Do you love to cook? Do you read countless cookbooks, food blogs, and pour over recipes for fun? Do you talk incessantly about food, until all others around you get that glazed over look in their eyes? Then you should probably be blogging. You probably even know this. After all, it would be totally great to get online, share your awesome recipes and connect with others who, not only eat, but sleep and breath food the same way you do! The thing is… you just haven’t gotten around to it yet because, well, you’re a busy person and it take so much time and effort to get started, right?
WRONG. I’m here to tell you that setting up a new blog can be totally simple. Point, click a few times, customize, and get writing. Stick with me and I’m going to show you how it’s done. Your blog will be up and running, today, in ten minutes or less, so lets get started.
Ok, before we actually get started I’ve gotta give you the fine print: links included on this page are affiliate links. I will earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) should you choose to purchase after following the link. I deeply appreciate any and all monetary support of Feed Me I’m Hungry!
Step One: Get hosting and name your blog.
The very first thing we’re going to do is pick out a hosting package for your blog. We’ll be using Bluehost. I should mention that Bluehost is a wonderful place to start hosting a brand new blog for three reasons:
- They have solid hosting packages at very reasonable prices.
- They include your domain name and hosting space all in one package.
- They make it really, really easy to install the WordPress blogging platform (you’ll see in step two!)
Click here (or the image below) to get started, this will open Bluehost’s website in a new tab. Once you arrive at Bluehost’s website click the green get started button. This is the next thing you’ll see:
Obviously, the plan you select is a personal choice. However, my recommendation is to go with the PLUS plan:
- The plus package offers unlimited web site space.
- The 100GB of website storage that comes with the starter package is a reasonable starting point for a new blog if you choose; but if you intend to blog long term you will end up filling up that 100GB.
- Food blogs tend to be photo heavy, and photos take up a lot of space.
- However, don’t feel pressured to start with a big package, you can always upgrade down the line when your blog is rolling in visitors.
The next thing Bluehost will ask you to do is pick a name for your blog. Simple enough right, right? After selecting your package, Bluehost will take you to right to it’s domain name checker so you can see if the name you like is available. Enter your chosen name into the checker, and adjust as needed to get your own unique domain name. A few tips:
- Pick something fun, you like, that’s (preferably) catchy and easy to spell.
- You might already have a name in mind, or you might need to spend a few moments brainstorming to come up with something you like, that isn’t already out there.
- However, don’t spend so long thinking of the perfect blog name that you never actually move past this step!
After you select a domain name Bluehost will walk you through a few additional options you can add to your hosting package, collect your contact information, and your method of payment.
Again what you choose to add to your package is up to you. I personally feel that none of these additional services are really necessary when beginning a new blog. However, I think the two services that are most worth your consideration are:
- Domain Whois Privacy Protection- When you register a domain name, your contact information, as the owner of the domain, is recorded on the ICANN, Whois list. This is list can be accessed by anyone out there. Which leads to the very reasonable concerns about personal contact information being used for malicious purposes. Purchasing Domain Whois Privacy Protection will hide your personal information from the public and list your domain name as being owned by Bluehost on the Whois list. I personally have decided the risk of my contact information being out there is of minimal risk and do not pay for Privacy Protection. But again, this is a personal decision about what you are comfortable with.
- Site Back Up Pro– Bluehost automatically backs up your website against loss, or any user created errors. However, Site Back Up Pro backs up your site at more frequent intervals ensuring you never loose any of your hard work once you start posting on your blog. If there is any additional service I would recommend adding to your plan it’s this. I personally have used Bluehost’s back ups of my site more then once to fix glitches and errors that I have created when messing around with my site. If you ever need to use this feature a Bluehost Technical Service Representative will even help you with the restore. I should also mention that I also use VaultPress (A WordPress Plugin) to back up my site, it might sound paranoid but I’m all about the multiple back up so that I ensure I never loose any of my hard work!
Again, you can always decide to add any additional services that Bluehost provides after the fact so don’t feel pressured to purchase them upfront.
Select your options and finish following Bluehost’s sign up process. They’re collect a bit more info from you and do a little verification. (Don’t worry it’s really simple.) This should take you but a few minutes, and then it’s time to move on to installing WordPress.
Step Two: Install WordPress
Now, I know it sounds like we’re about to get crazy technical here, but don’t worry, we’re not! (Signing up for your hosting was harder then this is going to be.) It’s point and click for this step, because Bluehost offers the one click WordPress install.
Start by, logging into your Bluehost account using the user name and password you receive while signing up for your hosting. (Hint: The login link is on the top right of Bluehost’s main page.)
This is what you’ll see when you log in. It’s called the c-panel. This is your domain’s main hub.
If Bluehost doesn’t take you automatically to the hosting tab, select it on the upper left side of the page. Then look for the install WordPress icon and click. Hint: pictured below.
This will take you to the Mojo Market Place. See that big green button that says Install? Click it!
The next page that pops up will ask you where you want to install WordPress. (Hint This page will display your domain name rather then Feed Me I’m Hungry.) Click the big green button labeled Check Domain.
Here’s the last step: Make sure that the second option is checked, stating that you have read the terms and conditions of the install; and then click the big Green Button labeled Install Now.
You will be prompted to select a user name and password. Hint: Pick something good and secure. Whatever you do, pick something other then admin as your user name. This will protect your blog more then you even know!
After this Mojo will go to work.
Be sure to write down the user name and password you select, and the URL that Mojo gives you when it’s done installing WordPress. (Hint: The URL should look something like this: http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin.)
Alright! You now have a fully functional blog! If you go to http://yourdomain.com you should see a basic WordPress site!
Step Three: Customize Your Blog.
Alright! We made it to the fun part, customization. It’s time to make your blog feel like you.
Navigate to the URL that Mojo gave you (http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin) and enter your user name and password.
This will bring you to your WordPress dashboard. Hint: Navigation for WordPress is located on the left hand side of the page. Click on Appearance, this will take you to a page where you can select an existing theme or upload a new theme.
- Themes are what customize the look and feel of your blog.
- Right off the bat you’ll have WordPress’s standard theme Twenty Fifteen installed.
- This is a perfectly good theme, but as you can imagine a zillion people out there are already using it, so you’ll probably want to change it up by installing a theme that really fits you and your vision of your blog.
- There are tons of free themes out there on the web. Do a Google search and you’ll see what I mean. These themes vary wildly in quality, but there is definitely some good free stuff out there if you take the time to look.
But, if you’re serious about blogging I highly, highly recommend purchasing the Genesis Framework and a StudioPress Child Theme to go with it. It does cost a bit of money, but this stuff is the best of the best for WordPress.
- Genesis adds a huge amount of additional functionality to your blog and the Child Themes allow you to customize your blog and really make it unique.
- I’ve used Genesis since the day Feed Me I’m Hungry opened it’s doors. I’ve used multiple Child Themes, but currently run the “Foodie Theme” which is specifically designed for food blogs and has a ton of relevant features.
Whatever you decide to do as far as themes you can click that big old plus sign to install any new theme you select.
- This is a very easy process and Word Press pretty much walks you right through it.
- After a new theme is installed you can usually access any customizations under the Appearance tab on the left.
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a working food blog!
So what’s next? I say get posting! Head over to your posts page by clicking on Posts in the left hand navigation bar. Click add new at the top and let’s see some recipes! If you’ve followed this tutorial and set up a food blog I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line with the link to your blog. I’d love to check it out.