1. Choose your Hosting Service
While there are many hosting services out there, Girliemom highly recommends Hostgator. HostGator is a world-leading provider of web hosting services. They offer many different packages for both beginners and professionals.
Girliemom has been using Hostgator since 2011. We can personally vouch for their exceptional customer service and really like their live-chat functionality for times when I need help but can’t speak by phone. Hostgator offers 24×7 support? Great for those bloggers who work by day and blog by night! You can get to Hostgator and set up your account by clicking on this link:
2. Pick a Domain Name
This is a very important step in the process as your Domain Name ultimately reflects who you are to the outside world. Thru Hostgator, you can search for a domain name you may be interested in (example: girliemom.com). You can purchase a domain name for a time-frame that you are comfortable with (1 year, 2 years, 3 years). If you choose to go with Hostgator, they offer auto renewal (so you don’t have to worry about losing your name!) and you can also upgrade your account easily.
Having recently gone thru the upgrade process, we can vouch for it’s simplicity. Girliemom recently purchased a few additional domains to keep the competition away (example: girliemom.net, agirliemom.com).
To purchase only one domain you want the ‘Hatchling’ Plan. To purchase multiple domains you might consider the ‘Baby’ Plan. You can start off with the Hatching Plan and for a small fee you can upgrade at a later date.
3. Select your Blogging Platform
OK, so you probably already know which blogging platform you want to go with but in case you don’t … Girliemom highly recommends WordPress. If you want the ability to customize your site with tremendous flexibility then WordPress is definitely the way to go. WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and has a plug-in architecture and a template system.
What the heck is a plugin?
Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress. Think of it like this… When you go to buy a car you get the standard car and then you can choose to get certain upgrades. Plugins are like upgrades for your car. There are hundreds of plugins to choose from to help you build your blog the way you want. Here is the best part: If you don’t know code plugins allow you add extra functionality to your site without having to touch the code (AWESOME!)
4. Intall and set up WordPress
Assuming you followed our recommendation and have selected WordPress you will be pleased to know that installing WordPress is a very simple process and takes less than five minutes to complete. When you purchase WordPress you will automatically receive help and documentation to guide you thru the process – don’t worry, it’s a piece of cake!
5. Update your Appearance and Choose your Theme (Optional)
Changing the look of your WordPress website is easy with just a few clicks. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software. You can choose to start with the basic theme that comes with your wordpress purchase or you can upgrade to a new design.
The Girliemom site uses the Inspired Theme by Studiopress. You can purchase a theme together with the Genesis Framework (recommended!).
Want to learn more about themes by Studiopress and the Genesis Framework? Click on this link:
6. Write your first Blog Post!
Congratulations! Now that you have picked your hosting service, chosen your blogging platform and installed WordPress you now can get to the fun stuff. Writing!
From your WordPress Dashboard click on “New” and then “Post”. When you are ready to share your blog with the world – simply publish your post.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links