Creating your first Blog

Starting a blog is an exciting time. Ideas for potential themes, posts and frameworks running through your head. If you’re a technical user you’ll already have bought your domain name, forwarded it to your hosting provider and started creating your own theme. If you’re like most people though you probably don’t have the faintest idea on how to get started. Hopefully after reading this post you’ll have a better idea on how to create your first blog.

Buying a Domain

The first step to starting a blog is finding a relevant domain name that hasn’t been taken. Using services like domai.nr and instantdomainsearch.com can help with your search.

Once you’ve found a domain name that isn’t taken you’ll have to register it with a domain registrar. Websites like netfirms.com and name.com will allow you to buy a domain name for under $10.

Finding a Hosting Provider

Once you’ve bought your domain you have to find a place to host it. While there are many ways to host your website one of the easiest and least expensive options I’ve found is webfaction. Not only do they give you the ability to host your blog but they make it extremely easy to do so. Some hosts you’ll have to manually setup WordPress (or another blogging framework) and use a command line to configure things. With webfaction you simply use their website to create a WordPress site.

Finding a Theme

So you’ve bought your domain, found a place to host it at and are now ready to personalize your website. If you’re familiar with CSS/HTML and PHP you could make your own theme and spend hours tweaking the colours or, if you’re like me, you could use a pre-made theme. There are a number of market places but my favourite is themeforest.net. In my opinion they have the best variety and quality.

If you don’t feel like paying for a theme you can also use one of the two defaults that come with WordPress or look for a free one from WordPress or you can search for one through WordPress Admin.

Once you’ve found the theme you want to use you can add it in just a few steps:

  1. Log into WordPress Admin (www.your-domain.com/wp-admin)
  2. Click on Appearance -> Themes
  3. Click on Install Themes
    4a. If you haven’t found a theme yet you can search from this screen.
    4b. If you’ve already bought/downloaded a theme click ‘Upload’
  4. Click choose file
  5. Find the .zip file for the theme and select it.
  6. Click Install Now

Once you’ve followed those steps you should have your theme installed and ready for your first post.

Creating your first Page

Pages are static content that are often written when you first set up your blog and then left alone for a long time. An example of the page is my About page where I’ve listed relevant information about myself. Other examples are Contact pages or an Event page.

To write your first page, follow these steps:

  1. Log into WordPress Admin
  2. Click Pages -> Add New
  3. Enter in the page Title
  4. Enter the page content
  5. Click Publish
Pages often show up at the top of your theme or, in my case, along the side.

Writing your first Post

Posts are where you write your daily thoughts, tips and content for your visitors. By default categories show up on the front page of your blog with the latest posts showing up at the top. If you want, you can assign categories to posts so they show up in different spots or to make it easier for your visitors to find different type of posts.

To write your first post, follow these steps:

  1. Log into WordPress Admin
  2. Click Posts -> Add New
  3. Enter the post Title
  4. Enter the post content
  5. Select a category (or leave it blank for the default)
  6. Fill in any other information that you need (plugins can add more options below the post content).
  7. Click Publish
Those are the steps that you need to create a post. With this information you can pretty much do everything you need with WordPress and get your blog started.