Whenever you read a blog or two on the internet today, chances are they were created using WordPress. Major companies, educational institutions, and nonprofits such as UPS, CNN, Disney, Bloomberg, TED, WNBA, MIT Sloan Management Review, Jane Goodall Institute, and Amnesty International Korea all use WordPress. When you, as an entrepreneur, want to create your own blog for your startup or small business, the easiest way to do so is through WordPress.
What is WordPress? Founded in 2003, WordPress is the largest, powerful, and most popular content management system that’s used in millions of sites everyday. It is essentially a free software, a blogging tool that you can use with any web browser. WordPress is easy to use, with little or no training or coding involved. It is very customizable, with thousands of themes and plugins to choose from, and flexible in that the blogs can be seen across several devices and formats (PC, Mac, Android phones or tablets, iPad, and iPhone). Also, due to its framework, WordPress blogs are search-engine friendly. Google, especially, loves blogs powered by WordPress.
So how does one go about creating a WordPress blog? Here are some helpful tips that anyone, even a busy entrepreneur and/or a startup business owner, can start a free WordPress blog in less than a day:
1. It all starts with a plan – Setting up your blog correctly the first time is very important and some things to consider when creating your blog include:
- What would you like to talk about/share with others?
- What “voice” or persona will you be using? Will the tone be like an “academic,” casual and easygoing, or respectful as if speaking to a colleague or peer?
- How often will you be posting?
- How will people interact or get in touch with you? By email or social apps such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?
2. Set up your WordPress blog – This is the easy part and can be completed in a fairly short amount of time:
- Choose your blog’s name – Your blog name should reflect the plan as stated in the previous bullet point. For example, Buffer.com has three separate (with another forthcoming) blogs according to topic: Blog Social (for all thoughts on social media and online marketing), Buffer Open (all about remote working, increased work productivity and work culture), and Overflow Buffer (the techie side which includes, development, APIs, and being an engineer on Buffer). Notice Buffer includes taglines in their blog names. The tone of these blogs are casual but respectful among peers.
- Decide where to register your domain name and host website (two separate things) – can usually get both together (WordPress integrated seamlessly) – A domain name is simply the web address or URL (www.nameofblog.com). Choose your domain name for your blog that is easy to remember, just long enough, and has a popular extension like *.com or *.net. After choosing your domain name, register your domain name with web registry sites such as GoDaddy, HostGator, and 1&1. Using Buffer.com as an example (see image above), their domain name is simple and easy to remember: blog.bufferapp.com. If your blog domain name is available, go ahead and register for a small fee. After doing so, you can proceed to the next step which is choosing a web hosting site.
A web hosting site is where all the content and information for your blog website gets stored so that others can access anywhere in the world. Note: many web hosting sites, like those already mentioned such as GoDaddy, HostGator, and 1&1, have incorporated both registering a domain name and setting up a host account together, so you can complete these two steps a single time.
It is important to mention that although there are free web hosting sites available, using the paid version is highly recommended for businesses. The reason essentially boils down to two things: control and ownership, that is, you own all of the blog’s contents, you can customize its design and message, and you have the option to sell the domain name to another company.
After selecting your web hosting site and set up a host account, you are ready to access WordPress. You can either download WordPress from WordPress.org or access WordPress within the host account itself. From here, the process is pretty straightforward, as you can see below. You can begin typing your first post.
* WordPress theme – As mentioned earlier, one of the strengths of WordPress is that it’s highly customizable. There are so many designs to choose from, so your theme can suit your needs. There are both free and paid (also called premium) versions, of course, and each has its pros and cons.
WordPress support – Because almost everyone uses it, WordPress resources are readily available. Its WordPress.org site has community forums and detailed documentation. Your web site host also will have great support, plus countless other helpful how-to websites.
Follow these tips and before you know it, you’ll have a WordPress blog up and running by the end of the day. Happy blogging!
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