You might be itching to start a blog but you don’t know where to start! There is so much talk about WordPress but what the heck is WordPress? Let’s go over some of the WordPress Basics.
WordPress is a content management system for blogs or websites or in normal words it’s a software that helps you create and maintain your site. WordPress is an open source tool so it’s 100% free and it’s hands down the most powerful system to host ANY kind of website. That’s right! WordPress is not just for bloggers; you can also create an online store, news publication, a photography website or honestly anything! Top Fortune 500 companies (including celebrities) use WordPress!
The two types of WordPress
Now you might have heard about their being two WordPress sites and although they are both great in different ways, we want to focus on Wordpress .org not Wordpress .com. Either way let me give you a quick break down of the two. Wordpress .com is also a free open source site but unlike Wordpress .org it is also a hosted service. So you can do everything all in that one platform. Wordpress .org will need hosting in order for it to live on the internet.
Those are the two major difference.
So why WordPress .org?
Unless you upgrade to a premium version of Wordpress .com there can come many restrictions. The #1 thing I would say is no good about it, is that you have to register a subdomain versus your own custom domain. Your domain will end up looking like “yourdomain. wordpress. com” instead of just yourdomain .com.
This can kind of tank you validity as a blogger.
Other restrictions apply on the customization part of building your site such no being able to use plugins, only using the available themes and you can’t modify anything on the backend. Whomp whomp. So basically at the end of the day you end up with a pretty amateur site.
Although WordPress .org is definitely more of a DIY version of Wordpress .com there are so many EASY and AFFORDABLE ways to get the perfect site for your blog.
DO NOT FEAR THE PLATFORM AND OPT FOR SOMETHING ELSE. TRUST ME YOU WANT WORDPRESS.
The world of WordPress .org opens up so much control and flexibility. You will be able to use your own custom domain, upload and install an infinite amount of plugins (that’s a good thing) and install the theme of YOUR choice.
Plus if you’re up for it, you get to edit almost anything since you get access to your site’s database.
What is a WordPress plugin?
WordPress plugins is additional software you can add to your site to add to the functionality to of your site. This (in my opinion) is one of the greater advantages to using WordPress(.org). You can find free and premium (paid) plugins depending on how advanced the software is.
WordPress has an entire directory of plugins for you to choose from and can easily install from your WordPress backend. You can also download them directly from the developers site and upload it onto your site.
One of the most common plugins you will hear about is the YOAST SEO plugin which helps you to write better content on your site by rating the SEO and Readability of your pages/posts. A lot of plugins are practical and can improve your site’s security and speed or others can manipulate the appearance.
You can add your social media feed or create custom pages with plugins like Elementor. The options are honestly endless. If you want to add it to your site there is probably a plugin for it!
How to get Started with WordPress
Now that we made it clear we want WordPress .org let’s talk about how to get it. Like I mentioned above, this WordPress will need hosting in order for it to live on the internet. There are SO many options for you to choose from.
I am personally using Bluehost and love it! Not only do I recommend them but they are actually recommended by WordPress themselves. Bluehost will also give you a FREE custom domain for the first year. Check to see if your domain is available below!
Others may recommend other platforms and that’s 100% okay. Get the hosting company you feel is best for YOU. You can learn more about Domains & Hosting in this post and why I chose Bluehost in this post.
Most hosting companies have an easy installation process for WordPress. Bluehost will prompt you right away to set up WordPress as soon as you finish purchasing your hosting plan.
If for whatever reason you skip this step, all you have to do is log into your Bluehost control panel, go to Marketplace and click “One-Click Installs.” The first option will be WordPress and from there the install process should be easy!
Once WordPress has been installed, it will be automatically connected to your host’s web server. For the most part, you will not have to go back to your cPanel (the “control panel” which is basically just your Bluehost account) for anything but you can easily login to your WordPress account from there.
The easiest way to login to your WordPress account is by going to your login URL. This is automatically created and is always: “www.yourdomain .com/wp-admin.” I recommend changing this in your settings in order to create an added layer of protection. I go over that in my WordPress Setup post.
I also recommend bookmarking the URL so you can easily login in the future. The username and password you use when installing WordPress will be the same information you will use when logging in. Remember to save that! If for whatever reason you lose this information, you can always go through the Lost Password process to retrieve it via email.
Are you ready to start using WordPress for your new blog?
If you’re ready to take the plunge with WordPress then your next step would be to get your hosting. Start your blog today with Bluehost for only $3.95/month! Need more convincing? Read my other helpful blog posts: How to Start a Blog on a Budget and Blogging for Beginners.
Are you using WordPress? If not, what’s stopping you?