Start Blogging with these Five Easy Steps
If you told yourself at the beginning of the year that you were going to create a free website and sail towards glory, the good news is that you are not alone. Thousands of sites are being launched every minute and you probably won’t make a dent, other than to your personal ego, by joining the bandwagon. There are currently over a billion websites in the world, all of which compete for space in the minds and pockets of a rather restless readership. (If you are still grappling with the thought of starting your own personal blog or website, here are 8 reasons why you should make the leap).
Is It Difficult to Create Your Own Blog/Website?
For most people, having a personal website or blog remains one of those mysterious things that are only reserved for programming savants and college dropouts. (They are usually one and the same people.)
However, this viewpoint is hardly accurate. The world of technology has, today, advanced to such an extent that one does not need to be a computer expert in order to create a website.
Not only do these CMSs give you the ability to create world class sites that can challenge established websites, but they also now offer the tools that you need to create simple, hosted websites. So, how can you create a free website in a few steps using WordPress.com?
Head Over To The WordPress.com Website
The first thing that you need to do in order to create a free website using WordPress is head over to the WordPress.com. We should explain here that what you are going to create is what is termed a hosted website.
That is different from the one that you would create through WordPress.org. The main difference between a hosted and a self hosted website is that when you choose the self hosted option, you actually have to look for your own web host, whereas, with a hosted site, everything, including web hosting, comes as part of the package.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to using either. Suffice to say here that having a WordPress.com site is much simpler, particularly for beginners, even though it comes with the disadvantage that it gives you limited flexibility in terms of what you can do with your site.
Once you arrive on the WordPress.com website, you will be greeted with a view that is, more or less, similar to the one that is in the featured image that is at the top of this article. Click on Get Started and you will be taken to the page in the screenshot below.
Create a free Website: Choose a Layout
As you can see in the above screenshot, step one on the way to the creation of that great website that you have always dreamed of involves choosing a layout for your site.
Choose whatever the layout is that you think will work best for you. For the sake of our example, we will go with the first option (simply because it is the first one on the list), which has been designed to show a list of our latest posts.
Choose A Theme
The second step that you need to take in order to create a free website using WordPress involves choosing a theme for your site. Again, we advise you to choose the theme that will best project the visions that you have for your blog or website.
The great thing about WordPress.com is that, as you can see in the above screenshot, it allows you to upload a theme that you have already purchased from somewhere else.
This takes away some of the criticism that is often laid against WordPress.com about flexibility and customization. For our example, we are going to go with the Sapor theme.
Find a Domain for your Site
After choosing a theme for your site (or uploading one to WordPress.com), your next step involves finding a domain for your blog/website. A domain acts as your site’s address on the vastness that is the internet, and allow people to find you. (You can read more on how to choose a domain in this post).
It is important to note here that, as you can see in the screenshot below, you are provided with the option to use an already registered domain, if you own one.
If, however, like most people, you are only just setting out to create your very first website, you should enter the domain that you think will best work for your brand.
We are going to call our website getasimplewordpressblog and, so, we are going to type that into the provided space.
WordPress.com automatically checks to see whether or not your chosen domain has already been registered.In our case, it has not, and you can see that our free domain will be called getasimplewordpressblog.wordpress.com.
The fact that you do not get a .com site while creating a website through the free version of WordPress is, it has to be pointed out, a drawback for some people.We have previously written a review on how you can create a free website using Joomla.com, and the same shortfall exists.
You can, however, upgrade, if you so desire, to a premium version of WordPress, where you will, at $8.25per month (billed yearly), you are given much more flexibility.
Pick a Plan
Step 4 in the five step WordPress.com website creation process involves the selection of a plan that best works for your site. The choice, for us, is simple, since we have set out to create a free website. We are, therefore, going to choose the first option (see screenshot below).
The free plan, however, comes with a number of limitations, not least of which is, in our view, the inability to monetize your blog.
There are also limitations on your available storage and bandwidth. If, like most people, you have the vague idea that you are going to use your site to generate income, then you may need to upgrade to a better plan.
The best option, however, for those who are willing to get their hands dirty, involves getting an entirely self hosted site using any of the great web hosting companies that are showcased in this article. We did so, and can literary do what we want with our site.
Create Your Account
Your final step as you seek to create a free website through WordPress.com involves the creation of a WordPress.com account. Because we already have an account, all that we need to do is log in, and we are done.
After completing the WordPress.com website creation process, the above is what we get. Admittedly the blog is still bereft of content, which we can add by through the backend of our site.
The backend of our site
In order to get to the backend of our site, all that you need to do is append /wp-admin to the end of your domain in your address bar. The backend of our site looks like the screenshot below.
Here, you can begin making all the tweaks that you need to make in order to give your site the look that you have been dreaming about for so long. You can also begin posting content.