Perhaps you already got interested to start your own blog and you are looking for the cheapest way to start a blog with WordPress. Starting your own blog from scratch can be confusing for many, and taking the things right from the very beginning is very important in your blogging journey. Taking a wrong first step may lead to a lot of headaches later. Read on why.
This guide is about starting a self-hosted WordPress blog, where you have a complete control over your blog. This means that you will be able to change whatever you want on your blog: how it will look like, colors and fonts, logo, which plugins you will install, using various ways to monetize it like placing ads wherever you want, embedding forms for newsletter and freebies, etc.
On platforms like WordPress.com or Blogger, these possibilities are more or less limited.
I’ve seen many bloggers who started their blogs on platforms like Wix, Blogger, WordPress.com and then after a certain time they start struggling. Why? Because, when working consistently their blog grows and then they want to go beyond the limits given by the respective platform. This is when they realize that going with a self-hosted WordPress blog should have been the first choice from the start.
What makes me accountable to provide advice to you?
Well, I have been blogging since 2012, I launched myself 3 blogs, 2 websites, built and sold a couple of commercial websites, actively learning WordPress, follow the trends, have seen a lot of the do’s and don’ts, tried a lot of plugins and tools.
I also have a few ‘guinea pig’ blogs where I test and learn things along the way, so everything you would want to ask me, I have where to test it and get back with answers 🙂
So, in this guide I will explain the proven way to launch a WordPress blog on a budget, quickly and without compromising the quality.
The essential steps to launch a WordPress blog include:
- Choose a hosting
- register a domain name
- Install wordpress
- Install wordpress theme
Additional steps after launching your blog include uploading a logo, customizing WordPress settings, changing fonts, colors, layouts, etc. but these tasks come later.
Choose Hosting for WordPress – $47.40
Hosting is the space where your blog will “live”. Figuratively said, if the domain name is the “street address”, then hosting is the “house” where all your blog posts, images and other data are stored.
In fact, this is a server stored in a data center and your blog takes a little portion of the server memory.
There are hundreds or even thousands of hosting companies, but there is one company that I recommend and trust the most – its name is Siteground.
Siteground is one of the three hosting companies officially recommended by the WordPress community.
What makes Siteground popular is excellent customer support which is especially important for beginners, they also have fast and reliable infrastructure that hugely affects your site speed which helps your blog to rank better, they constantly innovate, introduce new functionalities and improve their services along the way.
You may read the Siteground full review here.
If you are just starting out, I recommend choosing the StartUp plan and then upgrade later if needed. The StartUp plan is $3.95 per month.
StartUp plan is quite enough when you’re getting started with blogging. It is enough for 1 website, you have 10GB Web Space and it can serve around 10,000 visitors monthly.
So, let’s begin with the process of setting up your new WordPress blog
Go to Siteground, choose StartUp plan and click the GET PLAN button.
On the next screen there are two options:
- If you don’t have domain name yet, choose option “Register a New Domain”, type your prefered blog name and click Proceed.
- If you already have a domain name, then choose option “I already have domain” and click Proceed.
Before you click Proceed button, let’s talk shortly about domain name.
Register Domain Name for your blog – $15.95
Domain name is the web address people will use to open your blog in an Internet browser. The domain name is often related to the topic you will write about.
Before you go and register a domain name, you need to know what you will be blogging about.
This is an important step.
Ideally, domain name should be related to the topic or the “niche” you will be blogging about. This is not a rule, but it is a common practice.
Take for example the name of this blog. When I thought about starting this blog I knew I wanted to have an online space or room where I will write about my passion for blogging, share experiences, provide WordPress how-to guides.
Thus, after a couple of combinations I came to this name ‘blogoroom’ which is short, simple and sounded good to me.
When choosing the niche for your blog (or what you will blog about), think about your passions.
What occupies your mind throughout the day?
What do you think most of the time?
Do you have any hobbies that make you excited?
Do you have a passion for something?
If you have more passions please make sure you don’t write just about everything on your blog. Focus on one thing in the beginning in order to be successful.
You can come up with the name of your blog yourself, but you can use also domain name generators that can help you with generating ideas. Here are a couple of online domain name generators:
Put in one or maximum two keywords that describe your passion or hobby.
After you pick your favorite blog name, it is time to register the name online.
For the sake of simplicity, the best option for registering a domain name is to do this at your chosen hosting company, Siteground.
Siteground as a hosting company offers domain name registration as a service as well. I am saying this because Siteground will automatically set the proper DNS configuration for your domain name and you will be ready to go in no time.
Many beginners chase the prices individually, buy a domain name from one company, sign up for hosting from another company and then get into trouble trying to tie them up so the blog could work and to open up normally.
Although this is achievable, it is not recommended for beginners especially for reasons I’ve just talked about.
The best option is to buy hosting and domain name at once, like explained in this tutorial.
Let’s get back to the process now. The process is easy and straightforward.
So, let’s recap.
Step 1 is to choose the hosting plan
After you made a decision which plan you will sign up for, click GET PLAN button.
Step 2 is to register a new domain name.
Choose the option “Register a new domain”, type your domain name and click Proceed button.
Step 3 is to review and complete the order.
If the domain from Step 2 is available then you will just need to complete the rest of the forms: Account information, Client information, Payment information and Purchase information.
In Extra Services you do not need to select anything else, except domain registration.
Click Pay Now and very soon you will have your own Siteground account, together with a hosting plan and domain name tied to it.
After receiving a confirmation that the order was successfully submitted, don’t forget to check your email to verify this process. You will also receive your new Siteground username and password.
Install WordPress: $0
Now it is time to install WordPress. WordPress is free Content Management System (CMS), the most popular blogging platform.
Siteground provides tools that make this process lasts just a couple of minutes.
Right after you register the domain name along with purchasing a hosting plan, you get to this page in your Siteground Client area:
Click SET UP SITE button and on the next screen you will get this:
Since you are starting a WordPress blog from scratch, choose the “Start New Website” option. Next, in Choose Application section make sure you select WordPress.
In the Installation Details section, put your email address and type a password. You will use this combination to access your WordPress site after the installation.
On the next screen you may skip adding the SG Site Scanner (not necessary expense as for now), and just click Finish button.
In under 2 minutes your new WordPress website will be ready for use.
Click on LOG IN ADMIN button to get access to access your WordPress Dashboard.
Install WordPress Theme: $89
So far we finished with buying a hosting plan, registering a domain name for our blog and installed the WordPress as our blog engine.
Next thing is to install a WordPress theme.
A WordPress theme is something that gives our blog a shape, colors and other types of aesthetic elements. It is the exterior of our blog, how it looks like from the outside. It is the blog’s look and feel.
There are thousands and thousands of WordPress themes available on the market.
As a beginner you would want to keep things simple.
And to keep things simple means you need to prefer to choose a theme provider that has a big portfolio of pre-made professional themes and good looking blog layouts that you can choose from.
The idea is to start blogging as soon as possible, not learning how to design your blog from scratch.
You wouldn’t want to start learning how to design your website at the very beginning. Your goal is to start blogging and thus choosing a theme or layout that will best suit your needs, is your priority.
Divi theme comes with a ton of beautifully designed layouts and you can check them by visiting this gallery.
Once you choose a layout that is most close to your expectations, you can do some tweaks and changes afterwards.
DIVI theme comes with a powerful DIVI builder, which is a front-end visual editor.
Let me break down the expenses:
- Domain: $15.95
- WordPress: $0
- Hosting: $47.40
- WordPress Professional Theme: $89
Upfront cost: $152
Let’s get blogging
So, in my opinion, this is by far the cheapest way to start WordPress blog without losing your head in the process.
You have chosen a solid hosting company (Siteground) with a proven customer satisfaction records, you have registered a name for your blog, you installed WordPress Content Management System and you installed a professional pre-designed WordPress theme (DIVI).