When it comes to running a business as an introvert I really believe that having a website is pretty essential.
Rather than having to constantly get out there and network with people face-to-face (gah!), a website can do the talking for you and allow you to shine in all your wonderful glory (whilst you curl up in the quiet comfort of your home with a cuppa).
For me, there is no better option than a self-hosted WordPres.org site (as opposed to a WordPress.com website which has far less options for how your site can look) A self-hosted WordPress site is what I have always used for The Business of Introverts and I love the fact that I’ve been able to learn, build and manage the site myself (without needing any scary coding knowledge).
With inbuilt blogs and a never-ending menu of options to help you customise your site there is loads of flexibility with WordPress sites (provided you use the self-hosted version that I talk about below). Plus there are tons of free resources on the web that you can learn from.
If you’d like to go ahead and set up your very first self-hosted WordPress blog – hurrah! Just follow the instructions below.
Step 1: Decide on your domain
Your domain is essentially your web address and before you can set up a blog you first need to decide what you’d like it to be called.
It’s a good idea to spend some time brainstorming ideas. Think about what the purpose of your blog is and then scribble down associated words, phrases that spring to mind, and all the different options that could work.
If this is your very first blog then don’t analyse this for too long. It can be very tempting to hold off until the absolute perfect name pops into your head but this is pointless if it’s stopping you from moving forwards.
The main thing is that you get a blog up and running so you can get a feel of what it’s like to actually get your writing out there. You can always change the name of your site later down the line.
You’ll then need to check if the names you like are actually available by popping them into Google and seeing what comes up.
Step 2: Set up your hosting
Once you’ve decided on your name, the next step of the process is to register your domain and to set up hosting (which is essentially like renting a little bit of the internet for your new blog to sit on).
There are lots of hosting companies that you could choose from but Bluehost are a highly recommended hosting company. They are user friendly (even for a technophobe like me), provide free domain registration and good value for money, and have lots of great support in place if you need it.
If you’d like to go ahead and set up with Bluehost click here to be taken through to their site and then follow the instructions below.
The first thing you need to do is click ‘get started now’ and select your plan (if you are only just getting started with blogging then a starter plan should be fine – you can always upgrade if you need more).
You can then put your domain name in the ‘new domain’ box before clicking ‘next’. If your domain isn’t available then Bluehost will tell you and offer some similar alternatives.
On the next page you’ll then need to fill in your personal and payment details as well as giving them further information about the package you want.
If you are only just getting started you are unlikely to need any of the extras (apart from maybe the Domain Privacy Protection which shields your personal contact details from being available to the public).
Step 3: Install WordPress
Once you’ve got your hosting sorted you then need to install WordPress which is the piece of software that will be used to run your website.
To do this make sure you are logged in to Bluehost.
You can then go to the ‘Website Builders’ section where you should see an option to install WordPress. Click this logo and you’ll be given an option to do a free install. Go ahead and click this button.
On the next couple of pages you’ll then need to check that your correct domain is listed before ticking to confirm that you’ve read the Terms & Conditions. Once you’ve done that click ‘Install Now’.
When a message comes up to say that the installation is complete be sure to make a note of your WordPress admin URL, username and password (you’ll need these every time you login to the back end of your site and they are different to your login details for Bluehost).
To login to your site you need to put the Admin URL into your web browser which will bring up a screen that looks like the below (this page is the gateway into your blog so it’s worth bookmarking as you’ll be using it a lot). You then need to enter your WordPress username and password to get in.
Step 4: Choose your theme
So you now have your own blog – woohoo! Now you can make it look ever so pretty.
The first thing you’ll see when you login is the dashboard which will look something like the below image. This is your central hub where you can manage the content and appearance of your website.
The first thing you’ll probably want to do is pick a theme ( your chosen theme will determine the layout and look of your blog). For getting started you might just want to choose a free theme.
Click on ‘Appearance’ in the left hand menu and then ‘Themes’. From here you can browse the available themes and install the one you like.
From the Appearance menu you can also make edits to how your site looks e.g. by adding a header or changing the background colour – go ahead and tinker!
When you feel ready to upload your first blog post simply click on ‘Posts’ in the left hand menu, then click ‘Add new’ and write away in the available box! When you’re ready to publish (eek!), simply hit ‘Publish’.
Need more help?
This post has been a basic guide on how to get your WordPress blog set up. However if you’d like more help with how to use your site and make it look good, I recommend checking out Jane & Philbert’s Pimp That Press Video Series which will show you how to ‘pimp’ your site. It includes some top tips on how to make your blog look ever-so lovely.
There are also tons of resources and tutorials on the big wide web for how to get started with WordPress. If you get stuck or are unsure about anything there’s not much you can’t learn with Auntie Google.