First things first, I believe that you should have a self-hosted wordpress site, that is, wordpress.org. To do so means that you retain control of everything. I’ve seen many people start at wordpress.com and then migrate to their own self hosted site after a while. Why not start out right? Transferring from wordpress.com to wordpress.org is not a big deal, but it’s just easier to start off right. The cost is minimal as you’ll pay for basic hosting at around $6 per month.
You’ll face the challenge of selecting a name for your blog. This is probably the most difficult part of the process. Once you’ve selected the name, you’ll want to register the name and get the hosting plan in place. You can register the domain name at the host you select, but I would suggest registering it elsewhere. That’s just in case you decide you don’t like the host and want to switch to another host. If you have it registered there, it takes more work to move the registration, as well as the website.
Checking Domain Names:
I use http://domains.dan.info as a generic way to check domain availability without going to the big dogs. I’ve heard that if you check a domain name at one of the big dogs and sit on it for a few days, they may register it, and when you come back to register it, they may increase the price. I don’t know if it is true, so I just use this Dan’s info site instead.
Registering a Domain Name:
I have all my domains registered through GoDaddy*. Now I know their ads are a little sexist, and that their check-out process tries to cross-sell you 6 different things on the way to the actual purchase, and not to mention the whole SOPA issue, but I’ve been with them for many, many years and it’s always worked well. Registering the domain name, www.SomeName.com, is basically a phone book for the internet. When you type “www.google.com”, your computer goes to a DNS server to find the actual address of Google. Not their street address, but their internet address silly. If you did a “NSLOOKUP” (name server lookup) for Google.com, you would get 22.214.171.124. That’s the actual address of one of Google’s servers. When I type 126.96.36.199 into the address bar of Chrome, I get Google.
So registering a domain name allows you to point other people to your host server.
Starting Your Own Blog Resources:
Here are a few pages of how to start your own blog. I originally had this in 3 parts, but decided it would be better broken down to more specific steps. I’ve also added a few other resources pages, such as camera and lighting pages, as well as general technology pages. These pages are most of the general steps in starting your own blog.
|WP Part 1 – Domain Names||WP Part 2 – Hosting||WP Part 3 – WordPress (installation)|
|WP Part 4 – Configure WP||WP Part 5 – Themes||WP Part 6 – Plugins|
|WP Part 7 – Widgets||WP Part 8 – Pages and Menus||WP Part 9 – Posts and Categories|
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