can also choose if you want to have the last, first and last name choose to have the email and then you give them an area to comment or send you a message This is all very good and we actually want all of this I will just use the simple we just need their first name looking over it all looks good so I'm going to click Save and you can either click embed here, or we're going to create our page and I'll show you add it, and I'll show you how to add it from the contact us page I'll close that out and now we have our form we see it here

So to add that to our page let's go to pages add new and we'll create a contact page and now you see this new button here before we just had the media so I'll click Add form these are all the forms we have available its the only one I want so I'll click Add form and you see this bit of code in WordPress this is called a short code and it just it brings in all the information that you need once you hit publish above here I'll add a little text that will come before the form just to give the reader a little bit of information now I'm happy with it since it's a really simple contact page Now I can show you what that looks like on our site I'll open up a new page scroll down and then this is our contact us form Very nice and clean and people can now get in touch with you in a simple way alright now that we've got our pages installed and we have our first blog post you notice up here we don't have our menu It gives our readers an easy way to navigate through our site so let's go ahead and add our menu for our site to do that we're going to go back to our dashboard and we want to go under appearance menus so here's the area where we create a menu I'm going to just get started here gonna name it and you have to click create By default it's pulling over all of our pages in case that's what we want and we do kind of want that however i'm going to remove my sample page you can remove any page you need to by clicking on the drop-down arrow here and then clicking remove like this and you see here we have our homepage that is a custom link and when somebody clicks on that it just takes them back to the homepage people are used to that so we want to keep that We have our About Us page and our Contact Us page from here you can move these around by left click and dragging them you see also when you have an indented like that it'll be a subpage I'll leave this so you can see what that looks like on the site over on the left these are all of the things that you can add to your menu if you have a category that's a very popular category you can add that here you can also do a specific post if you have one of your most popular posts you could add that here as well so that looks pretty good i'm going to save this menu because I want to show you what all this looks like and then we need to put it somewhere so we need to go to manage locations depending on what theme you have you will have different menu locations here so the theme that I have only has one location and it's up at the top so I'll use that one for my top primary location

We'll save our changes and now when I refresh and go to the home page you see our menu here this is what I was talking about with that indented part it now becomes a drop-down for my menu I'm gonna go back and I'm gonna move that out of the way because I want to have all three pages on their own level and it looks pretty good you see for this theme it will highlight, you see with this one it will highlight which page you're on so your reader always knows where they are Alright so that's looking really good one of the next areas that we want to work on is this area right here It's called the sidebar area and we use widgets to populate it with widgets you can easily showcase parts of your website over on the sidebar things like recent posts popular categories and a search feature can be added over here so let's work on that next So I'm going to go back to the dashboard we're done with the menus so we'll head over to the widgets area and here you see these are already the ones we have on our sidebar you've got the search, our recent posts and that shows the top 5 posts, and we also have categories any post that has a category assigned to it will be under there and then on the left these are all of the widgets that we can use right now when you add more plugins like with the WPForms lite you see a widget here is now available you also have a text widget and that will allow, that allows you to type any text into the sidebar and it will even let you use HTML and CSS to use that To delete any of those like with the category you can just do the drop-down and click delete and then you can also add one for instance I'll add the WPForms widget and it's a drag and drop feature so I will left-click drag this over and I want to show the contact us form and I'll click display form title and then I can hit save now that I'm finished we can take a look and see what it looks like on the site and you see how it reduces the size so it fits properly in the sidebar area you notice over here you'll see highlighted area over here it means that one of our plugins has an update available for us and so we're going to click on install plugins WPForms lite that has an update you want to make sure that you keep all of your plugins and your themes up-to-date that just helps keep your site more secure and a plugin update could also include a features enhancement so we're going to click update now so we'll go out and get the latest update for that plug-in and now we are all up-to-date

This next bit is just a little bit of website housekeeping I want to show you how you can adjust your web address that you see up here and we also want to make sure that the search engines like Google can see us so if you're ready let's get started you see when I, when I click on my blog post here you have all of this information up at the top and it's sorted by the date and the month and some people might like that especially if you're using like a diary type blog however if you want to change that you can actually go into your dashboard go down to settings, permalinks and from here you can decide how you want this setup as you see it's currently set by date and name and a lot of people like to use the post name that's actually what I like to use so I'm gonna click on the post name and that will just shorten up my web address a little bit and make it a little bit more functional again if you're using it as a journal then feel free to keep it as it is but that's how I want it so I'm gonna go in and click Save Changes and now when we take a look at the site and when I hit refresh you see that the web address has changed and has removed the dates and now all that's left is my post title in there The next setting that we want to make sure that we have is under the reading so we'll click on reading and we'll scroll all the way down until you find the search engine visibility You'll want to make sure that this is not checked since you're creating a blog and you want people to see it you want the search engines like Google or Bing or Yahoo to be able to find your site so you want to make sure that search engines are looking for your site so you can uncheck that and make sure you save changes Okay we're at the end of this video and you did it in this video you learned how to start your own wordpress blog and we covered a lot of steps to get you up and running quickly first you registered your domain name or your website's address on the internet and then you set up hosting for your website that's where your site lives You installed WordPress and then you designed and customized your website using a wordpress theme you created your first blog post and added pages, plugins, menus, widgets, you even made some settings changes to make the site completely yours We hope you enjoyed this video on creating your first blog and remember if you have any wordpress questions just search wpbeginnercom for all your wordpress tutorials look over our wpbeginner glossary for quick wordpress definitions and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more helpful wordpress videos

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