Hi my lovely readers!
So, I’ve decided to do some updates to the old blogasaurus. My hubby and I just weren’t happy with the old design and we always knew Wordpress is a much more powerful platform for blogging with lots of super snazzy features (my husband’s ran a web design company for almost a decade, but only recently has been putting time into my blog in order to get it to make the big bucks :)). These features include: better search engine optimization without knowing how to do that (so basically more people come to the site!), better themes, and better plugins (like being able to automatically post to twitter, etc.). So I decided to take a break from the crafty, designy, renovationy stuff for a post or two and talk about our experience moving from Blogger to WordPress. In this post I’m going to share with you how to start a WordPress blog. In future posts I’m going to share how you can really easily transfer your entire blog over from Blogger and not lose any of your Pinterest pins, or any of the search engine optimization or Google analytics or Google Adsense that your previous blog had – it will basically be the exact same blog and will continue to get all the traffic you have always got – just on a much more easy-to-use and powerful platform, WordPress! Yay!
Starting a hosted WordPress blog
It may be possible to sign up for a blog from WordPress.com, but that is not going to give you the customization and power that you need in order to really boost your blog traffic. We need to create our own hosted blog. Good news! It’s really not that difficult! Keep reading to find out how we do it.
Things you need:
In order to move from Blogger to WordPress and have access to all of WordPress’s powerful features, the best way to do it is to “host” WordPress on your own website.
- A basic computer – a used one will do just fine.
- A “hosting” account like Hostmonster (sounds weird but I’ll explain – not that complicated)
- A nifty WordPress framework called “Genesis Framework” (again, I’ll explain all the lingo)
- A super nice WordPress theme (now that one doesn’t sound too complicated!)
OK, so that’s an overview of how to get started on WordPress. After you get your WordPress blog going, you will then be able to migrate over all of your Blogger content through a really simple plugin. But first things first: how do we start a hosted WordPress account? Here’s how!
1. Sign Up for a Hosting Account
What’s this techy-lingo hosting account you ask? Super simple. It is basically like a hard drive on the web that stores all of your site’s content. If you’re coming from Blogger, it was Blogger that stored everything. But now you want to be able to get more traffic to your site and to have access to amazing themes without having to know how to code. Well WordPress is the place to be. All the successful blogs use it. So we need to sign up for a super cheap hosting account.
There are two great companies that offer really powerful but affordable hosting plans. They are BlueHost and HostMonster. They are actually owned by the same company and are basically the same thing. HostMonster is the “budget” brand that is cheaper in the long-run. Bluehost advertises at being $3.99/month but that is just for the first year: it is $7.49 after that. Hostmonster, on the other hand is $4.99/month and then $5.99/month after that. So it seems simple enough to use that saving a few bucks at the start will cost us more in the long run. At any rate, either one is good. In order to sign up at Hostmonster you can follow the below link:
Or this one, if you’ve heard good things about BlueHost and want to go with them:
There, you just click on the big yellow link and sign up for the cheapest plan they have.
I can tell you that the revenue increase we have seen from our own links due to switching over from Blogger has more than covered the cost of hosting the site ourselves. OK, so that’s that. Now you want to install WordPress.
2. (Optional) Create a “subdomain”
OK, so if you are are going to transfer over from Blogger and you already are using your own domain name (i.e. you have a www.yourdomain.com site rather than yourdomain.blogger.com site) then you should create a subdomain, but if you don’t have your own domain yet (or just signed up for one through the Hostmonster registration) then you don’t need to do anything. I’ll talk about moving Blogger content to WordPress in a future post.
Just click on the subdomain button and create one (something like temporary.yourdomain.com).
3. Install WordPress
This one is extremely simple. You just log into your control power and click the WordPress icon. It will step you through how to do that. Make sure to install your WordPress blog either onto the new domain you just created (which will be “/”) or onto the subdomain you created above. Now you can fiddle around with your new WordPress site. Make sure to fiddle! Fiddling is how you learn about stuff.
4. Install “Genesis”
If you really want to take advantage of the power of WordPress then you are going to want to install the “framework” called “Genesis.” Basically this framework is going to make your site super search engine friendly. Plus it has a lot of custom themes that are really beautiful. You can get it here:
In order to install Genesis you will just log into your Studiopress account and download a “zip” file that contains it. Then you log into your WordPress account. Hover over “plugins” and click “Add new.” Then click “Upload Plugin” and you upload that zip file. When it’s done, click “Activate” and you are ready to go. BTW, all of these instructions are available from Studiopress.
You’re done! Its that easy.
5. Install a theme
There are tons of Studiopress themes that you can install. These themes are a one-time fee, have free updates and are coded to work on everything! I cannot tell you how awesome it is to finally have a site that updates based on the size of window, that scrolls nicely and rotates on tablets and smartphones and that just works! I will never go back. So, yeah, I really recommend getting a Studiopress theme.
In order to install the Studiopress theme you do everything you just did in Step 4 above. Done!
How did it go?
So now you should be up and running with a WordPress blog and a Studiopress theme. You are off to the races! Feel free to drop me a message to let me know how it went or to ask any questions you have. If I’ve missed a step, I’ll update this post to make it even more clear about how I started my own WordPress blog!