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HOW TO START A BLOG

How to start a self-hosted wordpress blog. Find out more by clicking on the following link: http://lime-start.com/2016/05/how-to-start-a-blog/

Hello and welcome to the Lime Start blog! I aim to share here my love of planning, stationery, pens and being organised. For my first post I thought it would be ideal to write about starting a blog. I’ve been blogging for a number of years at Lime Doodle Design where I share paper crafts and card making along with the odd photography post. I was able to draw on those years of experience when setting up here and I want to share that knowledge in case you are thinking about starting a blog too.

This post uses compensated affiliate links which means that if  you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support.

1. Platform

When you make the leap and decide to start blogging, the first decision you face is which platform to choose. There are a myriad of options which can make it quite confusing. In the mind map below I show just a few of those options; Squarespace, Typepad, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress …. but believe me there are many more and it is worth investigating what option suits you best.

How to start a self-hosted wordpress blog. Find out more by clicking on the following link: http://lime-start.com/2016/05/how-to-start-a-blog/

Some blogging platforms are free. I started Lime Doodle Design on Blogger and with this platform you would get a web address such as limestart.blogspot.com Another free option is wordpress.com which would give you an address such as limestart.wordpress.com. These platforms are quick to get set up and require very little if any computer know-how. However, an address with blogspot or wordpress within it decreases its standing in search engines and also a stand-alone web address looks more professional.

So back to the myriad of platform options and in addition to the free wordpress.com there is also wordpress.org for a self-hosted blog and overall I believe this is the most popular platform and the one I chose for Lime Start. You can have a stand-alone address such as this one lime-start.com and after initial set up costs the platform itself is free.

2. Domain Name

If you choose the wordpress.org platform as I have, then you are choosing to ‘self-host’ which means you need to set up web hosting. However, I’m jumping ahead of myself slightly because the first step is to choose a name and see if that web address is available to purchase. I chose Lime Start as the Lime fits in with my other blog Lime Doodle Design and the Start came from the idea of a fresh start. My domain name costs me just over £11 per year (approximately $16) which includes private registration so my personal details are kept hidden from public view. Well worth the minimal cost in my opinion to prevent being plagued by spam.

How to start a self-hosted wordpress blog. Find out more by clicking on the following link: http://lime-start.com/2016/05/how-to-start-a-blog/

3. Hosting

Having purchased your domain then the next step is to arrange hosting. Remember the myriad of blogging platforms? Well there are an equal if not greater number of options for hosting! When I first started hosting my Lime Doodle Design blog I chose GoDaddy as it was a name I’d heard of and trusted. I’ve stuck with them ever since and as it turns out I could host Lime Start under my hosting for Lime Doodle Design so the set up costs for hosting on this occasion were a very pleasing £0! However, that’s not going to be the case for most people. As an indication, my hosting with Go-Daddy for Lime Doodle Design costs just under £70 per year (roughly $100).
$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with GoDaddy!

4. WordPress

Once you’ve got hosting sorted then the next step is to install WordPress. With GoDaddy and other reputable companies this can be done with one click and they install it for you on the domain. Perfect for this slightly computer challenged girl LOL.

5. Plug Ins

With WordPress up and running then the next job is to add some ‘plug ins’. Plug ins add extra functionality and there are a huge range available. Too many to cover in this summary post today. One or two good ones to mention though are Akismet which will filter spam comments; an all too essential in todays world. Also a good plug in to add is one for allowing people to subscribe to posts and newsletters so they can keep up with recent posts and news. I use Bloom which works in conjunction with mail services such as MailChimp and Aweber etc and gives a clean and simple subscription box which you can adjust and color code to fit in with your site. Bloom is from the people over at Elegant Themes which as their name suggests have a bunch of good themes as well as well designed plug ins.

Bloom Email Optin Plugin

Here’s mine, I’d be delighted if you subscribed to keep in touch with my posts :D

SUBSCRIBE

GET LIME START DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

Look for an email from me to confirm your subscription

Give it a go! The good thing is it is easy to unsubscribe or adjust your preferences at any time.

6. WordPress Theme

How to start a self-hosted wordpress blog. Find out more by clicking on the following link: http://lime-start.com/2016/05/how-to-start-a-blog/

So at this point you have a wordpress self hosted blog set up with full functionality and now it’s time to make it pretty! Spend some time looking at blogs you find appealing. I’d suggest setting up a Pinterest board to pin them to so you can collate a bunch of images and get a feel for the look you like. Then its time to search for a WordPress ‘theme’ that fits the style you would like.

Oleander by Solo Pine WordPress Theme

I chose a Solo Pine theme (Oleander) from Creative Market as it fitted with the clean and simple look I wanted. Another great source of templates to adjust the appearance of your blog is Theme Forest where you will find lots more themes including more from Solo Pine. Elegant Themes not only have great plugins but as their name suggests has a bunch of themes too. Another place to check out is Etsy where you may find a small business eager to help you get the look you want.

Blogging has become an integral part of my life and from it I have found an amazing community of like-minded people many of whom have become firm friends. I hope that if you are on the brink of setting up a blog that this post provides helpful information.

Well for my first post I seem to have rambled on for a while! I hope this overview of starting a blog is useful if you contemplating taking the leap in to blogging. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will try my best to answer them :D

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Look for an email from me to confirm your subscription

16 Comments

  • Reply
    Ruth
    May 8, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Great post – I started with Blogger but wished I’d done a bit more research, but I really didn’t think I’d continue blogging let alone move into videos, so it was the sensible option for me at the time. Loving your posts on IG – am going to start my scribblings in my new journal soon :)

    • Reply
      Debby
      May 8, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Ruth. Blogger is such a great first point of call isn’t it. I started with Blogger for Lime Doodle Design. If you ever decide to move away to another platform it is possible. I did it myself from Blogger to self hosted WordPress. I think you just have to be sure of the reasons you want to move.

  • Reply
    Holly
    May 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Debby’s, Great post. I have been blogging on WordPress.com for about 3 years now. I was wondering, if you know if you switch from WordPress.com to .org does your past posts move when you change or do you have to hire someone to do that?

  • Reply
    Debby
    May 8, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I was able to move from Blogger to WordPress.org myself Holly. I’ve not got the experience of .com to .org but from my experience with Blogger it would be possible. I was able to transfer over all my posts set up a redirect so that if anyone went to one of my old addressed posts from say Pinterest, the redirect sent it to the new site. Hope that helps a little :D

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      July 21, 2016 at 12:49 am

      Vava – Thanks. I was nervous about getting my hair cut, but I thought it was time. I will definitely post about future brownie experiments hesCiear.sra – Thanks. Nice to have you back.Shen – It’s the texture issue – they fall apart and it’s easier to eat them with a fork. So fork off!

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  • Reply
    Jennifer colacicco
    May 11, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Wonderful post and very timely! I’m on blogger right now and just sorted myself out with a domain and wordpress hosting and now I am staring at the dashboard going eep!

    • Reply
      Debby
      May 16, 2016 at 6:43 am

      Yay, for taking the plunge to move Jennifer! How’s it going?

  • Reply
    Lisa Tilson
    May 12, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Just got around to reading this Debby – very useful for a new blogger like me. I am fortunate that I have a hubby who sorted out my hosting for me, I just had to find a pretty theme and then start thinking about what to write! I am so tempted to get into the whole planner thing – it really appeals to my list making self. So I am following with interest to see whether what you use is going to work for me.

    • Reply
      Debby
      May 16, 2016 at 6:45 am

      Having a techie on hand is very useful isn’t it Lisa LOL. As for the planners, if what I’m using doesn’t suit you there are an infinite number of other options which might!

  • Reply
    Jennifer K
    May 15, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you for your very helpful post Debby, I am wanting to start my own blog and this post gave me some great direction! I feel a little overwhelmed when I think about how to proceed but you broke it down into steps that I can understand! Thanks again!

    • Reply
      Debby
      May 16, 2016 at 6:46 am

      It can be overwhelming tackling something outside of our normal knowledge base, but stick at it and let google be your friend! If you don’t know the answer to a problem someone will have written a blog post on it or a YouTube video :D

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