It’s time to officially teach you how to set up your blog! You should have a niche, a name, and hosting already. Those three steps are the hardest part of setting up a blog. Choosing and installing the blog software is the easiest part about becoming a blogger.
Yes, seriously. Most people see installing blogging software on your web host or web server as this big overwhelming, dramatic task. Wrong.
Read this article and I promise you’ll be able to install and set up your blog in 60 seconds or less. Probably even faster if you went with one of the two blog hosts that we recommend.
Otherwise you’ll have to download WordPress directly and install it manually.
WordPress: The Ultimate (free) Blogging Software
Your new blog is going to be powered by WordPress. This is an amazing piece of software that has been around for a loooong time. Seriously, like really long. You should check out my post on the History of WordPress whenever you’ve got time.
WordPress is completely free to use and install, as long as you’ve got proper web hosting. Despite being free, it is still extremely powerful. Over 37% of websites on the internet that we know of are powered by WordPress.
Features That Make WordPress Amazing:
Google-Friendly Features – One of the biggest reasons WordPress is so popular is because of how much Google likes it. Or, is it that Google likes WordPress because it’s so popular? Regardless, WordPress sites tend to rank higher in the search results pages.
Analytics & Reporting – You can track any sort of stat or metric that you want with the WordPress core and available plugins. It’s also especially easy to integrate with Google Analytics to see where your visitors are coming from.
Themes – WordPress has got thousands of themes that you can use for free, even if they’re for commercial use. Each of these themes can be fully customized. There are also some insanely awesome premium themes that are worth every penny. You can make your WordPress blog look exactly like you want it to.
Plugins & More – There are so many cool tools, extensions, and applications that you can add to your WordPress site. Contact forms, restaurant reservations, online store, simple portfolio — with over 54,000+ plugins you can do just about anything with WordPress.
Downsides Of WordPress
There are two primary downsides to WordPress, neither of which are any sort of big deal. The first downside is that you have to pay for hosting. That’s okay though because, as you know from our blog hosting guide, you can get hosting for about $3 per month with a free domain name.
The second issue comes in the form of security. WordPress is open source and, as a result, the source code of the WordPress core is available to anybody. This means hackers are able to look at these core files and find ways to exploit them.
The security issue isn’t as big as it sounds! Seriously, it’s a non issue. WordPress is constantly patching these security issues. There are also some basic WordPress security tips you can follow to ensure a safe and happy blog.
How To Install WordPress (step by step)
I’m obviously partial to only a couple of blog hosts. I’m going to show you how to install WordPress on both of these hosts.
If you are using a different web host then don’t worry.
Many of these web hosts have the same control panel and setups. The guide below will likely apply to other web hosts as well, especially if these web hosts are powered by cpanel.
Log Into Your Web Host’s Cpanel
You can typically find the cpanel login url in the welcome email that was sent out by your web host. If you no longer have the welcome email you can usually just log into the web host’s website and there is usually a link somewhere to access the cpanel.
Log into your customer portal. From the dashboard, find your hosting package. Click on the cpanel or launch cpanel button.
Log into your namecheap account. Next to the domain name and/or next to the hosting package you can hover over the little web server icon and select Go To Cpanel (screenshot below)
Locate The WordPress Install Icon
This, too, will vary depending on who your blog is hosted with. On the main screen of Cpanel that you see immediately after logging in, you will see a bunch of different categories: Files, Databases, Domains, Emails, etc…
Look for the category that has a bunch of different apps. HostGator has a section in their Cpanel called ‘Software’ and from here you can click on Quick Install.
Namecheap has a section called Softaculous Software. From there you can click on the WordPress icon.
Configure & Install WordPress
Once you find the WordPress installation from your web host’s Cpanel, it will likely give you some terms to review. It will give you a brief overview of WordPress, talk about the amount of storage it will take up (not that much), and give you the option to proceed. Go ahead and click Install or Proceed.
Here is the next screen you will see:
Version: Make sure you have the most recent version selected. Remember, newer versions will have the required security patches and fixes. Always select the newest version of WordPress.
Installation URL: If you used one of the companies we suggested, you should have a free SSL certificate. Select HTTPS. If you don’t have one, selecting HTTP is fine for now. Select the domain you want to install WordPress on.
In Directory: Leave this blank if you want your website or blog to pull up when people type in your domain name. Otherwise people will have to type in yourdomain.com/blog or something and you don’t want to get into all of that if you’re just starting out.
Site Name & Description: This can be changed later on. The name and description will be reflected all throughout your site, from the page titles to the Google descriptions. Again, you can change both the Name and Description anytime after WordPress has been installed.
Enable Multisite (WPMU): Leave this box unchecked. This is for something that 99% of WordPress users will never need. Especially not any beginners out there.
Admin Account: Select your administrator login username and password. This should obviously be secure, and we can help you further secure your WordPress admin even more.
WordPress Installations Vary Depending On Web Host
The next set of options will again vary depending on who your web host is and what versions of Cpanel and Softalicious they’re running. You’re likely going to see options asking if you want to select any plugins or decide on a theme right now.
None of these options are set in stone and everything can be changed. In fact, you might not even want to use any of the themes they’re suggesting. (Our next section of the blog-starting guide will go over the best themes and plugins to use)
Finally you can complete the install. If you’d like you can even have the details emailed to you. The installation process only takes a few minutes to complete.
Blogging 101: Your Blog Is Almost Ready!
All we’ve got left to do is get your themes and plugins setup, and then write your first post!
If you’re new to WhiteCollarMillionaire.com, this post is one in a multi-part series about how to set up a profitable blog without any prior experience. The next installments in this series are going to cover topics like:
- Setting up themes and plugins
- Making your first WordPress post
- Ranking high up in Google
- How to make money from your blog.
Subscribe to the spam-free email list to get updates when new installments are posted. Seriously, the email is just to be notified of new posts in this series.
New? Try Browsing Our Blogging 101 Series: