How To Start A WordPress Blog (Step by Step Screencasts)

How To Start A WordPress Blog (Step by Step Screencasts)

You CAN’T start a WordPress blog in 10 minutes. And you can’t start a blog in 10 hours either. You know why? Because it takes countless hours to customize WordPress and make things look the way you want (unless you are a WordPress geek). And hey, I didn’t even count the actual time required to actually create content. That’s the real purpose of a blog, right?

I have noticed several times that whenever I start a WordPress blog, I end up doing the same things over and over and over. So below are the steps that I personally follow when I start a new WordPress site. And no, it’s NOT another start a WordPress blog in 5 minutes kind of guide or video. Yes, I (and probably you) have seen a gazillion “How To Start A WordPress Blog In 5 Minutes” videos and tutorials.

But the reality is that it doesn’t work that way. Why? Because they’re all basically about how to buy a domain name (that is, a .com), web hosting plan (that is, your own server space where you can upload files), and install blogging software (that is, WordPress). Yes, that’s all you can do in 5 minutes or even 10 minutes and it’s far away from a perfect blog as there are a lot of other things that you must know and do.

Don’t Miss: 27 Things Before Starting A WordPress Blog

How To Start A WordPress Blog: Quick Glance

I have recorded the following screencasts a year back while setting up a new WordPress blog for a friend. It was recorded with the intention of adding voice-over as well but… Laziness. That explains why there is a pause on-screen here and there. Anyway, I guess the video (along with its description) says everything. You can ask all your queries (and anything blogging!) as a comment below and I will be happy to answer it.

  1. Buy A Domain Name
    • It’s the .com address that people type in their web browser to visit your blog.
    • It costs around $10-15 per year.
  2. Buy A Web Hosting Plan
    • It’s your storage space on the web (to host your content, images, files, etc.)
    • It costs $60-$150 per year.
  3. Change Domain Nameservers
    • It’s not required if you buy a domain name from the web hosting company itself.
  4. Install WordPress
    • It’s a blogging software to manage your content.
    • It’s free forever!
  5. Buy A Premium WordPress Theme
    • It’s your food blog’s design.
    • It’s free if you are opting for a free WordPress theme.
    • It costs around $50-$150 (one-time) for a premium WordPress theme.
  6. Install WordPress Theme
  7. Customize WordPress Theme & Install Essential WordPress Plugins
    • It’s to change the look and feel of your WordPress blog and to enhance its functionality.
    • It’s free forever!
  8. Customize WordPress Sidebar Widgets
  9. Install & Setup Essential Blogging Tools
    • Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
    • Google Webmaster Tools
    • Google Analytics

1. Buy A Domain Name

  • Go to GoDaddy.com.
  • Enter your desired domain name (.com, .net, .org, etc.) to check its availability.
  • If it’s available, “Select” it, and it will be added to your GoDaddy Cart.
  • Skip all promotions as it’s more likely that you don’t need it.
  • Book the domain name for 2 years or more to save money or else choose “1 Year”.
  • Proceed to Checkout to create a new GoDaddy account.
  • Enter your address and billing information.
  • Review your order and confirm your purchase.
  • Check your email for confirmation.
  • Verify your email address.
  • Go to GoDaddy “My Account” to manage your account.
  • Click “DOMAINS” to manage all your domain names.
  • Click on the appropriate domain name to change various options associated with it like addresses, name server, add-ons, etc..

 2. Buy A Web Hosting Plan

  • Pick a web hosting company of your choice.
  • I have picked Eleven2.com as it’s affordable (both the first billing term as well as renewals).
  • Apart from that, it offers SSD Storage, cPanel, Supports up to 10 add-on domains (meaning you can host up to 10 websites on a single account).
  • I would recommend Eleven2 for beginners (as their first web hosting plan if it costs less than $40 for the first year) but not for experienced webmasters as it’s not a reliable web hosting company.
  • Go to the homepage of Eleven2.com (or whichever web hosting company that you have selected).
  • Select a “Shared: web hosting plan.
  • Enter your desired domain name (if you want to register it via the web hosting company itself) or enter the domain name that you have registered elsewhere (say from GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com).
  • Enter your address and billing information.
  • Review your order and confirm your purchase.
  • Check your email for confirmation.

3. Change Domain Nameservers

  • Login to your GoDaddy account. Go to GoDaddy.com and click “Sign in” (top right corner).
  • You will be directed to GoDaddy My Account.
  • Click “DOMAINS” to see all your domain names.
  • Click “Manage DNS” (for the respective domain name) to change its nameservers.
  • Enter the nameserver provided by your new web hosting company (Eleven2.com in this case) and save the information.
  • Go back to GoDaddy Domains and you will see a “Pending Update” for the respective domain name.
  • It will take up to 48 hours for the new nameservers to become active. However, it usually happens in around 2-3 hours.
  • You can check your domain name to see whether the new name server is active or not.

4. Install WordPress

  • When your domain name is propagating to the new nameserver, you will see a new page as shown above (it’s different for different hosting companies).
  • Check your account information email from the web hosting company and login to your web hosting control panel (or cPanel).
  • Navigate to Softaculous and click “WordPress”.
  • Enter the details of the WordPress installation.
    • Like on which directory you want to install WordPress. For instance, to install at matrics360.com/blog, enter “blog” in the “In Directory” field. And to install at your home directory or matrics360.com, leave the “In Directory” field blank.
    • Website Name.
    • Website Description (or the tagline).
    • Admin Username, Password, and Email.
  • Click “Install”.
  • Check your website URL to make sure that everything is set.
  • Login to your WordPress Dashboard (using the username and password that you have set).

5. Buy A Premium WordPress Theme

  • Go to StudioPress.com and click “Shop for Themes”.
  • Browse all of their themes to find that perfect theme.
  • Click on an individual theme to get its pricing and see a LIVE DEMO.
  • When you browse a WordPress theme, you need to visualize your future website and that’s how you will know whether it’s perfect or not (for your purpose).
  • In this video, I have picked the Genesis child theme “Aspire Pro” as it looked good for a personal blog (with its own brand equity).
  • I have purchased it using my own StudioPress account and that’s why you’re seeing the discounted price.
  • When you find the perfect WordPress theme, go buy it (and don’t think!).
  • And go to My StudioPress > DOWNLOADS and download GENESIS FRAMEWORK and ASPIRE PRO.
  • You will now have two .zip files on your computer.

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6. Install WordPress Theme

  • Login to your WordPress Dashboard.
  • Go to Appearance > Themes.
  • You can see the default WordPress themes (that are part of the WordPress installation).
  • Click “Add New” button to install a new theme.
  • You can either install a free WordPress theme (plenty to choose from “Featured”, “Popular”, and “Latest”. Or, you can use the “Feature Filter” to find a free WordPress theme that matches your requirements or website idea.
  • Just click the “Install” button and click “Activate” when it’s done.
  • Click the “Upload Theme” button to install a WordPress theme you have downloaded from another website or to install a premium WordPress theme.
  • If you want to install a StudioPress theme then login to your StudioPress account.
  • Go to My StudioPress > DOWNLOADS and download GENESIS FRAMEWORK and ASPIRE PRO (or whichever child theme that you have purchased from StudioPress).
  • You will now have two .zip files (the parent theme or the framework and a child theme) on your computer.
  • Go back to your WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes, and install GENESIS (but DO NOT activate it).
  • And then install the Genesis child theme that you have purchased and ACTIVATE it.
  • Read the theme documentation (or the Theme Setup) to customize your WordPress site like the way it’s on the demo site.

7. Customize WordPress Theme & Install Essential WordPress Plugins

  • Login to your WordPress Dashboard.
  • Go to Updates.
  • Update WordPress version, themes, and plugins (if any).
  • Go to Settings and personalize General Settings (Site Title, Tagline, Timezone, Date Format, Time Format, etc.), Writing Settings (Default Post Category, Default Post Format, etc.), Reading Settings (Front page, number of posts shown per page, etc.), Discussion Settings, Media Settings, and Permalink Settings.
  • Go to Users — Your Profile, and personalize your WordPress profile (dashboard color, nickname, bio, profile picture, bio, etc.
  • Go to Posts — Categories, and add new categories and organize the same.
  • Go to Posts — Tags, and add new tags and organize the same.
  • Go to Genesis — Theme Settings, and customize it to the way you want.
  • Go to Appearance — Menus, and create your navigation menus and customize the same.
  • Go to Appearance — Customize, and customize your blog’s logo, header image, theme colors, layout, etc..
  • Go to Plugins — Installed Plugins, and deactivate/delete unwanted default plugins,
  • Install recommended WordPress plugins.
  • Create a WordPress.com account.
  • Activate and configure the newly installed WordPress plugins (ideally one by one).
  • Create a Contact form page and an About page.
  • Reorganize the navigation menus (to include the newly created pages).

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8. Customize WordPress Sidebar Widgets

  • Go to Appearance — Widgets.
  • Configure and customize the sidebar widgets (read theme documentation for help).
  • Add social media icons on the sidebar.
  • Setup FeedBurner account.

9. Install & Setup Essential Blogging Tools — Yoast SEO Plugin, Google Webmaster Tools & Google Analytics



  • Install, activate, and configure Yoast SEO plugin.
  • Setup Google Webmaster Tools (now known as Google Search Console).
  • Verify your domain ownership on Google Search Console.
  • Setup Google Analytics.
  • Publish your first blog post.
  • Add a new user to your WordPress site.
  • Preview your final website.

Don’t Miss: WordPress Customization: 101 Things To Do After Installing WordPress [DIY]

Closing Thoughts

If you read somewhere that blogging is easy then that’s not really true. Blogging is simple but not easy. It takes time, patience, some money, and a lot of effort and learning to get going. Yes, it’s possible to create a WordPress blog and publish your first article in less than 10 minutes. But the problem is, your new WordPress blog will look like this and never like this. (unless you already know what you want and how to get it).

Happy Blogging! :)