Starting a blog is a lot like having a home. The whole point of having a home is to provide a place where your family and friends can relax, be themselves, and grow together.
From the firepit in the backyard where you toast marshmallows in the fall, to the guest room with the fluffy pillows where friends sleep when they stay the weekend, to the fridge stocked full of healthy food and cold drinks – we do it so we can create a place for real community.
Your blog is the same way! And that’s true whether you’re using it for a personal blog, or for business. Your blog is an opportunity to share with others who you are and what you’re about. In the process, you create a place where your readers grow closer to you, and to one another.
But before you can do any of that, you’ve got to build the house first! And building a website is a LOT like building a house.
The land for your house = hosting
The first step in building any house is to purchase the land where the house will be built. There are so many different places to buy your ‘land’ on the internet, finding the best one is a tricky task.
If your website is your house, then the “land” your website sits on is called “hosting.”
You might hear terms like the cloud, servers, cpanel hosting and more thrown around when talking about hosting. It can be a little confusing, so I’m going to break it down for you.
The files which comprise your website have to live on a computer somewhere that’s accessible to the entire internet. Your computer at home, and your internet connection, can’t really support that very well.
Computers that can are called servers, and hosting companies provide servers.
So, to have a website accessible to the world, you need a hosting company.
What hosting company should I use?
Great question! I’m wild about GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting.
Right now, you can get GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting, Basic plan for just $1/month. The Basic plan is great for someone just starting their website or blog.
Years ago, when you bought hosting, you also had to install WordPress manually. That involved downloading the files from WordPress.org, creating a database on your hosting account, editing the wp-config file to match your database credentials…
Yeah. I know. Did your eyes just glaze over?
For those who are technically-minded, it wasn’t so hard. For those who are even the least bit scared of coding…it was enough to stop them in their tracks.
Then some hosting companies started offering a one-click install of WordPress. WordPress, along with lots of other softwares, could be installed on your hosting account with just the click of a few buttons.
That was a step forward, but the hosting account wasn’t specifically FOR the software WordPress.
And, once you installed WordPress, then you had to concern yourself with installing a backup solution, and security monitoring, picking out a great theme, keeping it all up to date… there was so much to do!
GoDaddy was one of the first to offer what’s called “Managed WordPress Hosting.”
So what’s so different about GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting?
For starters, when you purchase a hosting plan, you’ll get WordPress already installed.
Their servers (the computers that host your files) are specially configured for hosting WordPress website. When WordPress releases an update, GoDaddy updates WordPress for you, automatically. And the monitor your site for hacks, too.
You know…In the time it has taken you to read this far, you could have purchased your hosting plan and been well on your way to finally launching your blog. 🙂
The address of your house = your domain
A piece of land for your house is great, but that land needs an address. Something you can give to someone when you want them to come visit. In terms of your website, that address is your domain.
And, you want a “top-level domain” not a subdomain. A top level domain is like, mynameisangie.com while a subdomain is angie.wordpress.com. A subdomain is like a child of the top-level domain.
When you purchase your Managed WordPress Hosting from GoDaddy, you’ll get your first year of domain registration for free. The cost after that is about $17/year.
Your mailbox = your matching email address
After you’ve bought the land for your house, and registered an address, you’ll want to make sure you can send and receive house warming invitations, right? Just like your house has a mailbox, you should have a matching email address to use with your website. Something like, email@example.com, rather than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your email address is one of the best opportunities for sharing your brand, so don’t waste it! When you purchase your GoDaddy account, you’ll get access to a free Microsoft Office 365 email account that will match your new domain.
Fancy, huh? Everything in one place!
Your house = WordPress website
The last thing to do is to actually build your house! We suggest using WordPress to build your house… er, uh… website. WordPress powers over 30% of the websites on the internet, including some of the most highly trafficked websites in the world.
You could use something else like Blogger, Wix or SquareSpace, but we’re not talking about renting a house here, are we? We’re talking about building a house that you can customize and do whatever you want with.
A house no one can take away from you.
A house you control entirely.
If you want that kind of house, you want WordPress.
Of course, when you purchase a Managed WordPress Hosting account from GoDaddy, WordPress will already be setup for you. Like walking in a freshly built, ready-to-customize home… That’s what GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting is.
After that, you get to move on to the fun stuff, like interior decorating!
Decorating your website is done using a theme.
The theme of your site doesn’t change the content of your site, just like painting the walls of your house doesn’t change how many rooms are in your house. A theme should only affect how your content is presented on your site.
If you’re not ready to invest in a theme just yet, I recommend Astra. It’s a fantastic, flexible and free WordPress theme. And if you’re ready to drop a little bit on coin on a premium theme with great support, you can’t go wrong with a StudioPress theme.
That’s it! Starting a blog is nowhere near as difficult as it used to be, and you certainly don’t need to hire someone to get you started when GoDaddy has done all the work for you.
What are you waiting for!? Get going!
Click here to purchase your GoDaddy Managed WordPress Basic account for just $1/month.
If you DO purchase a GoDaddy Managed hosting plan using one of the links on this page, I get a small commission.
To say thanks, I’d be happy to also offer a free phone call to answer any questions you might have about getting started with your blog. Just shoot me an email at email@example.com after you’ve purchased with a copy of your receipt, and I’ll send you a link to my schedule so you can book a time to chat!