WordPress is a really awesome platform for anyone who wants to start their own blog. However, as good as WordPress is, it isn’t going to automatically make your blog successful. If you want the best chance possible of turning your blog from a hobby into a business, you need to start on the right foot.
Choose a Domain Name
Just as the name a business chooses can have a surprisingly big impact on that business’s fortunes, the domain name that you choose for your blog will play a big part in its future. You want to choose a domain name that is unique and memorable. If you can come up with something clever or witty, then by all means, go for it! But there is nothing wrong with a relatively mundane domain name, as long as it is one that visitors can remember that isn’t too similar to any existing sites.
Find a Hosting Provider
Choosing the right hosting partner is vital if you are going to find success in the future. Unless you have reason to believe that your blog is going to hit the ground running and immediately be pulling in a high volume of traffic, you should start off with the most basic hosting package you can get away with.
Choose a provider who will allow you to upgrade your package as your blog grows so you don’t have to worry about buying an expensive hosting package when you don’t need one.
You will need to consult with the documentation for your web host for precise instructions on installing WordPress on your website – the process will vary slightly between hosts. Many hosts, especially those like Onyx.io who specialise in WordPress hosting, will automate this process for you and might even give you the option immediately after you’ve done your initial setup.
Select an Appealing Theme
There are innumerable WordPress themes to choose from, making it relatively simple to make your website look professional, even if you don’t know anything about web design or coding. You can further customise these themes, or even build your own if you have the know-how. Don’t worry about other people using the same theme as you, not initially anyway. There are enough themes that there isn’t really a ‘typical’ WordPress look that people will see and think, “Oh look, another generic WordPress site.” Besides, if you’re publishing quality content, your audience won’t care.
Play About with the Tools
Before you start publishing content to your blog, familiarise yourself with all the tools available in the WordPress control panel. Usually, your control panel is accessed by going to mydomain.com/wp-admin. Your hosting provider will provide you with instructions. Note that your WordPress control panel is not the same as your web host’s control panel.
Before you begin publishing, you should also check out the available plugins (there are a lot) and do some research online about how you can prevent spam and bots. Many hosts will offer you some level of security – if you have the option of buying CloudFlare protection as part of your package, then you should do it.
Even seemingly insignificant decisions that you make early on in the process of launching your blog will have a considerable impact on your overall chances of success. It is worth taking the time to make sure that you have the right name, host, and look before you even think about what you’re going to populate your blog with.