Free tutorial on how to start a blog?
Do you want to learn how to start a blog? This article will not only teach you how to start a blog, you will learn how to register domain name free and how you can make money from your blog. If someone told me that I can start a blog by myself, I would not have believed. I thought that before anyone can start a blog that he must have studied computer programming or any other computer related course. Ignorance is a disease. A man once said that there is no any mountain anywhere. He stressed further that what you don’t know is your mountain. What you don’t know, you don’t know. That is just the truth. But the good news is that everyone has the ability to bail himself out of the ignorance disease by seeking for right information. I remember the first time I approached someone to build a website for me, I paid a huge sum of money to him. At the end of the day, I still thanked him thinking that he had done a great favour to me. The man must have said in his heart that he ripped me off. He actually did. It was like when GSM first came into the market. The operators really played on our ignorance by selling the lines in exorbitant prices to people. They even argued that it was not possible to pay for calls on per second basis. So, if you used just one second and the call dropped, you would be forced to pay for one minute. I believe you are already shaking your head. What happened after? When competitions began to emerge and people started to understand better, the rule suddenly changed. What was not possible before now became possible overnight. The GSM operators changed their billing system to per second billing meaning that subscribers can now pay based on their usage per second. As competitions continued, they started offering free calls. They have even gone as far as offering their SIM cards for free. What a change!
In this same manner, it is no longer difficult to start a blog. If someone is telling you that it is difficult to start a blog, that people is not telling you the truth. He is just trying to play on your intelligence. He wants to take advantage of your ignorance. After I have been ripped off on two or three times, I became wiser. The first thing I did was to go for training on how to start a blog by myself. Unfortunately, that was another wrong move. They did not teach me the real thing. It was painful to me but I understood their fear. If I knew what to do, then I might not need them again. This means that they would no longer be relevant. To cut the whole story short, by the time I had access to the right information, my eyes became open. I now saw how ignorant I was but everything is now a story today. People say that experience is the best teacher. That is correct but experience can also prove to be the worst teacher. Instead of learning from your own experience, it is better to learn from the experience of others. There is an adage that says, the person that fell into the pit, will teach other people a lesson. Therefore, with the experience I have garnered over the years, I am glad that I can now teach others on how to start a blog. This tutorial is also useful for people that want to learn how to create a website. The same process it takes to start a blog is the same process it takes to create a website.
So, if you are willing to learn how to start a blog, you have come to the right place. By the time you finish reading this article, you will be able to know how to start a blog of your own. If at all you don’t want to do it yourself, you must have been exposed to how people can start a blog on their own. If anyone approaches you trying to prove that it is difficult to build a website by telling you some jargons and technical terms, you will let him understand that you are not a novice. Because of the experiences I have had before, I prefer handling everything about my website by myself. What I mean by handling everything by myself is that I am talking about all the processes it involves to have a website go live. I have come to realise that the web designers will always want you to come back to them for one thing or the other. They want to make you depend on them. At the end of the day, you keep making payments which were never part of your original plan.
How to start a blog or website
Whether you want to start a blog or you want to create a website, there are steps you need to take. Before I continue with this step by step guide on how to start a blog, I want to let you know that blogging is a big business. Many people are ignorant of this fact. Blogging is not for jobless or frustrated people. Why people have this misconception about blogging is that, in most cases, some of the top bloggers started blogging out of frustration. Some of them started blogging by reason of job loss. While some started blogging so that they can earn extra income. But with time, no sooner did they realise that blogging is actually a big business. With blogging, you can earn any amount but essentially you will be the one to determine your pay. You cannot take more than you put into it. While some people are comfortable with $1,000 per month, some people are actually in the realm of above $10,000 per month. Some people earn $20,000, $30,000, $40,0000 and even above $50,000 per month. Please, this is not a fallacy. It is real and true. That is why I say that blogging is a big business. But the people that earn that much did not get there overnight. IF you want to start a blog and make money, it requires hardwork, dedication and patience. Blogging in never a get-rich-quick business. Just like any other business, you need to learn how to start a blog that can make you live comfortably. This article will provide a basic guide on how you can start your own blog. Also, I will give you tips on how you can make money from your blog. I should not forget to tell you that this article contains some affiliate links. If you click on any of the links and make a purchase, the seller will pay me a commission. Please note that the commission is not coming from you neither is it added to the cost of whatever you buy. It is a way of saying ‘thank you’ to me by the seller for referring customers to them. This helps me to sustain this website and it is part of what I will teach you in the course of this tutorial on how to start a blog and make money.
How to start a blog: Step 1
The first step you need to take to start a blog is to choose and register a domain name. What is a domain name? A domain name is the unique name people can use to locate your organization or company on the internet, e,g www.yourbusinessname.com. You have the responsibility to come up with a domain name that best describe the name of your organization or what you do. For instance, if you look at my domian name, you will realise that it contains small business. My website is all about providing information on various small businesses anybody can do with just little capital. Domain name costs between $11 to $13. However, if you have not registered any domain name, you can get a free one year domain registration following this link
I have tried about two different hosting companies but I just discovered that Bluehost offer good web hosting services at prices that are affordable. As a novice, I was excited to sign up for cheap domain web hosting. What appeared cheap cost me much more at the end of the day. Well, that was part of my learning experience. I suggest Bluehost to anyone that is starting a blog and looking for reliable web hosting company for the following reasons:
- Bluehost has a good reputation for quality hosting service. The company hosts more than 2,000,000 websites. This figure alone speaks volume about how satisfied customers are with them.
- Their customers enjoy 24/7 technical supports round the year. You may not know how important to have technical support until there are issues. They are quite professional when it comes to technical supports.
- One click installation makes it easy for anyone to set up WordPress. This means that you can create your own website right from using their free website builder platform.
- Depending on the hosting plan you choose, you can host multiple domains without paying for hosting service of the additional websites. You can upgrade your hosting plan anytime without the need for changing your web hosting company.
- Hence, our reasons for chosen them as our web hosting partner.
If you want to choose Bluehost as your web hosting company, just follow this link. The link will take you to the image you see below. From the website of the hosting provider, you click “get started now”.
How to start a blog: Step 2
After the first step above, you will be taken to the next step where you will choose the plan that best suits you. I recommend that you chose “Basic Plan” except you have more than one website already. Basic Plan is alright for a starter so that you don’t tie your money down unnecessarily.
How to start a blog: Step 3
Remember that I told you that Bluehost allows you to register one domain name free. In the next page, you will need to type in your new domain name. There is a drop down where you can select what ends your domain name whether .com, .net or .org. If the domain name is available, you can proceed to the next step. But if the name has been taken, you need to come up with another name. However, if you are having a domain name already, type in the domain name in the same space and click on the tab “I Already Own This Domain”.
How to start a blog: Step 4
The next step is to choose your billing cycle having decided on “Hatching Plan”. You can decide to be billed monthly. Monthly billing cycle is very much more expensive when compared to other cycle. If you can afford to subscribe for 36 months, the monthly subscription can be as low as $3.45. You will notice that this is the discounted amount they advertise. This is the strategy all web hosting companies use to attract customers. However, if you want to pay for 24 months, then the price per month will increase to $4.95 If you can’t afford to subscribe for 24 or 36 months at once, I will suggest that you go for 12 months subscription. This will translate to $5.95 per month. Don’t forget to uncheck the box by the side of the additional services listed. If you tick any of the additional services, it will add to your cost. Except you need these additional services, please don’t tick them. Otherwise you will see your total cost increased from your initial calculation based on your billing cycle.
How to start a blog: Step 5
After choosing your billing cycle, you need to supply your account information. This is the name that will appear as the Registrant of your domain. At the same time, it serves as the information which the Bluehost will be using to communicate you.
How to start a blog: Step 6
The next thing to do on how to start a blog is to complete billing information. Above all, you need to ensure that the email address you supply is valid and active. All information regarding your domain registration and web hosting details will be sent to this email address. You can make payment either by Paypal, Credit card and Debit Card. If you are paying through credit or debit card, you need to enter your name as it appears on the card. After your name, you enter the card number and the CVV code. CVV code is the 3 digit figure at the reverse side of your card. Don’t forget to select the card expiration date (month and year) as contained on your card. The next step is for you to review your order to confirm whether it is correct. In case you have mistakenly clicked on any additional service, you can go back to make the correction before you continue. If your order is accurate, you can hit “Check Out”. If the payment is approved, you will receive a message that the payment is successful. Then, Bluehost will send you a mail to the email address you supplied during registration. Ensure you check both your inbox and spam to ensure you don’t miss important mail from them. They will send the login details of your control panel to you. From your control panel, locate a portion as shown in the screen below and click on One-Click Installs.
How to start a blog: Step 7
You will need to select your platform. I recommend that you select WordPress as it has proved to be a good content management software. You click ‘install’ as indicated below:
How to start a blog: Step 8
In the next step, you need to select the domain name which you registered at the beginning of the process. This is very simple. The only domain name that will appear it the one you have just created. For people who are already having two or more domain names registered in their hosting platform, they will need to select which domain name they want to start a blog with.
How to start a blog: Step 9
You will then need to supply information about the blog or website you want to create. Follow the processes indicated below. Fill all the relevant field. Your website or blog title may be the name of your organization. It you are creating a blog, the title can be something like “Entertainment News”. You need to create your username and the password. Please note that the login detail to your Control Panel is different from login details to your website. Some people use “Admin” as username but I will not recommend this for you. A lot of hackers are aware that many people use “Admin” as username. This makes such website to be vulnerable to risks of being hacked. Therefore, you need to have a username that is unique to you. Also, your password should be strong enough.
How to start a blog: Step 10
Once, you click install, your WordPress will be set up automatically. The login details to your website will be sent to the email address you supplied. Therefore, you need to keep the two links sent to you until you master your login details. However, it is important that your mails are equally safe. If anybody succeeds in accessing your mail, the person can steal your login credentials. If you suspect that your passwords are no longer safe, you are free to reset them any time.
From the place where you selected WordPress if you choose Bluehost as your web hosting company, you will notice that there are other platforms you could also select. There are Weebly, Drupal, Joomla and others. You may be wondering why I suggested that you should choose WordPress to start a blog. The reasons for this are not far-fetched. It will interest you to know that WordPress is the most popular website building platform being used by individuals and small businesses around the world. It is estimated that more than 50% of individuals and small businesses use WordPress as their website building platform. What did this figure mean to you? It suggests quality and reliability. Even if you are a novice on how to start a blog, you should know that choosing a WordPress to create your own website will be a step in the right direction. This large number of people using WordPress to create websites cannot be wrong. To be more specific, these are the reason you may need to prefer WordPress to start a blog.
WordPress is free. WordPress is a free content management system which bloggers and businesses can use to build their blogs or websites. In business perspective, it is cost saving. Why should you buy what you can get for free?
It is mobile friendly. If you check the statistics of any website today, you will realise that large numbers of visitors are mobile users. If your website is not mobile friendly, you will be losing many of your visitors to your competitors. What people with websites that are not mobile ready do now is to create a mobile version of their websites. At the end of the day, they will be running two websites. If you use WordPress to start a blog, the website is already mobile ready. This means you don’t need to build a mobile version of your website separately.
It is easy to use. If you are computer literate, you can use WordPress effectively. As part of this guide on how to start a blog, I will still work you some basic steps on how to create posts or pages within WordPress. You will actually see it that it is very easy to start a blog with WordPress.
It supports multiple users: Supposing you want to share the use of your website with another person, this is possible with websites created with WordPress. Not only will you be able to add other users. You can define the roles of each user. The roles you assign to the users will determine what they can do within the WordPress. For example, an administrator will have right to all aspects of the content management software. This allows delegation. Therefore, you don’t need to be the only one doing everything. If you are a blogger, you can actually give other people access so that they can publish posts on their own.
It is scalable: Whether you are a blogger or a small business owner that just created or about to start a blog, one of those things you need to consider is growth. You can have as many numbers of posts or pages as possible. WordPress does not impose limit on the number of posts you can maintain on its platform.
Hosting Plan: When it comes to hosting, there are many web hosting that offer optimised WordPress hosting plan to care for large traffic WordPress website. So, you can rest assure that no matter the level of your monthly bandwidth usage, you will find hosting plan that support WordPress at reasonable price
It supports e-commerce: If you use WordPress to start a blog, you can also turn the website into an e-commerce website. With e-commerce website, you will be able to upload pictures of the items you sell and display them on your website. Customers will be able to complete transactions from the site. This means that customers can easily place orders and make payments right from your website. This will definitely increase your sales. However, you need addition add on such as woocommerce to achieve this.
Adequate supports: No matter the level of your expertise, there will be times that you will need someone to guide you on how to troubleshoot or solve a particular problem. It doesn’t matter how many time you read this guide on how to start a blog, you will still need helps in some areas. WordPress has a robust community where you can interact and learn from other people. In term of documentation, WordPress is superb. Before I learnt how to use WordPress to start a blog, I have actually laid my hands on other two platforms. I can tell you that the difference is clear.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Before any website can appear in a search engine, search engine should be able to read and index the content of the website. If you plan to start a blog that can easily be discovered by search engines, WordPress is a good platform as it allows good optimization. Although, this may require that you install certain plugins. Therefore, this course on how to start a blog with WordPress is not what one can complete at a go. I am still considering how best I can ensure that my readers will not only know how to start a blog with WordPress but to also know how to make the it website as robust as possible. The two options I have for now are; to constantly update this post or to come write another post entitled “How to start a blog with WordPress (Part II)”.
Why Not Free Host Blog?
Hey! Possibly someone has told you that you can start a blog with nothing. Put in another word, you were told that can start blogging on a free host platform. It is true. You may want to ask, why is it I did not tell you about free hosting blog? Well, I expect this question from any rational being. After all, I mentioned earlier on that you don’t need to buy what you can get free. You are absolutely correct. But when it comes to starting a blog, I will never advise anyone to start a blog on a free hosting platform. I will explain better.
What is free hosting? Free hosting is when you don’t need to pay for any domain name or hosting service before starting a blog. You will register a domain name for free and equally host it for free. Please, note that the free domain registration that Bluehost offers is different from free hosting I am talking about here. The free domain registration is a bonus for people that are starting a blog and choose to host their blog with Bluehost. This is just a reward to their customers. Free hosting on the other hand will not give you liberty to have your independent domain name without attaching it to the name of the free web hosting provider. For examples, you must have come across something like www.mydomain.blogpost.com and www.mydomain.wordpress.com. These are free hosted domain names. For people that are starting a blog for fun or as a passion, they can choose this type of platform. But if you are starting a blog to make money or you want to create a website for your business, I will not advise free hosting. Even, if you are starting a blog as a hobby, I will still not recommend free hosting. However, if that is the way you want to choose, you can start a blog for free on Blogger and WordPress.com. This is different from the other WordPress.org I mentioned earlier. If you are starting a blog on free hosting, you will soon realise why I am advising you against it. Let me tell you some of the reasons why it is not good to start a blog on free hosting.
Advertisement: I think you may need to ask if free web hosting service is actually free. If it is free, why is it free? If you look at the free hosting services, you will understand that it is not actually free. You may think it is free because you are not paying for it. But this can be farther from the truth. The free web hosting providers make money from you by displaying advertisements on your blog or website without your consent. Besides, these advertisements may not even be relevant to what you do. That is the way they generate revenue to keep the platform free for people to use. But if you host your blog with Bluehost, as an example, you can choose to display adverts on your blog or not. If you display adverts at all, you will be the one to enjoy your income and not the web hosting service provider. Therefore, for people that may want to start a blog so that they can monetize it, it is good to go for hosted blog or website.
Uncertainty: Free web hosting providers will never give any guarantee that your website or blog will continue to exist. Your blog can disappear any time and you will not be able to do anything about it. This appears unfair but that is part of the terms and condition that people ignorantly accept when starting a blog on free hosting.
No Supports: I told you that if you are starting a blog, you must put it at the back of your mind that you will definitely need supports. Free hosting companies don’t offer supports. If you are faced with challenge, you are on your own. You have no one to turn to. This can be very frustrating.
Lack of Security: The security of your blog or website is as important as the blog itself. Free hosting does not provide any form of security for your blog. It is like saying, “blogging at your own risk”.
Limited Disk Space and Bandwidth: If you are just starting a blog, you may not understand what disk space and bandwidth means to you. What I want you to know as part of this guide on how to start a blog is that, disk space and bandwidth determine the number of visitors your blog or website can allow per time and the speed at which your blog will load. If you have come across a blog or website that is very slow, the problem is about the disk space and bandwidth that is made available to the blog or the website. If you are starting a blog on a hosted plan, it doesn’t matter the disk space or bandwidth you start with. You can always upgrade as the need may arise.
No domain name: With free web hosting service, you don’t have your own domain name. What you have is domain name that is attached to their domain names. Examples of this are mycompany.wordpress.com and mycompany.blogpost.com. This will not allow you to have your own professional email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update to how to start a blog with WordPress
If you have been following this article, I mentioned that I will either update this post or create another topic entitled “How to start a blog with WordPress (Part II)”, I choose to update the existing post. So, I will continue from where I stopped. Now that you have installed WordPress in your Bluehost hosting plan, you can now login to the back end of your website.
How to start a blog: Step 11
To start, you will open your browser and type your url as follows: www.myurl.com/admin. Don’t forget that your url is your domain name. The browser will immediately redirect you to the page below:
You will need to supply either your email address or username and the password you used when you installed the WordPress. Peradventure you have forgotten your login details, you can go back to your inbox and check the mail sent to you after you finished installing the WordPress. The mail will contain your username and password. However, if you had mistakenly deleted the mail, you can click on “lost your password”. This will take you to another page where you will enter your email address or username. You then hit “Get New Password”. Another password will be sent to the email address you submitted provided it tallied with the original email address you supplied while installing the WordPress. You can now use the new password to login into your WordPress. After you have successfully login, you will see the back end of your website. The screen below is the graphical display of how the back end of your WordPress website will look like.
The screen may not be as clear as when you actually login on your laptop or desktop. This course is actually a practical guide on how to start a blog with WordPress. If you are just reading it, it will seem abstract to you. If you are yet to follow the steps enumerated so far, I will suggest that you go back to step number one on how to start a blog and sign up for your hosting plan. Even though WordPress is a free platform for anyone to start a blog, without a hosting plan, you will not be able to create your own website.
How to start a blog: Step 12
How to Change your Password
I will assume that you have carried out instructions number 1-11 above. Now, having logged in, if I were you, I will like to change my password. If you observed your password, you will notice that it is very complex and may be difficult to remember. On this note, it is better for you to generate your own password that you can easily remember. This is not compulsory. If you are comfortable with the password, you don’t need to change it. Also, even if the password is difficult to remember, you can tick the option “remember me” when you want to log in to the WordPress. With this, your system will automatically populate both your username and password anytime you want to login into the admin section of the website. Personally, I don’t encourage this as it can allow other people to freely gain access to your website if they use your laptop or desktop you use to login. So, if you want to change your password, just locate “user” at the dark left side of the website. When you click on it, there will be a drop down where you will see; “All Users”, “Add New”, and “Your Profile”. Click on “your profile” and your details will come up. You can change any of the information about you except the your username. To change the password, you need to scroll down to the “Account Management” section. Under it, you will find “New Password”. Click on “generate password” and a new password will be generated automatically. You can then delete this new password and type your preferred password. When you are sure that the password is correct and accurate, you will scroll down again to the bottom of the page. You will now click “update profile” and your new password will be saved.
How to start a blog: Step 13
How to Add New Users
I mentioned that one of the advantages of using WordPress to start a blog is that it allows multi – users. Therefore, this guide on how to start a blog will not be complete if I don’t show you how to add new users. To add new users, you need to add them one by one. You will need to go back to step 12 above and click on “Users”. On the drop down menu, you will click on “Add New” this time around. From the page that will open, you can create a brand new user and add them to the site. You will need to generate a password for the new user. The password will be auto generated but you can change it by overwriting it with another password which you will need to type in manually. Before you save the details of the user, you need to be mindful of the role you are assigning to the user. By default, the role that will be assigned to new users is “subscriber”. You need to change this role to reflect the actual role of the new user. There are five roles in total namely; subscriber, contributor, author, editor and administrator. By default, you are the administrator to the website. Notwithstanding, you can appoint one or two other persons as administrator. However, you need to ensure that whosoever you appoint an administrator is trustworthy and reliable. Besides, the person should have a good understanding of how to manage WordPress effectively.
How to start a blog: Step 14
How to Choose or Change a Theme
I know you are very eager to know how to post. I don’t want you to rush this without learning the basics of how to start a blog that will look good to your visitors. It is not enough for your website to have good content; its appearance has to be attractive too. How do you make your website attractive? It starts with the selection of good theme. Theme determines how your website will look. One of the motivating factors that can attract somebody to use WordPress to start a blog is the fact that you will have access to many different free themes. And whatever theme you choose, you can decide to change the theme to another free theme or upgrade to a paid theme.
So, to choose or change a theme, you will locate “Appearance” at the left side of the website. When you click on “Appearance”, there will be a drop down and you will simply click on “Theme”. On the page, locate a WordPress.org Themes button and click. Alternatively, after you have logged into the Admin of your website, you can click here to see different available Themes. It is important to select the theme and colour that match what you do. For example, if your blog or business is not spa related, it will be a mismatch choosing a spa theme. The theme you choose will also determine the arrangement of the menu of your website. However, if you mistakenly select a theme you don’t like, you can follow the same process to change it to another theme. Below are examples of six WordPress theme. Supposing you find the them you like and want to install it, you do it by clicking on the theme of your choice and then save. The appearance of blog or website will reflect the theme.
How to start a blog: Step 15
How to Set Up Permalink
What is permalink? A permalink is the permanent URL to your post, categories, pages and other lists of website postings. Before you start posting, you need to get the permalink structure right. To set up your website permalink structure, you will locate “Settings” at the left side of the Admin section of your website. When you click or place your cursor on the “Settings”, you will see a long drop down menu. Among the drop down menu is the “Permalinks” which you will need to click. Then you will see the following options:
The default option is “Plain”. This option will not allow you to properly describe your post url. Also, it is not good for search engine to easily discover your post. You should choose “Post name”. With this, you will be able to make your post title as part of the post url. It will also be easy for your visitors to search and locate. This particular option is SEO friendly. It is the option I use for this website. From the url of this blog post you are reading, you will notice that the url contains the topic of the article. If I had chosen “Plain” option, I would not have been able to do this. Also, if you come back to this website next time, you may not remember exactly the url. But if you search for the main words contained in the url, you can easily discover the article. I believe you are beginning to see why I said that you should not rush posting any article yet. If you actually want to learn how to start a blog, this is part of the fundamentals you need to understand.
How to start a blog: Step 16
How to Create a Page
Having gone this far, I could perceive that you have a deep breath suggesting that you have finally arrived at what you have been waiting to read about. I believe that what is worth doing is worth doing well. If I promised to provide a guide on how to start a blog, I felt I need to live up to the expectation. Even with this, I am not satisfied yet. If you come back to read this post, you may likely notice some new updates. But for now at this stage, let’s go straight to how you can create pages for your website. To create a page, you need to click on “Page” on the same left side. Immediately you click on “Page”, you will see “Add New”. Click on the “Add New” and the page below will load.
You will see a field where it is written “Enter Title Here”. That is the place where you will enter the title of the page you want to create. Underneath it is a wide space where you can type in the content of the page. If you are familiar with Microsoft Word. you will observe that the page has the same formatting tools with Microsoft Word. So after you finish typing the content, you can actually format it. Alternatively, you can do the typing with Microsoft Word and then copy an paste into the blank page. When you are done, look at the right hand side of the page you created, you will notice the word “Publish”. If you hit “publish”, the page will go live immediately. However, you don’t need to rush this. As part of this guide on how to start a blog, it is important that you ensure that what you are publishing is exactly the way you want it. If you look carefully, you will notice a permalink under the page title you just entered. This permalink is auto generated based on the permalink structure you set up earlier. The length of the permalink will depend on the permalink structure you chose and the length of the title of the page. It is advisable that you keep your permalinks short. Therefore, before your publish the page, you can edit the permalink by clicking “edit” in front of the permalink. When you are satisfied with the editing, you can now click “ok”. You will now have a more refined permalink.
In case the content of the page is long that you cannot finish the typing at a stretch, you can save the page by clicking “Save Draft” at your right hand side. You can come back to the page any time you have time to finish it by clicking “Pages” on the left hand side. This time around, instead of clicking on “Add New”, you will click on “All Pages”. You will see your draft page waiting for you there. To open, you just need to double click the title of the page. When you are satisfied with the typing and editing, you can then hit “Publish”. The page will go live immediately. Another thing you may like to do before you hit “publish” is for you to have a preview of the page before you make it available for people to see. To do this, you will have to click “preview” on your right hand side. You will be able to see exactly how the page will look like on the internet.
One important thing I need to let you know on this segment on how to start a blog is that, you need to be mindful of the two small tabs at the top of the right hand where you type the content of the page. You will see “Visual” and “Text”. You should ensure that “Visual “is the option you selected. The “Text” option is in html codes.
Four important pages that every website must have include the following:
- About Us
- Contact us
If you are starting a blog with the aim of monetising it, you will need these additional pages. Preferably, the pages can be at the footer of your blog. The pages are:
- Terms of Service
If you like something like this, I will tell you how you can make this happen. On this guide on how to start a blog, I don’t want to hold anything back from you. to have this, this will take us to the next step which I will discuss below.
How to start a blog: Step 17
How to Install Plugins
We are getting to interesting part of this guide on how to start a blog. When you see some blog, you will wonder whether you can make it happen too. Let me tell you that some of the features you see on blogs are made happened by leveraging on plugins. Just like the “Contact Page” of my website I mentioned above, I did not need any coding skill to do that. All what I did was just to install and activate a particular plugin and then place the code on my contact us page. By the time you view the page, you will not see any code but the form. I hope I am not spoiling business for anyone. I just believe in knowledge sharing. So, let’s see how you can make this happen.
What is plugin? Plugins are additional software which you can install in WordPress in order to enhance its functionality. It also makes the customization of your WordPress easy without having to learn how to code. It is “plug and play” sort of software. If you want to install plugins, you will look at the left hand side of your website and click on “Plugins”. Then, you click on “Add New” from the drop down item there. You will see different plugins both free and premium. The plugins are grouped in different categories namely; featured, popular, recommended, favourite and premium. You can sort the plugins based on these categories. However, if there is a particular one you have in mind, you can search for it by typing the name or the keyword in the “search” field on the plugins page. For example, for the contact page form you see above, to have just something like that, you can search for “Contact Form by BestWebSoft”. When this plugin comes up in your search results, you will click ‘install’. After installing, you need to activate the plugin by clicking “activate”. The plugin is now available for use. However, you need some settings. In order to customize the contact form to suit you, you need to click on “settings”. Essentially, what you are setting up include your name, email address as you need to change the default email address to your own active email address. On each tab, after you are done with the settings, you need to scroll down the page and ensure you save all your settings. You can now to to “Appearance” tab within the plugin. You can do additional formatting on this tab. If you scroll down, you will see how your contact form will appear. If you are satisfied with the appearance of the form, then click save. Underneath the form, you will see “If you would like to add the Contact Form to your website, just copy and paste this shortcode to your post or page or widget”. For instance, when I copied [beswebsoft_contact_form] into this page, it transforms into the form you are seeing below. From the form, you can send me a mail directly to me.
If you have forgotten how to create a page, I will refer you to the step 16 of this how to start a blog tutorial, where I taught you how to create a page. If you want to add additional content just like my own, you can do that. But for the form, you only need to paste the above small shortcode to the body of the page. Don’t forget that the title of the page will be “Contact Us”.
Other plugins that you may like to install include the following:
- W3 Total Cache: This plugin will increase the page load speed for your blog. This will equally give your visitors good experience.
- Jetpack: If you want to increase your traffic, view your stats, speed up your site, and protect yourself from hackers, then you need Jetpack.
- Akismet: This plugin checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not.
- Yoast SEO: This will help you write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site.
- Wordfence Security: This will secure your website with the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin. Firewall, malware scan, blocking, live traffic, login security & more.
- Google XML Sitemap: This plugin will you generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog.
- WP-PageNavi: This will add a more advanced paging navigation interface.
- UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup: This is for the Backup and restoration of your blog. It offers complete backups; manual or scheduled (backup to S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, email + others).
- Cresta Social Share Counter: This will help your posts and pages to get shared quickly and easily to different social platforms showing the share count.
- MailPoet Newsletters: If you will like to create and send newsletters or automated emails or you want to capture subscribers with a widget. You need this plugin. With it, you can import and manage your lists with ease.
There are other useful plugins that you can install. But you need to do this with caution. Some plugins may not be compatible with your WordPress version, theme or other installed plugins. You may need to back up your site before installing various plugins. If any of them seems to be making your blog to malfunction, you can easily restore the initial backup.
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