It has never been so easy to launch your own blog or business website even on a tight budget. You can pick up website hosting for as little as £1 a month, but I would suggest getting a decent hosting provider such as GoDaddy or HeartInternet, just for peace of mind. Remember when ordering a hosting package to get one that has PHP and MYSQL included in the cost.
You will also need a domain name to go with your website, it is best to use a domain name search to see what domain names are available to purchase.
You can use WordPress as a simple blogging platform, or even use WordPress to create a corporate website, with a nice easy to use back end, where you can manage your pages and blog posts. There are also thousands of themes available from a number of different sources throughout the internet, some free, others which have a small fee. You can try out theme’s before you purchase any, and there is usually great installation documentation on how to install the themes on your self hosted WordPress site.
Once you have a hosting package, there are numerous ways to get a website, using any number of the open source content management systems available on the internet. The biggest and most updated content management system is WordPress (which I use here). This is available to download for FREE from WordPress.org. Depending on your hosting providers, most off this as a “one click installation” package, where no setup is required. If this is not available for you, you simply FTP onto your server, and copy all the files onto your hosting providers server, then visit your domain url, which you will the be promoted to follow the installation script. Before you go any further, you will need to make sure you have set up a MYSQL database.
Follow the installation steps, making sure you enter your database username, host and password correctly, and then proceed to create a login for you to access the back end of your website. Once complete, you will be directed to the back end of your new website, with the basic WordPress posts and pages.
Before doing anything else, I would recommend installing a couple of plugin’s, mainly Jetpack, and SEO by Yoast as a minimum. Jetpack is a nice addon by the creators and collaborators of WordPress which allows you to keep stats on how many visits your blog receives, and a load more gizmos that can turn your basic blog into something special. Yoast is a nice SEO tool, that allows you to see how SEO friendly your posts are, using a traffic light system where green is a good post and red means your post needs a bit more work.
You are ready to install your theme you have chosen, this can be done by uploading the theme files directly into the /wp-content/theme/ folder on your website hosting provider (using FTP), or you can upload the theme in the back end under the “Appearance” tab in the left hand navigation.
If you have purchased a theme, you should have received some documentation on how to set up your new theme, following these should get your website up and running in no time.
Next you will now need to add some content onto your website. You can write this yourself, or you can use a blog writing service to provide you with nice keyword rich content to get your website noticed by Google. Remember to keep a regular schedule for writing posts, as this will create a following on your blog, in which readers will come back and look at your new posts.
Generally, a website can be set up in a day (if you are a novice), but for someone like myself, I could have a new website setup in a matter of a couple of hours work.