WordPress is a great base for creating a blog or website, but not everyone knows how to make the most of this boon. Beginning to work with WordPress, you may encounter a lot of questions, especially if you have no professional training. However, there is nothing wrong with this, and the beginning of work with WordPress for almost everyone follows a similar scenario. For this reason, it was decided to create a full-fledged guide for those who are interested in this direction. Even if you have no special knowledge in this area, you can easily create your own personal blog in WordPress.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, because the instructions are simple and straightforward.
What do you need to get started?
There are three things you need to create a blog on WordPress:
- Half an hour of free time.
- Hosting (you need somewhere to physically exist on the Internet)
- A domain name – this will be the name of your blog, such as zolin.digital.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Step 1. Beginning with the preparation
The most common mistake made by beginners is choosing the wrong hosting and platform. Many users choose WordPress, and for good reason. It is a free service that allows the webmaster to get a plethora of features:
- Installing plugins.
- Design customization.
- Unlimited earnings.
For the majority of successful blogs choose WordPress.org as a CMS. This applies not only to personal pages, but also the largest news portals. Free service remains, so that the project owners can handle everything else, including settings, down to the smallest detail.
But, here it is important to understand the difference between
*.org, in this regard, we advise you to read the article – What to choose WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
If we turn to the history of the creation of WordPress, it will be clear that originally the CMS was positioned exclusively as a platform for blogging, but this is no longer true.
More than 37% of all sites in the world run on WordPress!Официальные данные на 2020 год.
You may be wondering why WordPress is free? What’s the catch? There’s no catch. It’s free because you have to do the setup yourself and put your blog online.
In other words, you need a domain name and web hosting.
Step 2: Register a domain and buy hosting for your WordPress blog
A domain name – in other words, the address where the site is hosted. As an example – google.com or zolin.digital.
Registration does not involve the purchase of the name for good. On the contrary, it is rented for a certain period. The minimum time for such action is 1 year. After buying the user becomes the administrator, gets the address for temporary possession. On the domain create sites or mailing platforms, put up for sale, if necessary – extend the registration. But all domains are ultimately owned by an organization called ICANN. It is an international company that is responsible for the management of such resources.
Web hosting is another matter. This is where all the files associated with the site live. Every project needs it, too, without exception.
Наш совет при выборе хостинг провайдера и регистратора доменных имен однозначен – GODADDY.COMThey should be given a medal for technical support alone, not to mention the other features and benefits!
2.1 Domain name and hosting
The first thing to do is to choose a domain.
Then, add the hosting service to the selected domain.
Pay for the selected services and after activation go to the installation.
2.2 Installing WordPress
There is nothing complicated here – we install WordPress (you can choose either to install it automatically or to do it manually).
Step 3: Choosing and Installing a WordPress Theme
How your WordPress blog will look depends on the theme you choose. Immediately, after installation, your blog will look like this:
It is unlikely that you will like the starting theme, as it will not be able to interest visitors.
Of course, customizing the look of your personal blog will be one of the most exciting and important parts of creating a WordPress-based blog.
There are plenty of ready-made templates that you can take advantage of: some of them you can get for free, but some you will have to pay for.
We have a separate selection of the best templates for a WordPress blog.
Changing your theme is easy, just go to your WordPress dashboard and click on “Appearance” and then “Themes”.
Press the “Add New” button.
On the screen that appears after these steps, you will be able to choose any of the provided in the official catalog of free WordPress themes (and there are more than 8 thousand). When selecting a theme, it is possible to sort themes by such criteria as: recommended, new, popular, and others.
Important: When previewing the theme it is worth bearing in mind that it may look different than on the screenshot, but there is nothing wrong with that, because later you will have the opportunity to customize the template. Attention should be paid to the font type, color, design and other elements.
Лучшая рекомендация, которую можно дать при выборе идеальной темы для блога – стремитесь к простоте дизайна.
Once you have decided on a theme, hover your mouse over it and you will see the “Install” button. Click on it and wait for the installation to complete. The installation button will change to “Activate”, click on it to activate it.
After installing the theme, you have the opportunity to customize it. To do this, go to the “Appearance” menu item, and then click “Customize”.
If you’re already confused or need help choosing a theme, check out our cool guide – 9 Things to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme.
Once the theme has been chosen, let’s move on to creating your first blog post.
Step 4: Publish the first blog post
On the WardPress toolbar, find the “Posts” column in the menu and then “Add New Post”.
You will find yourself in the editor area where you can create your first post. WordPress uses a block-based editor.
Each element is called a block, which allows you to organize your articles and make them more palatable.
To familiarize yourself with the editor, see Our WordPress Block Editor Tutorial.
Once you’ve finished your post and are happy with what you’ve written, in the upper right corner, click “Publish” and it will be published.
You’ll also find several other sections in the editor, including “Tags” and “Categories”. Using them will help you organize your blog posts by section. We have a great description of the differences between categories and tags, which we highly recommend you read.
Step 5: Plugins and General Settings
After writing your first post, you’ll probably want to spruce up your site with useful elements like a gallery, newsletter subscription form, contact form, and more. To add these, you’ll need plugins. So what are plugins for WordPress?
Plugins in WordPpress – these are applications with which you can add new features to your site (this does not require knowledge of the code).
You can find more than 57,000 plugins in the free WordPress plugins catalog. Which means there’s a plugin for every whim you have!
And on a side note, here’s a guide to installing plugins on WordPress if you’re a total beginner.
Let’s take a look at using plugins to add certain important features to your blog
5.1 How plugins work using Google Analytics or how to track visits to your WordPress blog
With Google Analytics, you can see the number of visitors to your blog, where they came from, and what they’re doing on your site.
The right thing to do is to install Google Analytics along with your blog launch, allowing you to track your blog’s growth over time.
To get started, you should visit the Google Analytics website and log in with your Gmail account. Once you are logged in, you can create a free Google Analytics account.
You’ll need your information and website address. You will then receive a Google Analytics tracking code.
You won’t have to remember it, as we’ll use a plugin that allows you to automatically download and add this code to your blog (included with setting up proper WordPress tracking).
Let’s switch to the WordPress admin panel, where we install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. This is the easiest way to add Google Analytics to your site, and the plugin version is free.
Once the plugin is activated, go to the Insights page, and then – “Settings”, where we configure the plugin.
To connect Google Analytics to your WordPress site, click the “Connect MonsterInsights” button.
To complete the setup, use the prompts that will appear on the screen. Once the setup is complete, you’ll be able to monitor your site’s analytics in the MonsterInsights tab right on the WP toolbar.
5.2 Optimizing your blog for SEO purposes
Beginners rarely bother with SEO optimization when creating a blog. Search engine optimization, aka SEO, helps users find your blog in search engines. To increase traffic, it’s important not to put off optimizing your blog.
First, you need to take the time to install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin is a great solution for WordPress, with which you can optimize your blog.
Once the plugin is activated, a new “SEO” item will appear in the menu. After clicking on it, you will be redirected to the plugin settings page. Setting up the plugin will not be difficult, because it has a wizard for quick setup.
The plugin has a quick setup wizard to guide you through the setup. You can also configure the plugin yourself by following our Yoast SEO manual for manual configuration.
We also recommend that you follow our complete step-by-step guide to WordPress SEO to maximize your blog’s optimization for search engines.
5.3 Important plugins and the specifics of working with WordPress
There are plenty of WordPress plugins that will give you new features. But, as a rule, newbies don’t know exactly which plugins they need. But don’t be dismayed, we’ll share with you what plugins to look out for.
Here are our expert picks of the best WordPress plugins you should check out.
Backup – You need to systematically back up your blog to avoid losing information in the event of a crash. Pay attention to our list of the best plugins for this purpose, and it’s actually extremely important!
Security – A lot of attention should be paid to WordPress security.
Design and customization – An excellent solution would be the plugin Elementor, or the standard block editor, which will help to customize the design of the home page, create landing pages or even a custom theme.
Step 6: How do I make my blog profitable?
There are several ways to make money with your blog and we will tell you about some of the best ones.
6.1. Google AdSense
Most bloggers make money from display ads. If the goal of your blog is to monetize, Google AdSense is your best bet.
This is a huge advertising platform for publishers and bloggers. Google acts as an intermediary between advertisers and bloggers, allowing the former to bid on keywords that match your content.
6.2 Affiliate Programs (Affiliate Marketing)
Participation in affiliate programs can be freely called the second most popular way of earning money among bloggers. Here everything is simple: you recommend services / products that you like to your visitors, and if they buy them, you get commission.
The important point of affiliate marketing is to recommend quality products that you actually use.
6.3 Online Store
It’s not uncommon for bloggers to sell stuff directly from their blog, and make money from it. You can sell anything: pictures, music, digital goods, real products, and more. The best eCommerce plugin for WP is WooCommerce.
The three methods of making money described above are not the only options available. WordPress blogs can be created to publish reviews, cooking recipes, fashion talk and more. By choosing a certain direction, you can get unique opportunities to make money.
You can also use your blog as a membership site, through which you will offer premium content or subscription courses.