howtostartblog

Have you always wanted to start your own blog but aren’t sure where to begin? The idea can be daunting, but it’s easier than you think!

Do you dream of sharing your photography with the world? Wished you could wow the masses with your stellar recipes? Or do you simply want a little slice of the web to call your own? Follow these 4 basic steps to get your blog up and running in no time.

1. Choose a domain name and web hosting service

Upon choosing a domain name and ensuring that it’s not already taken by someone else, you’ll need to secure a web hosting service. Web hosting is similar to renting a storage space where you’ll keep all of your site’s files.

We recommend two web hosting services: Bluehost and Media Temple.

Bluehost is the cheaper solution starting at just $3.95 per month. You’ll receive a great hosting package, a free domain, and other helpful tools.

Media Temple is a bit more expensive, from $20 per month. That being said, their services and support are impeccable. With 99.9% uptime and 24/7/365 customer support, it’s hard to go wrong. We exclusively use Media Temple for all of our hosting and highly recommend them. They even won the 2014 Stevie Award for best customer service!

With both hosting services, you’ll get to choose a domain name upon signing up.

 

2. Installing WordPress

Both Bluehost and Media Temple offer a “1-Click Install” tool which makes installing WordPress a piece of cake.

You can find Bluehosts’s video tutorial here: How To Install WordPress.
Alternatively, Media Temple’s tutorial can be found here: How do I install WordPress using the 1-Click Applications tool?

 

3. Choosing a theme for your blog

Themes are beautiful things– they not only change the aesthetic look of your website but can also add functionality beyond what the standard WordPress themes provide. Having decided what your blog will focus on, you’ll need to choose a theme that will best showcase your content. From theme marketplaces to premium subscriptions to freelance theme developers, the choices are nearly endless.

Solo Pine currently has 11 themes crafted to handle nearly any content genre you can dream up:

Cassia: Elegant and rock-solid, Cassia’s clean lines and premium features expertly handle photography, videos, and much more with cool sophistication.

Hickory: Hickory’s sleek and classic design ensure an unparalleled display experience, chock-full of options to allow you to tailor it to your specifications.

Hemlock: A clean yet visually arresting blog theme, Hemlock is a perfect partner in presenting your content with contemporary class.

Florence: Florence is a bright and airy theme for those who love crisp presentation, loads of customization options, and a straight-forward blogging experience.

Willow: Featuring a robust, striking aesthetic, Willow is a one-page multi-purpose workhorse.

Rosemary: Rosemary is a light & bright blog theme, tailored to showcase your content in an effortlessly timeless style.

Redwood: Boasting a bold, fresh design and bountiful features, like its striking slider and promo boxes, Redwood is guaranteed to make an impact.

Oleander: With clean lines, loads of lovable features, and the option to create your own web-shop, Oleander is the perfect blend of form & function.

Sprout & Spoon: Whipped up with food bloggers in mind, Sprout & Spoon is packed with foodie features guaranteed to make you drool (maybe just a little)!

Laurel: Pack a visual punch with Laurel’s variable Featured Image sizes and create vibrant category indexes. The perfect balance of polish and wow.

Alder: Alder’s clean & classy look lends a structured elegance to any content. You bring your vision & voice, Alder will take care of the rest!

All of the themes are customizable and offer a plethora of exceptional features, not to mention their responsive design and top-notch tech support guarantee.

 

 

4. Installing and setting up your theme

Have a theme picked out for your blog? Great!

There are a number of ways to get your theme up and running in WordPress. A great resource is the WordPress Codex.

All Solo Pine themes will include detailed documentation which will help explain the step-by-step process of installing as well as the basic points of setting up your theme. And, should you have any questions regarding your Solo Pine theme, you’re always welcome to contact us via our support desk. We’ll be happy to assist!

Once completed, all you need to do is fill your site with your photos, music, videos, ideas, or whatever it is you’re passionate about. Happy blogging!

  • Kai Rafanan

    I love your themes especially Rosemary but Good Lord, there’s always a payment :(

  • http://www.keep-up-with-the-jones-family.com/ KeepUpJonesFamily

    Hi! I have a five year long blog and I so want to install your Oleander theme but I’m terrified I will lose all my content – do you have anyone you can recommend to install themes? Thank you so much!

    • SoloPine

      Hi there,
      I’ve replied to your email with more details, though also wanted to reply here :-) If you’re currently running a WordPress.org blog all of your content should be safely saved in your WP database which is hosted on your server. One of the beautiful things about WordPress.org is that you can install and activate another theme and all of your posts, pages, images, etc. will be right there. We like to recommend regularly making backups of your WP database to be doubly-sure your content is safe, though.

      While we don’t have a freelancer we personally can recommend for installing themes, we like to encourage customers to take a look at the installation article and see if it’s something they feel comfortable doing themselves ( Oleander’s is here: https://solopine.ticksy.com/article/5898/ ). It’s quite easy!
      Cheers!

  • Jordyn Dick

    can you help? ive downloaded one of your themes and dont know how to download it to my account with blue host? im so confused and am about to give up. i have the theme rosemary

    • SoloPine

      Hi Jordyn,
      We’d be happy to help! Have you installed WordPress onto your Bluehost server yet? If you haven’t installed WP yet, Bluehost has a video on how to install the WP platform here: https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/help/wp_install

      Once you’ve installed WP and you can access your WP Dashboard, you can then follow the theme installation steps for Rosemary in this article: https://solopine.ticksy.com/article/3821/

      If you find yourself with any questions with the theme, you’re very welcome to head over to our support site at https://solopine.ticksy.com and open up a new support ticket. We’d be happy to assist.
      Cheers!

  • Laura Delanchy

    Hi there,
    I would like to know whether it’s possible to get a domain name, get the theme (i’m interested by the Laurel one) and work on it, but host it later on. I would like to work on my blog for several months before i put it online.
    Thank you
    Laura

    • SoloPine

      Hi Laura,

      To work on WordPress without hosting it would require that you set up a localhost on your computer using a program such as WampServer. You can check out a tutorial on how to do this here: http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/installing-wordpress-locally

      Alternatively you can get hosting and put your site in “Coming soon” mode while you work on it behind the scenes.

      Cheers!

      • Laura Delanchy

        Thanks a lot

  • Sophie Gordon

    Hi there,

    I’m interested in the Sprout and Spoon theme. I currently already run a food blog: sophgordon.com which is currently on Wix. I am however looking to move over to WordPress and have fallen in love with your theme. How easy will it be for me to transfer over i.e. all my content etc. Also as I already have a domain, do I link that after I’ve put all my content up? Any help would be hugely appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Soph

    • SoloPine

      Hi Soph,

      We unfortunately don’t have much experience with the Wix platform or transferring content from Wix, however it looks like there are some good tutorials on how to go about it. For example: http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-switch-from-wix-to-wordpress-step-by-step/

      You would first want to get started with your self-hosted WordPress site and get that setup. If you have a domain that you’d like to keep, I believe your webhost would likely have you setup your WordPress site on a staging site (different web address than your desired domain).

      Then, most forums seem to recommend transferring your Wix content over to WordPress by using the RSS feed. The above tutorial has a good walk-through with how to do this.

      Then, once you’ve transferred everything over to the WordPress site, your webhost should be able to help you re-direct everything to your desired domain/web address.

      I hope this helps!
      Cheers!

      • Sophie Gordon

        Hey!

        Thanks so much for getting back to me. So I’ve read the link you sent – super useful, will get started now! One thing, do I download and create the WordPress site first, inc the beautiful theme, and then upload my content..?

        Thanks!

        • SoloPine

          Hi Sophie,

          I would definitely setup your WordPress site first before beginning to transfer content over from Wix.

          It may be easiest to also install your preferred WP theme at that time (before transferring content) as you’d then be able to see how the site will fill out with your content as you transfer it.

          Cheers!

          • Sophie Gordon

            Hey!

            Ok great and do I need a host if I’ve already got a domain, or can I go ahead and install the theme to my account?

            Sorry absolute WP rookie! X

          • SoloPine

            Hi Sophie,

            I believe Wix hosts your site for you on their own servers? If so, I don’t believe they’d let you install the WP.org platform onto the server.

            You would need to first secure web hosting from another source (we have some recommendations noted above: http://solopine.com/how-to-start-a-blog/ ). Then you can follow the steps above to install the WP platform onto your server. Most webhosts have a “1 click install” button for this. From there, you can install your preferred WP theme onto your WP platform via the dashboard.

            If you do decide to go with one of our themes, we have theme installation guides available. For example, here’s Sprout & Spoon’s: https://solopine.ticksy.com/article/7538

            If you find yourself with any questions about this process, you’re welcome to shoot us an email via our contact form ( http://solopine.com/contact-us/ ). It may be easier to chat via email than this message thread ;-)

            Cheers!