This post on how to start a WordPress blog is the only guide you need if you’re looking to start a new blog from scratch. Here I am going to cover everything you might need to set up a WordPress blog in 2021.
This is a very beginner guide and so, everything will be from scratch. Before going ahead with the steps to create a blog on WordPress, let’s talk about why we selected WordPress only.
- What is WordPress?
- Why WordPress is so popular?
- How to start a WordPress blog from scratch in 2021
- #1 Decide the niche on which you want to work
- #2 Blog and domain name
- #3 Select hosting
- #4 Install WordPress
- #5 Setup your theme
- #6 Install important WordPress Plugins
- #7 Create important web pages
- #8 Create your first blog post
- How to start a blog FAQ
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a CMS (content management system) which enables you to create blogs. You can create a lot of other stuff like websites using WordPress but here we will focus on blogs. It’s a free and open-source system and so you don’t have to pay anything for using WordPress.
It’s an amazing platform for a variety of websites starting from blog to eCommerce. As per the news by web technology survey, around 40% of sites are powered by WordPress making it the most popular CMS.
If you consider only those websites which use CMS (37.9% of websites don’t use any CMS and those are custom coded) then the sites powered by WordPress are even more and reach 64.2%. There are various reasons why WordPress is so popular and let’s talk about those.
Why WordPress is so popular?
As I said, more than 64% of websites are using CMS among all websites that use any CMS. So, there must be some reasons why it is so popular. Here I am going to list some major features of WordPress-
WordPress has a great library of plugins that almost fulfills all the major needs. As of now, WordPress has over 54000 plugins for different purposes. Be it email marketing or tracking the users, WordPress has got many plugins to fulfill all these requirements. Just install the required plugin and activate it to use it.
WordPress also offers SEO features where you can do on-page SEO optimization using the WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO, Rank Math, All in one SEO, and many more. These plugins show you how you can optimize your content for on-page SEO. Also, it shows you the score on how optimized your content is.
#3 No coding
If you don’t know how to code, no problem. WordPress doesn’t need you to have the coding knowledge. Here the CMS offers everything whatever you need. You can customize the blog, create pages, create posts, and others.
WordPress is a light-weight framework and so it keeps your website fast. Speed of the site is one of an integral part of the search engine ranking and so you must consider it.
#5 Mobile friendly site
You might have heard that Google is now giving much importance to mobile-friendly websites and degrading the ranking if the site is not optimized for mobile. The great news is, most of the WordPress themes are optimized for mobile and other devices.
#6 Block editor
With the WordPress version 5.0 and above, now you have the option of block editing. This is pretty much similar to what other website builders were doing earlier. You can use this in pages and posts and use the drag and drop interface to create the pages and posts.
And there are various such features why wordpress is so popular.
Now as you know why we are focusing on WordPress to start a blog, let’s talk about how to start a blog on WordPress from scratch in 2021.
How to start a WordPress blog from scratch in 2021
Here I am going to talk about various steps to start a WordPress blog in 2021. Just follow all these and get your blog started in no time.
#1 Decide the niche on which you want to work
Niche is the most important thing while starting a blog. You should select the niche very carefully and not because someone else is working on that niche. There are various niches you can work with-
Technology, Business, Healthcare, finance, marketing, education, home appliances, electronics, gadgets, and more.
All these are a great niche to work with. Now you must decide which is working great for you. Here are some of the tips you can consider while selecting the niche-
- Make sure you have knowledge about the niche. Don’t go with random stuff
- List out at least 10 post ideas and content guidelines to see if you have enough ideas to get started.
- Check whether the niche has the potential to earn as per your expectations. Although every niche has great potential but still you should see if it matches your expectations.
#2 Blog and domain name
Once you have selected the niche of your dream blog, it’s time to think about the name of the blog and domain name. Make sure the name you select matches the niche and also should be readable. For example, if you look at our blog name, it says The247Tech. As we talk majorly about technology and so the name makes sense.
You should also see whether the domain name is available or not. You may also take the help of domain name generator tools to get some ideas. Just make sure you don’t fall in the copyright stuff. For example, even if a domain name is available with the name Google, still don’t go as Google as copyright on its name and you might fall into a legal problem.
Here are a few tips on selecting the best domain name-
- Make sure the domain name is as small as possible.
- Avoid keeping underscore (_), hyphen (-), or numbers (0-9) in the domain name
- Keep the domain name readable and don’t overcomplicate it
- Make sure it matches your niche and conveys the message you want to share with your readers.
- Go with the top TLDs like .com, .net, .org. If not available and you want that domain name only, you may go with .io or .site as well.
- Avoid going ahead with location-specific name (eg. .co.in, .co.uk) if you’re working globally
To register the domain name, you can use any domain name registrar. My favorite goes like- Namecheap and Godaddy for domains. Also, you may follow step-3 on selecting hosting. As many hosting plans come with a free domain name.
You should also get a domain name designed for your blog. There are many online logo generator which you can use.
#3 Select hosting
This is another great step while starting a blog from scratch. It’s the web hosting that keeps your blog live, working, and fast. Web hosting provides a space where you will keep your blog’s files like themes, plugins, and more. I am not going to talk a lot about hosting here as recently, I have written a dedicated guide on the best affordable web hosting which you can follow.
For beginners, I personally recommend Bluehost as it is too easy to buy and set up. It is also an official recommended WordPress hosting and so you are safe. Follow the below link to get an exclusive 60% off on your hosting.
Let me also write in detail on how to buy Bluehost web hosting-
Open Bluehost using this link and you will land on a page like below-
Click on the get started button and on the next screen, select the plan that you need. I personally recommend selecting between basic and plus plan. After that, you will be asked to enter the domain name. Please note Bluehost offers one free domain. You can either avail that now or even later.
Finally, you need to add the account information to finalize the package and complete the process. While finalizing the process, I recommend going for 36 months as this is much cheaper compared to when you buy for 1 or 2 years.
Once you complete the payment, you will get an email with starting instruction and credentials for cPanel. Now you can follow the instruction and log in to your cPanel to install WordPress, email, and more.
There are many reasons why I recommend Bluehost to beginners- excellent technical support, easy-to-use interface, cost-effective, free domain name, free SSL certificate, and more.
#4 Install WordPress
By now you have everything to get started with WordPress. You have a domain name and hosting and good to get started. The great news is, Bluehost now automatically install WordPress when you buy a WordPress plan. This is super helpful for the users who are not much technical. You just need to log in to your Bluehost account and click on login to WordPress.
You can also log in to WordPress by following the URL- yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/.
If you’re using any other hosting like Namecheap, GoDaddy, Siteground, etc. then you will have to install it manually, but the process is simple. To do that just follow the below steps- Login to your cPanel and you will get a screen like below. This will be almost similar irrespective of the hosting service you’re using.
In your cpanel you will find a section called “Autoinstallers”. Look for the section and find an app called WordPress Auto installer basically automates the WordPress installation process for you. Now in just a single click WordPress will be installed on your selected domain.
Once you click on the WordPress app in auto-installer, it will take you to the next screen where you need to select the domain name on which you want to install. All the domains connected to the hosting will be available to you. It will also ask you about SSL and what URL you would like to keep.
It is recommended for you to choose either https:// or https://www in the protocol section. Google Chrome and other browsers have started showing not secure label to the website without SSL certificates.
The next step is to choose the directory on which you want to install WordPress. In most cases, keep it blank unless you want WordPress to be installed on something like domainname.com/directory/.
Just scroll a little more and you will find a few text boxes to enter your site name and tag line. Fill in these details accordingly. Please note you can change these details even after installation by logging in to your WordPress dashboard. And don’t enable the multisite option unless you’re creating one.
Finally, it will ask you to choose the username, admin email, and password. Please select carefully and keep it safe for further use.
Once filled in all these, you may select the initial theme but not required. If you’re not selecting the default theme will be installed which you can change anytime. Just click on the install button and wait for few moments for the installation to complete.
Once the installation will be completed, you will get a summary screen with the login URL. You can also directly follow – yourdomain.com/wp-login to login to your WordPress admin panel.
#5 Setup your theme
Once you have WordPress installed, the next you may want to do is to select a professional-looking theme. I recommend visiting ThemeForest for a theme as they are the biggest theme marketplace. You may also check MyThemeShop for some amazing themes. Or if you don’t want to pay, no worries. WordPress has 7200+ free themes and those are pretty good to create a professional blog.
Follow the theme option on your WordPress dashboard and click on themes-
Here you will get an option to add new. This will take you to the next screen where thousands of free themes will be available to you. You may sort this list by popularity and can see the most popular themes.
If you hover on any theme, it will show you the preview, and then depending on your requirement, you can select the one. Let’s say you liked the Astra theme, click on it and you will find an install button.
Install the theme and once done, you will get a new window. Here click on the activate button for the theme to be applied to your blog.
Once done, you can customize the theme as per your need. For this just follow the customize button on your theme dashboard and start editing. Although in the free version of the theme all the customization options might not be available but still you can do a lot.
#6 Install important WordPress Plugins
WordPress is a plugin-rich forum where you have thousands of plugins for different uses. Some of these plugins are premium while most of these are free or either offer a free plan. Here I am going to show you some of the important plugins you should install to run a feature blog. You can visit the WordPress plugin’s official directory to check all the available plugins.
Jetpack by WordPress
It’s a free tool to design your site, track your site statistics, improve social sharing, and prevent attacks. It also has advanced options like daily back, spam prevention, and more.
You should have one plugin to manage the on-page SEO of the blog posts. So, whenever you write new content, to ensure it is optimized for SEO, this plugin will help. This is a freemium plugin and a free version will be enough for you. As an alternative, you can also explore Rank Math or All in one SEO plugin as well.
If you don’t want the spammers to comment on your site and consume unnecessary resources, Akismet Anti-Spam is a must-have plugin. It helps to reduce the spam comments and keep your blog and dashboard clean. This is also a free plugin to use.
WP super cache
This plugin will create the static page of your web page temporarily on anyone’s browser and thus by making the site access faster. This is another free plugin to use.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
If you don’t want to fill the resources of your hosting yet by not compromising on the quality of the image then this free plugin is for you. It optimizes all the images you use in your blog.
Elementor page builder
Although this is a premium page builder plugin but the free version is also of great use. It helps you create stunning designs on your web page by adding styled content boxes, buttons, designs, and more. Further, you can also install free plugins for Elementor to enable extra functionality.
Contact form 7
If you are looking to add a contact form to your blog then use this free plugin. It offers you add the free forms and also sends you an email each time someone fills the form. As an alternative, you can also use Form123.
Mail much and main chimp
If you’re planning to capture the email ids of the users and send them periodic emails then these plugins are for you. You can create subscription boxes on your blog to capture the email leads. The free version of this tool is also powerful.
Although it has many features majorly you can use this for social sharing. It adds social media buttons to your site and allows users to share your content by different means.
These are the important and must-have WordPress plugins for any blog. You may install others also depending on your requirements.
To install any plugin, login to your WordPress dashboard and follow Plugins → Add New.
Here search for the required plugin and install it. Make sure to activate it for it to start working for your blog.
#7 Create important web pages
It is also important for you to create some important web pages in your blog for it to look professional. Some of the pages you should add are-
You can check our pages to get an idea and also can use the generator tool to generate one for you.
#8 Create your first blog post
We have almost come to the end of this how to start a WordPress blog from scratch in 2021. Here you can create the blog post. To do that, just click on the Posts » Add New.
Here write your content and once done, ensures the following-
- Add a proper category to the post and tags
- Make sure the URL and description are as expected
- Add images in your blog posts
- Ensure it is in the healthy range for SEO
Your WordPress blog is created with all the necessary information and a blog post as well. Make sure to promote it on social media to make a buzz.
How to start a blog FAQ
These questions are frequently asked questions in several platforms and forums and so we are gathering all in one place.
Yes, you can do. There are platforms like Blogger by Goggle, Drupal, Medium, and more to get a blog. Even you can create one custom-coded blog for you as well.
Technically speaking no. But there are many free hosting services that you can use if you don’t want to spend on hosting. Some of these are – blogger.com, WordPress.com, and medium.com.
Well, that depends on what kind of blog you need and on what scale. If I have to talk about the minimum for a good blog, then it would be around $40 per year. You can buy Bluehost hosting and get a free domain there.
Yes, definitely you can do that.
Yes, you can do it. Use the plugin – WooCommerce and start your eCommerce store for free.
If you liked this article- how to start a WordPress blog from scratch in 2021, please consider it for sharing with your friends and help them enter this amazing world of blogging.
If you have any doubt or want to ask anything, please feel free to comment below and I will make time to answer properly.