These days the Internet is jam-packed full of blogs and websites and with good reason! It’s actually pretty easy to get your own website up and running in just a few minutes!
I really do believe that everybody has their own voice and can contribute and find people to connect with online. I’ve met some really close friends online!
Starting a blog has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life and I would encourage anyone who is even considering it, to give it a shot.
While I focus on food blogs in this resource because that’s what I know, the start-up process is actually similar or easier if you wanted to start a blog about a topic other than food.
So, whether you want to write about recipes, restaurants, crafts, politics, or any other topic under the sun, getting your own website set up is a good first step!
LET’S DIG IN.
START A FOOD BLOG IN FIFTEEN MINUTES
STEP 1) FIND YOUR HOME ON THE WEB (Domain and Hosting)
This is a really fun part of the blog process. You get to come up with your very own domain.
A few tips:
- Try to think of a word or series of words that describe what you want to write about.
- Make your domain easy to spell (I screwed this up… Macheesmo? Really?)
- Check a thesaurus to look up alternative words that might be more available.
Conduct a domain search below to see if your desired domain is available!
This search will take you to a new screen on Bluehost, a hosting company that I recommend. They offer affordable hosting with great service.
The other hosting company I would recommend (and the one I use currently for Macheesmo) is Liquid Web. They also have excellent service but are slightly more expensive. Here is a full tutorial on how to install WordPress on Liquid Web if you go that route!
To be honest though, today I would go with Bluehost if I were starting out so that’s the screenshots that you’ll see below!
Once you have found a domain you like, you need to select a hosting plan.
I recommend just starting with the normal starter plan:
Next, select the plan payment. If possible, I recommend paying for many months up front to get the best price possible per month, but do what you’re comfortable with.
Also, I highly recommend enabling domain privacy protection. While it is an added expense, it will decrease drastically the amount of spam you get as a website owner.
STEP 2: BACKBONE SETUP (Installing WordPress)
There are many ways to manage a website out there today, but you’ll have enough on your plate with creating new content and finding your own voice. I would recommend keeping the backbone of your site simple.
WordPress is absolutely the industry standard. I’ve ran Macheesmo on it for over seven years and it’s very flexible.
Once you’ve paid for your Bluehost hosting package, you’ll login to the dashboard with a lot of icons. You can explore these later, but right now you need this one:
Then you’ll be asked to associate the wordpress installation with a domain you own. You probably only own one.
On the next page, there will be some options to get professional help on the wordpress installation, but you can just do it yourself FOR FREE by clicking the below link.
On the next screen you’ll see some advanced options. I recommend writing down your admin username and password somewhere safe. Also, make sure the “Create a new database” box is checked!
Then just watch the progress bar do all the hard work for ya!
Once it is done, you can follow the admin URL to your login screen and enter the username and password!
That’s all there is to it team. You know have an actual website ON THE INTERWEBS.
Now for the fun part!
STEP 3: MAKE IT YOURS (Themes, plugins, and content)
Once you have WordPress installed you’ll have a site that looks pretty bland right out of the box, even if it is completely functional! Now for the fun part: Making it yours!
Think of a theme as a costume that your site wears. These themes can be really basic or incredibly complex. There are thousands of themes you can browse and try!
- WordPress Theme Catalog – People love creating themes for WordPress and many of them are free. It’s probably worth poking around the free options and seeing if one will fit your needs. Sometimes features might not all work with free themes, but for basic sites, it’s not a bad idea to start with a free version and move to a paid theme later.
- Genesis Framework – This is a top notch WordPress framework that I would highly recommend. It’s not terribly expensive and will give you the start to a great website. Very customizable and easy to use!
- Foodie Pro Theme – If you’re starting a food blog, this theme is a fantastic standard these days. Many great food blogs use it and the purchase includes the Genesis Framework!
If a theme is a costume, think of a plugin as an accessory. Most plugins work with most themes and add functionality or flair to your website. Here are a few that I recommend highly!
- Easy Recipe – If you run a food blog, you don’t want to be typing out your recipe code by hand, trust me. This plugin handles the dirty work for you.
- Contact Form 7 – Makes it easy to install a contact form on your page.
- Google Analytics on Yoast – You’ll want to track your stats on the site and this plugin makes it easy.
- iThemes Security – Hackers are very good at breaking into wordpress sites. This plugin makes your installation more secure by hiding many default options.
- W3 Total Cache – Speeds up your site by saving popular pages for faster viewing later.
- WordPress SEO – One of the best ways to get your content out there is to make sure it can be found on search engines. This plugin helps!
- Add This – A simple tool to make it easy to share your content on a variety of social networks. The basic version is free.
The final step to making a great website is content and I can’t help you much there! The best advice I can give there is to leave the idea of perfect behind. Get started creating something and writing something that you are passionate about today.
If you need any help with any of this or have specific questions, you can always contact me!
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are to affiliate products and I will earn a commission if you use them. That said, they are all products I trust and by using them, you are helping to support Macheesmo! So, thanks in advance!