How to Start a Website: Step-by-Step WordPress Tutorial
WordPress is a popular and free CMS (content management system) that’s been around for a while now. It was originally created back in 2003 by the team at Automattic. Today, it is the #2 most popular website platform in the world, according to CloudFlare.
It’s an open source project that’s available under the GPL (General Public License) license. This basically means that you can use it, benefit from it, and even contribute to it. In addition, you are granted all rights pertaining to the creation and publication of original content on the WordPress platform.
You can download and install WordPress on your own web server, or you can use a hosting service such as Bluehost to get started quickly and easily.
Why Should You Start A Blog With WordPress?
There are plenty of reasons why you should consider blogging with WordPress. For instance, if you’re looking to monetize your blog, you can do so through affiliate marketing, or you can use a third-party plugin to create a membership site (e.g., The Bluehost affiliate program).
In terms of appearances, WordPress offers a variety of free themes and premium themes that you can use to give your blog the look and feel you want. In addition, you can use different plugins to customize your blog’s functionality in numerous ways.
On the more technical side, WordPress offers a wealth of tutorials and support forums that you can use to get started and learn how to use the platform effectively. You can also ask any question you may have about blogging with WordPress and receive a fast and friendly reply.
Step 1. Choose a WordPress Theme
The first step to creating a WordPress blog is selecting a theme for it. There are plenty of free themes out there that you can use, but if you want something a little different, you can choose from a variety of premium themes. Let’s take a look at each one.
There are many free and open source themes out there that you can use to build your WordPress blog. Some of the more popular and highly rated themes are:
- Folio by Squarespace
- Avada by WordPress
- Zilla by StudioPress
- White by Themeforest
You can start with any of these free themes, and you’re good to go. Just remember that since these are open source projects, you will need to make sure that you keep up with the latest updates in case something new is released.
If you want to go premium, there are many high-quality themes out there that you can use to build your blog. Some of the more popular and highly rated premium WordPress themes are:
- Arrow by StudioPress
- Aura by WP Engine
- Aurum by ThemeBucket
- Elephant by Elementor
- Garden by ThemeForest
- Ludo by ThemeZorro
- Material by StudioPress
- Merbok by Merbrix
- Optimized by TwentyThree
- Porto by ThemeBucket
- Quiet by TwentyThree
- Rozeta by Themestr
- Sage by Sage Group
- Shiny by Themestr
You can start with any of these premium themes, and you’re good to go. Just remember that since these are premium themes, you will need to pay for them eventually (e.g., through a subscription model).
Step 2. Install WordPress On Your Own Web Server
If you’re looking to host your own blog, the next step is to install WordPress on your own web server. This is where most people get confused because there are so many different ways to do it depending on your operating system and web server. For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll assume you’re using Linux and a LAMP (LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) stack web server. If you’re not sure what these are, don’t worry, you’ll learn soon enough.
The first thing you need to do is download and install WordPress on your web server. You can do this by following the provided instructions or referring to the WordPress documentation for detailed instructions on how to install the platform on your own system.
After installing WordPress, you need to create a username and password for the WordPress user. This is the person that will log in to the platform and interact with your readers. Make sure to choose a unique username and password, and don’t forget them because you’ll need them later to log in to WordPress. After creating the WordPress user, you can access your dashboard by going to yourwebsite.com/wp-admin. Once you’re on the dashboard, you can click on the wrench (hamburger) icon to the far right of the screen’s top navigation bar to display the dashboard’s various settings.
You will see that at the top of the dashboard, you have several quick links that will help you to manage and organize your blog content. At the far right, you have the option to import WordPress content from a CSV file or download a sample blog to get started. You can leave this import option turned off if you’re just using the barebones version of WordPress to create your blog.
To configure your LAMP stack web server to accept WordPress visits, you must first enable the PHP execution bit in your server’s Apache configuration file. To do this, simply locate the Apache configuration file on your server (usually located at /etc/apache2/apache2.conf) and add the following line to the file:
php_flag (or php_admin_flag) On
This tells Apache that it’s okay to execute the PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) code in your blog posts and pages. After making this change, you can test to see if WordPress is working correctly by reloading your web server’s Apache configuration file and visiting your blog. If all goes well, you should see a page similar to the following:
Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed WordPress. You can now begin creating your blog. Make sure to bookmark this page so you can easily find our tutorial’s progress as we go along. If you have any doubts or problems following our tutorial, please feel free to contact us via the comment section at the bottom of this page. We will be more than happy to help you out.
For those of you that have followed along and have successfully configured your LAMP web server to accept WordPress visits, congratulations! You can now begin creating your blog. Make sure to bookmark this page so you can easily find our tutorial’s progress as we go along. If you have any doubts or problems following our tutorial, please feel free to contact us via the comment section at the bottom of this page. We will be more than happy to help you out.