How to Start a Blog in 30 minutes using WordPress

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how to start a blog

Do you want to start a blog the easy way? We understand that starting a blog can be alarming especially when you are not tech savvy. Guess what – you are in the right place. We have created a simple step-by-step guide on how to start a blog using WordPress.

If you do not know what WordPress is, we recommend that you go through this Article first before you continue reading.

What you need to start a blog

There are two things you need to start a blog in 30 minutes:

  1. A domain name
  2. A hosting account

Step 1: Choose a Domain Name

A domain name is the same as your website  or blog name. Before you setup your WordPress blog, you should have already thought for it a unique name that is easy to remember.

Because English word domain names are hardly available on the .com domain extension, you could consider registering your domain name with other extensions like .net, .info, .com.ng, .ng, etc.

Once you have a name for your blog, head on to a domain registrar and register it. With Web4Africa, you can get a .com.ng domain for as low as N1,800 a year.

Step 2: Setup a Web Hosting Account

After successfully registering your domain name, next step is to setup a web hosting account. Hosting a website simply means making your website go live on the internet so that people can access and see your content.

When it comes to hosting, there are several hosting companies out there to choose from. However, if you are a beginner and do not plan on getting up to 25,000 visitors per month to your blog, we suggest that you go for a more affordable hosting plan.

→ Get our Blogger Hosting Plan for N2,000 ←

After purchasing a hosting plan, you will receive the login details to your web hosting control panel (cPanel) via email. cPanel is where you manage your email accounts, install WordPress, setup auto-responder emails etc.

Contained in the email sent to you from your hosting company will be an IP address in this format: 012.345.xxx.xxx. This IP address is what you will use to connect your domain name to your hosting account.

Now your domain registrar may vary, here’s a common process to link your domain name to your hosting account:

  1. Login to your domain registrar account (Click here if you use Web4Africa)
  2. Go to “My Domain” option where you’ll see a list of domain names you own.
  3. Select “Manage Domain” and go to Manage/Advanced DNS settings.
  4. Add the following records in the Advanced DNS settings:

First Record

  • Type: A Record
  • Host: @
  • Value (Your hosting IP sent to you via email): 012.345.xxx.xxx
  • TTL: Automatic

Second Record

  • Type: A Record
  • Host: www
  • Value (Your hosting IP sent to you via email): 012.345.xxx.xxx
  • TTL: Automatic

After adding both records, your website will be live in a few minutes: If you enter your domain name in the address bar of your browser, you will be directed to something like this:

This means your website is live and active.

Step 3: Install WordPress

Go to cPanel, www.yoursite.com/cpanel and enter the login credentials that was sent to you from your hosting provider via email. After you login, you will be taken to a page with a bunch of icons.

Don’t worry, you won’t be needing about 95% of these features. So, just ignore them.

Scroll down to where you have “Softaculous Apps Installer” and click WordPress.

Softaculous Apps Installer

Click the Install Now button.

Install WordPress

In Software Setup, select whether you want www.yoursite.com or yoursite.com from the “Choose Protocol” drop down menu.

start a blog - software setup- wordpress

Ensure to leave the “In Directory” field empty: This is important.

In the “Site Setting” section, fill out your Site Name and Site Description.

Leave the Enable Multisite (WPMU) checkbox unchecked.

In the Admin Account section, enter what you want your Admin username and password to be. And enter an existing email address where you will receive all notifications about your site.

Ignore everything else and click the Install button at the bottom of the page.

Once WordPress is done installing, you will see a message like this:

Congratulations, the software was installed successfully.

Now lets head over to your website’s dashboard and customize your site’s appearance.

Step 4: Configure WordPress

Enter your WordPress login URL in your browser; http://yoursite.com/wp-admin. You will be redirected to the official WordPress login page.

Login with the same credentials you had just setup in Step 3 above, and you’ll be taken to the WordPress dashboard.WordPress DashboardWithin the dashboard, there will be a sample post, page and comment. Lets clear those out first before we proceed:

Go to “Posts” and delete the sample post. Do the same in Pages.

Go to Plugins, deactivate and delete all active plugins.

Go to Settings and click Permalinks. In the Permalink settings, select Post name and click the Save Changes button. This will give your entire website a clean URL structure which is good for SEO.

Step 5: Select and Install a WordPress Theme/Template

A WordPress theme or template is what gives your blog the visual appearance you desire. It is quick and easy to install, in just 3 easy steps.

1) Find the Theme You Want

WordPress has so many free themes that you can choose from.

From the left pane, go to Appearance > Themes and click Add New.

Though these themes are free, they most likely have some restrictions that may not give you the flexibility to customize your WordPress site fully. This is why we recommend purchasing a theme from a highly reputable site. ThemeForest is our choice for premium WordPress theme selection.

Paid themes are secured, SEO friendly and in most cases, come with a 6-month support in case something doesn’t work right. They also come with good documentation.

2) Install

After you find your theme of choice, you have to download it. If you’re getting a theme from within WordPress, all you need to do is hover your cursor over to your theme of choice and click on the Install button.

For purchased themes; go to the website where you purchased the theme, and download it. The download will be in ZIP format.

Then go to Appearance > Themes. Click the Add New button, then click the Upload Theme button. You’ll see the following message “If you have a theme in a .zip format, you may install it by uploading it here.”

Choose Browse and select your theme zip file.

After the them upload is complete, activate it by clicking the “Activate” button .

3) Activate

To activate a theme, hover your mouse over to the newly installed theme and click on the “Activate” button.

After installing and activating the theme of your choice, head over to the theme documentation and follow the guide on how to customize your theme to your taste. Most paid themes are well documented; from how to install to how to customize.

This eliminates the time and costs to design and develop your website from scratch.

Step 6: Make your First Post

After you have customized your website to your satisfaction, next is to create and publish your first blog post. To write a post in WordPress:

  1. Click  ‘Posts’ from the left pane within your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Click ‘Add New’.
  3. Enter your post title in the ‘Title’ field, and enter your post content in the post editing box below the ‘Title’ field.
  4. On the right pane, select your post category. If you don’t have a category yet, click the ‘Add New Category’ link to add a new category.
  5. Click Publish when you’re ready. Or save the post as draft by clicking the ‘Save Draft’ button.

We hope you found this guide on how to start a blog helpful. If you have any questions, do ask using our contact form.

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