Starting A WordPress Blog

This category is my very simple guide to what I do to this blog. Each time I make a change I will make a note here as to what I have done or installed, what I hope it will achieve, and I’ll try and come back and let you know the results.

This is my first post on the site and I hope that pretty much everything I create from here on is informative, no fuss and you the reader can use the knowledge I have gained. I’m a learner in all that I am doing and blogging here is my way of brain dumping what I have learnt from other projects involving blogging on WordPress, using social media, watching and listening to other internet marketers. If I have time I will be precise, but if you need an indepth detailed way of doing things then please just ask and if I can’t help I’ll happily direct you to sources that explain better.

After pottering around with this site I thought I’d better write down what I have done so far, or I’ll just have a longer blog post to write when I have finally finished. So without further ado…

What blogging platform and hosting do I use?

I use self-hosted WordPress blogs from WordPress.org. Very simple reason, if I self-host it, I own it and with WordPress there is so much support out there for it, the themes make your site look lovely.

There are many hosting companies out there, but if you have already started looking then you have no doubt heard of HostGator, it is an obvious choice due to their pricing, support, the unlimited bandwidth and storage plans, and who can resist the cute crocodile hey?
I went for the Baby plan as I know I will be adding further domains in the near future.


Disclaimer the above is an affiliate link that will help feed my big dog.

Installing WordPress and setting up Email.

So I got my hosting paid for, HostGator then Email me details so I can log into cPanel for the server space. At this point I set-up an Email address in cPanel for use with this domain, so all other websites I need to register with regarding this blog have an Email address that is seperate from my personal Email address.

Within the cPanel of HostGator I now click to install WordPress. It does this with a couple of clicks without me needing to use ftp access as I have done on previous occasions when installing WordPress, fantastic!
Next up I checked my web address to make sure WordPress installed correctly and there is a blog showing. It was, no problems there, so now I login to the backend. The login page can always be found by typing in your URL as follows

yourdomainname.com/wp-admin

At this point you may want to set-up your ftp accounts on back at the cPanel for HostGator (if you do not attend on using the one HostGator already provide you). To be honest you don’t really need to access ftp because you can do everything within the WordPress dashboard when you login…but some people prefer using ftp using a free client such as FileZilla.

Choosing a WordPress theme

A theme changes the way your site looks and some degree operates. When installing a theme it does this really quickly and simply when compared to making a traditional website using HTML, Flash, etc. Changing the way your traditional website looks will cost you time coding it yourself (if you know how), or a small fortune paid to a web-designer. There is also the free website option; which means horrible clunky templates that limit your choice on design, colour and have their ugly advertising stuck at the top (and anywhere else they decide) creating them money whilst you do all the hard work creating content and traffic to the site.
Sounds horrible doesn’t it? It is, so self-hosted websites with quick simple ways of changing their look ftw! Agreed?

You can simply Google “WordPress themes” and end up with a whole load of sites offering you free and Premium (paid) themes, but a word of warning… Many are poorly designed, over-priced, do not offer support/help, have no functions to enhance your WordPress site and some offer a bad user experience because of the fore-mentioned making you wonder what you got yourself in for.

I have used nothing but WooThemes for WordPress themes because their design is simply awesome and eye-catching, they test the themes across all the browsers (so they look great when viewed via Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc. for anyone new to this), include lots of cool functionality as standard for both the reader and you as the blog owner, and provide amazing support.

I choose the new theme Skeptical for this blog, previously I have choosen Ambience and The Original Premium News for other sites. Never had any problems with either 🙂

WooThemes - WordPress themes for everyone
Affiliate disclaimer, this time to feed my coffee addiction.

Installing your WordPress theme

Simple way: In your WordPress dashboard on the left hand side of the screen click Appearance > Themes
The screen reloads, click on the tab that says Install Themes, underneath click Upload and follow the instructions (which is basically upload the theme as .zip file). When done return back to Theme page and select the new theme.

NOTE: I have not tried doing the above, so any problems go see the complaints department down the corridor, out of the fire escape exit, cross the road, keep going till you turn left at the roundabout, another 20 minutes and look down…to the comment section that is, and I’ll see if i can help you or maybe another reader.
I will try this out when I next do an install where I will screen capture the whole process from the start.

Long way: Set-up your ftp details with an ftp client, such as FileZilla I mentioned earlier. When you have successfully connected to your server navigate as you would when browsing through your computer’s hard drive.
Click the following: public_html > wp-content > themes

You should now see the standard theme folder already installed (currently called TwentyTen), leave that there but drag and drop the unzipped folder of the your new theme (that I hope you have purchased from the ever reliable WooThemes) into the theme directory. Wait till it is uploaded, navigate to the Themes tab on WordPress dashboard and you should now be able to select your new super-duper shiny theme. Type in the URL of your domain and check it all looks ok…all good? 🙂

And that is where I am going to stop for this post. Next post will be about some minor adjustments and onto what plugins I use.
I have purposely not finished the blog to the standard it will be so I blog as I make a few other adjustments.


On reflection this post waffles on too much and I really think some screen capture videos really help.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Stu 🙂

One Response to Starting A WordPress Blog
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stuart Wooster, Stuart Wooster. Stuart Wooster said: Starting a WordPress blog – http://bit.ly/9FFKLA […]

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