How to start a WordPress blog or website the right way? We know that starting a blog can be difficult especially when you are not geeky. Guess what – you now are not alone. Having helped over many users create a blog, we have decided to create the most detailed guide on how to start a WordPress blog without any coding or technical knowledge.
The process is easy to follow whether you are 17 years old or 50 years old.
How to Start WordPress Blog
What do you need to start a WordPress blog site?
There are 3 things you need to create a WordPress blog:
- A domain name (this will be the name of your blog i.e. wpexperties.com)
- A web hosting account (this is where your website will be live on the internet)
- Your undivided attention for 40 minutes.
You can start a blog from scratch in less than 40 minutes, and we will walk you through the complete process, step by step.
In this tutorial, we will cover the following:
- How to Register a Domain Name
- How to Choose a Good Web Hosting
- How to Install and Setup a WordPress Blog on web hosting
- How to Change Your Blog Design with the new Template
- How to Write Your Blog Post and Publish it
- How to Customize Your WordPress Blog with different Plugins
- How to Add a Contact Form in Blog
- How to Setup Google Analytics Tracking Plugin
- How to Optimize Your Blog for SEO
- How to Make Money from Your Blog Easy Ways
- Resources to Learn WordPress
Ready? Let’s get started.
Step 1. Setup
The biggest mistake that beginners make when creating a blog is choosing the wrong blogging platform. Thankfully now you’re here, so you won’t be making that mistake.
For 94% of users, it makes sense to use WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. Why?
Because it is a free to use, you can customize your blog design, install plugins, and most importantly make money from your blog without any restrictions.
WordPress is also the number one platform used by all successful blogs. To put in perspective, 34% of all websites on the internet use WordPress.Org!
Now you might be thinking why is WordPress free?
It’s free because you have to do host and setup it yourself.
In other words, you will need a domain name and web hosting to host.
A domain name is what people type to go to your website. It’s address of your website on the internet. Think google.com or wpexperties.com
Web hosting is where your website files will be stored. It’s your website’s house on internet. Every website needs a web hosting.
A domain name typically costs around $8.99 / year, and web hosting normally costs $7.99 / month.
That’s a lot of money for the beginners who are just starting out.
Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended web hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on hosting.
Bluehost is one of the oldest and best web hosting companies on the internet. They are also the largest brand name when it comes to WordPress web hosting because they host millions of sites including many of our own.
Bluehost Company has been working with WordPress since 2005 and they are committed to giving back.
NOTE: At WPExperties we believe in transparency. If you sign up with Bluehost Hosting using our referral link, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, in fact, you will save money by getting a free domain. We will get this commission for recommending WordPress hosting company, but we only recommend such products that we have used personally and it will add value to our readers.
Let’s go ahead and purchase your domain + web hosting.
Open up Bluehost in a browser and follow along.
First you need to click on the green Get Started Now button to get started.
On the next screen, select any plan that fits your need (basic and plus are the most popular).
After that, you will be asked to enter the domain name for your Blog.
Lastly, you will need to add your personal account information and finalize the package information to complete the process. We recommend going with the 12-month plan because that’s the best value.
On this screen, you will also see optional extras that you can purchase if you want. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you purchase these optional extras, but generally, we don’t recommend purchasing them right away. You can always add them later on if you need them.
On Completion, you will receive an email with the details on how to login to your web hosting control panel also called CPanel. Here you can manage everything from support, emails, among other things, and this is where you install WordPress.
Step 2. Install WordPress
When you will sign up with the Bluehost using our link, they will automatically install WordPress for you. This new version was recently launched to make it easier for non-technical users to create their blog.
Now you simply need to login to your Bluehost account, and then click on Login to WordPress button to get started.
You can also login to the WordPress Dashboard by simply going to yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/ directly from your browser.
Once WordPress is set up, now you’re ready to customize your blog’s appearance to make it your own design and start blogging.
Step 3. Selecting Your WordPress Theme
The visual appearance of your WordPress blog/website is controlled by themes. When you first visit your blog for the first time, it will look something like the following image.
That is not very appealing to most of the people.
Customizing the look and feel of your blog is one of the most exciting part in the journey of creating your WordPress blog.
There are thousands of pre-made free and premium WordPress themes that you can install on your site.
You can change your theme easily by going to your WordPress dashboard and clicking on Appearance » Themes.
Go ahead and click on Add New button.
On the next screen, you will able to search from 7,000+ free WordPress themes that are available in the official WordPress themes directory. You can sort themes by popular, latest, featured, as well as other feature filters (i.e. education, layout, etc).
Now You can take your mouse over to a theme, and you will see a Preview button. If you click on it will open the theme preview where you can see how the design would look on your Blog.
The preview of your Website theme may not look exactly as shown in the screenshot, which is normal as you will need to customize and set it up later. What you need to look for is design, typography, colors, and other elements.
The best tip to select a Good WordPress theme is to strive for simplicity in designs. It helps you too keep things clean and clear while offering a good experience to your visitors.
When you have found the WordPress theme that you like, bring your mouse on it, and it will show Install button. Click on install and wait for the theme to be installed. After installation, the install button will be replaced with Activate button. Now click on it to Activate the theme.
Once you have installed your theme on your Website, you can customize it by clicking on the Customize Button under the Appearance menu.
If you need help in selecting a good theme, then refer to this guide on 8 things you should consider when selecting a perfect WordPress theme.
Once you have selected your WordPress theme, now you are ready to create your first blog post.
Step 4. Creating Your First Blog Post
To write a blog post, please click on the Posts » Add New menu in WordPress dashboard.
You will see an editor area where you can write your blog posts.
WordPress uses a block-based editor called Gutenberg where each element is a block. This allows you to create a beautiful content layout for your blog post.
To familiarize yourself with the editor, see the WordPress block editor tutorial.
Once you’re done writing then go ahead and click on the Publish button on the top-right corner of your screen to make your blog post available publicly.
On the posts screen, you will see several other sections such as Tags and Categories. You can use these sections to organize your blog posts. Here is a great writeup on the difference between tags vs categories, which we highly recommend that you can read.
To utilize all of the features on the posts screen, you should read an article on how to add a new post in WordPress.
Often some beginners are confused between post and pages menu in the WordPress dashboard. So here is a complete guide on the difference between posts vs pages in WordPress.
Step 5. Plugins & Customization
When you have written your first sample blog post, you probably want to get started with adding other usual elements on your website such as images, contact forms, galleries, sliders, videos, newsletter subscription forms, etc.
To add all these additional features, you need to use plugins to get these features.
WordPress plugins allow you to add new features to your website (without writing a single line code).
There are over 56,000 WordPress plugins available in the free WordPress plugin directory. Here is a step by step guide on how to install WordPress plugins.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to use a plugin to add some essential features to your WordPress website.
How to Create a Contact Form in WordPress
Every website needs a contact form so that its visitors can contact the owner. It allows your users to email you directly from your blog. Since WordPress doesn’t come with built-in contact forms, you will need to install a WordPress form builder plugin to add a contact form on your website.
Over 3 million websites are using WPForms!
You can install that plugin by going to Plugins » Add New page and type WPForms in the search box and hit enter. Next, you need to click the “Install” button and then “Activate”. Upon activation, you will need to head over to WPForms » Add New page to create your first contact form.
This will open the WPForms From builder interface.
First, enter a name for your contact form and then click on the ‘Simple Contact Form’ template.
Now WPForms will create a simple contact form for you with all of the required fields. Now you can click on any field to change it, delete it or add a new field from the left column.
Once you are done with editing the form, click on the Save button at the top right corner and then you can exit the form builder.
You can now create a new page in your WordPress Site by going to Pages » Add New and call it ‘Contact Us’ or any other name. On the edit screen, you will need to enter the WPForms block into the editor.
After that, select the contact form you created earlier from the dropdown menu and WPForms plugin will load a live preview of the form in the editor.
You can now click Save and publish the page and visit it in your browser to see your contact form. If you need more detailed instructions, then see this step by step guide on how to create a contact form in WordPress.
How to Setup Google Analytics Tracking
Google Analytics helps you to see how many people are visiting your website, what are they doing on your website and where they are coming from?
It is best to install Google Analytics Plugin when starting your blog, so you can see how much your website has grown over the time.
First, you need to visit the Google Analytics site and sign in using your Gmail.
Once you are logged in, you can go ahead and sign up for your free Google Analytics account.
You will be asked to provide your personal information and website URL. After that, you will be presented with a Google Analytics tracking code.
You can stop here because we will be using a plugin that will automatically fetch and add this code to your blog (along with setting up proper WordPress tracking).
Switch to your WordPress admin area to install and activate the new plugin named MonsterInsights plugin. It is the free version of Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, and it is the easiest way to add Google Analytics on your website (trusted by over 2 million+ websites).
Upon activation, you can visit the Insights » Settings page to configure the plugin settings.
On the settings page, click on the ‘Connect MonsterInsights’ button to connect Google Analytics to your WordPress website.
Follow the on-screen instructions and complete the setup. Once you are done, you will be able to see your Site analytics report straight from your WordPress site dashboard under the MonsterInsights tab.
For detailed instructions, see this article on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress site.
How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for SEO
Most beginners don’t optimize for SEO when creating their blog. Search Engine Optimization or SEO helps users to find your blog in search engines. If you want more traffic, then it’s important for you to optimize your blog for SEO from the beginning.
To get started, first you need to install and activate the free Yoast SEO plugin. It is the complete WordPress SEO plugin that will help you optimize your website to get more traffic.
Upon plugin activation, you will see a new menu item labeled ‘SEO’. Click on it, it will take you to the plugins settings page.
This plugin comes with a quick configuration wizard to help you walk through the setup. You can also follow the instructions in this Yoast SEO guide for manual set up.
We also recommend you to follow this complete step by step WordPress SEO guide to set up your blog’s SEO in the best way.
More WordPress Plugins and Customization
There are a lot of other WordPress plugins that you can install. Often beginners find it a bit overwhelming to search for the plugins they need to make their blog better.
At WPExperties, we often feature the best WordPress plugins that help you to add the functionality that you need.
Here is our expert pick of the best WordPress plugins that you should check out for your blog.
- Backup – For backup UpdraftPlus is the best WordPress backup plugin. You need to create regular backups of your website in case something ever goes wrong you can restore the backup from WordPress Dashboard.
- Security – For Security Sucuri Security is a free security scanner for WordPress. Here is a complete step by step WordPress security guide for beginners that will help you to secure your blog.
- Performance – We recommend using either WP Rocket (premium) plugin or WP Super Cache (free) plugin to speed up WordPress. For more on this topic see this article on WordPress speed and performance with step by step instructions.
- Design & Customization – We recommend using either Beaver Builder plugin or Divi page builder plugin for customizing your homepage design, creating custom landing pages, or even creating custom themes and templates (without writing any code). For more on this topic, see this article on best WordPress page builders (compared).
Step 6. Making Money From Your Blog
Now you’ve created your blog and customized it to your liking, you are probably wondering how can I make money from my blog?
There are a lot of different ways to successfully monetize your blog to earn. However, there is not such a thing as a get rich quick scheme.
Don’t get fooled by the pictures of expensive cars and mansions because those are all fake.
Unlike others “make money online” articles, here is a most comprehensive guide on how to make money from your blog using WordPress.
That’s a 3000+ words guide that everyone who wants to make money with their blog needs to read.
As long as you are willing to put in the hard work and effort, you’ll reap the reward. Remember, there are no shortcuts to make money online.
Here are some of the best ways to make money from your WordPress blog
1. Google AdSense
Many bloggers make money by showing Google ads on their blogs. If you make a blog with monetization in mind, then Google AdSense is a best way to do this.
It is the largest advertising platform for publishers and bloggers. It is acting as a middleman between you and the advertiser, Google AdSense allows advertisers to bid for keywords matching your content. This allows you to get the best rate possible for the ads.
For more details, see this article on how to properly add Google AdSense to your WordPress blog.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the second most used monetization strategy among bloggers. Basically, you recommend your favorite products or services to your visitors, and when they make purchases you get a referral commission.
The key to affiliate marketing is to recommend high-quality products and services to your readers that you already use and trust. There are a lot of affiliate marketing plugins and tools for WordPress that can help you make more money when promoting affiliate products or services.
Here is a complete step by step affiliate marketing guide for beginners, that will help you get started.
3. Online Store
Many bloggers make money by selling things directly from their website. These could be physical products, digital downloads like artwork, E-books, music, and more. Some bloggers are even offering consulting services.
For detailed instructions, see this guide on how to create an online store using WordPress.
On top of the 3 methods above, you can do so much more with your blog. You can make WordPress blogs specifically for reviews, food blogging with recipes, fashion blogging, and more. Each of these blog types brings you more opportunities to make money.
You can also turn your WordPress blog into a membership site to offer premium content and courses.
Step 7. Mastering WordPress
WPExperties is the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners.
At WPExperties, our main goal is to provide helpful WordPress tutorials that are easy to understand for bloggers, small businesses, and non-techy WordPress website owners.
Lastly, you can use Google to type your questions and add WPExperties in front of your question. Our users find this trick to be always helpful because it makes it easy for them to find the RIGHT answer for their WordPress questions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Having helped thousands of people start a WordPress blog, we have answered quite a lot of questions. Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about creating a blog by the readers.
Can I build a blog without WordPress?
Yes, there are several other blogging platforms available to create a blog. We have compared them all, and WordPress is the best solution in the market to make a blog with complete ownership and freedom.
Can I create a blog without hosting?
No, that’s not possible to create a blog without hosting. Web hosting is a place where your website files will be stored. All websites need web hosting.
How much does it cost to start a WordPress-blog?
This cost depends on the add-ons that you buy. Hers is a comprehensive guide on how much does a WordPress website costs as well as tips on how to save your money.
Can I build a blog without my parents knowing about it?
Yes. You can make your blog private and hide it from the internet. Here is a detailed step by step guide on how to make your WordPress blog completely private.
Can I make a WordPress blog and make money with Google AdSense?
How can I create a WordPress blog and remain anonymous?
If you want to have a public-facing blog but also want to remain anonymous, then you need to make sure that your domain name has WHOIS privacy turned on. Often people use a nickname to write under. You should also create a unique email just for your WordPress blog. It goes without saying, don’t post your pictures or anything on the blog that indicates you. For more detailed instructions, see this article on how to blog anonymously using WordPress.
How do I add podcasts to my WordPress blog?
WordPress makes it super easy to start a blog and add podcasts to it. Here is a step by step guide on how to start a podcast with WordPress.
How do I come up with WordPress blogging ideas to write about?
Can I create a WordPress blog in my own language?
Yes, you can make WordPress in other languages. You can select your desired language during installation or from the Settings page in the WordPress admin area. WordPress is fully translated in more than 55 languages and also partially translated into dozens of other languages. There are many best WordPress themes and plugins available in multiple languages. You can also translate a plugin or a theme or that you want to use on your website.
How do I build a blog in multiple languages?
Want to start a blog in Hindi, Spanish, Urdu, or multiple languages? Here’s a comprehensive step by step guide on how to create a multilingual website in WordPress.
Can I design a WordPress blog with no coding skills?
Absolutely yes. You don’t need any coding, programming, or design skills to create a professional-looking WordPress blog.
WordPress themes are very easy to customize and you can just point and click to set up your WordPress theme. There are WordPress themes like Astra which comes with ready-made Demo websites that you can import with one-click.
There are also many other powerful themes like Divi which give you complete drag & drop design options for customizing your WordPress blog.
Then there are powerful drag and drop page builders plugins like Beaver Builder and Divi builder plugin that works with any WordPress theme. You can use it to just drag and drop items and design your own blog pages.
You can also create your own custom theme without writing any coding skills.
Can I add a photography gallery to my WordPress blog?
Yes, WordPress comes up with a built-in gallery feature that makes it easy for you to add a photo gallery in your blog posts.
Professional photographers also use premium WordPress gallery plugins to better showcase their photos in blog and even they can sell photos to make money from their photography business.
How can I create a professional email address for my WordPress blog?
If you’re serious about your blog email address, then we highly recommend that you create a professional business email address for free.
We hope that you found our tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog to be helpful and easy to follow.