WordPress is the largest blogging platform in the world today. Since they started in 2003 the the market has, as you know, exploded. It’s a totally different online world today than 10 years ago, and one of the reasons that it’s so popular to blog is undoubtly because of WordPress. They have developed theirproduct and are constantly updating their software, which keeps them constantly at front of the technology race. WordPress is available in two version, the free wordpress.com and the premium wordpress.org. But that is not a black on white statement to make. Technically wordpress.org also are free, but you need a domain name and a hosting account to install it on, and wordpress.com does provide you with hosting with your own domain. The bottom line though is that if you want to blog for free, the wordpress.com works well. If you decide to go on and get your own domain name, I strongly recommend getting a hosting account at Hostgator or another web host and install the wordpress.org version there. Read more about how to get started with WordPress here, and make sure to do research before you buy as I mention in this article.
There is a library completely stuffed with plug-ins for WordPress. As WordPress is constructed with free source code, anyone can make their own widgets and plug-ins. Many of them are available for free, but there are also premium plug-ins that cost some money. When you’re looking for a plug-in, you can start by searching the WordPress plug-ins directory. You can browse it without having to be logged into your wordpress blog. There you can find all kinds of plug-ins, and I truly recommend you to use at least a couple of them. It will help you a lot, and some plug-ins are absolutely crucial to have to get ranked in search engines, for example. As an example of a good plug-in that ill help you with the SEO of your blog is All In One SEO. The basic plug-in is available for free, and then you can buy the premium version if you like the plug-in. Most plug-ins are available for a free basic version, so that you easily can try it out before you decide if it’s worth to invest in the full version of it. A plug-in that helps you with SEO is crucial for the success of your blog, and there are many plug-ins in that area. Try some of them out, and see which you like the most.
WordPress Themes can make or break your blog. The look and feel of your blog must be consistent with the content of it. With that said, Irecommend to actually try out a couple of themes before you decide to go with one. The reason is you’ll notice after a couple of days using a theme if it’s the right for your blog. There are a great variety of free themes in the WordPress Theme directory and there are likely so that you find a theme that is good enough for your blog to begin with. If you’re lucky you find a perfect theme, and then it’s just to roll on with it. There are plenty of Premium themes available as well, and the cost of a WordPress Theme is usually between $10-$70. Consider buying one of these only when you are sure it’s a theme perfect suited for you. Another benefit of using Premium Themes is that your blog will stand out. Free themes are used all over the world on blogs and are not very unique, diplomatically spoken. Premium Themes though, are naturally more unique. You might share the theme with a few other’s but not by far as many who are using a free theme.
Getting Started With WordPress
There are two ways of blogging with wordpress, the free version at wordpress.com and the self-hosted version from wordpress.org. This article will cover how to getting started with a wordpress blog using a self-hosted domain. What that really means is that you get a domain and hosting and then install WordPress on your hosting server. Please also read the article Before You Buy A Domain Name before you set up your blog.
We go through all the steps from scratch, so that you can start reading from your level of experience. If you have no experience at all, read the whole guide!
Step 1 – cPanel Hosting
Look for a web host that provides use of cPanel, as that will make things a lot easier for you. If you don’t know what that is or where to find those web hosts, Hostgator is a good example. There are plenty of web hosts usin cPanel so it shouldn’t be so hard to find one. Why I tell you to get cPanel is that they provide you with a simple one-click installation of WordPress which makes everything so much easier, especially if you’re a beginner. Using Hostgator as an example here, as I use them myself and has never had any problems, their Baby Plan is a good hosting account to get started with. It’s affordable for most people and has one great extra benefit. If you later on decide to buy another domain name, you don’t need another hosting account. Instead you just add that domain to your existing account for no extra cost. That way you don’t need to spend more money on hosting. Most web hosts also sell domain names, so you don’t have to search for that. However, if you want to make a price comparison, check godaddy.com or namecheap.com. If the price differs greatly for the domain name you want you might buy it there instead. Just remember to change the name servers for the domain to your web hosts servers!
Step 2 – Install WordPress
Now you should have a domain name and a hosting service. The next step is simply to install WordPress on your server. At Hostgator you scroll down to the icon “Fantastico Deluxe”, click on that.
From Fantastico you can install many sorts of programs, including WordPress. You simply choose the domain you want to install WordPress on, is it your first you can choose only that of course.
Leave the “Install in directory” empty if you want to install WordPress on the main domain, www.yourdomain.com. If you’re installing it in a sub-folder, you put that folder name here. Then you just choose a username and password. Make sure to choose something else than “admin” as username and have a unique password. WordPress sites are constantly attacked by hackers. Personally I use Roboform to generate unique passwords and save them for me, and you can try it for free.
Ok, after this you are done. Click on Finish Installation and you are done!
Fantastico Deluxe takes care of the more complicated parts and installs a database and database user. When installation is finished, you can right click on the link to your admin login area and save it as a boomark. After doing that you click the link and can login with your username and password you chose earlier.